Another week, another Labour racism story. This time, Jeremy Corbyn has been interviewed by a YouTube star – in support of ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, no less! – who turns out to have a track record of racist and anti-Semitic tweets.
The ever-diligent Guido has the scoop, having simply gone back through David Vujanic’s timeline to unearth several ‘jokes’ about, amongst other things “racial banter with my ethnic friends”, Hitler playing the “Jew challenge game”, as well as others targeting black men and, for good measure, women.
Labour staff might consider it misfortune that they neglected this basic due diligence. After all, how epically un-self-aware do you need to be to take a high-profile anti-racism gig with a back catalogue like that? But the Opposition’s chronic problems with racism really ought to have them paranoid about this by now. Here are a few highlights:
Hugh Gaffney MP
- Only this week, one of Labour’s newly-minted Scottish MPs has had to apologise for using homophobic and racist language at a Burns Supper event. The MP for Coatbridge has admitted to using “completely inappropriate” language about LGBT and Chinese people. The Whips have compounded the issue by giving the impression that whether and how Gaffney is disciplined is none of the public’s business.
Emma Dent Coad MP
- Another member of Labour’s Class of 2017, Ms Dent Coad was caught referring to Shaun Bailey, a black Conservative activist, as a ‘token ghetto boy’ and ‘free-loading scumbag’ – before doodling up an image of a black figure getting lynched on the Tory logo. James Cleverly and Kemi Badenoch wrote a joint letter to Corbyn calling for him to withdraw the whip, but an apology was deemed contrition enough.
Jared O’Mara MP
- Yet another of the Opposition’s 2017 intake – which was not terribly large to begin with – the man who shot to prominence by unseating Nick Clegg has since virtually disappeared from the Commons after his online history of sexist and racist comments came to light. He has yet to even make a maiden speech. Labour did at least suspend him, although they appear content to leave the voters of Sheffield Hallam lumbered with an absentee MP rather than contest a by-election.
- Like Vujanic, this is another Corbyn photo-op featuring someone with a staggeringly brazen history of racism on Twitter, Barker was Chair of Nottingham Labour Students when she introduced the Leader of the Opposition at an event in May last year. At least in this instance she had not been elected to Parliament, although given Labour’s recent track record her candidacy surely cannot be ruled out.
These examples stand out not just because of how close Corbyn is to all of them – the MPs were all elected under his leadership – but because they pick on targets who aren’t Jews. A post providing a detailed chronicle of Labour anti-Semitism would have to be much longer, although we wouldn’t be short for examples personally starring the Leader of the Opposition.
It ought to be a matter of deep concern for the Tories, therefore, that despite all this they still managed to lose substantial ground amongst ethnic minority voters at the last election.