Labour’s love lost

BRITISH Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour party have lost the crucial support of British Muslims. A poll survey carried out for the Guardian has found that the majority of Muslims, who used to form Labour’s support base, have switched their allegiance to the opposition Liberal Democrats.

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Published: Wed 1 Dec 2004, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:12 AM

Well, but do the survey findings come as any surprise? The Labour has been steadily sliding down the popularity charts particularly among ethnic minority voters thanks to the shortsighted policies pursued by Prime Minister Blair. The Labour was once seen as the natural home of ethnic minorities. In the last general election, an estimated 75 per cent of Muslims had voted for Blair. But today 80 per cent of the country’s Muslims are unhappy with the prime minister over his controversial policies on Iraq and the terror war. Majority of them deride Blair’s contention that the ‘war on terror’ is not against Islam or Muslims.

These findings should come as a wake-up call to Prime Minister Blair and his party, if they haven’t already. The governing party, which is facing the general election within months, cannot afford to ignore the warnings. More than Blair, — it will be his third election — it is a setback for the Labour party, which has always depended on a multicultural and multi-ethnic support base. The party used to pride itself as the champion of minority rights. Not any more. Under Blair, the party has undergone a metamorphosis from being a left-of-the centre party to becoming a right-wing force. Today, the new Labour is seen as more conservative than the Conservatives! That is why; the Labour’s loss is the Liberal Democrats’ gain.

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