Representing What? The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid, Home Secretary

Sajid Javid was elected to be the Conservative Member of Parliament for the West Midlands constituency of Bromsgrove with 33,493 votes in the General Election of 2017. Javid has held the seat since 2010, when he first entered politics. Before that Javid was a banker, in which he had a meteoric rise. In 1994 he was Vice President of Chase Manhattan Bank; in 1997 Director of Deutsche Bank; in 2000 Managing Director; in 2005 he was Deutsche Bank’s Global Head of Emerging Markets Structuring; in 2006 its Head of Credit Trading, Equity Convertibles, Commodities and Private Equity Businesses in Asia; and in 2007 he was promoted to a Board Member of Deutsche Bank International with a reported annual salary £3 million.

Since entering politics Javid’s rise in the Conservative government has been no less meteoric. In 2011-12 he was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; in 2012-13 he was Economic Secretary to the Treasury; and in 2013-14 he was Financial Secretary to the Treasury – all offices in which, as a banker, he has expertise, although hardly from the point of view of the public good. But in 2014 Javid became the Minister for Equalities, presumably because he is of Pakistani origins and like Sadiq Khan never fails to play the race card or remind people he is the son of a bus driver, which one presumes is meant to erase his long career as an immensely wealthy banker. In 2014-15 he was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; in 2015-16 Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade; and in 2016-18 Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. In this office Javid first opposed, then acquiesced to, Southwark Labour council’s compulsory purchase order of leaseholders’ homes on the Aylesbury estate on the grounds it infringed their human rights and discriminated against them on the basis of their ethnicity in violation of the Equality Act 2010.

This brief and ultimately withdrawn upholding of human rights was soon revealed to be the political point-scoring it was when, in 2018, Javid became the Home Secretary, in which post he stripped Shamima Begum of UK citizenship in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which the UK is a signatory. Javid defended this act, which resulted in Begum’s child dying in a Syrian refugee camp, by declaring that Begum, who like Javid is a British national but of Bangladeshi origins, has dual nationality and the right to citizenship in Bangladesh, and has ‘nothing to do with us’. This racist equivalent to ‘go back to where you came from’ from the British Home Secretary was rejected by the government of Bangladesh, which confirmed that Begum has nothing of the kind.

Worse still has been Javid’s actions with regard to Julian Assange, whose illegal detention in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, in contravention of his human rights, Javid upheld from the moment he took office as UK Home Secretary. Javid applauded the withdrawal of Assange’s political asylum by the new Ecuadorian government of the equally human-rights violating President Moreno, even though to do so is in contravention of international law. He defended the UK police entering the Ecuadorian Embassy, even though they have no jurisdiction in what is legally sovereign Ecuadorian territory. Finally, while Assange is being held in Belmarsh prison for 50 weeks, a sentence enormously disproportionate with the accusation of skipping bail, and where he has been kept without access to the means to defend himself against the charges of espionage levelled against him by the United States, Javid signed the US request to extradite Assange to a country that has no legal jurisdiction over him, and whose legal and prison system is in violation of his human rights under both UK and international law.

Javid recently complained publicly about not being invited to the Royal dinner held for the visit of the US President, Donald Trump, implying that it was because he is of Pakistani ethnicity. This week, Javid, who was running for the Conservative party leadership that would have made him Prime Minister of the UK, was knocked out in the fourth round. Afterwards, he congratulated himself on the ‘honest, decent and straightforward way’ he conducted his campaign, and having reminded everyone once again that he is the son of a Pakistani bus driver, said he hoped to inspire UK children to emulate his achievements.

Javid’s power to abuse, violate and over-rule UK and international law is founded on the basis that 33,493 people in the constituency of Bromsgrove voted him their MP. His nomination as Home Secretary, of course, is the decision of one person, the acting Prime Minister Theresa May. This permits Javid to ignore the UK’s obligations to our membership of the United Nations and the reports, recommendations and condemnations of its rapporteurs. It permits him to ignore, dismiss and pour scorn on the legal advice, condemnations of the abuse of legal procedure and warnings of the most senior international legal experts in the world. And it allows him to further align the UK with the criminal actions, war crimes and economic and military imperialism of the United States, and in doing so dramatically increase the likelihood of UK citizens being targeted by terrorist attacks from those who, rightly or wrongly, see this as a way to enact retribution for such imperialism.

This abuse of power and contravention of the rule of law is being accommodated unopposed and with the support of the Parliamentary system that, for 900 years, has been described as representative of the will of the people, and in which we are asked, again and again, to vote for our representatives, while never questioning the unaccountable, unrepresentative and abusive system of representation within which they rule over us. It should be obvious to anyone with a sense of justice and shred of dignity that we should never again give legitimacy to this political system in which we can be arbitrarily subjected to the full force of the state outside of our human rights, including our right to the law, and subjected to torture, imprisonment and the death penalty on the basis of a secret, unilateral extradition agreement with the US that was not subject even to the scrutiny of Parliament. Rather than continuing to vote for our so-called representatives in this system, we should instead be striving to overthrow and replace it with one in which not Julian Assange but Sajid David would be under arrest and facing charges of the abuse of human rights, misconduct in public office, aiding and abetting in the torture of a foreign national, and much more.

The fact that this criminal came fourth in the contest to be Prime Minister of the UK, and that the records of the three candidates (now two) ahead of him are little better and possibly worse, shows just how far we are from a new system of just, accountable and transparent governance. But until that happens, and we continue to live under the politicised law and iron fist of our so-called Parliamentary democracy, we are all Julian Assange.

P.S. 24 July. Following the election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister by 92,153 members of the Conservative and Unionist Party, or 0.2 per cent of the UK electorate of 45,775,800, and the sacking of half the previous cabinet, Sajid Javid has been elevated to the post of the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, the second most powerful position in Government, just 9 years after he entered politics in 2010.

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