Tag Archives: apartheid

Keir Starmer’s hypocrisy over Nelson Mandela – and why it matters

Starmer takes the knee for Black Lives Matter: to him it meant nothing more than a photo opportunity. Black lives don’t matter to him – as we discovered when he attacked the organisation shortly after. So Nelson Mandela’s life and work doesn’t matter to him – as we can see in the fact that he praises Mandela’s fight against apartheid while supporting a foreign government that has imposed apartheid there.

Let’s start this one with a tweet from Keir Starmer – and the acid reply it received from This Site’s friend Kerry-Anne Mendoza:

She is right and Starmer is a hypocrite.

If Mandela really inspired Starmer, then he would not be giving Israel his wholehearted support as that country’s far-right-wing government prepares to invade huge tracts of Palestinian land, turfing out the people who own it – because they are Arabs.

And why is any UK politician giving the policies of a foreign nation their unreserved support in any case?

I didn’t know Mandela personally but everything I have seen and heard about him suggests that he would have been physically sickened by Starmer and his supporters, who say one thing and do another habitually, in the belief that they will fool the people into supporting their policies of – let’s face it – hate.

Now, some may say that this is too harsh – but is it? Really?

I have quoted Richard Snell in the past, whose Facebook post on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s investigation of alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party – the lever Starmer is using to throw out genuinely left-wing, progressive party members who support multiculturalism rather than apartheid – suggested a series of questions we know are likely not even to have been asked.

In another recent post, he provides an opinion on Starmer’s behaviour:

“It’s been pointed out to me that Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters shouldn’t complain about the hammering Corbyn got when they are so willing to come down as heavily as many now do on Starmer.

“If we’re talking about abuse -and I’m afraid there are too many times when we are – then I agree. Abuse has no place in this argument on any side. The past does not forgive the present.

“But I would point out one difference between Corbyn and Starmer which is crucial in understanding the present furore surrounding Sir Keir Starmer.
Jeremy Corbyn was determined to unite the whole of the Labour Party behind him, both left and right, as a matter of principle. He had no problem with diversity of opinion.

“Sadly, this turned out to be a huge strategic weakness in his bid to become PM, as it gave his opponents the space to act against him without any real action being taken against them in return.

“But nevertheless, he was by instinct a unifier. He may have fallen before the massed ranks of those who did not want unity and who were willing to tell blatant lies about him to achieve their aim; but the integrity he showed in maintaining his position despite them is difficult to question.

Starmer, by contrast, is hugely divisive as a matter of policy.

“He is determined to purge the party of its anti-Zionist left-wing, as his unquestioning acceptance of Zionism, his settlement deal with the so-called ‘whistleblowers’, and his acceptance of the BoD 10-point plan clearly indicate, his firing of Rebecca Long-Bailey for posting an anti-Semitic trope which wasn’t anti-Semitic being the cherry on that cake.

“His supporters may not like the angry response all this, plus his expressed aim to work with the Tories when he feels it appropriate to do so, has got him, but they can hardly be surprised.

“People who have always been loyal to the Labour Party are now being thrown out of it on a single trumped-up charge: and nobody should say anything?
And it is incredible that a Labour leader should in these times of huge financial hardship for the poor and sick turn his back on the idea of charging the rich just a little bit more for the privilege of being rich!

“It is not logical for Starmer’s supporters to solicit the support of those whom he is deliberately setting himself against and then complain when they have harsh words to say in response.

“Don’t tell us to unify behind Starmer. Tell Starmer that unifying the party is his responsibility, and that he is failing in it.”

Mr Snell knows his stuff. It was a weakness for Corbyn, seeking unity, to fail to identify and remove those in his party’s head office who were acting against his aims. Yes, they would have bitched about it, but they were bitching anyway – as the leaked report on Labour’s response to anti-Semitism accusations shows.

And Mr Snell is right about Starmer. He is divisive, but he thinks that by pretending to be a unifier he’ll get away with it.

The huge negative response from (some now-former) party members and supporters tells us everything about how well that strategy has succeeded.

Some may wish to take issue with Mr Snell’s use of “Zionism” as a pejorative term, and it is true that Zionism need not be a bad force in the world. At its heart, it is simply a movement for Jewish people to be able to live in the land where their ancestors lived – the historic nation of Israel.

