An Asian politician whose family home was firebombed at the height of race riots in 2001 has slammed a Labour MP for comparing the left of the party to the BNP. Simon Danczuk wrote in the Telegraph that his opponents within Labour “should be viewed in the same way as we view the views of the BNP”.
But Labour’s Riaz Ahmad, who went on to become Oldham’s first Asian mayor after a Molotov cocktail was thrown through his window in a race attack, described comments by Simon Danczuk as “completely inappropriate” and “very, very extreme”:
Speaking to Scrapbook regarding splits in Labour over George Osborne’s plan for a tough new seven-day wait for unemployment benefits, Ahmad said:
“I know there have been some difficulties which are being discussed openly but I would not doubt their intentions or their motives for one moment.”
“To suggest they are in the same league as the BNP or other fascists, that is a very, very unfortunate comparison.”
Danczuk’s insensitive comments are all the more shocking given that he represents Rochdale — just north of Oldham on the west Pennines — and lived in the North West at the time riots swept the region.
There’s being an outrider … and there’s alienating yourself from common sense.