Extend the privilege of individuality to all and scrap this race–based discriminatory identity politics nonsense.
In the past, the role that BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) people have played in our nation’s national story has been too often ignored or even actively played down. This has led to a whitewashed version of British history and philosophy that fuels sectarian racial divides and provides a historical basis for white supremacy to exist. An affliction so virulent that SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies) students and staff recently called for university curriculums to be ”decolonised“, in practice to allow for diverse and varied voices to address this whitewashing by introducing philosophy and political theory from those that have not traditionally been included by university courses in the West.
So that’s mission accomplished then?
No. Despite greater inclusion of more diverse voices into the British political discourse and academic establishment over the years, there remains those regressives who see race as an indicative trait of personality, politics, temperament or intelligence. This identity–based political philosophy dehumanises groups in question and disposes of their individual identities that their white counterparts are given the privilege to enjoy, while they must make do with the group identity they are assigned. Historically perhaps it would have been the right wing of the political establishment who could be charged with this depersonalisation of racial groups, but with the prevalence of Thatcherism bringing the individual to the forefront of mainstream political ideology on the right, and the dawn of identity politics on the left, we have seen a violent role reversal and worrying rise of the regressive left.
Nowhere was this better outlined than when Boris Johnson was picking his new cabinet.
Kehinde Andrews, a key academic supporter of Mr Corbyn, known for campaigning for separate schools for blacks and whites as well as being the voice behind Corbyn, colonialism and the case against Martin Luther King” called the new BAME cabinet appointments “a set of token figures to legitimise [Boris Johnson’s] agenda”. Aside from the point that if anyone described Diane Abbot (aptly known for her appearance on the BBC’s Pointless as well as her timeless bungling of flagship Labour Party policy at the 2017 general election), Dawn Butler or indeed David Lammy as “token figures”, it would be mere seconds before a Twitter mob formed, branding them a racist and demanding their removal from any job or position they might hold. As anyone with even a minor interest in British politics will be able to tell you, Sajid Javid, Priti Patel, James Cleverly, Alok Sharma and Munira Mirza aren’t really the placid yes-men which one might associate with the words “token figure”. To its credit the Labour Party might still unfairly associate BAME cabinet ministers with tokenism; it may be that their memory is longer than they hope the average voters’ is. Under New Labour, Valerie Amos was ennobled and brought into Blair’s top team, the first ever black member of cabinet, only to be sent to the 2001 United Nations conference on racism to explain why Britain wouldn’t call its role in transatlantic slavery a crime against humanity. Or perhaps it’s just that the candidate shortlists they’re so fond of make you see tokenism everywhere.
The problem is that diversity for people like Dr Andrews doesn’t extend to people being allowed to hold different political views.
If you’re non-white you belong to the left. If, instead you choose to leave the left-wing plantation and hold conservative views, you’re not considered to be like white conservatives who are, in Kehinde’s view, ignorant of their own privilege, but instead you are far worse: you are a race traitor. You’re trampling on your own people. Andrews goes on to say “They clearly do not represent Britain’s black and Asian communities” despite them clearly representing a sizable if unapproved minority within those communities. Dr Kehinde Andrews has been involved with Momentum and is also leader of the Organisation of Black Unity (OBU), which has called for a separate black curriculum and backs a racial revolution. The group declares itself as “dedicated to the unification to all people of African ancestry” and warns black people to “beware the Uncle Tom”, an offensive term meaning a black person considered to be excessively obedient or servile to white people that has evolved somewhat into a common slur employed against racial minorities that dare to express even the slightest deviation from the identity politics left. Spiked Magazine, the successor to Living Marxism (LM) magazine, hammered this point home, branding the new government as “Uncle Tom’s Cabinet”, before swiftly moving on to do what the far–left do best and contradict their own argument – in much the same way Dr Andrews does by insinuating that, while the new BAME cabinet picks are docile nodding donkey legitimisers for the Johnson regime, they are simultaneously “some of the most right-wing figures even within the Tory Party”, plotting autonomous evil geniuses behind the whole Johnson project. It says something for the longevity of this problem in our society that the in–sentence example for the term “Uncle Tom” in the Oxford English Dictionary is “he called moderates Uncle Toms”; the “he” in question could quite easily be a member of the shadow cabinet nowadays.