But that is not the definition of “Zionism” used by the Israeli government and its supporters. Their version demands that Jewish people must forcibly steal land from its current owners – by violence if necessary (some would say “if possible”) – and that crosses the line into unacceptability.

Mr Starmer supports this definition of “Zionism”. In so doing, he is guilty of breaching Labour rules which demand that party members accept the right of all peoples to self-determination – including Palestinians.

Nothing is said about this. Starmer and his people hope that nobody will notice.

In the same way, he hopes nobody will notice that he is colluding with the Tories in policies that have caused the unnecessary deaths of between 60,000 and 70,000 people.

And he is failing in his duty to stand up for equality by demanding that the rich – some of whom have profited hugely from the Covid-19 crisis – pay a little more towards restoring our society as that crisis subsides.

Meanwhile, his supporters berate those of us who have pointed out these failings. Like those columnists for The Guardian newspaper, which has lost readers because, while claiming to be left-wing, it has been attacking those who are genuinely of the left, they also appear to subscribe to the “do as we say, don’t see what we do” school of politics.

That won’t work because we’re all sick of the lies.

Many of us may have been led astray by the honeyed words that successive generations of politicians have poured into our ears over the 41 years since Thatcher came to power on a wave of neoliberal balderdash.

More never believed any of it, but have been forced to suffer the consequences as the charlatans were swept into office again and again by those who did.

And what have we got as a result?

The United Kingdom is a ruined country, ruled by corrupt oligarchs who have taken what they wanted for themselves, farmed out the rest to their friends, and left us in the ruins of a system that no longer functions. The Covid-19 crisis is ample demonstration of that.

And Keir Starmer feigns opposition to this while buying into it hook, line and sinker.

That is why his perversion of the Labour Party is haemorrhaging support – and why his supporters’ protests receive only scorn.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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If you think Rachel Riley went too far with photoshopped T-shirt, please support my court case

Rachel Riley may be facing problems of her own making, after she photoshopped an image of Jeremy Corbyn with a falsehood and put it on a T-shirt.

It seems she does not understand how offensive it is to over-write an image of him protesting against racism in South Africa (in 1984) with a proof-less claim that he himself is a racist.

But it seems that the public at large does understand – and the backlash has been huge.

There have been calls for Ms Riley, who co-hosts Countdown on Channel 4, to be sacked – indeed, a Twitter hashtag, #SackRachelRiley is trending at the time of writing:

https://twitter.com/PeteGoldup/status/1197466930841554945

Admittedly, some believe C4 will stand by her – but have accosted another show on that channel, The Last Leg, which has a feature about whether events in the news are appropriate:

Other comments have been more generalised:

It is behaviour like this that led to the libel case against This Writer, of course. I wrote an article protesting after Ms Riley took issue with a teenage girl who criticised her attacks on Jeremy Corbyn (and others who Ms Riley considers to be anti-Semitic).

This unwarranted behaviour called the girl to the attention of certain followers of Ms Riley, who then subjected her to a torrent of abuse, including death threats.

Ms Riley took offence at my article and threatened to take me to court. My belief is that she thought she could bully me into paying her some money because I could not afford to defend myself.

Instead, I started a CrowdJustice page and members of the public helped me fight back.

There could be no better demonstration of why I need to win this case than this latest incident. It is clear that Ms Riley will continue with this abhorrent behaviour unless she is made to face legal consequences for it.

I don’t think there will ever be a better time to contribute to my appeal, so please forgive me for asking:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And please consider making another donation yourself – or contributing for a first time, if you haven’t already.

Public opinion has taken a huge swing against Ms Riley. Will you help me win this court case against her?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Supporters of the Jewish Labour Movement respond to This Site’s critique – with abuse

Ironic: Supporters of the Jewish Labour Movement have been demanding that there’s no apartheid in Israel – on the eve of the 15th international Israeli Apartheid Week, which now takes place in more than 200 cities across the world with events including lectures, film screenings and cultural performances to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid regime.

It was only to be expected.

Those who support the witch-hunt that accuses innocent people of anti-Semitism seem unable to respond to reasoned criticism of their activities with anything other than abuse – that is often libellous as well.

I knew I should expect it when I wrote my piece arguing that the Labour Party should not be pleading with the Jewish Labour Movement to remain affiliated, but should in fact be slinging it out on its ear.

