The Mother of all Elections – UK 2017
The UK has seen some incredible developments over the past few years. No sooner had PM Cameron won the public vote in 2015 that he declared the date for the EU referendum. Otherwise known as Brexit. At that time, I had advised the politicians that for the UK, Brexit was the right choice and indeed in my view, the British electorate would choose that as their preferred option. On Thursday June 23, 2016, the British electorate did exactly as I had predicted and voted to leave the EU. This set into motion a series of events that have hitherto never happened before. Within hours PM Cameron stepped down as the Prime Minister. He really had no choice since he backed the ‘remain’ campaign which obviously failed.
Of course, this led immediately to the selection of the next Conservative Party leader and therefore the new PM of UK. And what a battle that turned out to be with the likes of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Theresa May all throwing their hats in the ring. The victor as we now know was PM T May.
The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats also lost their leaders at the same time and we had several months when every major party in the UK was scrambling to select their new leader. In the end the Labour Party chose MP Jeremy Corbyn and the Liberal Democrats MP Tim Farron.
The stage was set to action Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The first step in the process of the UK leaving the EU. Months of turmoil with opposition politicians playing all the games they could, to if not halt the process, to slow it down to a crawl. In the end, PM May put the opposition to the sword in a parliamentary vote, and guess what, the Article 50 Bill passed in Parliament by a margin of 498 to 114. So much so for the defiant opposition that crumbled in the wake of ground reality, that being that the British public would not stand for any politician who stood in the way of the decision they had made.
Under normal circumstances one would have thought that the matter was settled and the British government should just get on with the task in hand. However, modern politics is no longer that straight forward. The opposition which has a majority in the upper house (House of Lords) declared that they would do everything to frustrate the process and by so doing, undermine the negotiating strength of the British Government for Brexit. The European bureaucrats in Brussels were loving this, knowing they also wanted to make life hard for Britain as well. As it turned out, most of the leading economic indicators continued to be favourable to the British economy. The doom merchants were being proven wrong as Britain continued to outshine most of its European partners.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) having already lost one referendum for independence wanted to instigate another one. The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon saw an opportunity of the Brexit vote and used that to promote her favourite policy for independence. However, the continuous sniping by British opposition politicians finally pushed PM May to decide enough was enough. PM May out foxed not only the opposition, and the media, but also her own party members when she declared that she wanted a snap election to take place on 8th June 2017. In the UK, we have what is called a ‘Fixed Parliament Act’. In effect, it means an election take place every 5 years. If you want one earlier, then Parliament must vote by 2/3rd majority for it to take place. Generally speaking, this would mean getting the opposition to vote with the Government of the day. Of course, when PM May threw this gauntlet down she knew that the main opposition had no choice but to back her call for an early election. Namely, how on earth can any opposition run timid from an election? Even when it knows it’s in a bad way, political expediency means the Labour Party had no choice but to say yes.
The state of play for the main political parties is as follows:
UK GE17 – LATEST VOTING INTENTION
The above table indicates the current trend in voting intentions of the British electorate. It does not take a genius to conclude that short of a minor miracle, the Labour Party will be defeated with devastating ease. They say that on current polling the seat sharing might look like: Con=388, Lab=177, LDem=7 and UKIP=0. The SNP in Scotland = 56. In my view, there is much that can still happen. As they say a week in politics is a long time.
This is of course just an exercise in playing with numbers. My interpretation is kept simple. The Conservative Party will win with ease and have a significant majority to get most of its legislation through the next Parliament. They will have 5 years in which to cement in their advantage subject to their policies working out and the public don’t get tired of the leadership.
The Labour Party will be crippled to such a degree that either it will have to dump its current unpopular leader, Jeremy Corbyn and get in a centrist like David Miliband (yes you read that correctly) or the Party as it stands will have to split. One faction (supported by most of its MPs) will try to galvanise the centre ground in politics whilst the other faction will turn into a far-left party with its dedicated core voters synchronised with its far-left ideology. What we can say is that unless the Labour Party takes some very tough decisions, and quickly, it won’t get into power in Britain for a good decade and maybe even longer. Make no bones, this is now crunch time for the Labour Party, it’s very existence is now in question and if it fails then don’t be too surprised if a Centre Left Party emerges of a coalition of colours to challenge the incumbent Government.
What does all this mean for UK and India relations?
The answer in short, a huge opportunity to reset the relationship so it is fit for the 21st Century. Britain is no longer an imperial power with an Empire to govern. It is a small island, be it a very important and influential island, just off the coast of Europe. The fact that UK will be free of the EU means anything and everything is now on the table for discussions. The fact that India has emerged as an established 21st century powerhouse means it can demand, and it will get, what it needs. Be that from the UK or a host of other countries around the world lining up to cosy with the new India under the stewardship of its nationally popular leader, PM Modi.
Both these countries, linked by history of course, find themselves in very similar situations. Facing the 21st Century with new found freedom, new opportunities and renewed self-confidence. Deals are there to be made in the interest of both. India finds itself in a powerful position that it has not seen for thousands of years. I have no doubt that these two old partners will find a new working relationship based on respect and shared values.
