Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Labour plays the race card in London

There are two forms of political attack which amount to playing the race card.

One is to make reference direct or more often indirect reference to a candidate's race - e.g. making a big point of saying "we need a local candidate" if your opponent isn't white.

Another is to make false accusations of racism.

You would think given their own problems with anti-Semitism that even the Labour party would not have the cheek to accuse someone else of racism but you would be wrong.

The accusation has been put by Labour that the campaign which Zac Goldsmith has run in London, specifically the fact that he has referred to occasions when his Labour opponent Sadiq Khan has shared platforms with extremists, is racist.

This accusation is based on a ridiculous lie - e.g. the preposterous allegation that such a campaign would not have been run against a candidate who was not a Muslim.

For the benefit of anyone who has not noticed, Jeremy Corbyn is a white man, and isn't a Muslim. Like Sadiq Khan, he has shared platforms with extremists. Anyone who hasn't picked up that the Conservatives have not been slow to comment on those links really has not been paying attention.

If Jeremy Corbyn is leader of the Labour party at the time of the 2020 General Election, extremely similar questions to those which are now being asked about Sadiq Khan's links will be asked about Jeremy Corbyn's - in a big way.

Anyone who imagines that the Conservative party will not make an issue of Jeremy Corbyn's links to people who have expressed extreme views, if he is still Labour leader during the next General Election campaign, is living in cloud cuckoo land.

The same will apply if between now and that election Corbyn has been replaced by another candidate to whom similar questions are relevant regardless of the gender, ethnicity, and religion (if any) of that candidate. These questions are not being asked because of Khan's race or religion and they won't be asked because of Corbyn's race or religion. They have been asked of Khan, and will be asked of Corbyn, because they are relevant to the office for which each candidate is or will be standing.

It is Labour, and everyone who has made the false accusation of racism against Zac Goldsmith's campaign, who are playing the race card, not the Conservatives. And they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

No comments: