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Stephen Timms the Member for Islamabad West?

October 28, 2013

Stephen Timms MP. by many accounts a nice, gentle, humane Christian Socialist, but a man popular with some quite nasty people and groups.

Recently someone on Twitter, during a discussion regarding the comments of a Liberal Democratic party candidate, questioned me on what I meant when I referred to the ‘whipped Mosque vote’. I explained to them that this is where the MP or candidate excessively panders to the Islamic community because the MP knows that this community can ‘get the vote out’. Sometimes, in some areas, more of the vote is got out than there are real live electors, for example in Tower Hamlets.

The ‘whipped Mosque vote’ is a corrupt pimple on the face of our democracy because it has many dishonest and coercive facets. There is the general corruption of democracy, the dishonesty, and also there have long been suspicions that Muslim women are coerced into voting the ‘preferred’ way. This sort of communal gerrymandering is corrosive in a democratic society.  Threatening people to vote the required way and bent elections are dangerous threats to a democracy, if allowed to carry on for too long.

What happens in some areas goes way, way beyond the usual thing that happens where a Hindu may prefer a Hindu candidate or a Catholic a Catholic candidate, because the ‘whipped mosque vote’ is highly organised, sometimes by Islamic political groups, for example Islam for Europe, who you really wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley if you were Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh etc etc. They are not a nice bunch.

Now there is nothing to suggest that Stephen Timms the Labour MP for East Ham in the London Borough of Newham, has any connection to Islam for Europe, but he does appear to be pandering to a quite considerable extent to the Islamic population of East Ham. The situation in this constituency does look very much like there is, or has been, some form of organised communal vote for Mr Timms, a form of the ‘whipped mosque vote.

This extremely close association with that community brings up the question is this association good for the other communities in Newham? Also who is suffering whilst his political friends are gaining more power?

Some idea of the deep association between Islamic and specifically Pakistani causes in Newham and Stephen Timms MP comes from this glowing assessment of him by a group called ‘The Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK’ For those who do not know, MPACUK (not to be confused with an American group of a similar name) is a lobbying and campaigning organisation, which also tries to organise tactical voting by Muslims. MPACUK are not a pleasant organisation. According to the relevant Wiki:

The group describes its activities as guided by four overarching principles: Reviving the fard (obligation) of Jihad, Anti-Zionism, institutional revival, and accountability.[4]

Great! Jihad supporters getting involved in elections, just what we all need, but mostly don’t need. MPACUK have also been involved at elections, trying to unseat sitting MP’s who are in their view insufficiently friendly to Islamic causes. MPACUK allegedly also have a bad record for the use of anti-Semitic campaigning methods.

During an election in which the Labour MP Phil Woolas was standing, MPACUK accused Woolas of being too pro Iraq war or too pro-Israel. Some of the campaigning got very nasty indeed. Phil Woolas said:

There was vehement anti-semitism going on in the area, canvassing amongst the Asian population in the area saying: don’t vote for the Jew. As it happens, I’m not Jewish but the fact my son’s Christian name is a Jewish name was used against me.” 

There are more allegations against MPACUK on the Wiki page including the astonishing information about how one key figure in MPACUK, Ashkar Bukhari, sent a donation of money to the so-called ‘historian’ David Irving.

What a lovely bunch of jihadist fraggles. If they weren’t Muslim and were around a 70 odd years ago, they’d probably be wearing Blackshirts.

I don’t know about you but it gives me a lot of concern that an extremist group like MPACUK doles out so much praise to Stephen Timms MP. If an extremist group like that heaped that sort of praise on me I’d start to wonder if I was doing something wrong, and then attempt to put whatever it was right. Having the seal of approval from MPACUK is a bit like having a glowing character reference from Combat 18. It is something that no reasonable person wants. If MPACUK love Mr Timms so much, it says a lot about Mr Timms politics.

With friendly words like these from MPACUK, which side Mr Timms appears to be on is quite apparent. It would be much less worrying if Mr Timms, instead of hanging round mosques, spent more time with the 394 people in Newham who identified themselves at the last Census as a ‘Jedi Knight’. There is no suggestion that Mr Timms is in any way officially associated or connected with MPACUK, but they certainly consider Mr Timms as ‘on-side’

Here’s the original and complete glowing praise for Stephen Timms MP, published in 2006 by MPACUK. My comments in italics.

Stephen Timms is the Member of Parliament for East Ham and has been MP for this area since 1994. In May 2005 he was appointed as Minister of State for Pensions Reform. The constituency has the largest proportion of non-white people in the UK and there is a significant Muslim population there. Religious tolerance has been one of Newham’s strengths as part of the work of Steven Timms keeping in touch with all parts of the community.

The sort of ‘increased religious tolerance’ described in the paragraph, has been a decrease in the numbers of members of religions other than Islam (see this link for 2001 figures for comparison )Most of the original inhabitants have long gone and I’ve heard rumours that other groups such as Sikhs and Hindus are leaving for better areas which for them have the bonus of ‘less Islam’. Don’t forget that the followers of Islam have attacked Sikhs and Hindus many times over the centuries, such people know the violence that dwells within Islam. The Sikhs at one point lost about a quarter to a third of their people to the Islamic Mughals of India. I wouldn’t recommend wearing a Kippah in Newham for too long either.

The Muslim Friends of Labour was set up by this East Ham MP in 2003. The group is regarded as a necessity to lobby the Labour Party from the inside for the interests of the British Muslim community. Though, since being handed over to the Muslim MP for Glasgow Central, Mohammad Sarwar, it has been dormant and has failed in its responsibility to promote the concerns of British Muslims like the Iraq War, Anti-terror laws and Guantanamo Bay.

