Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn......

Posted 22 Aug 2015 by Walaa Idris

These days, all we hear, reed and watch is Jeremy Corbyn this and Jeremy Corbyn that. Form total obscurity in a few short months he is now the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of politics, understandably some love him while others loath him. For me his politics is very peculiar but then he won’t lead me or my party and if in September he wins the Labour Party leadership contest I will do everything in my power to see he never leads this great country.

Having said that, I, a Tory, cannot understand what Labour is doing to itself! They seem to be tearing chunks off each other because Corbyn (who a few months ago almost did not get enough Labour MPs to nominate him to stand for this contest) is now ahead in every poll.

But isn’t this democracy?

Not according to Andy Burnham and Liz Kendell.

Corbyn, a straight talker who doesn’t hold back, unlike most modern politicians, has a knack for answering every question put to him and engages easily with reports and people from all walks of life. He is a calm mature looking and behaving decent man, who holds very, very strong socialist beliefs. It seems this and his willingness to engage has struck a chord with many, plus his politics are a hit with the left. Same as Sarah Palin and Nigel Farage before him were on the right, as a result of that he is ahead and the Blairites don’t like it one bit.

As an outsider, I see why Blair, Mandelson, Brown, Campbell and Labourites of their ilk don’t like him. His leadership will take the party further left back to its pre-New Labour days. However, some would say a Corbyn leadership will bring Labour back home, to its rightful place.

My late father used to say “anger is man’s biggest enemy, because it clouds judgment.” And that is what I see happening with Labour. The New Labour types are angry and panicking that their beloved project is in danger of being axed. Sadly, in their fright and fury they lost sight of the bigger picture.

Jeremy Corbyn, like Farage and Palin, given time sooner rather than later will go away, because when it comes down to it what matters to most people is bread and butter issues not what sounds and feels good.

Take his latest promise. He said if elected leader he will apologise for the Iraq War. Now, who in their right mind will say that? When there is an ongoing independent enquiry into the matter. Secondly, does he really think Blair, Brown and Cameron did not consider offering an apology and ramifications of that offer? Or does he think he is the only person who sees the wrong in that war?

Furthermore, did he even consider what an apology by a leader and potential a PM might means? Apologising for the Iraq War is a slap on the face to our Armed Forces and disrespects all the men and women who fought in it. An apology might vindicate those who marched against the war, but it will dishonour the memory of those who gave their lives, their limps, their sanity and mental well-being to that war. An apology might feel good to some, but its implication and legacy are dire to those who were sent to fight it.

After two consecutive defeats, the last thing the Labour Party needs is to talk to itself, especially when it should be showing the public what a Labour government can offer them. And, explain how it can be different. It needs to show how a Labour administration can create better jobs, leave more money in peoples’ pockets, give children a better education and makes us all happier and healthier.

It seems the biggest fear the Blairites now have is Corbyn winning the leadership. As a result they are doing everything to stop him, accusing outsider infiltration, discrediting him and putting doubt in their own electoral system, all in hopes to put a stop to this election. While failing to realise that what they are doing is discrediting the whole Labour Party and making all of us ask: How can Labour run Britain if it can’t manage a simple leadership election?

Comment

Categories: ,


Tact and diplomacy are definitely not Obama’s forte

Posted 25 Jul 2015 by Walaa Idris

Looks like President Obama has put his foot in it. Friends, allies and partners care for one another. They are usually careful when and how to offer advice and support. And, when they do, they do it without publicly showing off one another. This is exactly what Mr Obama failed to do. As an ‘ally’ and a ‘special friend’ he should have been a little more sensitive about Britain’s feelings and considered them before speaking out, but he did neither.

By sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong and telling the BBC “having the United Kingdom in the European Union gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union” Obama didn’t only show his arrogance he also confirmed his lack of diplomacy and his inability to handle matters of Foreign Affairs.

A true friend would have carefully considered the matter before expressing their view. A diplomat would not have interfered at all.

The issue of the EU membership is for the British people to decide and not anyone else to tell them what they should or should not do. Interfering in this way shows a lack of precaution and a selfish desire to put his country’s interest before ours. Which is understandable, after all he is the president of the United States. But it is insulting. It is offensive because he sees the UK as only useful in speaking to all the countries of Europe so he doesn’t have to.

