Home > Uncategorized > What use Baroness Warsi?

What use Baroness Warsi?

Baroness Warsi has an interview in the Guardian today – and it makes me wonder why she’s there.

She starts off by saying that labour flat-out committed electoral fraud in six locations.  She then refused to let us go off anything more than her word, refusing to cite any evidence, investigations or whatnot.

I mean, really.  It’s been about five months since the elections – and only now it’s getting brought up?  Secondly, electoral fraud does happen – and is traditionally committed by all parties.  As the paper itself points out, six  Tory activists were sent down for it last time. I’m pretty certain Labour went down for it a while back as well.

And then…

Warsi also launched an attack on the “anti-Islamic sentiment” of the British press, which she compared to the anti-semitism of the early 20th century.

[…]

Warsi referred to the conservative columnist Peter Oborne, who has said that anti-Islamic sentiment is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry in the UK, saying: “That’s absolutely true …. If you have a pop at the British Muslim community in the media, then first of all it will sell a few papers; second, it doesn’t really matter; and third, it’s fair game.” (Emphasis mine)

I suspect David Laws would disagree…

Now of course I’m not going to say that there isn’t something going on – the rash of stupid ‘news’ that claim to be about ‘Muslims getting their own way’ proves that.  And just for the record, this creeping Islamisation that some idiots talk about will take centuries to happen unless it picks up it’s pace – according to the census, 71.8 per cent of us said we were Christian, while 2.8 per cent said they were Muslim.

What I do take issue with is a the comparison with anti-Semitism and anti-Islamic feeling being the last form of acceptable bigotry.

First of all, the claim to equivalence.  Even I, a damned apostate (I was brought up C of E)  I have problems believing this,  because ‘Jew’ refers to a person’s ethnicity as much as their religion – the two are heavily intertwined.  Islam, on the other hand, is a religion. Yes, there’s correlation between someone’s place of birth and being Muslim.  Yes, papers use ‘Muslim’ because they can’t exactly come out and say ‘darkies’ any more, but Islam is still a religion and not an ethnicity in the same way as Judaism .

I would also point out that I don’t recall hearing of any anti-Muslim pogroms of late, such as …happened to Jews in the early 20th Century.

My second problem is that it’s clearly not the last line of bigotry – after all, the Baroness herself quite happily indulged in bigotry herself:

In 2005, when she unsuccessfully stood as the Tory candidate for Dewsbury, she issued leaflets which used homophobic language.

Her leaflets claimed children were being “propositioned” for gay relationships.

They said: “Labour has scrapped Section 28, which was introduced by the Conservatives to stop schools promoting alternative sexual lifestyles such as homosexuality to children as young as seven years old.

“Labour reduced the age of consent for homosexuality from 18 to 16, allowing schoolchildren to be propositioned for homosexual relationships.”

In 2007 she then said “I look back at lots of my election leaflets and think, ‘God – why did I phrase it like that? What was I on?'”

Calling a set sexual orientation  an alternative sexual lifestyle?  equating gay with wanting ’em young (because that never happens in hetero situations)?  They’re all classic homophobic tropes, so I’d say she was on a homophobic binge, expected it to resonate with her local area.

I’ve already pointed out Laws and he’s not exactly an isolated case.  The media is getting better, but a part of society (and, I suspect, the party behind Section 28) really have not.

With people of her calibre in charge, I fear for the future.

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