The black shadow minister and Labour MP for Hackney Diane Abbott has been up to her racist tricks again labelling whites as being those who wish to keep blacks down through a policy of divide and rule. Replying on Twitter to a black correspondent who complained about the lumping together of all blacks in Britain with phrases such as “the black community” Ms Abbott replied that wicked ol’ whitey just loves playing “divide and rule” and that was why a united black front should be presented:
This immediately prompted cries for her to resign from conservatives on the grounds that she was obnoxiously stereotyping whites (http://www.mirror.co.uk/2012/01/05/labour-mp-diane-abbott-faces-calls-to-resign-over-racist-tweet-storm-115875-23681033/). But white liberals and their non-white auxiliaries were strangely tolerant of her racism. Her fellow black Labour MP David Lammy was positively outraged that anyone should have accused Abbott of racism when her mistake was simply “ Forgetting to add the word “some” [before white in her offending tweet] (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8999638/Posturing-and-indignation-do-nothing-to-curb-racism.html). To put the cherry on the top of the forgiveness cake, the leader of the Labour Party not only failed to withdraw the Labour whip from Ms Abbott but allowed her to remain in his shadow cabinet as his spokesperson for Public Health.
All this liberal forgiveness meant Ms Abbott was consequently allowed to escape with no more than a non-apology -“I apologise for any offence caused. I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8998430/Diane-Abbott-and-Luis-Suarez-are-not-really-apologising.html )- and, unlike so many white people these days, she escaped the attention of the Metropolitan Police whose representative dutifully said “The service was contacted by members of the public in relation to the comments made by Diane Abbott.”
“We reviewed the circumstances of the comments and having considered all of those circumstances and the information available to us, we do not believe a criminal offence has been committed.” “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9001757/Diane-Abbott-will-not-face-police-action-over-racist-tweet.html
To add insult to injury, after the storm broke Ms Abbott offered a gross misrepresentation of what she had tweeted. She tried to claim that the offending remark referred to the distant colonial past. “Tweet taken out of context. Refers to nature of 19th century European colonialism. Bit much to get into 140 characters.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/05/diane-abbott-accused-racism-twitter). As can be seen from the tweet I reproduced above this is nonsense. “White people love playing “divide and rule” is a simple unqualified statement which refers to whites generally and in the present. The hash tag “tactic as old as colonialism” merely states that whites have used the tactic from the time they gained colonies. In short, Ms Abbott was making a statement attributing a quality and mentality to whites as a group throughout the centuries up to and including the present. Moreover, even if the statement had been made about the colonial past, it would still have been racist because it assumed that all white people had felt the same during colonial times. Clearly they did not, as the British anti-slavery movement and the later critics of Empire show. It is also worth noting that she did not use her full 140 characters in the original tweet.
Ms Abbott has “previous” on the hating whitey front. In 1988, a year after being elected an MP, she claimed Britain invented racism (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082527/Diane-Abbott-Twitter-race-row-MP-faces-calls-resign-racist-tweet.html ).
In 1996 she delicately said that she disapproved of her local hospital employing “blonde, blue-eyed” Finnish nurses’ rather than black West Indian ones (John Rentoul Independent Friday, 29 November 1996 Diane Abbott is sorry (For the record Miss Finland is also black – go to http://www.theapricity.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-20066.html and scroll down), which elicited another feeble apology but no withdrawal of the Labour whip.
In that fracas she received the robust support of her now dead fellow black MP Bernie Grant , a man who came to public prominence in 1985 when he greeted the murder of Pc Keith Blakelock by near decapitation during the Broadwater Farm estate black riot with a jolly “The police got a good hiding “ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/706403.stm). In the matter of the “blonde, blue-eyed” Finnish nurses’ Mr Grant offered a judicious “”She [Abbott] is quite right… Bringing someone here from Finland who has never seen a black person before and expecting them to have some empathy with black people is nonsense. Scandinavian people don’t know black people – they probably don’t know how to take their temperature.” (http://www.theapricity.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-20066.html). Mr Grant, like Ms Abbott, did not have the Labour whip removed from him.
In 2010 Ms Abbott had further bites at the racist cherry. She was having a little local difficulty on the BBC Late Night show with the political commentator Andrew Neil. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1289868/Diane-Abbott-fumes-branded-racist-TV-This-Week-host-Andrew-Neill.html#ixzz1iQ5ZvyRW). The subject was her son’s education. Ms Abbott had always been a strident critic of private education and frequently publicly criticised Labour politicians who sent their children to private schools or even worked the state system, like the Blairs, to send their children to state schools which offered a similar educational experience. In 2010 she suddenly announced that her son would attend the £12,000-a-year City of London School.
