English Islamophobes threaten acid attacks

Young London Muslim woman Resham Khan in hospital following a racist acid attack on 21 June 2017

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Sick Acid Attack Threats Sent to Muslims

Thursday 31st August 2017

Police increase patrols in Bradford after violent letters posted to homes

POLICE have increased street patrols in Bradford after leaflets containing threats of acid attacks were sent to Muslim homes.

The leaflets were posted through letterboxes in the predominantly Muslim area of Hanover Square where two attacks were reported last week.

One of the letters features an image of a sword over the English flag and reads: “Kill Muslim scum”.

It goes on to spew hateful and threatening comments including that women wear burkas because they are “ugly” and accuses men of grooming white girls in the area.

“We are now going to do acid attacks on anyone who wears the funny black masks around your square and Bradford and other places,” it reads.

“In your square there are three of ur [sic] male pigs who are grooming four white girls.

“We know who the three male pigs are. They are walking dead pigs.”

The letters were sent ahead of an English Defence League (EDL) march which was planned for this Saturday — the same day as the Islamic festival of Eid. West Yorkshire police confirmed yesterday that the event has now been cancelled but an EDL demo in nearby Keighley will still take place on the same day.

Anti-racism campaign group JUST Yorkshire’s chairman Nadeem Murtuja said there was a “correlation” between the leaflets and racist opinions expressed in the Sun newspaper by columnists Sarah Champion and Trevor Kavanagh.

He said: “We wrote at the time that such incendiary comments from prominent politicians, including perceived champions fighting against abuse, could inflame tensions, and though I accept that this material cannot be directly attributed to those columns, the themes between what is written in this racist material and those columns seem to show a correlation.”

Ms Champion was forced to resign from the Labour front bench earlier this month after she wrote that “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls,” in the right-wing rag.

The JUST Yorkshire chairman also raised concerns that some Muslims are removing visible signs of their faith such as beards and headscarves to avoid abuse, pointing out that this “takes away the very freedoms that form the cornerstone of British values.”

The recent threats come after reports that Islamophobic incidents increased by 500 per cent following the Manchester Arena bombing.

West Yorkshire police said they are taking the threats “extremely seriously” and have launched a hate crime investigation into the incident.

After Grenfell Tower, more British fire disasters?

Tudor Court in Bradford, England

By Liz Smith in England:

Residents in Bradford, England: “We are all affected by what has happened at Grenfell

22 July 2017

Bradford Council announced last Friday that a sample of external cladding taken from Landmark House, a seven-storey building in the northern city of Bradford, failed government fire safety tests.

The city centre building contains 91 apartments. A number of commercial units have also had cladding removed.

Landmark House is not being evacuated, but hourly patrols have been put in place—not by qualified fire officers, according to the West Yorkshire Fire Service, but “appropriately trained” security officers.

The leader of the Labour-run council, Susan Hinchcliffe, said, “We have been advised that there is no need to immediately evacuate the premises. … the Department for Communities and Local Government confirm that we are acting in accordance with their guidance and they are satisfied with the action being taken.”

One resident told the local Telegraph & Argus, “I noticed when they took the piece of cladding off, it was just like cardboard or brown wrapping paper, that’s all that was behind it. It’s taken a disaster for something like this to be done.”

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site spoke to John, who has lived there since 2003. He said that many residents in Landmark House were Asian or eastern European and any information letters produced for the tenants should be in their own language. He noted that in Grenfell Tower 46 victims had been found in one room. They were all one nationality and he guessed they had congregated together for mutual support. John said that there should have been notices in the various languages spoken in the block so everyone was aware of what they needed to do in a fire.

Reporters also spoke to workers who lived in the high-rise flats situated at the bottom of Manchester Road. Built in the late 1960s as part of a massive expansion of social housing to replace slums, the flats were initially coveted as the place to live. Following the oil crisis in 1973 and the subsequent hike in electricity prices, workers who lived there faced considerable debt. Many had no choice but to stop using the under-floor heating systems installed, which then caused widespread damp.

Things have worsened ever since. In 2003, as part of the privatisation moves of the Blair Labour government, all council-owned housing was transferred to Incommunities, an arms-length social housing company which owns and is responsible for tower blocks such as Douglas and Evans Towers, 15-storeys high, and the Courts, which are all 12 storeys.

John, who lives in Windsor Court, said, “What really irks me about what has happened at Grenfell is you have the Archbishop of Canterbury commenting on it. But where was he before? Has he walked around there? Has he heck! Putting people back into flats that have just had such a traumatic experience. They would have been better off asking me to sort it out!”

John explained, “Recently we had a lot of problems with kids setting off alarms, smoking in stairwells, etc. So what Incommunities did was to take out the fire alarms from the apartments, in the kitchen or near the kitchen, because it was costing them too much money for callouts. Instead of tackling the actual issue of the children or the people setting them off, or educating people, they decided to take them away instead because it’s cheaper. But my rent has not gone down.

