Ed Lines

I BET you never thought you’d be blamed for people blowing themselves to smithereens 3,500 miles away, or for women with a cushy family on benefits giving it all up for a medieval existence making sandcastles and shrouds for martyrs.

It’s your fault though. Yes you. And me. Ours. It woz the Brits wot dun it, guv, radicalised them poor Bradford girls. Not ISIS or a murderous brother who ran away to chop children’s heads off. Us.

We might as well have packed those families’ cases and paid their fares to Syria (which, personally speaking, I haven’t a problem with).

Balaal Khan is a solicitor for two of the husbands of the three women who took nine children away with them to join jihad in Syria. He is well known in cases involving Dewsbury and Batley clients.

Khan paints himself as a pillar of the Bradford community, which has a rare ‘urban’ parish council‚ Bradford Trident Community Council, of which Balaal Khan is chairman.

There are 11 councillors, all Muslim and five of them called Khan. That’s what you call a tight-knit community.

Strangely, for a solicitor whose clients might usually be speeding taxi drivers, he did a Masters degree in 2008 specialising in terrorism and human rights. Clearly a far-sighted businessman who saw which station the money train was leaving from.

It was Balaal Khan this week accusing the police of radicalising the three runaway brides, on behalf of the grief-stricken (ahem) husbands they left behind.

(And as a brief aside, I’ve seen some cringe-worthy displays of faux emotion, but the televised efforts of hubbies Mohammed Shoaib and Akhtar Iqbal would have had even rejected Coronation Street extras burying their heads under the sofa cushions in embarrassment).

This incredulous blame game no longer surprises anyone, but it does, irresistibly, isolate the Muslim community with every inevitable finger they point.

Do they EVER take responsibility for anything? More than that, in cases as explosive as this – no pun intended – why is it always Britain’s fault for making British Muslim citizens want to destroy us. Or destroy someone. I’m really not sure how that’s supposed to work.

STILL, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Cue our ubiquitous mate Shahid Malik, doing the tour of TV studios.

Credit where credit’s due. Malik made some good points on Andrew Neil’s political programme This Week. He said some things that I would, if given chance (the BBC would have Osama bin Laden on before someone like me).

Even Malik’s appeal for a Muslim-led government inquiry might have had some merit. It’s just a shame that the screaming sub-plot to that idea was that clearly there could be only one candidate to lead such a well-paid inquiry – him.

At least he resisted the temptation to stick his hand in the air and shout ‘Me! Me!’ I suspect he might not be so keen on the idea however if the Tories’ out-in-the-cold drama queen, Sayeeda Warsi, got the job.

Neither does it help Malik that his Muslim propaganda group, Tell Mama, is involved in a vicious war of words with Warsi’s similar quango – quite apart from being found out trying to inflame racial tensions, not help them.

Warsi and Malik are discredited, as is her close friend, Labour peer Lord Ahmed. Tory Business Secretary Sajid Javid was born Muslim but is about as religious as my pet Labrador, Arthur, while former Islamic extremist Maajid Nawaz, now boss of the peacenik group Quilliam, has turned in his prayer mat in favour of going to lap dancing clubs.

And that is the problem we face. All the obvious candidates for ‘speaking’ to the Muslim nation carry zero weight in the mosques.

They’re all busy making careers out of their ethnicity and trying to kid the rest of Britain that they have the answer. They don’t.

The problem mosques only listen to Allah. And to me it doesn’t seem like Allah does much listening back.

CAN YOU get too much of a good thing? You can get too much of Chris Evans and Clare Balding, that’s for sure.

You can’t switch on a telly or radio, watch an awards show or open a paper, without being assailed by the faces and voices of broadcasting’s pet presenters.

I’ve met Clare briefly. Smashing, personable lass. But boy, from Radio Two’s Good Morning Sunday, to every sport except football, cricket and rugby, to chat shows, the bookshelves at Waterstone’s, newspaper interviews and Lord knows what – enough already! Let someone else earn a wage, girl.

As for the hyperactive radio and TV star, newspaper columnist and new Top Gear presenter Evans – Lord preserve us. The wife and I gave his ‘one-off’ TFI anniversary show on Channel 4 about 10 minutes before we looked at each other and decided it would be better to sit in the dark and try to poke each other’s eyes out.

It was cringingly awful. So guess what – it’s coming back for an eight-week run! Just give him his own bloody station and have done with it, why don’t you?

And while I’m at it, can someone kidnap the BBC economics editor Robert Peston? Please? Or failing that, have him sectioned?

He is so affected, so barking-madly up his own wotsit, so me-me theatrical, that you can’t even make sense of his garbage anyway.

I’d pay double the licence fee just for the BBC to promise to get shut of him. (And you can now guarantee they’ll give Peston his own weekly show)

I’VE never tried to wean an addict off heroin, so I can’t say with any certainty how many more fixes the EU will inject into the withered arm of the Greek junky, before giving up in despair. 

Time and again Greece comes to the EU cajoling, whining, that it needs just one last fix. The last one. Promise.

We’re going to be clean as a whistle from now on. And a month or three later? Please, pretty please. One last time.  Just one more fix ... another 10 billion euros ... no? How about eight billion ... five? Come on, we don’t want to leave home, everything’s gonna change...

No it isn’t. It won’t change because it can’t. You’ll have heard that Greece has a pension problem, which it has. Massive. But that’s not half of it. It’s a structural problem. A black market economy bigger than the legitimate one. It can’t even collect taxes off the people and businesses on the legit side.

It has lived off EU subsidies, European Central Bank and IMF loans since it joined the Euro – which it lied through its teeth to ‘qualify’ for. Eurocrats know that but has made addicts of these basket-case economies.

Even this week, while negotiating the terms of another fix, the EU was drip-feeding methadone to keep it going.

Jean Claude Juncker, the EU President currently putting the heroin into a syringe, was the head of finance ministers threatening the Greeks as long ago as 2011.

There are only two possible outcomes. The cold turkey option is that the EU takes control of the Greek chequebook. Think the natives will acept that? Athens could burn.

Or they let the addict out on the street, to fend for itself. This week seems to suggest the EU will fall again for the addict’s desperate pleas. It’s only delaying the inevitable.

I KNOW I go on too much about the depressing British weather, but we spent the ‘longest day’ in front of a blazing log fire.

It was brass monkeys. Even the flaming boiler overheated and cut out on Tuesday.

The nights are already drawing in, and I haven’t even changed over my wardrobe from winter to summer clothes yet.

That’s global warming for you.

BREAKING news ... apparently women who wear ultra tight skinny jeans are at risk of causing embarrassing swelling. They call that news? It’s been causing me embarrassing swelling for years...

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