A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Compass: No enemies to the left?

Soft left faction Compass seems to have a remarkably lax approach to who can contribute to its website. This article is by Salma Yaqoob. You wouldn't know it as Compass don't explain who she is, but this is the same Salma Yaqoob who is a Respect Councillor, is de facto number 2 to George Galloway in Respect, came within 4,000 votes of becoming a Respect MP. Harry's Place has catalogued what her rather nasty political views are.

Is there anyone Compass wouldn't publish the views of? (me probably!)


Blogger Mark Still News said...

To write that luke, surely you must feel a threat from Respect, being as NLP are Neo Conservative and totally anti working class?

12:13 am, November 15, 2008

Anonymous Ger Francis said...

The Harry Place ‘evidence’ is pathetic and shame on you for regurgitating their lies and smears.

Salma’s reaction to the 7/7 bombings was unequivocal in condemnation, as her article in the Guardian at the time makes very clear:


The 7/7 attacks were ‘reprisal attacks’. The bomber said so themselves. Her saying so does not imply support; it simply points to the motives of the bombers.

Dredging up a spoof satirical article of what an Islamic Britain would look like from a student magazine of 15 years ago is really scraping the barrel. Ditto your guilt by association method, like implying her support from over 10 years ago for a human rights campaign for some Birmingham guys locked up and tortured in a Yemeni jail is evidence of support for Al Quaida.

The most stupid and ignorant argument you use is the claim that Salma’s criticism of the manner in which the ‘beheading plot’ anti-terror raids were conducted is evidence of her behaving like a ‘sectarian trouble maker’. The very opposite is the truth:


Ken Clarke and others also echoed her comments that the Whitehall leaks, which marked the raids, both heightened community tension and undermined the legal process, when they appeared on Question Time together during the week of the raids! (And not all arrested were charged by the way).


It was noticeable that the recent anti-terror raids in Birmingham were conducted in a very different manner and Salma was in the local media praising this fact.

So, grow up. You may ‘hope that we hear a lot less of Salma Yaqoob in the future’ but I can assure you that you will. Get over it.

9:16 am, November 15, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So "ger francis" thinks that the &/7 bobings were justified as reprisals ! - I note nowhere in his rant does he condemn terrorism.


1:43 pm, November 15, 2008

Blogger faceless said...

Attacking Salma Yaqoob over this is laughable. You show no integrity in doing so and attract cowardly scum like the 'anonymous' above.

Well done on being such a 'moderate'.

1:58 pm, November 15, 2008

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Ah, the sectarian and intolerant politics of smear by association return to this blog.

3:44 pm, November 15, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So "faceless" accuses people of anoniity ?

If the "Sadam Hussain" fan club wishes to trade as respect then we owe it to the dead in Iraq to ensure (as Harry's Place does)that this hypocracy is exposed.


5:00 pm, November 15, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke: nothing wrong with the exchange of ideas - its pretty obvious that Compass wouldn't share all her views. But nothing is gained from the sort of purist 'don't listen to this person' approach.

This is what makes parties inward looking and fail to look outside themselves. Given the tiny membership of political parties, many ideas are likely to come from outside them in future, and surely that is exactly the purpose of groups such as Compass?

In any case, Harry's Place is a fanatical, fringe-Zionist site and very slanted in its own stance. The uncritical support of Israel, which I regard as a threat to world peace in its present geographical situation, is an example. I happen to think that the creation of Israel in that position was a mistake and that it has no long term future, but one cannot express this view without being accused of all sorts of sins!

10:47 am, November 16, 2008

Anonymous Dan said...

Come off it - it's hardly sectarian of Luke to point out the oddity of Compass giving a platform to a senior figure in a rival political party.

4:09 pm, November 16, 2008

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

However, Salma's article is actually rather good, isn't it? It's certainly one of the better, clearer things I've read 'from' Compass for some time.

Even a tribal labourist like me can acknowledge a sensible article by somebody from another party.

11:04 pm, November 16, 2008

Anonymous David Floyd said...

"Come off it - it's hardly sectarian of Luke to point out the oddity of Compass giving a platform to a senior figure in a rival political party."

Well Compass is a democratic left pressure not a part of the Labour Party. Other pressure groups and think tanks with Labour connections also give platforms to members of other parties.

My preference would be for it to be made clear who contributors and which organisations they represent but there's lots of unattributed pieces on the site, it's not an exception being made for Salma Yaqoob.

It's difficult to see how the line Harry's Place are offering here is anything like a balanced and objective interpretation of the facts they themselves present (let alone the facts as they might look if Salma Yaqoob was given a right of reply).

I'm sure I'd disagree with Salma Yaqoob on many issues (and I certainly wouldn't vote for her party) but I don't it's wrong for Compass to invite her to contribute to its bit of the political debate.

11:34 am, November 17, 2008

Anonymous MichaelC said...

Do you disagree with anything Salma writes in her piece for Compass? Seems eminently sensible to me.

11:37 am, November 17, 2008


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