Europe on the other hand is in dire straits. The free for all immigration policies of the past decade are now catching up with devastating consequences. The majority of European politicians live in their ivory towers. They hide behind politically correct rhetoric and platitudes ignoring the plight of their own people and the surge of negativity being unleased from the silent majority via the new social media networks. The establishment elite can no longer control information flow and the diet of misinformation it depended upon to hoodwink the electorate. The news media that has failed to properly scrutinise the so called politically correct rhetoric is also coming in for some legitimate roasting. When politicians fail their electorate, the media ignore the truth for want of being PC – then it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens. And this we have witnessed in France with the far-right leader Maria Le Pen being elevated to new heights of being able to challenge for the French presidency. Think about it, in a major European country like France there is a huge proportion of people so disenfranchised that they are willing to vote for the very extreme far-right group. That means at the very grass roots millions of citizens are shouting, enough is enough, ignore us at your peril.
Brexit does not make the British electorate racist. The French have not suddenly become racist. And we can say that for most European countries now. What we see and experience is a cry for help from a sizeable silent majority. Unfortunately, the downside being that many of us who are classified as immigrants end up getting the brunt of these failed political policies.
The challenge for the EU is to accept its mistakes and correct them urgently. In my view, they won’t do that with the resultant outcome, massive street wide public disturbances on a regular basis. In 2017/18, we will see the streets of Europe resemble war zone, and folks that is no exaggeration.
Back to the British election. The win for the Conservative Party is clear and so on 9th June a new era beacons and I for one would hope that for India and UK, it means a much more productive relationship that safe guards each country not only on the economic front, but also from the advances of extremism and terrorism.
The Labour Party in Britain has increasingly moved towards the Islamic community. In particular, towards the Pakistani community. It seems it is now very much reliant on the Pakistani community for votes en masse to ensure it secures some of their seats. This has created a situation whereby it is now seen by many as anti-Hindu and anti-Jew. Both of these communities are looking at the Conservative party as a natural home for them in the knowledge that at least there are some aspects of shared values and goals. The Labour Party born from the Unions is also seen to be edging ever closer to some militant unions and with that many of moderate voters feel left out. We see many of these voters begin to move away from the Labour Party in favour of the Conservatives. What is even more surprising is that the working-class roots of the Labour Party also feel that they have been abandoned by their own party. We have seen a sizeable proportion of this group voting for Brexit as well as UKIP (very much the right of right party in the UK). For India one could conclude easily that a defeat for the Labour Party is the best option. The Conservatives offer the best choice for the best partnerships now and for the future. I would not be too surprised if PM Modi builds on the excellent relations he forged with PM Cameron and can now enhance those with his interaction with PM May.
With Brexit on its way, and with the General Election on 8th June, I see my glass to be full. Half with new found freedom, half with new opportunities for the new millennial. This is a time to forge stronger bonds to protect the economy, but to stand firm against the disease of extremism and terrorism that affects both our countries.
Much has happened in the UK since my last column. The UK has voted for Brexit, PM Cameron has stepped down, PM May now leads the nation and whilst all of this was happening, people could be forgiven for missing a very important announcement for the Indian community. I bring to you the appointment of a good friend of the Indian community, a champion for the diaspora and now, the Lord Gadhia. To be accurate the title is: Baron Gadhia, of Northwood in the County of Middlesex.
I have known Lord Gadhia for a number of years and it was clear from the start that in him the Indian community had a champion of Industry, of Commerce, of Public Service and a man whose core is based on the values of Sanathan Dharma. Indeed, Lord Gadhia sought the blessings of the Rig Veda during his swearing in ceremony in the House of Lords. A first in British history.
Lord Gadhia is a British Citizen of Indian origin, born in Uganda and raised in the UK. His family came to Britain during the expulsion of 50,000+ Asians from Uganda in 1972. He was educated at Cambridge University and also the London Business School.
He is an investment banker and has worked with major banks like Barings, ABN AMRO and Barclays before joining Blackstone as a Senior Managing Director, and is an expert on BRIC economies.
Lord Gadhia has demonstrated an active record of public service deploying his financial experience, strategic skills and international networks for the benefit of public bodies and helping the UK’s public global business relationships. Indeed, he has been recognised as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, which convenes with world leaders in Davos.
In April 2016, Lord Gadhia was appointed by HM Treasury to the Board of UK Government Investments (UKGI), which brings together UKFI and all the other assets owned by the UK Government under one umbrella holding company becoming the Government’s centre of excellence in corporate finance and corporate governance.
Lord Gadhia has provided significant input in strengthening UK-India relations and has accompanied delegations to the subcontinent with former Prime Minister David Cameron, former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University. He is a Member of the UK-India CEO Forum which was established during Prime Narendra Modi’s historic visit to UK in November 2015.
I met up with Lord Gadhia and asked him a few questions:
- What is your current position?
I now have, what is euphemistically called, a “plural” career. I thought this would give me greater flexibility and a better work-life balance, but I am busier now than ever, particularly given my recent appointment to the House of Lords.
On the private side, I am a Director of BGL Group, which owns comparethemarket.com. I also advise Intas Pharmaceuticals, a global generic pharmaceutical company headquartered in India which has just made the largest investment by an Indian company in UK, post-Brexit, of over £600 million.
