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Respect to Sayeeda Warsi

eton messThe outpouring of respect for Sayeeda Warsi’s honourable act of resignation in the Twittersphere from sundry lefties is entirely justified. Resignation on a point of principle is not unprecedented (I am reminded of Jim Sheridan’s resignation over the New Labour line on Israel incursion into Lebanon almost exactly 8 years ago) but it is far too rare.

There’s plenty in Warsi’s record to criticise, she is still a Tory. But she was the first Muslim in a British cabinet, and a woman with working class origins at that — perhaps the characteristic that David Cameron came to regret the most with her Eton mess jibe when she said:

it can’t be right that the 7% of kids who go to independent school end up at the top tables, not just of politics, but banking, and law, and every other profession”.

Her letter of resignation pulls no punches:

our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation.”

She has since told Mehdi Hasan at HuffPost UK that one of the reasons she resigned was because she wanted to see those who are alleged to have committed war crimes in recent weeks on both sides held to account but did not believe that the government would support that process:

As the minister for the International Criminal Court, I’ve spent the last two and a half years helping to promote, support and fund the ICC. I felt I could not reconcile this with our continued pressure on the Palestinian leadership not to turn to the ICC to seek justice.”

She also reveals that she supports an arms embargo against Israel and that the UK was wrong not to recognize Palestinian statehood at the UN.

Her resignation letter makes clear who she sees as her friends and allies: Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, William Hague and Eric Pickles. I suspect we have not seen the last of Sayeeda Warsi.

Image credit: ITV




  1. Robert says:

    What a sham that others do not have the ideology she has…. well done to her

  2. David Pavett says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to note in one of Douglas Alexander’s statements “the blockade must be lifted and the occupation must end” because it is not often that Labour leaders mention Israel’s status as an occupying power. That should be the basis for any discussion about any aspect of this problem.

    It is no good wringing hands and saying how terrible the suffering is and ‘”even-handedly’ condemning both sides. Israel is the occupying power. Not only that but Netanyahu has made it as clear as he possibly could that the Israeli government will not countenance any agreement that does not leave Israel in a position of military dominance in the West Bank. In other words the Israeli government will not countenance a viable Palestinian state.

    “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

    We need a rather more robust line from all our political leaders including the Labour ones. Warsi is right to talk of an arms embargo.

  3. Gerry says:

    It is beyond sad to see supposed left people heaping praise on this hard-right pro-austerity pro-cuts, socially conservative, pro-sharia Tory minister …weirdly, Douglas Murray is right: she was promoted so rapidly to make the Tory Party look “modern”.

    In our “non-ideological world”, it is truly pathetic to praise this disgusting hard-right politican…when are socialists going to wise up, and put the boot into our real enemies, people like Sayeeda Warsi?

    1. Robert says:

      Praise not really she resigned from her post and for that I think she is right as for Sharia dear god labour fell over backward to tell us that was good.

      I mean for the left we have the bravest most intelligence Peace envoy in one Tony Blair.

      If your a left these days sadly labour is the last place you would go to vote or to bother with really.

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