(DSU News Bureau) In our previous article titled Allegations Against Sikh Council UK, we factually criticized the Sikh Council UK’s letter of support over the last minute support to the worst UK MP candidate Paul Uppal, which came immediately after our article 10 Reasons Why Paul Uppal is the Worst UK MP Candidate. It is clear from the title of the letter of support ‘Re: Thank you’ that it was requested by Paul Uppal to help in his campaign and was rushed as it contains a number of typos.
How can an organisation that claims to be ‘the largest representative body of Sikhs’ which is a highly questionable statement can be manipulated in this way.
The two articles leave no doubt Paul Uppal who was the only Sikh MP in the UK deserved to lose as he was by far the worst candidate as far as Sikhs were concerned. In the past 5 years you have to look at what Paul Uppal did and did not do. We acknowledged in our article he had worked closely with some in the Sikh Council UK to open doors on certain issues i.e. hard hats legislation, but why have the Sikh Council UK turned a blind eye to the damage he has done to the Sikh community and his inactivity, silence and boycott on other critical issues that were in the public domain before they provided their letter of support.
As the Sikh Council UK support the Sikh Manifesto and work closely with Paul Uppal did they ask why he as the only Sikh MP failed to acknowledge the Sikh Manifesto. Non-Sikhs including many from his own party supported the bulk of the Sikh Manifesto. We understand over 40 Conservative MPs have been elected that partially or fully support the Sikh Manifesto.
The latest article on the BBC website No Sikhs in new Parliament instigated by the Sikh Council UK is astonishingly simple and does not address the reality of why no Sikhs have been elected as MPs and glosses over the deficiencies of Paul Uppal. The Sikh Manifesto drafted in January predicted there would be no Sikhs elected as MPs as very few Sikhs (at best three or four) had been selected by the main political parties in winnable seats.
The statement by the Spokesman of the Sikh Council UK reported in the BBC is shocking. The outcome was not a “significant concern” as it was already predicted in the Sikh Manifesto as Sikh candidates were not in winnable seats. Also the result was not a “step backwards” but arguably a huge failure on the part of the political engagement programme of the Sikh Council UK over the last two years with the two main parties as it failed to deliver any Sikh candidates in winnable seats. The three or four who were in winnable seats when selected by their parties was down to their own efforts and not the Sikh Council UK. If they disagree let them name one candidate they secured in a winnable seat.
Rather than focus on the narrow and negative issue of “No Sikh MPs” and look backward the Sikh Council UK should be looking forward and the response of elected MPs to the Sikh Manifesto. At least 166 MPs have been elected that have prior to the General Election actively engaged with the Sikh Manifesto and provided full or partial support and the Scottish National Party support for all ten points on the Sikh Manifesto. Probably for the first time in history, candidates systematically listened to the Sikhs, visited Gurdwaras and gave support to the Sikh Manifesto. These are not steps backward.
The Sikh Council UK should publish a list of all candidates it provided letters of support. Did this include Paul Uppal’s opponent Rob Marris who unlike Paul supported the Sikh Manifesto. Many would be correct in arguing Rob Marris who challenged Paul Uppal has done more than most politicians on the full range of Sikh issues and for his efforts was awarded Backbencher of the Year by fellow MPs in 2008. The UK Parliament was dissolved on March 30, 2015 and MPs ceased to be MPs from that date. Why did the Sikh Council UK not send any ‘thank you’ letters then.
How do those in the Sikh Council UK involved with politicians make decisions, such as issuing such a controversial letter? As we stated before it demonstrates the Sikh Council UK is politically naive and extremely short-sighted.
Paul Uppal is quoted in the same article stating “It’s an issue of sadness for the community as a whole” referring to him not being elected. Actually, the truth is many Sikhs in Wolverhampton South West and elsewhere are happy Paul Uppal did not win because at least now the non-Sikh MP Rob Marris will actually address the full range of Sikh issues as he has done in the past.
Another quote of Mr. Uppal was “You need someone from a Sikh background to convey the correct message; it’s a shame that we don’t have that presence.”
No Mr. Uppal, you are wrong, you do not need to be a Sikh to convey the correct message because you refused to convey the correct message. Have you forgotten that you did not support an independent inquiry of Britain’s role in the 1984 attack which was the demand by many UK Sikhs.