Donor’s Diane Abbott remark highlights racism in both Tory and Labour parties

Diane Abbott: she has suffered more racist abuse than anybody you can name – and now she has to watch Tories scrambling to defend a donor who has allegedly piled more of it onto her, while her own party leader sits on his thumbs rather than supporting her.

A Conservative Party donor, whose business has received huge contracts from the Tory-run UK government, has apologised for passing racist remarks about Labour MP Diane Abbott.

But Frank Hester’s contrition comes too late, as it has demonstrated that both the Conservatives and the Labour Party are now cesspits of racism.

He reportedly said Ms Abbott made him “want to hate all black women”, and that she “should be shot”. That’s not merely insulting to her but racist to every woman in her ethnic group.

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Here’s a neat summary of what happened:

Mr Hester’s apology has proved not to be enough – and his claim that he was not being racist has been dismissed by other Labour MPs of colour. Here’s Dawn Butler:

Ms Abbott herself issued a statement this morning (Tuesday, March 12, 2024), describing Mr Hester’s words as “frightening”.

She said: “It is frightening. I live in Hackney, I don’t drive, so I find myself, at weekends, popping on a bus or even walking places, more than most MPs.

“I am a single woman and that makes me vulnerable anyway. But to hear someone talking like this is worrying.”

There was more to her statement, including an appeal for public support from Labour leader Keir Starmer, as read out by Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain:

Alas, Ms Reid’s hope may be forlorn; if Mr Hester is racist, then Starmer is just as racist as he is. We’ll come back to this.

Conservatives have rallied to support – not Ms Abbott, but their biggest donor. Apparently he can’t possibly be racist because he takes money from people in Jamaica:

Mel Stride, Work and Pensions Secretary, has also come out with much the same excuse.

Here are former Tory chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi and LBC’s James O’Brien with their own opinions about that:

The incident appears to have triggered a crisis within the Tory Party and its supporters, as black people across the UK who may have offered the Tories their vote at the next election now find themselves reconsidering their position:

But Ian Lavery, who is a socialist Labour MP and therefore a close comrade of Ms Abbott, can’t afford to crow too much about this because Labour itself has also treated her abominably.

Press coverage of the story seems to have missed out this vital angle…

Is it because they are backing Labour to form the next government?

Let’s get the facts out in the open, right now, starting with Ms Abbott’s own comments about the racists within her party who backstabbed her for years:

Returning to her appeal for support from Keir Starmer, here’s This Writer’s reason for doubting he’ll offer any: he has spent years doing his best to stifle or ignore any suggestion of anti-black racism in his party, despite the fact that it is clearly riddled with racists:

We can only conclude that Starmer is, himself, deeply racist against black people – at least until such time as he can prove that the words recorded above were never used by Labour staffers and/or that he has acted to ensure that the racists have been removed. I fear we may face a long wait.

I lay the following in support of this belief:

So now, not only the Tories but also Labour MPs and supporters have had to launch a damage limitation exercise. For example, here comes Ed Balls on (again) Good Morning Britain. I tend to agree with the comment by “Teri”:

We judge people on what they do. With the Conservatives scrambling to defend their biggest donor, rather than disown him, take back his contracts and return his dirty money; and with Labour doing almost nothing to condemn the racist discrimination against not only that party’s, but the UK’s, most heavily-abused black female politician, our conclusion must be harsh:

Both parties are racist to the core. Both deserve to be shunned at the next general election.

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