Orbyn-Wan Kenorbyn by Sketchaganda
Orbyn-Wan Kenorbyn by Sketchaganda
After the Muslim Council of Britain and several senior Conservatives demanded an investigation into anti-Muslim prejudice in the Tory party, many on the left have been quick to point out the tiny flicker of mainstream media coverage on the issue in relation to the massive Labour anti-Semitism furore before the local elections.
The discrepancy in coverage is obvious, but it should come as no surprise at all given the relentless pro-Tory anti-Corbyn bias that not only dominates the print media, but also thrives on the supposedly neutral BBC too.
The allegations of widespread Islamophobia in the Tory ranks and specific accusations of anti-Muslim discrimination against Michael Gove and the Tory leadership should surely be getting more media coverage, but the reason these stories aren’t getting much traction are obvious.
Of course mainstream media journalists don’t want to scrutinise Tory Islamophobia to the same extent they attacked Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism. Firstly such scrutiny would run entirely counter to the mainstream media groupthink objective of protecting the neoliberal status quo by working to oust Jeremy Corbyn, and secondly “the Tory party is over-run with bigots” is really more of a common sense assertion rather than a groundbreaking news story anyway, isn’t it?
For me the huge disparity between mainstream media coverage of the Labour anti-Semitsm row and the Tory anti-Muslim allegations is actually secondary to another issue, the shockingly cynical Tory response to these allegations of widespread anti-Muslim bigotry in their own party.
While Labour took the position that anti-Semitism is wrong, and that it should be stamped out in all of society, including when it arises in the Labour ranks (the correct response), the Tories have signalled that they’re absolutely fine with the allegations and have no intention of investigating them, or dealing with anti-Muslim bigots in their ranks.
The refusal to take the allegations seriously was exemplified by the new Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid when he attempted to publicly delegitimise the Muslim Council of Britain rather than deal with their concerns over Tory anti-Muslim bigotry.
Labour admitted that they had a problem and proposed to take action to combat it and mainstream media hacks hounded them for weeks over it, and the Tories have basically said “fuck you, we’re fine with it” and the mainstream press have largely left them alone.
The interesting thing here is that the Tory response to these allegations has been clearly calculated. They’re not just adopting this “fuck you, we’re fine with it” attitude because they expect to be allowed to get away with it by their chums in the mainstream media, they will also have considered the public opinion consequences too.
Given that the Tories are only clinging onto power at all because they managed to absorb the majority of the hard-right ultranationalist voters who fled the wreckage of UKIP, a belligerent “fuck you” response to accusations of widespread anti-Muslim bigotry in their ranks is likely to resonate a lot more strongly with this crucial demographic than an admission that anti-Muslim attitudes are wrong, and the launch of an investigation into the problem.
The Tories seem to have calculated that their “fuck you, we’re fine with it” attitude will play so well with the large extreme-right ultranationalist demographic they’re so desperate to appease, that it will easily mitigate any fallout amongst Tory voting Muslims.
The logic being that any Muslim who still votes Tory after the outrageous BNP stype anti-Muslim fearmongering campaign they ran for Zac Goldsmith’s London mayoral campaign in 2015, is clearly also likely to tolerate their refusal to investigate widespread accusations of anti-Muslim bigotry in the Tory ranks too.
An admission of the problem and the launch of an inquiry into it would infuriate the crucial blue-kip demographic the Tory party has rendered itself utterly reliant upon, whilst their belligerent refusal to engage with the criticisms creates the impression that they’re exactly the kind of bigoted extreme-right anti-Muslim party this hard right blue-kip demographic are looking for.
just think about it. British society has not yet drifted so far to the extreme-right that the Tories can come out and explicitly position themselves as an anti-Muslim party, but what’s the next best thing to appeal to the extreme-right – ultranationalist – white-supremacist – anti-Muslim demographic?
Publicly attacking and delegitimising the Muslim Council of Britain, and clearly signalling that they have no intention of rooting out anti-Muslim bigots from their party would seem ideal for the purpose don’t you think?
The Tories are actually playing their anti-Muslim bigotry scandal as a vote winner, knowing that to a significant swathe of right-wing people, rampant anti-Muslim prejudice is actually an attractive quality!
I think Andrew Gwynne is quite proud of this
Oh look, the Labour party is divided within itself about a decision. What a shocking, unexpected and unprecedented turn of events…
Happy Ed Balls day!
Ultra-cynical Tories in Southampton are so desperate for power that they’re blaming Labour for the consequences of their own party’s actions in government.
The reason council tax bills are going up while services are worse than ever is that the austerity fixated Tories in government have cut the local government budget by a whopping 67% since 2010.
In Southampton the result of this hard-right ideologically driven Tory madness is a £485 per household cut to the council’s budget.
It’s not just Southampton either, these brutal hard-right Tory cuts have left councils up and down the country with no choice but to ruthlessly slash back local services (bin collections, libraries, leisure centres, social care, highways maintenance, children’s services, planning departments, street cleaning …) to save money, whilst raising Council Tax as much as they can get away with in order to plug the gaps in the most critical services (domestic abuse shelters, children’s services, care services for the elderly and infirm) in order to prevent the most damaging outcomes (domestic abuse, child abuse, deaths).
And make no mistake, these Tory cuts weren’t driven by necessity, they were driven by the Tory desperation to ensure the upwards redistribution of wealth via massive tax breaks and handouts to corporations and the mega-rich.
Just imagine the cynicism of knowing that your own party’s ideological fixation with hard-right austerity dogma has caused this dreadful situation, but deciding to print up a load of propaganda to blame your political opponents for it.
That’s the cynicism of the Tories in a nutshell. Deliberately and systematically wrecking local government services up and down the country for eight ruinous years, then trying to actually take over local councils that have been gutted by this strategic wrecking by blaming the local councils themselves for the appalling financial position that Westminster Tories have left them in.
The really sad thing is that because of the mainstream media refusal to critique Tory austerity dogma as the disastrous hard-right fanaticism it so obviously is, a lot of people will be unaware of the massive cuts the austerity obsessed Tories have imposed on their own local council, and will actually believe this kind of outrageous Tory propaganda when it gets shoved through their door.
In 2014 Theresa May introduced the draconian new anti-immigrant powers that the Home Office have subsequently used to dehumanise and persecute the Windrush generation.
These grotesque Faragist rules have been used to deny employment, deny housing, deny health care, and deny social security/pensions to British Windrush citizens, and to make thousands live in constant fear of imprisonment and deportation by their own country.
The parliamentary record makes it clear that a few brave MPs dared to stand up against the tide of extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric to criticise Theresa May’s plans, and vote against them.
Diane Abbott was amongst them, and she had the intelligence and foresight to predict that May’s rules could be used to attack British citizens without documentation. The breaking of the Windrush scandal has proven her concerns to have been incredibly prescient and well-founded.
What we didn’t know at the time was the secret behind the scenes debates within the coalition government, but in the wake of the Windrush Scandal the senior Civil Servant Bob Kerslake has claimed that some ministers in the coalition government were so concerned that they described Theresa May’s new law as being “reminiscent of Nazi Germany”.
"There were some who saw it, I shan't name them, as almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the way it's working" – former head of the civil service @SirBobKerslake on the hostile environment policy #newsnight pic.twitter.com/eDVGYvAw8w
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) April 18, 2018
Even more shocking than the revelation that senior government ministers were likening their own government policy to that of the Nazis, was the fact that they just bit their tongues, raised no concerns in public, and then went ahead and actually voted this Nazi-style legislation into law when it went before parliament.
They knew they would have to resign their ministerial positions if they stood their ground and voted against it, so these disgusting self-serving bastards actually voted in favour of a bill they’d privately likened to Nazism for pure political expediency!
The New Labour mob covered themselves in shame too by whipping their MPs into abstaining on Theresa May’s Nazi-style immigration witch hunt, while only six principled Labour MPs did the decent thing and opposed it (Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Dennis Skinner, Mark Lazarowicz, Fiona Mactaggart).
This shameful abstention from Labour just goes to show how hopelessly lost they had become in the late New Labour years, but the truly horrific thing is that there were cabinet members in the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition who recognised the fascist intent of Theresa May’s bill, but voted in favour of it anyway because they wanted to keep their six figure ministerial salaries.
Perhaps the most worrying thing of all is how far Britain has managed to progress along the road towards totalitarianism with the majority of people not even noticing.
