Commenting on the decision of the Commissioner for Standards in the House of Lords to dismiss allegations that Baroness Warsi wrongly claimed overnight subsistence allowance, and to recommend that her apology for failure to register a property in London, along with her corrected entry in the Register, constituted appropriate remedial action and that no further action is required, Sayeeda Warsi said:
Archive for July, 2012
Ramadan is an opportunity to contemplate, to pray and to give generously, and it is a holy month which I know many Muslims in the UK and around the world will be observing.
On a personal note, it’s an opportunity to focus on what really matters in life, including the importance of family, of communities and neighbours, and of those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
So on behalf of the Conservative Party I want to say to all those starting the month of Ramadan today, Ramadan Mubarak.
Baroness Warsi discusses diverse Britain’s global trading opportunities
Britain’s future trade opportunities lie beyond our immediate neighbours and our traditional trading partners. We need to engage with emerging and expanding economies across the world and I determined to do all I can to support businesses in their mission to branch out in their overseas trade.
Yorkshire is uniquely placed to take advantage of this shift. Places with strong international ties are crucial to our prosperity as a country. For example, last time I was in Bradford I argued that the town – with its diverse demographics and global links – should be at the forefront of seeking out new markets. In particular, Yorkshire and Pakistan have a natural connection through longstanding family and cultural connections and I believe that is something businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations can truly capitalise on.
So I was delighted yesterday to honour my pledge to local businesses by hosting a high-powered ministerial and business delegation from Pakistan to Yorkshire to meet with local businessmen and women. The event, held in Bradford, comes hot on the heels of the delegation’s visit to Scotland earlier this week, where they signed business deals and laid the groundwork for positive cooperation in the future.
Check against delivery
It’s great to be here today.
I have a personal link with this event.
I hail from Dewsbury – a Victorian textile town…
Leeds University – to whom you are closely linked – is my former uni…
The family business that I’m privileged to be a part of is a furniture manufacturer …
And, above all, I am a great believer in innovation in industry.
And that’s exactly what I want to talk about today.
As the fastest growing sector of the textile industry, you demonstrate the power of innovation and reinvention.
You show that an industry of the past can have a strong, dynamic future…
…that tradition is not incompatible with innovation.
Today there are many other industries that could take heed from your example.
I have to say, at the weekly diary meetings in my office this opportunity to give a speech to the Nonwovens Network raised a few eyebrows.
A lot of questions were asked about what you do. I was even told it was probably going to be a boring conference.
What people don’t realise is that nonwovens are woven through our lives.
They’re part and parcel of the modern world.
Under the carpet we walk on, on the chairs we sit on, in the face wipes we use, the dusters we clean with.
Indeed, the fabric of society!
Personally I am more familiar with the woven side of the textile industry.
Whether it be the spinning and weaving mills my father came to work in during the 1960s…
…or the materials used in our bed manufacturing business many years later.
But here’s why I believe your industry is such a crucial one.
It shows the importance of tradition and modernisation in manufacturing.
But let’s look for a moment at the story of which you are a part.
Published in the Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 12th July 2012
By Baroness Warsi
Earlier this year I stood in the middle of a beautiful, quiet valley in rural Bosnia-Herzegovina. As I do every time I stand there, I asked myself: how could somewhere so peaceful be the site of Europe’s worst atrocity since the Second World War?
That spot in the Drina Valley is the town of Srebrenica, the place where – 17 years ago to the day – eight thousand Bosnian Muslim men and boys were rounded up and murdered by Ratko Mladic’s Serb troops. Those hills are the place they fled their attackers. The nearby factory is where they sought shelter, and where they met their end.
Today, dignitaries and victims’ families will once again gather in that valley to remember those who died. 520 newly identified victims of one of Europe’s worst massacres will be buried there. The anniversary also gives the wider world a chance to reflect upon the genocide committed in Srebrenica, and our duty to the people of this town.
