Posts Tagged ‘Tories’

There IS an alternative to cuts

There is an alternative to cuts, says Respect and Salma Yaqoob

Birmingham City Council cuts alone will slash services and axe up to 7,000 jobs.

Labour, Tories and Lib Dems say there is ‘no alternative’ to cuts. They only disagree on when to wield the knife.

These are the same people who said there was ‘no alternative’ to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is an alternative.

The Robin Hood Tax is one. It calls for a tiny tax on bankers which would have the power to raise hundreds of billions every year.

It could give a vital boost to the NHS, our schools and the fight against child poverty in the UK – as well as tackling poverty and climate change around the world.’

Respect and Salma Yaqoob are supporters of The Robin Hood Tax. We urge you to become a supporter too.

Find out more by visiting www.robinhoodtax.org.uk

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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.

‘Gordon Brown’s BNP-favoured immigrant claim is a myth’, says Salma Yaqoob

By Salma Yaqoob

Gordon Brown's immigrant claim is a myth

Gordon Brown's immigrant claim is a myth

Gordon Brown’s pledge to provide “local homes for local people” is based on a myth. And it is the same myth spread by the BNP for years. The BNP claim that “local people” are losing out to immigrants and asylum seekers. This is not true.

The Prime Minister is trying to win back voters from the BNP by telling them that their prejudices are justified. Every time this has been tried it only strengthens their arguments and gives them credibility. We have to challenge their lies with facts, and not back down in the face of racism.

Research has now shown that 90% of people in social housing were born in Britain. New arrivals represented less than 3% of the total. The big majority of new arrivals to the country end up in expensive and poor quality private rented accommodation. They are not the cause of the housing shortage.

The real source of the problem is the desperate shortage of affordable homes. Over four and a half million people are in need of social housing in the UK, including 35,000 in Birmingham alone. Gordon Brown’s new policy will not give homes to the millions who are waiting, and will only cause further resentment and division.

When the Tories were last in power they destroyed the ability of councils to build new homes. The best homes were sold off under the Right to Buy and were not replaced. When Labour was elected it had the chance to reverse this and failed to do so.  It stopped local councils from borrowing the money needed to provide affordable homes, and it starved them of cash for repairs and improvements as part of their policy of selling off council estates.

This housing crisis has not been caused by immigration. It has been caused by Tory and Labour politicians who have dismally failed to invest in affordable housing over decades.

Gordon Brown has now announced a new house-building programme. But it is too little and too late. His plans include proposals for an extra 3,000 council houses. With only 375 council homes built in England last year, and millions of people queuing for them, it is a drop in the ocean. We need an urgent programme of building on a massive scale, something that the government has failed to deliver.

Many people are angry about the failure of both Tory and Labour governments to solve the housing crisis. Many more people despair at ever finding a home they can afford. The BNP is exploiting this anger and despair.

The housing crisis will not be solved by blaming immigrants. It will only be solved if our politicians invest in producing the homes that we need.”

‘Queue jumping immigrants’ are a myth, says studyThe Independent

Respect leader backs new council homes

Salma Yaqoob is backing new council homes in Birmingham

Salma Yaqoob is backing new council homes in Birmingham

Birmingham city councillor Salma Yaqoob has backed a Conservative initiative to build new council homes in Birmingham, following the Labour government’s to build a single new council home in the city in 12 years.

Conservative John Lines unveiled the new Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust last week and set out the target of building 500 new council owned houses a year by 2011.

Salma said: “It is a sad indictment of this Labour Government, which claims to represent those in need, has only built 375 council homes in the UK over the last year and a Conservative in Birmingham will build 500 a year.”

Read the full article here.

Councillor Salma Yaqoob accuses Tories of ‘outrageous deception’

The controversial and offensive Conservative election leaflet for the Lozells East and Handsworth by-election suggests Salma Yaqoob supports their candidate Raja Khan. A 'disgusted' Salma accused the party of deception and 'misleading voters' and is planning legal action.

The controversial and offensive Conservative election leaflet for the Lozells East and Handsworth by-election suggests Salma Yaqoob supports their candidate Raja Khan. A 'disgusted' Salma accused the party of deception and is planning legal action.

Respect Councillor Salma Yaqoob has blasted the Conservative party for using her photograph on election material, without permission, to imply support for their candidate in the forthcoming Lozells East and Handsworth by-election.

Cllr Yaqoob said: “I am outraged and disgusted that the Tory candidate in Lozells East and Handsworth [Raja Khan] has produced an election leaflet using my photo and implying that I am supporting him.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr Khan approached me for a photo on the recent trade union defend jobs demo in Birmingham. I agreed on the explicit condition that it not be used in any way for party political purposes.

“The use of my image on Tory publicity is a deliberate attempt to mislead the voters of Lozells East and Handsworth. It is a disgraceful abuse of the political process and flies in the face of David Cameron’s calls to ‘clean-up’ politics.

“The public are sick and tired of deceitful politicians. Now that they have been exposed I hope the voters Lozells East and Handsworth punish the Conservatives for their willful deception.

“In the meantime, I am seeking legal advice on what recourse I have against them’.