I see that ‘Desperate Dale’ has been at the [mad] cow pie again this morning:
Five Labour Councillors Defect to Ealing Southall Tories
Tom Watson MP, Labour’s by election campaign manager in Ealing Southall, has just had the shock of his life. Five Labour councillors in Ealing Southall have just defected to the Conservatives and the Independent by-election candidate, Gulbash Singh, will this morning abandon his own campaign to become Ealing Southall’s next MP and instead join Tony Lit’s campaign.
The defection of Cllr Gurcharan Singh and his cronies has hardly come as much of a surprise to the Labour Party in Ealing Southall or to Tom, personally. It was expected that Singh would find some way to take his ball home if he didn’t pick up the Labour nomination, as was acknowledged here on July 3rd:
There is speculation that another veteran Ealing councillor, Gurcharan Singh, may run as an independent after he failed to make the Southall shortlist.
…by Iain Dale.
The main question being asked by local Labour activists this morning is that of quite what kind of deal the Tories have made with Gurcharan Singh in return for his crossing the floor and taking his mates with him. Sunny at Pickled Politics, who appears to have been first with news of Singh’s defection, some seven hours before Dale’s pip started squeaking thinks that Singh may well have been offered a clear run at another parliamentary seat, which if true, should have Tory Associations the length and breadth of the country scrabbling desperately to select their candidates before they get landed with Singh and his own personal brand of sectarian, communalist, politicking.
Oh, and Tom Watson was linking to Sunny’s article when I got up at 7am this morning, which shows how much of surprise it was to him, despite Dale’s efforts to spin this as a ‘shock’.
The reaction to Sunny’s article of a number of Dale’s usual cronies and hanger’s on is well worth noting for its errant ignorance and desperation to maintain Dale’s fiction that Singh’s defection is a coup for the Tories. Sunny, I happen to know, in not a member of the Labour Party, or of any political party for that matter, and has been highly critical of the Labour selection process that resulted in Virendra Sharma taking the nomination, even to the extent of making the observation that ‘The only one [candidate] who has brand recognition is Tony Lit’, a comment that was leapt upon with relish by…
… Iain Dale.
Nevertheless, Praguetory seems to think he know’s what going down in Southall much better that Sunny, after all he’s in Prague and Sunny is in South London and has extensive contacts throughout the Southall area, thereby cementing his well-earned and deserved reputation as the Tory blogosphere’s premier global village idiot. However, its another visitor from Dale’s dope show, ‘Henry Chevalier’, who surprising beats even Praguetory in the ‘making-a-complete-arse-of-himself stakes with this remark:
“…an extremely divisive and factional councillor…”
In terms of issues around wholly unacceptable discourse, it turns my stomach to see a member of the Indian Diaspora councillor community described in terms that could have come direct from The BNP Handbook of Racist Clichés. What next? Members of the Black councillor community described as “aggressive and intellectually under-equipped”? Members of the Jewish councillor community described as “conspiratorial and corrupt”?
From which one can only assume that ‘Political Correctness for Dummies’ has become a number one best-seller amongst clueless Tory activists since Cameron took over the leadership of the party – Sunny, who happens to be Asian himself, a minor detail that Henry seems not to have noticed, is describing Singh as a divisive and factional councillor because that’s precisely what he is, as the late Piara Khabra knew and understood all too well, hence his backing, before his death, for an all-women shortlist to select his replacement.
Khabra, who would have been 84, maybe 85 years of age had he lived to his planned retirement at the next general election, knew and fully understood the Tammany Hall-like nature of communalist politics within South Asian communities in Britain, and especially in Southall, having benefited from it himself in pushing through the deselection of the previous incumbent, Sidney Bidwell, in 1992. In truth, Khabra’s open support for an AWS selection for his replacement had as much, if not more, with a desire to break the constituency away from the communalist machine politics of some his would-be successors, particularly Gurcharan Singh, as it was his support for increasing the number of women in parliament or desire to see the first Asian female parliamentarian elected in the UK. This is well-known amongst both Labour activists and within the local Asian community, although obviously a facet of the local political scene lost on Tory bloggers who, as usual, seem content to run off at the mouth even when they haven’t got the foggiest idea what they’re talking about or what their party leader might have got them into in return for a bit of short-term and very marginal political gain.
