Already the cracks are starting to show.
I wonder how Luciana Berger, who has made such a row over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, feels about Angela Smith referring to people “of a funny… tint” on the BBC’s Politics Live:
Today's #LabourSplit, we are told, was partly driven by a commitment to 'anti-racism'.
Within hours Angela Smith, one of the MPs involved, referred to BAME people as being a 'funny' colour on #politicslive
This is the first day. pic.twitter.com/XZKb9r1HRn
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) February 18, 2019
Or is Ms Berger fine with it? She shouldn’t be – besides anti-Semitism, one of the main reasons for the “Independent Group” being formed was racism in general.
A lot of people aren’t – and made the obvious connection:
I presume Chuka Umunna, Mike Gapes, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Chris Leslie and Ann Coffey will be throwing the racist Angela Smith out of the party or at the very least suspending her until an investigation and tribunal has happened. #LabourSplit
— Daniel Grigg (@Daniel_Grigg) February 18, 2019
Here‘s Asa Winstanley of The Electronic Intifada: “Right-wing former Labour MP and “Labour Friend of Israel”
@angelasmithmp proves just how concerned she really is about anti-racism by talking about people who are “a funny tint”.”
CHANGE POLITICS by starting an organisation with undisclosed corporate funding, full of people who supported the Iraq War, who profit off privatisation of public services, who are embracing Tories with open arms, who make racist comments against BAME people on national tv.
— Eleanor Penny (@eleanorkpenny) February 18, 2019
We stand for all people. the left, the right. Black, white or sort of funny. #ChangePolitics
— The Independent Group (@The_Indie_Group) February 18, 2019
Some recalled Independent Group poster boy Chuka Umunna’s claim that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour was “institutionally racist” and asked the obvious question. Here‘s James: “Is
@TheIndGroup “institutionally racist”?”
Louie summed it all up – and provided part of this article’s headline: “A big thank you to Angela Smith for helping to kick racism out of the Labour party by resigning this morning.”
But the last word should go to Eoin Clarke’s Tory Fibs Twitter account:
7 new Labour Careers are born today. These constituencies will rapidly select Labour Candidates who stand ready to serve their constituents faithfully, and continue to fulfill their hope of a Labour government for the many, not the few.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) February 18, 2019
It seems clear that Labour has lost racist deadweight and stands to acquire at least seven MPs of much higher quality. Let’s look forward to that.
Postscript: Skwawkbox has put up its own piece about this. I love the headline that proclaims: “No complaints procedure in place”.
Ms Smith has tweeted a statement on the matter, as follows:
I'm really sorry that I misspoke earlier on Politics Live – here's my statement. pic.twitter.com/7csM95TFLo
— Angela Smith MP (@angelasmithmp) February 18, 2019
I played it to Mrs Mike, who responded: “Now she knows how destroying it is. Would she have treated Corbyn the way she has if she had known what it’s like to be on the receiving end?”
Personally I have no sympathy. Certainly at least one of her colleagues has been happy to attack other Labour Party members for behaviour that no reasonable person would consider to be unacceptable. Ms Smith thought she was untouchable because of her privileged position. She was wrong. She’s not protected by the Labour Party complaints system any more. And that is no bad thing at all.
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