The organisation decided to keep its affiliation for the time being – prompting suspicions that its leaders are planning a high-profile walkout, to stoke anti-Labour (and anti-Jeremy Corbyn) sentiment with falsehoods.

In response to my arguments that the Jewish Labour Movement has an agenda that supports the racist, apartheid administration in Israel, above the needs of Jewish people in the Labour movement or the UK as a whole (consider its treatment of rival organisation Jewish Voice for Labour), I faced personal abuse based on the false accusations that were levelled against me.

It seems those who are responsible cannot even recognise the huge contradiction in trying to bully those they are accusing of victimising them.

Example:

Here’s another personal attack. Note the recourse to obscene language at the end:

Some of the responses tried to pin more false accusations on me, like this, which implies that I was saying Jews aren’t welcome in the Labour Party. Of course I stated no such thing:

There has been no response at the time of writing.

How about this, from Jewish Chronicle hack Lee Harpin? It follows the classic tactic of making a broad accusation without any attempt to support it with evidence.

Wasn’t Mr Harpin recently pilloried for writing an article that was full of inaccuracies? I didn’t keep a record of it because – well, it’s the Jewish Chronicle. Perhaps a reader could remind us all? So it’s a bit rich, him accusing me of lying. Let’s see how it turned out, though:

Not so well for Mr Harpin, it seems!

Most important to this set of detractors, it seems, was a need to undermine my claim that the JLM supports the racism and apartheid of the current Israeli government – making the JLM itself racist and apartheid-supporting:

https://twitter.com/JohnQSmithIII1/status/1103585883469631488

I don’t need to.

There’s a wealth of evidence, like the United Nations’ finding that the Israeli military may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in their actions against Palestinians:

On a broader theme, consider Ronnie Barkan’s speech in court, earlier this week, in which he blows JohnQSmithIII’s claim that “nealry 2m Arabs live with full social, economic & political rights in Israel” to smithereens:

Perhaps most damning is the condemnation of the world’s most celebrated opponent of apartheid – and his surviving family.

In the article linked below, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Nkosi Zvelivelile states: “Even before Israel passed its “nation state law” (stipulating that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country) it was easy to see, for anyone willing to look, that the country’s government was committing the crime of apartheid. Its segregation wall, discriminatory admissions committees, ID-card systems, roads built for settlers which are not accessible to Palestinians, and the bantustan-like fragmentation of the West Bank gave the game away.”

He was following in a great family tradition as his grandfather was also outspoken against Israeli apartheid:

Point made?

We are left to ask why people like the Jewish Labour Movement and its supporters are keen to whitewash Israeli apartheid and racism – and falsely accuse anyone in the Labour Party who points out the contradiction. Dan El Rojo points out the contrast with genuine anti-Semitism found in other European Countries:

https://twitter.com/Socialismilucra/status/1103751757446950912

We all know the real reason: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wants a peaceful, equitable solution to the Israel/Palestine question that ends the apartheid and racism currently in force.

The JLM, wedded to the Zionist political ideology of the Israeli goverment and the racist apartheid system it supports, will do all it can to prevent Mr Corbyn from rising to power and putting his beliefs into practice.

Labour should be throwing the Jewish Labour Movement out on its ear, not begging it to stay

Jackie Walker: The Jewish Labour Movement has smeared this Jewish woman, who happens to be black, as an anti-Semite – based on false evidence. The organisation does its best to deny her the ability to defend herself against its lies.

Why on Earth did more than 100 Labour MPs write a letter begging the Jewish Labour Movement to remain affiliated to the party?

This is an organisation that has caused a huge amount of reputational damage to the Labour Party by supporting the hugely over-hyped and often false claims of anti-Semitism among high-profile members of the party.

It has strong links with the State of Israel which suggest that it is more interested in putting forward that nation’s agenda than any involving Jewish people living here in the UK – and it attacks viciously any Jewish people here who make that suggestion.

The JLM’s former national director, Ella Rose (who quit to join the Holocaust Educational Trust) at the end of last year, previously worked at the Israeli embassy.

The organisation was mentioned by anti-UK government conspirator Shai Masot as one of his allies when he was secretly filmed encouraging a co-conspirator to “take down” a UK MP he considered to be acting against the interests of the Israeli government.

It supports the Israeli Labour Party, Havoda, which I understand openly supports the apartheid system currently operating in that country.

