From Daily Mirror: Jacob Rees-Mogg referred to an African country as “the people’s republic of jam jar or something”, in a speech to Conservative Party Conference.
Conservatives condemned by British Jewish leaders after MEPs vote to defend Hungary’s far-right Orban government
From The Independent: The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “very concerning” that the Conservatives had chosen to defend Hungary’s “appalling track record” which they pointed out included both “vivid antisemitism” and islamophobia.
From The Courier: The chairman of the Scottish Conservatives’ youth wing has been accused of anti-Semitism after using a phrase developed by the Nazis.
James Bundy, an economics student at St Andrews University, posted on social media at the weekend about a BBC package about gender stereotypes and children that the corporation was using “his taxpayers money….to promote cultural Marxism” – sparking a backlash from some quarters.
The tweet was removed after The Courier asked the Tories about it, but Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer said it was “utterly unacceptable” for a leading figure within a mainstream political party to “use and normalise” a term which has such anti-Semitic underpinnings.
Cultural Marxism was a conspiracy theory developed in Nazi Germany to demonise Jews, and is a term consistently used by far-right groups such as the BNP.
Norwegian far-right mass murderer Anders Breivik also used the term over a hundred times in his “manifesto” before committing the Utoya Island massacre and Oslo bombing in July 2011.
From Channel 4 News FactCheck: Michael Fabricant has been captured on video standing in front of what appeared to be the flag of apartheid South Africa on the mantelpiece of his parliamentary office.
South Africa used the tricolour design between 1928 and 1994, and it was flown throughout the apartheid era, when South Africans were forced to live separately along racial lines and non-white citizens were openly discriminated against.
The flag became a symbol of the apartheid system and was regularly set on fire by protesters in a show of defiance.
Earlier this year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation called for the old flag to be banned from public display after became a feature of demonstrations by white farmers in the country.
The foundation said: “These displays demonstrably compound the pain experienced by millions of black South Africans who suffered under apartheid and continue to struggle under its legacy.”
Asked why he had an apartheid-era South Africa flag on his mantelpiece, Mr Fabricant replied on Twitter: “It’s alongside an old soviet-era USSR Hammer & Sickle flag – just out of shot. The cameraman can confirm. They are places I went on work visits in the 1980s. I am neither a Communist nor a supporter of apartheid.”
From Evolve Politics: 18 Conservative councillors and council candidates have been suspended from the Tory Party within the last month alone for alleged racism and abuse.
Despite the wall-to-wall coverage from the likes of the BBC of Labour’s struggles with anti-Semitism, the right-wing press has been extremely reluctant to report the sheer scale of racism and abuse emerging from the Conservative Party.
Following former Tory Minister Baroness Warsi exposing the fact that there are now “weekly occurrences of Islamophobic incidents” within the Conservative Party, the Muslim Council of Britain demanded that the Tories begin an inquiry into the racism epidemic engulfing the party – a demand which the Tories have flat-out ignored.
The BBC and the right-wing media have, for whatever reason, completely failed to bother reporting the story.
From The Guardian: Tory Government plans that will force people to prove their identities at polling stations in May’s local elections risk disenfranchising members of ethnic minority communities, according to a leaked letter to ministers from the equality and human rights watchdog.
In a move that will fuel controversy over the treatment of migrants in the UK following the Windrush scandal, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, raising its serious concern that the checks will deter immigrants and others from participating in the democratic process.
Under the new government voting rules, being trialled in several local authorities at the 3 May local elections, people will be asked at polling stations to produce documents proving their identity – such as a passport or driving licence – before casting their vote. Currently, no such proof is required.
The EHRC says evidence of supposed fraud is minimal and warns that there is a real risk that legal residents who might not have a passport or driving licence – or might be reluctant to produce them at polling stations – could be disenfranchised as a result.
From Another Angry Voice: The mainstream media insist on presenting the anti-Semitism debate as if it’s a Labour-specific problem that’s getting worse under Jeremy Corbyn, when the actual evidence shows that anti-Semitic views are very much more common from Conservatives, and that rates of anti-Semitism have actually fallen dramatically amongst Labour supporters since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.
Comparison of two YouGov surveys in 2015 and 2017 shows that rates of antiSemitism amongst Labour supporters has fallen dramatically, while the same polls show that anti-Semitism rates amongst Tory supporters is barely falling at all.
In 2015, 22% of Labour voters agreed with the statement that ‘Jews chase money more than other people’, whilst in 2017 the number of Labour voters agreeing with the statement had declined to 14%.