Before getting too excited over Gurcharan Singh’s defection, Tory activists and bloggers would have done well to make a few inquiries into Singh’s background both locally and in the wider political context of his links and connections to political groups in the Indian sub-continent. Had they done so, they might just have run across this press release from the ‘World Muslim Sikh Federation’, which has its UK office in Southall:
Meeting to finalise the structure and faculties for a proposed University being set up by the Government of Pakistan in honour of Guru Nanak took place in Lahore on 15th and 16th June 2007. The meeting was attended by Sikh representatives from across the globe and included Sardar Avtar Singh Makkar , president of SGPC, Sardar PS Sarna the president of Delhi Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sardar Bishan Singh President of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee along with members of Evacuee Trust Board Pakistan.
Representatives from England included Councillor Gurcharan Singh the former mayor of the London Borough of Ealing and Sardar Anup Singh Choudry a former London lawyer and member of World Muslim Sikh federation.
And here, pictured at this very meeting, only last month, is Cllr Gurcharan Singh – he’s the one on the far right of the picture.
So you know who’s who, the others pictured with Gurcharan Singh are (from right to left); Anup Singh Choudry, Sardar Bishan Singh, P S Sarna, Avtar Singh Makkar.
Trying to unpick fact from propaganda when dealing with the politics of the North-Western part of the Indian sub-continent, and especially around the Punjab and Kashmir can be a nightmare of heavily contested sources and opinions but what can be said with some degree of certainty is that the World Muslim Sikh Federation, which is based in Southall, is widely regarded as a Khalistani secessionist group whose leader, Manmohan Singh Khalsa, is currently barred from visiting India by the Indian government for reasons that should become clear from the next quote:
LAHORE: World Muslim Sikh Federation (WMSF) Chairman Manmohan Singh Khalsa called the partition of India and Pakistan “unholy”, and lamented that their forefathers had decided on a coalition with India.
Addressing a seminar on Sikh Question in Context of Geo-Political Position vis a vis India-Pakistan Relations, the Sikh leaders said “not following the directions of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1947 was a blunder.” He said the Sikh movement for an independent Khalistan was still alive and hoped for full support from the Pakistani government. He believed the Sikh community of India at the time of partition should have struggled for an independent state.
And some of his associates have shall we say, some rather interesting opinions. on future of India:
At the seminar commemorating Guru Nanak’s birth, the U.S.-based Council of Khalistan President Gurmit Singh Aulakh declared that India would perforce be split into six parts, Kashmir would be liberated from India and that the Sikhs would rise against India. Apart from Sarna and Aulakh, on the dais were Khalistani ideologues and Dal Khalsa leader Manmohan Singh Khalsa, along with American Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Convenor Dr. Pritpal Singh. Manmohan, who also heads the World Muslim-Sikh Federation, spoke in favour of Khalistan at the seminar and later told mediapersons at Nankana Sahib on November 30 that he was working for a separate Sikh homeland. In the seminar’s audience was another Khalistani leader, Ganga Singh Dhillon, who heads the Nankana Sahib Foundation. Also on the dais was Chandigarh-based Khalsa Panchayat Convenor Rajinder Singh, known for his moderate Khalistani politics. Both Manmohan and Dhillon are blacklisted by the Indian Government.
In September last year, a 15-member International Advisory Council to the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (P.S.G.P.C.) was set up with Dhillon as the Chairman. The Dhillon-led Council inducted Pritpal (known to have close links with the Dal Khalsa and Babbar Khalsa), the Dal Khalsa’s U.K.-based Kesar Singh Mand and Manmohan Singh Khalsa, and U.K.-based Joga Singh from the Babbar Khalsa. Amongst the Indian members of the advisory council were Amarinder Singh and Paramjit Singh Sarna. Though Amarinder did not join the council, Harwinder Sarna did attend the council meeting held in Lahore on November 17. The meeting was also attended by Dhillon, Manmohan and Pritpal.
