I DON’T know whether Sayeeda Warsi has been turning David Cameron’s head with an eyelash flutter and her best pouty giggle, or whether she’s simply hit him over the head with the Stupid Stick. Either way it seems to have worked.
The recently reformed Baroness is apparently leading the Tory campaign to win the votes of ‘aspirational’ Muslim voters.
Her Ladyship is now back in favour following her controversial comments last year that Islamophobia had ‘passed the dinner table test’ (whatever that is).
She revealed on Tuesday that the party aims to woo female and older Asian voters based on key Tory values of hard work, good schools and the dangers of benefit dependency.
I suppose if she says it often and loudly enough, she might end up convincing herself at least. She won’t turn a single vote though – and I don’t believe she actually thinks so either.
But if Desperate Dave buys the bullshine, that’ll be her mission accomplished.
You’d think it might occur to the PM to inquire what makes Sayeeda the expert on the nation’s ethnic minority voting habits, when she failed so dismally with her own townsfolk.
But as we witnessed first hand when Cameron came to Dewsbury to launch the Tories’ 2008 local election campaign, he’s all shiny shoes and no leather.
That’s why it was no surprise when Warsi revealed the PM will be unveiling a Conservative Friends of India group ... and a Friends of Pakistan, Friends of Bangladesh etc.
Throw a few more quid at a publicity stunt – bound to work, eh? It’s every bit as patronising as the grassroots Labour scare tactics Warsi affects to condemn.
Listen, why not just cut out the middleman and throw a few knighthoods about? That could buy you Savile Town because believe me, it isn’t just the mosques that dictate where votes go.
Cameron believes – and presumably Warsi’s encouraging the myth – that Labour have the ethnic minority vote stitched up based simply on the benefits scare, as in “back us or face Tory cuts”.
In its simplicity it has a seed of reality, but only in the way that the same argument works for Labour with the white benefit classes, the trade unions etc etc.
The truth is far more complex, but then you enter the realm of criminality, of powerful community and business figures flexing their influence.
The people being investigated for election fraud by the police in Savile Town this week (see p1) were not wearing a religious mantle – I can reveal that much; their potentially malign influence was far more pragmatic than that.
But Sayeeda Warsi isn’t going anywhere near those nasty realities. Better she just feeds Daft Dave some nice comfy platitudes about core Tory values and a highbrow strategy approach that suits his soppy Bullingdon boys dreamworld.
HER Ladyship’s newfound favour back at the court of King David was exemplified by her return to Question Time last week on an Alist panel alongside ‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway, possible Labourleadertobe Yvette Cooper and Lib Dem president Tim Farron.
Forget Warsi and Farron’s Morecambe and Wise act – neither knew their own Coalition policies – or her increasingly “erm, er, umm” unsure TV performances; Galloway was the headline turn and what an impressive piece of work he is.
Mad as a box of frogs, but impressive nonetheless!
It appears to have entered the popular psyche that Galloway winning Bradford West was nothing more than a mass protest vote at both Labour and the Tories.
I haven’t heard Warsi trying to disabuse anyone in Government of that notion, but she must know it’s trite rubbish.
In Dewsbury and Batley the Tories were miles behind Labour in wrapping up the ethnic vote – remember how a couple of crustybrained Conservative grandees gifted the Savile Town playing fields to the Markazi Mosque in the 1990s? I could recommend you a good book about those sorry episodes.
The problem the Tories now face is that they may have left any creative efforts to woo the Muslim vote a bit late, depending how organised George and his Respect gang really are.
The direction the massmobilised Muslim vote takes may come down to whether Galloway can drag himself away from the mirror and the TV cameras long enough to turn the ‘Bradford Spring’ into a fullblown revolution beyond their borders.
It will make for interesting times in seats with sizeable ethnic minorities. But don’t expect Sayeeda to have as much sway as Gorgeous George.
HOME Secretary Theresa May – or Theresa June, or even Theresa April, as she should be known after her cockedup piece of grandstanding on deporting Abu Qatada – could restore her tattered reputation quite easily.
Just as Nicolas Sarkozy did a few weeks ago in a desperate attempt to win votes, May could simply put Qatada on a plane and wave byebye. A ‘fine’ from the European Court of Human Rights? So what? Even I’d organise a quick whip round to pay for that.
The imperative for getting rid of Qatada was ratcheted up when al Qaeda terrorists in the Yemen threatened dire consequences against Britain if he was deported. So now we kowtow to raggedyarsed illiterates who don’t own a pair of shoes between them but have a couple of AK47s and some Semtex?
No, we don’t? Well that’s how it will look if swift action isn’t taken by the dithering May and her Home Office stooges.
Going by ‘the book’ is one thing, but it is crystal clear that the book’s predominant purpose is to make fools of the only daft sods abiding by it – the UK.
What Cameron, Osborne and May don’t ‘get’ is that the country wants leaders who put the UK first. Not themselves, their investment portfolios, or their future job prospects.
Breaking European law? That would be a votewinner, massively.
IT’S all a bit political this week, so sorry for that, but I loved the ‘Posh Boys’ comment about Cameron and Osborne; I just wish it had come from someone other than Tory MP Nadine Dorries.
Dorries makes Galloway look like a shrinking violet in the selfpublicity stakes and being bitter at not getting a good job under the Coalition obviously rankles on a daily basis.
That, and her seat being due to disappear under proposed Boundary changes, would suggest that Ms Dorries is paving her way for a fringe celebrity media career, rather than signal a Tory backbench revolution.
Besides, I wouldn’t care if Cameron and Osborne shared a bunk at Eton, if only they knew what they were doing. They don’t and that’s why I can’t warm more to mad Nad’s attack.
I STILL believe there are scores of national newspaper journalists drawing a sharp intake of breath every time there’s an unexpected knock at the door.
The News of the World might have been far and away the worst of the illegal phone hackers, but I find it incredulous that anyone wouldn’t believe the practice was widespread on what used to be fondly termed Fleet Street. Nowadays it’s almost a swear word.
Neither have I ever subscribed to the idea that Rupert Murdoch gave much of a toss about British politicians – not even Prime Ministers. Indeed the toadying was quite the reverse, as we’re seeing via the Leveson Inquiry. I nearly fell off my chair when he casually referred to Gordon Brown as unbalanced.
Sky has never come close to having the malign influence on modern Britain that the PCbrigade of the BBC have foisted on society under the supposed flag of a free media.
A few weeks ago I said I’d vote for a President Branson before a Blair or Cameron. I’d go so far as to say the same for old Rupert too – certainly over and above the current crop of charlatans.