The baroness’s real agenda
SAYEEDA HUSSAIN Warsi, the Rt Hon the Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury, is a failed politician who, until August 5, was privileged to hold a number of offices in David Cameron’s coalition government, including that of minister of state in the Foreign Office. A Yorkshire lass whose Pakistani father made good as a manufacturer of beds in Dewsbury, where she was born, Warsi joined the Conservative Party and was put up by them as their candidate in Dewsbury in 2005.
She failed to win the seat and, as a reward, in 2007 was raised to the peerage. When Cameron became prime minister three years later, her entirely tokenistic inclusion in his government was more or less inevitable. And Warsi — the first female Muslim to sit at the Cabinet table — has continued to hold high office ever since. Until last week.
It was then that she resigned from the government. In an overlong, rambling and typically self-indulgent letter of resignation, in which the baroness enumerated and dilated upon the numerous public offices she has held and the innumerable public benefits that have flowed therefrom, she at last came to the point: “Early evidence from the Home Office and others shows that the fallout of the current conflict and the potential for the crisis in Gaza and our response to it becoming a basis for radicalisation could have consequences for us for years to come… I always said that long after life in politics I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel I can be sure of that.”
What she actually meant by this was not immediately clear. But it seems that what she meant was this: a great many Palestinian Muslims were being killed in Gaza, whereas only a few dozen Jews were being killed by Gaza’s Hamas government; something had to be done to redress this imbalance, but all that the coalition government was prepared to do was to carry out a review of current licences facilitating the export to the Jewish state of sundry munitions of war; what Warsi wanted was a full arms embargo; she didn’t get it, so she resigned.
But her letter of resignation went a tad further. In order to understand why, we need to remind ourselves that Warsi has form where Hamas is concerned.
In 2006, appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions, she could scarcely contain her delight at the election of a Hamas government in Gaza: “I think what’s happened in the Middle East with the election of Hamas is actually an opportunity and I think that’s the way we’ve got to see it. When groups that practise violence are suddenly propelled into power through a
She might have condemned Pakistan. But she didn’t
democratic process they get responsibility and responsibility can be a tremendously taming factor.”
Of course, the reality turned out to be very different: Hamas set about murdering its Fatah opponents and then dispensed with elections altogether. But Warsi remained undeterred. In 2007, in an infamous exchange on BBC’s Question Time, she was challenged by the writer and journalist Douglas Murray, to condemn the murders of British troops in Iraq. “I repeatedly asked Warsi to condemn the killing of British troops [Murray has blogged]… she repeatedly refused to do so.”
So while many have praised Warsi’s resignation letter as an admirable statement of principle, I’m afraid I regard it as a sinister example of political blackmail. We may be sure that the reference to “radicalisation” was quite deliberate: “If you don’t do what I want you to do over Gaza, you will have a problem with radicalised British Muslims.”
She might have added that she would deplore such a development. But she didn’t.
At the end of June, Pakistan launched a major offensive against Islamist terrorists in Baluchistan and North Waziristan. Around 400 terrorists (and an indeterminate number of civilians) were killed in a totally indiscriminate bombing campaign that resulted in more than half-a-million civilians fleeing the area. Warsi, whose Foreign Office portfolio included Pakistan, could have condemned the “disproportionate” actions of the Pakistani government. But she didn’t. Instead, she announced an additional aid package for the butchers of Islamabad.
These miscreants were Muslims, not Jews.