In all, the Indian government seems to take rather a dim view of Manmohan – when they’re not blacklisting him personally they seem intent on banning organisations with which he’s associated. The Dal Khalsa was proscribed by the Indian government for 10 years from 1982 before being permitted to start up again and a number of sources suggest that he was also, at one point, closely associated with the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) (the word ‘mouthpiece’ has been used to described his relationship with the ISYF) – as was Dr Jasdev Singh Rai, who’s standing as independent candidate in the Ealing Southall by-election.
The ISYF is currently one of two Sikh organisations proscribed by the British government under the Terrorism Act 2000, the other being the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), which puts them in rather interesting company alongside the usual collection of Irish Republican and Unionist terrorist groups (IRA, INLA, UDA, UVF & LVF, amongst others), ETA, the Tamil Tigers, several branches of Islamic Jihad, three different Kashmiri terrorist groups – or should that be freedom fighters, Mrs Warsi (???) – and, of course, Osama and the boys from Al Qaeda. Not surprisingly the ISYF is also proscribed in India, and since 2004, in the United States of America.
And is is perennially the case, whenever there is talk of Khalistani secessionism and links to alleged (and proscribed) terrorist organisations in the North Western India, then talk of the malign hand of the Pakistani security services (ISI) – who are also cited as having played a instrumental part in supporting the development of the Taliban – is never too far behind.
A significant number of listed Punjab terrorists are currently known to be residing in the U.S. and Canada. A number of ‘Khalistani’ front organisations are extremely active in lobbying, propaganda and mobilisation of funds. These organisations include the Council of Khalistan, headed by Gurmit Singh Aulakh; the Khalistan Affairs Centre, headed by Amarjit Singh, who has a close association with the I.S.Y.F.; the Sikh Youth of America [S.Y.A.], under the leadership of J.S. Kang, John Gill, Jasjit Singh Fauji, and others; the American Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee [A.S.G.P.C.], headed by Pritpal Singh, a terrorist who was involved in several operations, including the Ludhiana bank robbery; the Dal Khalsa International [D.K.I.], coordinated by Ajit Singh Pannu; the Nankana Sahib Foundation Trust, headed by Ganga Singh Dhillon, who was closely associated with the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee [P.S.G.P.C.]; and the World Sikh Organisation [W.S.O.].
Links between such elements and Sikh terrorist leaders in Pakistan have retained their vibrancy and these have been consolidated through linkages between the American Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee [A.S.G.P.C.] and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee [P.S.G.P.C.]. Linkages have also been forged between Kashmiri militant fronts in the U.S. and the Sikh Youth of America [S.Y.A.] and Babbar Khalsa, with the latter organisations paying out sums of money to the Kashmiri groups to target individuals identified by the Sikh extremists.
A rash of similar organisations and activities extends across Europe. The two factions of the B.K.I. (headed by Wadhawa Singh and Talwinder Singh Parmar respectively) for instance, have a presence in the U.K., France, Norway, and Germany. In the U.K., Mohan Singh Dhillon floated the Sikh Muslim Federation and was reported to have visited Pakistan to arrange meetings of Muslim militants of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (P.o.K.) with Sikh militants, to wage a ‘guerrilla war’ against India. These activities and interactions are supported, encouraged and facilitated by the I.S.I. Top Khalistani terrorists in Indian jails maintain active contact with many of these foreign-based groups.
Another interesting report linking Manmohan Singh Khalsa to a few interesting characters, and which makes the Pakistani government connection, appeared in The Chandigarh Tribune on November 2002:
Islamabad, November 21
In a significant development, President Pervez Musharraf today held a closed-door meeting with representatives of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and US and UK-based radical Sikh leaders. The meeting lasted 40 minutes.
