The Tories’ advantage from getting all righteous about alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party looks set to evaporate very quickly indeed, after their MP Andrew Rosindell and his pals in Romford played their very own race card in the run-up to May’s local elections.
Rosindell, who has praised Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, lent his name to a particularly crude exhibition of dog-whistle racism which has stopped short only of actually telling people that lots of violent brown people are going to arrive on their doorsteps and nick all their money if they vote Labour. Even the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have distanced themselves from the exercise.
Andrew Rosindell - plenty of dog-whistling practice
What has sparked the ruckus is a leaflet which starts with the routine promotion of the Tories’ own Councillors, telling “Your local Conservative team for Gidea Park, Heath Park and Ardleigh Green … Only Conservative Councillors will fight to Keep Havering Special … and our Town Hall in safe hands”. But then comes the nasty part.
“Havering in danger!” it warns, reminding voters of “Labour’s shocking plan to change Romford for good!” And what is that plan? We don’t get to find out, but instead are told “These two men [Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan] want control of Havering!” Big deal. And? “Romford will increasingly become like an inner city area [dog whistle] if Labour get their way and seize control of Havering Town Hall in May!” You mean democracy?
Could be. “This is the shocking reality of what the far left wing [dog whistle] Romford Labour Party would do! Labour must be stopped!” Stopped from doing what?
“Mayor Khan [Scary Muslims (tm)] and Corbyn’s men [Rotten Lefties (tm)] are desperate to grab power in our [!] Town Hall, so get ready for … Massive population increases from London [dog whistle] … Vast number of high rise blocks of flats [Grenfell Tower was full of brown people, right?] … Building on our [!] cherished open spaces [scaremongering] … A London crime wave with even less Police [dog whistle] … Huge Council Tax hikes imposed by Labour [as opposed to huge Council Tax hikes imposed by Tories]”.
There was more. “Our cherished Union Jack flag being taken down - back to Labour’s political correctness! [brown and LGBT people getting something straight white folks aren’t] … Havering ruled by Mayor Khan! [more Scary Muslims (tm)] … Havering resembling boroughs like Hackney, Newham, Camden and Barking, rather than a traditional part of Essex! [More brown people and fewer white people]” Blatant? You got it.
And according to a report in the Mirror, “A local councillor said the leaflet had been approved by head office”. But, although Hugo Gye has told “Romford Tories have apologised for and withdrawn a leaflet warning that Havering would become like the 'inner city’”, the Evening Standard’s Joe Murphy notes “A Tory spokesman said: ‘Romford Conservatives intended to highlight local concerns abt housing pressures, high-density urbanisation, & badly-run Labour councils in inner London. They have apologised for any offence caused and the leaflet has been withdrawn’”. BUT “Romford Tory MP Andrew Rosindell says all leaflets have been delivered, so can't be ‘withdrawn’”.
Either way, that’s the Tory moral high ground duly shot away. What an absolute shower.