Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Is Simon Danczuk M.P. playing with fire?

THE letter below was sent to the editor of the Rochdale Observer last February, and was inspired by some comments Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, made about his political opponents in his column in the Rochdale Observer.  The letter was never published.  In the light of Mr Danczuk's increased majority in the General Election in Rochdale, somewhat against the national trend, perhaps these thoughts expressed in my letter below, ought now to require some further scrutiny.

To the Editor of
the Rochdale Observer,  

Dear Sir,   

IN his 'Talking Politics' column (Observer, 31/ 01/ 15) Mr Simon Danczuk attacked the Green Party and UKIP in the  manner in which he has  formerly used to attack the Liberals; that [is] by the use of smear tactics.   He writes 'that the Greens believe it's not a crime to belong to terrorist organisations like Islamic State, Al Qaida or Islamic State.'  

Now, we know that, since he became a M.P., Mr. Danczuk has dabbled in the politics of the Middle East, but what most of your readers will not realise is that he has also built up a relationship with certain members of the Kashmiri community locally, and nationally, concerning himself with the affairs of the Indian sub-continent.  This is not extraordinary because politicians are supposed to have a world-view.  Yet, when I was at the book-launch of Danczuk's book on child abuse at Danczuk's Deli on the 15th, April, 2014, I was surprised to see a contingent of Kashmires, some who I knew from working at Arrow Mill in the 1970s, and who had been historic supporters in the 1980s and 1990s of an organisation called Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front that had fought the Indian army in the cause of an independent Kashmir.   

Because, as well as being an anarchist who went to Spain to challenge General Franco's dictatorship in the 1960s, ... I had some links with these Kashmires during the 1980s and 90s, and once even organised a press conference for them at the Mitre Hotel in Manchester in the 1980s.  It was a treat then to meet with old friends, some from as far away as Luton and Glodwich in Oldham, but why were they there at Mr. Danczuk's book-launch?  What had child abuse and the former Cyril Smith to do with the politics of Kashmir? 

Whilst I was cheerfully chatting with a Kashmiri lad from Oldham we were interrupted for photo calls, so that Mr. Danczuk could pose with the former supporters of an independent Kashmir; a cause which had involved violence, arrests and kidnappings and which some might call 'terrorism'.  Why were they there at such a unique event coming from so far and wide?  Could it be that the lad from Burnley and the politics of the Mr.Danczuk's Labour Party in Rochdale, requires that he be seen playing footsie with some foreign causes that he probably knows very little about?   

I don't suggest for a moment that Mr. Danczuk is knowingly supporting terrorists or, indeed, that my Kashmiri friends participated in anything illegal that happened in their cause either in this country or abroad.  But I do think Mr. Danczuk is playing with foreign fires in order to obtain certain ethnic votes, not to mention his two-faced hypocrisy in describing the Greens as favouring the terrorists. 

Yours faithfully,

Brian Bamford.

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