Tory’s BNP comments dangerous

Remarks by the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Community Cohesion in today’s Independent must have left many people feeling incredulous. Sayeeda Warsi, a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent, says that the BNP have “some very legitimate views” on immigration and crime.

Unfortunately, it appears that Ms Warsi (who, contrary to the report in The Independent, is not currently a peer) is playing right into the hands of the BNP. The racist political party often likes to present itself as a moderate party that is interested in a wide range of issues that appeal to ordinary voters, in an attempt to bring itself into the mainstream and encourage more people to vote for them. Yet the truth is simple: the BNP does not like people from non-white ethnic backgrounds, does not like foreigners, and does not want any of them in the UK. Any other policies, including those that might have popular appeal such as cracking down on crime, are either nothing but a cover, or are somehow twisted to lay the blame on immigrants.

Any such remark about the BNP by a politician representing one of the mainstream political parties is extremely dangerous as it just lends the BNP credibility: they must now be jumping with joy to have a high profile, Asian, Muslim woman agreeing with them. Voters should take note: Ms Warsi is the Conservative Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, and a “trusted and senior” ally of leader David Cameron. If she is expressing these views, just imagine what some of the older, white, right-wing members of the party are thinking.

Finally, I have to say that I find Ms Warsi’s comment both hypocritical and rather selfish. She and her family have benefited from immigration into the UK – something I and many other people would have absolutely no problem with. Now it seems that she would like to deny others the same opportunity. Or perhaps, in the style of a typical Tory, she considers it OK for a posh lawyer like her to live in the UK, but the poor people arriving from Pakistan now should go back home. I think we are entitled to assume that, should a policy such as the BNP’s “voluntary repatriation” of British people with an immigrant background ever become a reality, Ms Warsi and her family would be at the front of the queue to leave the country. And she can forget about taking an ermine-trimmed robe with her.

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