My Interview with Media Diversified

Posted 25 Mar 2015 by Walaa Idris

Here’s the link to the interview The link to the intervirw

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Conservatives respect women

Posted 12 Feb 2015 by Walaa Idris

So don’t look out for a ‘Vote Conservative’ woman to woman bus of any size or colour

Labour’s shocking pink van/mini bus was a very good idea in someone’s head. But in reality it’s patronising, self-serving and a very, very bad idea. Not because I disagree with most of what the Labour Party does and say. It is a bad idea because it insults women’s intelligence, belittles and pigeonhole’s them into a stereotype, and then back-slaps them into the dark ages.

It’s a terrible idea because it represents everything women everywhere worked hard to not be labelled as — pink, fluffy and can’t hold their own!

Women in the Twenty First century don’t want to be separated from men, dressed in pink and treated differently. Modern women don’t need a different message coming out of a Barbie bus relayed by women in pant suits who think equality is a quota, a threshold, a number and a target to be reached by a certain date.

Today’s women want equal opportunity, equal pay and don’t need special measures to get either.

Most of us know and understand that we are behind the curb in many fields, but we also understand and pride ourselves by what we have achieved and how far we have come. We don’t want special treatment when what we deserve is equal treatment. We don’t want applause if the result doesn’t warrant it. We know our worth, our value and what we are capable of achieving. It’s there for all to see in hospitals, schools, small and large businesses, in Parliament and on the history books.

In the United Kingdom, women achievements are everywhere for all to see and they don’t need a pink bus to prove it.

This bus is a mockery. It ridicules hardworking women and their abilities and makes light of what they achieved throughout the years. It is nothing but a political ploy to say to the voting public, look at the Labour Party. But is anyone surprised? Not at all, because it is coming from the party that says to women you are not equal to men, you are incapable of going it alone and can never be an individual. We don’t trust you to make it on your own, so we will put you on a ‘Women’s Only Shortlist’ when you apply to become a Member of Parliament, this way you have a better chance of getting selected. And, we will work very hard to introduce the same system in all aspects of life and every profession, just vote us in.

Labour, Harriet Harman and all those who held women back by not trusting and believing in them. Those who thought by dumbing down others’ abilities they were helping need to be ashamed of themselves.

Today women are in Space conquering new frontiers, in Politics leading nations, in the operating theater performing lifesaving surgeries, in academia preparing the best minds for the future, in the battlefield protecting the weak and defending borders.

Women are everywhere and in every field and they mostly got there on merit, hard work and the desire to be the best they can possibly be and did not need a pink van to realise any of it.

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Don’t assume because I respect your freedoms I am not offended.

Posted 14 Jan 2015 by Walaa Idris

Throughout the world today, there are more moderate Muslims than not, and we have a duty to reflect that fact.

What many people are not alluding to, considering or even talking about is how the Prophet Mohamed cartoons’ were actually very offensive to some Muslims. And, just as the cartoonists have the liberty to offend; these Muslims are equally entitled to be offended by those cartoons.

However, offending and being offended does not give anyone, regardless of the extent of that offend, the right to kill and terrorise. Not even in the name of Allah, and that’s what Islam, the religion of peace and forgiveness daily teaches its followers.

I spent all of last week watching in horror as events unfolded in Paris with one question running through my head.“Why does the West want me (a moderate, peaceful and fully integrated Muslim) to say I am not offended by the Prophet Mohamed’s cartoons when I was deeply insulted by them?”

The only explanations I could come up with were, either the West truly have no idea how most Muslims feel about religion, or they want justification at any cost and safety in numbers – the more Muslims say it’s OK then it must be OK.
And for the record, Islam equally respects all Abrahamic religions, and proper Muslims are by the same token offended by any disrespect shown to any of the Holy Prophets – Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Joseph, David….

However, regardless of the insult, it is never okay, nor is it acceptable to terrorise and murder people for having an opinion. Particularly as Islam teaches Muslims to be tolerant of others’ shortcomings, and encourages them to be forbearing with those who misunderstand them.