Neil attacked her hypocrisy. Abbott defended herself with : ‘West Indian mums will go to the wall for their children.’ This led to the following exchange:
“Mr Neil hit back by demanding: ‘So black mums love their kids more than white mums, do they?’
Furious Ms Abbott said: ‘I have said everything I am going to say about where I send my son to school.’
Mr Neil persisted: ‘Supposing Michael said white mums will go to the wall for their children. Why did you say that? Isn’t it a racist remark?
‘If West Indian mums are as wonderful as you say, why are there so many dysfunctional West Indian families in this country? And why do so many young West Indian men end up in a life of crime and gangs?
‘You didn’t want your son to go to a school full of kids who have been brought up by West Indian mums.’
As Ms Abbott repeatedly refused to reply, Mr Neil asked: ‘Would you like to make it clear that West Indian mums are no better than white mums or Asian mums?’
When Ms Abbott, squirming in her seat, replied, ‘I have nothing to say,’ Mr Neil taunted her:
‘You don’t want to do that – you still think West Indian mums are the best?’” (ibid)
Ms Abbott also referred to David Cameron and George Osborne as ‘two posh white boys’ in 2010 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1280358/Diane-Abbott-race-row-calling-Cameron-Clegg-posh-white-boys.html).
Since her “divide and rule” tweet Ms Abbott has been working hard on her “hate whitey” credentials . Again on Twitter she accused tax drivers of routinely ignoring black people hailing cabs ‘Dubious of black people claiming they’ve never experienced racism. ‘Ever tried hailing a taxi I always wonder?’ (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083252/Diane-Abbott-sparks-ANOTHER-Twitter-race-row-branding-taxi-drivers-racist.html).
A 25-year-old black politics graduate Jade Knight has also added to our knowledge of Ms Abbott’s attitude towards Britain and its white population. Miss Knight had the temerity to approach Ms Abbott in a Boots store and engage her in conversation. After describing her conservative with a small c politics and saying she admired Abbott and desperately wanted to work for her , Ms Knight encountered this response :
‘She [Abbott] said, “You’d be better off working for a white Conservative. You’re a black conservative, you don’t do the black thing.” I couldn’t believe she had said it.
‘She was basically accusing me of selling out, which is not true. I told her being a conservative wasn’t going against my heritage. Anyone who understands black culture knows black culture can be very conservative. I thought she would understand that as she is educated.’ (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2086722/Work-white-Conservative-What-Abbott-told-Tory-voting-graduate-asked-job.html#ixzz1jYOlQf4K). Note the reference to “white” rather than just conservative.
There are several things interesting about Diane Abbott’s frequent and casual racism. She clearly sees herself as living as in a country divided into “them and us” with her ‘us’ being the black population and her ‘them’ is the white population. She has no sense of being part of a society entitled British or English. Her world is black “us” and white “them”. Her use of “blonde, blue-eyed Finnish girls” suggests that she has an active hostility to white physical attributes. Had she wished to merely complain about cultural differences between Finns and West Indian nurses there would have been no reason to mention the physical differences between the two. It is rather difficult to see how someone with her mentality could represent her constituents or the interest of British society generally without racial fear or favour.
An anti-white racist she may be, but if other things were equal I would enthusiastically defend Ms Abbott’s right to say whatever she wants because I truly believe in free expression for everyone except those who would deny it to others. But in politically correct modern Britain others things are not equal. Whites who made the sort of statements that Ms Abbott has made would have been treated very differently. If they were politicians the media would have bayed unceasingly for their blood. They would have lost any position held within the government or on the opposition front bench. They would probably have had the whip withdrawn or, if that did not happen, been deselected as a candidate by their party before the next election. Indeed, they could have suffered such things for far less obviously racist than any of Abbott’s remarks. The Tory MP Patrick Mercer was sacked from his shadow cabinet post by simply being honest about his experience of black soldiers when he was a serving army officer: “”I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless, but who used racism as cover for their misdemeanours “ (http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/03/patrick_mercer.html).
More generally, any white person who made similar statements to Ms Abbott could expect to be the subject of disciplinary action by their employer up to and including the sack; suffer media vilification and, increasingly, find themselves involved in a criminal prosecution, for example, the England football captain John Terry (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/dec/21/john-terry-racism-case-cps). Even putting golliwogs for sale in a shop window can result in a visit from the boys in blue (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-452477/Police-order-shopkeeper-remove-golliwogs-window.html).
