Walaa’s Weekly Wrap-Up ~ April 19th, 2014 ~ Easter Special!

Posted 19 Apr 2014 by Walaa Idris

I was surprised at the number of people who call themselves liberal and believe in personal freedom yet went out of their way to mock and criticise David Cameron because he said he is a religious man!

It’s Easter week, a fitting time for a Prime Minster to admit that he does God and finds solace and comfort in his religion. It was therefore a good and appropriate time for David Cameron to share with the public that it was his religion that helped him get through the darkest moments of his life.

I am also a believer, not of the Christian faith but a Muslim, an Abrahamic and therefore united to both Christianity and Judaism by a commonality. My belief in God, is also what helped me though my darkest hours and continues to help and guide me daily.

Now I understand those who think God is a crutch or mystical thing believers cling to, and find it difficult to understand those of us who have a religious belief. But what I don’t understand is the force and venom they employ to attack us with. As if they are threatened by our faith, when most of us regard our faith as a personal matter never intended to be imposed on others.

During his premiership Tony Blair announced that he doesn’t do God. Only to later find out that he privately did do God and it was a political manoeuvre to publicly denounce his faith. So he lied. He lied about his belief, and where I come from that is a sin.

For Muslims, part of believing is openness about our belief and pride in it, I am sure other religions are the same.

Hiding your creed and who you are went out with the dark ages, just as chastening people for personal freedoms is frowned upon in the twenty first century.

Yet still Cameron’s admission flushed out “not so liberal” lefties who are happy for British Muslims to register their estate, in Britain, under Sharia law. Tasked themselves with neutralising Christmas and removing the word Christ from every communication to not offend other religions. But are not at all happy for their Prime Minster to be truthful about his own religious believes!

In other words, they rather Cameron do a Blair than do God!

I find that truly shocking and disappointing at the same time. Religion and faith is a good thing and as matters of personal freedom and choice they should be encouraged and respected.

Happy Easter to one and all.

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Walaa’s Weekly Wrap-Up ~ April 12th, 2014

Posted 12 Apr 2014 by Walaa Idris

A full week packed with varied events. It started with Maria Miller’s resignation and ended with the Conservatives only 1 point behind Labour in the polls.

Maria Miller resigning after fighting to clear her name and keep her job, despite what some might think, was a selfless act.

She was pushed out by public opinion which we all know is shaped by media. Read my take on her resignation HERE

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Remind me again what it I said about the media earlier? After Miller’s resignation David Cameron appointed Sajid Javid to the post of Culture, Media and Sports Secretary. Javid who happened to be Asian and from a working class background, is also a brilliant mind and excelled in banking making himself a tidy fortune before becoming an MP.

But it seems our media and political commentators are solely excited by his background and skin colour!

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The Oscar Pistorius trail is televised on Sky. If the intention of airing it was to help viewers decide or even understand what happened, it failed. Granted I’m not diligently following the case, but from what I’ve seen it gets more confusing each day. I am less sure now of his guilt or innocence than I was when I first heard the news of the shooting last year.

Nothing adds up, nothing proves he is guilty and nothing shows he is innocent – the whole thing does not make any sense!!!

But that’s my opinion.

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This best news and the most important news to everyone in the UK, including the two Eds (Miliband and Balls) is the IMF saying the UK is the fasted growing economy in the G7.

It speaks for itself. It proves that austerity works and this government is on the right track. It says Osborne and Cameron are the winning team and stay away from Labour and the two Eds.

The news also closed the polls between Labour and the Conservatives and between UKIP and the LibDems.

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And on this happy note, I would like to leave you with this clip that had me laughing for two days. This little boy is a brilliant, brilliant negotiator and I expect him to go very far in life.

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My take on the Maria Miller resignation

Posted 9 Apr 2014 by Walaa Idris

After weeks of misinformation and a disastrous management of the situation, the Culture Secretary Maria Miller resigned from cabinet this morning. And she was right to step down, because she became a distraction and a bad news pinup poster.

So what have we learnt from this whole mess?

The first lesson we learnt is that public opinion, even when built on wrong information, can be very, very destructive. What happened to Mrs Miller is a perfect example. Because, even after being cleared of any wrong doing by the “appropriate approved parliamentary authorities” and ordered to do two things – pay back about £6000 and apologise – which she did. Some people [members of the public, fellow MPs and the media] felt – ONE she didn’t pay enough – and TWO her apology wasn’t sufficiently “long” and didn’t sound adequately sincere!!

