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Same old Tories? No, probably worse this time… 30 May 2006

Posted by TwentyTwoYards in Land of Hope and Glory....

A couple of articles in recent British news publications point out something that should be obvious, yet is ignored by many Muslims (and non-Muslims) in their frenetic Labour-hating and Blair-bating: the Tories, especially the current lot (but equally those before) would be far worse, both in their anti-Muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric, and also in waging war on Muslims lands. And as the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems to their friends) have about as much chance of forming a government as the Monster Raving Loony Party, Labour remains the best hope for British Muslims; least worst of a bad lot.

A few days ago, Yusuf Smith wrote at length on the 'new Tories' and their pitiful efforts at wooing British Muslim voters; Yusuf referred to Boris Johnson, the staunchly anti-Islamic journalist, and I agree – Boris may look (and act) like a cuddly teddy bear who cannot string together a coherent thought, but he is easily one of the most astute politicians in Britain today; he will undoubtedly go far, and its a shame that he will carry his anti-Islamic baggage with him.

However, Boris Johnson is by no means the only anti-Islam member of flaky Dave Cameron's shadow cabinet; in fact, the crème de la crème of the British neo-cons (Hague, Fox, Osborne and Gove) are also the people running Cameron's Tory party. This was the point made, in some detail, by Matthew Parris in The Times for the past two Saturdays (here and here). He points out that many of the key Tories, including Cameron himself, are more 'gung-ho' and pro-war than even Tony Blair, and certainly more so than the previous Tory shadow cabinets.

Its not as if we have not been warned by Cameron of his thought-process; in what Parris calls a "hog-whimperingly neoconservative speech about jihadism", made at the Foreign Policy Centre in London nine months ago, Cameron compared Islam to the Nazi threat in the 1930s:  

“The parallels with the rise of Nazi-ism go further . . . If only, some argue, we withdrew from Iraq, or Israel made massive concessions, then we would assuage jihadist anger. That argument . . . is as limited as the belief in the Thirties that, by allowing Germany to remilitarise the Rhineland or take over the Sudetenland, we would satisfy Nazi ambitions.

 . . . We’re all in this together . . . standing with those brave democrats in Iraq who are trying to rebuild their nation . . . Should representative government . . . take root in Iraq, [jihadists] will not only have been defeated in one key battle, they will also find that an alternative path has been established in the Middle East which gives its people the hope, prosperity and freedom they deserve.”

And where Cameron has led, the others have followed, only some of the others are more avowedly Atlanticist than flaky Dave himself. Wee George Osborne, the baby-faced Shadow Chanceller and by many accounts the second most-influential person in the Conservative party, wrote in the Spectator during 2004, arguing that:

"England is going back to sleep. And little wonder when we’re told every day by sages in our national media that the War on Terror is misconceived, that the terrorist threat is exaggerated, that what we’ve done in the last three years has only made matters worse, and that the Iraq war was a ghastly mistake that is best forgotten . . . There are few voices to be heard putting the other view: that the terrorists pose a fundamental threat to our way of life, that fight them we must, that Iraq was part of that fight and that we are winning.”

In a profile of William Hague for The Spectator, Fraser Nelson makes the same point about the Shadow Foreign Secretary (the issue has been archived so is available to subscribers only; Google has an old cached copy here, at least for the time being):

Hague is a hawk. Unlike Michael Howard, he says that he would still have voted for the Iraq war, knowing what he knows now. ‘Can we say it was wrong to remove Saddam Hussein? No, I don’t think we can.’ And he has no emollient words for Iran. ‘I disagreed with Jack Straw saying that military action in Iran was “inconceivable”,’ he says. ‘I’m not advocating it, but he was going too far and unnecessarily weakening our position.’ 

All in all, a Tory revival doesn't bode too well – in the words of Parris:

. . . we could be just a few years from a Cabinet in which the Prime Minister [Cameron], the Foreign and Defence Secretaries [Hague and Fox] and the Chancellor of the Exchequer [Osborne], are to the right of Margaret Thatcher in their view of Britain’s place in the world.

Worse than Thatcher? She who ardently supported Apartheid South Africa and branded Nelson Mandela a terrorist (and still does, for all we know)? The Thatcher who supported and sympathised with the murderous Pinochet regime, and seemed to act as if 'vague ideals' such as justice, fairness and human rights were an irrelevance?

Surely British Muslims should be mobilising to ensure that Cameron's Tories do not win – at a local level, tactical voting should be encouraged, in which anti-war or pro-justice and pro-Palestine candidates are supported, but this support should only be when the candidate has a realistic chance of winning or defeating the pro-war or Zionist incumbent. Whether its Cheadle or Bethnal Green & Bow, a concerted and nationwide Muslim effort to defeat Labour or vote for Galloway/Lib Dems can have some entirely unintended consequences for the Muslims… not unlike CAIR or other US Muslim organisations who actively campaigned for Bush, believing Gore to be pro-Israel! A vote for Bush in 2000 put the neo-cons in power across the pond; a vote against Labour in 2009 would ensure that history repeats itself in the UK too.

Despite his messianic zeal when it comes to waging war, Blair still seems unsure of his true moorings; hence he has not even bothered to collect the Congressional gold medal, which may be seen as a snub by those on Capitol Hill who awarded it. Cameron, on the other hand, knows exactly what he believes as far as foreign policy is concerned and has no shame in nailing his neo-con colours to the mast. However, not many Muslims seem to realise this, except perhaps Osama Saeed who blogged about this in December 2005 (link). I do not think Muslims should return to being passive Labour supporters; the community has matured through that phase; however, we should be aware that in 2009, Labour will not be led by Blair, and it would not be helpful to our interests to replace Labour with a neo-con administration, just when such wackiness is going out of fashion in DC!


1. Yusuf Smith - 31 May 2006

As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

Could you correct the link to the entry of mine you included, by removing the #comments at the end of it, so that the link leads to the top of the article and not the second paragraph down? Thanks.

2. Abu Abdur Rahman - 31 May 2006

Wa ‘alaiakum assalam


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