Priti Patel: what a nasty piece of work she is!
This Writer feels comfortable in calling her a racist; she supported – by which I mean she voted for – the racist legislation that created the “hostile environment” policy at the Home Office, leading to the Windrush scandal.
And of course she is a close ally of Boris Johnson, who has proved himself to be a racist on many occasions.
Perhaps, then, she was trying to deflect attention away from her party’s, her government’s, and her own racism when she smeared Jeremy Corbyn as a racist in the House of Commons. The Independent reports:
Answering questions about recent protests linked to the death of George Floyd in the US, Ms Patel turned her fire on Keir Starmer for supposedly not breaking with the policies of his predecessor.
She said: “I’m saddened that the leader of the opposition has effectively failed to depart from the divisive, hateful, racist politics of its former leader.”
Ms Patel did not make clear exactly which of Mr Corybn’s policies she regarded as racist.
She could not; Mr Corbyn is said to be the only MP in Parliament who has voted against every piece of legislation that contained even the slightest possibility of a racist application.
Tory Home Secretary just labelled Jeremy Corbyn a racist in the House of Commons.
Here, in Jeremy’s own words, is the story of how 36 years ago he was arrested for opposing Apartheid in South Africa. pic.twitter.com/FGxlAeJ0nT
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) June 15, 2020
Priti Patel hiding behind parliamentary privilege like the coward she is to smear @jeremycorbyn as a racist.
Interestingly Corbyn was one of just 18 MPs to vote against Theresa May's unlawfully racist Hostile Environment.
Priti Patel voted in favour of this racist legislation.
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) June 15, 2020
And she knows her claim was a lie – otherwise she would have made it outside the Commons chamber, where she would not be protected from prosecution by Parliamentary privilege. As it is, her words come across as cowardly, craven. And she was unable to support her claims in the Commons Chamber. Here’s The Independent again:
Her allegation came in response to a question from the Conservative MP for Wakefield, Imran Ahmad Khan, in which he referenced a letter to Ms Patel last week from black and minority ethnic Labour MPs – including a number of members of Sir Keir’s front bench – who accused her of using her own experiences of racism to “gaslight the very real racism faced by black people and communities across the UK”.
“It must have been a very different home secretary who as a child was frequently called a Paki in the playground, a very different home secretary who was racially abused in the streets or even advised to drop her surname and use her husband’s in order to advance her career,” she told MPs. “A different home secretary recently characterised … in The Guardian newspaper as a fat cow with a ring through its nose, something that was not only racist but offensive, both culturally and religiously. So when it comes to racism, sexism, tolerance or social justice, I will not take lectures from the other side of the house.”
Mr Ahmad Khan said: “The home secretary and I, along with other Conservative colleagues, have been subject to torrents of hateful prejudice and frankly racist abuse from the left’s legions outside – as well as, in the case of my right honourable friend, sadly from sources on the benches opposite – as we refuse to conform to their prejudices.
Last week’s letter came after Ms Patel told the Commons she would not “take lectures” from Labour MPs about her understanding of the issue of structural racism.
“We all have our personal stories of the racism that we have faced, whether it has been being defined by the colour of our skin or the faith we choose to believe in,” [it said].
“Our shared experiences allow us to feel the pain that communities feel when they face racism, they allow us to show solidarity towards a common cause; they do not allow us to define, silence or impede on the feelings that other minority groups may face.”
The letter was coordinated by the shadow community cohesion minister, Naz Shah, and signed by senior Labour MPs including Diane Abbott, Tulip Siddiq, Kate Osamor, Chi Onwurah, Seema Malhotra, Dawn Butler and Rosena Allin-Khan.
For perspective: just one of the people who signed the Labour letter – Diane Abbott – receives more racist abuse on a regular basis than every other member of Parliament put together.
Priti Patel’s claim that she will “not take lectures” from someone like that is an insult of the grossest kind – made worse by the fact that, even though Ms Abbott’s experience of racism is so much more acute, she, along with her colleagues, had written that their experiences “do not [italics mine] allow us to define, silence or impede on the feelings that other minority groups may face” – which was exactly what Ms Patel was trying to do.
How two-faced of the smirking Ms Patel – who, let’s not forget, was forced to resign in disgrace from a previous Tory cabinet after trying to conduct her own foreign policy, contrary to that of the government of the day.
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