“Laurence, Angela likes Demis Roussos. Tony likes Demis Roussos, I like Demis Roussos, and Sue would like to hear Demis Roussos: so please, d'you think we could have Demis Roussos on?” - Abigail’s Party, 1977
New Home Secretary Sajid Javid may not be about to discover the joys of Forever And Ever, but he’s certainly getting the Laurence feeling, after his ill-judged dismissal of the Muslim Council of Britain on The Andy Marr Show (tm) last Sunday.
It did not help Javid’s cause when footage was unearthed from just two years ago where he clearly said “I certainly want to speak to...the Muslim Council of Britain...about how we can take integration & cohesion forward”. So perhaps he could clarify the reasons for his journey to last Sunday’s “The Muslim Council of Britain does not represent Muslims...We don't deal with the MCB”. Nor did the groups arranged against him help his defence.
And not all those groups represented parts of the Muslim community: both the Union of Jewish Students and Jewish Council for Racial Equality declared that they “stood in solidarity” with the MCB’s call for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia.
They were joined by the Conservative Muslim Forum, who told “We consider it is essential that our Party should hold an independent enquiry into Islamophobia within the Party. Full text of our letter to the Party Leader at the link below" (see HERE).
The Muslim Women’s Network UK also joined the call: “We support MCB call for inquiry into #Islamophobia in Conservative Party. Discriminatory attitudes of any kind could be feeding into policy making e.g. #Windrush - Lack of govt condemnation of Punish a Muslim Day exacerbates our concerns” (full statement HERE).
These are on top of calls from Conservative Home, and the Sunday Times, for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia, and the constant reminders about MPs like Bob Blackman, against whom no action has yet been taken. Had he been a Labour MP, there would have been plenty of Tories lining up to demand Jeremy Corbyn act against him.
Miqdaad Versi of the MCB surveyed this united front and observed “The approach of the @Conservatives & allies to deflect from the real challenges of Islamophobia in the Party by shooting the messenger and pitting Muslims against one another, is appalling. It will not work”. All of which leaves Sajid Javid with one question to answer.
Sajid, the Sunday Times wants an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia. Conservative Home wants an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia. Two Jewish groups want an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia. The Conservative Muslim Forum wants an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia. The Muslim Women’s Network UK wants an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia. So please, d’you think we could have an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia?
We could even get him some Demis Roussos tracks to speed the decision making process. Not sure about the pineapple and cheese on a stick, mind.