Coffee House

Tory minister: Govt ‘failure’ on Gaza is sowing seeds of General Election defeat

5 August 2014

11:17 AM

5 August 2014

11:17 AM

One of the risks of Sayeeda Warsi’s resignation was that it would encourage other ministers uneasy about the government’s response to the situation in Gaza to break ranks. She is certainly trying to encourage that by alleging that other Foreign Office ministers have been uneasy with the decisions being taken recently. But I’ve just spoken to another Tory minister who is unhappy, and worried particularly about the effects that this will have on the Conservatives’ chances next year. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the minister tells me:

‘Warsi knows that our failure in Gaza will damage any change of our Northern marginals and South East Lutons and Watfords. The Lib Dems will probably now keep Muslim voters who might have switched over to Labour and got us a gain. I fear Dave might have sown the seeds of our defeat at the General Election.’

In her resignation letter, Warsi does drop hints about her support for the Prime Minister being conditional on the Tories being ‘relevant and responsive to all communities that make up today’s Britain’, although she does not make any argument about the electoral impact the government’s policy will have. It will be interesting to see whether she also makes that allegation in her follow-up interviews, or whether others are prepared to put their names to such warnings.

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Show comments
  • The Blue Baron

    These people should make clear that their desire to throw Israel under the bus isn’t motivated by principle but a desire to hoover up Muslim votes.

    • Emir Zizzinax Wangchuck Pasha

      Israel is just another enemy combatant state, I see no reason for preserving them

      • The Blue Baron

        No it isn’t. Israel is a tiny democracy defending itself against a vast sea of dribbling religious fanatics.

      • The Blue Baron

        Israel is a small democracy struggling for survival in a sea of fundamentalist loons. Such loons are not only enemy combatants, but the enemies of free and civilised people right across the planet.

  • Frank

    Quite funny, the tories, having offended all their traditional voters, are now worried that they may have offended some new potential voters!

  • Smithersjones2013

    I suspect that Cameron’s actions regarding Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan will have ensured those groups appalled about Gaza weren’t going to support the Tories anyway.

    I wonder who Cameron’s token Muslim (woman) will be in the future? Has PaddyPower got a book up yet?

  • andagain

    I’d like someone to name a single election in this country which was heavily influenced by arguments about policy on the Gaza Strip.

    Certainly, I can’t think of one.

    • ButcombeMan


      Isabel has though, got promoted for writing stuff like this.

  • Augustus

    Talking of ‘failure in Gaza’, seems never to include people like Warsi in positions of responsibility pointing out that the many millions the Palestinians have used in the construction of tunnels and the deployment of missiles should have been invested in the development and infrastructure of the Gaza Strip. That’s what an honest and decent politician would say. But Warsi preferred to curry favour with Muslims in Britain by appeasing Hamas, knowing full well that by the deployment of rockets it just stirs up hatred from Israel, and fear and hopelessness for Gazans. She is/was a disgrace to her party.

  • carltonwest

    Baroness Warsi is courageous. Too bad other Western leaders are in the pockets of USA & Israel.

    • Augustus

      Appeasers are never courageous.

      • Ilya Grushevskiy

        Only if they are wrong 😉

    • zanzamander

      Anybody can take a pop at Israel, but It only takes a courageous one to stand for this tiny Jewish country.

  • Viking.

    When forced to choose, a Muslim will always choose Islam and terrorism.

    • George Smiley

      Clearly you’re taking them to the wrong restaurants then chum.

  • flaxdoctor

    In perspective, according to the 2011 Census the percentage of the UK population coming from Islamic backgrounds is at most 3%.

    What happened to democracy? Nearly 90% of us recorded ourselves to be ‘white British’ (hey BBC, can we have some more proportional representation, please?) Or does the experience of having been dominated by the crushing strangulation of Green politics through an even smaller mandate provide us with a bellwether?

    • Colonel Mustard

      It’s called the tyranny of minorities. The Labour party love it and use it as a political weapon.

      • dado_trunking

        NO means YES and YES means YES.
        That is the accountant’s message, to be delivered on behalf of the bigoted right in a Westminster far far away. You personally have another six weeks to realise that the deal is already sealed.

  • Brigantian

    What we are seeing is the clear lack of identification with Britain of ‘British’ Muslims. Nothing the current government has done, or not done, deviates in any way from the policy outlined in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
    The question is one of proportionate response to persistent attack, with neither side being blameless. The current crisis in Gaza began with a clearly premeditated increase in hostility from Hamas, which was coordinated with the Isis thrust southwards into Iraq. Israel therefore has to deal with any threat in Gaza with the knowledge that its northern border is also insecure. Israel itself has not behaved sensibly by actively encouraging rebellion against Assad in Syria and forgetting that in foreign policy a certain enemy is often better than an unknown quantity.
    At the end of the day we have had for a century a policy that says we do not take sides in this conflict and it is one we abandon at our peril.