Our first duty is to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice. Seventeen years ago today, Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb leader, said to the TV cameras: “Here we are, on July 11, 1995, in Serbian Srebrenica, just before a great Serb holy day.” Seventeen years later he is on trial in The Hague, facing 11 charges: of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. As the Foreign Secretary said in the Hague on Monday: “The lesson of the last two decades is that if you commit war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, you will not be able to rest easily in your bed: the reach of international justice is long and patient, and once set in train, it is inexorable.” There is no expiry date for these crimes, so that even, if like Ratko Mladic, you succeed in evading justice for 16 years, you will eventually be brought to account.
Our second duty is to condemn those who deny the massacre. In 2007, the International Court of Justice ruled that the atrocities carried out by Mladic’s forces constituted genocide. The act was committed with virtual impunity in front of the eyes of the very international community that was there to prevent it, but did not. It failed to act in Srebrenica, as it had failed in Rwanda 12 months earlier. There cannot be true reconciliation until the fact of the slaughter is accepted by all.
Third, we must encourage communities together. Inter-ethnic tensions are stifling regeneration and reconciliation. What Srebrenica needs is leadership in the interests of all its citizens, whatever their ethnicity. It’s a challenge that inspired me to set up a social action venture, Project Maja, in Bosnia three years ago. The sight of Serb and Bosniak volunteers cooperating to create a new IT suite in the local high school shows that the process of regeneration was as important as the outcome, and it was good to return again earlier this year with another project.
Above all, the world’s primary duty is to remember what happened in that Bosnian enclave 17 years ago. That’s why the British Government has supported the establishment of the memorial complex in Srebrenica, contributed to public infrastructure renewal, and supported the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) in its work to identify the remains of those that are still missing.
Of course, the greatest reason for remembering is to ensure the world never lets it happen again. What happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina has shaped events across the world today. I, like many, still carry the guilt. Only last year the UK was faced with a decision whether to act against Colonel Gaddafi as he threatened to massacre his own people in Benghazi. As I sat around the Cabinet table, I thought of Srebrenica.
So as mourners come together today, I hope that we can all renew our commitment to the town and its people so that, one day, Srebrenica will no longer be synonymous with war, murder and suffering, but with optimism, prosperity and hope.
Published on Conservative Home, Monday 9th July 2012 by Tim Montgomerie
Last year Conservative Home noted that party conference was not what it was. It has become expensive and corporate. We take our hats off to the co-chairmen, Sayeeda Warsi and Andrew Feldman for their efforts to address this. We’ve already reported the early bird discounts that were introduced this year to cut the costs of attending this year’s Birmingham event if people booked well in advance. Many of the discounts of that programme are still available.
Sayeeda Warsi is going to be making a sustained effort over the summer to further promote attendance at conference and especially the multiple accommodation and transport discounts. She aims to place a phone call with every Tory Association Chairman (she might not connect with all of them!) to promote the idea that every party member is entitled to attend conference. She is worried that there are still many members who are unaware of rules changes from some years ago and still think that only Association officers can attend. Baroness Warsi will also be using the calls to urge Associations to maintain campaigning efforts. With police commissioner elections looming this is a summer that we have to maintain momentum, she will say.
The third thing that is changing is the introduction of more member-only events at this year’s Birmingham conference. The Prime Minister introduces the idea in the video below…
- There’ll be a private meeting with Lord Feldman and Baroness Warsi discussing ‘the road to 2015′;
- An intimate gathering with Oliver Letwin and ministers will discuss the Tory manifesto for the next general election;
- Stephen Gilbert, the party’s chief campaigner, will give members a preview of campaign tactics.
It may be a work-in-progress. Decline in conference participation won’t be reversed in a single year but It is good to see that there’ll be more meaty politics this October. Book now and book here!
Today, Baroness Warsi hosted a packed out Meet the Chairmen event for members of Conservative Future.
The meeting - during which members are offered a closed session with the Party Chairmen with all questions answered - was held at CCHQ. It was chaired by Andrew Stephenson MP.