Friday, May 01, 2015

Keith Vaz in action

Douglas Murray wrote on the Spectator's Coffee House blog in June 2013:
I thought I might remind readers of something about Keith Vaz. The chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee has of course just applauded the banning of two American authors from Britain because of their criticism of Islam. So I turn to Joseph Anton – the illuminating fatwa-memoir released last year by Salman Rushdie. 
It contains a remarkable anecdote of the moment immediately after the news arrives of Ayatollah Khomeini’s order of murder. Rushdie (incidentally writing of himself in the third person) describes walking into his literary agent’s office in London. His agent gives him an astonished look. 
‘He was on the phone with the British-Indian Member of Parliament for Leicester East, Keith Vaz. He covered the mouthpiece and whispered, ‘Do you want to talk to this fellow?’ 
Vaz said, in that phone conversation, that what had happened was ‘appalling, absolutely appalling,’ and promised his ‘full support’. A few weeks later he was one of the main speakers at a demonstration against The Satanic Verses attended by over three thousand Muslims, and described that event as ‘one of the great days in the history of Islam and Great Britain.’ 
What guardians of our values we have.


Anonymous said...

Vaz is one of the best arguments for STV in Britain. Would he ever get elected if there was a multi-member Leicestershire constituency and voters had a choice of Labour candidates? said...

One wonders how Vaz became chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee. He and Patricia Hewitt didn't vote on John Mann's private members Bill to lift Official Secrets Act undertakings on those who'd signed D notices when in receipt of child abuse evidence. See Exaro News report on MPs votes on Mann's Bill.

As one journalist observed - only his mother could love Vaz - and I now wonder if even she might nurse a few doubts.

Harriet Harman has a lot to answer for in fixing Vaz into the Chairmanship. Vaz defended Janner in 1991 and demanded that the accused retain anonymity - your blog gave a helpful link to Hansard.

Vaz has gone awfully quiet since his history of supporting Janner made headline news in this election campaign.