One of the things I wish we had not covered at last Tuesday’s full council meeting was the Armenian genocide. I am quite happy to call it that. If it look like a duck and quacks like a duck. This is though a controversial subject and both the UK government and the UN have declined to call the extensive massacres (probably 1.5 million people) of Armenians in Turkey during the First World War genocide arguing that the term was not invented until after the Second World War. The Armenian community in the UK is keen to get the massacre described as genocide and the Turkish community are equally keen not to. Councils have serious domestic responsibilities and it is just frivolous and self-indulgent in my view to devote time to difficult, historical arguments from all over the world.
The council motion (follow this link and go to page 5) was proposed by Northolt councillor Ara Iskanderian and seconded by his fellow Northolt councillor Bassam Mahfouz. Mahfouz has previous for this kind of thing and made a fool of himself during the general election in talking about his election creating the â€˜the first Arab MPâ€™. Iskanderian presents himself as an Armenian before anything else. For instance:
Iskanderian and Mahfouz need to remind themselves that they are Ealing councillors representing one of the most deprived areas in the borough. Iskanderian has not said a word in council meetings in the 7 months since he was elected before he came up with this unnecessary, sectarian motion. Iskanderian is a Fabian socialist with a Masters from the notoriously left wing SOAS. Online he writes thousands of words on Armenian issues but has failed to make any public utterances on his ward or on Ealing for that matter. The motion might help him further his career as professional Armenian. It does not help anyone in Northolt.