- You have had an extraordinary journey from your birth country to your home now in the UK. Can you tell us a bit about your toughest challenges, your proudest achievements and of course, your incredible success as a businessman, and now also within the political arena?
It has been quite a journey from a village in Gujarat to the suburbs of London via the hills of Kampala. Having a triple identity – Indian origin, born in Uganda and raised in Britain might seem challenging for many but I see it as a unique advantage. The beauty of wearing “three hats” – either separately or all at the same time – is that you don’t feel confined to any one culture and you can transcend them all.
As a young banker, I lived through the collapse of Barings in 1995. It was a “Black Swan” moment for all of us working at Barings and, indeed, the City fraternity more widely. We eventually came through this difficultly but the whole episode taught me to “expect the unexpected” and this has helped me develop a sense of perspective about similar events.
- Who/What inspires you?
I am most inspired by people who have been successful and yet retained their authenticity. Whether it’s an investor like Warren Buffet in US, an entrepreneur like Sir James Dyson in UK or a politician like PM Narendra Modi in India. They all have a gift for articulating a powerful vision and at the same time they also demonstrably “walk the talk”.
- What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?
When RBS took over ABN AMRO, I found myself in a difficult situation. My team faced an uncertain future in a new organisation which had an ambiguous commitment to our business area. I was loathed to see our successful franchise lose momentum and break-up but I could foresee a period of slow but sure attrition ahead. Fortunately, I was able to find safe harbour for 50 people at Barclays Capital – but these type of large team moves, en masse, happen very rarely in the City.
- Who has been the biggest influence in your career to date?
It is difficult to point to a single individual but I would say that the quality of experience which I gained working at Barings in the corporate finance team during the 1990s has been an enduring influence through my subsequent career. I had the best training possible and worked with some outstanding individuals who have gone onto excel in different roles.
- What would you like to achieve before GE2020?
I would like to see all the political parties select more British Indian candidates for winnable seats in the House of Commons. There are currently 9 people of Indian origin (and one more if you count Bob Blackman MP, who is an honorary Indian and a great friend of our community). It would be wonderful if we could double this to 20 British Indians in the House of Commons by 2020.
- If you were Prime Minister, what one policy would you like to implement?
Our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, speaks of making Britain a great meritocracy, a place where advantage is based on merit not privilege; where it’s your talent and hard work that matter, not where you were born, who your parents are or what your accent sounds like. This is music to my ears.
British Indians were promised during the EU referendum that being outside the EU would enable more talented people, including Indian students and professionals to come to the UK. I believe this promise needs to be honoured.
- The Prime Minister considers you as a leading expert on UK Indian Diaspora relations, can you share with us your thoughts on the special bonds between the two nations and how this will develop over the coming decades?
It is no exaggeration to say that the next decade for Britain will be dominated by Brexit and therefore the bilateral relationship with India will be framed in this context. It is a defining moment in British history as we grapple with these new realities. We stand at a crossroads for the UK and its future relationship with the rest of the world. In this context, I hope that India will view us as: “a friend in need is a friend indeed” and recognise both the necessities and opportunities opened up by our departure from the European Union.
We also need to constantly work on the relationship and can’t be complacent. A respected Indian businessman described the UK-India relationship to me as being like a long married couple. We are so familiar with each other that it is easy to take each other for granted and sometimes we need to find a new spark to revive the relationship. I hope some of us can encourage those new sparks.
- Your faith is very important to you; can you tell us how it has helped you in your life?
Being anchored in a set of timeless values provides you with a sense of perspective and balance. I believe that both Dharma (right conduct) and Karma (you reap what you sow) are also good ways to approach other aspects of your life – be they personal or business relationships.
As a result, you shouldn’t seek to be “somebody” but achieve “something”. If you do your duty, then everything else will fall into place. In the political world this philosophy is sometimes considered as naïve. But we need to change that mindset and encourage more people to get on with doing the right thing.
- If you were marooned on a desert island, whichever historical figure would you like to spend your time with, and why?
Since being isolated on a desert island could become quite depressing, it would have to be an entertainer that has made me laugh the most: Robin Williams, a great comedian and actor from films like Good Will Hunting, Mrs Doubtfire and Dead Poets Society. And, together, we could seize the day.
KK: I trust you found my ‘Konversation’ with Lord Gadhia interesting. Watch this space as I bring many more interesting personalities to you over the coming months. Do remember, you can also follow me on twitter, though you might need to have a robust constitution since I don’t mix my words and can be rather blunt on occasions.
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
Time the World Woke Up
As the world woke up on Wednesday 9th November, people got a shock of the century. Or did they? I accept the shock was real for the establishment both in the US, as well as many western countries. It was a shock for the paid liberal media that had thrown everything at Trump to destroy him and they failed. Yes, it was also a shock for the pollsters who frankly have still not learnt a simple lesson, the world paradigm has changed and therefore their traditional models just don’t work any longer. It was a monumental shock for the divas of show business who went out of their way to promote Hillary Clinton and demonise Trump. It was a shock because no one wanted to listen to the people. The establishment and the liberal socialist PC brigade forgot the people. All they wanted to do was preserve their elite power base by hoodwinking their core voters again. However, the Earthquake that started in the east in 2014, established a new era in world politics which many ignored at their peril.
