While the Labour Party continues to find itself under attack for alleged anti-Semitism, some of the allegations coming from those with no room to talk on the subject, the Tories have been given a free pass on not having adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, along with all the examples (and no, they still haven’t). What they also have been given a free pass on has been the all too clear problem many Tories have with Islamophobia.
Colin Raine receives Prime Ministerial approval
Or rather, too many Tories have no problem with Islamophobia, when it comes to doing it. The problem comes when the party is informed of that problem, and all too often does nothing about it - but when many media outlets don’t give the problem coverage, why should they? As the saying goes, it is not Conservatives’ function to care, and so they do not. Now has come a nailed-on example of bigotry - and the Tories have done nothing.
This concerns a party member in the Bishop Auckland area by the name of Colin Raine. He has a recent track record of making the most unfortunate remarks, such as “Apparently these aggressive Muzzies are always at Hyde Park Corner shouting down people being aggressive and use violence … nothing is done”.
He’d fit right in with Adolf von Batten’s new order UKIP with comments like “Who are they frightened of offending? That tolerant all inclusive religion of peace? … It’s a step by step erosion of our beliefs … We need our culture back and protecting … We need to stand up for our culture and history and stop pandering to an alien intolerant religion”.
Raine turned up at a protest outside his own MP’s office - that MP being Labour's Helen Goodman. As she put it, “My concern is not that people were exercising their right to protest in public: it is that a Conservative was lining up with the racist far-right, especially given that I receive representations from ethnic minority constituents who say they no longer feel safe”. The EDL and DFLA were also at the protest.
The Racists4Rees-Mogg Twitter feed asked the obvious questions. “Let’s hope the Conservatives take swift action against the far-right extremist Colin Raine, a long-time Tory member. People like Colin really shouldn’t have access to the Prime Minister … Hi @BrandonLewis. This Colin Raine appears to be a member of the Bishop Auckland branch of your party. He claims to hold a vice-chair position, and he’s also a nasty bigot. Can you confirm whether he’s a member and, if so, ensure that he’s expelled ASAP?”
There was more. “Hi @BrandonLewis. You mentioned on #ridge just now that you’ve dealt with all outstanding abuse cases. Can you please confirm whether Colin Raine is still a member of your party?”. But now it has emerged that Raine, although he has left the Conservative Party, was not expelled. His membership was allowed to expire.
As Rachel Wearmouth at the HuffPost has put it, “The Conservative Party is under pressure to explain why it failed to expel a member who shared Islamophobic hate online and allegedly organised a far-right protest outside an MP’s office”. Had that been the Labour Party, the press would have been down on them like the proverbial tonne of bricks.
The Tories have a serious problem with racism, whether our free and fearless press wants to talk about it or not. Worse, they are doing nothing about it. That’s not good enough.
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