The harsh truth for British minorities is that true acceptance means abandoning the parts of your identity that don’t fit, writes Will Selfby Will Self / November 8, 2020 / Leave a comment
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party created a furore—at least, in the party itself. There have also been dramatic headlines—and a very prominent scalp. Jeremy Corbyn, rather than accept the contents of the report, doubled down on the position he’s maintained throughout this long and winding saga. For Corbyn, while there were some party members who were loose-lipped and some party officials who were cloth-eared, the imbroglio remained epiphenomenal: the real criminals and bigots were, as ever, the capitalist interest and its media lackeys, who blew the issue way out of proportion—thereby fashioning a stick with which to beat the left wing of Labour into submission.
The current Labour leader, Keir Starmer, accepted the report without caveats. Yet his suspension of Corbyn from the party for his remarks on the report’s findings—in particular, Corbyn’s implicit denial that officials close to him had interfered with the party’s complaints procedures regarding antisemitism—would suggest that this is only the continuation of the long-running battle between the left and right of the party, one that stretches back to the time of Starmer’s namesake Keir Hardie’s incumbency in the 1900s. Starmer is keen, however, to act as if the EHRC’s report is the beginning of the end—if not the end itself—and that under his leadership there will be zero tolerance of discrimination in any of its forms.
Good luck with that, Sir Keir. Do I believe there are antisemites in the Labour Party to this day? Of course there are—just as there are Islamophobes, those who judge people on the basis of their skin colour, and a fair few who object to any sexual orientation that isn’t heteronormative, and any gender that isn’t cis. I gained a brief and heady trending status on social media in the spring of last year, when I antagonised Mark Francois MP—then deputy chair of the European Research Group of Brexiteer Tories—by saying on the BBC that every racist and antisemite in Britain had voted to leave the European Union. It was mere rhetoric, of course. Plenty of racists and antisemites voted to stay…