Time to recognise the embedded nature of Tory racism

JVL Introduction

David Rosenberg looks at Britain of the Tory Brexiteers’ “Grand Wizards”, of the Hostile Environment, of the Windrush Scandal, of the growth of antisemitism alongside other racist hatreds and bigotry. All happening on the watch of the Tory Party.

But the Board of Deputies of British Jews can only see racism when it is alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party, an issue inflated by false allegations parroted by a compliant media.

The message? Say to the Board of Deputies loud and clear: open your eyes, open your ears to what the Tories, who you think are your friends, are actually saying and doing.

The silence has got to end

David Rosenberg, Davesrebellion
26 March 2019

Less than 24 hours after it emerged that leading Tory Brexiteers “jokingly” refer to themselves as “Grand Wizards” – a term borrowed from the Ku Klux Klan, the former Tory Undersecretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Suella Braverman, told a meeting in London this morning: “We are engaged in a war against cultural marxism. We’re engaged in a battle against socialism”.

That Tory politicians think the Ku Klux Klan is a subject for puerile humour tells us just how little Black people’s lives matter for them. Klan members, of course, also propagate Nazi-style antisemitism.

As for “Cultural Marxism” this is a term popularised by far right, white supremacist, antisemitic, conspiracy theorists, directed initially at the mainly Jewish Frankfurt School Marxists whom they accused of undermining the Western world. It was a term liberally used by Anders Breivik, the neo-Nazi who massacred 69 young socialists at a youth camp in Norway in July 2011 and eight others in a separate car-bombing two hours earlier.

If this doesn’t persuade those spokespersons who claim to lead the Jewish community to pause their all-out war on Jeremy Corbyn – a politician whose anti-racism pulses through his veins – and to look at the kind of ideological world that the right-wing of the the Conservative Party now inhabits, then perhaps nothing will.

Some mainstream Jewish and Israeli newspapers have at least picked up on the “Cultural Marxism” references but from the Board of Deputies of British Jews there is silence on this matter. It is not that they are taking a day off today they have been busy tweeting away. Because today is a special day for them, almost ranking as a new Jewish holiday.

One year ago today, the Board of Deputies (BoD), then led by the Donald Trump admirer,  Jonathan Arkush, had his finest hour. He was teaming up with the Jewish Leadership Council, Tory Politicians, and the then Labour politician, Luciana Berger, to organise the “Enough is Enough” anti-Corbyn demonstration in Trafalgar Square. Given that part of their rhetoric was to allege that Corbyn has shared platforms with people of very questionable views, Arkush and Co seemed intensely relaxed at taking support on that demonstration from Norman ‘cricket-test’ Tebbit and a host of bigoted DUP MPs.

At the time I drew attention to the “stench of hypocrisy” surrounding this event welcomed so wholeheartedly by the Tory Party and the Tory-supporting press, given the direct and verifiable links of the Tory Party with antisemitic and Islamophobic parties and governments in Europe, such as Orban’ Fidesz party in Hungary, Law and Justice in Poland, the Sweden Democrats, not to mention the National Alliance in Latvia whose members recently supported the annual parade of Latvian Waffen SS veterans. The Board of Deputies has registered little more than a murmur of concern regarding Orban. In Europe antisemitism and Islamophobia ride in tandem yet the BoD refuse to support the calls of Baroness Warsi and a host of Muslim organisations for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party. They seem to regard anti-racism as a “pick and choose” activity. It is not.

But beyond the so-called “jokes” about the murderous KKK, and the casual antisemitism in far right tropes about “cultural marxism”, there is the brutality of the Hostile Environment for black and brown minorities in Britain, invented by Theresa May and renewed just as viciously by Sajid Javid, with May’s approval.

We are one year on from the “Enough is Enough” demonstration. We are also just over a year on from when the Windrush Scandal was exposed. Antisemitism is growing in British society alongside other racist hatreds and bigotry. All of this is happening on the watch of the Tory Party. But the only media focus on racism is on allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party – an issue inflated by false allegations parroted by a compliant media. (Of Margaret Hodge’s recently submitted 200 cases only 20 involved Labour Party members).  Recent statistics released by the Labour Party’s General Secretary revealed that they involved less than 0.1% of the members of the Labour Party. However small it is that must be addressed, but any objective analyst would conclude what is going on in the Tory Party right now, and with the power and influence they and their racist allies have in several nations, is far more serious.

The silence from the Board of Deputies and their allies has got to end. Anti-racist Jews are saying loud and clear: open your eyes, open your ears to what the Tories, who you think are your friends, are actually saying and doing.  You need to tell them: “Enough is Enough!”