This belief, that black individuals in particular cannot hold conservative views without offending some constructed group soul or identity that doesn’t apply to their white colleagues, is indeed alive and well on the Labour front benches.
Clive Lewis, shadow treasury minister, tweeted at James Cleverly, Chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Party: “Genuine congratulations James. I mean it. I’m just sorry you & the other black members of that cabinet had to sell your souls & self-respect to get there.” To wit Cleverly readily replied to Mr Lewis on Twitter: “Didn’t see this earlier, I’ve been in meetings. Busy being the Chairman of the Conservatives. Really surprised that you’re so bitter about seeing more diversity in senior political positions.” He posed the question “Or are you guys just scared?” This row came after Mr Johnson described his new top team as a “cabinet for modern Britain” and it does beg the question: what ARE the left so scared of when it comes to BAME Conservatives? Why must they be subject to extra questioning and a unique sort of abuse? Perhaps it’s because they’re a very visible rejection of the left-wing insistence that the Conservatives are a racist force in British politics, or maybe it’s because they are an affront the collectivist identity driven politics that has assumed control of much of the established left. Or potentially they feel that BAME people owe them some form of allegiance or loyalty by virtue of their skin colour. Who knows what has driven this violent response, but where there is violence there is fear, fear and insecurity that if they can Tories will continue to gleefully exploit until the racialists are routed. Alexander Cantave, a committee officer for NU Conservatives, himself of Haitian descent, opined: “I believe identity politics [is] just the sad end result of these [divisive] politics. It’s easier to get voters out the more tribal your group is. And there is nothing more tribal […] to exploit than race”. ”Perspectives differ among black people about this.”
This sort of engrained racism on the left is complex and has become deeply interwoven with identity politics. So can it be overcome?
The outlook doesn’t look good, the anti-Semitism scandal showed that even when confronted with clear overt racism the left really struggles not to close ranks and ‘stand in solidarity’ with their comrades because in their mind they are the ‘anti-racists’ meaning that they themselves couldn’t possibly *clutches pearls* be racist. But empty platitudes mean nothing really, the anti-Semitism scandal proves that as it shamefully rumbles on now at the time of writing, two years after it began. If the same people couldn’t confront this rather obvious and overt threat, it’s doubtful that they are even close to ideologically or institutionally confronting the more covert and ideologically engrained threat of racial depersonalisation that identity politics now poses.
It’s safe to say, though, that it is not just “a few bad apples”; this racial thought disparity runs now throughout much of the left, from the Labour Party leader’s office, to the left–wing media, the shadow cabinet and left–wing academics, and even here at Newcastle University there exist those that would dissuade individuals from exercising their full political choice because of their race. Haaris Qureshi, a left–wing Newcastle University student and former Students With Disabilities Officer, who self-describes himself as a racial equality and social activist, attempted to discourage and ward off BAME and Muslim people from joining the Conservative Party by publicly stating that they wouldn’t be welcome in the Conservative movement, offering no political argument or other reason other than that their minority identity couldn’t be compatible. A foolish and laughable remark considering events taking place in national politics at the time. Josh Smith, a Newcastle University Conservative Society member, when asked how he could be mixed race and a Tory said: “stop thinking of me as a mixed-race statistic and look at me as an individual first and foremost.” Closing down apparent legitimate political positions for individuals based on nothing more than their race or religion but still by default extending that very same privilege of individuality and choice to those who are white or non-Muslim is a classic symptom of the internalised racism that infests the left, it perpetuates racial divides and deprives people, especially minorities, of true political plurality to choose from. In a truly free society, political plurality and the freedom to choose ought to be extended to all.
I have read that David Lammy has complained that “the white men who run my party” need to explain why he is not on the front bench. I urge you, David, cross the floor, cast off your stale, pale, male virtue–signalling masters and come on over to our side and serve with the most diverse cabinet ever; we’ll have you sitting upfront in no time at all. For all their signalling and platitudes, the “establishment identity politics left” owe you nothing and they will take from you everything: your possessions, your country, even your individual identity in a desperate, almost hypersexual frenzy to be “correct” and implement their flawed ideology over you. They would make you a fool, we might make you our Prime Minister.
Last modified: 6th September 2019