Both bizarre claims to say the least, but this is the world we live in today. Public figures are public puppets it seems. Maria Miller did not go because she did wrong. She went because she did not show the satisfactory amount of remorse expected from her by the public and approved by the media.

Secondly, we learnt that political office is a dangerous and a very lonely place to be in. If you intend to inhabit it, my advice is, always watch your back. Make and nurture friends on the way up because you will need them on the way down, then cross your fingers and hope if you fall they’ll be there to catch you.

Third, as someone once said, resign before you become the only story.

In all of this what I find hilarious is media types on radio, TV and the press feeling indignant about claims that Miller was pushed out by a media witch-hunt!

Well, form were I’m standing the media did not kill or attempted to kill the story. It kept it alive and pushed it into every news bulletin and daily printed headline. It’s not as if there is a news vacuum and Miller filled it, but her stubbornness made them look good. What about Hillsborough victims’ families in court, or the UK becoming the fastest growing economy in the G7 or the outbreak and spread of Ebola from Central to West Africa…., all important news that could have benefited from more coverage but didn’t!

Then we have public opinion. Tell me something, who shapes that? Who puts out the information for the public to chew on? Who literally dictates what is “perceived right or wrong” via continues commentary, debate and news headline? Could it be the media?

I do not know Maria Miller personally nor have I never met her in my life, but I feel the lines between what’s wrong and what is perceived to be wrong are too blurred these days. And that is dangerous, dangerous because it brings out the worst in us as human beings and because it is unjust. That injustice is bad for politics and the country.

At the end of the day, whether Maria Miller was pushed or went on her own accord, she resigned wrongly, and unfairly, because all she did wrong was rub some people the wrong way and appear proud when she should have looked humble.

Sadly, the Maria Miller case says more about us than her.

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Walaa’s Weekly Wrap-Up ~ April 5th, 2014

Posted 5 Apr 2014 by Walaa Idris

I haven’t breathed through my nose since the Sahara dust landed in the UK. My head is heavy, my eyes are runny, my skin is all itchy and I sound like Barry White. In other words I feel miserable

I am suffering and they don’t make antihistamine strong enough to sort this Sahara sand infused hayfever.

Ahhh! It felt good getting it all off my chest!

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Was the second EU debate weird or is that just me? I don’t know about you all, but it felt a little more aggressive than it needed to be. It was also a tad repetitive and lots less informative than the LBC’s debate.

It was somewhat macho and combative, not that I mind some testosterone in Punch & Judy politics. I just thought and to some extent hoped Nick & Nigel were going to explain to us why they each believe what they believe. But instead all I heard was two grown men shouting at each other and a presenter desperate to shine and be the centre of attention.

The whole thing felt too over rehearsed and lacked charisma plus it left me exactly where I was before.

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Putting kids in school at the age of two, even if the parents were absolutely useless is bonkers.

It’s too much state interference and a very, very bad idea.

As part of my degree at university I had a couple of semesters on child development. Yet when I became pregnant I bought parenting books to prepare me, talked to other parents, my aunties and my mother. By the time my baby was born I had a pretty good idea what to do with her. Plus it’s true what they say about instinct kicking in; it does the minute that baby is born.

From day one, children need stimulation and interaction with others. But going to a regimented school for long hours at the age of two is not, and should be discouraged.

However, giving young unprepared parents particularly mothers parenting classes is a welcome idea. We offer new mothers to be birthing classes so why not add to that parenting sessions? God knows some do need them.

But what babies need is to be with their mothers especially in the early stages of their development. That’s the best place for them not at a school with a couple of strangers struggling to manage a class of babies.

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When I first saw the new M&S ad, I thought to myself “how odd”. How can my beloved Marks & Sparks go from Twiggy to Annie Lennox? One is warm, welcoming and a fashion icon when the other is not.

Would anyone believes Rita Ora shops for her cloth in M&S, and would M&S stock the kind of cloth Rita Ora wears? Plus how is Doreen Lawrence a fashion icon? In the 20 years she has been in the public eye, I never once saw her wearing something I wanted to copy. She never once struck me as a woman who cared about anything but bringing to justice those who took away the bright life of her brilliant son. So why muddy all that with an awkward fashion shoot?

