Letter in Private Eye Defending Labour and Corbyn Against Racism Accusations

This fortnight’s Private Eye also published the letter below from Peter Collins, refuting the accusations made by another reader in last fortnight’s edition that Labour lost partly because it was full of racists and anti-Semites. He also pointed out that while Labour isn’t, Boris Johnson and the Tories certainly are. Here’s the letter

Sir,

Re “Sneer and Loathing” (Letters, Eye 1512). Peter Kimpton and I certainly have different opinions on the EU, and he’s entitled to his of course. But his assertion that “rampant racism” has “taken hold of Labour” cannot go unchallenged. It will certainly come as news to the many black, brown, and, yes, Jewish members with whom I canvassed for several weeks before polling day, for I’m sure they would not have put their hearts and souls into trying to get such a party elected. I’m a white, middle-class, middle-aged man, but I would have nothing to do with a party that was rampantly racist and/or anti-Semitic. It’s not.

However, a great many people seem to ahve been happy to vote for someone who considers black people to be “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”, Muslim women to look like letterboxes, children of single mothers to be “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate”, and gay men to be “bumboys”. That, of course, is simply Boris Johnson being Boris Johnson, and nothing to do with racism, Islamophobia, sexism and homophobia. And of course it is all to be forgotten in the glorious paradise that will be post-Brexit Britain. Keep up with what looks to me like your very even-handed work.

I’ve no doubt that the letters defending Corbyn will be followed by more from the Blairites, Tories and Israel lobby claiming that Labour is awash with anti-Semites. And it hasn’t stopped the Eye publishing in this edition a piece by the odious Ratbiter reporting that various Blairites and Zionists are suing Corbyn and his supporters for libel for stating that they were inventing incidents of anti-Semitism. One of those suing is our old friend, Rachel Riley.

But at least the Eye published some material defending Corbyn.

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3 Responses to “Letter in Private Eye Defending Labour and Corbyn Against Racism Accusations”

  1. trev Says:

    Personally, I think there is a lot of racism and xenophobia amongst the Working Class Brexit-Leavers who cost Labour the election by voting for Boris Johnson’s “Get Brexit Done” baloney. Not particularly antisemitism as I don’t think that is something that would occur to most ordinary people, and bear in mind I am a Working Class northerner myself with family ties to places in South Yorkshire, Barnsley/Sheffield areas, and West Yorkshire, the old West Riding towns of textile mills and coal mines. I encounter a lot of ignorance and surprisingly backwards thinking towards immigrants. That is why they voted Leave, and subsequently Tory.

    • Florence Says:

      I too live in an area of very low immigration (1% bame) and encounter high levels of racism. It goes without saying that this is also a very deprived and poor area of no interest to most politicians or governments of any shade except the EU who have been the only investors for the last 40 years. Sadly they would have been one of the areas to benefit most under a Labour govt. but appatently voted Tory. I say apparently as we cannot understand from our knowledge how with our 80% local turnout and 60% voter intention to support Labour, the much disliked Tory was returned with an increased majority, despite many Tory voters saying they would not vote for him.

      • trev Says:

        Well in my region, and neighbourhood, it is quite mixed, there are Asians, predominantly Pakistanis, who have been here for decades, as well as indigenous Brits and quite a few Poles that have arrived in recent years. The other side of town is more rural and mostly white English and they seem to be very Xenophobic if not downright racist. I bumped into a guy I know the other day (a white English guy) and he was relating a story to me of how someone else had accused him of being racist recently. He was in the Bookies talking to someone he knew and was saying that he doesn’t want to have mixed-race grandchildren. Another man overheard his conversation and called him a racist. He was adamant that he’s not, the usual line of “I’m not racist but….”.
        I’ve lived in mixed areas that have a lot of immigrants, mainly Asian and more recently Eastern European, for the last 25 years. These areas tend to be more urban, closer to town, cheaper housing. But personally I quite like the mix of people, it feels more cosmopolitan, and I don’t mind if some of my neighbours are foreign, I mean so what? There’s plenty of white people that I wouldn’t want to live next door to. There’s good and bad in all people. Cultural differences are nothing to be afraid of, they add to life experience.

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