“I work and it’s very high rents round here. It’s social housing, but it is £105 a week. They have been trying to get me out. I have been in and out of work. I had four jobs in one year. I need two bedrooms because I have my children on a weekend.

“I don’t have to pay bedroom tax now [a penalty on claimants in an “under-occupied” council home] because I am working. But when I am not working I do, and I then have no money to feed the children on a weekend. They did it to satisfy the middle class, who don’t understand.

“This is not a bad place to live. I just wish people would stop driving past thinking we are all scum. I know lots of people in there that help people out. The working class club together more. They look after each other.”

David, who lives in Evans Towers, described the dangers of living in the block:

“If you go on every single landing and look at the fire doors they have all got gaps under them. The fire brigade was parked up the other day—an open day where you could go and speak to them. I told the fireman about the gaps under the fire doors. He told me they should be flush or have rubber sills. The fire door is there to prevent fumes getting out. He asked me if I had reported it. I told him I had, but had been no response yet.

“The wind that comes through the windows blows them open a good inch in winter, when there are high winds. It can take two people to even close the window and if you call them out and it is deemed to be not an emergency they charge you £80.

“The fire engines can only get to the seventh floor. I am at the twelfth floor. And when I get a shower you are lucky if you get a trickle out sometimes.

“We pay for a concierge and for each flat that’s £10.80 a week. The concierge is based in Ravenscliffe (4 miles away). It’s a complete waste of money. If you ring up he says, ‘There is nothing I can do. I am not allowed to leave the office. All I can suggest is that you or I ring the police.’ Part of that £10.80 each flat pays goes to the retirement scheme for Incommunities directors. So because a lot of people are unemployed the taxpayer is paying this. They have flats all over Bradford and elsewhere, all contributing.

“Just think if you are a full-time worker in Bradford paying tax and you knew that part of that money was going to pay Geraldine Howley, chief group executive for Incommunities retirement scheme!”

Some of the smaller blocks near the towers are being demolished. “These are all getting knocked down by Incommunities,” David said. “On the land here they are rebuilding a small estate—multi-bedroomed occupancies with three, four, five, six bedrooms—owned by Incommunities. They know it is going to get funded by the government, because who around here can afford a six-bedroom house?

“People living here are all being moved out. The ones that are still living here are mortgage holders—about two in each block. The people that moved out got paid about £6,000 each and a free move. They kept it at £6,000 because, above that, you have to declare it and you could lose benefits. The taxpayer will be basically paying the rent.

“A few months ago gale force winds blew a lot of the cladding off that was damaged. They have had to replace the cladding, but since the Grenfell fire there has not been a person [living] there and that had been put up has been taken off!”

Socialist Equality Party campaigners spoke to these and many other workers about attending the July 30 public meeting, Grenfell Fire—Social Murder: A crime against the working class. Expressing her support for this appraisal, Jane, a shop worker , said, “We should be protesting outside the town hall as we are all affected by what has happened at Grenfell. It ’s us and them and things have to change.”

Jail Bush and Blair, Galloway says

This video from Britain is called George Galloway’s “Bradford Spring” speech as he wins by-election.

By Roger Bagley in Parliament in London, England:

Galloway: I’m heading army of the alienated

Monday 16 April 2012

A triumphant George Galloway MP arrived at Parliament on Monday and declared himself herald of a great upsurge of discontent over austerity and foreign wars.

“There is an army massing in the north and in the great industrial and post-industrial cities of this country,” warned the victor of last month’s Bradford West by-election.

“It is an army of alienated, disappointed people who feel that this place has let them down.”

Arm-in-arm with his wife Putri Pertiwi, Mr Galloway was flanked by key workers from his Respect party who helped him achieve a stunning 56 per cent of the vote.

In a surprise move, one of Mr Galloway’s formal sponsors for his Commons swearing-in ceremony was Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour MP for the neighbouring constituency of Bradford South.

The other sponsor was Conservative veteran and father of the house Sir Peter Tapsell, who was praised by Mr Galloway for his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Galloway announced his intention to raise the Afghan war at the earliest opportunity in the Commons this week.

He warned that the military situation was “disastrous” and “frankly like the Vietnam war in 1968.”

And he pledged to “break up the consensus” embraced by all three major parties on wars abroad and austerity at home.

Mr Galloway previously served as Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and Labour MP for two Glasgow constituencies before he was expelled from the party.

“Churchill I believe was the only other person who won six elections in two countries in four different constituencies,” he quipped.

He also noted that since his election victory the Bradford Bulls rugby league team had won four consecutive victories.

And he announced that he would be at a local football match on Saturday to cheer on Bradford City against Macclesfield Town.

Mr Galloway denounced the suspension from Labour of Lord Ahmed of Rotherham after reported demands for legal action against US President Barack Obama and former president George W Bush.