So, let’s go to the epicentre of this global earthquake, India. The Indian paid media, political parties, show business and societal elite demonised the then CM Modi who was standing to be the Prime Minister of India. We saw them use every dirty trick in the book to undermine CM Modi, and we also saw the absurd scenario when even the BJP insiders were actively undermining his campaign. The media and the pollsters connived to present a negative picture of CM Modi, presenting polling that was totally skewed. Despite this mafia style attack on CM Modi, in May 2014 he did not just win the Indian election, in so doing he destroyed the very backbone of the corrupt opposition. The Indian people at the grassroots showed their contempt for the establishment. The opposition has still not come to terms with the thrashing they got in 2014.
That was the start. The huge upset reverberated throughout the world since the ‘establishment’ in many western countries wanted their pet poodle ‘Sonia’s Congress’ to win in India. They did not heed the message.
In June 2016, Great Britain had their EU referendum (otherwise known as Brexit). Again, we saw the same pattern. The media, political parties (here in the UK as well as the meddling politicians from the EU and USA), show business and societal elite demonised all Brexit voters. There was wall to wall coverage painting every Brexiter as racist, xenophobic and illiterate thugs. When the big day came, the ‘remainers’ – i.e. the establishment, started their celebrations showing the polls confirming that Britain would stay in the EU. Well we all know how wrong they all got that and their rhetoric failed in every way possible. The British people at the grassroots sent a message, listen to what we are saying. If you don’t, we’ll give you the political establishment a bloody nose. Today we see that even after such a humiliating defeat, the ‘remainers’ continue to do everything to thwart the will of the people. I have already stated, they do so at their peril. If they think Brexit was a bloody nose, then in GE2020 they’ll get a lot more than that if they don’t get their act together.
So, we come to the USA and November 2016. We have seen the very same events unfolding. The establishment refused to listen to the people. They refused to listen to common sense. They did everything in their power to ensure that the Washington click stayed in power, one way or another. They had become so corrupt that even when they could see the wholesale misadventures of Hillary Clinton, collectively they all turned a blind eye. Remember, Hillary had the media, show business, the establishment, big businesses all on her side. She also had the President, Barak Obama who became the first outgoing President to take such an active part in a presidential election. If that was not enough, even Michelle Obama took to the stage to influence (or was it to hoodwink) the ‘minority’ voters. Then we add on top the USD 1.3 Billion which the democrats spent in promoting Hillary. Yes, USD 1.3 Billion and they still lost.
So, what is going on? After more than 60 years of political match fixing in many of our western democracies, there is now a people’s revolt that is taking place. It is NOT the racists as the establishment will paint. They are NOT xenophobic and nor are they dumb. In the real world where we all live, you have some crazy people on the extreme left, on the extreme right and yes, even some in the middle. However, to paint vast groups of law abiding good people with such crass labels is not only wrong, it is defamation on a monumental scale. You cannot win any election with just the ultra-left, or the ultra-right – you also need the people in the middle (the silent majority), a fact many people ignored.
This wind of change is already present in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany and don’t rule out Austria, Holland and Hungary. If the EU politicians don’t wake up, they are all in for a shocking future.
And so, we end with one clear exposition, Brexit was right for the UK. This is now our time to reset the country so we can take advantage of a new global paradigm. It’s time to be positive and brave. The bigger story is not that Trump won, but that almost everyone in what we call the ‘establishment’ is so out of touch with the grassroots. When Trump said, it was going to be Brexit plus plus plus, there was a clue for the establishment! Do they get it tough?
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
Time Indians Woke Up
Astute readers of Asian Voice and Kapil’s Khichadi will be aware that for the best part of the past 5 years, I have been warning our community of the stealth transformation occurring in the Labour Party. In these five years, I have had a lot of abuse from many prominent Indians who belong to the Labour Party. They missed the point, they ended up shooting the messenger rather than facing the real prospect that their party was turning into a nightmare. Time is a silent witness that helps to prove one’s correct stance, and being on the right side of history is a blessing.
So, what am I talking about? Well I wrote an article titled, ‘Is Labour Going Sharia’? In that I articulated that the Labour Party was being influence disproportionately by the Pakistani (Kashmiri Separatist) groups in the UK. This week we see further evidence that the Labour Party have lost the plot in their pursuit of appeasement politics to secure the Islamic vote.
Over the past week, London had been transformed by the Jammu and Kashmir Festival taking place at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, The Nehru Centre and even the Houses of Parliament. A diverse group of performers from Jammu and Kashmir came to the UK to promote their beautiful home state. They represented various parts of the region as well as the different faiths. And each of them had one view – for Pakistan and Pakistani sponsored terrorists to stay out of India, and for Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (POK) to become part of Bharat again.
Then on 26th October 2016, the Shadow Justice Minister (Labour) Yasmin Qureshi raised a question in Parliament in which she used the term ‘Indian Occupied Kashmir’. Her unparliamentary question was answered with contempt by PM May, and rightly so. However, what is very important for all of us to recognise is that when any MP who is sitting on the front bench of any political party makes such a statement in Parliament, it basically means it’s the Party policy. Just in case some readers don’t get the point, it means the Labour Party seems to be clearly stating that India is occupying Kashmir and it believes Kashmir is Pakistani. The Labour Party is now clearly coming across as Pro-Pakistan and Anti-India. Ironically, 26th October 1947 was also the date on which the then Maharaja signed the Accession document with our Queens representative, Lord Mountbatten, legally confirming that the whole of J&K was integral to India.