There are many bad things about the Obama presidency. But for Britons Obama will be remembered as the self – important president that caused the most damage to the special relation of our two nations. Personally, I’m glad his term will soon be over. January 20th, 2017 cannot come soon enough.

Comment

Categories: ,


LBC and Iain Dale hosted a very energetic Labour leadership debate.

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Walaa Idris

First let me start by congratulating both for hosting the best Labour Party leadership debate. After weeks of bland predictable hustings, finally last night LBC and Iain Dale put on a very engaging debate. It was clever to allow listeners call in and directly ask their questions. Despite some candidates slight resistance to opening up, listeners’ questions livened the discussion because they were the question the public liked to ask.

Either way after the many hustings in as many weeks since this leadership contest began; it is now clear why Jeremy Corbyn is ahead by 17%. It is even clearer why Tony Blair and his followers are very concerned. And they should be because at this rate Corbyn who is not the darling of the Blairites is on his way to becoming the next leader of the Labour Party. It is also very clear why they don’t want him to lead their party. The man makes Ed Miliband looks like a right-winger. But don’t get me wrong, he is not popular because of his politics. Of course to some it’s his politics, but most people like him for the same reasons many don’t care about Nigel Farage’s or Nicola Sturgeon’s politics yet admire them. Besides being new and different, like the other two, Corbyn comes across as frank, unrehearsed and able to speak human. Which unfortunately for Labour none of the other three have a clue how to do.

God knows Iain Dale tried, more than once, to bring the other three candidates out of their shells, but did not succeed. Even when he nudged them, and he did it more than once, they just could not be themselves. Or did they? Could it be that after years of not being yourself ‘not being yourself’ becomes who you are?

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

After 90 minutes of a very engaging debate – questions came from the presenter, the listeners and even the contestants had the chance to question each other. I came away thinking; Yvette Cooper will never give a straight answer because she is always on the fence and don’t how to take a side. Andy Burnham is everything to everyone – but I have a great deal of respect for him for wanting to unite his party and not refusing to serve in a Corbyn administration – but still he’s everything to everyone. As for Liz ‘I am in it to win it’ Kendell, I feel she is just too green and hugely inexperienced to lead anything let alone Her Majesty’s Opposition. But this contest will help put her in the forefront of peoples’ mind and if she doesn’t make a big mistake, it will be good practice for future contests

In my opinion Iain telling Jeremy Corbyn Chukka Umunna said he won’t serve in a Corbyn Shadow Cabinet though cheeky it was a little mean. But it showed Corbyn’s maturity and mettle – age alone makes this man very seasoned and his attitude and calmness gives him a certain gravities the other candidates don’t yet possess.

I know many (mostly the media) say Corbyn is the Conservatives’ preferred candidate because he will put Labour out of office for a generation. First we don’t for sure know that. After all it’s the same media and polls that a few months ago, said the Conservatives will not win outright, so I’ll take what they say with a pinch of salt. But what we know for sure is a Corbyn win will un- blur the lines between the two parties. A Jeremy Corbyn leadership will be as red as Moscow’s Red Square and as left- wing as China before the Berlin Wall came down.

Secondly, why did Labour open their leadership election to the public? How is that fair or democratic to their membership? Didn’t they think some people might register just to tip the election one way or the other? Who knows, maybe they subconsciously wanted to sabotage their own chances?

Comment

Categories: ,


When did it go wrong for the LibDems?

Posted 11 May 2015 by Walaa Idris

Five years ago, when everybody agreed with Nick, our nation’s economy was worse than that of Greece. Our debt piled high and we were broke. The Conservatives had the largest majority but not enough to govern with any certain stability. So the Liberal Democrats selflessly stepped up to the plate, and for the national interest formed the first UK coalition government in almost a century. For five years, both parties compromised a number of their own manifesto pledges for raison d‘état and to maintain a secure and stable government. The partnership swiftly began repairing the damaged economy and succeeded in bringing our nation from the brink of collapse.

Five years later, as we saw on Thursday the majority of voters liked what the last government did. And approved what the coalition government had achieved. So, why did one partner of the coalition succeed with a majority though a slim one, and was given the mandate to govern alone and the other was almost wiped out?
Is it because they compromised some of their manifesto pledges? But both parties did. Is it because they went into coalition with a party they regarded as an opponent? Again, both parties faced disagreement from their members and voters against the decision to go into coalition ….