Not only was Theresa May allowed to get away with introducing this vile Nazi-like legislation back in 2014 because members of her own government were too self-serving to speak out, and because of the pathetic abstentionism of the timid and directionless Labour leadership at the time, but this legislation has been allowed to fester away, destroying peoples lives for over four years, and the vile wannabe-tyrant who created it has actually been promoted to Prime Minister!
The Tories know that their treatment of Windrush citizens has been absolutely despicable, but instead of taking personal responsibility for it and resigning, they’ve resorted to the most ridiculous campaign of bluster, smears, misrepresentations, and outright lies.
The absurd Data Protection excuse
When a whistleblower revealed that the Tories had deliberately destroyed the archive of landing cards from the Windrush generation the first Tory instinct was to lie their way out of trouble.
The Tories initially tried to claim that the archives were destroyed because of Data Protection concerns.
The first thing to note is that this is a Tory government that wilfully sold off our private NHS medical data to drug companies and health insurers without our consent. To hear them suddenly pretending that they care about data protection laws is most absurd.
The next thing to note is that Data Protection rules have a very clear exemption for material of historical importance. You’d have to be completely cracked to imagine that the boarding cards of the Windrush generation who came to help Britian rebuild after WWII had no historical significance whatever and needed to be lobbed into a skip.
And one final point on this ridiculous excuse is that *if* the Tories know for a fact that data protection concerns really were their motivation for destroying these documents, they know who authorised the destruction, but they’re hiding that information from the public domain presumably because it’s harmful to their party.
When Theresa May was cornered by Jeremy Corbyn on the destruction of the Windrush boarding cards she resorted to the age-old Tory tactic of misdirecting attention with smears. She said she was going to ignore the question because Jeremy Corbyn has supposedly “let anti-Semitism run rife through his party”.
The facts of the matter are difficult to square with Theresa May’s smear-mongering: Anti-Semitic views are very much more common in the Tory ranks than in the Labour ranks. Labour Party members are significantly less likely to hold anti-Semitic views than the general public, rates of anti-Semitism have declined dramatically since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015, and last but not least Theresa May’s vile anti-immigrant ‘hostile environment’ legislation was all about attracting the extreme-right ultranationalist blue-kip demographic who are by far and away the most anti-Semitic demographic of all.
Denial of personal responsibility
The legislation that has been used to dehumanise, deny employment and healthcare, and deport Windrush citizens was introduced in 2014 by Theresa May. She was warned of the dangers at the time. In the 3rd reading parliamentary debate Diane Abbott clearly raised the problem of Theresa May’s harsh new immigration rules being used against British citizens, but Theresa May just fobbed it off with a load of evasive waffle.
Theresa May was warned at the time that her attack on immigrants could end up wrecking the lives of people who have every right to live here, she ignored it, and now she thinks that she can just say “sorry” and wash her hands of responsibility, rather than offering her resignation like anyone with a shred of integrity would do.
Despite the Home Office having admitted that they destroyed the Windrush landing cards Theresa May decided to blame the decision on Labour with a truly ridiculous piece of misdirection (one that was lapped up and uncritically reported by the right-wing press and the BBC).
The misdirection involved switching two very distinct decisions. In 2009 the Labour run Home Office made the decision to move out of the Croydon building in which the Windrush landing cards were kept. And in 2010, under Theresa May’s watch, the Home Office made the decision to destroy the cards rather than find a place for them in the new building.
By switching decision one and decision two to blame Labour for her own department’s decision, Theresa May is once again assuming the general public to be a total bunch of irredeemable half-wits who couldn’t tell the difference between a blue frog and a yellow frog because they’re both frogs.
Another assumption they’re making is that we’re so dim-witted that we’ll simply forget that they openly admitted destroying the documents just one day previously (using their absurd data protection story).
If you’re the kind of person who abhors institutional racism and believes that people should take personal responsibility for their own errors and misjudgements, Theresa May’s actions in regards to the Windrush scandal should sicken you to the core.
If however you’re totally chilled about institutional racism and prefer your politicians to resort to ridiculously responsibility evasion, unconvincing stories, blatant smears, cynical misdirections, and outright lies the instant they get caught doing anything wrong, then Theresa May’s behaviour should have you purring with pride in a job well done.