  • Daidragon

    Vile woman but she has got this one right. Cameron is a coward.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Oh that he were brave like Milibum!

  • InbredBlockhead

    A blow to Cameron , good, great even, news for the native people of the UK. Why don`t all our UK enriching Muslims, get behind her, show their solidarity , and stage a total walk out from the UK? And never return.

    • Mike

      I think they have enough wars on the go killing their own !

  • goatmince

    “… our failure in Gaza …”

    I wish someone with insight would elaborate further on that. Are we meant to guess?

    • Colonel Mustard

      You usually make it up as you go along rather than guess.

  • McClane

    ‘our failure in Gaza’

    What failure? Do we have a strategy for Gaza? Do we have men on the ground (apart from Tony Blair, currently AWOL)? Do we have even the slightest influence on events in Gaza?

    It’s not Gaza that’s going to lose the Conservative Party the election in 2015, it’s events at home and the government’s inability to realise that the electorate extends beyond its focus groups and the reactions of a small minority of that electorate.

  • HookesLaw

    No UK govt can do much about Israeli actions (except play to the gallery which this govt should be commended for not doing) just as it can not do much about the actions of Hamas.
    So Hardman is getting her story from a pretty dim source.

  • alabenn

    Would anyone really think that a Tory government will loses Muslim votes over this, their is hardly any Muslims who would vote for them, they vote en mass for benefits party Labour.
    The Tories will gain votes from ex Labour voters sickened at the way they have been betrayed, that is if UKIP don’t get them first.
    That you think along the lines that a party will lose votes over the resignation of someone who should never have been promoted in the first place, show how rarefied and shallow your reasoning is.

  • MissDemeanor

    I bet many in the government are breathing a sigh of relief that this idiot is finally gone

  • Meghan Nova

    Bring Israel in front of the International Criminal Court for war crimes

    • MissDemeanor

      I’m afraid Israel has to stand in line behind 57 Muslim nations, severely breaking international and human rights’ laws every minute of the day

      maybe in 2087, ey love?

    • Shazza

      I have signed a petition to bring Hamas before the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

    • wudyermucuss

      Blowing up rocket launchers,munitions dumps and military HQs isn’t a war crime as far as I know.
      I suspect using civilian sites for those purposes,may be.
      If calling for the genocide of an entire race isn’t,then it surely should be wouldn’t you say.
      Have a very self righteous day.

    • lookout

      Anyone else? Bokoharan ,Hezbollah, Fatah, Hamas, Saudi Arabia,

  • Roy

    What a corrupt condition Britain has got itself into when it is vilified for a slight misunderstanding that it might not support the rampaging Muslim hordes demonstrating for the terrorists Hamas against Israel. Once you have lied and supported the wrong side (along with the corrupted media machine) it is difficult to switch to the truth of it! Worse, when you have imported the mobs, and given them British citizenship – that instigate the terrorists has the ‘good guys’ – no matter what – you find yourself on the side of evil. What a position to find yourself? What would your forefathers think of you? Aiding and abetting the devil himself!

  • Damaris Tighe

    Warsi supported the Tories on condition they were “relevant & responsive to all the communities in Great Britiain”: what can this mean I wonder?

    • HookesLaw

      You would expect all potential governments to be even handed with that.

      • Damaris Tighe

        I suspect Warsi’s intentions were sectarian.

    • Shazza

      Would that also include our Jewish community who are increasingly coming under attack from the RoP?

      • Damaris Tighe

        her comment (assuming those were indeed her words) are code for “muslims want more influence on government”

  • zanzamander

    This hits the nail on the head. It demonstrates perfectly how, due to large influx of immigrants, politics in Britain will play out.

    Think about this for a moment. Effectively, we will have to abandon our traditional allies and start supporting terrorist groups like Hamas because a large swathe of our electorate will not vote for politicians who do not toe the line.

    What next, how about our policy on Kashmir? Will our politicians, in order to their voters, now throw India under the bus on this issue?

    • Augustus

      What next indeed. One would assume that, no matter what a politician’s personal political leanings are, they would ‎see the virtue in defeating an enemy that glorifies death, uses children as canon fodder, ‎abuses women, tortures homosexuals and the disabled, and vows to annihilate the world’s ‎Jews while also converting or slaughtering its Christians.