The women Marks and Spencer used in this year’s ad are fabulous in their fields and passionate about their campaigns, that makes them highly respected public figures but it does not make them fashion icons.

It would have been much better to instead use ordinary women with ordinary backgrounds of real-life stories that touch the heart.

M&S is a British institution build on true British values and believes, they made many fabulous ad campaigns in the past but they got this one wrong.

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Walaa’s Weekly Wrap-Up ~ March 29th, 2014 ~LBC EU Debate Special

Posted 29 Mar 2014 by Walaa Idris

When it comes to our relationship with the EU and Europe, I like to think I am a pragmatic Eurosceptic. Pragmatic in that I understand and appreciate the importance of working and cooperating with Europe but believe our alliance is and should be a two way street. It should enhance and enrich us not strip our nation’s sovereignty and dilute its autonomy.

That is why I agree with David Cameron and to some extend Nick Clegg and ever so slightly with Nigel Farage.

I agree with Cameron in that Britain needs to renegotiate some of our existing agreements and have a referendum before any future agreements or rights are relinquished and signed away. Have the same opinion as Clegg, in that our trade agreements are important but where I differ from him is in accepting the status quo and being scared to take any risk improving what we currently have. I also see where Farage is coming from; we are most definitely the EU’s largest customer. But where I disagree with him is in the thinking that because we are a strong customer we should walk away and go it alone just because we can.

Yes the customer is king and yes the customer is always right. And that’s exactly where our strength lies, and we should use it to renegotiate better existing and future deals, we must use it to take back more powers.

Why walk away from a powerful trading, fighting, and negotiating block when you can lead and influence it to your advantage? Why walk away when you hold most the cards?

Post the recent economic downturn, members of the European Union are very aware of their weaknesses and shortcomings. They also recognise Britain is a strong partner that knows how to fix bad economies and nurse them back to good health. That is a plus, a barging power and a favourable position to be in. And even if we ignore it, we cannot ignore our geography, history and lifelong links with the region.

Ukip’s stance of just leave the EU and sort out your own trade agreements manage your own shop and lead a happy British existence with no one telling, asking or remarking about anything you do, is short-sighted and not terribly practical.

Britain has invested a lot in the EU and unlike the Germans and the French with our seat on the table we still have our own currency. Following recent events plus this week’s debate, our feelings about the existing state of affairs are no longer a secret.

That too is an advantage and a good bargaining position to be in.

For the past few weeks I was looking forward to the LBC EU debate. Because I was hoping to learn more about either why we should absolutely stay as is, or most definitely pack up and leave. An hour of debating and three days of analysing later and I haven’t learnt anything new – and still feel the same about our relationship and position in the EU.

I also realised, after remarks form the Continent, that we are the envy of many in the union. The fact that we still have the Pound Sterling, and are able to contemplate leaving the union, is a freedom many at the moment don’t enjoy.

Decades ago when we joined, we joined a trading pack. Today’s EU is more of political amalgamation and in its current state is not what Britain wants or needs and here is where the negotiations should start and end. We need our relationship with the EU to move more towards a trading cooperating union and away from a political dictator.

We might be a small island but we are a mighty nation, a proud and sovereign Britain.

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Walaa’s Weekly Wrap-Up ~ March 21, 2014

Posted 21 Mar 2014 by Walaa Idris

This weekend I am travelling so decided to wrap up the week a day earlier. Hope you don’t mind.

Sadly, there are still a lot of speculations about what might have happened to the Malaysian plane. With each day a new theory emerges and none of them give comfort to the families of the passengers and crow of the vanished plane.

As conspiracy theories go I have my own too. I think somewhere between Indonesia, Vietnam, North Korea, China and India someone knows exactly what happened to flight MH370, but they don’t dare say it in case they are asked how they know what they know!

You see in a world where ‘Knowledge is Power’ not all information is gathered in a kosher manner. Not all governments trust each other and many have their own secret ways of sourcing and capturing information. Plus they all spy on each other. That makes it very difficult for some to admit what they know. Especially when that admission might come at the cost of explaining to the world how they came about it.

Unfortunately to the passengers, crow and their families that cost might mean never publicly knowing what really happened to flight MH370!

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The Ukraine has lost Crimea and the west is still figuring out what to do. While western leaders gather and pass sanctions on Russia and Russian businesses. Many are asking ‘how is it anybody’s business but Russia and the Ukraine?’

