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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 5th May 2014 13:28
Tory candidate quits over homophobic and anti-Islamic tweets

A Tory council candidate has resigned from the party with immediate effect after posting anti-Islamic and homophobic comments on Twitter.

David Bishop, a candidate in Brentwood South, Essex, apologised after retweeting messages, including one that claimed Islam was the religion of rape.

"I have let myself and my party down," Mr Bishop said in a statement.

It comes after a UKIP council candidate, who tweeted that Islam was "evil", was suspended from the party.

'Real offence'

Mr Bishop, who is also a DJ in the Brentwood area, retweeted one message on 13 April that read: "How CAN a gay guy keep a straight face?"

In another message, retweeted on April 27 - two days after Mr Bishop was named as a Conservative council candidate - it cited the arrest of four Muslim men over the rape of a 14-year-old girl and added: "#Islam 'the religion of peace' & rape."

In a statement, Mr Bishop apologised "for the real offence caused" and said he would "not be asking anyone to vote for me on May 22".

"I recognise that someone standing for public office should show leadership and seek to unite communities, not divide them. I hope the residents of Brentwood South can forgive my lack of judgement in time," he said.

John Kerslake, chairman of Brentwood and Ongar Conservatives said the matter had been dealt with "swiftly and conclusively in the best interest of Brentwood and the party".

Louise McKinlay, group leader of Brentwood Conservatives, added that Mr Bishop's views had "no place in our team".

"David's decision to step down was the right thing to do and I am pleased the party has backed this and accepted his resignation from the team and from the party," she said.

Mr Bishop's resignation comes as UKIP council candidate, Harry Perry, who was seeking election in the Offerton ward in Stockport, was suspended by the party on Friday after tweeting that Islam was "evil" and homosexuality was an "abomination".

A senior Conservative in Brentwood said Mr Bishop's views had "no place in our team"
Another UKIP candidate resigned from the party last week after making controversial remarks about comedian Lenny Henry.

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 6th May 2014 21:45
Ukip: the Asian and ex-Labour voters who could help party break mould

The party once dismissed by David Cameron as 'fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists' is on the march - drawing on an ever-widening support base in the runup to local and European elections.

Seema Takhar does not fit the normal stereotype of a Ukip voter. Nor is she very interested in politics most of the time. But when she hears what Nigel Farage's party has to say on the subject of immigration, it resonates.

It is midway through a weekday afternoon and Seema is busy dealing with clients in the beauty salon she runs in Havering, east London, when Lawrence Webb, a UK Independence party councillor, drops in with some local election leaflets. "Yes, immigration is a big issue for me here," she tells him, adding she will now consider voting for Ukip. "When our family came here in the 70s they got no help. We had to work for everything. It is all different now.

"Many of the immigrants today come and live on benefits and in council homes. Their children will live on benefits too because that is all they know. I don't think that is right."

Seema's mother Renu, who came to the UK in 1973 from Kenya (the family originates from India), walks into the salon and reinforces the message. Renu now works in a post office and says much of her time is spent sending "moneygrams" abroad for immigrants supporting families back home. "A lot of money is made here but is leaving the country. When we made money here it stayed in the UK," she says.

Webb, who became the first directly elected Ukip councillor in London in a byelection last year, refers loosely to such families as part of the "Windrush generation". They have been here for two or three generations, he says, have worked hard, done well, are part of the community and now, in many cases, find their children can't get work and have to compete for houses and places in schools with new immigrants from the EU. The result, says Webb, is that they are now turning for help to Ukip, which wants to end Europe's open borders policy.

If Farage's party - under sustained attack in recent weeks for being packed with racists - was only, or mainly, drawing its support from crusty old colonels in the shires who dislike multicultural Britain and metropolitan Tories such as David Cameron, it would not be proving so resilient in the polls. Something more complicated and deeper is going on.

Ukip is on the march because it is exciting interest from people across the spectrum, from disgruntled Conservatives certainly, but also from ex-Labour supporters, the generally disaffected, the hitherto politically disengaged, and longer-established immigrant families with socially conservative views. The party had no councillors in the borough of Havering until last year; it now has seven and Webb believes Ukip will be in coalition with the Tories and Labour after the local elections this month. "There is little doubt it will be in no overall control," he says.

