Starmer Is Driving Muslims Away From Labour
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The Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has found himself under fire today for failing to call out a racist far-right conspiracy theory on national radio. While appearing on LBC for his regular #CallKeir segment, a caller challenged him on immigration by citing a debunked conspiracy theory that says White People will become a minority in Britian by 2066, better known “The Great Replacement.” Instead of calling this out or attempting to correct this claim, Sir Keir failed to even challenge it. This, added to other events is leading some to believe that The Labour Party is not a safe space for minorities.
Whilst Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader, it was often claimed that the party was not a safe space for Jewish people. To some, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Report on Labour Antisemitism confirmed this. To others, they see the report as evidence that the scale of the problem was overstated. However, Keir Starmer has been clear that anyone saying that it is/was overstated, ‘has no place in the Labour Party’. This has led to Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs), being banned from talking about the EHRC report at all. It has also led to claims that Starmer has a “Hierarchy of Racism” due to how other forms of prejudice are being addressed.
Unilateral U-turn on Kashmir
When Keir Starmer took over in March, Muslims became immediately worried when he reversed Labour’s Conference agreed policy on Kashmir following a zoom call with the unaffiliated Labour Friends of India. Not only did he say Kashmir was a India and Pakistan only issue, READ MORE, he advocated increasing ties with Modi’s Hindutva Fascists who have been openly attacking Indian Muslims. Starmer took this action without even speaking to Kashmiris who have had their constitutional rights removed by the Indian central government and who are still shut off from the outside world to this day.
Damning Report on Labour Islamophobia
More recently, The Labour Muslim Network, an affiliate of the Labour Party, released a damning report outlining the scale of Islamophobia in the Party. It found that over half of Muslim Labour Supporters didn’t trust the party to deal with Islamophobia. Also detailed was the worrying trend of complaints of Islamophobia being ignored or going missing.
To make matters worse, Starmer and Deputy Leader Angela Rayner failed to respond to the report in any meaningful way, and have yet to apologize to Muslims who have felt marginalised and hurt by the Islamophobia and Racism they’ve experienced inside the party. Unlike with the release of the EHRC report on Antisemitism, the response from Shadow Cabinet Members has been non existent. Even when Muslim Labour MP Zarah Sultana was subjected to Islamophobic abuse, not one member spoke up.
Muted on Uighur Genocide
It is now well documented that the Chinese government have been subjecting ethnic Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China to abhorrent human rights abuses. As I write this, the BBC have literally just dropped a massive piece outlining how Uighurs have been forced to work in China’s cotton fields. Most of the cotton they are producing is going to well known fashion brands in the West.
The plight of Uighur Muslims has been highlighted by many, however due to the West’s reliance on Chinese trade, not many Government’s are willing to say or do much. Over one million Uighurs have “gone missing” in Xinjiang since 2016, most going to what the Chinese government call “re-education camps”. Others compare them to Concentration Camps.
You’d think as the leader of the supposed progressive party in the United Kingdom, Keir Starmer would have a lot to say about this. Not to mention him being a Human Rights QC. You would however be wrong. Starmer and the Shadow Cabinet have remained staunchly silent on Uighur repression. Members and supporters have asked them to speak up, but these calls have gone unanswered.
A Failure to Speak Up
This morning the Labour Leader appeared on national radio station LBC on the stations morning Nick Ferrari Show. Starmer has a regular slot here called #CallKeir. It is an attempt by Labour to allow the public to challenge Starmer. It is a good idea in my opinion, as making himself more available to public scrutiny is very important. Sir Keir may be regretting that after today’s events.
A caller challenged Starmer on footballers taking the knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. She went onto say:
“If anything the racial inequality is now against the indigenous people of Britain, because we are set to become a minority by 2066”
The is the main assertion in the “great replacement” conspiracy theory. This conspiracy theory claims rich elites are using migration as a method to make white people an ethnic minority in Europe. It is a claim the far-right often use when talking about Muslim migrants who have fled war and famine.
The caller, now identified as a member of the extreme far-right movement; Patriot Alternative, went onto call for the UK to have legislation like Israel’s Controversial Nation State Law. She said:
“Israel has a state law that they are the only people in that country to have self-determination. Well why can’t I as a white British female have that same right?”
The caller appears to be arguing that only white people should have rights in the United Kingdom, a view which I can safely say most people find abhorrent. However, in response the Labour leader didn’t have much to say challenging this. He responded by saying:
“Gemma, we all have those rights. This is about recognising some injustices that have gone on for a very long time, and I think people were genuinely moved this year and want to make sure that that injustice is dealt with.
“People will look at it different ways but I think the vast majority of people do want a more equal society.”
Starmer’s response fails to even challenge the claim of white people becoming a minority or call out the Nation State Law which has been criticized by many human rights groups and the European Union.
The Reasoning In Silence: Votes
I want to make clear that I do not believe Keir Starmer to be Racist or Islamophobic. I think it’s disingenuous to try and claim this. What I do believe however, is that he is willing to stay silent if he thinks it will win him votes.
Since he has become leader, he has put a lot of effort into courting the “patriotic vote”. Whether it be his ramping up on backing the military, or his obsession with “redwall voters”. What has been clear is that he is keen to put across his support for the white working class. This mindset is very Blue Labour, an issue that requires an article in itself.
It is coming across that courting voters with questionable views, is more important than calling out Racism and Islamophobia. I’m sure the Labour Party would deny this, but Starmer has done and said things that are irrefutably aimed at those on the right of UK politics.
A major reason for this strategy is likely the First Past The Post (FPTP) Electoral system, as it’s a winner takes all. Also, since the EU referendum and the Election of Trump in the US & Boris Johnson in the UK, nationalism has been on the rise. The Metropolitan Police say far-right terrorism is the biggest threat at this time. 15 years ago you’d probably never have heard much of the far-right at all, now it’s part of mainstream politics.
The problem with Starmer’s path on courting these voters, is that he’s making the Labour Party, and UK politics as a whole, less safe for Muslims and minorities. It’s all well winning those voters over, but retaining your current one is also necessary. Not to mention calling out racism and bigotry.
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