Ed Lines

BEING a career actress as opposed to a career politician, Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin is probably used to ad-libbing. 

It’s what she does. Shove a microphone in front of her and all the world’s a stage.

‘R Trace’ (as I’ve styled her – and I’ll quit when she stops banging on about being a local lass) has jumped into the new job both feet first, with admirable zeal and boundless gusto. Top marks for enthusiasm, then.

To maintain the showbiz analogy however, it’s an ‘X’ from Simon Cowell and even a thumbs down from the generous Len Goodman when it comes to the tune she’s singing or how light she is on her feet.

R Trace speaks from the heart, no doubt – but that can be a double-edged sword.

Far be it from me of all people to decry an honest politician, but at this time of Christian goodwill I’d like to offer kind advice. Because right now she’s asking for trouble.

I’m not sure Tracy Brabin understands her audience, and worse, she doesn’t know her subject. In terms of theatre improv, she might get away with it. In the turbulent political cauldron of towns like Batley and Dewsbury, she’s yakking her way into bother from all sides.

During a live Muslim radio station interview last Friday night, the MP said she felt sorry for the political misfits who stood against her in the October by-election. She blithely painted them all as “abusive, vile” and clearly considered them all extremists. Not all of them were – either abusive, or extremists.

Well, I felt sorry for her after the train-wreck of an interview – and not just because she thought Egypt was in Europe. She self-deprecatingly played her way out of that gaffe very well.

A pro, like I said.

But I took from her patronising politicking, that Tracy Brabin assumed she was playing to an exclusive audience – an exclusively Muslim audience. Being an IMWS production from the Al-Hikmah, it’s understandable.

Welcome to our world R Trace. Round here, everyone’s watching and listening. So forget the stage, because you need to perfect a circus act – walking a tightrope.

If I can offer one word of advice before it’s too late – you play (to coin my old pal Shahid Malik’s phrase) ‘Paki Politics’ at your peril.

Her attempt to sound off on Dame Louise Casey’s hard-hitting review on cultural and community division verged on cringeworthy. It was clear she hadn’t read it – as indeed she admitted. It didn’t stop her running off at the mouth though. Mistake.

When asked specifically about segregation in towns like ours, she waffled on about Muslim women having the right to stay home with the sisterhood. Eh?

She blithely labelled UKIP as ‘far right’ and boasted that the Labour Party is leading the fight against Brexit. Did she see how locals voted in the EU referendum? Does she even realise how pro-Leave the Muslim vote was?

She got both barrels when an angry caller nailed her on Syria (and Burma, for crying out loud!) demanding to know what she, specifically, was going to do about it.

That’s the problem with selling your soul to one set of voters who you don’t know how to say ‘no’ to.

Thankfully she stopped short of asking to borrow an AK47 and offering to get on the next plane out. But she should make no mistake, quite a lot of her audience may sympathise with young men who would – and do.

Saying the right things about Dewsbury Hospital is the easy part of her job, but getting dragged into supporting Hamas in Palestine will help no-one. Not here, not there and certainly not her.

What seems clear is that like the mix of actress and politician she now is, Ms Brabin loves nothing more than playing to the crowd, which is a dangerous game when you haven’t learned your lines.

That will end in brickbats, not curtain calls … daahling.

 

MENTION of the Casey Review into our divided ethnic communities, and I wonder how Professor Ted Cantle felt when reading it. Bored probably. A sense of déjà vu, most likely. Disheartened, definitely.

Cantle was commissioned to do basically the same exercise after the 2001 Muslim riots in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley. His report and its conclusions were blindingly similar to Louise Casey’s. Fifteen years on, the problems are worse, the divides wider and instead of Molotov cocktails through shop windows we get suicide bombs on tube trains and a soldier’s head hacked off in the centre of London.

And the solutions? The same tired placebos … greater integration, more mixing between kids outside school, Muslim women’s rights being upheld. Yah-di, yah-di yah. Wake me up when Westminster Abbey’s a mosque.

Tracy Brabin is at it too now, blaming white flight on … whites. All our fault again.

It seems I need my next house not to be in an idyllic English village – that’s separatist or racist or something-ist! – but down Warren Street in Savile Town, which could be a street in Gujarat.

Excuse me, has anyone tried buying a house in Savile Town lately? Muslims can’t get property in their own enclaves, let alone anyone else. I’d have more chance of buying one in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, hands up anyone who got a new Muslim neighbour who swiftly came knocking door-to-door, asking if anyone wants to sell to their brother or uncle?

Wow – that’s a lot of hands! Esteemed Batley mufti Mohammed Pandor laughed about the self-same syndrome on BBC Radio Four!

These academic useful-idiots (and politicians) don’t understand the basic social dynamics at work here and they persist in labelling as racist anyone who even tries to explain it to them.

They’re intent on creating a ‘melting pot’ utopia of brotherly love that doesn’t exist anywhere in the civilised (or uncivilised) world – and certainly not where there is a dominant Muslim community.

Equal rights? Religious and sexual tolerance? Not even a pretence at either and bang into our midst comes a wide-eyed MP who has already managed to convince herself that Muslim women are empowered by being made to wear the veil and suffer a multitude of other indignities.

And it’s always down to ‘us’ to ignore such unhelpful facts. What – I’m wrong? That’s being racist? Fine … just tell me where to find this utopian idyll and I’ll go see for myself.

But before people start screaming their tired old abuse and swallowing wholesale this anti-white British bullshine, has anyone thought to ask the inhabitants of Savile Town and Mount Pleasant if they want a white family in every other house on their street? Just a thought...

 

GOOD TO see work starting on the eyesore plot of land that will become the new home for Kirklees College’s Dewsbury campus.

One question though – where is everyone going to park? I was looking at moving our offices back to Dewsbury just this week – but it won’t happen if a dozen of us have to pay a fortune for car parking.

Multiply that by however many empty shops and offices you’ve got, treble that in shoppers coming back and you’d think a lightbulb would click on somewhere.

There’s never a shortage of councillors wanting to get their mush on a photo on the rare occasions that ten-bob gets spent in Dewsbury.

But mention the single biggest deterrent to revitalising the place and they all sit in the corner sucking their thumbs.

And on that subject, if there’s anyone in the area with some decent, affordable office space (and parking!) who fancies some lively new neighbours, just get in touch!

 

SPEAKING of cars, my insurance is due today. I have maximum no claims and nothing’s changed since last year, but when my renewal notice came through, the premium had risen from £225 to £397.

No speeding points, no accidents, nothing. But a gobsmacking increase.

The company was Saga Motor Insurance. Please, don’t use them folks. And keep checking how the various insurance shysters are trying to rip you off.

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