In modern Britain, racism is increasingly a problem of the identitarian Left
BY SERENA LIT
Racist. An easy label to give, a difficult allegation to refute. In recent weeks the term seems to have been weaponised against anyone without a red rose in their Twitter biography. For years, the political right has been vilified in order to provide the woke masses an ‘enemy within’ to fight against. In reality, it is the Left’s deliberate intertwining of the two very different issues of ideology and race, that ensures no meaningful strides can be made in the racial equality movement.
Both the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and the Director of the No. 10 Policy Unit, Munira Mirza, have recently been subject to vicious accusations of racial gatekeeping. They are portrayed as token minorities, betraying their ‘own’ by standing for a supposedly racially regressive party, in order for that party to use their presence to pursue an agenda that ‘negatively’ impacts BAME people. Apparently, a strong economy and safer streets only benefit white citizens. The Left increasingly operate like the Death Eaters from Harry Potter, and much like the Weasleys, BAME Conservatives are painted as “blood traitors”. Even Kwasi Kwarteng has been unable to escape such allegations, despite publicly condemning racist comments made by a (now retired) advisor to the Prime Minister and his subsequent calls for a review of the entire Downing Street hiring process as a result of the incident.
A 1983 Conservative election poster reads, “To the Labour Party, you’re a black person. To the Conservatives, you’re a British Citizen.” Never have these sentiments been truer. Labour continually divides society along racial lines, while the longstanding Conservative belief that minorities should be regarded equals, instead of actively classed as marginalised or a ‘special’ group, has proven less popular with the leftist media. In February, the Guardian published a disturbing piece that portrayed minority appointments to cabinet as the ultimate sign of a racist government. The same article simultaneously praised trade unions for diversifying by promoting minority candidates. This reflects a broader trend of the political left instinctively dismissing the contributions of those who do not conform to their perception of how ethnic minorities should behave. BAME Conservatives are derided for being the ‘wrong type’ of minority and, this in itself, is racist.
In March, the Guardian published a disgustingly racist and culturally insensitive cartoon depicting Priti Patel as, in her own words, “a fat cow with a ring through its nose”. Despite the obvious offence, the left-wing publication refused to take down the image on the grounds that “politicians of all parties are quite often caricatured as animals.” One wonders if the response would have been different had a Hindu Labour MP been outraged. In fact, one might question whether such an image of a Hindu Labour MP would have ever been commissioned in the first place. Last month, in response to Patel’s courage in sharing her horrific experiences of racial discrimination at the despatch box, 32 Labour MPs wrote a letter accusing her of “gaslighting the very real racism faced by black people and communities across the UK”. The ultimate irony.
Unfortunately, while those on the right find strength in internal reflection and prove unafraid to challenge one another to do better, the left close ranks at the slightest criticism. Earlier this week, Conservatives were quick to denounce David Starkey’s comments made in an interview for Reasoned. The host, Darren Grimes, issued a heartfelt apology. In the Conservative party, allegations of racism are investigated, and the appropriate action is taken once the outcome is known. In March, the party suspended five serving councillors, while they investigate allegations of Islamophobia made against them. Similarly, in December 2019, the Brexit Party expelled one of their sitting councillors after evidence emerged that he had made racist comments. These triumphs of right-wing parties acting to protect minorities are either forgotten or largely ignored in mainstream political discourse.
The Left have also conveniently ignored the fact that in February 2019, 9 Labour MPs quit the party and formed a rival group, due to Labour leadership’s inaction on stamping out anti-Semitism within its own membership. Leftist hypocrisy has been allowed to run rampant throughout Britain for too long. The decision for 9 MPs to leave over anti-Semitism rather than change the party from within, reveals that unlike the Conservative and Brexit parties, Labour has no effective internal mechanism for dealing with discrimination. This is because the party will not acknowledge the extent of their own discrimination problem, which is why the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has now launched an investigation. The EHRC has only ever seen fit to investigate two political parties in its history: the BNP and Labour. That says it all.
However, this clear sign that the Labour party do have a problem, has been completely ignored by its grassroot activists. It is completely unacceptable for there to be one set of rules and expectations for those on the right, and another for those on the left. Yet, this is the situation we find ourselves in. I will henceforth refer to this social injustice as ‘Left privilege’. As early as 2015, it was clear left-wing thought was shifting towards movements it would have once denounced as racist. Much in the same way the demise of UKIP saw some far-right racists join the Conservative party, Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to Leader of the Opposition saw some far-left racists join Labour. While the Conservatives investigate and remove such members, Labour are yet to acknowledge it is a widespread issue.
Last week, a one-time Labour leadership hopeful, Rebecca Long Bailey, was sacked from the shadow cabinet for retweeting an article seeming to suggest Israeli secret services had taught US police officers how to suffocate black people. Hours after the story broke, prominent Labour figures voiced their support for Long Bailey, many grassroots activists tore up their membership cards in protest and certain hard left groups demanded Kier Starmer reverse his decision at once. Momentum Chair, Jon Lansman, called her dismissal a “reckless overreaction”. Equally worryingly, left-wing racism has been normalised in British society, and as the case of Priti Patel shows, even legitimised when directed at the political right.
The nature of political discourse in this country desperately needs to change. Dividing the issue of race along partisan lines has produced a lot of mudslinging, and not much else. It is vital we as individuals hold all representatives to account, not just those with whom we disagree. The Left tactically deflect blame onto the political right, in order to draw attention away from their own issues- inevitably avoiding any real change or accountability on their part. Political groups must get their own houses in order, before looking outward for problems. BAME Conservative MPs have every right to refer to their backgrounds, given their Labour counterparts have been using their own as political ammunition for decades. The real reason BAME Conservatives are so ferociously attacked is because they pose the greatest threat to the Left’s carefully manufactured, and inherently racist, narrative of what a minority should be.
Regardless of whether or not they admit it, those on the left live in a glass house when it comes to issues of discrimination and race. In order to make any kind of progress in the racial equality movement, the Left must apply the same vigour with which they scrutinise the right, to fixing their inherently racist approach to right-wing BAME representatives and eradicating those with vile views in their own ranks. In short: the glass must shatter.
Serena Lit is the YC Chair of Brentford and Isleworth Conservatives. Follow her on twitter: @serena_tara_lit