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27.04.2021, 19:46

Democracy in Action – Not if you are Turkish Cypriot

The Turkish Cypriot community in the UK has over the years, regrettably developed a reputation for being politically incompetent when it comes to putting forward a collective voice as a diaspora. Subsequently, when we make representations with British MPs we are seen as politically irrelevant and a waste of political energy when it comes to asking MPs to make representations on our part. The rare exception to this has been the excellent campaign being run in relation to the Tottenham Park Cemetery, led by Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece and her team of community activists, which has shown how high level political engagement can work.

Getting back to democracy and elections the Government is faced with their first big political test since the pandemic kicked in over a year ago. The last 15 months have seen over 130,000 people die from Covid19 and scandal after scandal has hit the Government. Boris Johnson does not seem to use the or like the word sorry in his vocabulary and it is not surprising as he has developed a Teflon reputation as journalists have continually allowed him off the hook. Failure to bring in the lockdown when he should have, relaxing the rules to soon, PPE provision scandals, allowing people to travel into UK without enforcing quarantine until massive numbers of people have died are just some of the charges laid at the feet of the bungling Prime Minister and the Conservatives. The latest scandal coming just days ago saw the Daily Mail and other newspapers allege that Boris said he would rather bodies piled “high in their thousands” than order a third COVID-19 lockdown.

The success of the vaccine rollout is more to do with the brilliance of our NHS than the incompetence of this Government. We are seeing corruption on a scale never seen before with the handing out of contracts to Tory mates. Boris Johnson has been found guilty of misleading parliament. According to the Good Law Project, it reported that Boris had not only misled the Parliament on the issue of the contracts, it had placed inaccurate information before the High Court and it has misled the country. On top of this the Health Minister has been found guilty of unlawful conduct and we don’t hear a peep of condemnation from fellow Tory MPs and mainstream media have been completely incompetent in their questioning of the Government on these scandalous developments. On another point 300,000 people are getting Covid19 every day in India and we have only very recently placed India on to the red list – thousands have come and gone from India to the UK and now we have the so-called Indian variant on the spread in the UK. When you ask yourself if other political parties could have done a better job I would hazard a guess that Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party would all have made a much better job at managing this pandemic.

What baffles me is that parts of our (more affluent) community seems to like the Tories, or more specifically Boris, whose great grandfather was Ali Kemal – I know that Boris has Turkish heritage but for me surely what would make me want to vote for a party is its policies not what country their leader comes from or what his or her heritage is. On this ridiculous basis the British National Party stood a councilor back in the 90s in Barking & Dagenham and just because he was Turkish Cypriot our people would want to vote for him – really? Are we that shallow a people?

The Conservatives cannot be trusted to put your X against the name of any candidates.

It further tickles me that some parts of the community continue to get very agitated whenever Jeremy Corbyn’s name is mentioned. I do agree that on Cyprus his contribution on the recent Euro Genc debate seemed out of touch – though to be blunt this was more to do with the effectiveness of the Greek Cypriot lobby and the failings of our own lobbying than anything else. I will declare that I am a member of the Labour Party; a very disgruntled, but loyal member of Labour. I am not even going to tell you to vote for Labour on May 6 in the council elections, though for London there is only one candidate who can and has delivered for London and that is the current incumbent.

Your vote is important and it is time our community became politically mature. We must vote in big numbers so politicians know our collective voice is heard. The Tory’s are only in it for themselves and their millionaire mates. Look how they have treated our brilliant nurses. 130,000 dead and counting is blood on the Tory’s hands. Many of these people could have been saved – elderly men and women were sent into care homes without being tested for Covid19 – the rest is history. The list of failings is long as it is damning. Don’t let cheap slogans like £350M a week for the NHS sway you  – let the facts speak for themselves. Let the Conservatives know that you have not forgotten their failings and corruption.

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