Posts Tagged ‘Question Time’

Salma Yaqoob is on BBC Question Time tonight

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time - June 2010

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect party, is appearing on the panel of BBC Question Time tonight.

The show is being broadcast from Plymouth and will be shown on BBC 1 at 10.35pm, after the Ten O’Clock News.

She will be making her sixth appearance on the show’s panel; speaking alongside Jeremy Hunt, Ben Bradshaw, Katie Hopkins and Toby Young.

You can also watch the show after its broadcast on BBC iPlayer and follow the show via Twitter and sms txt. More on the show and this week’s panel here.

Salma Yaqoob is also city councillor for Birmingham Sparkbrook and chair of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition.

You can watch Salma’s previous appearance on the show, which was broadcast live from Wootton Bassett in December, here.

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Salma Yaqoob: The real debate we should have about Afghanistan

Salma Yaqoob, chair of Birmingham Stop the War, says If we are genuinely concerned about the troops, as we are about the Afghan people, we must have an open debate about why we are in Afghanistan and whether we should pull out.

Wootton Bassett

Crowds watch as the hearse carrying the body of the 100th soldier to die in Afghanistan returns home.

By Salma Yaqoob | guardian.co.uk | 5 January 20105 January 2010

When I was invited to appear on Question Time at Wootton Bassett, I did feel a hesitation because of the programme’s location. I was very mindful of the fact that this is where every soldier who has been killed is honoured and where respects are paid.

Regardless of where you stand politically, their loss is a very real and human tragedy for their families.

But these are more than personal tragedies. Our soldiers and military families put their trust in the politicians who send them into battle. They trust them to tell the truth.

The political tragedy is that, once again, we are fighting a war that is based on lies and that will not make us safe.

So it is necessary to hold our politicians to account for their decisions. And that debate should not be silenced.

There is a subtext that if you support our troops, then you have to support the war itself; because if you question the purpose of the occupation, then you are accused not only of being unpatriotic, but also even of endangering the troops by undermining morale.

That silencing of debate leaves a huge vacuum in our politics, because all three parties back the line that we have to get behind the troops and “finish the job”.

There is also a double standard also about deaths in Afghanistan. On the one hand, with the parades in Wootton Bassett we congratulate ourselves that we’re so civilised that no loss goes unmourned; yet, if you’re Afghan, no one even counts your death.

Afghan suffering

From British politicians there’s absolutely no acknowledgment of Afghan people’s suffering, or the fact that their lives are not better-off because of the west’s intervention – although that is the lie that continues to be told. Thousands have been killed and seven million made refugees, but that’s not on anybody’s radar.

Anjem Choudary

Anjem Choudary

This dignified and serious debate is the last thing on the mind of Anjem Choudary and Islam4UK. He is a bigot whose goal in life is to provoke division. He engages in these provocations because he is deeply hostile to any coming together of Muslims and non-Muslims. For him, the fact that a majority of the British people – Muslim and non-Muslim – oppose the war in Afghanistan is not something to be celebrated, but is something to be feared.

If we are genuinely concerned about the troops, as we are about the Afghan people, we must have an open debate about why we are in Afghanistan and whether we should pull out. Instead, the airwaves are dominated by the rantings of a marginal provocateur.

My experience on Question Time confirms to me the need for a genuinely open political debate, conducted with seriousness and sensitivity. I wasn’t surprised to be received at first in silence, given the programme’s pro-war bias, but by the end, people were saying that the majority was behind me.

I do trust the conscience of ordinary British people, even if I am cynical about our political leadership.

Original article (The Guardian) here.

Stop the War Coalition (STWC) article here.

BBC Question Time | Salma Yaqoob | 10.12.09


Salma Yaqoob defends British soldiers and innocent Afghan civilians against a war which has been irresponsibly and badly managed, left our troops with little protection, security and safety; and seems to have no end in sight.

Salma Yaqoob on Question Time - 10.12.09

Salma Yaqoob

Salma makes reference to Birmingham’s soldiers and their families, highlighting the concerns of wounded soldiers recovering at Selly Oak Hospital in her home city.

“I’m from Birmingham, we have Selly Oak Hospital there and I’m not surprised that more than half of the soldiers, when Gordon Brown visited in September, simply shut their curtains because they feel so let down and I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the Ministry of Defence is actually pursuing wounded soldiers in court to get back compensation; so the idea that you support them and value them is absolute nonsense.

“My issue though is why are we betraying the professionalism, bravery and commitment of our troops by sending them on an ill-conceived and doomed mission in the first place.”

BBC Question Time, the BBC’s premier political debate programme, was

Salma Yaqoob on Question Time - 10.12.09

BBC Question Time

broadcast from Wootton Bassett. The market town in Wiltshire has come into national focus for honouring those who have given their lives in the service of their country.

The panel included the former head of the British Army General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces Bill Rammall MP, the shadow foreign secretary William Hague MP, the former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown, the former newspaper editor Piers Morgan and the Respect Party’s Salma Yaqoob.

Date: Thursday 10th December 2009
Venue: Wootton Bassett School, Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire

Watch the complete show here on BBC iPlayer.

Question Time’s bias on Afghanistan‘ – New Statesman, 11.12.09

An Election Statement from Salma Yaqoob

An election message from Salma Yaqoob

Salma Yaqoob

The General Election is a matter of months away. Once again, this is an election in which only two parties are competing to form a government – Labour or the Tories.

