It’s something of a love that dare not speak its name, but Powellism has remained a major subtext on the British right for something like half a century, and the rise of UKIP marks only the latest incarnation of this ongoing infatuation.
Anyone opposed to this shameful collusion with the hardline anti-immigration right should write to the Labour Party figures in question, or to their constituency parties, and make their feelings clear.
When Conservative councillor John Cherry spoke openly about his fear of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) children boarding weekly at a school in the West Sussex countryside, it was reminiscent of language that was not unusual in the 1980s and 1990s. The legacy of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, 20 years ago this month, was to trigger the Macpherson Inquiry, resulting in legislative reform that has driven out the worst such overt racist behaviour by those in public life.
Yesterday Paris Brown, the country’s first Youth Crime Commissioner, resigned from her post thanks to the Mail’s digging up of ill-advised tweets she posted several years ago. A sad, but perhaps inevitable end to what was the opportunity of a lifetime for the young teenager from Kent.
Ah, the Daily Mail. One of Britain’s most popular and well read newspapers which in the past has seen fit to victimise those on benefits, transsexuals, homosexuals, asylum seekers, migrants and many more, now finds itself spitting venom at someone who isn’t even legally an adult.
The Di Canio incident has underlined the need to step up campaigning against fascism, whether in uncovering extremists in the world of sport or entertainment as well as far-right political movements.
I have no idea whether or not Paulo Di Canio is a racist, just as I have no clue whether everyone who waddles through Trafalgar Square on May Day with a giant portrait of Stalin believes in the necessity of the Gulag or a bullet to the back of the head. I would, however, hesitate to put such people in positions where they have authority over people who their political heroes regarded as expendable.
Migrant workers have been key to the recent success of intensive horticulture and food processing. Without them, many businesses in these sectors would have gone under. It is time the migration debate acknowledged the contribution made by low-skilled migrants.
Yesterday Ed Miliband made another step in reframing Labour’s position on immigration. With Ukip surging in the polls and likely to come first in next year’s European elections, and the media already beginning their racist attacks on Bulgarians and Romanians, Labour has a choice. They can follow the Conservatives in drifting to the right in the hope of choking off Ukip support or they can offer a positive, more progressive alternative that deals with concerns over immigration but in a wider context.
The far-right are targeting the Irish community in Liverpool.