The Hindustan Times – UK election result 2017: Why a hung parliament is good news from Britain

A multi-party government can ensure against Britain pandering to any erratic and unhelpful global order

Krittivas Mukherjee

New Delhi, 9 June 2017. There are no visible winners from the British election. Except the British people.

For the voters, the election was about Britain’s future in the European Union, about its embrace of the free market, about pensions and housing, health and affordable education. It was also a measure of how far down right the country would go in the face of repeated terrorist attacks and growing anti-immigrant chatter from the ruling Conservatives.

Insofar as returning a divided mandate Britain has shown it was unwilling, just like France a month ago, to give up on its reputation for optimism, fairness and the spirit of enlightenment for a dark, pessimistic, xenophobic nation with a diminished relationship with the world.

For that alone the British people deserve the global applause Americans could have earned had they been more discerning when it came to electing Donald Trump as president.

In the run up to the election, it was easy for Britain to slip into a society closing in on itself rather than staying open.

It was a society torn over the referendum to leave the European Union. The economy looked uncertain, business confidence was hit, the pound traded 15% lower to the US dollar since the referendum and the wage-inflation gap was narrowing, signalling an income squeeze.

Then came the terrorist attacks, three deadly strikes over as many months that led Prime Minister Theresa May to speak of “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country”.

All this was the perfect grist for the mill for the narrative of fear-mongering, persecution and xenophobia that was used to fuel the rise of the far-right in many other parts of the world.

If it doesn’t descend into a coalition of chaos over complex policy decisions such as Brexit, a multi-party government can ensure against Britain pandering to any erratic and unhelpful global order.

Should May continue as prime minister in such a coalition, her political partners would be loath to support her idea of a special relationship with the United States or undermine any policy of social coherence focused on upholding human rights.

As for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong anti-war campaigner who is May’s rival for the top job, he is known for calls to end “unilateral aggressive wars of intervention” and refusal to “scapegoat” migrants.

In politics, a landslide victory often triggers the tyranny of totalitarianism. That’s why the British election mandate may not be all that bad.

Advertisements – Bhai Harminder Singh Mintu presented in Delhi court

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi, 10 June 2017. Bhai Harminder Singh Mintu, head of the Khalistan Liberation Force, was presented by the Punjab Police in the court of Judge Siddharth Sharma. High security forces was present during the court appearance.

Bhai Mintu was brought here in relation to FIR no. 66/16 registered for the Nabha jail break case along with a case of arms and ammunition recovered from his possession. Due to the judge being occupied with another case, he deferred the court hearing.

Bhai Mintu, after meeting with the press, said that current circumstances surrounding the Panth are very unfortunate. “Our enemies must be pleased that without any effort, the Sikh organisations are fighting against each other. This sets a bad example for our youth”.

Bhai Mintu called upon Sikh leaders to co-operate and join together. He also condemned burning of Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa’s effigy in Punjab by Shiv Seniks. “Punjab Police is responsible for allowing such acts to take place in Punjab. These hurt Panth’s sentiments”, he said.

“Instead of preventing such incidents, the Punjab Police was giving an impetus to destabilising the environment, which would disturb the prevailing climate of Punjab.”

The next hearing of Bhai Mintu case will be on July 11.

Gentbrugge Pirennelaan to Dienstencentrum

Gentbrugge Pirennelaan to Dienstencentrum Driebeekstraat
01 May 2017

Gentbrugge Dienstencentrum Stelplaats
Gent De Lijn PCC cars

Driebeekstraat – witte dovenetel

Driebeekstraat – boterbloem/buttercup


Driebeekstraat – On the fringes of Gent – lush meadow

Driebeekstraat – flowers and grasses along the tram depot

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Sikh Network’s advisory board member, Preet Kaur Gill makes history by becoming the first ever Sikh female MP. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi becomes the first ever turban wearing Sikh MP.

9 June 2017

History was made for the Sikh community in Britain in the early hours of the morning today as Sikh Network board member, Preet Kaur Gill, became the first ever female Sikh MP to be elected to the UK Houses of Parliament by holding on to the Edgbaston seat for the Labour party.

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, also from Labour, becomes the first ever Dastaar (Turban) wearing Sikh MP by doing the same in the Slough constituency. This is heralded as a ‘victory for Sikh representation in UK parliament’.

Preet topped off a fantastic campaign by defeating her Conservative rival Caroline Squire by almost 7,000 votes and Tanmanjeet also emphatically defeated his nearest rival, Mark Vivis, also of the Conservative Party, by nearly 17,000 votes.

We would also like to mention the Labour Party’s Kuldip Sahota, who narrowly missed becoming the third Sikh MP, losing by just 720 votes in Telford. Our congratulations go out to all other Sikh candidates that contested seats around the UK.

Preet Kaur Gill said “It has been a whirlwind of a campaign over the past 8 weeks and I am truly blessed to have been given this opportunity to represent and serve the people and place I was born and raised.