“The suspension of Lord Ahmed indicates that new Labour is on some kind of suicide mission as far as Muslim voters are concerned,” he said.

“Bush and Tony Blair should be on trial and they should be locked up for the rest of their natural lives in the same cell.”

George Galloway’s Respect Party has claimed a major scalp in Bradford by ousting the leader of the council. Labour’s Ian Greenwood lost his Little Horton seat, after three re-counts, to Respect’s Alyas Karmani: here.

Last Friday evening a British MP suffered a vicious assault on a London street. George Galloway, a 61-year-old, six-times-elected politician was beaten up for three minutes by a brutal and determined assailant in broad daylight, and was admitted to hospital as a result: here.

British anti-war politician Galloway wins by-election

This video from England is called George Galloway debates Imran Hussain in Bradford.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

A stunning and political win

Friday 30 March 2012

George Galloway‘s stunning by-election victory in Bradford West, with a massive 55.9 per cent of the poll, is unprecedented in its magnitude.

For a representative of one of the three main parliamentary parties to poll over 50 per cent is unusual.

For someone outside the mainstream to haul in so many votes is unique.

Galloway’s success has met the usual tidal wave of trivialisation by the media and spokespeople for the parties whose candidates he trounced.

Voices that ascribed his defeat in the 2010 general election to an appearance in a red catsuit on Big Brother suggest now that voter recognition based on that TV show made him a shoo-in in Bradford.

Politicians pass off the Bradford by-election as a “one-off.” Every by-election is a one-off, but none has ever delivered such a tsunami of popular discontent.

Much has been made of Galloway’s supposed use of the “race card” or the propensity for Muslim voters to back him.

But how can a “blue-eyed white man,” as he describes himself, play the race card against his principal opponent who is of Pakistani Kashmiri origin, the grandson of Azad Kashmiri Assembly former deputy speaker Chaudhry Azam Pothi and nephew of Pakistani People’s Party president Mirpur Zulfikar Azam?

An ethnic breakdown of Bradford West shows 38 per cent of voters as of Pakistani Muslim background, so even if every single person matching this description ticked Galloway – which clearly they didn’t – he piled up another 18 percentage points plus from elsewhere.

What neither the Establishment media nor the Westminster villagers can admit is that the working-class electorate of this constituency, from whatever ethnic or religious background, voted politically.

They voted in four successive general elections for Marsha Singh, from a Punjabi Sikh background, who distinguished himself as part of the principled minority of Labour MPs to campaign and vote against Tony Blair‘s illegal invasion of Iraq.

Far from Galloway’s campaign playing identity cards, it was his Labour opponent’s team that was reduced, once earlier complacency was punctured on the doorstep, to raising such matters in a desperate scrabble for votes.

Labour hopeful Imran Hussain was not best served by the cards dealt by his party minders, who ensured that he was on message in backing the military “mission” in Afghanistan and prevented him from speaking at hustings, confirming their lack of confidence in his ability.

New Labour control-freakery remains self-evidently alive and unwell in the party apparatus.

Ed Miliband declared his determination “that we learn the lessons of what happened,” although his subsequent comments about local factors, being rooted in every community and showing that “Labour politics can make a difference to people’s lives” show no awareness of the scale of political alienation.

It isn’t just the plethora of foreign wars from Iraq to Afghanistan, with Syria and Iran on the wish list, that turns off traditional Labour voters.

The curse of New Labour lives on in support for the cuts agenda in response to capitalism’s crisis and indifference to working-class calls for a new direction.

Labour may comfort itself with current opinion polls, but they have arisen through coalition own-goals not enthusiastic support for Labour policies.

Bradford West should serve as a warning of further one-offs in the future if Labour fails to heed the clamour for change from a bankers’ agenda to a people’s agenda.

From Lenin’s Tomb blog in Britain:

I won’t pretend. I never believed for a second that George Galloway would win the Bradford West bye-election for the Respect Party, much less that he would win with more than 50% of the vote and a majority of more than 10,000 votes, that the coalition vote would simultaneously collapse (the Liberals lost their deposit) and that all this would happen on a turnout of over 50% (very high for a bye-election).

See also here.

THE workers and youth of Bradford West have dealt a body blow at the Labour Party reformist leadership by unprecedently throwing out their Labour MP in a by-election, at a time when anti-Tory government feelings are at an all time high, and electing Respect Party candidate George Galloway: here. See also here.

The Labour Party is in a state of near collapse in Glasgow. The party is considered to be facing defeat by the Scottish National Party (SNP) in local elections on May 3. Across Scotland, the SNP regularly outpolls Labour in opinion polls and currently controls the Scottish government with more than double Labour’s tally of seats in the Scottish parliament. Were Labour to lose its position in the palatial City Chambers, it would be a shattering blow for the party in its traditional heartland in the central belt of Scotland’s former industrial areas: here.

NATO’s New Battlefield: Pakistan: here.