As a Muslim who voluntarily moved to Britain, I grew to love all things British. Upon my arrival to these shores, I made it my duty to learn, experience and to assimilate myself and my family. I wanted us to fit in, and succeed. My girls, who attended Church of England schools; annually participated in Christmas nativities, Easter events, and at times even sang in the school choir. None of that took away from our values, but gave us first-hand experience into the culture of the society we willingly adopted. That is why it is my profound belief all non-Brits who freely come over, have a duty to themselves and their chosen home to embrace and understand their new environment. Learn the language, absorb the culture and become an asset not the other way round. By so doing, they will enrich themselves and their communities and coexist in harmony.

It is also imperative to remember, the same freedoms that allowed the cartoonists to offend Muslims, allow Muslims to build mosques, worship freely and openly and dress differently. To suppress the freedoms of artists, writers or broadcasters will also quell the freedoms of those who want to practice a different religion or open faith schools. Liberty is a two way street that is why my question lingered for the best part of a week.

Out of respect to those who violently lost their lives in the Paris attacks and their families, I did not write this blog until now, after the Solidarity March and the victims’ burials.

In closing, as a person I detest terrorism particularly that carried out in the name of my religion. This blogpost is dedicated to the Paris Attacks’ victims with my deepest and sincerest condolences to their families and loved ones. I pray for their souls to rest in peace, for tolerance and understanding between our diverse communities, and for learning to accept each other’s differences.

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My Greatest Experiences to date

Posted 28 Dec 2014 by Walaa Idris

Reading Iain Dale’s Greatest Experiences, made me think of my own, with the exception of the first, these experiences are in the order I remembered them not importance. However, unlike Iain I will not talk about when or where I popped my cherry – I am a lady.

1 – My first time in London – I first visited London (my favorite city in the world) with my family as a child during a school summer holidays. I loved daily going to the park, eating different foods and adored soft ice cream cones with flakes. I enjoyed the Zoo, the funfair but most of all I was enchanted by the number of green open spaces. I honestly think it was then that I permanently feel in love with London.

2 – First time in US – Ten or eleven years after my first visit to London. My dad surprised me with a ticket to the States to visit with my cousins. I arrived in Chicago (my second favorite city in the world) and took a connection to Indianapolis, Indiana. Outside the airport I got my first shock, the streets were huge, the cars were long and everybody was very happy and super friendly. We stopped to pick up a few things and I had my second shock that day, I saw my first gallon of milk and of orange juice. Surprise number three came the following day at the movies – popcorn came in a bucket and Coke in half a gallon.

3- The Grand Canyon – as much as I read about it and saw photos of the Grand Canyon nothing prepared me to its majesty, it was breath taking to see the real thing.

4 – Visiting the Pyramids in Egypt and going inside before it was banned – I still can’t get my head around how they were built that long ago.

5- Getting my firearm licence in the US and shooting my first gun – at a gun range. I can hunt, but I enjoy target shooting more. My preferred handgun is a 38 special Smith & Wesson.

6 – Becoming the first female to own a gun and apply for a gun licence in Sudan. That was in 1984 and I still hold that record by the way. However, a year later I was put under house arrest for six weeks; my charge was a woman daring to request a firearm licence.

7 – The Golden Horn is the first social enterprise in Sudan and to date is my proudest achievement. My mother and I went into partnership to realise a vision of creating and running a sustained farm where farmers and workers are partners and where profits were reinvested in improving and expanding the business. We succeeded, and despite, objections and obstacles, our vision of improving the indigenous cow (via artificial insemination) and creating a family friendly work environment, were achieved. Now that vision is the blueprint for many successful farming businesses in Sudan.

8 – Getting married was wonderful; a traditionalist at heart, getting married was number three on my life goals. As a young girl I dreamt of first getting a great education, and then become my own business owner (always wanted to be my own boss) and number three was getting married.

9 – Becoming a mother, was my absolute best experience (I know most parents say that) but being a mother taught me absolute love, patience, listening, and putting someone else before me. Although my family wasn’t wealthy, I never wanted for anything, love, attention, or stuff. So to be selfless was not always second nature. Parenthood taught me instinctively to put my children first.

10- Getting divorced, even though I never thought it would ever happen to me, and most definitely was not a life goal. It nonetheless was a necessary detour on my perfectly planed journey. At times it was sad, confusing and even frightening and I consider myself to be a very independent and strong woman, however, like marriage and parenthood, divorce was full of surprises and valuable life lessons.

