How do you solve a problem like Sayeeda?
She is a fighter, if invariably lacking strategy; and she tells it like it is, even when it doesn’t need telling.
Her ascension from twice-failed parliamentary candidate to the highest ranks of the Conservative Party is unprecedented: the ‘greasy pole’ was obligingly degreased especially for her; high-profile roles were created and ladders were made abundant while the snakes of political reality were de-fanged and un-venomed.
Her ethnic co-religionists say what no white-Christian types may: that Sayeeda Warsi was appointed to the House of Lords and propelled into the Shadow Cabinet to become the Britain’s ‘most powerful female Muslim’ and the most senior Muslim politician simply ‘because of her religion’.
It could hardly be because of her outstanding success in fighting general elections, and neither could it be because of her impressive record in any particular sphere, because she does not have one. Her elevation was tangential to but consistent with the aims of David Cameron’s ‘A-list’ – a fundamentally anti-meritocratic mechanism designed specifically to increase the number of female, minority ethnic, homosexual and disabled members on the Conservative benches after the general election.
His Grace is of the view that Baroness Warsi's religion was distinctly secondary to the colour of her skin, though both overrode her views on homosexuality, for which orthodox position no white-Christian type could ever be forgiven.
The ‘A-list’ of candidates was about image and the perception of change: the media can see brown skin, but they can’t see ‘Muslim’ or ‘Sikh’.
Unless they are wearing a hijab or a turban.
Hindu and Buddhist are even more difficult.
Having visibly altered the perception of the Conservative Party to allay allegations of racism by local association dinosaurs, backwoodsmen and the ‘Turnip Taliban’, the next step was to favour their advancement.
And Baroness Warsi is something of a splendid rottweiler when it comes to matters Asian: when she takes on the ‘right-wing’ of her co-religionists, she does so admirably.
She glides through the complexities of Pakistani politics, confronts ‘honour’ killings and forced marriage, exposes voter fraud and immerses herself in very relevant and pressing social issues which benefit more than her co-religionists: her eyes are not solely on the glorification of Allah and the wellbeing of the Ummah.
But when she takes on ‘the right’ of the Conservative Party, besmirching and caricaturing for personal political advantage, she shows herself to be ignorant of the Tory tradition, unaware of the complex dynamics within the organisation, scornful of a great campaigning machine and oblivious to the majority ‘grass-roots’ conservative instinct.
The Conservative Party’s ‘Right’ is the mainstream philosophy. For the Party Chairman to savage them in a broadcast petty tirade is not only unfortunate for the Party, it makes her position untenable. In the words of one Conservative minister, she is ‘an accident waiting to happen’.
If she hasn’t already happened.
The Chairman’s raison d’être is to span the sometimes unbridgeable gulf between the voluntary and parliamentary wings of the Party. Lose faith with one, and the bird comes crashing to earth.
Will the Prime Minister fire her?
No, he cannot.
For being female and Asian, she ticks two quota boxes in the Cabinet. While women in the country will be largely indifferent to her fate, her dismissal will play out badly in the Asian community, even though many do not see her as a 'proper Muslim’.
It would risk re-contaminating the brand which David Cameron has spent his entire leadership decontaminating.
No, he cannot.
For she is already quite a lowly Party Chair(wo)man, being merely co-regent with Andrew Feldman, evidently either not trusted with the office or not sufficiently knowledgeable to be granted it in her own right.
It is perceptibly patronising to keep placing ethnic minorities in ‘social cohesion’ roles.
Yet the Minister for Women is invariably a woman.
And those whom Mr Speaker invited to his Conference on minority representation and quotas were mostly members of minority groups.
And she does do it rather well; sometimes very well indeed.
On religion in politics, voter fraud, community cohesion, BNP bigotry, Mosque misogyny, Muslim myopia, Pakistani pettiness, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other areas, Sayeeda Warsi consistently shows herself to be in tune with the Conservative mainstream.
Which is ‘right’.
Come on, Sayeeda, admit it.
You love us really.