Morning update 11.04.15: Maajid’s ‘stag night’

morningupdate5WHAT THE… OR SO WHAT?

CAMDEN’S mayor Lazzaro Pietragnoli comes to the defence of Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz this morning, after the latter found a picture and video of himself in a Whitechapel strip club featuring on the pages and website of the Daily Mail. Lazzaro says he is ‘appalled to see left-wing’ friends sharing the article. Others in his own council group, less publicly, say Maajid is guilty of hypocrisy and have an outright objection to lap-dancing in the first place, regardless of what religion Maajid follows or says about feminism. 

It doesn’t really matter, however, what Lazzaro or other Labour members in Camden think of the story, for Maajid it matters more as to whether it affects 1) voter opinion in Hampstead and Kilburn, 2) the respect he has within the Liberal Democrat party, in which he is regarded as an important celebrity, and 3) his personal speaker bookings, on which he thrives. Number three on the list, perhaps the most important in the end for the man himself, will almost certainly not be too adversely affected, for he can prove to be an engaging, sharp panellist even for those who do not buy his views. 

As Lazzaro seems to suggest, an old Labour rival in Bradford, Khalid Mahmoud, might have done better to not follow Conservative go-to voice Nadine Dorries in criticising Maajid in the Daily Mail. If Maajid is not setting a good example, as he says, then he might have let the article speak for itself. The pictures would have blown up over Twitter anyway; Maajid was ‘trending’ for several hours in the UK earlier. If she was offered the chance to lend her views, Tulip Siddiq did well to pass here and take a see what happens next approach.

This is because the piece actually splits opinion between WT…? and so what?. Maajid retweeted the article with a play to the second reaction, as if he was being attacked for a bloke being a bloke: ‘Yes, I can confirm, that last summer I had a stag night.’ 

It’s not the kind of story that would normally feature on these pages, nor in the Camden New Journal, but the reaction is so widespread this morning it is difficult to not at least note how, as calls come for him to step down from our parliamentary contest in Hampstead and Kilburn, it may or may not affect his battle with Tulip and Conservative Simon Marcus.

4 Comments on Morning update 11.04.15: Maajid’s ‘stag night’

  1. What was the ‘private’ comment amongst friends our esteemed Mayor made about women wearing colours on the Red Queen’s FB page? People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. How are we doing on promoting religious harmony between the 3 faiths?

    • I do not live in a glass house and I do not throw stones.

      If you follow the Council meeting on the 20th of May, you will have lot of feedback on my work on promoting mutual understanding between people of different faiths and believes.

  2. My post -actually- was not about Maajid: it was against adopting the Daily Mail’s smearing strategy. I do not like an electoral campaign based on nasty personal attacks (whether they are against a Lib-Dem candidate or the leader of the Labor party) – I rather prefer an honest debate about values and policies.

    You wonder (in another post) why other national media haven’t followed the “stag night” story:

    If there was sexual harassment (or even “only” break of the code of practice of the venue) why the owner allowed him in again after few hours? Why didn’t he report the accident to the police and pressed charges against him?

    Why did he keep the video for several months and he passed it to the Daily Mail few weeks before the General Election?

    Is that the proper way to deal with that kind of accidents? Is that the proper way to protect the young women working in the club?

    You ask these questions and you can smell the Daily Mail’s trick.

    And people are eating that bait without any questions… They are re-twitting the story without realising the damage they are doing, not to Maajid, but to an healthy political campaign…

    I do reject the Daily Mail’s poisonous methods, against Maajid and against anybody else.

    (btw, those comments were made from my private account, not as the Mayor)

  3. why my other comment is still awaiting moderation?

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