And here we have the Grandson of the Maharaja, at the Houses of Parliament with Bob Blackman MP on 26th October 2016, with a copy of the very same Accession document.
Let’s move forward by a day. On the 27th October 2016, the Labour peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed took part in a demonstration outside the Indian Embassy in London. I just happen to be passing by and witnessed the anti-India demonstration first hand. You can actually view his charade on YouTube if you like and make up your own mind.
The Pakistani MPs in the Labour Party (as well as Councillors) feel so empowered that they can say whatever they like, knowing that the senior management of the party is either in on it giving tacit support, or they are too scared to say anything lest they lose the votes.
Remember, it was only last month on 18th September that state sponsored Pakistani terrorists attacked India killing Indian soldiers who were guarding the Line of Control at Uri. The result of that was clear, Pakistan was isolated on the world stage. And India gave a fitting reply for Uri, as well as to other cross border violations including the most recent in the Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
I have asked Labour MPs Seema Malhotra, Valerie Vaz, Dawn Butler, Jonathan Ashworth and Barry Gardiner if they will denounce the comments of Yasmin Qureshi. So far, no response. I suppose that says it all!
What does this tell us? To me, at least, it states that whilst Pakistani MPs and Councillors can say and do what they like in the Labour Party, we have many Labour MPs (getting large numbers of votes from Indians) who basically don’t care a damn about India or Indians. If they did, I would like to see evidence that they get up in Parliament and disassociate themselves from the statement made by Yasmin Qureshi, and to make a statement in support of India and that POK must be vacated and handed back to India immediately. Will these cowards have the spine to say that? Take my advice, don’t hold your breath.
There is an organisation with a grand title called ‘Labour Friends of India’. As far as I can make out, not one person from that organisation has rebuked Yasmin Qureshi or Lord Nasir so far. How can you be a ‘friend of India’ and exhibit no spine in standing up to the extremists that threaten India? In fact, on their Facebook page, the last entry was on 25th June 2014. Yes, it seems the election of PM Modi in May 2014 must have upset them so much, that their interaction on anything India related has stopped.
We have all just celebrated Diwali. The lessons of Diwali are many, but let us note that the main one being that wherever you see adharmic forces in action, those of dharma must stand up. The ‘ravanas’ of this world are gathering, often unhindered and possibly even supported by those masquerading as our friends. We however must see beyond and protect Dharma, for those who protect Dharma, Dharma will protect you. The darkness we witness daily, we cannot rid it by hiding, or by our cowardice or by appeasing the extremists. So, your duty is simple, if you are of Indian origin, then it is your personal duty to ensure that you use your vote purposefully. It’s your choice, you decide and then you live with the consequences.
Bharat Mata ki Jai
On 18th September state sponsored Pakistani terrorists attacked India killing Indian soldiers who were guarding the Line of Control to ensure the security of India and Indian citizens. The whole world knows that those who attacked must have been facilitated by Pakistani officials. In India it drew massive reaction from the public and of course the vast majority wanted immediate retaliation. Armchair pundits were on every TV channel dissecting the news into so many pieces that in the end, most of them were unable to see the bigger picture. So what was the bigger picture?
PM Modi has always worked in a way that is not only different, but very often like a chess player who has multiple options and sees moves many steps ahead. Like in chess, in order to secure check-mate you do need to first move some key pieces to the right place. PM Modi and his team began briefing all key international partners so they were left in no doubt that either they were with India, or they were with the terrorists. Countries that historically had shown two faces were put in a corner and with diplomatic bluntness, they were informed that India is now fully under new management. The old days of appeasement were over.
At the same time the armed forces had already been informed that they will be given a right for full retaliation, and that they should put in place a master plan of what can be done in various phases. Yes, you read that correctly, in various phases means what you have witnessed in only phase one.
At the United Nations Pakistan’s international beggar, PM Nawaz Sharif went with his begging bowl and found the place empty to his pleadings. It what must have been one of the most embarrassing speeches at the UN, to an empty auditorium, he read out a script written by his terrorist loving army chiefs. His body language confirmed that even he did not believe a word of what he was saying, let alone trying to hoodwink the rest of the world. He left disgraced to return to the gutter from whence he came.
India’s First Secretary to the United Nations, the young self-confident determined Smt Eenam Gambhir gave one of the most devastating rebuttals in just under 3 mins. She destroyed Pakistan and the terrorist state it has become. If that was not enough, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj followed this up a few days later with what will go down as one of the most ‘surgically’ targeted speeches ever made against Pakistan. Whilst she spent most of her time discussing global issues (as a developed global player would do on the world stage) she left her most ferocious attack for Pakistan. There was no doubt, at the UN she declared with absolute clarity – Jammu and Kashmir are integral to India and will remain so, permanently.
