Suella Braverman, Tory MP for Fareham and ardent Brexiteer, has a whole array of legal qualifications to her name. It can therefore be inferred that she is not foolish or stupid, which makes her conduct yesterday - and that of those who warmly applauded her language - that much worse. Ms Bravermen was addressing a meeting of the Bruges Group, as Zelo Street noted yesterday, when she ventured Over The Top.
As Business Insider has reported, she told the audience “As Conservatives, we are engaged in a battle against cultural Marxism … I'm very worried about this ongoing creep of cultural Marxism which has come from Jeremy Corbyn”. Dawn Foster of the Guardian pointed out to her that the expression “Cultural Marxism” was loaded.
“Can you talk more about your use of the phrase ‘Cultural Marxism’, because obviously it’s a far-right talking point and it was a big keystone of Anders Breivik’s manifesto” asked Ms Foster. To which the Tory MP responded without so much as batting an eyelid.
“Yes, I do believe we are in a fight against Cultural Marxism. We have a culture evolving from the far left, which is about snuffing out freedom of speech, freedom of thought”. FREEZE PEACH! FREEZE PEACH! This is paranoid drivel. Ms Braverman has the freedom to say what she likes - and she did - while those who may be affected by the sentiments she expressed have a right to freely call her out for it. Which they in turn did.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews was one of those calling her out. As a spokesperson told the Jewish Chronicle, “Suella Braverman may not have been aware of it, but the term ‘cultural Marxist’ has a history as an antisemitic trope … We would ask for her to clarify the remarks and undertake not to use the phrase in future”.
The JC explained “The phrase, which has become more popular among alt-right and far-right activists in recent years, originated with the Nazis, who described ‘Kulturbolschewismus’ when they sought to accuse Jewish intellectuals of orchestrating the spread of Communism, as well as sexual permissiveness”. There was more.
“The phrase is also associated with a conspiracy theory that posits that the Frankfurt School, a group of Jewish philosophers and sociologists, were conspiring to attack Western society by undermining traditionalist conservatism and subverting ‘traditional family values’”. Anders Breivik used the phrase in his “manifesto”. So, it seems, did the man accused of the mass shootings in Christchurch recently.
Yet here is a leading Tory MP - who was a minister before she resigned over Theresa May’s Brexit deal - not only deploying an anti-Semitic trope, but then having it spelt out to her that it is an anti-Semitic trope, before dismissing criticism of her using an anti-Semitic trope as an attack on her freedom of speech. One hates to have to repeat this, but had she been a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, the right-wing press would have had a field day.
Instead, they are silent this morning. That tells you all you need to know not only about the Tories having an anti-Semitism problem, but also that their press pals don’t want their readers to know about it. And that’s not good enough.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at