    • Shazza

      Spot on. We already do nothing to halt the slaughter of Christians and non-moslems in the ME, Africa etc.
      We backed the moslems in Kosovo, would we have gone in if the situation had been reversed?
      Any attempts to draw attention to the steady islamification of this country in ruthlessly destroyed – don’t forget what happened to Tommy Robinson.
      I certainly am no fan of Nick Griffin but he almost was imprisoned for attempting to bring attention to the grooming gangs.
      The list is endless.

      • Brigantian

        The Kosovo crisis began with Albanians crossing the border, skinning pensioners alive, dashing out the brains of Serbian children and raping women to death. The ‘West’ reacted when the Serbians tried to protect their own people. We can only wonder why those in Westminster see the World through in distorting mirror ?

        • lookout

          We went in because of Saudi oil profits pressure

  • Magnolia

    This principled resignation should be welcomed because the fact that she’s done it so soon after having such a prominent role on national TV last night shows that she is putting herself first and is in fact out to extract the maximum amount of bad publicity and harm that she can do towards her party and its government.
    Politicians need good judgement and she has shown that hers is lacking.
    I have explained to my kids that ‘civil wars’ between neighbours are always repulsive and long lasting and without simple solutions and that I remembered when, not so long ago, the BBC news was featuring school buses full of Israeli kids being blown up almost every week. This conflict is uneven in military strength terms but only the blanket forgiveness of the unforgivable will lead to any kind of solution. Both sides need to give up their victimhood and the international backers on both sides need to lay down their arms.
    I doubt this will be possible for the people or religions involved.
    Northern Ireland was the blueprint but both sides were Christian there.

    • 2trueblue

      An unelected ambitious nobody who caught the eye of someone and used her colour, race and religion to move her own ambitions forward. If she had remained in her origional profession we might never have heard of her.

    • Tom M

      “…..Both sides need to give up their victimhood…..”
      And just how many sides do you think there are?

    • Alexsandr

      sorry. NI isnt sorted. Republicans are still very active in crime and protection rackets.

    • Augustus

      It would have been a piece of cake for Israel to take out Hamas’ rocket launchers with minimal civilian slaughter if they had positioned them in the Eastern open spaces away from the built-up areas. But Hamas always have been out to maximize civilian casualties, even going as far as to forbid the body counters from naming the dead. It was a question of ‘stay where you are, or get shot by the people mum and dad voted for, or hope that you don’t get bombed by those awful Jews’. What a way to grow up!

  • itdoesntaddup

    “Our failure in Gaza”? What on earth does he think we would do there, even if we had enough of a navy to transport some troops and enough troops to deploy? The US has just overwhelmingly voted to support Israel with arms. The only friends of Hamas are Jon Snow and the BBC, and the jihadis they stir up.

    • Colonel Mustard

      It was clear from recent threads that if you fail to show sufficient empathy for the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza you are tantamount to being a psychopath. It seems that what is needed for the Government to avoid this accusation is for them to gather in Parliament square to show empathy by wailing, wringing their hands, beating their breasts and ululating, with lots of SWP-provided placards accusing Israel of being an apartheid state, etc. Some mass hugging and copious weeping would not go amiss and somewhere a mountain of flowers and teddy bears. If they do this, and of course publicly apologise their lack of empathy, they might mollify the hippy and dippy mob – who still won’t vote for them anyway.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Spot on.

      • Watty S

        It’s hilarious (or not) how one can write an entire paragraph and say effectively nothing.

  • ButcombeMan

    Hopelessly overstates a) what the UK could have done or said, so far, that would have influenced the war in Gaza, b) the importance of Warsi, one of the most irrelevant people in the government. An embarresment when allowed into the media.

    HMG making public noises that would inevitably been ignored by both sides, would have been pontless.

    It is ridiculous to suggest that the GE will be decided on the basis of the goverment making noises about Gaza. Far more important issues, like the economy, jobs, housing, uncontrolled immigration, relationship withe the EU and fear of Labour economic illiteracy, will decide.

    • zanzamander

      Far more important issues, like the economy, jobs, housing,
      uncontrolled immigration, relationship with the EU and fear of Labour
      economic illiteracy, will decide.

      But not in marginal seats where certain group of voters have other priorities. To them the Umma is the most important thing.

      • ButcombeMan

        Give me a list of those “marginal seats” where you believe Government public statements on Gaza (or absence of public comment) will overtake all other issues in terms of electoral importance.

        • whs1954

          I haven’t time to run through the lists of seats, but Pendle and Luton South spring immediately to mind. Large Muslim populations, marginal seats. A significant percentage of the electorate in the mosque every Friday afternoon, being ‘preached’ at about issues like this.

