Labour must stop playing the race card

Courtney Hamilton

Topics Politics

You don’t have to be a paid-up member of the Conservative Party to find Jeremy Corbyn’s latest statement about helping out ethnic minorities disagreeable. According to Corbyn, as expressed in a Labour Party Twitter statement, ‘only Labour can be trusted to unlock the talent of black, Asian and minority ethnic people, who have been held back by the Conservatives’.

As soon as it went out, some of Britain’s most successful black and Asian politicians came out to mock Corbyn’s patronising statement. Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, simply tweeted, ‘Thanks Jeremy’. James Cleverly, a Conservative Party MP, replied with: ‘Yes massa.’

In trying to play the race card, Corbyn is lending credence to the idea that black and Asian people are somehow more feeble, less equipped, to make it in the world – that rather than seizing their own opportunities and fighting for their own interests they need kindly middle-class Labourites to look after them.

At the same time, Labour continues to push the idea that white working-class people are incredibly hostile to minorities – whether it’s Diane Abbott saying Leave voters wanted to see less ‘foreign-looking people on their streets’ or Shami Chakrabarti telling Jewish voters not to leave the party because she didn’t want to be ‘locked in a room with Essex Man’.

People of all backgrounds should reject this ugly, divisive politicking.

Courtney Hamilton is a writer based in London.

Let’s cancel cancel culture

Free speech is under attack from all sides – from illiberal laws, from a stifling climate of conformity, and from a powerful, prevailing fear of being outed as a heretic online, in the workplace, or even among friends, for uttering a dissenting thought. This is why we at spiked are stepping up our fight for speech, expanding our output and remaking the case for this most foundational liberty. But to do that we need your help. spiked – unlike so many things these days – is free. We rely on our loyal readers to fund our journalism. So if you want to support us, please do consider becoming a regular donor. Even £5 per month can be a huge help. You can find out more and sign up here. Thank you! And keep speaking freely.

Donate now

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Politics


Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.