Interestingly, neither Mr Alwinder Paul Singh Pakhoke, senior vice-president of the SGPC who led the jatha of 52 pilgrims, nor any other Indian Sikh leader was invited for the meeting.
Though the Sikh leaders refused to divulge what transpired at the meeting, sources said General Musharraf agreed in principle to convert Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev into a Model Town. He also agreed to a face lift to Sikh shrines in Pakistan.
In another development, he offered to give due representation to Pakistani Sikhs in government jobs. Not even a single Pakistani Sikh holds a government post.
Sikh leaders from other countries, including Mr Gurmeet Singh Aulakh, president of the US-based Khalistan Council, Mr Manmohan Singh Khalsa, UK-based Dal Khalsa leader, Dr Ganga Singh Dhillon, president of the Nankana Sahib Foundation (USA), Mr Avtar Singh Sanghera, UK-based Babbar Khalsa leader, Mr Lodhi, president of the World Muslim-Sikh Federation, and Mr Sahib Singh Peshawar, Mr Mastan Singh and Mr Naam Singh, all Pakistani Sikhs, attended the meeting.
And if that weren’t enough, there’s also this snippet of information from an article linked earlier:
The Amarinder-Sarna entourage had brought along noted singer and former Akal Takht Jathedar Prof. Darshan Singh. Brought along to sing ‘kirtan’ on the occasion, Darshan chose the occasion to also deliver a speech that sang paeans in devotion to Amarinder’s contribution towards the Sikh cause. Darshan has in the past been closely associated with the Khalistan movement. One of Darshan’s most controversial pronouncements has, in fact, been quoted by Aulakh in a recent essay deploring a section of U.S. Sikhs who had ‘sold out’ to India as also in a statement released from Washington in the aftermath of the Lahore seminar. Darshan, along with Dhillon, Manmohan and Aulakh, had met Musharraf in November 2000 in Islamabad in connection with the proposed pro-Khalistan ‘Nankana Sahib Resolution.’ But, Paramjit Sarna had at that time refused to go along with that delegation to meet Musharraf.
While Amarinder and Sarna have little compunction in linking up with the P.S.G.P.C. in the interest of the ‘Sikh cause,’ its background seems to have been lost on them. Set up in 1999, the P.G.P.C.’s first head was a known anti-India hawk, Lt. Gen. Javid Nasir (retd.), the chief of the I.S.I. at the time of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Apart from its objective of securing the maintenance and development of Sikh shrines in Pakistan, the P.G.P.C. was aimed at providing a platform for the remnants of the Khalistan movement outside India. Khalistani elements like Dhillon have been for long been associated with the P.G.P.C.
That last snippet throws up another interesting name associated with the World Muslim Sikh Federation, Prof. Darshan Singh, who has some rather interesting opinions:
On 25th January Prof. Darshan Singh Khalsa’s book Virtues Commune was launched at an impressive ceremony hosted by World Muslim Sikh Federation. The guests included Councilors and prominent persons of both communities.
In his opening speech Sardar Manmohan Singh Khalsa paid glowing tributes to Prof. Darshan Singh. He said that Professor Sahib has rendered singular service to Sikh Community as Jathedar, Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. Sardar Manmohan Singh also thanked Pakistan Government for looking after Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan in an excellent manner. Recalling his recent visits of Pakistan he gave various examples of the tremendous goodwill of Pakistani people.
Follwing these opening remarks Mr. Nazar Lodhi formally launched the book. Mr. Lodhi spoke of interfaith work that Muslim Sikh Federation has done in past several years.
Prof. Darshan Singh Khalsa, the writer and chief guest of the evening said that the misunderstandings between the two great communities were created by Brahimin’s Chanakya policy of intrigue. He said that by deliberate cleverness of Hindus the acts of traitors Chandu, Gangu, Sucha Nand, Lakhpat and Hindu hill Kings were not brought into light. Rather an effort was made to spread a word that the torture was ordered by Muslims Emperors on Sikh Gurus and the Sikh people. He also talked about the genocide of Sikhs particularly from 1984 to 1992 by the Indian Government.
