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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Tulip Siddiq and Channel4 News

I see that Brent Green Party alongside Channel 4 News is trying to make hay out of Tulip Siddiq's confrontation with Channel 4 News.  The case is described here.  I would be truly surprised if either of them is unaware of the parliamentary convention that you only raise matters relating to your own constituents.  Under these rules, the Speaker might reprimand Tulip if she took up the case. 

As far as I can see, she is being urged to simply because she is of Bangladeshi heritage and related to eminent Bangladeshi politicians.  This is one of the subtler ways in which ethnic minority politicians are treated differently. 

UPDATE 03.12.17

In answer to the comment, I don't think Tulip was trying to threaten anybody; she was just rather clumsily trying to extricate herself from a confrontational situation.  I notice that she has apologised for the remark anyway.

The way Channel 4 has targeted her because she is Bangladeshi is because they know that she has no connection to the case they are raising.  Anybody who has ever worked in a MP's office, or had much dealing with them, knows that it is standard not to deal with the casework of people who live in other constituencies.  Thus Tulip has campaigned for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to be released as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a Hampstead and Kilburn constituent.  Ahmed Bin Quasem is not a Hampstead and Kilburn constituent.  His case should be raised by his own MP, and I am sure that Channel4 News know that full well.  They have gone to Tulip simply because she is Bangladeshi in origin.  I think it is wholly inappropriate to start expecting MPs from ethnic minorities to raise cases in Parliament simply because they involve people from the same ethnic minority.


Anonymous said...

What is behaviour unbecoming of a MP like threatening a journalist or pregnant woman got to do with being of Bangladeshi heritage?

Scott said...

Hello James,
I think you've missed the point which is a fundamental one around Human Rights. Whilst Tulip *is* representing Nazanin who has been detained for political reasons because she is a constituent (which fits the usual run of things)

- The issue is Tulip, has actively used her political connections to her Auntie & family in the past - From being a former "Awami League spokesperson", to representing Bangladesh at the UN, to meeting Putin for a £1bn arms deal with her Aunt and also meeting Nelson Mandela and involvement with Labour 'friends of Bangladesh'. On the night of winning her parliamentary seat she even dedicated winning the Hampstead & Kilburn seat to the guidance and support of her Aunt on Bangladeshi TV. So when she says that she'll support any Bangladeshi in England, but doesn't with Ahmad bin Quasem - (I imagine because the case of the disappeared son of her Aunt's murdered political opponent is utterly shameful) - on spurious grounds she doesn't chat politics with her auntie - is bunkum.

Inherent within Human Rights is universalism and whilst she has used her family connections for capital in the past (such as being a spokesperson), the nature of capital is that sometimes debits are made. People from all political backgrounds, including the Labour member of Hampstead & Kilburn you linked under 'make hay' (here are right to call her out on not using the power she holds.

Drawing attention to human rights violations is a vital function of journalism.

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