11 – Immigrating to the UK, I grow up in a political household. My father was a political figure and after his government was over thrown, life in Sudan became impossible, especially as it became difficult to trust even family members. I left Khartoum seven month pregnant with my youngest, and a toddler plus very little personal possessions. I did for my girls.

12 – Getting my British citizenship nine years after immigrating to the UK. That was and still remains one of my proudest moments. It was in 2000 so there was no funfair, a ceremony or a test. To celebrate my Britishness the following day I went to my local Conservative Association and became a bona fide card carrying Tory – up to then I used to just leaflet and occasionally canvass but not vote in general elections.

13 – Adopting Budweiser Sweetface Idris- Yousif (Buddy). In 2002 after a short holiday with the girls and the longest time in my live (1991 -2002) without a dog, we decided to get a dog and opted to adopt rather than getting a new puppy. Buddy is a Battersea rescue, and for 12 years he gave us lots of joy, cheek, and unconditional love. He passed away on Monday November 10, 2014 at the age of 14/15 (vets could not agree on an age).

14 – Meeting George and Barbra Bush at an official reception in Khartoum when George Bush was Vice President to Roland Reagan.

15 – Meeting King Hussein of Jordan.

16 – Meeting President Anwar Sadat of Egypt – who is also a distant relative of my mother’s.

17 – Dinner with Sir John Major, at an association dinner, I sat on his immediate left. My father was a very calm and gentle man; the only person who can beat him is Sir John Major. The former Prime Minister is also the most engaging and caring politician I had the pleasure of dinning with.

18 – Flying in a private jet from Khartoum to Geneva to see my baby sister in Lausanne for a long weekend – first class? What first class?

19 – Flying Concord to JFK – twice

20 –Diving a Mustang convertible down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) – the sun, the gentle breeze and the sheer exhilaration of it all.

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Does Ukip know or even understand the difference between political correctness and basic manners?

Posted 20 Dec 2014 by Walaa Idris

Even though I am not a supporter or sympathizer of the UK Independent Party, I am quite impressed by their recent ascend in politics. Looking at their poll ratings, it appears they command the support of a good number of people across all political divide nationwide. Most of who are people tired of political correctness, tip toeing around sensitive issues and bored by the traditional way of doing politics. Of course there are some outcasts who couldn’t fit anywhere and made Ukip their home for now.

However, as someone who thinks political correctness (PC) is disingenuous and is actually suffocating many politicians and masking a lot of their greatness, I think recently Ukip showed they don’t quite understand the difference between being PC and basic decorum, and that is very concerning.

Up to the recent case of Kerry Smith, Ukip did what most political parties would do when a prominent member of their party caused offense to a group of people, and just sacked the offender.

But, not this time. In the case of Kerry Smith, their former parliamentary candidate in Basildon South, the Ukip leader took to the airwaves to defend him. He told LBC radio listeners; “I’m a bit sad, because Kerry Smith is a rough diamond. He’s a council house boy from the East End of London, left school early and talks and speaks in a way that a lot of people from that background do.” Then added – “I feel a bit sorry for Kerry Smith, because I think he’s a genuine fellow.” As if that wasn’t shocking enough he went on to criticise what he called the metropolitan snobbery against people from outside the capital using “colloquial” language.

Besides alienating the gay community, women, most of the black and ethnic community, not to mention anyone who was not born on these shores, now Ukip insulted the Chinese community. We all know there are people who use unsavoury disrespectful language in private and amongst friends, but to come on national radio and defend someone whom you just sacked from representing your party (because they are unfit to represent you) is pure madness.

In this whole episode, what I find dangerously alarming is the lack of understanding, by a party leader, and the man positioning himself to become the next Kingmaker, of the difference between political correctness and basic civility.

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Breastfeeding is healthy, both nutritionally and psychologically, and Nigel Farage is right.

Posted 6 Dec 2014 by Walaa Idris

We know breastfeeding is best for babies. As a mother I nursed both my daughters for six months each. I did it out of belief and conviction that it was the best thing for them heath wise. Breastfeeding boosts babies’ immunity system and strengthens the bond between them and their mothers, plus it’s safe, hygienic and easy.