And even if the west makes it their business, no one will resolve this matter but the two nations in the middle of the dispute.

‘Crisis’ such as this makes me wonder when are western leaders going to learn that not every problem is theirs to solve and not every boarder is theirs to guard. Other nations need to fight, lose, win or draw to grow and develop too.

Maybe it’s time to let them.

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George Osborne has delivered his best budget to date and Labour hates every word of it. They hate it so much that two days on and they still haven’t responded to it.

I am not going to say anything more about Labour because their leader has said it all by not responding to the budget and going on a temper tantrum instead.

There is no doubt this was a good and encouraging budget. A fair one that had something for everyone; for businesses, for youth, for pensioners, hardworking families and for savers. This was a budget for all.

For me, the best thing about the 2014 budget is the feeling it left people in. The sense that Britain is on the mend and is healing. That Britain is finally coming out of years of mismanagement and decline.

This was the best thing about Wednesday’s budget; the feeling that our country is growing albeit slowly but is steadily moving on the right direction.

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Walaa’s Weekly Wrap-Up ~ March 14th, 2014 ~A Conservatives Special

Posted 15 Mar 2014 by Walaa Idris

Open letter to all members of the Conservative party!

Dear friends,

We are a broad church and an inclusive party. That’s what makes us strong and diverse. It’s also what gives us our unique ability to empathise with everyone and allows us to appreciate complex situations where other parties dogmatically fail to comprehend simple differences. It is what makes us vehemently disagree with people like the late Bob Crow yet respectfully acknowledge his positives to eulogise him after his shocking death.

It is what allows us to see the good in every person and an opportunity in every challenge.

Unlike the left we never, in anger and hate celebrate anyone’s death no matter what they did personally to us or collectively to our nation.

We are decent Brits, who see the good, appreciate individuality and respect differences. We are the Conservative Party.

We are always proud of our values, and unafraid to speak our mind in any and every occasion, even if it means speaking against one another. We are feverous in our love to our country and patriotic to a fault. As a family, internally speaking against one another is healthy and can be constructive. But to the outside, as a governing party, it is distracting and can be destructive.

I sometimes feel some members, especially those who are elected members (people whom the media listens to and quotes, and those who have a responsibility to lead by example) still don’t understand that we are in a coalition and as a party have not ‘fully’ gained power since 1992. I also feel they (this particular group) don’t appreciate that getting elected is like a muscle if you don’t train and use it enough it can grow weak and loses its full strength – and we need a Conservative victory.

Let’s face it; up to 2010 we were in the middle of a dry winning spree. We broke that spell with winning more votes and seats but not enough to go it alone. That was a positive because with some compromises (the cost of not winning enough and needing to govern in a partnership) we managed to implement a great deal of our promises.

The reforms we introduced in welfare, education, the NHS and the work George Osborne did in fixing the economy and improving its outlook should give us the support and confidence we need to win outright in 2015. It should be the foundation and catalyst that helps us return a Conservative government.

But instead of working towards that and uniting behind it, instead of pointing out the good we achieved such as better pensions, a stronger economy, 2 million out of paying income tax altogether, higher income tax (45%) for high earners, lower unemployment, lower youth joblessness and all the wonderful work our party has achieved in coalition under the leadership of David Cameron…

It seems, some are busy daily generating negative and divisive headlines, because they don’t like one policy or one person or the way that person is doing things. These individuals are acting as if they don’t know how democracy works!

Daily, whether directly or indirectly these individuals are allowing our enemies to chip at our unity and show us in a negative light to the nation and the electorate. And to think, not that long ago, we saw what this type of propaganda can do and actually did to Gordon Brown!

That is why we need to quit our bickering and quit it now.

The backbiting, private ‘form insiders’ anti Conservatives briefings needs to stop because it will ONLY hurt us and our chances in next year’s election.

We need to ‘temporarily’ forget about the members we lost and who we lost them to. Put aside our differences and focus on motivating and keeping the members we currently have, attracting new and old members back and promote our successes and achievements in this government. We need be positive, speak only positives, contentiously talk about our achievements and put all our energies in winning the next general election outright and returning David Cameron as the Prime Minster in 2015.