However, all this was just a precursor to what was really about to happen. By now Pakistan was totally isolated on the world stage. Apart from China showing mild support, every other country denounced Pakistan and left it stranded. And at this time PM Modi made his speech. Most people did not understand his speech, including many in the media and even the so called pundits. Read in between the lines PM Modi stated with precision to Pakistan, India will split Pakistan into four. As the specialist were debating the speech, orders had already been given to the armed forces, Phase One was a go. Indian special forces infiltrated way deep into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (remember, technically India had entered its own territory). They had been monitoring the launch pads for terrorist attacks and had every angle covered. Delhi said, go and within a matter of hours the Indian armed forces had destroyed the launch pads, killed all the terrorist and also some Pakistani soldiers. They returned back to India before the world was awake and with minimal injuries to rapturous commendations from everyone.
If that was not enough humiliation for Pakistan, the SAARC conference was boycotted by everyone. Who wants to sit with the head of a terrorist state?
So whilst you and I sit here in the UK, what can we do you all ask? Well we cannot be at the LOC and take the bullets. However, there is something that every true Indian in the UK can do. I ask you all to sign the following petition (please go the website immediately):
The idea of the petition is to register our voice, to send a message to the politicians of what we think and to even get the Government of the day (which by the way is very pro-India anyway) to make a special statement. So all you have to do, and that means everyone in your family and in your network, is to sign this petition. Surely we Indians can all be united on this very simple matter?
I end by saying, we are entering one of the most important phases for India. Pakistan will split into four in the very near future. The atrocities and genocide in Baluchistan is finally an international issue thanks to PM Modi. The issue of Gilgit-Baltistan and the plight of thousands of Pashtuns was also highlighted. The Sun is rising from the East, the world needs India and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure the land of Dharma Rakshaks rises to it deserved status.
Bharat Mata ki Jai, Bharat Mata ki Jai, Bharat Mata ki Jai.
Feedback from readers:
The CEO Prem Jolly of Premia Wines (http://www.premiawines.com) had invited CB Patel, myself and a number of interesting persons to the 3rd Asian Cricket Awards that took place on 23rd September at the legendary Oval Cricket Grounds in London. Frankly I was not sure what to expect but as I entered the stadium and saw the level of planning and spread that had been put together, it became clear that these awards whilst only in their 3rd year, were destined to grow in the years to come.
I had not been to any reception at the Oval before so I was pleasantly surprised that on the 4th floor they have a fantastic terrace that was used for guest reception. The atmosphere was welcoming and of course drinks (courtesy of Premia Wines) and canapés flowed to keep the networking on target. The renowned sports journalist Mihir Bose bumped into me and whilst the chat began, CB Patel arrived with the inevitable nodes from many on the terrace of having recognised the editor-in-chief of Asian Voice. We were joined by Bob Blackman MP, Vin Vara the President of BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association) and Satish Sharma Sec Gen of the NCHT. Of course the event was attended by too many well-known personalities to list them all here.
CB Patel the editor-in-chief of Asian Voice joined Vin Vara the President of BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association) and Satish Sharma Sec Gen of the NCHT.
A bit of background. The Asian Cricket Awards is owned (Baljit Rihal and Jas Jassal) and operated by Inventive Sports. Jas on the ACA 2016, “The Asian Cricket Awards is the ideal platform to recognise and celebrate South Asian success in cricket. There are role models all over the UK with inspirational stories, from those who volunteer, to those who have made cricket their full-time career.”
Jas Jassal and Baljit Rihal – Brains behind the ACA Awards
Moving on, as the sun was setting we were led to the banqueting hall which was beautifully set up as you would expect for a function of this calibre. By the time we were seated dinner was served and let us say, everyone tucked in whilst the conversations carried on to the next level.
Suddenly the compere for the evening, Tommy Sandhu (Breakfast bloke on the BBC Asian Network, TV guy on The Travel Show and BBC1 with Sunday Morning Live) exploded on stage. He grabbed everyone’s attention with his unique style of presentation and wit. The pace was fast and yes it was even furious at times. Those in attendance will know exactly what I mean.
Over the next hour we saw the young talent coming on stage to collect their awards. Below the full list in recognition of their achievements and all our congratulations:
BEHIND THE SCENES AWARD: Winner: Amna Rafiq (Leicestershire CCC)
GRASSROOTS AWARD: Winner: Shahidul Alam Ratan (Director of Cricket at Capital Kids, London Tigers CC)
AMATEUR COACH AWARD: Winner: Shaz Khan (Oxfordshire CCC, Shrivenham CC)
CLUB CRICKET CONFERENCE INSPIRATION AWARD: Winner: Maryam Ali (community cricket coach in Yorkshire)
MEDIA AWARD: Winner: Vithushan Ehantharajah (freelance cricket writer)
POSTHUMOUS AWARD: Winner: Hamza Shabbir (Hampshire CCC, Downend CC)
PROFESSIONAL YOUNG PLAYER AWARD: Winner: Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire CCC)
WOMAN IN CRICKET AWARD: Joint winners: Nalisha Patel (Lancashire Thunder) and Shabnim Ismail (Yorkshire Diamonds)
FOUNDERS SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: Kumar Sangakkara (former Sri Lanka captain)
PROFESSIONAL COACH AWARD: Winner: Cookie Patel (Regional Training Manager, ECB)
ASIAN CRICKET CLUB AWARD: Winner: Indian Gymkhana CC (West London)
PROFESSIONAL PLAYER AWARD: Winner: Adil Rashid (Yorkshire CCC and England)
Teenage Lancashire batsman Haseeb Hameed capped a memorable month by picking up the Young Player award. Hameed, 19, was last week called up to the England Test squad for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh. If he plays, he will become the youngest player to represent the country since Brian Close turned out against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1949.