A series of opinion polls have pointed strongly to the defeat of the Labour government. The outcome, however, is not a foregone conclusion. A recent poll suggests that the result will be finely balanced, with a hung parliament a real possibility.

Respect is neither neutral nor indifferent to the outcome of this election. We think that a Tory victory would be a disaster for working people. Yes, New Labour has betrayed the aspirations of its traditional electorate in working class communities, among Black and Asian communities, and among trades unionists. But its strongest support still comes from these communities and the vast majority of the trade union movement will support Labour at the next election. Despite the efforts of the New Labour clique that now dominates the Labour Party, it is still seen by millions of people as a party that looks after the interests of working people – albeit a disastrously right wing example of such a party.

David Cameron

A Tory victory will lead to a massive assault on public services

A Tory victory in the context of a deep economic crisis will herald a deep attack on the welfare state. The Tory obsession with cutting the national debt not only risks a deeper and more prolonged recession, but will inevitably lead to a massive assault on public services and public sector workers. It will represent a much more profound shift to the right in the political agenda. Respect therefore stands with the vast majority of the labour movement in seeking the defeat of the Tory challenge at this election.

Gordon Brown

Labour has demoralised much of its traditional support

Under Blair, and now Brown, Labour have demoralised large parts of its traditional support. Many people have broken from Labour to the left in disgust at Blair’s support for the Iraq war, and New Labour’s subservience to the bankers and privatisers. Respect was born out of the movement against the Iraq war, and we have successfully built a real base in limited parts of the country. We believed then, and believe now, that there is an urgent need for a radical left wing party that can help shift the political consensus towards an agenda of peace, anti-racism and social justice.

In 3 parliamentary seats in Birmingham and East London, Respect is fighting to win. We do not know what the outcome will be, and we are well aware of the difficulties in the way of small parties under a first past the post electoral system. But in these 3 seats we have a genuine chance of victory. We have deep roots and credible candidates. There are only a handful of seats up for grabs in the general election that could conceivably be won by parties to the left of Labour (including the challenge by Caroline Lucas for the Green Party). The most important contribution that we in Respect can make to the left as a whole in the immediate future is to do everything within our power to win these seats.

Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas

We do not believe, however, that a radical alternative can be built by acting in way that allows the Tories – or the BNP – to be the beneficiaries of discontent with Labour or our efforts to build an alternative. In areas where we are highly unlikely to win it is important that we are not seen to be reckless over the consequences of standing in marginal seats where the likely beneficiary would be the Tories. Where we do stand, we want our supporters to know they can express their discontent with the Labour government without handing seats on a plate to the Tories.

Nick Griffin

United against the BNP

We are also in favour of the maximum possible unity against the BNP. Nick Griffin has announced he is standing in Barking and Dagenham. His election to the European parliament was an historic breakthrough for British fascism. But it would be nothing in comparison to a BNP MP. Hard choices have to be made. There is absolutely no prospect of a candidate to the left of Labour winning this seat, and any such candidate could only split the anti-BNP vote.

Abjol Miah

Abjol Miah is standing in East London

Respect will therefore not consider standing in Barking and Dagenham, and call on other left wing parties to do likewise. We are well aware of the way in which New Labour have created the conditions for the BNP to grow, and equally aware that Labour’s candidate, Margaret Hodge, is one of the least palatable New Labour MPs. Nonetheless we call for a vote for the Labour candidate as the only practical way of defeating the BNP.

Respect believes that the interests of working people are best served by working for the maximum unity against a Tory victory in the General Election, while continuing to build left wing alternatives to the Labour Party in the most tactically effective manner.

Salma Yaqoob will be appearing on BBC1’s Question Time, 10.35pm Thursday December 10.

Salma Yaqoob to appear on BBC Question Time

BBC Question Time panel - 10th December 2009 - Salma Yaqoob, Piers Morgan, William Hague

The BBC Question Time panel will include Sir Richard Dannatt, Piers Morgan, Salma Yaqoob, William Hague and Bill Rammell.

Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob is to appear on Question Time this month.

The Birmingham city councillor has been booked for a potentially volatile edition of the BBC’s flagship current affairs show Question Time. The programme will be broadcast from Wootton Bassett, the village famous for giving a respectful send-off to British soldiers who’ve died in Afghanistan.

Others lined up for what is likely to be an emotionally charged show include Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell, the former British commander in Afghanistan General Sir Richard Dannatt, former Tory leader William Hague and Piers Morgan.

Yaqoob has been critical of Britain’s role in the region, but despite smears to the contrary, she has always been careful not to criticise serving troops – instead reserving her ire for the politicians who took us to war. Salma Yaqoob has appeared on the show on a number of previous occasions.

The episode will be broadcast on December 10th, 2009 on BBC One.

Salma Yaqoob to attend Birmingham Votes ’09

Birmingham Votes '09

Birmingham Votes '09

Does politics matter? Well on Saturday 9th May, the Electoral Reform Society are holding Birmingham Votes’09, an opportunity for the people of Birmingham to make politics work for them.

The day will be an chance for local community campaigns, faith groups, NGOs and the public to discuss how they can make their voices heard in the June election and beyond.

Respect party leader and Birmingham City councillor Salma Yaqoob will be attending the event and participating in the Democracy Question Time alongside Birmingham’s John Hemming MP and Richard Burden MP.

Birmingham Votes ’09 is organised by the Electorial Reform Society and will take place from 11am at the Quaker Meeting House, Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF. To register for the event or to find out more, click here.