While the Tories make hay with a variety of creative claims about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and what he might have done during a visit to Tunis four years ago, the last thing they need is being reminded of their own problems, and especially the virulent Islamophobia that has infested The Blue Team to such an extent that an MP like Bob Blackman feels it is OK to host an anti-Muslim hate preacher at a meeting in Parliament.
But the Islamophobia question will not go away. So a new tactic has been hit on, and that is to try and discipline or even expel one of the Tories’ Muslim peers. Bigots like London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson are fine, but someone who complained about Bozza’s bigotry are not: such is the twisted logic at work here.
Lord Sheikh, who founded the Conservative Muslim Forum, has been under attack for some days now by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. But the news that he had attended the same conference in Tunis as Jezza sparked howls of denunciation - and the opportunity to rid the Tories of a turbulent priest.
Zac's back on the Muslim attack
As Politics Home has reported, “Zac Goldsmith said Lord Sheikh should be dumped for heading to the Tunisian get-together or the Tory attacks on Jeremy Corbyn over alleged anti-Semitism would appear ‘cynical’ … Yesterday [Lord Sheikh] admitted he attended the same International Conference on Monitoring the Palestinian Political and Legal Situation in the Light of Israeli Aggression as Jeremy Corbyn in 2014”.
And look who else is troughing at this table
In addition to Goldsmith reprising his London Mayoral campaign role of Muslim politician basher in chief, the denunciation was supported by MP Robert Halfon, who has told “If this is true, re Lord Sheikh, in attending this conference alongside Mr Corbyn - and if it is true extremist anti-Semites and Hamas were in attendance and speaking, there needs to be an investigation by Conservative Party/inquiry re codes of conduct”.
But Lord Sheikh’s attendance at the Tunis conference is merely a convenient excuse to go after him, and the vehemence of Goldsmith’s attack is easily explained. In June, as the Independent reported, he “called on [Theresa] May to look into the issue [of Islamophobia], describing it as a ‘matter of grave concern to the many Muslim members and supporters of the party’”. And what was the first example he gave the PM?
Sayeeda Warsi - another messenger the Tories shot
“In his letter to No 10, Lord Sheikh highlights Zac Goldsmith’s London mayoral election campaign in 2016”. Oh, and there was one more reason for the attacks on the peer, as that Politics Home report lets slip: “Lord Sheikh … hit the headlines this month after he attacked Boris Johnson over his comments about the burqa”.
As with the campaign - also with The Great Guido in the vanguard - to demonise Sayeeda Warsi, this is just another tone-deaf attempt to silence those telling the Tories that hey have a problem, but are unable or unwilling to admit it.
The Tory Party increasingly resembles a sad alcoholic, unable to admit its problems, lurching from one embarrassment to another … and about to finally fall over.
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