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Baroness Meral Ece – The Illiberal Democrat

This is a cross-post by Harry Black

All political parties seem to have them, Labour rolled out the clueless and inarticulate Lord Nazir, the Tories are already regretting giving prominence to the liability that is Lady Warsi and the now the Liberal Democrats are also promoting a tokenistic and utterly clueless peer in the shape of Baroness Meral Ece. It seems British political parties seem unable to attract or find genuine talent in Muslim communities and instead patronise complete buffoons, much to their detriment.

For those who are Twitter muses, Meral Ece recently came to light when she got embroiled in the row over the ‘Jesus and Mo’ cartoon that the Liberal Democrat candidate for Kilburn and West Hampstead, Maajid Nawaz, tweeted. The Lib Dem peer berated Nawaz for expressing his opinion on the cartoon and on many occasions joining that other infamous Lib Dem ‘ethnic minority’ member of the non-existent (wound up on 18/01/2011) Ramadan Foundation – Mohammed Shafiq.

So let’s look at the background of Baroness Ece, something that has not really been done before after her ennoblement in 2010 under the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP.

In her comments regarding the cartoon affair, the Baroness made it clear that she believes due to an innocuous cartoon that:

“It’s open season right now for Muslims in the UK, just as its (sic) was for Jews in the 1930s/40s”.

Clearly the Baroness knows nothing about what was happening in Germany during the 1930/40s and has the same reactionary victimhood obsession that many leading Islamists in the UK have. However, putting the crass, inaccurate and unhelpful comparison to one side, from her comments one could deduce that she is purporting to defend Muslims from anti-Muslim hatred. If that is the case why on earth would she align herself with Mohammed Shafiq who invites, supports and defends Jew hating, homosexual hating, Shia hating banned preachers such as Qaradawi.

On Qaradawi, Shafiq says

“Shaykh Al Qaradawi is a voice of moderation and is widely respected across the international community..”

As well as inviting, supporting and promoting preachers that want to kill Muslims that leave their faith, he is also a fan of the banned preacher Zakir Naik who is supportive of Osama bin Laden.

Baroness Ece gave also gave us further indication of her alliances with reactionaries and her illiberalism when she publicly supported Mohammed Shafiq on Twitter after he decided, during the recent ‘Jesus and Mo’ cartoon debacle, to:

“notify all muslim organisations in the UK of his despicable behaviour and also notify Islamic countries. about the retweet from Maajid Nawaz”

Here we had a hint of the politics of Baroness Ece and her illiberal character. Any real liberal would be running the other way from someone who publicly wanted to inform other Islamic countries of a political candidate who retweeted a cartoon which led to subsequent death threats.

The peer herself has also provoked a storm of recrimination after using Twitter to complain that she was ‘trapped in a queue in chav-land’.

The word chav is widely seen as a derogatory term for a new British underclass and an expression of a new form of classism — Julie Burchill has associated the word with “social racism”. Having been an equality and human rights commissioner who has advised Nick Clegg on community cohesion, it is astonishing that she claimed subsequently, on Twitter, that the word is ‘endearing in my part of town’. She later deleted the tweet.

Meral Ece was also the Chair of the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats from 2007 until her ennoblement in 2010. It is alleged by some members, who were also part of the group, that within that time she used and abused that group to ensure that she got ennobled and no constitutional meetings were held. There were not enough members making up quorate meetings and she simply blustered when questions were asked by members as to why no real activity was taking place. In fact, when ‘meetings’ were supposed to have taken place, they consisted of a group of friends talking over pizza and usually about the leadership of the Liberal Democrats and how the ‘ethnic minority’ candidates in the Party had been hard done by.

The real liberals are those who defend free expression, equality and fight against the forces of clerical fascism. Unfortunately, we have a situation in Britain today where political parties are so keen to artificially create the semblance of diversity that they end up promoting reactionary and incompetent individuals that have very little understanding of the principles that underpin the political party they have become part of and represent. As such, the Liberal Democrats have now reached a stage where they are repelling many genuine liberals in favour of promoting illiberals, such as Meral Ece, who threaten to damage the reputation of the already suffering Party for good.