Down the road in Barking and Dagenham, where Labour won every seat in 2010, there are equally surprising moves to Ukip. Four Labour councillors recently defected to Farage's party, including the first Asian to do so in the area, Tariq Saeed, who is a practising Muslim and proud to call himself British. Saeed told the Barking and Dagenham Post: "Ukip is not a racist party. Ukip is saying we aren't gaining anything while we are in the EU. We want to put the British people first."

Such backing from an Asian, Muslim, ex-Labour councillor suggests Ukip, though containing plenty of unfortunate types, now has a support base far more complex and varied than was the case in 2006 when Cameron dismissed the party as a "bunch of ... fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists mostly". The past week has seen Ukip continue to defy the normal rules of politics, as more revelations about the bizarre and outrageous views of some of its members have coincided with opinion polls showing it going from strength to strength.

Such outlandish comment has been all too easy for the media to uncover. The Tories hoped all this, and Farage's decision not to stand in the forthcoming Newark parliamentary byelection - which they said showed he was frightened - would finally puncture his party's bubble. But instead a ComRes poll found support for Ukip in the runup to the European elections on 22áMay had shot up by eight points to 38% while support for Labour and the Tories had fallen by three points each to 27% and 18%.

Farage accused the media and the establishment parties of going for Ukip while failing to subject themselves to similar scrutiny. "So what is it about Ukip that makes it racist for us to talk about migration, but not the other parties? Could it be because we're not part of their club? It smacks of a cartel, trying to restrict entry into the market for new competitors. And I think it's one which will backfire on them."

On that he seems to be right, at least for now. With less than three weeks to go until the council and European elections, Ukip has taken over from the Liberal Democrats as the natural party of protest, hitting the Tory and Labour votes into the bargain. The Tories are resigned to coming third in the European elections behind Labour and Ukip. Their coalition partners, the pro-EU Lib Dems, face the potential loss of all 11 of their MEPs in the Strasbourg parliament, and are expected to lose 250 to 350 town hall seats.

Up and down the country Ukip is establishing local support in a way the Lib Dems - when untainted by power - used to. In pockets across the south-west, where Nick Clegg's party has traditionally been strong, Ukip is breathing down Lib Dem necks. In Stroud, in the Severn valley, the Lib Dems usually table a full list of candidates in council elections. This year just three Lib Dem candidates will contest the 18 seats up for election. Ukip, by contrast, is fielding 10, two of whom, Angie Lyes and Jim Simpson, have defected not from the Tories but from Labour.

Caroline Stephens, chairwoman of Ukip in Stroud, hopes her party will win its first council seats, possibly gaining as many as six. On the leafleting trail, she concedes that racist comments and gaffes by Ukip candidates have left her vulnerable to negative comments. In one shop on Friday afternoon, the proprietor greeted Stephens, saying: "Oh, it's the mad woman again." But he said he was likely to vote Ukip nonetheless.

Sir Graham Watson, the Lib Dems' only MEP in the south-west, admitted his chances of re-election next month were low and said that Ukip was sweeping up votes: "I think the Ukip vote is veryástrong. Ukip, in a sense, almost started here, in that this is the region in which they won their first European parliamentary seat. It's been going up since then." Gawain Towler, third on Ukip's European election slate, added: "The Lib Dems are a busted flush. If they think the south-west is one of the few seats they'll keep, on the ground it really doesn't feel that way. They are in real trouble."

In the north, Ukip threatens a similar disturbance to the old order. Edward McMillan-Scott, who defected to the Lib Dems from the Tories in 2010 and is now one of two Lib Dem MEPs in the region, says his chances of extending his 30-year stay in the European parliament are on a knife edge. "It is very tight. If I don't do it, it will be because of Ukip," he says.

With local and European election day fast approaching, and a year until the general election, the established parties have not found a way to knock Ukip off its perch. Farage's party seems to be thriving and widening its base, and its message on immigration and Europe is more popular than its opponents dare to admit. The Tories seem confused. They want Ukip voters back but seem locked into a strategy of insulting the party to which they have defected in the meantime. At the Conservative party's European election launch on Friday, Cameron said: "I don't need to discredit Ukip - they do a good enough job themselves."

