My grand-daughter is mixed race. I am proud of her. I am proud of her parents for seeing another person to fall in love with and not the colour of their skin.
So when activists from a political party call (and I suspect, some of its MP’s think it) the latest Home Secretary of the UK (Sajid Javid) an “Uncle Tom” or a “coconut”; then that party can fuck right off.
I voted Labour in the last GE. Not for “Ooo, Jeeeremy Corrrbyn”; I’m not a cult follower and we don’t have a presidential system here. I voted for the fact that although Labour’s Manifesto was a Socialists Utopian dream that would cost the UK taxpayer billions; they at least had ideas. The Tories had none. “Strong and Stable” is a meaningless slogan, not a viable plan for a country facing Brexit (which I also voted against – through gritted teeth I must admit. The EU needs big reform that it is not inclined to do, even more so now). I believe that the UK could do with some Socialist ideas being implemented and a roll back for some of the Free Market Capitalism that has been the norm for quite some time now.
But Labour have form on this sort of thing. The anti-Semitism of activists has long been ingrained (since the creation of the modern state of Israel) and lets not forget that most of Enoch Powell’s supporters in the 60s and 70s were working-class people. Like it or not, the flipside of the coin for the Labour Party has always been the BNP.
The Conservatives don’t get away with it either. They have also had their fill of racists and anti-Semites, though they tend to be more sexist these days (which is really weird, seeing as they have had two female PM’s and are most likely to have a lesbian, Scottish, single mother as leader in the near future).
The Windrush Generation has been a scandal and a beautiful example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, but it is not indicative of a racist government that many on the Left have tried to portray it as. It is a failing of the Home Office and a typical bureaucratic nightmare reaching Kafkaesque heights. Amber Rudd had to resign as Home Secretary, not only because she had lied, but because she was shown to be incompetent not following some institutionalised racist system. Labour’s usage of the scandal smacks of Lynton Crosby’s Dead Cat Strategy.
But back to my grand-daughter. One day, her father and mother, grandfather and grandmother are going to have to have “the talk” with her and the question of “why does that person not like me for my skin colour” is one that I am not looking forward to and one that I should not have to hear. It’s going to make it worse that I know there will be people by then in Parliament who will look upon her as a “Uncle Tom” or “coconut”.
I have seen racism in action. My best friend of nearly forty years, the man I choose to be Best Man at my wedding and a man I now consider a blood brother is Indian. I’ve seen some peoples reactions to him, heard the quiet (and not so quiet) remarks about him and done nothing:- mostly by his request. I’ve received discrimination in my lifetime and though I grew a thicker skin it has not been nice and I’m determined to do more when it comes to my grand-daughter and that includes where my vote goes.
Tim Shipman’s beautifully detailed books on Brexit and the following General Election proved that all sides of the modern political spectrum are dysfunctional and none are fit for government. We deserve better, but then again; democracy deserves better citizens.