A natural thing; breastfeeding requires little work and comes easy to most mothers. But it is a private affair, or so it should be. I understand many women have little issues with showing flesh in public, and with the likes of page three and women of all ages walking around half naked, many might be desensitised to exposed breasts. But still some people feel uneasy and nursing still remains and should be a private time between mother and child.

Here is where Farage is right. Nursing mothers should be allowed to feed their babies publicly but it should be done tastefully, discreetly and by agreement.

Most people have no problem knowing if a mother is nursing her chid, but they don’t want to see it happening — just as those mothers who want to nurse publicly ‘have the right to do so’ those who don’t want an exposed breast with a baby suckling on it forced on them, also have the right to not have to see it. Public establishment also have rights, they have the right to decide how to run their business and the freedom to allow mothers to nurse publicly or not.

Rights and freedoms work both ways.

And no, it is not a case of avert your eyes if you don’t want to see, it’s more a matter of respect. Respect for ones’ own self and respect to others and their feelings. Surely that’s a good thing?

Listening to Farage’s LBC radio clip that was exactly what he meant before the media hijacked his comment and turned it into something else.

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Sayeeda Warsi's ill-timed remark will hinder and not help the Palestinian cause.

Posted 19 Nov 2014 by Walaa Idris

Brutally murdering people, particularly while they are praying can never ever be justified no matter what the reasoning for it. What happened yesterday to the worshippers’ of the Jerusalem synagogue is appalling and can never be condoned.

So when Baroness Warsi, the former Foreign Office minister, made a parallel, on reactions and media coverage, between the synagogue killing and the protestors at the holly Al-Aqsa Mosque (one of the holiest sites in Islam) I sensed trouble brewing. And though I wasn’t surprised by her comment, as I understood her comparison and what she was alluding to. But sadly her timing was wrong. As a Muslim who lives in the west, and someone who does not condone aggression, I believe the Palestinian issue can never be resolved by violence and that’s why her comment was ill-timed and tasteless.

Yes, what happened to the Al-Aqsa protestors for days was quietly ignored by western media and commentators. And yes the west is very prejudiced when it comes to all things Israel. But, nonetheless there is a time and a place for everything, and yesterday’s event was neither.

Furthermore, if a few months ago, we criticised Israel for their disproportionate response in Gaza, we can’t possibly think murdering innocent people in a worshipping place is ‘proportionate’ to not receiving enough media coverage or even being frustrated by the amount of attention and interest the issue derives!

As a sympathiser to the Palestinian cause, I see, feel and hear these injustices daily, but rather than agitate opinions, I prefer to slowly change them — as they did during the Gaza bombing a few month ago. Also this way those looking for a reason to paint Palestinian supporters as terror sympathisers don’t get their wish. The West, Israel and their allies are stronger, better financed and more established. Exposing and helping others to see the injustices inflicted on occupied Palestine is a slow and long process and needs both time and patience to achieve it.

Palestine must continue to exist and grow side by side with Israel. Her people must be given back their occupied land. But all of that can only be realized by peacefully exposing the injustices of the occupier, not by offering them and their propaganda masters a way out.

What Sayeeda did is counterproductive. Because now instead of talking about significant issues, such as condemning the Israeli government for their recent heavy handed senseless punishment of demolishing the homes of suspects, she will spent the next coming days explaining what she said and didn’t mean. Thus wasting valuable opportune time to question how is demolishing a flat on the third floor of an apartment complex not pure hateful madness?

Baroness Warsi might not hold a government office but whatever she says still holds weight, even if was negative.

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Budweiser Sweetface Idris-Yousif, April 22nd 2002 – November 10th 2014

Posted 18 Nov 2014 by Walaa Idris

I miss you and our non-verbal conversations. Things like ‘I want to go walkies now’ when you do a downward facing dog stretch and give me that ‘we go!?’ look. Or when you see I’m going shopping (the shopping bags usually give me away) and you give me that ‘can I come and stay in the car’ head tilt, or when you know I am going to be out for longer than an hour and you jump in my bed for a snuggle and a long nap, before I even close the front door.