Across the road from Seema another local business owner says he is no longer bothered by what Cameron says. He too is thinking of voting Ukip because he is fed up with all the others. It is the parties that have wielded power, not Ukip, that are discredited. "I have seen Tories and Labour have power and not seen any difference," he says. "They don't do what they say."
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 11th May 2014 17:46
Ukip Pays Eastern Europeans To Distribute Leaflets, Despite Warning They Take British Jobs

Ukip has been accused of hypocrisy and double standards for paying Eastern Europeans to distribute their election leaflets, despite the party's leaflets warning that immigrants from the EU pose a threat to British jobs.

Andrew Spalis, distribution operative at door-to-door distribution firm Fast Leaflet, told the Huffington Post UK that the company has been carrying out work for Ukip and that many of its employees are from Latvia, as well as other parts of Eastern Europe. He said that the firm had "only yesterday" carried out leafleting for the party.

"I've got my phone book full of names and telephone numbers of people who want to make lots of money, and I call them when I need people. Sometimes I take English people, but not very often."

Three Eastern European men, believed to be employees, were seen distributing election leaflets for Ukip in Croydon on Tuesday. Spalis said the firm, which covers Greater London and the Home Counties, had been set up in the last few months, but suggested that his relationship with Ukip has gone on for longer.

Fast Leaflet's managing director Armands Tkacenko later confirmed that it has done work for Ukip, but added: "We employ different people, no matter what race, nationality or political views they have, we treat everyone equally."

Gavin Barwell, Tory MP for Croydon Central, told HuffPost UK: "Ukip's hypocrisy knows no bounds. They say they are against Europeans taking our jobs and then, when they have a chance to offer some British people work delivering their leaflets because they can't find volunteers to do it, they employ European workers. You couldn't make it up!"

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said: "I'm sure the irony will not be lost on those who've been duped by Ukip's misleading rhetoric on EU freedom of movement in recent months.

"Ukip can't deliver leaflets and they certainly can't deliver EU reform, in fact it seems the only thing they can deliver is a fatal blow to our economic recovery by pulling out of Europe altogether."

The revelation is politically embarassing for the party, as it has repeatedly warned against the risks of immigrants taking Britons' jobs.

Labour MP Mike Gapes accused the party of racism after unveiling a poster for their European election campaign which read: "26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose job are they after?" Ukip leader Nigel Farage defended them as a "hard-hitting reflection on reality".

ukip poster jobs

The party's posters also declared that "British workers are hit hard by unlimited foreign labour".

Another Ukip poster used Irish actor Dave O'Rourke to play an unemployed builder, warning that "British workers are hit hard by unlimited foreign labour".

Meanwhile, Farage himself caused controversy when he suggested that no Briton was good enough to work as his personal assistant, a job currently carried out by his German-born wife.

Farage was challenged by the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson, who asked him: "Is your wife taking somebody else's job?"

The Ukip leader replied: "No, because I don't think anyone else would want to be in my house at midnight going through emails and getting me briefed for the next day.

The Huffington Post UK contacted Ukip for comment on the story about their leafleting, but they had not responded at the time of publication.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 19th May 2014 11:07
Three Electoral Commitments
Every Muslim Should Make


By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Like the rest of the country, the UK's Muslim community is gearing up to vote on May 22nd. The political parties have been campaigning in earnest for some time, outlining their policies and stressing their commitments to the nation. During the days preceding polling day, Britain's Muslims should be asking themselves what commitments they have made when it comes to casting their votes.

Here follows a summary of a speech delivered by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh, containing valuable advice for the Muslim voter.


The Secret of Success

Allāh ta'ālā has placed the desire for progress, and the spirit of mutual competitiveness that accompanies it, into the very nature of man. It is natural for individuals and communities to strive to better themselves and achieve progress. As Muslims, we should open the pages of history and discover and adopt those factors which make a nation prosperous, as long as they fall within the bounds of the Sharī'ah, so that we too can reap the Dīnī and worldly benefits of progress.

Our study should commence with trying to ascertain the secret behind the success of the noble Sahābah radhiyallāhu 'anhum, for they are ideal role models of a community that attracted success in its every endeavour. A thoughtful investigation will reveal three prominent qualities which can be attributed to their success. In this election season, every Muslim, no matter what his/her preferred party, should commit him/herself to observing these three principles in order to secure success and achievement, both on a personal and a communal level.