So what went wrong? Why were the LibDems punished so badly for doing the right and honourable thing?

We Brits are humble, caring and loyal people. We might not always show affection, but we are very loving in our own way. It might sound like I’m going off topic here, but I have a point to make. Let’s take Ed Miliband and why he didn’t sit well with many people. He might be a little awkward, but during the campaign we saw he’s a decent fella and learnt that he’s a conviction politician, and we know there aren’t many of those around these days. By the end of the campaign, more people warmed up to him and his personal approval ratings improved. However, the one thing he could not and will never shake off is what he did to his own brother. And, although we Brits are rather private and don’t like confrontation and many won’t openly say it, but privately many feel they cannot trust someone who publicly went against his only brother in this way – because that behaviour displays a level of alarming self-love.

The Liberal Democrats did a similar thing. While they and the Conservatives are not blood brothers, they made a deal to work as one team. Everybody knew and to some extend understood for the coalition to work compromises needed to be made. That is why many were very surprised Libs leaked a number of private negotiations and behind the door conversations for the sole reason of making themselves appear as the more moderate of the two partners and the ones that cares the most.
That did not sit well with the electorate.

The sad thing in all of that is many of these conversations will sooner or later come out in biographies and make their way into historic books about that period. And, while at the start of the parliament they (LibDems) were seen as selfless patriots, by the end some of their behaviour reduced them to self-serving opportunists.

In Britain as much as we value loyalty we strongly scorn disloyalty.

Comment

Categories: ,


What did we learn from last night’s seven way leaders’ debate?

Posted 3 Apr 2015 by Walaa Idris

The short answer, very little new, but the long answer ….

Nicola Sturgeon is the 2015 Nick Clegg. Even though nobody agreed with her (leaders learnt from the last general election better not to agree with an opponent even if it was to take a dig at another opponent). She came across knowledgeable, principled and very confident of herself and her message. Whether you agree or disagree with her politics, she handled herself well.

Natalie Bennett thankfully did not suffer a brain freeze, but she was dreadful y forgettable.

Leanne Woods was also forgettable. In the first sentence of her opening statement, she informed the British public who don’t live in Wales to tune her out and I did.

Nick Clegg (whom I like, by the way) came across very disingenuous. After five years in collation with the Conservatives, distancing himself and his party was always going to be a tricky business. His main focus was on promoting the LibDems as “the fairer partner”. That is fine. But not when that “fairness” makes you come across as a two faced opportunist. And, sadly that’s exactly how he came across last night. David Cameron summed him beautifully when he said: “With Nick Clegg, we sat in the cabinet room together, we took difficult decisions together. Nick, I defend all of the decisions we took, and I think your sort of pick and mix approach really is not going to convince anyone.”

Nigel Farage was another disappointment. It appears that the straight talking man who ‘says it as it is’ is a one trick pony. Four questions were asked by the audiences. They covered everything from Immigration, the NHS, Education, Housing and the Economy. But for every question asked and every problem aired Farage had one response and one solution the EU and our membership within it. And, although we expected him to mention the EU and promote getting out of the union plus mention it more than once. No one expected it to be his solution to every issue. Particularly as we saw in the past five years, being members of the EU did not stop the UK fixing its economy and go on to become a leading growing economic power house in the developed world.

Ed Miliband was Ed Miliband. A man in complete denial about his party’s mismanagement of the economy and the role it played in the size of the current deficit. Given half a chance he will repeat the same mistakes because to him they are not mistakes.

David Cameron showed he is the leader who took back the reigns of the economy and turned this nation’s fortunes around. He is the visionary who five years ago put country before party and went into coalition for the security of the UK. Austerity worked and the economy is on the mend with 1000 jobs created in the private sector every day, but the task is far from done. He asked the people of Britain to send him back to Number Ten for a second term so he and his team can finish the job and secure our nation’s future.

The real winner of yesterday’s Leaders’ Debate was the ITV Presenter Julie Etchingham.

Comment

Categories: ,


My Interview with Media Diversified

Posted 25 Mar 2015 by Walaa Idris

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

Comment

Categories: ,


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.

Comment

Categories: ,


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.

Comment [2]

Categories:


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.

Comment


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.

Comment

Categories: ,