Thank you

Sincerely yours

Walaa Idris

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Sarah Palin's ingenious take on Dr Seuss

Posted 11 Mar 2014 by Walaa Idris

Absolute Brilliance!

I laughed so hard my sides still hurt.

Just Brilliant!

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Walaa’s Weekly Wrap-Up ~ March 8th, 2014 ~ A Met Police Special

Posted 8 Mar 2014 by Walaa Idris

The working week was very eventful both nationally and internationally. However locally and for a Londoner like me, only one event stood out and dominated the past few days. The latest report on the Steven Lawrence murder investigation and the events that surrounded it, are most important.

The report finding that an undercover officer ‘might’ have been spying on the Lawrence family is shocking. Especially after recent negative headlines such as the Duggan shooting and Plebgate.

The police are our protectors and our safety guardians. Not to be able to fully trust them and feel 100% safe around them defeats their purpose and their existence.

That is why accusing any member of the force with corruption is a serious matter that should be closely scrutinised and swiftly dealt with.

When I learnt the Home Secretary, Theresa May, immediately ordered a judge led enquiry, my initial reaction was dismayed shock. As a police sympathizer, I felt a sense of betrayal from the person who is supposed to know them the best. Because since the late 90s in one way or another I worked or had close dealings with members of the Metropolitan Police, so do feel as if I know them well.

However, a day later, after listening to and reading all the remarks from all sides, I felt differently, and realised that May’s announcement was the fastest best way to kill any further speculation. Because a judge led enquiry will take the matter and the pressure from the Met while at the same time get to the bottom of the problem.

It was also a shrewd political move – we all know Labour loves enquires and would have sooner or later called for one.

Plus, hopefully this enquiry will put an end to 21 years of not knowing the full truth. It will also give the Lawrence family the answers they crave and deserve, thus allowing them to have some kind of closure. But most of all allows Steven Lawrence to rest in peace and make his memory about more than negative news headlines. The Lawrence family have suffered enough and suffered it publicly for a very long time; it’s time they find peace.

Finding the truth also means those who did wrong will be properly punished for their crimes.

Like all organisations, whether banking, teaching, nursing, politics or journalism, the police have some bad apples and they need to be appropriately dealt with. That in itself, having some bad apples, is not a big deal, but because of whom the police are it’s always shocking to learn about possible corruption in the force.

Nonetheless, what we all must remember is that the police and especially the Metropolitan Police do a great and honourable job day in and day out. With the exception of maybe a tiny number, all police are brave, selfless men and women who do a brilliant job in protecting us and keeping our great city safe.

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For some the word ‘Islam’ and all its derivatives are enough to cause hysteria.

Posted 4 Mar 2014 by Walaa Idris

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson commenting that “radicalised Muslim children should be put in care” is the same as anyone saying “abused children should be put in care”. The only difference between the two statements is the word ‘Islam’.

If we take the word ‘Islam or Muslim’ out of the equation, then radicalising and turning children into a walking killing machines is wrong, inhuman and illegal.

And here no one will disagree that it merits those children being removed from that environment and put into care.

I will go further than Mayor Johnson and charge the parents with child abuse and neglect – then deport those who aren’t British and strip the ones who are naturalised from their British citizenship.

Radicalising and turning British youngsters into fundamentalists killers should come at a very high cost to those involved either via training, harbouring or just even knowing and suspecting yet do nothing about it. In this day and age all acts of home-grown terrorism should be treated as treason and punished accordingly.

Because the job of government is to protect its people from all threats both foreign and domestic.

For far too long Britain was a soft touch and weak against the backdrop of human rights, personal liberty and freedom of expression, and it is high time for all of that to change.

If the security people and counter terror experts think, to keep us safe, radicalised children need to be put in care then they should and must be removed into care. Which then means Boris Johnson is right, and in the words of my daughter Tasneem, “We need to fix up”. We need to stop being too sensitive, we need to stop constantly tip toeing around issues of fear that we might offend.

Because offending doesn’t cost lives and destroy families but terrorism does.

As for those who ask why single out Muslims extremists and not the BNP or the EDL? As a Muslim myself, I say to them extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam killed in 7/7, 9/11 and last year butchered Lee Rigby in Woolwich. None of the others mass killed or butchered a British solider in a London street then publicly and jubilantly celebrated it!

That’s why the focus in this particular instance is on Islamic radical fundamentalism, and we do need to ‘fix up’.

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