The former chairman of the London Assembly has leapt on the bandwagon launched by Jess Phillips when the sexist, misandrist MP for Birmingham Yardley described left-wing men as the “absolute worst”.
It seems that, once again, it is ‘open season’ for unreasonable attacks on the Left.
It is hugely telling that Mr Phillips’s words were published in the Labour-hating Daily Mail.
Accusing lefties of being “racist”, and of “little hypocrisies”, the man who has been both president of the National Union of Students and chairman of the London Assembly said the left selects few people of colour for leadership.
So the fact that he was selected for it, no less than twice, is a fluke, then? Perhaps he’s just one of the lucky few.
Another one of the lucky few would be Keith Vaz, then, who remains Labour’s BAME representative on the party’s National Executive Committee, despite scandals in his personal life. This Writer isn’t fond of him personally but he certainly seems able to retain his place as a leader.
And black men only achieve heroic status after death? I’m not so sure about that, either. Look at David Lammy. This Writer would certainly accord him heroic status over the way he has stood up for the people of Grenfell Tower, after one of his close friends died in the blaze there.
He’s just an example that comes easily to mind. Undoubtedly there are many others, but it may be easy for Mr Phillips to dismiss them, depending on his own personal criteria. These matters are highly subjective, aren’t they?
Mr Phillips’s comments on sexism are easy for This Writer to dismiss, from personal experience. When I joined Labour, my local constituency party was chaired by a woman (as it has been by at least two others since). The chair of my branch is currently occupied by a woman, and I was replaced as secretary by another woman. While the last role does involve taking minutes, it is also about getting business done.
I would be very surprised if anybody in my branch or constituency had concerns about sexism preventing advancement up the party’s ranks.
Perhaps they have done it differently in Mr Phillips’s experience, but we’re back to subjectivity again, aren’t we?
And then there are Mr Phillips’s comments about the Left making Labour a “comfortable home for anti-Semites”.
Apparently this is achieved by “spouting high-minded twaddle about condemning all violence in the Middle East while making it clear that ‘evil Zionists’ are to blame”. This is a dangerous generalisation that fails to cover the complexities of the situation.
There is harm on all sides over the Israel/Palestine question, and Nationalist Zionism must take its share of the blame, certainly. But that doesn’t excuse violence by Palestinians. And neither fact can be allowed to change the fact that the aim must be for a peaceful, equitable solution.
What Mr Phillips hoped to achieve by penning this “twaddle” and having it published by the UK’s leading periodical of Tory thinking is beyond This Writer.
All he has done is subject his own prejudices to scrutiny. And he comes out of that scrutiny very poorly indeed.
Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has said that Left-wing men are “the most racist and sexist of all”.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Phillips, who was Labour chairman of the London Assembly between 2000-2003, said that “little hypocrisies” are rife among the Left-wingers who flaunt a “moral superiority”.
He said the Left is “two-faced” in the way it praises leaders like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, but selects few people of colour for leadership.
“The further away black men are, the more they are loved by the Left,” he said. “And they tend to achieve truly heroic status only after the ultimate act of distance — death.”
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