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Bombing Syria : An impassioned letter to David Cameron by Labour’s @Amina_Lone : Pause and reflect before any action

Dear David,

Like millions of us, I know you will be reeling after the horrific attacks in Paris. How can anyone with an ounce of humanity not feel compassion, grief and solidarity with the innocent victims and their loved ones?

I hope you will take a brief moment, pause before you take any action.

Take a minute to listen to an English Muslim woman speak about how millions of Muslims including my family and me, stand side-by-side with you.

Wanting justice and our enemies caught. The people who have claimed responsibility for this atrocity are Daesh (Isis by their name).

Daesh hate me and they hate you. They would like to slit my throat just as much as they would want to do the same to the person next to me. They hate us all.

Especially moderate Muslims who dare to expose them for the charlatans that they are. They want to eliminate us all. They do not discriminate when it comes to their enemies.

They hate our neighbours, our families, our friends and our way of life. They live and die consumed by a hatred I hope I never experience. The language they use, the tools they deploy, all form into a twisted ideology that is pure evil.

Let’s be clear. We are at war. We are faced with an enemy that wants to destroy us. That wants to use our children, our neighbours, and our country against it. It wants to divide and rule, to sow seeds of mistrust and fear, to threaten and to fight each other.

That is their world and one they want to populate across our secular, progressive and free nations.

My 24-year- old son said: “That could have been us, at a concert. I read this guy’s account who was in the audience saying how the gunmen lined people up and shot then one by one.”

He went quiet and shook his head. He continued with irony: “It’s going to be fun to be brown now. People are already a bit twitchy and now it’s going to get much worse. I’m going to have to shave fully.’

On Daesh, he said: ‘These people use children as child soldiers to blow themselves up. They are sick.”

He is right. These soulless people groom and exploit children until they are lost. They intimidate them, brutalise them by exposing them to violence then use their bodies as human bombs. The children and young people who get trapped by Daesh are victims, too.

What is a 15-year-old child but a collection of raging hormones and growth spurts? To turn a child into a ticking time-bomb shows us the depravity of the enemy we face.

We need to protect our young people who are vulnerable from clicks on a keyboard. They want to turn our children against us and we must not allow them access to our future. Like millions of Muslims, I fear for my children as much as yours.

I fear these perpetrators of violence who want to turn them into child soldiers, against their own families and countries.

This is my home. I am an English woman through and through. My family pass the Tebbit test. Tea is our favourite household beverage and in quintessential English style, we put the kettle on in moment of crisis. That’s the English way. That’s our way. We are one nation and I will fight for my country, our country and all I love of it.

Listen and work with the moderate Muslims who are often the silent majority. Listen to why many like me will not be silent when our ‘allies’ claim cultural or religious leverage about atrocities in their own countries.

Why we all must speak out when secular bloggers and journalists are killed in Bangladesh and the state turns a blind eye or when Saudi Arabia sentences 17-year-olds to medieval sentences that include beheading and crucifixion.

We need to open up debate about free speech, human rights and tolerance. Don’t do what Daesh want and close the airways down. Come out and hear why I fear for our young sons and daughters being radicalised by men in combat gear, speaking from distance lands about a proxy war.

Of naïve and foolish people being seduced by a false sense of belonging and kinhood. Listen to the families that have lost their children and mourn for them to come home. Many sold falsehoods and tales about brotherhood in their Prophet’s image.

Instead, the reality is that they are brutalising Muslim and non-Muslim children, young people, women, men and old people. These perpetrators are animals and not one Muslim I know supports them or their heinous ideology.

I implore you to consider this before you make any decisions that may be reactive rather then responsive. We need you to unite our beloved country.

Build on our strong history as a nation of tolerance, fortitude and courage. Let us stand shoulder to shoulder. The pen is mightier then the sword and in the spirit of the French, I wish you liberty, equality and fraternity.

Amina Lone

Co-Director of the Social Action and Research Foundatio


How would our emergency services cope? by @MagsNews

Yesterday morning David Cameron was quick to explain the part played by the UK in the Middle East during the preceding hours.  He strode out of No 10 to speak to us from the strategically placed lectern.

This morning I’d like David Cameron to take exactly the same short journey.  I’d like him to reassure the people of the UK that should any similar terrorist attack or massive accident/incident take place in any British city that, like France, our public emergency services would equally be able to cope as magnificently as we witnessed on our TV screens last night.

The Paris response was quick and there was a huge presence by the emergency services and military to do whatever was necessary.

I believe I ask this for many who are concerned about the cuts to our public services.

Do we have enough ambulance and fire & safety personnel?
Would our already stretched A&Es be able to cope with a grave emergency? Would there be a sufficient number of NHS beds available to care for any injured? Do we have enough doctors and nurses for such an event?  And would we, despite their dedication and professionalism, be asking too much of too few?

Many of us already wonder how our essential public services cope under the circumstances they have been left to deal with even on a daily basis.

Meanwhile as we await such a response from the PM (!) let’s keep our thoughts with those in Paris and all other innocent people across the world who suffer from circumstances of tragedy.

Jeremy Corbyn’s summary of the week (Video)

This week we paid our respects to those that have died as a result of war. I spent the two minute silence with parents, teachers and children at a nursery in Crawley. I also travelled to Birmingham to meet some fantastic young apprentices and talk to them about their future.

Figs. show pay rates have fallen over the past two months – Owen Smith. Tax credit cuts will bring misery

Owen Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, commenting on the labour market statistics published today by the ONS, said:

“This fall in unemployment is welcome, but it is deeply concerning that too few of these jobs pay people enough to make ends meet.  That is why the figures show pay rates have fallen over the past two months.

“Given this pressure on incomes, the last thing the Government should do is take money out of the pockets of low and medium paid families. Yet that’s exactly what the Tories’ tax credit cuts would achieve. So they now urgently need to reassure the millions of families worried about their finances that no one will be worse off once they have completed their enforced rethink on tax credits.”

Tax Credits : This is a huge blow to the Chancellor, says @RLong_Bailey

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury Minister, responding to reports today on tax credits said:

“This is a huge blow to the Chancellor. Not only has a Conservative-controlled select committee demanded he U-turns on his tax credit cuts, but one of his own MPs is now even suggesting he considers proposals similar to Labour’s alternative plan as an option.

“Labour has said we will support George Osborne if he reverses his tax credit cuts fairly and in full. And we have provided him with a plan so he meets his own self-imposed Charter by targeting a lower surplus and reversing his tax giveaways to a wealthy few.

“Now his inability to take a lead on this issue is seeing even Tory MPs follow Labour proposals.

“It’s about time George Osborne simply stops playing cynical political games with this issue and just accepts he was wrong to cut £1,300 a year from over 3 million working families and reverses his work penalty.”

See: Daily Telegraph: Heidi Allen, a Tory MP and member of the committee, urged the government to “rethink” its plans. “We are at a critical point in our recovery and this would be jeopardised if we returned to the bad old days of being ‘better off out of work’,” she said.“I know there are no easy answers, but I sense the majority of people in this country would back the Chancellor if he revisited other possible areas of savings; budget surplus levels or Inheritance tax thresholds for example. We talk so often about ‘all being in this together’: now is the time to put that mantra into action.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11987275/MPs-warn-George-Osborne-off-raiding-Iain-Duncan-Smiths-budget-to-help-fund-tax-credits-cut.html