Posts Tagged ‘Respect Coalition’

MPs Expenses Scandal: Mark Anthony France on Sky News

West Midlands Respect activist Mark Anthony France and local pub landlord Gianni D’Anaello speak to Sky News in Bromsgrove about the MP’s expenses scandal, following the furore surrounding the expenses of their local Member of Parliament.

Worcestershire MP Julie Kirkbride is currently at the centre of a fresh expenses scandal which has reached right into the heart of the Conservative Party.

Ms Kirkbride had registered a property in her Bromsgrove constituency as her second home, allowing her to claim expenses on it, while her husband Andrew MacKay – the MP for Bracknell in Berkshire – had registered a property in London as his second home, allowing him to claim expenses on that one.

Mr MacKay quit as Mr Cameron’s policy adviser after it emerged the pair were both claiming for second homes despite sharing properties.

Mark France, a constituent who has independently been collecting signatures for Julie Kirkbride to resign, said:

Mark Anthony France on Sky News

Mark Anthony France on Sky News

“We got about 150 signatures in just three quarters of an hour and we’ve now set up a little group and we aim to collect 10,000 signatures in the next 10 days. We’ll present them to Rita Dent, Julie Kirkbride’s constituent secretary, on June 1st and we’re saying that Julie Kirkbride should resign. ”

When pressed by the reporter over whether he was using the recent events as an opportunity to promote the Respect party, Mark made it clear her was working independently of any party by responding:

“No, I’m a local lad who believes in justice, truth, decency and honesty. We have 1,200 people made redundant in the Bromsgrove area just in the past 3 months. There’s a lot of hardship, there’s a lot of people who are fidning that everything they’ve worked for is just collapsing around them and there’s a lot of anger and this is the last straw.”

The above interview was broadcast on Sky News on 16th May 2009.

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Salma Yaqoob says “Go Green” for the European Elections

Salma Yaqoob is backing Green Party MEP caniddate Felicity Norman

Salma Yaqoob is backing Green Party MEP caniddate Felicity Norman

Prominent Birmingham Councillor and Leader of the RESPECT Party, Salma Yaqoob is calling for progressive West Midlands voters to go Green and vote for Felicity Norman at the European Elections on 4th June.

Salma Yaqoob, who is a Sparkbrook Councillor and Westminster Candidate for Birmingham Hall Green constituency is endorsing Felicity for her commitment to fight the BNP at the European election and for the Greens’ progressive policies on job creation in new industries.

Councillor Yaqoob said:

“With the country facing the deepest recession in generations, Labour and the Tories offer us nothing but rising unemployment and cuts in services. Those of us who want a new politics based on social justice need to work together. The candidate closest to my own views on the environment, anti-racism and foreign affairs is Felicity Norman and I hope my supporters will back her on 4 June.”

At the last European election, the Greens secured 5.2% of the vote in the region. Respect got 2.4% of the votes. When combined, the 7.6% vote share is just greater than the BNP’s 7.5%. Only around 10% of the vote is needed to gain a seat at the European election next month and with the Greens, RESPECT and the BNP all having grown in the past five years, it is a tight race to the finish line on 4th June.

The Green Party is running its strongest ever campaign to elect a Euro-MP in the region to join the two other UK Green Party MEPs already elected.

Salma Yaqoob commented:

“The racist British National Party is hoping to make a breakthrough in these elections. Under the system of proportional representation it is essential that everyone who opposes the BNP uses their vote. The higher the turnout, the lower the chance of the BNP being elected. Whatever you do please use your vote against the BNP. But if you care about peace, justice, equality, anti-racism and the environment, vote Green in the European elections”.

Felicity Norman, the top Green Party Euro-MP candidate said:

“A Green vote at these elections says yes to positive politics and no to racism and it says yes to investing in jobs-rich industries to tackle recession and climate change.

