07 October 2016

Divisive Politics and Politicians

On hearing that Diane Abbott is the new Shadow Home Secretary opinions the Twitterati are sharply divided (funny that).

On one hand she's a black woman, so all the people wanting to promote equality for minorities are thrilled. Though breaking through these barriers is subject to moral license - having one assuages any guilt the hegemony may feel at not having any. It's like the token woman on Mock the Week. Not that Corbyn is guilty of tokenism, I'm sure he admires Abbot, after all they had sex many years ago.

But on the other check out this a lovely English backhander from Owen Jones, the youthful leftie commentator:
"There's plenty of useless, bungling and/or mediocre white male politicians who don't get the bile Diane Abbott does. Why is this exactly?"
Some agree in part, saying she wouldn't get so much criticism if she were a man. But this is countered by pointing to the coverage of Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband, and Jeremy Corbyn on the left, Nick Clegg in the middle, and Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage on the right.

This does not show that Britain is not biased against prominent black people or women, but it does show that rich white men are also targets.

The poor black woman argument is also countered by people who point out that her children go to a private school. So actually she's an old-style social elitist, which plays badly with the left and the right (too posh/too common).

One serving Labour MP tweeted:
"I only know one white male who's as consistently mean-spirited to fellow Labour people as Diane, and I respond same to him."
A number of other Twits said much the same. She is apparently quite rude to fellow lefties.

Several people commented that they thought she had made a number of racist comments against white people. But then some people still feel bad about slavery and colonialism and are willing to cut her some slack on this. I think being black is still very difficult here.

The divisions in the political left seem to be festering. I can't think of a single Labour politician who does not divide opinion. And Lord help us, Tony Bliar is musing about getting back into politics. Meanwhile the Tories are making a decent show of unity, despite the changes the new PM is making, and understand that if they just settle down and keep possession, they will continue to score.

And those of us who think socialism is a good thing continue to wait for the messiah who can unite the warring tribes and bring peace and prosperity.

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