Now I don’t know about you but this whole business of a ‘policy of intrigue’ and the ‘deliberate cleverness’ of a ethnic/racial group sounds rather too familiar in a very Western, and contemporary context, especially when this ‘review’ concludes with the following remarks:
He also highlighted the uniformity of principle of the two religions. He said Sikhs and Muslims both worship one God, whereas Hindus worship 33 crore gods and goddesses. Both Sikhs and Muslims do not believe in idol worship. On the other hand, Hindus worship idols made of stone and marble. The Sikh Guru never claimed to be God, like Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Definite a bit of blatant cosying up to Islam going on there and in the context of clear links with a country, Pakistan, that had its own fair share of issues with Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism.
Digging even further into the complex series of connections surrounding the World Muslim Sikh Federation threw up yet another controversial figure – Labour Peer, Nazir Ahmed, a man whose had a rather chequered run of late:
On February 23, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for a man going by the name of Israel Shamir. “Israel Shamir” is, in fact, a Swedish-domiciled anti-Semite also known as Jöran Jermas.
The gist of Shamir/Jermas’s speech at the meeting can be gleaned from its title, “Jews and the Empire”. It included observations such as: “All the [political] parties are Zionist-infiltrated.” “Your newspapers belong to Zionists . . . Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media, this mainstay of Imperial thinking.” “In the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble — and that is Jewish supremacy drive . . . in Iraq, the US and its British dependency continue the same old fight for ensuring Jewish supremacy in the Middle East.” “The Jews like an Empire . . . This love of Empire explains the easiness Jews change their allegiance . . . Simple minds call it ‘treacherous behaviour’, but it is actually love of Empire per se.” “Now, there is a large and thriving Muslim community in England . . . they are now on the side of freedom, against the Empire, and they are not afraid of enforcers of Judaic values, Jewish or Gentile. This community is very important in order to turn the tide.”
And then there was…
Labour’s most prominent Muslim peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham, urged support for the Conservative Party during the last general election. The claim comes from Labour MP for Dewsbury, Shahid Malik, who has provided evidence to the Labour Party that Ahmed campaigned for his opponent, Sayeeda Warsi in 2005. Warsi is now the vice-chairman of the Conservative Party and a rising star of Cameron’s new look A-list of black, Asian and women candidates .
Malik has passed his concerns to the Labour chief whip, Jacqui Smith, and they will also be brought to the attention of the party’s National Executive Committee. The revelations could lead to the Muslim peer’s expulsion from the Labour Party.
Warsi, since then, has been appointed the Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and has drawn widespread condemnation from both inside and outside her own party over her views on Kashmir and support for engagement with Hamas.
And only a few weeks ago…
A Muslim peer compared Salman Rushdie to the September 11 hijackers today as the row over the author’s knighthood escalated…
Interviewed in Le Figaro newspaper in France, the Labour peer Lord Ahmed of Rotherham added fuel to the row when he hit out at Mr Rushdie.
“This honour is given in recognition of services rendered to Great Britain,” he said. “Salman Rushdie lives in New York. He is controversial man who has insulted Muslim people, Christians and the British. He does not deserve the honour.
“Two weeks ago Tony Blair spoke about constructing bridges with Muslims. What hypocrisy.
“What would one say if the Saudi or Afghan governments honoured the martyrs of the September 11 attacks on the United States?”
And guess what..?
