Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/700/13463

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 January 2012

Reader's comment: The right wing media and Diane Abbott

Senan, Tamil Solidarity international coordinator

Shadow health minister Diane Abbott was wrong when she said: "White people love playing divide and rule". The 'Twitter defence' of being 'unable to express everything in 140 characters' does not hold.

Diane is wide of the mark even if she was referring to the period of slavery in the 18th and 19th century. It is absolutely vital to insist on the difference between the 'white masters' who enslaved all races, and the white working class who often showed huge solidarity, struggling for better conditions for all. Clearly grasping the class divide has never been Diane's cup of tea. When has she gone on the defence of the working class, white or black?

But, following her tweet, there have been calls for her resignation from all sides. This is ridiculous.

That is not to say there are not reasons to demand she quits. For example, many would argue she should have been asked to stand down as a Labour MP, elected to represent working class people, when she sent her son to a private school while her New Labour government undermined state education.

Diane failed to effectively defend black people in Hackney when their services were slashed out of existence by 'posh white boys', as she correctly calls the Con-Dems. And, during the August 2011 eruptions of anger in London she notoriously advocated a curfew - in effect an argument for bringing the military onto the street. We do not support rioting as a method of protest, but research has proved that it was anger over cuts and police harassment that fuelled these events.

However, the portrayal of Diane in the media as an 'outright racist' is wrong and crude. And, crucially, it sews seeds of confusion about what racism is and why and how it must be fought. It has created sympathy among some of the black and Asian population for her - sympathy which is undeserved given her record.

Ruling elite

Diane would be absolutely correct to direct an accusation of 'divide and rule' towards the ruling elite, who are mostly from white rich families. Warmonger Tony Blair called for black or Asian mothers to control their kids and report on them to the police.

David Cameron got away with calling part of the community 'sick' referring to poor black people while the 'Black and Asian' MPs provided no explanation for the anger on behalf of people living in the most deprived boroughs in the country.

There was no major outcry in the media when so-called historian David Starkey on BBC's Newsnight caricatured the rioting as 'black culture'.

The list is very long. But Diane is not aiming her attack at these people, hence the outrage.

However, the media has picked on the tweet partly to divert attention from the conviction of Stephen Lawrence's murderers and all that it exposes.

The big-business owned media seems happy to focus on nationalism and racism, issues that can sew division and atomisation of society. But it took a vibrant thousands-strong student demonstration before they caught up with growing unemployment and the Education Maintenance Allowance theft. They are still refusing to dedicate enough time to talk about the effects of the cuts, youth unemployment, etc.

When it comes to issues of organised workers' action such as strikes and occupations, protests outside government offices, etc, there is rarely sufficient column space, apart from space given to condemn such actions. They even pass on momentous historical events. For example there was virtual media silence when more than 100,000 Tamil-speaking people marched through the streets of London in 2009 demanding a halt to the massacre of Tamils by the Sri Lankan military.

Murdochgate has exposed the connection to the ruling elite and the police. But so far the vast majority are carrying on as normal. Even the disgraced former News of the World editor has found a cosy editorial job in the USA.

As we fight the cuts, made by those who defend the interests of big business and the banks, we must also fight their mouthpieces in the media.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 January 2012:


Pensions battle

We say: NO WAY! Strike to defend pensions

Pensions dispute: Everything is still to fight for

Workers need an electoral alternative that fights for them

Unison member: no pensions sell-out


Socialist Party Interview

Fighting the pensions battle: An interview with Mark Serwotka


Them and Us

Fat cat pay: empty words from Cameron

Clock turned back on housing

Them & Us


Youth fight for jobs

Reject slave labour for young unemployed


Socialist Party workplace news

1,200 jobs threatened by DVLA closures

We need more railway jobs

Cuts councillors dishonoured

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party features

Stephen Lawrence murder - the untold story

Heseltine continued Liverpool's decline


International socialist news and analysis

Nigeria shut down at start of indefinite general strike


Socialist Party women

Socialist Women: At the frontline of the resistance


Socialist Party news

Socialist Party 2011 fighting fund target smashed!

Raffle - Ken Loach at the BBC


Socialist Party reviews and comments

Film review :The Iron Lady in meltdown

Reader's comment: The right wing media and Diane Abbott


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 January 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Related links:

Media:

triangleSupport the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

triangleCourt win against bedroom tax not enough

triangle£1.5trn household debt - nationalise the banks!

triangleSocialism 2016: Putting socialism on the agenda

triangleRead the Socialist

Black:

trianglePacked-out Socialist Party meetings hear American socialist and Black Lives Matter activist

triangleTrump victory: Failure of the Democrat establishment

triangleNew Socialist Party pamphlet: Fight racism, fight for socialism

triangleUniversity of the Arts London Socialist Students: Black Lives Matter

Asian:

triangleHunger strikes, suicides - end detention now

triangleBook review: Fighting racism in football

triangleSupport the Rotherham 12

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

30/11/16

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

30/11/16

Labour Party

Readmit expelled socialists: a proven record of fighting back

23/11/16

Socialism

Socialism 2016: what you thought

23/11/16

Socialism

"I can't stop thinking about Socialism 2016 - it was truly brilliant"

23/11/16

Care worker

"I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore" - a day in the life

23/11/16

Letters

The Socialist inbox

16/11/16

Review

A Street Cat Named Bob: tale of neglect by capitalism

16/11/16

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

9/11/16

Media

HyperNormalisation: Arbitrary selection of ideas to confirm feelings of powerlessness

9/11/16

Socialist

Socialist inbox

9/11/16

Migrant workers

Horror of health-wrecking toil for Polish migrants

9/11/16

Obituary

Obituary: Hilary Mooney 1945-2016

2/11/16

Socialist Party

"Our problems cannot be solved by capitalist politics"

26/10/16

TV

TV: No Place to Call Home

26/10/16

Letters

Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle1 Dec Protest against Glasgow Labour's scab workforce plan to defeat Unison...

triangle30 Nov Brexit spin: demand a real workers' exit

triangle26 Nov Hands off HRI charts way forward

triangle26 Nov Sheffield needs a pay rise

Fidel Castro, photo by Agência Brasil, Creative Commons

triangle26 Nov Fidel Castro dies: Defend gains of Cuba revolution and fight for...

triangle25 Nov Crossrail day of action

triangle24 Nov Autumn Statement: No reprieve for the 'just-about managing' - or the...

More ...

triangle3 Dec Socialist Students Wales Conference

triangle6 Dec Manchester Socialist Party: Music and Socialism

triangle7 Dec Cardiff West Socialist Party: The EU and the free movement of labour

triangle7 Dec Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: World relations after the election of Trump

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice