Following the outrageous article by the well-known BBC broadcaster Robert Kilroy-Silk, published in the Express on Sunday on the 4th of January 2004, Lynne Jones, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, has tabled a commendable Early Day Motion expressing abhorrence at his racist views and calling on the BBC to `consider Mr Kilroy-Silk's position within the Corporation'.
The function of an Early Day Motion is primarily to put on record a matter of public interest and petition support from other MPs. Government Minister and whips do not normally sign Early Day Motion's. If enough MPs sign an Early Day Motion, it can trigger a debate in the House of Commons and this then requires the Government to then take a position on the issue.
This is an excellent opportunity for our democratically elected representatives to come out strongly against the blatant racism and Islamophobia demonstrated by such a high profile figure as Robert Kilroy-Silk, whose prime slot on BBC daytime television gave him access to millions of ordinary Britons.
Unfortunately only 22 out of the 659 MPs have so far signed up to this motion. However, this is not just an issue about Muslims or Arabs rather, it is about condemning all forms of racism, including the casual racism which panders to popular sentiment in the prevailing political climate. Any MP who has ever stood against racism and xenophobia should be signing up to Lyne Jones' Early Day Motion.
So far the following MPs have put their name to the motion:
Lynne Jones Birmingham Selly Oak
Glenda Jackson Hampstead and Highgate
Paul Marsden Shrewsbury and Atcham
Betty Williams Conwy
Harry Barnes North East Derbyshire
Jeremy Corbyn Islington North
Ann Cryer Keighley
Keith Vaz Leicester East
Andrew Dismore Hendon
Ian Gibson Norwich North
John Austin Erith and Thamesmead
Peter L Pike Burnley
Kevin McNamara Kingston upon Hull North
Kelvin Hopkins Luton North
Roger Berry Kingswood
Alice Mahon Halifax
Rudi Vis Finchley and Golders Green
Linda Perham Ilford North
Jim Dobbin Heywood and Middleton
Rob Marris Wolverhampton South West
Harold Best Leeds North West
David Winnick Walsall North
If your MPs name is not on this list please ensure that you contact them immediately. This has become even more important now that those groups who revel in the vilification of Arabs and Muslims have started a concerted campaign in support of Robert Kilroy-Silk and his views, under the guise of freedom of speech.
Two easy ways to contact your MP:
1. Go to www.faxyourmp.co.uk and type in your postcode
2. Telephone 020 7219 3000 and ask to be put through to your MP.