Saturday 7 April 2012

Brace yourselves for visits to Brent by cabinet ministers

David Cameron at the Swaminarayan Temple
If the Independent  LINK is to be believed Brent residents need to brace themselves for visits from Tory cabinet ministers looking for the ethnic vote.   Learning from the 'success' of the Conservative Canadian government  they are seeking to build on what they claim is a fit between Conservative values on the family and law and order in an effort to prise them away from Labour. In the 2010 General Election only 6% of BME (black and minority ethnic) voters voted Conservative against 37% of white voters.

Action is now seen as urgent following the collapse of the Conservative vote in Bradford West. Conservative co-chairman, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said:
We need to learn from centre-right parties in other countries how to attract votes who share our values but haven't traditionally voted Conservative. And we need to go out and persuade those voters that a Conservative government is the best way of fulfilling their aspirations for themselves, their families and their communities.
However this strategy may not be welcomed by all Tories. Warsi herself has been under attack from the party's right-wing.  An article in the current New Statesman LINK states:
Judged by the intensity and sheer volume of the anti-Warsi vitriol, it is difficult to come to any other conclusion that her critics don't like her because she ticks three very un-Tory boxes: she is female, Asian and Muslim. Since it is 2012 and they can't say as much in public, her right-wing opponents target instead her alleged lack of 'competence' and 'ability'.
Interestingly in the same edition of the New Statesman Salma Yaqoob, reviewing the Bradford West result, remarks that the Labour Party has for generations 'relied on and reinforced the corrupting influence of biraderi - clan networks - that so disfigure south Asian politics'. The by-election result marks the community's break with Labour.

Although the Conservatives will have their eye on Brent North, held years ago by right-wing Tory Rhodes Boyson, the reality is that the local Conservative Party is very weak, with just a rump left on the council, and Barry Gardiner, helped by boundary changes, strengthened his grip on the constituency against the trend at the General Election. At 62.3% Brent North has the 4th highest BME population and Brent Central is 7th at 53%.

There are pitfalls in this strategy, not least the reaction of right-wingers. The YouTube videos of Cameron's 2008 visit to the Swaminarayna Temple attracted many racist comments as well as, somewhat oddly, anti-Muslim rants. The Daily Mail, even more bizarrely, for the April 2010 visit by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, focused on the poor state of Mrs Brown's feet, revealed when she took her shoes off to enter the temple! LINK


Trevor said...

Last saturday I was visited by a labour supporter who attempted to inspire me to vote in the up coming elections.
I turned him down explaing that I no longer have faith in politicians.
also when you consider how long this pattern has been going on and yet look at the state of the's in a mess and all they do is blame each other...the tories blame labour for not dealing with the deficit for example which is true but the fact is every government has a history of neglect and irresponsiblity.
the current government are trying to make themselves look responsible but as they have seen, people don't back what they are doing because people are so used to being neglected by the people that are running the country.
and they are certainly not used to seeing responsible mp's.
such a thing is a rarity which is a shame really.
anyway If david cameron visited me I would treat him as I would like to be treated but I would make sure to be as honest as I was to the labourite who came to me at the weekend.

The Local Don said...

The first sentence sums it up.

"Last saturday I was visited by a labour supporter who attempted to inspire me to vote in the up coming elections"

They only come to you when they want something, in this case your vote.

The Local Don.