Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amir Khan: Great Boxer Needs Sense of Humour

Many thanks to comrade Will Parbury for alerting me to a political scrap in my own back yard. Involving dead man walking Rev Dr Cllr John Grant, a man who gets dissemblers a bad name, and his main challenger, Labour's Amina Lone.

The Manchester Evening News story from friend Dave Ottewell suggests that Amir's people are on the warpath that Amina used a pic with the man on one of her leaflets. Rather like the one above as it goes. Which comes from the MEN's title The Asian News.

You see Amir is not political and hasn't ever even voted. Allegedly.

This is a rather hilarious piece of brazen muppetry or complete ignorance from Amir's management actually.

If we google the string - Amir Khan David Cameron - we get 237,000 hits, mostly the early ones being Cameron opening Khan's gym (as below) and/or claiming to be launching a Tory Youth Initiative - which is in fact being driven by someone, Haras Rafiq, with Labour links.

This Googling includes countless items in the Guardian, MEN and their own stable of local and specialist papers, and their rivals.

There are more direct hits as it were for - Amir Khan Gordon Brown - though not direct stories, and rather less for Tony Blair in a similar exercise. All I can say to Nick Clegg and Ming Cambell is that they are punching well below their weight.

But did the MEN not remember not one but two huge photo opps with the Tories before writing their story? Did it not occur to the MEN to search for Amir Khan and other parties as I have done in a couple of minutes.

The appearances with Cameron were pretty disturbing actually and I got the impression at the time that he was being used by big politicians ... rather than having a bit of fun with Amina.

Let's hope the new kid on the block gives the unpopular heavyweight Grant a KO in the first round. The more up themselves they are the harder they fall I've heard.

Meanwhile "Sham Ass", or something like that, comments at The Asian News op cit. that Amir should demand £50,000, discounted from £100,000. Wonder how much David Cameron paid for his various photo opportunities and brand associations? In September 2007. And again in January 2008.

Pandora in the Indy who incidentally changes Amina's employment description have noticed this issue would doubtless be interested also.

UPDATE Friday 9:50: David Ottewell of the MEN has commented and doesn't seem to recognise that not mentioning the whopping photo opportunities with David Cameron, which rather undermine Khan's management's claims of purity, is a faux pas.


Anonymous said...

Khan's manager is having as laugh on this one. Amir is a Labour supporter whatever his twenty percenter may say.

Anonymous said...


I'm well aware of Amir's previous appearances with other politicians.

There is arguably an important difference, however, between appearing with politicians _on your own terms, in relation to specific issues_ and having your image used in an election publication in a way that might suggest endorsement of a particular candidate.

If I had _any_ useable evidence Amir had endorsed any party - at any time - that would have radically changed the story.

Anonymous said...

I came on here to make a comment but it seems that David has already said it - and said it well too.

Anonymous said...

I see the Conservatives have an 18%lead in the latest YouGov poll - NuLav* on 26% and the Libdemologists on 17%.

Looks like your lot are down the tubes, Chris. Well you were always a bottom feeder, weren't you?

(Perhaps that toilet chain* around your neck last November was a sign and it's time for you to get back on track?)

Chris Paul said...

David - complete failure to mention Amir's appearances with Cameron is a travesty. Surely you can see that? The fact of these makes a mockery of Amir's management claims.

I am not suggesting he was endorsing the Tories by the way just that his management are either having a laugh or deeply hypocritical.

Amir Khan has in fact been to Labour fundraisers, including in Longsight, Manchester and stated that Labour is the best choice.

Not mentioning Cameron or asking this manager chap about those TWO major photo opportunities featured across the whole gamut of British media in 2007 and 2008 is a major omission IMO.

Anonymous said...

The other thing to say David is that the text on the leaflet does not imply Amir Khan's support. It simply says Amina shows him how she plans to KO Grant. Quite different. Chris is right. This story of your paper and its derivatives lacked a mention for the Cameron photo opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Amir is a Labour Voter?
Not what he told me.

Anonymous said...


His management's claims are that

a) the picture was used without his permission

b) it was on an election leaflet, and Amir has been careful not to be seen to lend party-political support

c) previous meetings with politicians (which I did bring up with his manager) have been on the explicit understanding they should not be presented as party-political endorsements.

Nothing you've said "makes a mockery" of those claims, which seem pretty substantial to me.

Anonymous said...

Amina's a babe, clearly giving a lie to Silvio's claim that all the best looking women are on the right. Clearly not in Manchester. I hope she wins the seat. The arguments from the MEN are clearly woolly, I can hear them Baaing from France.

Chris Paul said...

On your three points David:

(a) I have no idea what was discussed between Amina and Amir and as someone who used to manage artists and still works with sporting heroes I can tell you that the management OFTEN don't know what their charges may or may not have agreed to. And that those charges don't always fess up when challenged.

(b) I don't know whether the Cameron pics have appeared on any Tory leaflets. I believe they have appeared on some Tory blogs and websites and I will pursue that.

I also don't know whether other candidates from any party have used pictures with Amir. He has certainly been to Labour fundraisers to my certain knowledge.

(c) The Tories had an absolute field day with Amir pictures in September 2007 and January 2008 whatever was agreed. Having put these points to the management I suggest that it would have provided some balance during election purdah to point out that the Tories made hay with Amir's image - we're told now without his permission.

I think - my opinion is - that the huge use Amir's management allowed of images with Cameron does make a mockery of this trumped up little story and I'm disappointed that there was not more balance along those lines.

The extent of the Tory use of Amir's image was enormous. If that was against the agreement then THAT is the real story right there.

Never mind Amir, is this manager of his associated with any party?