Self-determination as a human right and its applicability to the Sikhs was the theme of the speech given by Ranjit Singh Srai, a lawyer and co-ordinator of the Human Rights Advisory Group of the Panjabis in Britain All Party Parliamentary Group, at the World Muslim-Sikh Federation convention on Human Rights in South Asia held on July 24 in London…
…As part of his speech, Ranjit Singh Srai had read out a message by Lord Nazir Ahmed, a member of the British Parliament who was unable to attend the convention. Lord Ahmed in his note had called for the need of the Sikhs and Muslims of the subcontinent to work together in upholding the human rights of the people and expressed his hope that the conference would develop a stronger understanding between those who were peacefully engaged in struggles for self-determination, what he called “the most crucial human right of all”. Lord Ahmed reaffirmed his support for the establishment of Khalistan at a time when Sikh leaders in India are being targeted for calling for independence. He criticised India’s militarization and forceful suppression of self-determination movements in Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab and the state terror unleashed on the people of these two regions. Lord Ahmed’s message was well received. It carried an appeal for those concerned with the region to make common cause: “Durable peace, justice and the rule of law in South Asia is vital to the greater security of the world; we must work together to defeat those that threaten these ideals…. until India reverses grotesque challenges to civilised standards, we will work together to help ensure there is no UN Security Council seat for India.” wrote Lord Ahmed.
Manmohan Singh Khalsa and Nazar Lodhi, officers of the World-Muslim Sikh Federation, thanked speakers and guests alike and pledged to carry forward their work to promote human rights in South Asia.
So, at a meeting organised by a Khalistani secessionist group, we have an apparent advisor to an all-party parliamentary group reading a message by a Muslim peer in support of separatist movements in both the Punjab and Kashmir, movement that include several organisation proscribed under Britain’s anti-terrorism laws.
Interestingly, Lord Ahmed does not appear to be a member of the Panjabis in Britain group – which includes amongst its members an interesting mix of Labour (John McDonnell, Harry Cohen, etc), Tory (Dominic Grieve, David Willets) and Lib Dem (Simon Hughes) MPs, nor is it clear whether Ranjit Singh Srai still serves the group as a human rights advisor to the group. He is, however, the sponsor of another all-parliamentary group, Parliamentarians for National Self Determination, which is not currently on the approved list as, as a result, provides no membership information other that that of its Chair (Ahmed), Vice Chair – Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid Cymru) – and Ranjit Singh Srai, who ‘provides administrative assistance (organising meetings and events, preparing minutes, assisting with the preparation of position papers, liaising with other groups and organisations)’.
However an article in The Asian Age claims that others attending the launch of this group, which drew protests from the Indian High Commission and from Lord Dholakia, Chair of the Lib Dems Friends of India group, included:
Mr Simon Hughes, president of the Liberal Democratic Party, Daniel Hannon, member of the European Parliament from the Conservative Party, Mr Peter Wishart, MP of the Scottish Nationalist Party, and Mr Kashmiri Singh, general secretary of the British Sikh Federation.
While this article in Panthic Weekly shows that both Kashmiri and Khalistani groups attended and addressed the meeting alongside groups supporting self-determination in Kosovo, Chechnya and Kurdistan, prompting Lord Dholakia to comment:
“When examining home-grown terrorism, we need to consider the pronouncements often made by responsible people in our community in this country. I refer, for example, to those who exploit the situation in the subcontinent by advocating self-determination of some states in that part of the world. Those are the breeding grounds of emotions and hatred and do nothing but damage the stability of some people in this country and the stability of communities.”
So what have we learned from all this?
Well, for starters, that the Tories much trumpeted new acquisition, Cllr Gurcharan Singh, keeps what many both inside and outside the Asian communities in Southall would consider some rather curious and maybe just a little bit unnerving company of late, company that is all the more curious for his having been reported in 2005, by the Sikh Times, as stating:
‘There was a phase after the Operation Bluestar in the Golden Temple when the Sikhs really felt hurt by the army attack and demolition of the highest Sikh shrine. They thought the Government of India had deliberately humiliated them. But things have moved on. No rational sikh will raise the demand for Khalistan.’
In which case, what’s he doing knocking around with the – by his own definition – ‘irrational’ members of the World Muslim Sikh Federation, who seem to do little else but raise the demand for Khalistan?
Mmm… food for thought, eh?
A much more nuanced interpretation of Singh’s remarks might well be thought to be that no rational Sikh would raise the demand for Khalistan in Southall and expect to be elected – the general unpopularity of Khalistani groups in Southall is well known to both Labour party activists in the area, and to those in touch with the local community, a community in which many will take a very dim view of Singh’s apparent association with the likes of the World Muslim Sikh Forum and the P.C.G.P.C.
