MYWEEK

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

GIVEN THE grow­ing cri­sis in the Mid­dle East and our govern­ment’s lack of re­ac­tion to events on the ground, some­one had to make a stand and that person was me.

For me this is all about mis­siles. I’m fed up with be­ing pelted with eggs by the lo­cal Mus­lim com­mu­nity ev­ery time I visit Brad­ford or Lu­ton and the Is­rael-Ha­mas con­flict was the fi­nal straw. The es­ca­la­tion in dry-clean­ing costs was some­thing I was not pre­pared to coun­te­nance.

So I called David Cameron. I said: “Is­raelis are shelling in­no­cent Pales­tinian civil­ians, we can’t stand by and say noth­ing. As a se­nior mem­ber of your govern­ment, I am telling you we need a more even-handed ap­proach.”

There was a short si­lence fol­lowed by: “Thank you for calling the of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter. David Cameron val­ues your call and he or one of his as­sis­tants will get back to you as soon as pos­si­ble.”

H’mm, well, they all told me I was only in my po­si­tion due to the fact I was the only Mus­lim woman who had joined the party since 1973. Now we would see how im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal to­kenism was for the Con­ser­va­tives.

Sure enough, within four days a pan­icked David Cameron was on the phone. “Say­eeda, there was some kind of gar­bled mes­sage on my voice­mail, How can I help?”

“My po­si­tion has be­come un­ten­able. I have to leave my post as min­is­ter at the For­eign Of­fice”.

There was a short si­lence be­fore he replied: “Erm, are you still in that job? I was sure that you were reshuf­fled when I moved old Haguey out. Did you not get some kind of email? I tell you, the com­put­ers at No 10 have been play­ing up some­thing rot­ten.”

“No, I be­lieve I am still at the For­eign Of­fice.. You can’t reshuf­fle me, I re­sign.”

“Are you quite sure I can’t tempt you into a year or two as Un­der Sec­re­tary for Cum­brian Ru­ral Re­gen­er­a­tion? It’s a vi­tal job.”

Ob­vi­ously I hung up. I wouldn’t have got where I am with­out the will of the peo­ple. I stood for elec­tion, I was de­feated and I was made a peer and chair­man of the Con­ser­va­tive party. I want to in­still those kind of val­ues in the Mid­dle East. Ha­mas have taken a firm stand, and now they are are mak­ing a token protest against the harsh Is­raeli block­ade by float­ing a few fairly harm­less mis­siles over Is­raeli towns.

I as­sure you that if that hap­pened in York­shire, rather than launch a bru­tal war against Lan­cashire, we would open the bor­ders and al­low trade with Burn­ley and Bury. It is this kind of ap­proach that Is­rael needs to adopt. Jus­tice for the Pales­tini­ans and, if any­one’s lis­ten­ing, a new job for me would be nice too.

Did you not get the reshuf­fle email?

*As imag­ined by Si­mon Round

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