04 May 2010
Could Jack Straw lose in Blackburn?
Could Jack Straw be about to lose his Blackburn seat? Craig Murray thinks so and points to the fact that Straw seems to be engaged in the illegal practise of treating people with free food and drink at his election meetings. Craig explains that in Gujarati culture if you take a candidate's food then you are morally obliged to support that person at the polls, and Straw has organising any number of meetings with Gujaratis. . .
Two things seem to have happened to scare Jack Straw. The first is the candidacy of Bushra Irfan, an Asian solicitor who stood down from her role as Liberal-Democrat candidate in a Sheffield seat to take on Straw in her home town. As we have already reported, the Straw team take her very seriously indeed, even to the extent of sending tame council workmen to her house to tear down her election hoarding.
Secondly, the Tories are fighting a seriously dirty campaign and have issued at least one "unofficial" leaflet which claims:
We have in front of us a whole saga of atrocities committed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine, and if this was not enough, the Labour government allowed the Israeli government to create havoc in Lebanon and Gaza in Palestine...killing and maiming thousands of innocent civilians.
The point about all this is that to win Straw needs the support of pretty much the entire Asian voting block and at least some of the white working class. Bushra Irfan and the Tories are unlikely to get many white votes with their campaigns, but they might cut deeply into the Asian vote.
If that happens then Straw could lose to either the Liberal-Democrats or even the British National Party.
Update, 12.55pm, 4 May 2010:
At Jack Straw's gathering last night it was announced food would not be served as it would be against electoral law. This is something of a victory. About a quarter of the audience left immediately and most of the rest wandered out less obviously during the next half hour!
Nice work Craig!