11 Apr 2010

Salma can win!

This is a good report from Ger Francis of Salma Yaqoob's campaign, Salma (leader of the RESPECT Party) backed the Green Party in the Euro-elections and has been urging voters to support Caroline Lucas, she has done great work for peace, green new deal and anti-cuts.

The Green Party in Birmingham stood down their candidate to give Salma a boost....any where here is the report.

The word on the street is that she is going to win. She has got momentum and for good reason. In the last week 1,000 people have attended her election rally, built largely by word of mouth, and the retiring Labour MP has attacked the Labour candidate while endorsing Salma! That is about as good a week as you can hope to get in this game. The only thing that would have topped it would have been Labour’s postal vote scam being exposed. But maybe that’s to come…

When Salma did her walkabout on the Stratford Rd yesterday she got a fantastic response and her posters are going up in loads of shops. The response of her rivals is to attack her for being articulate and a good communicator! (As in, all she is good for is talking on the telly. It’s pathetic and infantile but that’s what they are reduced to). In the Urdu press the Labour team are blatantly lying and trying to cause confusion by saying that Salma is only standing for councilor and not MP. (She is standing for both. Her term is up in May). I expect the opposition attacks to get worse. If past experience is anything to go by anonymous Islamaphobic leaflets will appear and there will be an attempt to touch homophobic buttons in the Muslim community by highlighting Respect’s commitment to upholding LGBT rights.

Regardless, Salma is going through the constituency like a force of nature, and speaking to large numbers of voters literally every few days. At Friday prayers she addressed about 500 people at mosques in the constituency on the theme of social justice. It is literally unheard of for a woman to do this. And her campaign are only warming up. When it hits full steam it will be even more formidable. And lots of fun. Already this morning we have had teams out leafleting since 8am, such is the enthusiasm.

A victory for Salma will put a marker down for those opposed to the cuts agenda and neo-liberal model, it will put a marker down for the anti-war movement, and it will put a marker down against Islamaphobia and racism. And that goal should put into perspective and override any differences or criticisms people have with Salma or Respect. She can win. And that’s all more likely with all the more support. That is why we are putting out a national call for all supporters and sympathizers to come to Birmingham. Meet 12.30pm next Saturday 17th April and Sunday 18th April, at 95 Walford Road, Sparkbrook, B11 1NP. For more info ring 078 121 72885.

It is about time the left had some victories. Help us get one.

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