For twelve years Buddy was a big part of our lives and I desperately miss him.
In April 2002, my eldest, who just became a teenager, announced she wants a dog. My whole family are animal lovers and growing up we always had a pet — actually I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have a house pet. So naturally I did the same with my girls. By that time, but not at the same time, my daughters had fish, a couple of birds, a pair of Albino rats (who within weeks became 18 then 28 — which I have to say was a very practical lesson in sex education) and of course Rachel Karen Green the mad hamster.

So when my eldest ‘dramatically’ told me her life is incomplete without a dog, I knew it was time to graduate the girls to a bigger animal and more responsibilities. To be honest (even though I had cats before) I was relieved she said dog and not cat — the idea of a litterbox in a flat with heating in the winter was not exciting at all.

It didn’t take much to convince them it’s better to give a home to a homeless dog rather than buy a new puppy. We did our research and settled on a Jack Russell for a breed; both the size and temperaments suited our family. So we went to Battersea Dogs and Cats home.

At the home, after the initial interview and filling the necessary adoption papers, we were shown Mia, a black bitch who was very timid, not eager to engage and spent the whole assessment time under the table shaking. Sadly we had to say no to her, as she clearly was traumatised and I wasn’t sure the girls were ready for that. Next we met Buddy who attempted to escape the room by jumping at the door handle. From the second he walked in he won our hearts. He was cheeky, flirty and happy, and we all instantly fell in love with him. He was just a lovely, lovely dog. So delightful, I kept thinking to myself how is he homeless?

On the journey home, we went over duties and the ground rules one more time — just to make sure we’re all on the same page – and agreed on the following:
1) The girls arethe main carers and I will help with everything particularly major stuff such as vet visits.
2) Buddy will only sleep in his bed and will not be allowed in any of our beds.
3) He will not be given peoples’ food, especially when we are at the table.
4) His basket will stay in the living room and that will become ‘his main room’ but of course he is free to go everywhere in the house.
5) And finally, he will be rewarded ONLY with dog treats.

Ten minutes later we were home, I opened the front door and Buddy charged right in, investigating each room in the house, he stopped at my room, went in and jumped in the bed. Then looked at us as if to say ‘come on jump in, there is room for everyone’!

That was the first rule break and the rest quickly followed.

It didn’t take long for my bed to become his daytime nap corner. And even though he never slept with me in it, he was always in my bed. He took all his naps and stayed in my bed more than in his until very recently, when it became too difficult for him to jump on it.

That wasn’t all. On the same day the first rule was broken, Buddy broke a second rule. That evening, at the dinner table he begged and begged and begged until we gave in to him, some did it out of pity and the rest did it just to shut him up.

Hate to admit it, but in a little under two weeks all the rules were broken.

From the start he preferred walking with me and that quickly became the norm, two weeks after adopting him the girls announced they can’t balance their Buddy duties with school and after school activities – and they had a point. So within a fortnight from adopting him, Buddy became my full responsibility and I became his sole carer.

When we picked Buddy, we had no idea how old he really was, nor were we clear on how he became homeless. Battersea was vague on both, but it was expected. Most animals at the home were abandoned by their owners. So we decided to make our own history and had twelve incredible years of love, fun and making beautiful memories.

First we officially renamed him Budweiser Sweetface Idris-Yousif. Budweiser because he was a very wise buddy and Sweetface, speaks for itself – - look at that sweet lovely face! The vet estimated (looking at his teeth) that he was about 2 years old and not as advertised 6 to 18 months old. I honestly didn’t care what age he was, and was just delighted he was healthy and all of us were adjusting well to each other.

Like most healthy energetic dogs, he was inquisitive, said hello to every dog specially the smaller breeds, enjoyed meeting people and lapped up all the attention they give him. He immensely loved his walks and his daily routine. In time we became almost inseparable. He was extremely sensitive and hated being left on his own for long periods, anything over two hours and he would cry. With the exception of my eldest daughter, he would cry even if there was someone else with him in the house –– so it’s a good thing I mostly work from home.