It is a huge honour to be the first Sikh female MP as gender equality and political representation is something my family and I have long campaigned for.

I want to thank the Sikh Network for all their support over the past two years as well as all my family and friends. I am now look forward to raising these and many more important issues in the House of Commons.”

This is a fantastic achievement for both newly elected MPs and The Sikh Network. We have been working on securing more effective Sikh representation in Westminster for the last two years and this strategy was highlighted in section one of The Sikh Manifesto, which we launched back in 2015 for the General Election.

Both Preet and Tanmanjeet were staunch supporters for the need to improve Sikh representation in Parliament since the inception of The Sikh Manifesto and this morning they both find themselves as the pioneers of this. We sincerely hope that last night’s events inspire more Sikhs up and down the country to take up a career in politics at all levels.

Jas Singh founder of the Sikh Network said : “I am so proud and delighted for my sister and brother Preet and Tanmanjeet, today we have made history for Sikhs in parliament, but moreover shown what quality and talent we have in the community, demonstrated by the huge increases in their respective majorities.

This is a truly great achievement by all involved and a huge thank you to all the families and supporters across the country.

The Sikh Manifesto was seen as a political game changer for Sikhs and the results both today and in 2015 have shown that those who endorsed and supported the real issues have been successful and well supported. Both Preet and Tan will be great assets and role models in Parliament in years to come.”

For The Sikh Network, last night’s events justify the last two and half years of political lobbying we have been engaged in, in order to create the right opportunities for Sikh candidates around the country as well as helping to build their political profiles.

We look forward to engaging with all parties in the future in order to progress on the issues as well as connecting them with more Sikh candidates to further address the lack of proportional representation and community understanding and values.

So while we wait to see what implications a hung parliament has for the formation of the next government, Sikhs in the UK can today proudly say they have two great representatives in Westminster that will fight for their interests and generally represent their constituencies with great dignity and morality in the true Sikh spirit.

The Sikh Network

Dawn – Four Pakistani-origin women contribute to surge in Labour votes

Atika Rehman & Jingnan Huo

London, 10 June 2017. The Labour party’s British-Pakistani female candidates beat contenders by impressive margins, results released a day after the United Kingdom’s parliamentary election showed on Friday.

The four Pakistani-origin women candidates given tickets by the Labour party took to their social media accounts and thanked voters and supporters for a tremendous turnout.

Naz Shah, who contested from Bradford West, was re-elected despite facing a vicious campaign during which she was heckled and called a ‘Jew’ and ‘Zionist’ as she spoke to potential voters days before election day.

Ms Shah bagged 29,444 votes and retained the seat, securing 64.7 per cent of the total votes cast. She beat Conservative candidate George Grant (7,542 votes) and another British-Pakistani, Independent candidate Salma Yaqoob (6,345). In 2015, Ms Shah secured 19,977 votes.

Born and raised in Bradford, the 41-year-old mother of three is a women’s rights campaigner and the former chair of a mental health charity.

“I will continue to fight Islamophobia, misogyny, antisemitism and all other prejudices that we face on a daily basis,” Naz Shah tweeted to followers days ahead of the polling.

Shabana Mahmood, the Labour candidate from Birmingham Ladywood, secured 82.7pc (34,166) of the total votes polled and was re-elected to her constituency.

Ms Mahmood defeated Conservative party’s Andrew Browning (5,452 votes) and Liberal Democrat Lee Dargue (1,156 votes).

In 2015, she had secured the victory with 60.89pc (21,868) of the total votes polled.

A former barrister, Ms Mahmood worked for the treasury and on international trade. She protested the European Council of Justice’s banning of clothes of faith.

Yasmin Qureshi from Bolton South held her seat securing 60.7pc (25,676) of the total votes cast in her constituency. She beat Conservative party’s Sarah Pochin (12,550 votes) and UKIP candidate Jeff Armstrong (2,779 votes).

In 2015, Ms Qureshi had secured 50.45pc (10, 928) of the total votes polled.

Rosena Allin-Khan from Tooting was re-elected after securing 59.6pc (34, 694) of the total votes polled. She beat Conservative Dan Watkins (19,236 votes) Liberal Democrat’s Alexander Grassbrook (3,057 votes).

In 2015, Ms Allin-Khan had secured 47.19pc (25,263) of the total votes polled.

An emergency room doctor, Mr Allin-Khan is proud of her working class roots and Pakistani-Polish heritage. She has raised her two children as Muslims.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan extended full support to Ms Allin-Khan, who is his successor in Tooting. “Here in Tooting, we’re going door to door, street to street until 10 pm for Dr Rosena,” Mr Khan tweeted on Thursday night. The following morning, he hailed her victory as an “incredible result”.

This story is part of a reporting project with Dawn, the Centre for Excellence in Journalism at IBA and the Medill School at North­western University.