Labour accused me of anti-Semitism, partly because I accurately reported the JLM’s own affiliations and mission statements, as follows:

“The Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation… Our objects: To maintain and promote Labour or Socialist Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people within the state of Israel.”

It’s all about Israel, see? Zionism is the movement for the re-establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in what is now Israel.

The JLM was originally known as Poale Zion, “Workers of Zion” – and was part of a movement of Marxist-Zionist Jewish workers founded across Europe at the turn of the 20th century.

The accusation against me was that I was claiming the JLM does not represent Jews. This was not true. I said it does not represent Jews who are not Zionists – and we only have to examine its treatment of Jewish Voice for Labour or Jewdas to see the truth of my statement. As far as JLM is concerned, any Jew who does not support the apartheid Israeli government is the “wrong kind of Jew”.

I was also accused of denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, which is nonsense. Self-determination, for a people, is about the right to freely choose their own sovereignty and international political status without interference. It refers to nations, not individuals. And by upholding the attitudes of an aggressively Zionist organisation, Labour was itself denying the right to self-determination – of the people of Palestine.

Considering the above evidence – and the wealth of other information that is available online; all you have to do is a simple web search for it – it seems clear that Labour would be better-off without the misnamed Jewish Labour Movement.

No UK political party should affiliate itself with such an organisation. JLM is a group of racists who work to advance the interests of the Israeli government and attempt to harm all those who get in their way – including other Jewish people. The sooner it is out, the better.


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Theresa and the terrorists: She supports them in the Middle East but what did she think of Mandela?

Theresa May in Nelson Mandela’s cell: She should have been locked in and left there.

Tories and terrorism – they’ve got a real problem, haven’t they?

On one hand, they firmly – and wrongly – denounced the late Nelson Mandela as a terrorist for many years.

On the other, they have merrily provided weapons to those inflicting terror on others in the Middle East – in Israel, and to Saudi Arabia for its war on the Yemen, for example.

Theresa May is currently in South Africa, and visited the Robben Island prison cell in which Mr Mandela was incarcerated for decades.

Interviewed before the visit, she refused point-blank to deny that she had supported Margaret Thatcher’s claim that Mr Mandela was a terrorist and deserved to be in prison:

Notice that Mr Crick asked if she had been arrested outside the South African embassy for protesting against apartheid. We know somebody who was, don’t we?

Contrast this with the Conservative government’s support for suffering in the Middle East.

Consider Israel. Earlier this year, I wrote:

In the same month the Israel Defence Force killed dozens of people and injured thousands more, it turns out the UK has increased its sales of arms to that country by more than £140 million.

Our exports of deadly weapons to the country that has terrorised, mutilated and killed weaponless people… nearly tripled.

Consider Saudi Arabia and its war on Yemen.

Arms sales to Saudi Arabia from the UK totalled around £1.1 billion in 2017, and Theresa May laid on a lavish welcome for Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman when he visited this country in March.

But Labour pointed out that these arms were being used to kill civilians in Yemen – and the government was even providing military personnel who were offering advice on targeting:

Corbyn urged the prime minister to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia over its intervention in Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians and worsened a humanitarian catastrope, and take the crown prince to task on human rights.

Speaking after PMQs, Corbyn’s spokesman expanded on Labour’s position, saying arms sales and the involvement of British military personnel provided a level of complicity over the situation in Yemen.

“Britain has not only increased arms supplies to Saudi Arabia dramatically since the start of the war, not only supports the war, as Theresa May said in the chamber just now, but British military personnel advise the Saudi air force and military on targeting – and so there is a direct involvement in the conduct of the war,” he said.

“Which as we know has led to very large numbers of civilian casualties and very clear evidence of the targeting of schools and hospitals. Very large numbers of children have been killed.”

We know Theresa May is a racist – we have her “hostile environment” policy and the resulting Windrush scandal as evidence of that. And her government has not condemned the “Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people” law which confirms that country as an apartheid state. So her refusal to deny believing that a black man who opposed apartheid was a terrorist is understandable.

And before anyone tries to suggest that she can’t be a racist because of her relationship with the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, I offer just one word in explanation:

Money.

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Israeli PM attacks Corbyn for commemorating Palestinians killed by his regime

Attack: Benjamin Netanyahu.