But unlike most dogs, Buddy hardly barked, did not like dogs’ paraphernalia and playing with dog toys, and he hated dog treats. He would not fetch a ball (he might catch a stick but don’t hold your breath), will never ever drink from a puddle or a creek only from his bowl and loved all human food – as long as it’s not spicy and he adored all things chicken. The smell and presence of chicken drove him insane with joy. He was a beggar of the worst kind, relentless and stubborn and never gave up. He hated dog chews and looked at them with disgust but loved raw carrots and Granny Smith apples – the cruncher the better. He was a very private dog. When out, he would cock his leg and do a number one anywhere but always looked for a tucked away semi-private place to do a number two. He loved hugs and cuddles and was mad for belly rubs. Throughout his live he was not a sickly dog and was never ill until eighteen months ago when we discovered he was born with a defective heart and though the years that damaged his liver.

No one will believe this but Buddy loved EastEnders and knew when it was on. At first we thought as a dog he was just a creature of habit and since the show aired more or less around the same time he liked hanging out with us at that time. After getting Sky+ we began recording and watching the show at different times and he would come when he hears the theme tune, how bizarre!

I know everyone thinks their kid is cleverer than other kids, the same with dog owners we all think our dog is the best and cleverest, but Buddy was very clever. He always knew when not to ask to come with me, knew when I had a bad day or something was the matter. The first time he went to my parents’ house after my dad passed away, he spent the whole visit looking for him in every room, and when he was convinced dad wasn’t there he sat watching the front door waiting for him and did not want to leave before he came – he did that for two month. My dad was the person who looked after him whenever I travelled or was out of town – and they developed their own special bond.

Buddy was a singer and enjoyed howling (though I never quite worked out if it was singing or crying). But I am glad we have many videos of him singing his heart out. His singing wasn’t too shabby either and won him second place in the borough dogs’ talent show – he was beat to second place by the late Baroness Ritchie’s singing dog.

When we used to walk in Kensington Park, we gave each path its name, The Albert Memorial path (you can guess where that is), Bike Road, Tourists Way, Ducks Road by the pond and Buddy’s favourite trail Squirrel Lane where the Jack Russell in him comes to life. He would chase the poor creatures and in occasions he would even catch one.

I can fill pages and pages with his antics and cheek. Those of you who meet him understand why he left such a big gap in my life. Many advised me to get another dog and give them my love and attention. But I won’t for some time. People think I rescued Buddy from homelessness but what they don’t know is he saved form depression, disperse and who knows what else. Walking and talking (yes I did talk to him) was what helped me get though losing my home, a business, my father, and helped me endure many personal pains that could have had a bigger negative impact on my life. Walking with him daily is what kept me sane when all around me was pure madness – he helped me be a better mother to my girls and a stronger daughter and sister when my dad passed away.

Who knows in a few years I might be ready for another dog but for now I will mourn, remember and give Buddy the respect he deserves.

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Labourites are literally cannibalizing themselves.

Posted 13 Nov 2014 by Walaa Idris

Lately it seems, the One Nation, man of the people Edward Samuel Miliband is not a popular fella — it appears, inside and outside the Labour party he has zero zero appeal and not many like him.

Personally, I never cared about how he ate a bacon sandwich, or that he looks like Wallace from Wallace and Gromit, nor did I care that his jawline wasn’t chiselled enough. Putting party politics to one side, my only issue with Ed Miliband is his disloyalty to his own family, and betraying to his own brother.

To some that might seem like a personal matter between the two brothers, so why do I care? But to me it is not. As someone who highly value loyalty, especially family loyalty, any person who does what Miliband did to his own flesh and blood and his only brother cannot be trusted, because family is extremely important. Having your brother’s back to some might be an old fashion notion, but it’s the simplest honesty test known to man.

So, how can anyone trust someone who stabs his own brother in the back?

And since we’re talking about loyalty, party loyalty is also important — otherwise why pay a fee and become a member? And it is here where Labourites (particularly those behind the latest coup attempt) need to take a long hard look in the mirror. They too are disloyal, and at this stage in the parliamentary cycle, are self-harming behind the pretext of saving the party and serving the public — when we all know it’s neither, and it’s all done for personal gain and gratification.

I am neither a Labour sympathizer nor a Miliband fan. Yet think all Labourites, until the May election, should at least support and respect him at every given opportunity. He is their leader, and from the looks of things the only leader they’ll have this parliament. And despite everything else, the unions’ influence on his election, standing against his own brother and folks making fun of him — Ed Miliband is the person people see when they think Labour. So why should those outside the party respect him when his own comrades don’t? To be taken seriously outside Labour, Miliband needs to be taken seriously inside it, not shredded to pieces by his own people.

