Showing posts from June, 2015

Sadiq Khan – playing the politics of race again

Sadiq Khan is playing the race card again, this time in his campaign to be Labour’s candidate for London Mayor. Khan, who managed Ed Miliband’s successful Labour leadership campaign in 2010, was talking to George Eaton of the New Statesman about fellow candidate Tessa Jowell, and said: “I don’t think [Jowell’s] got the answers for the 2020s, the future business, we’re a modern city, we’re young, we’re diverse.” Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting. We can see here that Khan thinks Tessa Jowell hasn’t got the answers and shouldn’t be Major in part because she isn't 'diverse'. He contrasts her to a ‘we’ which is ‘diverse’, as well as modern, young and of the future . It illustrates once more how this notion of diversity in the hands of left-wingers actually often excludes white people. On the left it's one of those words that actually means something different from its literal meaning; often only those who are attuned to the language can pick up the differenc

The left’s problem, distilled

At its most basic level, the left’s core problem when it gets into trouble (as now) is falling into expecting those who don’t take responsibility for themselves to be the responsibility of those who do take responsibility for themselves. This is rather than expecting people who don’t take responsibility for themselves to start taking responsibility for themselves. You can broaden this out to cover countries and societies: that on the left we expect that those who don’t govern themselves decently and effectively should be the responsibility of those who do take responsibility for themselves. (Our version of colonialism there, and with the irony that we then blame those who do take responsibility for themselves for being indecent and immoral when they don’t take it on for others).   The victim mentality is an offshoot of this more basic stance, with victim status putting you under the responsibility (again, ironically) of those who are apparently making you the victim. These

The stark contradiction at the heart of identity politics

For ideologues of identity, a racist is someone who does not share a whole, approved and totalised view of race, racism and how to combat it; likewise with sexism and gender. Their arguments come down to an assumption that, since they are ‘fighting’ racism or sexism or both, then anyone who criticises anything about them or their approach is by definition racist or sexist. We can see here a stark contradiction, that you can be defined as (and therefore known to be ) racist or sexist without having expressed a single racist or sexist thought, indeed for just sitting at home watching TV and not joining the struggle. This approach is based on the assumption of higher knowledge and understanding ; in seeing that terms like ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ have a broader meaning in relation to the status of society as a whole rather than the person who is being judged and condemned. We might see it as an example of   a sort of ‘social justice’ trumping personalised ideas of justice and e

“I will never, ever, vote Tory.” Except now maybe I might...

“I will never, ever, vote Tory.” I’ve said this rather a lot over the years, but next year’s London Mayoral election poses a conundrum. Zac Goldsmith, the independent-minded, environmentalist Conservative MP for Richmond Park has thrown his hat into the ring for the Tory nomination. He ticks a lot of boxes for me that the Labour candidates don’t. I’ll be blunt: if I had to choose tomorrow between Goldsmith and any of the hopefuls from my own Labour Party, I’d go for Goldsmith without hesitation. Zac Goldsmith - hat now in the ring for London Mayor So, why? There are a few reasons. I would certainly never vote for a tribal Tory nor for one I had never heard of, but Goldsmith is neither. First and foremost I like and respect his staunch opposition to the expansion of the sprawling monster that is Heathrow Airport (he has said he will resign the Tory whip and call a by-election if the government decides to go ahead). I was born and grew up under the Heathrow