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Sunday 17 December 2017

Diane Abbott Smear Is Out Of Order

[Update at end of post]

One of the more disturbing elements of today’s political discourse is that the nastier side of bigotry has made its way back into public view, allowing sexist, misogynist and indeed racist sentiments under the smokescreen of “it’s only political correctness”, “nothing wrong with a little bit of fun”, and “where’s your sense of humour”. This has allowed demonising of some politicians to become almost acceptable.
Diane Abbott MP

While this may impress some of the less pleasant elements of the Press Establishment, it also gives the far-right a free pass, and have they taken it with both hands. So it was when a company called Star Sports Bookmakers decided it would be a hoot to promote someone who had “blacked up” as Labour front-bencher Diane Abbott, in an attempt to be declared the “Best Fancy Dress” at the World Darts Championship.
So it came to pass that whoever was in charge of the Star Sports Bookmakers Twitter feed declared “An early contender for best fancy dress costume at the #PDC #WorldDartsChampionships tonight at #AllyPally”. While some were repulsed by the casual racism, others fell into that same trap - it was “only a bit of fun”, and everyone should “get a sense of humour”. Some saddoes even praised it.
Someone not going anywhere near praising this moronic display was Ms Abbott’s fellow Labour MP Stella Creasy, who responded “Wow @StarSports_Bet - guess it says what you really think of your customers that you promote this .. hoping @Yourallypally expect better about those using their beautiful venue … as bookies or punters … #21stcenturycalling”. But Star Sports Bookmakers were unfazed.
Back they came “This wasn't some guerrilla marketing stunt Stella, one of our team attended on a social night out. We thought it was a very impressive attempt at fancy dress and merely shared it with our followers. Please stop taking things so seriously”. Yeah, Ms Political Type, leave out yer Political Correctness! Where’s yer sense of humour?!? It’s only a bit of bantz innit?!? Er, no it isn’t. And Ms Creasy was yet more unimpressed.
Ah yes, of course - promoting casual racism is all so TERRIBLY hilarious that anyone who thinks its wrong is just a snowflake ey @starsports_bet .. blah blah … As said, if you don't get why out of order, really hope @Yourallypally do … #jogon #21stcenturycalling” she replied. Meanwhile, Stephen Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, Retweeted the original offending Tweet - but remember, he’s not a racist and it’s all about Muslims.
Meanwhile, Sky News has reminded us “In September, research by Amnesty International found that of over 25,000 abusive messages and tweets sent to female politicians in the six months leading up to the general election, half were directed at Ms Abbott … Ms Abbott has said that although she was subjected to abuse when she was elected 30 years ago, the sheer volume she now receives is overwhelming”. Quite.

This exhibition is bang out of order. It will serve only to encourage racist bigotry, and legitimise abuse of MPs - Ms Abbott in particular. Star Sports Bookmakers should hang their collective heads in shame - that is, in the unlikely event they can muster any.

[UPDATE 1130 hours: Star Sports Bookmakers have now deleted both their offending Tweets, despite theor earlier refusals to do so.
They have now told that, although "It was not meant to cause offence", they "have since removed the photo and would like to apologise to all those who were offended by it".

It's only a pity that (a) they posted it in the first place, (b) they then declined to remove it when given a chance to do so, (c) this emboldened the racist and abusive element on Twitter and elsewhere, and (d) the apology, when it eventually came, was less than unequivocal.

Still, better late than never, eh? What a complete and absolute shower]


SimonB said...

Diane is still a target for hilarious comedy impressionists on the BBC too.

Hilarious as in tedious, tawdry and unfunny.

Anonymous said...

Chief Cocktrumpet Hopkins is all over this on Twitter like Staines at a free bar

Anonymous said...

Enough to make you wonder why the BBC cancelled their long-running grotesque Black and White Minstrel Show. Institutional racism at its "finest".

That kind of "banter" will not be acceptable to civilised humanity until every last vestige of institutional racism has evolved out of our society. Which at the present rate is going to take a long, long time.

Simon said...

Guess who was present at the opening of their Mayfair outlet.