These results compare with 31% of Conservative voters who agreed with the statement that ‘Jews chase money more than other people’ in 2015, whilst in 2017 this had declined slightly to 27% who still agreed with the statement.
Tory supporters are almost twice as likely to agree with this anti-Semitic trope as Labour supporters, yet the mainstream press insist on portraying the anti-Semitism furore as if it’s a Labour-specific problem.
From The Guardian: Labour has accused the Conservatives of adopting racially charged “dog-whistle” politics after a local election leaflet warned that the influence of Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, could mean suburbs becoming increasingly “inner city”, with the union flag removed from public buildings.
The flyer, produced by Conservatives in Havering, on the eastern edge of Greater London, warns that if Labour win in May’s local polls, it would result in “Havering resembling boroughs like Hackney, Newham, Camden and Barking, rather than traditional parts of Essex”.
Other warnings on the leaflet, which features the three local Conservative councillors and Andrew Rosindell, the local Tory MP, include the claim that a Labour win would mean “Havering ruled by Mayor Khan”.
This would lead Romford, the main centre in Havering to “become increasingly like an inner-city area” with “our cherished union jack flag being taken down – back to Labour’s political correctness”, it said.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, called the leaflet “one long dog whistle about race”, saying it marked a return to the controversial tactics used against Khan when he defeated Zac Goldsmith to become mayor in May 2016.
From TFN News: A Tory MP has been roundly criticised by campaigners and for comments made about Scotland’s Gypsy/Traveller community.
In a YouTube video, Moray MP Douglas Ross is asked what he would do if he were prime minister for a day to which he replies “tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers.”
Lynne Tammi of campaign group Article 12 in Scotland, said Ross’s comments serve only to reinforce negative social representations of the Gypsy/Traveller community in Scotland.
1. The time David Cameron went to apartheid South Africa
2. When Boris Johnson described black people as “piccaninnies”
3. When the magazine edited by Boris Johnson published an article claiming ‘black people have lower IQs’
4. The councillor who posted a picture of a gorilla alongside a critical comment about an Asian Labour councillor on a blog
5. The councillor who said Romanians would ‘stick a knife in you’
6. The MP who said members were treated like Jews in Nazi Germany after the expenses scandal
7. The councillor who complained about ‘foreign names’ among parliamentary candidates
8. The councillor who moaned there were “too many P***s” in his town
9. When Lord Tebbit told Baroness Warsi to be quiet after she spoke out about Islamophobia
From Unite the Union: This dossier was put together from news reports in the local and national media and is far from comprehensive.
But it shows is that the Conservative Party is regularly beset by allegations of racism against its MPs, councillors and candidates. It’s also clear that only rarely do such instances – even when particularly offensive – result in the person being expelled from the Party.
The cases include Tory elected representatives using racist abuse like “Pakis”, “pikies”, and “piccaninnies” – as well as several anti-semitic or Islamophobic remarks. But most appear to have been allowed to continue their membership and even to represent the Conservative Party
From Al-Jazeera: London Mayor Boris Johnson has caused controversy in the United Kingdom by claiming that US President Barack Obama has an “ancestral dislike” for Britain as a result of his “part-Kenyan” heritage.
In an opinion essay published in the right-leaning tabloid The Sun, the mayor criticised Obama’s eagerness to urge British voters to remain in the EU and argued that the president may be “anti- British”.
From Left Foot Forward: Organised antisemitism in Britain began with the British Brothers League, which from 1902 onwards mobilised the population of East London against Jewish immigrants seeking safety from the pogroms in their home countries.
Its leaders included two Conservative MPs, Major Sir William Evans-Gordan and Howard Vincent; its actions laid the ground for such mercifully minor successes as the British Union of Fascists, the Union Movement and the National Front were to enjoy in the East End in the decades that followed.
To take just one example of 1930s Tory antisemitism – and there are many, many more – Conservative MP Archibald Maule Ramsay headed an explicitly antisemitic organisation that went by the name of the Right Club.
Its aims were to ‘oppose and expose the activities of organised Jewry’, including alleged Jewish control of the Conservative Party.
Conservative prejudice against Jews run up to world war two was not confined to the wingnuts, either. As even sympathetic reviewers point out, biographers of future prime minister Harold Macmillan show up the man’s almost casual antisemitism. The most notorious example is Macmillan’s putdown of Jewish cabinet colleague Leslie Hore-Belisha as ‘Horeb-Elisha’, a reference to the mountain on which the Ten Commandments were handed down to Moses.
Macmillan and other senior Tories, including Viscount Cranbourne, eventually forced Hore-Belisha out of office in 1940, in the belief that his support for the war was primarily premised on his support for fellow Jews.