Hmm! Campaigning against anti-terror laws that would not need to be as stringent if there were not Islamic terrorism.

Stephen Timms is concerned about Pakistanis in his constituency as well as Pakistanis abroad. He holds regular meetings with Mosque leaders and Muslim activists in East Ham. He has been involved thoroughly in a new programme to get Muslim youth involved in democratic politics. At the beginning of this year, he undertook a trip to Pakistan to see conditions in the area affected by the earthquake. The flights, accommodation and programme were provided by World Vision UK. Now if we had Muslim organisations sponsoring MPs and taking them to Pakistan or Palestine or elsewhere for that matter, we would have MPs who are better informed of the factors that matter to us most.

This paragraph gives me especial concern: Firstly If he is showing so much concern for one group is he being fair to members of other groups? Secondly, Mr Timms certainly seems to be glad-handing in a very effusive way and he appears to be using the Muslim organisations in Newham to ‘get the vote out’. Flying out to Pakistan to get his fizzog in the media is quite a flamboyant gesture to use to ingratiate himself with his target voters. Thirdly and most ominously is the reference to the Christian charity World Vision. There seems to be a sense of outrage that there is not a Muslim charity that could sponsor, schmooze and brainwash MP’s in a way that MPACUK would like. That’s not ordinary jealousy, that is a distinctly supremacist jealousy.

Timms is sympathetic and made the effort to become aware of the injustices in Palestine. He sponsored and attended the launch of the ‘Newham Goes to Palestine’ Exhibition, at the Katherine Road Centre. In February last year he visited Israel and Palestine, to see conditions in the Palestinian territories. Flights, accommodation and program for him and his wife were provided by Christian Aid. He clearly could have taken a trip sponsored by the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), the pro-Israel lobby group but didn’t. Steven Timms is evidently a Muslim friendly MP and his constituents should fully engage with him. It is certain that he would be more aware of Muslim issues if Muslims even bothered to lobby or communicate with him.

Oh dear, looks like Mr Timms is a real aficionado of ‘Pallywood’.

LFI sponsors trips of parliamentarians to Israel, purportedly to educate them on issues central to the conflict. One recent trip included a tour of Jerusalem and the route of the apartheid wall, plus meetings with Labour MPs, senior Foreign and Defence Ministry officials. These trips are invaluable in cultivating relationships with members of the British parliament who can then be counted on to support legislation favourable towards Israel.

Since 1997 a record 57 Labour MPs have visited Israel, mostly with Labour Friends of Israel, swelling the number of MPs willing to advocate for Israel on Middle-East matters in the House of Commons. More Labour MPs have visited Israel than from any other party. It is no coincidence that Labour is the ruling party.

Standard boilerplate anti-Zionist stuff, the sort of thing you see in Socialist Worker.

Some may argue that he is in fact very strongly for Labour’s anti-terrorism laws, the Iraq war and for introducing ID cards. This is because Timms is not only an MP but a Minister also and has party loyalty. Nevertheless, why would he be inclined to vote the other way as he hasn’t had much feedback from his constituents- especially the Muslim youth? Now however, he has a particular initiative to engage Muslim youth in Political affairs. Even though this initiative has taken a while to launch, it is probably the single most vital policy an MP in East London has. We are well aware that Muslim males have one of the highest illiteracy rates in the UK and they are increasingly resorting to criminal activities such as drug-dealing and robbery. This initiative will ensure that our concerns are put forward, our objectives met and participation in Politics increased.

Looks like MPACUK, and probably others, are looking to encourage the concerted, and maybe aggressive, lobbying of the MP. There is also a lot of victim-hood claiming in this paragraph as well. There is apparent concern at the number of Muslim men who are illiterate but no self-examination as to why so many in their community cannot read or write or who are so often unemployed, or behave in a criminal manner. There are cultural reasons why Islamic men and women fall down to the bottom in greater numbers than other groups, the problems cannot all be blamed on ‘poverty’ or ‘racism’.

It is now overdue that Muslim leaders and primarily, the Muslim constituents paved the way for an effective strategy and plan to get the youth involved in politics from the grassroots. If we don’t use the democratic process to improve the state of affairs for ourselves no one on our behalf will. So why should MPs give heed or even a slight notice about Muslim institutions and interests when there is hardly any effort from the Muslim community to engage with them?

Muslim institutions have not been effective in encouraging Muslim youth to be politically active, let’s be persuaded that this MP does. We hold the means to persuade Mr Timms on other vital issues to Muslims. He holds much leverage as a Minister and will prove to be an asset to Muslims if we are more active in our lobbying of him and other MPs alike.

Am I alone in finding the phrase ‘we hold the means to persuade Mr Timms on other vital issues to Muslims’ a little sinister? I don’t think I will be. Equally worrying is that groups like MPACK see Mr Timms or MP’s like him who hold similar views to him, as targets for lobbying and persuasion.

There is nothing wrong with polite lobbying, of a sort that I would always encourage people to do, but this sort of mass lobbying, the use of ‘youths’, the bloc votes and the communalism brings a nasty taste to the mouth.

And the irony of this tale? That is despite all his glad-handing and pandering, it didn’t protect him from a self-radicalised Muslimah Madwoman who, a few years after the MPACUK piece was written, stabbed him almost to death with a kitchen knife.

Islamic communal politics, theocratic elements and violence aimed at an MP, isn’t Newham lovely. Makes me long for the days when Newham, and places like it were just ordinary decent shitholes, where religion and culture were private matters, and not an active and intrusive part of the political system..


The home page of Stephen Timms MP.


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