Racist blacks and Asians generally are treated very leniently . Even where the racism is violent and unambiguously directed at whites, it is treated very different to racism by whites against non-whites. Recently four Somali Muslim girls – Ambaro and Hibo Maxamed, both 24, their sister Ayan, 28, and cousin Ifrah Nur 28 – viciously attacked a white British girl Rhea Page, 22. They were charged with Assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH), having torn part of Miss Page’s scalp away, knocked her to the ground and repeatedly kicked her, including kicks to the head and repeatedly screamed racist abuse at her (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070562/Muslim-girl-gang-kicked-Rhea-Page-head-yelling-kill-white-slag-FREED.html#ixzz1flw8TY6p). The Somali girls were not only not convicted of a racist attack but were given non-custodial c sentences.
There is a strong argument for disregarding the motivation for a crime in sentencing. A crime is a crime. Allowing motive to intrude provides a lever for subjective likes and dislikes to be given the force of law. However, as with the prosecutions for “inciting racial hatred” and their ilk, while such laws are on the statute book they must be applied even handedly to preserve the rule of law.
The ideal thing would be for all criminal restrictions on speech to be lifted and motivation to be ignored when prosecuting.
Diane Abbott and Cambridge
The special treatment Ms Abbott has received extends to other aspects of her life. She is a history graduate having studied at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 2003 she wrote a piece for the BBC’s Black History Month entitled Multi-racial Britain. It contained this gem:
“From the days when the Norman French invaded Anglo-Saxon Britain, we have been a culturally diverse nation. But because the different nationalities shared a common skin colour, it was possible to ignore the racial diversity which always existed in the British Isles. And even if you take race to mean what it is often commonly meant to imply – skin colour- there have been black people in Britain for centuries. The earliest blacks in Britain were probably black Roman centurions that came over hundreds of years before Christ.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/dabbott_01.shtml).
For any educated person brought up in Britain the belief that the Roman legions came to Britain “hundreds of years before Christ” would be to put it mildly surprising for the dates of 55 and 54 BC for Julius Caesar’s two expeditions to Britain (the first Roman military action in Britain) and 43 AD for the Roman conquest of Britain are iconic dates in British history. For a history graduate from one of the two leading British universities to make such a howler is astonishing for it shows a disturbing lack of historical perspective and absence of very basic general historical knowledge.
But that is not the only startling part of the passage. Ms Abbott also says “The earliest blacks in Britain were probably black Roman centurions”. Why on earth should she imagine that if blacks did come to Roman Britain they would all be centurions? That is not only historically dubious in terms of blacks coming to Roman Britain in ant guise, but absurd in its conception that the blacks were probably all drawn from the centurion class. That is a simple failure of intellect.
In the light of the mental capacity revealed in Multi-racial Britain, it would be interesting to know exactly how and why Ms Abbott was selected for a much sought after place on a popular degree course at one of the two most prestigious British universities and once there how she managed to take a history degree. Could it be that an informal “positive discrimination” was exercised in both the granting of the place at Newham and her completion of her degree course?
Diane Abbott and Is it in the blood?
In 1995 I wrote an article for a specialist cricket magazine Wisden Cricket Monthly. This dealt with the use by the England cricket team of many black and white immigrants. In the article I argued that this made a mockery of the very idea of national sporting teams. This created a vast media outcry. Ms Abbott sent me an unsolicited letter which I reproduce below together with my reply to which Ms Abbott did not reply.
Her comments “You show no appreciation of acceptable terminology or mores” and “I believe that we have a duty to write on subject we know about” prompt a smile at her lack of self-knowledge, but the most important aspect of her letter is the quiet desperation of her “Black and Asian culture is now an integral element of British society. I have always thought that the best thing about British culture is its diversity and receptiveness to new, creative influences.” Of course, if that were the case there would be no need to say it.
DIANE ABBOTT, M.P.
Labour Member of Parliament for Hackney North & Stoke Newington
Our ref: DPV/Rcm
Date: 3 August 1995
HOUSE OF COMMONS LONDON SW1A 0AA
Tel: 0171 219 4426 Fax: 0171 219 4964
Dear Mr Henderson
A constituent of mine has sent me a copy of the article you wrote for Wisden Cricket Monthly entitled, “Is it in the Blood?”
I was rather saddened by your article. You show no appreciation of acceptable terminology or mores. I know that your article was focusing on cricket. But it shows a level of ignorance which is pervasive in many walks of British life. Imagine a young white man born in England, one parent English, one parent Spanish. Is it unnatural for him to express an interest in his Spanish origins. Does it make him any less British? No.
