The Tory Party, and its media cheerleaders, have made great play of the news that 14 members are being suspended pending investigation, after they were caught - not by the party, but by the Tweeter known as Racists4Rees-Mogg - voicing a variety of disgusting and bigoted views about Muslims. Deputy Chairman James Cleverly has been on Politics Live proudly boasting that The Blue Team takes action, not like the Rotten Lefties™.
But the Racists4Rees-Mogg Twitter feed keeps on finding Tory bigotry, doing nothing more than what several media outlets have been doing for some time with social media platforms used by Labour supporters to uncover alleged anti-Semitism. And some of that Tory bigotry is, whisper it quietly, deeply anti-Semitic in nature.
The kinds of comments unearthed include burning the Qur’an, banning Islam throughout Europe, throwing Muslims from bridges, Sajid Javid being barred from ministerial office because of his ethnicity, ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the UK, boycotting Muslim-owned businesses, removing all Mosques from the UK, the claim that “Muslims are here to destroy us”, that all Muslims are “liars”, and much more.
How much more? Some of those self-confessed Tory members deal in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, claims that immigrant “invaders” are inherently violent, using terms like “Muzzies”, calling Diane Abbott “kinky head”, asserting that Britain is becoming an “Islamic shithole”, barring Muslims from working in the emergency services, forcing Sayeeda Warsi to wear a burqa, or deporting her for exposing Islamophobia.
That, most likely, is no more than scratching the surface, looking at Facebook groups of Rees-Mogg fans, and those of London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. But this should surprise no-one: the anti-Muslim bigotry practiced by Tory-supporting media outlets in recent years has been equally disgraceful.
To illustrate this, James O’Brien turned the Labour anti-Semitism argument around this morning and mused “Imagine if the New Statesman published an article by Owen Jones stating baldly that there is not enough anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. What would happen? Imagine if Diane Abbott or John McDonnell came forward with comments about Jewish women being like letterboxes, or made a joke about the wigs that orthodox Jewish women wear. Made a joke that invited people to mock and condemn them”. Do go on.
“Imagine if John McDonnell made a joke about … the locks that Orthodox Jewish men grow, or the Yarmulkes that many, many Jewish men choose to wear. Imagine if, for example, John McDonnell said ‘Why do all these Jews walk around with frisbees on their heads?’ Explain to me how that would be substantially any different from what Boris Johnson said about Muslim womens’ sartorial choices”. There was more.
“The ones that make them look like letterboxes. D’you see what I mean? That’s not even controversial, that comparison. Just imagine Owen Jones wrote an article on there not being enough anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and then how the hell Rod Liddle gets to write an article arguing that there’s not enough Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. And he’ll still get invited on to programmes and into studios, and Andrew Neil can still claim when he’s covering these issues that he’s impartial”. He wasn’t finished yet.
“And Fraser Nelson can host an event at the London Palladium with Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose fans are so vile that 14 of them have been suspended from the very party. Now just swap all of those phrases. Swap Islamophobia for anti-Semitism. Swap Rod Liddle for Owen Jones, swap Fraser Nelson for Jason Cowley … and swap Jacob Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson for John McDonnell or Tom Watson. And you tell me that we don’t live in a country that is utterly upside down”. Got it in one.
The Tories have got away with it, partly because our free and fearless press not only gives them a free pass, but cheers them on and indulges in its own bigotry. Titles like the Sun have peddled bigotry for decades: first it was against the Irish, then Black Britons became the target, and now it’s Scary Muslims™. It was in the paper. So it was OK.
Only now are parts of that same press stopping and thinking. But for the Tories, it is already too late. The lid is being prised off their racist can of worms, and what is being revealed is sickening beyond belief. Those revelations will only get worse.
The Tories have good reason to keep up calling “anti-Semitism” on Labour, aided and abetted by their press pals. Because when the electorate stops “looking over there”, and sees where the real racism lies, The Blue Team is going to be in deep doo-doo.
We can now see who the real racists are. This will not end well for those people.
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