Campbell’s and Mandelson’s past racist apologism

JVL Introduction

Astonishing story from Skwawkbox.

Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson are putting in the boot. Can’t stand Labour’s antisemitism…

This story shows that neither cared to speak out when Blairite Labour was actively discriminating against Pakistani candidates (because the voters would not like it…).

In fact they were both key in the regime at the time.

This article was originally published by Skwawkbox (SW) on Thu 1 Aug 2019. Read the original here.

Mandelson’s, Campbell’s Labour argued it could discriminate against Pakistanis as voters might not like them

Campbell told media he doesn’t want to be in the party any more. Mandelson told them he feels ‘dirty’ in it. Both appeared comfortable when Blair’s Labour was rebuked by highest court for racist justification for discrimination against Pakistani candidates

Former Blair right-hand men Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson have – just for a change – been attacking the Labour Party and its leadership this week.

Campbell has told any media that would listen that he no longer wants to get back into the party, although Labour insiders say that this ‘decision’ came around two weeks after he was told that his expulsion for supporting the LibDems was being upheld after legal advice.

Mandelson, for his part, told the Jewish Chronicle that he would remain in the party but feels ‘dirty’ doing it, because of its supposed antisemitism and failure to take ‘effective action’.

“It is nothing more than the old plea that you have nothing against employing a black person but the customers would not like it.”

It’s curious, then, that neither man appears to have felt any qualms about being in the Labour Party in 2007 – when judges in the highest court in the land criticised Labour’s justification for a decision to block Asian candidates as being equivalent to the old racist argument “that you have nothing against employing a black person but the customers wouldn’t like it”.

Alastair Campbell, especially, can hardly have been unaware of the widely-reported case – as his brother-in-law was the one making the argument to the Law Lords on behalf of the party.

The infamous discrimination case

The case against Labour was brought by the CRE (Commission for Racial Equality) – the forerunner of the EHRC (Quality and Human Rights Commission) – and concerned a decision by the Labour Party to block the candidacy of Raghib Ahsan, a Birmingham councillor.

Mr Ahsan as one of a number of Labour figures of Pakistani origin accused of padding the local party with Asian members. They were subsequently exonerated as no evidence was found of any untoward memberships – but Labour blocked his candidacy.

Ahsan was ultimately awarded over £120,000 in compensation for Labour’s actions – but not before Labour had appealed the case until it ended up before the UK’s highest court.

In 2007, Labour’s case was put by Gavin Millar QC – the brother of Alastair Campbell’s partner since the 1980s. Part of Labour’s argument, as assessed by the judges, was that the party could “discriminate against a Pakistani candidate if they held no racist views about Pakistanis but thought it was better not to have a Pakistani candidate” because of voters’ views.

The judgment of the Lords was scathing of the argument:

The only meaning which I can ascribe to the distinction is that it would be acceptable for the Labour Party to discriminate against a Pakistani candidate if they held no racist views about Pakistanis but thought that it was better not to have a Pakistani candidate because the electorate would identify “the problem” with the Pakistani community.

If that is what the distinction means, it seems to me unacceptable. It is nothing more than the old plea that you have nothing against employing a black person but the customers would not like it. In essence it is a defence of justification based on political expediency.

Neither Alastair Campbell nor Peter Mandelson felt a need to resign their membership in protest at the Labour Party’s discrimination and racist argument, in spite of the withering verdict. Neither appears to have felt compelled to tell the press that they ‘felt dirty’.

In fact, the following year Mandelson not only retained his membership but returned to Cabinet as Business Secretary and peer, while Campbell served as a Labour adviser as late as the 2015 general election. Neither, of course, quit over Campbell’s 2005 poster campaign against the Jewish then-leader of the Tories, Michael Howard, which was widely condemned as antisemitic.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted both men to ask why the 2007 incident did not trigger similar reactions to their comments this week. Neither responded by the time of publication.

Odd that.

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Comments (2)

  • S H says:

    Sickening hypocrisy. I despair at the huge damage such evil greedy smug lying war criminals are gleefully doing by putting the boot into a life long peace advocate and humanitarian. Why are these dingbats not on trial in the Hague along with their pockets stuffed full of cash mate Tony B LIAR. They would rather have a cruel racist homophobic tory government than a Labour one anyway. Horrible Traitors

  • TP says:

    The real Labour Party has been too tolerant of the gruesome twosome and should have kicked their lying scheming bodies out of the party years ago after they boastfully revealed (in one of their infamous banal quotes) ‘the plan is to crawl up Bush’s backside and stay there’. As they feel dirty it might have something to do with their own revolting behaviour and appalling history.

Comments are now closed.