Oh dear. Benjamin Netanyahu should have kept away from this – and now it should backfire in his face.

It seems the Israeli prime minister just could hold himself back after the UK’s Mail newspaper published a report claiming Jeremy Corbyn had placed a wreath commemorating Palestinians suspected of being behind the Munich Olympics massacre.

He tweeted: “The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everyone in between.”

The trouble is, Mr Netanyahu’s claim isn’t true. The Labour leader’s own version of events is that he was laying a wreath to commemorate 47 Tunisians and Palestinians killed by Israel in an air attack on Tunisia in 1985, and nothing in the Mail‘s story contradicts that. It’s just a lot of hysteria generated around pictures of a cemetery.

It is a version that is corroborated by analysis of the photographs. The commemorative plaque at the grave of the alleged terrorists is wide; that at which Mr Corbyn was photographed is narrow. See for yourself.

So Mr Netanyahu is attacking Mr Corbyn for commemorating the victims of an air attack by the Israeli prime minister’s own vicious, racist regime.

And it is a vicious, racist regime. More than 30,000 people, both Jewish and Arabic, demonstrated over the weekend against the ‘Israel as the Nation-state of the Jewish People’ act passed by the Knesset on July 19.

The legislation has been dubbed an “apartheid law”. But – again – see for yourself.

Apologists for the Israeli government like to try to smear its critics with accusations of anti-Semitism.

But the evidence speaks for itself – against Mr Netanyahu and against his rotten, far-right-wing government.

Postscript: Jeremy Corbyn has made his own feelings about Mr Netanyahu’s vile outburst clear in Tweets that leave absolutely no doubt that the Labour leader has had enough of this nonsense. Once again, see for yourself:

The response has been like this:

https://twitter.com/RickBlaine123/status/1029083643929665536

And this:

https://twitter.com/SJT78508478/status/1029081706282790912

And this:

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Israeli prime minister demands support for racist apartheid law

Racist: Benjamin Netanyahu.

Are we all agreed, now, that Benjamin Netanyahu is a racist?

He has been trying to push through his Apartheid law – misnamed the “Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people” Bill – for five years and I’m told he is demanding it now in order to have it running in time for that country’s next general election, when he hopes to win by securing far-right-wing votes.

Think about that in the context of the history of the Jewish people. Are you feeling nauseous yet?

This Writer’s attention was brought to the issue by a long-term friend who posted, on Facebook [boldings mine]: “This is a bill to make Israel clearly and definitively a racist and religious state. It permits neighbourhoods to block people of specific nationalities or religions from moving in, removes Arabic as an official language, and directs judges to look for precedents from Jewish legal rulings in instances where Israeli law offers no guidance.

“For those that haven’t been following along at home, the Israeli government have been trying to get a bill like this passed for the last five years. Because Israel’s legislature is elected under the most proportionally representative system I’m familiar with, there are enough parties in the Knesset that oppose parts of the bill that they have been unable to do so.

“What has changed recently is that Netanyahu is making passing it a top priority in the run up to the 2019 election so he can win far right votes.”

He added: “Once it’s in, a lot of damage can be done in a short amount of time that will take a lot of time, money, and political capital to undo.

“And there are a significant number of Israelis that support it too.”

Another commenter stated: “Racists are racists anywhere. But the Knesset has been fighting this for so long in all their parties besides the most right-wing, I’ll be happy to see them stand up against Netanyahu one more time. I just hope they can block him. His choices are horrifying.”

Racists are racists anywhere.

Sometimes, people forget that a Jew – such as Benjamin Netanyahu – can be a racist too. Perhaps that is why it is important that his rancid bid to institutionalise racism in his country needs to be exposed to the world.

It is also the reason it must fail. If Mr Netanyahu makes it possible for Israel to be denounced as a racist endeavour, then he will only fuel anti-Semitism, both at home and abroad. And that cannot be tolerated.

Israel is in the throes of political upheaval as the country’s ruling party seeks to pass legislation that could allow for Jewish-only communities, which critics have condemned as the end of a democratic state.

For the past half-decade, politicians have been wrangling over the details of the bill that holds constitution-like status and that Benjamin Netanyahu wants passed this month.

The proposed legislation would allow the state to “authorise a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community”.

In its current state, the draft would also permit Jewish religious law to be implemented in certain cases and remove Arabic as an official language.