Winner Nalisha Patel (Lancashire Thunder) collecting award from Prem Jolly CEO Premia Wines and Bob Blackman MP.
Baljit Rihal of Inventive Sports said, “2016 has been a tremendous year for Asians in cricket, and one I believe marks a significant chapter in the progression towards greater inclusion and diversity in this country”.
The evening passed by quickly and it was time for carriages. All in all, everyone had a pleasant evening. Those who were shortlisted and those who won the awards received well-earned recognition and applause. I am sure all our youngsters will be practicing hard over the winter break so they are ready for the 2017 season. I for one can’t wait for ACA2017 and I am certain the depth of talent will bring richness to British sports. So I end by saying, well done and my heartiest congratulations to each and every winner.
23rd June will go down in British history as the day it got back its independence, and as they say, got its mojo back. I have been lucky enough to be at the centre of all of this from all sides of the political fraternity. I also witnessed the role of the media and the so called ‘economic gurus’ in wanting to highjack the Brexit referendum and dumb down the British voters. We witnessed scaremongering from all sides, much of it unreal, unsubstantiated and certainly in some cases, downright ugly attempts to lie and mislead the voters.
On Friday I was in and around the media entourage from all corners of the world that had gathered outside Westminster. What hit me was the ignorance of the media when it came to British politics, European politics and the sentiments of the British public. In almost all cases the media and their anchors regurgitated the standard tripe that had been doing the rounds for the past few months. There was no attempt to understand the British public and where they were coming from. In fact, the more I observed and listened, it became clear the vast majority of national and international media were trapped in what is known as the Westminster bubble. And that was it. They had no idea what the real British public thought and felt around the country, and therein we find the answer to why these elite of modern society got it so very wrong.
Having damned the media for their lack of understanding, and in some cases their sheer incompetence, let me share with you some perspectives that many will not even dare to tackle.
Myth Number One:
This was a left wing, right wing battle. Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s a classic template employed by devious politicians and shoddy journalists who are sometimes motivated by the liberal left wing narrative of wanting to call everyone racist who dare to challenge the status quo. The truth is of course very different. The ‘leavers’ won because they garnered support from those on the right, the centre and interestingly a sizeable proportion from the left. In fact, who would have predicted that left wing Labour supporting areas such as Luton, Birmingham and Sunderland would end up voting for the leave camp? So let us put this myth to bed and call out anyone who peddles such tripe.
Myth Number Two:
The British don’t like Immigrants. Nothing can be further from the truth. The Britain of 2016 is totally different to the Britain I found when I arrived as a child in 1968. It has moved on, it has become open, more equal, very welcoming, very tolerant and empathetic of the plight of others around the world. If you want to experience racism and inequality on a grand scale, then I would suggest you go and live in some of the other European countries. You will soon realise the contempt with which many of them see Indians or any other non-white immigrant.
So what part did immigration play in the BREXIT vote you might ask? Well the answer is that it was quite central. Yes, you read that correctly, it was quite central but not necessarily for the reasons peddled by politicians and lazy journalists. Let me explain. Controlled immigration is always a sign of good governance and management for any country. It allows for that influx of new blood, new ideas and new enthusiasm to enter the country and keep the churn momentum moving forward. However, if you lose control of your borders, lose control over numbers and allow mass immigration to take place over a relatively short period of time – you invariably put unsustainable pressure on every aspect of the life of a country. In effect you introduce stress to the very fabric of society and the glue that keeps it together begins to malfunction. This started happening to the UK under the era of PM Blair who said one thing to the British public, but in effect opened up all borders for mass EU migration into the UK. And here we are talking millions, not just a few thousand. The British public endeavoured to absorb and integrate with these massive changes to their towns, cities, neighbourhoods, schools, health service to name but a few. When such uncontrolled immigration impacts locals on a daily basis, they have a right to feel less valued by the elite who living in their ivory towers have the luxury to pontificate, but stay exempt from its impact. This undercurrent of disaffection and disassociation with the ruling classes had been brewing for years and when finally, the people were given a choice, they made their views known with unmistaken precision. This does not make them racists, or right wing or xenophobic. It makes them realists and human.
I have to commend the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, one of the brightest stars of the Conservative Party and lest we forget, also a person from a family of migrants. She called the referendum correctly long before many others and led the ‘leavers’ campaign well with her colleagues. She also showed that as an MP from the ethnic minorities, she has a unique special touch with the grassroots. She understands the pulse of the nation and also the pulse of her own community. In the end, she was proven right and let us be clear, the ‘leavers’ won because many ‘immigrants’ already in the UK voted to leave the EU.
The myths will continue and suffice to say I might need to write a book to cover all of them. So let’s take in a few other emerging issues of interest.