          I’m not disagreeing with you, mind. I happen to think that if Muslim voters can’t see British Government and party policies through anything but a “Muslim” prism, then… well, let’s say IVR is a step in the right direction.

          • ButcombeMan

            Well glad you are not dissagreeing. My request for further and better particulars was aimed at zanzamander who has responded so far. No answer in this case may well be an answer.

            My point is that Isabel has overstated the electoral significance and by implication her Ministerial source is a) an idiot b) mischief making but not with much brain. c) not in the intelligence loop.

            HMG has been limited in what it can say publicly by its knowledge of the large assault on Israel that Hamas was planning. The Israeli government was bound to defend its citizens against the upcoming attack and to destroy the tunnels, at almost whatever cost.

            It is that impending attack that sadly creates the much called for “proportionality”.

            • Mike

              When you’re fighting for survival or an end to constant attacks proportionality has little to do with it with Germany and Japan in WWII being perfect examples.

    • Mike

      Best keep out of it and let the antangonists sort it whether its Gaza & Israel or the civil wars and genocide in Libya, Iraq & Syria. Let the last ‘man’ standing take control and as long as its no threat to us, leave them to it.

  • Caps Lock

    Ministers are supposed to make decisions on what they think is the best policy for the country. Not on what they think will capture the muslim vote. How low has politics fallen in this country? I despair!

    • MaxSceptic

      Making us all follow sharia would gain a lot of Muslim votes…. What’s not to like?

      • Frank

        There is one aspect to commend in Sharia law, namely that there would be a heck of a lot of business people and bankers who would be wandering around minus one, or two hands, cut off for theft!!

    • In2minds

      …..the Tories being ‘relevant and responsive to all communities that make
      up today’s Britain’…..

      You mean the indigenous people still matter?

      • fundamentallyflawed

        “the indigenous people still matter?”
        Didn’t you read any of the anti-UKIP posts from the Euro elections. We are all immigrants. Nobody is indigenous. We are split into White (racist) and non-white (non-racist multi-cultural).
        If you don’t have a large number of pressure groups you don’t have a voice

      • Tigger123456

        There are no indigenous English people. They are the descendants of wave after wave of immigrants: Romans, Angles, Saxons, Frisians, Jutes, Danes, Norsemen, Normans, Sephardi Jews, Moors in Tudor times, Chinese, Yemeni and other sailors, Huguenots, Poles, Jews and others in WW2, people from lots of countries the British invaded first…

        There are indigenous British people: the English pushed them into Wales, Scotland and Cornwall. They seem quite keen on the SNP, Plaid and Mebyon Kernow.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Oh there are indigenous English people alright. The English have been self-identifying as a distinct people and nation for a thousand years and it is not for the likes of you to pop up in 2014 and deny all that.

          You don’t own it, you see. They do. We do.

          • Daidragon

            You are not indigenous Colonel. You are German and Scandinavian immigrants. We welsh were the indigenous population of Britain.

            • Colonel Mustard

              The term Welsh people applies to people from Wales and people of Welsh ancestry perceiving themselves or being perceived as sharing a cultural heritage and shared ancestral origins.

              The term English people applies to people from England and people of English ancestry perceiving themselves or being perceived as sharing a cultural heritage and shared ancestral origins.

              That you should claim one and seek to deny the other is illustrative of your state of mind, even if we hadn’t read all your other comments.

              • Daidragon

                When you lot stepped off the boats the language you heard the locals speak was welsh. Anyway, real England died in 1066.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  When my lot stepped off the boats the language we heard was Anglo-Saxon and it WAS 1066.

                  But 948 years later we call ourselves the English and we are. We have incorporated the ethnic identity of our Anglo-Saxon predecessors into our identity. We even have a real flag that is included in the Union flag and that has been used as a flag since 1348.

                  Your flag goes all the way back to 1959 I believe but in your case we know that you prefer the Red Flag anyway…

                • Architecter

                  You do not understand half of it.
                  Real England, as you call it, did not die in 1066.
                  What happened from 1066 onwards was a process in which th

            • flaxdoctor

              We Celts came from southern Germany/Austria. Maybe this is news to you? There’s a coloured-in map here to help:

              • Makroon

                DNA sampling has long since shown that there is no significant difference between English, Welsh and Scots (nor Cornish).
                It is news to me that the government have a “position” on the “Gaza question”.
                All I have heard is the usual Cameron intemperate, unbalanced, bellicose, off-the-cuff, braying – from which he has been trying to back and fill ever since, as the situation has developed “not necessarily to his (political) advantage”.