The First Commitment - Taqwā

The Sahābah radhiyallāhu 'anhum hated all disobedience to Allāh ta'ālā, they neither had a habit of sinning nor were they fond of any sins. Abstention from sins is the essence of taqwā, and through it Allāh ta'ālā has promised relief from every difficulty.

In dealing with the election issue, we must not say or do anything that displeases Allāh ta'ālā. Of all the sins to beware of, backbiting and slander are major sins which are a particular threat at such times. One inclined towards a particular party should not backbite or slander a supporter of another party, for in doing so the requirements of taqwā will be compromised; and Divine assistance and blessings can not be expected in the absence of taqwā.

The Second Commitment - Ikhlās

Every decision taken by the Sahābah radhiyallāhu 'anhum was for the Pleasure of Allāh ta'ālā, keeping in mind the life hereafter and the good of the community. They would be ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of Allāh ta'ālā. Whether standing for election, supporting a party or voting, a Muslim must be pure in his intentions. This intention should be to elect the candidate who will best serve the Muslim community in common and humanity in general. If a Muslim has sincerity then his vote will go to the right candidate, for he will consider that he is voting to please Allāh ta'ālā and therefore he will expend his energies in finding out who the best candidate is.

The Third Commitment - Unity

Unity is a key factor for the success of any nation; a truly united community can withstand any competition. Individuals should have the courtesy of mutual respect despite their political rivalries. Sadly, the Muslim community is a divided one. Every individual has the right to his own opinion and his own preference, within Shar'ī boundaries, but our mutual differences transform into malice and enmity towards each other. Not even our masājid are free from our feuding. We can only hang our heads in shame when matters reach ahead and TV and press reports announce that political wrangling amongst Muslims has spilled over into fights outside a masjid after Friday prayers.

We go to the extremes; if we like something in a particular person, we praise him to the extreme, whereas if we disagree with someone on one issue, we become blind to all the good qualities he possesses. Our dealings are but a faint shadow of the Islāmic concept of brotherhood our beloved Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam taught. True brotherhood demands that whatever our political stripe, we should be able to sit at a table and sacrifice our political allegiances for the sake of Allāh ta'ālā and agree to support the candidate who is best for the Muslims in common and the country in general. We should be willing to marginalize our differences in order to progress in a common direction.

In fact, if the Muslims of a particular constituency were to unite on a single platform and form a committee, responsible for recommending the best candidate to Muslim voters, every party would turn to the committee and seriously consider its demands on behalf of the Muslim community. They would realise the importance of securing the Muslim vote. All that is needed to achieve unity is a little sacrifice and the willingness to swallow one's pride. May Allāh ta'ālā grant us all the longing to strive for taqwā, ikhlās and unity. Āmīn.

Using Your Vote

The vote is very important. It is a means of electing the person most beneficial for the community and our country.

Voting is a big responsibility. Not voting or voting incorrectly will bring power to the wrong person.

The best candidate deserves our vote.

We should become politically aware.

We should read every party's manifesto.

We should study party policies via the internet, radio, newspapers and knowledgeable people in our communities, who possess political acumen.

We should find out which party offers us the best in all spheres of life; education, housing, health, social issues, international policy etc. Deciding on a party by just looking at one issue does not constitute farsightedness.

We should think rationally, not make judgements based on emotions.

Finally, we should make du'aa to Allāh ta'ālā, asking Him to enable us to make the right choice and that may He grant success to those who will serve the country and its citizens without any prejudice or wrong.

idauk.org/publications/elections.html
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 19th May 2014 16:04
Taalibah wrote:
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Mashallah maualana saleem saab has given good guidelines. It would also be good if some of the ulema actually tackled the issue of islam and democracy and how islam generally is not compatiable with this concept though mentioning the lesser of two evils, concept of shura, importance of politics etc. The problem is that many people do not understand these finer points. For many the party is the most important thing. Many compromise Islamic principles, whilst many actually believe democracy is compatiable with Islam. Such concepts need to be redressed.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 19th May 2014 16:25
It is very important, I remember few years back bnp got majority votes in a highly muslim populated town down north, because majority of people just didn't turn up to vote.

It was definitely a wake up call!
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