Black and Asian culture is now an integral element of British society. I have always thought that the best thing about British culture is its diversity and receptiveness to new, creative influences.
As an ex-journalist, and someone who still dabbles, I believe that we have a duty to write on subject we know about. And if we are not fully conversant with the topic to undertake the necessary research. I believe that if you had undertaken the appropriate research you would find that your assertions are flawed.
I hope that you will give my comments some thought.
DIANE ABBOTT MP
Miss Diane Abbott MP
House of Commons, London SW1
Dear Miss Abbott,
If you take the trouble to read the enclosures you will see that I am more than ordinarily qualified to deal with the subject of coloured alienation. (I wonder if you could claim such a comprehensive experience of white or indeed Asian society?) Moreover, even the proverbial visiting Martian could see the illogic in the claim (incessantly made by “anti-racists”) that English bred blacks and Asians are both alienated from and unquestioningly loyal to England.
The evidence of coloured alienation is mountainous. The tape I enclose of the BBC Radio 5 programme “Word Up” is of particular interest for it contains both the visceral hatred and irredeemable resentment of your colleague Bernie Grant and the uncommitted internationalism of self-described black professionals, whose adamantine smugness achieved what I would have thought impossible, a fleeting moment of sympathy in me for Mr Grant when he railed against their selfishness and lack of concern for the working class. You might also wish to note Mr Grant’s comments about the House of Commons.
I am undecided as to whether you were disingenuous or naive in your example of the white man with a Spanish father. It is true that such a person might have some feelings for his father’s homeland. However, his potential circumstances are vastly different from those of the son of a coloured immigrant, for if he chooses the white man may be accepted without question by the host people. Do you seriously wish to maintain that there is no difference in the lots of a white and a coloured person in this country? If so, why do you join in with the “anti-racist” shouting?
The most disturbing message of your letter is your rejection of the right to free expression. Both “You show no appreciation of acceptable terminology or mores” and “I believe we have a duty to write on subject (sic) we know about” are attempts to suppress my right to free expression. This is a supremely dangerous thing for once you try to take away my right you have no moral argument to repel those who would suppress your right. I suggest that you study the short essay ‘The fulcrum of freedom’ to see exactly how dangerous the absence of free expression can be to a society. Free expression is not merely a civil right designed to improve the amenity of a man’s life, it is the surest guard against tyranny. You might also wish to reflect on the fact that you are willing to sit in the Commons with a colleague who gloated over the near decapitation of a white policeman by a black mob which had shed every vestige of civilised behaviour. I presume Mr Grant’s behaviour after that event comes within your definition of “acceptable terminology or mores”.
You, Miss Abbott, have been sold a most monstrous pup by the white liberal establishment. All your life (or at least your adult life) you have allowed yourself to believe that the liberal view of Race was the only reasonable view on Race. You have luxuriated in the fool’s paradise of believing that the remarkable international security and stability enjoyed by Europe since the war – the only circumstances in which liberals could have held such sway – was the natural order of things. In fact, it has been an abnormality.
The age of liberal internationalism is drawing to a close, perhaps in five years, perhaps in ten. Nothing anyone does will prevent this process. What we do have is the choice between a benign nationalism and authoritarian government, probably fascism. If we are to save ourselves from fascism all races must begin to talk honestly. That is what I am trying to achieve, the honest discussion of Race. (Do not think, incidentally, that Britain can live in a cocoon shielded from the racial events on the continent, particularly in Germany – within ten years Germany will be displaying all her old racial arrogance. You are, I presume, aware that de facto black and Asian British citizens already cannot travel freely throughout the EU).
Your friend, Darcus Howe, recently wrote to me offering a chance to discuss the subject of coloured loyalties. This I have turned down for the moment because of my health.
However, I may well be cured within the next six to nine months through a revolutionary treatment. I have written to Mr Howe suggesting that in the event of my recovery I would be willing to take part in a programme debating the subject of black and Asian commitment with one other. I enclose a copy of my letter to Mr Howe detailing the conditions under which I would take part. If you are interested, why not suggest to Mr Howe that you be my protagonist?
You asked me to think about your comments. I would ask you to do the same with mine. In particular ask yourself whether if racial shove comes to racial push you can imagine the likes of Tony Blair risking anything substantial for blacks and Asians. Remember Blair has overturned one of the main planks of Labour policy simply to serve his own petty convenience in the choice of his children’s schools. Do you think such a man would risk his life for blacks and Asians? He would not even risk his comfort.