The British media briefly turned its attention to the Tory government’s policy to deport Black British citizens of the Windrush generation. Then the British media returned its focus to anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Both stories look at racism in Britain. But the British government trying to deport its own senior citizens is the more serious of the two. Especially as a Parliamentary Committee’s investigation concluded that there is no evidence that anti-Semitism is rife in the Labour party. Yet, anti-Semitism has received far more media attention than Windrush, and that is odd. All racism is wrong, but is there a hierarchy of race?
Theresa May knew from the outset that her changes to Immigration laws in 2012 would adversely affect people’s from the Commonwealth. And Tory hostile political culture made the Windrush generation its victims.
Over the past few years, the cruelty of May’s policy toward the Windrush generation became abundantly clear. But it was only in the last six months that Amelia Gentleman of the Guardian, a nominally left-leaning newspaper, took up the Windrush cause.
And it was just in the last week that some parts of the British media ran headlines about the Windrush scandal. The job of the free press is to hold power to account. But in the case of the Windrush generation, the British media failed to hold Theresa May or Amber Rudd to account for their persecution of Black Britons. And all too quickly the British media returned its focus to anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Labour & Anti-Semitism
The British media gives the impression that leftwing politics is the most anti-Semitic. But the Institute for Jewish Policy Research concluded that ‘On the political spectrum, levels of antisemitism are found to be highest among the far-right.’ And Parliament’s investigation into anti-Semitism concluded that there was ‘no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party.’
The Chakrabarti Report concluded that the ‘Labour Party is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism.’ But there is ‘Clear evidence [of] minority hateful or ignorant attitudes [and a] sometimes bitter incivility of discourse.’
So, all significant inquiries have come to the same conclusion that the Labour Party is not awash with anti-Semitism.
However, despite the clear evidence to the contrary the British Media label Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour anti-Semitic. Corbyn’s record on race equality is second to none. So it’s incongruous that the British media take Jeremy Corbyn to task for anti-Semitism. On the other hand, the British media is allowing Theresa May and Amber Rudd to escape accountability for things that are their responsibility.
Race and White Privilege
But Corbyn is the first leader of a major British Party to support Palestine. And people are asking questions about Israeli military action or a two-state solution in Israel. Unfortunately, it all too easily escalates into accusations of anti-Semitism. And that stifles debate. But it is not anti-Semitic to dislike some of Israel’s actions. Caroline Lucas, Green MP, nail’s the issue in the video below.
So Corbyn is a threat to Britain’s conservative politics and its pro-Israel stance. Thus, it is in the interests of the British Press, who are overwhelming right-wing, to damage Corbyn. Smearing Corbyn will help the Tories in upcoming elections and keep the status quo. But it also keeps the spotlight away from Theresa May’s racist immigration policy and Windrush.
So, anti-Semitism headlines seem to be a constructed crisis for political ends. However, Windrush has given Boris Johnson a chance to redeem his racist characteristics. Johnson is promoting amnesty for long-term undocumented migrants. And is managing to again be a thorn in Theresa May’s side. Good old Boris who is the brother-in-law of the Amelia Gentleman, the journalist who broke the Windrush scandal. And that is white privilege manipulating race and the lives of minority people for their political purposes. It is sinister, racist and it is unacceptable.
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Caroline Lucas Anti-Semitism & Isreal