Labour is not dissimilar to other parties in that it has it’s a hard left and a soft left. All parties have a hard and a soft side to their central message. But what Labour needs to understand, those of us on the outside, don’t care if someone is a Brownite or a Blairite, we only see them as Labour. That’s why the sooner they get over whatever disappointment they feel about Miliband’s election and personal appeal the better it is for them. Their attitude should be that of what’s done is done and move on. They should carry on with the business of getting elected, articulate and sell their massage, not tear chunks off their leader six month before a general election.

#ZeroZeroLab

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What is Ukip?

Posted 31 Oct 2014 by Walaa Idris

Apart from Nigel Farage and what they tell and want us to think and believe, what is Ukip? And what besides leaving the EU and stopping immigration does it stand for? What’s their record in government? These are some of the questions that come to mind whenever I hear journos and politicos debate the organization’s rise and sudden prominence in the polls. And I can’t help but wonder how is mocking and belittling the EU instead of standing- up for it, is going to help and safeguard the UK and UK interests?

To date, they control zero councils. That makes it even more challenging for voters to judge them on their record. How can anyone assess an organization on something it never achieved? That too adds to the challenge, because it becomes impossible to establish how they manage public money, plan spending, organize and run communities. All of that leaves voters unfamiliar with their ability of handling those things that matter to the public.

A few weeks ago they won their first parliamentary seat. But it can be argued the Member of Parliament held the seat predominantly on his own personal popularity. Their MEPs are notorious for not attending debates and hardly vote on any issue, including serious matters such as saving the UK’s money from the grubby fingers of the EU. So how can anyone judge what Ukip is?

In the European Parliament, when they attend, they use every given opportunity to make a show. Even at the cost of their own self-respect, such as refusing to stand or turn their backs when the EU anthem is performed. Or their leader publicly asking Mr Van Rompuy “Who are you Mr President, I never heard of you…” and similar media stunts. They are great at no substance attention seeking gimmicks, yet offer no concrete coherent solutions or hold the very organisation they vehemently despise to account on any matter that benefits the UK and those who elected them to represent them and speak on their behalf.

Just as Farage asked Van Rompuy who are you, British voters want to know what Ukip is and it has done for Britain?

I know, at this stage of the electoral cycle every party is saving exciting policies for later, hoping to score big with their announcement. But with the general election only six month away, at least the basic skeleton of the organization’s policies on taxes, the NHS, education, housing, transport and crime should by this stage be known. The public should, and have the right to at least have an idea where the organization stands on the basics.

Everybody knows perfectly well they are for the UK completely coming out of the EU. Yet, we were never once told how they plan to go about it. Will we come out via a democratic referendum – where the voting public cast their vote for or against our membership in the European Union? Will the public have a say on the type of relationship they want, whether fully pull out, fully staying in or negotiate a new relationship different to what we currently have? Because last I checked not every Brit wants the same relationship with the EU and a huge percentage don’t even know what affiliation they prefer. Those undecided, are looking for someone to persuade them one way or the other.

So, how will a Ukip government or coalition manage the EU issue?

Does anyone know? Because, though I clearly know they wants us out of the union, I have no idea how they plan to go about doing it.

The same with immigration, do they want control orders, closed boarders, limits on some immigrants not on others? Plus what will they do about illegal immigrants currently inside the UK? Until the EU question is settled, how will they control immigration from inside the EU? Especially if they don’t respect and hardly communicate with any decision makers in Brussels!

Don’t get me wrong, I respect their patriotism, and how they love and jealously guard and regard our country. But childishly turning your back on what you don’t like is akin to accepting a dinner invite, then openly spit in the food because you don’t approve or like the host. It’s disrespectful to everyone – the host, the guests, and the offender and to the people he/she represents. It definitely does not ‘win friends and influence people’ and leaves a negative connotation. In short, such juvenile behaviors are bad all around. They are bad for business, for collaboration and for basic civilities.

So, does anyone actually know what Ukip is? I am still trying to work it out – what about you?

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