“The Green Party is running a serious campaign to fight the BNP. In this proportional voting system, it’s normally a small party that takes the final seat, which could mean the BNP or the Greens. We know that if a Green is elected, there is no room for the BNP. The battle for fourth place at the European election is more important than ever and with Salma’s endorsement, our combined support ensures we’re in the game”.

Salma’s endorsement of Felicity is the second boost for the Greens in a week after news that Green Party candidate numbers for the County Council elections this year are treble the figure of the last County elections in 2005.

Salma Yaqoob calls for a big turnout on Birmingham jobs march

Salma Yaqoob is backing Unite's national March for Jobs

Councillor Salma Yaqoob is backing the national ‘March for Jobs’ taking place in Birmingham this Saturday, 16 May. She is calling for a big turnout to send a strong message to the government that protecting jobs must come first.

Councillor Yaqoob said:

“There is hardly a family in the country which has not been affected by the recession. With unemployment now over 2.2 million, every day brings new job losses, and people across Birmingham are worried for their future. Huge sums of money have been used to bail out the banks. We need to see the same commitment to keeping people in jobs, and investing in vital industries to see them through this crisis.

“The government has its priorities wrong; with billions earmarked for wasteful and unnecessary projects like ID cards and the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system. It is time to send a strong message to the government that protecting jobs must be its first priority. That is the right way to protect individuals and families, but also to boost the economy at a time of economic crisis.”

The demonstration, organised by the Unite union, will assemble at 11am on Saturday 16 May at Highfield Road, Edgbaston (corner of Hagley Road), and march to Centenary Square for a rally.

More on Unite’s official website here.

Respect takes to streets on St. George’s Day

SUPPORTERS of Worcestershire RESPECT will be out on the streets of Dodford on St George’s Day collecting signatures for a people’s charter, which aims to create a “fairer Britain.”

The organisers of the modern day People’s Charter, based on the charter of the same name created in the 19th century, aim for a million signatures under the slogan ‘we need change, we need hope, we need a fairer Britain’ and hope to influence politicians to create more and better jobs, decent homes and improved services.

Mark Anthony France, Bromsgrove Respect

Mark Anthony France, Bromsgrove Respect

“Many of us are now losing hope and our family, friends and neighbours are paying a heavy price for an economic crisis we didn’t create.”

Mark Anthony France, secretary of Bromsgrove RESPECT, said: “Many of us are now losing hope and our family, friends and neighbours are paying a heavy price for an economic crisis we didn’t create.” “This incompetence and corruption infects our own community here in Worcestershire – there is no need to give examples for they are many and well known.

“Frustrated by the failure of establishment politicians, some people are becoming attracted by the siren calls of racism and a misplaced nationalism.

“Fortunately, there is an alternative and a reason to hope. Let us all celebrate St George’s Day, let us slay the dragon, restore hope, banish hatred and welcome spring.” More information about the charter, including how you can sign up and find out how to make donations, can be found by visiting www.thepeoplescharter.com

Source article: Bromsgrove Advertiser

Question Time: Salma Yaqoob on Geert Wilders

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Respect leader and Birmingham City councillor Salma Yaqoob featured on this week’s Question Time panel, joining presenter David Dimbleby and alongside Labour MP Liam Byrne, Conservative MP Justine Greening, former Sun editor and columnist Kelvin MacKenzie and television gardener and writer Monty Don.

Salma spoke on a number of issues including Dutch MP Geert Wilders, the economy and banking,  child truancy, climate change and the drug reclassification policy.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

On yesterday’s UK entry ban of controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders, she said:

“Personally, I am uncomfortable with censorship.  Does Mr Wilders have the right to provoke or even be offensive?  Yes, he does under freedom of speech, and if he’s being barred from the country simply because he offends people’s religious sensibilities then no matter how personally distasteful I might find his views, I wouldn’t support a ban.

“However, society does have a right and indeed a duty to protect itself from people who incite hatred and incite violence and if he was deemed to be in breach of our laws in this regard then, in that context, a ban would be justifiable.”

