I think I am handicapped by my long and unforgiving memory. So I can hardly complain about the media attaching all those ‘long-lost’ labels to Tommy Robinson. Nevertheless, I do complain.
Take the Lib Dems. I can’t get my head around Luciana Berger joining the Lib-Dems after they (as a Party) tolerated those two arch antisemites, Jenny Tonge and David Ward. Former Brent Central MP, Sarah Teather, obsessed with defending her radical Muslim ‘constituents’ wasn’t much better. Admittedly, the Lib Dems sacked Tonge under Clegg and Tim "Ward is unfit to represent the party" Farron. Yes, the party eventually got rid, but it took them forever and a day. I suppose the Lib-Dems held seats in many predominantly Muslim constituencies at the time, but what if they regain them in future?
Here’s another example of me as ‘hostage’ to my lengthy, unforgiving memory. It concerns Sarah Champion. I can’t forget her appearance at that Muslim-heavy council meeting where she was filmed obsequiously pandering to some full-on, undiluted, Israel-bashing. (See vid below)
When she is held up for her ‘bravery’ in publicly identifying the grooming-gang phenomenon as being perpetrated by “mainly Pakistani men’ and getting herself demoted by Corbyn into the bargain, she meekly toed the line thereafter. Where’s the bravery in that? She should have kicked up a fuss. I think it’s high time to resurrect one of my abandoned (gone but not forgotten) posts. It’s no longer topical, but what the hell. Here goes:
"Covering your arse". (Working title)
"I caught part of the select committee debate on LGBT education with Sarah Champion MP speaking passionately in favour of LGBT education. Brendan O’Neill has written a curate’s egg of a piece about Pakistani grooming gangs. It’s mostly critical but he sneaks in a jarring note to distance himself from nasty ‘right-wingers’, like so:
“it plays into the hands of hard-right elements who politicise the issue of Muslim grooming gangs. It actually empowers these troublesome political groups who will say: ‘Only we are brave enough to talk about this problem.’ And of course they talk about it for very cynical reasons — in order to promote a view of all Muslim men as predatory, and all Muslims as a problem.
However, he receives plenty of flak below the line for that arse-covering paragraph. He praises Sarah Champion for her ‘bravery’ in specifically mentioning ‘Pakistani’ men in a famous article she wrote for the Sun; the one for which she lost her shadow cabinet role. (Sacked by Jeremy Corbyn.)
“Look what happened to the Labour MP for Rotherham, Sarah Champion, when she wrote about the problem of largely Pakistani gangs abusing white girls. She was demonised by Corbynistas. She was forced out of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet. The message was clear: talk about this issue and you will be punished
says O’Neill, admiringly. What did she do then, though? Did she make a fuss about being sacked? No, she did not. She toed the line and she’s still in the antisemitic Labour Party backing Jeremy Corbyn for PM.
Now she’s taking another risk. She’s risking the ire of the Pakistani councillors (her constituents) by defending LGBT education. Brave again? Mixed messages from opportunist Champion? - she was, after all, MP for Rotherham during the period when the Pakistani men were happily a-groomin’.
Brendan O’Neil again:
“Strikingly, the judge didn’t only condemn the men – he also criticised the authorities in Rotherham. He said they had at best been ‘totally ineffectual’ and at worst ‘wholly indifferent’ to the abuse of girls by Muslim gangs. He said he was ‘quite satisfied’ that the ‘relevant authorities’ in Rotherham knew girls were being targeted for sexual exploitation. And their failure to do anything about it is a ‘lamentable state of affairs’.”
Surely she must have had a little inkling about what was going on under her nose? She never said a word until the whole thing was out in the open. Her ‘bravery’ entirely consisted of using the words “largely Pakistani men”, rather than obfuscating like everyone else did, by using the misleading term “Asian”; to me her belated outrage looked more like covering her arse for (at best) ‘not noticing’ what was going on, than *bravery*.
Am I just being bitchy, or is all this criticism fundamentally because she was filmed chairing a meeting of the Pakistani councillors that represent her constituency. She was ingratiating herself with these men by enthusiastically castigating Israel for retaliating after a heightened spate of rocket attacks fired from Gaza.
We spotted her appearance on a BBC documentary about the HoC. “I don’t understand how you can have negotiations when you only talk to one party,” said Sarah Champion. Of course, she’s not talking about Corbyn.
I blogged it at the time and have referenced it whenever the opportunity arose because I don’t think of her as ‘consistent and certainly not ‘brave’. Rather, she comes across as an opportunist with no principles.
Perhaps she's changed. Should I forgive and forget? I might be able to 'forgive', but it's oh so hard to 'forget'.