No wonder Labour antisemitism got the ‘Panorama’ treatment – Tory racism is way too much to fit into an hour

Conservative members love politicians who protect the kind of British life a person can relate to, such as wearing a monocle and having 19 kids you never see until they’ve left Eton

Mark Steel
Thursday 11 July 2019 13:10
Labour leader's office requested to be 'involved directly' with antisemitism complaints, says party's former head of disputes

Isn’t it wonderful that our governing party has such an endearing imagination? A survey revealed that 54 per cent of Conservative members believe “Islam is a threat to the British way of life”.

This is impressive when you consider most Tory members live in areas like rural Surrey, so maybe the Godalming Rambling Society is upset that its itinerary has been changed, and instead of the proposed autumn hike to Milford followed by a picnic at the Cricketers Arms, there will now be a pilgrimage to Mecca.

The string quartet that plays every summer in the grounds of the vicarage is now only allowed to perform if the first piece is Allahu Akbar glory to God peace be upon Him, in a call to prayer across the woods on the outskirts of Guildford.

And the spring garden party at the stately home in Loseley Park next year has been cancelled, because the canapes will have to be destroyed as it’s during Ramadan.

The survey showed that 45 per cent of Tory members believe there are no-go areas in Britain for non-Muslims. Even fundamentalist Islamic regions such as Saudi Arabia allow non-Muslims to enter, so these places must be really strict.

But the people about to select our prime minister can’t be stupid, so it must be true that in Sevenoaks Post Office, the residents ask: “Could I send this parcel to my grandson, it’s his birthday so I’d like to get it to him before Saturday”, and they’re told “Recite four passages from the Koran or face almighty wrath, infidel, for you have entered the Post Office of the believers in eternal holy justice.”

Forty-three per cent would not want a Muslim as prime minister, which shows how tolerant the Tory party has become, because the number saying Islam is a threat to British life is 54 per cent. So 11 per cent of the party wouldn’t mind a Muslim PM even though they think they’d be a threat to our British way of life. You can’t get more liberal than that.

This must be why certain newspapers and Panorama spend every day investigating antisemitic members of Labour – they can cover that because a few hundred is manageable. If they tried to deal with anti-Muslim members of the Conservatives, they’d have to study 54 per cent of the entire party, needing thousands of staff working around the clock.

Forty-two per cent of Conservative members believe “having people from a wide variety of racial and cultural backgrounds” has damaged British society. This will be why Conservative members idolise politicians prepared to protect the kind of British life a common person can relate to, such as wearing a monocle, reciting morning prayers in Latin and having 19 kids they never see until they’ve left Eton, giving them names like Septicaemia, and Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus Roseus).

Still, this is only the members and anyone who led the party would be vigilant in rooting out prejudice, in the same way they demand Corbyn takes on antisemitism. That’s why Boris Johnson approached the issue with stern determination, saying women in burqas look like letter boxes and bank robbers. If only Corbyn had been as thorough in opposing antisemitism, saying Hebrew sounds like the noise a car makes when the gearbox has gone, the Tories would never mention the issue again.

Fifteen Conservative councillors were suspended for comments such as describing Muslims as “cavemen” and “sand peasants”, and unlike Labour, the Conservatives acted quickly in these cases, because in a few weeks they were all reinstated. It shows the speed a party can move at if it tries.

Maybe the Conservatives could address the problem by conducting a version of the game where you have to go a minute without saying “yes” or “no”, except they have to last a minute without saying anything insulting about Muslims. “Next we have Archie Timberbatch, councillor for Ludlow. Are you ready?”

“I am.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Just a bit.”

“How was your journey?”

“It was fine, thank you, until I passed a branch of Kwik-fit and thought, ‘That will be turned into a Mosque before the day’s out, I shouldn’t wonder’.”

Then a gong goes and they say “Oh dear, it’s harder than you think isn’t it?”

But this could be part of the problem, because racism seems to have been reduced to whether individuals and their comments either are or aren’t racist or antisemitic. But it might be more subtle than that. For example, few people on the left are openly antisemitic, but the left has allowed attitudes to circulate that quite reasonably make many Jewish people feel uneasy.

This isn’t helped by the way that if you suggest some Labour members should choose their words (and thoughts) more carefully, you receive contributions from people on Twitter, who call themselves “IloveCorbynmorethanmyownkids83”, who suggest: “You trater why u become establishment Gaza-bombing prick”.

And in the Conservative Party, most members would probably insist they aren’t in the slightest bit racist, it’s just that a Pakistani was seen in the next village so they’ve hired a sniper to guard next month’s bridge night because you can’t be too careful.

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And we can be assured they’ll choose a prime minister who will protect British interests, never allowing a foreign leader to tell us who to appoint.

This is why it’s marvellous that before he even enters No 10, Boris Johnson appears to have caused Ambassador Kim Darroch to resign for saying Donald Trump was “incompetent”. And that’s quite proper. Because he should have stuck up for British interests, and called Trump a narcissistic sociopathic puddle of spider’s semen, a threat to our way of life, an embarrassment not only to the human race but to the entire evolutionary process. And incompetent.

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