“Although I find his [Wilder’s] indignation about being banned and calling for the upholding of the freedom of speech abit hypocritical considering he advocates banning the Qur’an,” she added.

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

She also spoke on the state of our economy and finances and whether certain employees of banks, that were saved using public money, deseved bonuses.  She challenged Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie, who claimed such bank employees were ‘talented people’ who couldn’t be stopped.

“Talented people?  They have wrecked our economy! It’s absolutely shameless and digusting,” she responded.

“These are people who’ve wrecked our economy and I don’t believe a word of this ‘contract’ argument. These people would not have a job now were it not for the British tax payers bailing out the banks. They’re lucky they’re on a salary, never mind the cheek to ask for a bonus in these circumstances.

“It’s also politicians who should be in the dock because it was their decision to take away the safety mechanism, to introduce de-regulation which allowed the unvetted greed. It allowed the bankers to make the risky decisions without any proper scrutiny. It freed them up to reward themselves with these incredible bonuses and at the same time politicians from the Conservative party as well as the Labour party championed this neo-liberal economic orthodoxy which has brought us this disaster,” explained Salma.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

“I think it’s really disgusting that we have now a public culture where if you commit huge crimes, which are resulting in millions of ordinary people losing their jobs and their homes, you only have to come up with a half-hearted apology, no accoutability, no sanctions, no punishments – and if you’re a politician you can lead our country into war on a lie and not have to resign – there is something really deeply wrong with a democratic system we have where instead of people being made an example of, we now have the lesson that ‘you can do this in the future, you can be this reckless because there’ll be no deterrent’,” she concluded.

Watch the complete programme on BBC iPlayer via the links below (UK only).

BBC Question Time – (12th February 2009)

BBC Question Time Extra [BBC News 24] – (12th February 2009)

An edited 30-minute verson of Thursday’s Question Time will be shown on Saturday 14th February 2009, at 8.30pm on BBC News 24.

Website link and presenter biogs here.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob appears on BBC Question Time tonight

Birmingham Respect councillor Salma Yaqoob will again appear on BBC political panel show Question Time tonight, alongside fellow politicians and analysts answering questions and concerns from the British public.

The leader of the Respect Party and Chair of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition will be joining presenter David Dimbleby and airing her views alongside Birmingham Hodge Hill Labour MP Liam Byrne – who failed to speak out against the recent attacks in Gaza, Conservative MP Justine Greening, former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, and television gardener and writer Monty Don.

The show will be broadcast from Bath at 10.35pm on Thursday, 12thFebruary 2009 on BBC 1.

BBC link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/question_time/7878952.stm

Salma Yaqoob will feature on The Politics Show on Sunday

Salma Yaqoob will feature on The Politics Show on Sunday

Salma Yaqoob will also appear on the West Midlands edition of BBC current affairs programme the Politics Show, which will be broadcast at 12.30pm on Sunday 15th February 2009, following the main national show at midday.

BBC Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/politics_show/regions/west_midlands/default.stm

Images: BBC

George Galloway in Birmingham tomorrow

Cllr Salma Yaqoob and George Galloway MP

Cllr Salma Yaqoob and George Galloway MP

George Galloway MP

will be leading a public meeting tomorrow (Saturday 18th October 2008) at the Birmingham Central Mosque at 2pm.

The Respect Member of Parliament will be supported by Cllr Salma Yaqoob and others on ‘Pakistan in Crisis’, in the city’s premier mosque in Highgate. Everyone is invited and to attend, and encouraged to bring family and friends.

Public Meeting: ‘Pakistan in Crisis’

Date: Saturday 18th October 2008 | Time: 2pm

Venue: Birmingham Central Mosque, 180 Belgrave Middleway, Highgate, Birmingham, B12 0XS | Information: 07812172885

Your views: Send your photos and reports from the meeting to birminghamrespect@hotmail.com.