| ||Paul Richards, former political advisor to the disgraced MP, Hazel Blears, blathers again in the Jewish Chronicle. This week his target is Azad Ali, whom ENGAGE earlier reported has been vindicated in a Civil Service investigation of any wrongdoing and reinstated to his post at HM Treasury. |
‘Azad Ali is many things. He is a member of the ruling council of Liberty, the civil rights group. He writes about the Middle East for a blog hosted by the Islamic Forum of Europe. He presents a talk show on Muslim Community Radio, which is currently appealing for funds to send to Gaza.'
‘It has been reported that he [Ali] is returning to his job as a Treasury official. He had been under investigation after allegations that he failed to abide by the centuries-old convention that British civil servants must be politically neutral.
‘I would guess that he’s unlikely to be a great respecter of Britain’s quaint traditions when it comes to civil service neutrality.
‘But what about the Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, and the Cabinet Secretary, who is head of the Civil Service?
‘If they are remotely aware of this case, then what on earth are they thinking in allowing such an outspoken political activist to return to a job in the civil service? Have they any idea how damaging it is to its credibility if it appears that all civil servants must be politically neutral, except for the ones who raise funds for Hamas and remove Israel from the map?'
The article is really quite incredible.
In the opening paragraph Richards tells us that the radio show Ali features on ‘is currently appealing for funds to send to Gaza’, and yet he concludes the piece telling us that the fundraising is ‘for Hamas’.
Richards cites comments Ali made on his blog during Israel’s savage bombardment of the people of Gaza in January this year, and refers to a desire to ‘remove Israel from the map’, although no such remark appears either on Ali’s blog, nor is such a remark cited directly in Richards comment piece.
Since when did fundraising for the reconstruction of Gaza after Israel’s bombardment of the Strip become synonymous with raising funds for Hamas? And since when has criticism of Israel’s brutality and committing of war crimes, recently documented by Amnesty International, mean that one was advocating ‘removing Israel from the map?.
But this is not the end of Richards’ disingenuous drivel.
He argues in favour of civil service neutrality and the importance of keeping the politically partial out of the civil service. And yet, from his comments in last month’s JC, his own political partiality and bigotry against Muslims who are politically engaged is evident for all to see. He wrote last month:
‘The hardliners in the MCB and other groups were challenged, not fêted [by Hazel Blears]. It culminated in a boycott of the MCB after one of its leaders attended a conference in Istanbul dominated by supporters of Hamas.
‘Others see the rise of political Islam as a major threat to our democracy; to the UK Jewish community; and to Britain’s interests abroad.
‘The way to tackle this strand of political Islam, which creates the environment for terrorists to brainwash and recruit potential bombers is not to debate with it, nor to invite it for tea at the Department for Communities or Number Ten. It is to expose it, disrupt it, and make it clear such views are repulsive and unacceptable.'
We wonder if he kept his views and antipathy to political Islam to himself when serving as Advisor to Hazel Blears in the Department of Communities and Local Government?
Massively hypocritical, wouldn’t you agree?
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