The so called experts, yes the same tribe of elite intellectuals who missed the global crash of 2008, are painting a scenario of total destruction of the UK in a matter of months. Nothing can be further from the truth. The UK is the best performing economy in the whole of the EU. It’s not because of the EU it’s doing well, it’s because it is confident in its own capacity as an economic power as well as targeting quality emerging markets with whom it can enhance trade relations. For example, when PM Modi came to the UK he made it abundantly clear that India and UK are a power relationship that will not only thrive, but will expand dramatically over the coming years. With the lead from India, the rest of the Commonwealth will follow and the UK will have the EU shackles removed so it can move fast into new emerging arenas of mutual benefit. Within 24 hours of the vote, America, Canada and even Germany came out quickly to publically state that they look forward to smooth and good trading relations with the UK and would wish to move to that new paradigm as quickly as possible. Just wait and see, many other countries will follow suit over the coming months. The only thing we have to appreciate is that no country in the EU will undermine the UK since the impact to its own economy will be even greater. The EU needs the UK market more, especially given the Eurozone disasters taking place almost on a yearly basis. So is everything going to be rosy from day one? Of course not. However, like any significant change, it requires a period of consolidation during which imbalances within systems and structures need to settle down. In time, equilibrium to UK’s satisfaction will return and those same self-appointed merchants of doom will have to eat their words, again.
The EU experiment is in effect dead. The unelected bureaucrats destroyed the common sense approach of the original idea of a ‘common market’. Their vision of the United States of Europe is being rejected by the people of many of the countries that make up the EU. For example, if you were to give the people of these countries a similar referendum vote on whether they want to stay in or out of the EU, well you’ll be surprised with the results. Below I share with you what the current view is of the people in some of these countries.
So let me throw this challenge out to every leader in every country of the EU, if you are confident of the EU project, then why don’t you give your citizens the same right to a referendum as did the UK? The truth is the leaders have known for a while that what they are forcing on their populations is unwanted, and now they are desperate to avoid any further referendums. They know if they gave the people the choice, then many more countries would walk out of this disaster called the EU project.
What the UK has done is a massive favour to the whole of Europe. It will force the unelected bureaucrats to introspect and make changes to accommodate the demands of their own populations. Will they do enough to avoid the domino effect? My view is that they are so far out of touch with their own citizens, that even though they have been gifted this huge opportunity to remedy the situation, they will lose it and only delay the inevitable.
In the end, democracy in the mother of democratic parliaments won the day. PM Cameron has been a good leader of the country but on the EU he made an error of judgement. The error was basic, but in the end proved to be very costly as well. The Prime Minister had stated that he will renegotiate a deal with the EU. He went on to say that if he thought the deal was insufficient then he would advise the UK to leave. His negotiations resulted in crumbs offered by Germany and France. Instead of supporting the leave campaign, he turned logic on its end and said, remain was the way forward. From that point onwards everything he said became worthless since you cannot say before a General Election opting out of the EU was manageable, and then suddenly change that to ‘it’s going to be a disaster if we leave’, scenario. The voters saw through that, he lost and the inevitability of his resignation became a reality. Let me assure you, the Conservative Party will get its act together and the new front bench will put into action the will of the people. To do anything else will impact them significantly in GE202. Come October 2016, get ready for a very pro UK Government, full of confidence and energy, one that will enact Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, as well as begin a proactive strategy for international trade deals. This is now the perfect time for India and Indian companies to engage with the UK.
Whilst the self-appointed pundits do everything to undermine the UK, the UK under its new leadership will get on with governance and the British people will get on with life. I remember in 2014 when almost every media in India was predicting the destruction of India if the now PM Modi and the BJP got into power. 2 years on, India has become a giant on the global stage. It leads on the ground, on the sea and yes, even in space. The Indian public had enough of corrupt governance over decades. They made their choice even after the vilest media campaign against PM Modiji, and today the whole world has become India’s partner. I am confident that in time to come the UK will also rise to the challenge and be equally successful in everything it does. In both cases, the people booted out corrupt governance and we may well see this trend spreading to other countries very soon.
That leaves the question of the other political parties and their fate. Labour has gone into further meltdown. It will either split in two, with Jeremy Corbyn and the loony left on one side and the moderates who will either form their own interim party or might even think of joining up with the LibDems, on the other. No matter what they decide to do, the Labour Party as it stands is not fit to govern the nation. If it splits it won’t be in a position to govern. The ramifications of this are clear for all to see.
As far as UKIP is concerned, their leader Nigel Farage has stepped down. He probably does want his life back, but I suspect he has calculated that with Brexit on the cards and a Tory government putting that into action – the need for UKIP on the very right of British politics has gone. Therefore, once Brexit has legally started, I suspect many UKIP voters will conclude that they might as well now support the Tories in GE2020.
The lay of the political landscape is not all too clear. And even with a brilliant crystal ball, I know that there is every chance some of what I have said above might well change in the coming years. We are going through a phase when by the time one has finished writing a column, the ground realities could have changed. What I do know, politics the old way has been given a hammering and it will have to change. If it does not, the electorate have found their voice and they won’t be afraid to show their power at election time.