This, together with Singh’s reputation as ‘a factional, power-hungry operator’ and a divisive element in the local party goes a long way to explaining why the mood amongst local Labour activists in Ealing Southall is running somewhere between sanguine and relieved (and why progressive members of the local Asian communities are positive rejoicing as his decision to cross the floor.
Better still, one of the Tory candidate’d Tony Lit’s, big selling points – other than being a mate of Dave’s and owning a few well-tailored and expensive suits – was that he came into the campaign relatively free of any associations with known local power-brokers, communalist/sectarian factions or connections with the complex and sometimes bewildering politics of North Western India, an advantage that’s evaporated overnight courtesy of a pretty reckless act of political opportunism by the Tory Party, who’ve succeeding only in tainting both their candidate and campaign with political associations that go strongly against the grain of much of the local community. Much of the smart money locally suggests that whatever the Tories might gain in votes from Singh’s defection will be more than made up by voters switching away from Lit because his party’s now public association with a man who hang’s out with Khalistani nationalist groups.
If you’re in Southall over the next few days and you want to find out where Tony Lit is campaiging, just follow the trail of blood and look for the guy with the Armarni suit and a serious limp whose mumbling about his mate Dave having shot him in the foot.
That’ll be Tony…
24 thoughts on “Never knowingly underspun”
Just one correction — Punjab and Kashmir are in the North West part of the sub-continent, not the North East as you have described.
You have written an excellent primer on these individuals and organisations that should be required reading for everyone, including politicians at Westminster.
Thanks – I’ve corrected the directional error. Just trying to make sense of some of the factional politics of the Indian subcontinent is enough to make your head spin…
I just read it again. It’s a bloody masterpiece. As a Sikh who tracks and challenges the Khalistani sectarians and their thuggish politics and agenda, you have succinctly addressed the links and ideology of the extremists better than I ever could. I commend you and hope it is widely read by politicians, journalists and the general public.
The Sikh Federation is also a main player in all this — they are made up of ex members of the ISYF which is proscribed as a terrorist organisation. They act very respectable and make concerted efforts to use entryist communalist strategies to get Khalistan sympathetic candidates selected. This is how they supported Gurcharan Singh. They also regularly attend Ken Livingstones soirees at the London assembly agitating for this that and the other. Basic straight down the middle Khalistanis, implicated in the violence outside the Birmingham Rep theatre a couple of years ago.
Sounds like a fair exchange for Quentin Davis, then…
With the sixth departure announced this morning now all six councillors for Lady Margaret and Southall Broadway have left Labour for the Conservatives, just four of whom are Sikh. You’re in meltdown. Your (characteristically long-winded) attacks on these people are either just smears or make the Labour Party look bad. After all, your party allowed them to be be and remain Labour’s elected representatives for the area. If they are such terrible people, why could nothing be done about it?
As for the impact of the defections, follow the money on the money on the betting markets.
I don’t about following the money, P/T, I think that most of the other parties in Ealing Southall would be better served by following your party’s canvassers around to stop ’em nicking leaflets out of letterboxes.
That’s a serious allegation Unity, get some evidence of that and the police can be involved.
Well, Leon – we’ve already got a confession…
Here’s one Instead of following round tories get your lot to put the leaflets all the way through the letterbox….Problem solved.
And these people run the country. Excellent.
Fascinating stuff. Where do you find the time to dig all this stuff up?
This whole sorry affair is what is putting people off politics. On the grand scale of things, how does this cat fight that you, Dale and others are having, effect peoples lives? For goodness sake, there are more important things in life than the political background of some self-important local councillor.
If people such as yourself, and Dale, would just give up this pointless tit-for-tat point scoring, and actually started to engage in the real issues, our country would be a far better place. You obviously have the time and ability to investigate, so start doing it on things that matter.