                • flaxdoctor

                  So DNA evidence supports the proposition that ‘indigenous’ Britons come from the same place as those they choose to insult with the term ‘immigrant’. Victims of science, too, it seems.

            • Smithersjones2013

              Whereas according to WIki the earliest contemporary Welsh originated from wandering hunter gatherers from central Europe who migrated here 10-12,000 years ago.

              Funny that hominid remains dating back 700,000 years have been found in the UK? Modern Welsh? The ‘indigenous’ British . On your definition I don’t think so. You just arrived a bit earlier……

              • Daidragon

                Ok but are you denying there was a British culture, language and identity on these islands long before the Sais came over from bongo bongo land?

        • flaxdoctor

          Getting there slightly earlier doesn’t make you ‘indigenous’ – the Celts came from central Europe. Hallstatt culture and all that.

        • Tom M

          “…..There are no indigenous English people….” Really? What is it that would allow you to call someone indigenous? If I told you that a few years ago I traced my ancestry back to 1645 would that make me indigenous do you think? Or am I just another one of those that happened to land on this island?

        • telemachus

          Romans, Angles, Saxons, Frisians, Jutes, Danes, Norsemen, Normans, Sephardi Jews, Moors in Tudor times, Chinese, Yemeni and other sailors, Huguenots, Poles, Jews
          Well said
          You forgot the Hanoveerians

          • Colonel Mustard

            This argument to justify your party’s attempts at ethnic cleansing by stealth is both dishonest and anachronistic.

            Frankly it disgusted me when Bonnie Greer attempted to peddle it and it disgusts me now.

        • Smithersjones2013

          [Yawn] Oh for goodness sake there are no indigenous populations using you definition outside Africa. We all migrated from there in the first place so who cares about your puerile pedantry.

          Of course if you use the more common definition it is those who are native to a place (i.e. those born there) so whilst all those groups you mentioned at one point were not indigenous their progeny born in this country are!

        • Span Ows


          All the immigrants you mention did indeed arrive but had very little effect on the general population blood lines, genes etc.

          • Tigger123456

            Hello?!? If those people had no effect on our DNA then where did our people come from? Answer: most of them came from an ice age refuge in the Basque area between what is now France and Spain after the last ice age or are survivors of/refugees from the deluge that hit the land between us and what is now France, Belgium, Netherlands and Denmark when sea levels rose and submerged it.
            In actual fact you are wrong anyway if you look at all the studies of DNA across the British Isles. People’s forbears were Danish, Dutch, German, French and so-on except in the Celtic areas of Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. And even there there’s plenty of later DNA from Scandinavians: slave traders in Dublin, settlers in Northern Scotland and so-on. I believe I’m right in saying the Icelanders have a higher proportion of “British” DNA than English people do.
            We are all immigrants, however far back you go. If you go back far enough we are all Africans. I’m sure that thought cheers up people like you no end.

        • Robert B

          There’s a reason people want to come over here and it’s not because the land is fertile or the climate is moderate, it’s because of the way of life in Britain and the wealth it’s people have created over the centuries. I think it’s fair to refer to these people as the indigenous people.

      • Frank

        Don’t be silly, England’s indigenous people do not matter to anybody. You clearly need to go to another cultural enrichment programme.

    • zanzamander

      Ministers are supposed to make decisions on what they think is the best policy for the country.

      How very quaint!

      Actually in modern politics, Ministers are supposed to make decisions on what they think will keep them in power.

      But Britain being a democracy, there is a perverse logic at play here: What will keep the politicians in power are votes. And for them to get more votes, they’ll have to listen to the voters. And so they will have to adopt policies that will bring them more votes – this way democracy ensures that voters’ wishes prevail – it doesn’t matter (and here is the perverse logic) that those policies might be harmful to the country in the long run.

    • JoeDM

      Appeasment of islamofascism must not be a policy option

      • Mike

        Sadly it already is after Blair and Cameron just rubber stamped it.

  • WFB56

    Osborne recently struggle to multiply 7 times 8, and in the end declined to offer an answer. His math skills are undoubtedly on a comparable level to that of the unnamed Minnister who suggests that this will cost Dave the election. If he loses, it won’t be because of Gaza.

    • davebush999

      How did you do in spelling classes?

    • Tom M

      That’s not maths that’s arithmetic.

    • Alexsandr

      I think you are only half right. If he made any sort of pro-hamas statement then I reckon a lot of people would have taken umbrage, maybe driving more to UKIP.

  • Seldom Seen

    Politician resigns. A nation yawns …