A vote on the bill is expected next week, although a final draft has yet to be agreed on. The legislation has been compared to South African apartheid by Israeli parliamentarians, and several thousand Israelis protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

“Our main concern is that it is changing the nature of the state and it changes the balance of Israel as a nation state,” said Amir Fuchs, the head of the defending democratic values programme at the Israel Democracy Institute. “You can be a nation state and still be a democracy as long as you don’t discriminate,” said Fuchs. “That the state is allowed to create villages that will separate on the basis of race or religion or nationality – this is outrageous.”

The purpose of the bill, he said, was “to change the balance, to make us more of a nation state, more of a Jewish state, and less of a democracy. There is no other way to put it. And this is the biggest problem.”

Source: Israel in turmoil over bill allowing Jews and Arabs to be segregated | World news | The Guardian

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Race. With attitudes like this, how can we ever win?

Good humour and a twinkle in the eye: But what did Mishal Husain really think about the stories of racial and religious tension in Friday's BBC bulletin?

Good humour and a twinkle in the eye: But what did Mishal Husain really think about the stories of racial and religious tension in Friday’s BBC bulletin?

This country becomes more contradictory every day – or at least, that’s how it may have seemed to many people watching the BBC’s six o’clock news bulletin on Friday.

It led with the announcement that the Advertising Standards Authority would be investigating the scheme in which vans sponsored by the taxpayer (via the Home Office) have been driving through London, allegedly stirring up racial tensions by telling illegal immigrants to “go home”. Elsewhere, the vans have been criticised because they have encouraged people to report fellow British citizens as illegal aliens, and immigration officers carrying out spot-checks have also targeted people who were born in this country because they “didn’t sound British”.

Another item was about two British women who suffered traumatic injuries in an acid attack in Zanzibar, where they were working for a charity. The motive was not known but the report concentrated on tensions between Islam, the island’s main religion, and others, remarking on signs asking foreigners to respect the local culture and dress appropriately – covering up, rather than wearing skimpy outfits that would upset local people. It went on to say that the attack victims were, in fact, dressed appropriately at the time.

A third item put a spotlight on Switzerland, where race relations are deteriorating rapidly. It seems the authorities have been passing racial apartheid laws as ways of controlling immigration – and it was easy to imagine why this would be permitted after watching the report on the trouble Oprah Winfrey, one of the richest citizens of the United States of America, had buying a handbag there.

Oprah, in Switzerland to celebrate Tina Turner’s wedding, was continually told by a shop assistant that the item was “too expensive” for her. The knee-jerk conclusion for an onlooker is that the assistant was making a prejudiced judgement based on the fact that Ms Winfrey is not white.

So we were presented with three stories about racial tensions. In the UK, the issue was augmented with unwarranted accusations against people of foreign descent who were, in fact, born here. In Zanzibar the extra factor was the possibility that religious intolerance between Islam and others was behind the attack. And in Switzerland there was the out-and-out racism in the inference that a black woman could not possibly afford an expensive handbag.

These stories were indictments in their own right – made even more uncomfortable viewing by the fact that the news anchor for that bulletin was Mishal Husain who, although born in Northampton, has parents from Pakistan and is a Muslim. We can also expect her to be reasonably well-off, considering she has a high-profile job in television.

Vox Political has huge respect for Ms Husain. Her high-profile appointment as a presenter of Radio 4’s Today Programme is well-deserved and our only regret is that this will take her off our TV screens. She fronted these stories with good humour and a twinkle in her eye – which seems amazing restraint, considering the way they each highlight circumstances that could be applied to her.

There is no way of knowing what she thought of the developments she was chronicling and it would be inappropriate to ask. Having said that, did nobody else wonder what was going through Ms Husain’s mind when she told us the ASA said it had received many messages of support for the so-called “racist vans”?

There is no out-and-out party political message to this article; racism and religious intolerance can spring up among people on all parts of the political spectrum – and is an indictment against those who practise it, wherever it does.

Because it is something that may affect all of us, it is something that we can all fight. In the 21st century the thought that a person may be victimised because their skin is a different colour, or because they have different philosophical beliefs, makes a mockery of our claim to be civilised.

Don’t put up with it. Don’t sit in silence while others are attacked. Complain. Campaign. Turn back this ugly tide.

Otherwise, one day, you might wake up to find that it’s your turn to be the victim.