You’d prefer I engaged in real issues like this…
Brown is a pussy
He is a lapdog. He is a nobody. He skulks and hides in the background, throwing hissy fits when he sees something that he doesn’t like. Well I have one message for you Brown – it’s time to get tough, for if you don’t, then you will be eaten alive. And so will we, as a country. Hiding from international politics will achieve one goal – you, and the country you lead, will cease to be important on the World stage. We will be asymmilated into Europe. Our influence with other contries will die. And it will all be your fault, Brown.
I am equally as guilty…. and I was in a bad mood that day 🙂
But there is something bigger in here – we (including myself) are killing politics.
The following has been posted in response to a negative write up by Chris Paul of Gurcharan Singh, his involvement in the turban campaign in France and allegations he was pro-Khalistan. It appears the details relating to 1984 are to be posted on prominent Conservative and Liberal Democrat blogs so they can challenge Virendra Sharma.
Post 19 looks like the work of the Sikh Federation (UK)
Following a Sikh Federation press release last Thursday The Ealing Times yesterday published the story below. Jagtar Singh, the Vice-Chair makes some valid points.
Sikh by-election reaction
THE SIKH community has reacted angrily to the selection of Cllr Virendra Sharma for the Ealing Southall by-election.
The Sikh Federation, who lobby for more Sikhs to take part in UK politics, say the absence of women or turban-wearing members of the religion has denied local residents a proper choice.
Jagtar Singh, vice-chair of the Sikh Federation says the process has imposed Ealing Southall residents with a Piara Khabra clone – and had thwarted another chance to get the first visible Sikh’ – one who wears a turban – or Sikh woman into the House of Commons.
“Our vision is for many Sikhs, born and brought up in the country, to start taking an active part in politics,” he told the Ealing Times.
“We expect the Labour party to not only to look to Sikh candidates but also to ensure in safe Labour seats that we will see a Sikh in the Houses of Parliament.
“We were hoping the Labour Party would have put forward a shortlist including women and visible Sikhs so that Labour members could decide – that would have been the best thing in terms of democracy.
“We feel the Labour members haven’t had much of a say – the Labour party aren’t giving the opportunity or much of a choice.
“The mould is the same; we have a fairly old Asian MP. I’m not saying he is exactly the same as Piara Khabra, but he is a councillor from the same sort of area or background.
“People are not happy there was a shortlist of two.”
The federation has now also warned some of the candidates they feel should have been in the final shortlist may now stand as independents. [This was last Thursday]
They say it has not been overlooked that young professional Sikhs have been overlooked by an “aging non-Sikh” from the long list of possible candidates.
By David Doyle
For the information of regular visitors, D Singh’s lengthy efforts at astroturfing were posted from IP address traced to Dulles, Virginia.
That makes it a near certainly that he’s part of quaintly-named ‘propaganda watch taskforce’ of the Khailistan Affairs Committee, a Washington-based Khalistani lobby group mentioned in the main article.
If you’ve run into GIYUS before, same thing.
Thank God the BNP are such a disorganised shower. They can be the only beneficiaries of this type of politics. I realise they don’t have a candidate standing – that’s what I mean by “disorganised” – but the impression this gives that mainstream party politics and racial/religious politics are intimately intertwined makes me sick to my stomach. If the BNP have any sense, they will use this story in future elections as an illustration of the corruption of our political system that can occur when racial and religious factionalism is allowed to play a significant part in our political process. That all the mainstream political parties (and their bloggers) are prepared not just to humour but to play to this factionalism in order to hold a council or win a by-election discredits the lot of them, and the community that votes on that basis.
If this is what Britain is becoming, I am ashamed to be British and pessimistic about our future. The debate should be about the issues and the underlying philosophies that affect us all in this country, not whether someone wears a turban, or supports a particular position on Indian politics. Those who think otherwise should get out of politics, for all our sakes, before our politics descends to the level of the sub-continent. And if they don’t get out voluntarily and aren’t kicked out by the mainstream parties, the electorate (of all persuasions) should show them what they think of them (and those parties) at the elections, or accept culpability for the quality of the political discourse and the idiots that represent them.