Chuka Umunna has appeared in front of Sky News cameras to talk about how Labour is institutionally racist. Except there is one significant detail that makes this notion absurd, claiming Labour is institutionally racist is a flat-out smear but citing the anti-Semitism mess that was caused by MPs such as himself, is just plain disingenuous. The party is led by one of the most experienced anti-racist campaigners and has a better history than most parties in anti-racism campaigns.
Chuka Umunna has seen that the anti-Semitism lie has failed to stick because ordinary people are no longer willing to tolerate the Thatcherite politics that has dominated the UK for the last 3 decades, and decided to push this angle as nothing more than extension of that smear.
The ‘hypocritic’ oath Mr Umunna has also recently asked Corbyn to call off the dogs. The problem with this is that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t the one who has organised the votes of no confidence in several Labour MPs that include Chris Leslie, these have been decided on by their CLPs. Furthermore, he is legitimising the use of the word dog as a slur on ordinary people who desire real political change, but then again this is not the first time. In 2013 it was revealed that he was a member of the website ASmallWorld, an exclusive social media website for millionaires, and on it he labelled ordinary Londoners ‘Trash’.
In case anyone hasn't seen it, here is John McDonnell's scathing smackdown of Chuka following his 'dogs' comments
But Umunna's hypocritical nature is something that has been very well hidden for a long time; he was once tipped as a future leader of the Labour Party due to his ‘humble’ background in South London, however, he is much more in tune with the likes of Nick Clegg in terms of a glitzy lifestyle.
Mr Umunna is nothing more than a power-hungry capitalist as proven by his ‘attempts’ to tackle gambling addiction.Back in 2013, he pledged to control the number of betting shops within his constituency, citing that betting shops were flooding the community alongside payday loan companies, who are well-known in taking advantage of the vulnerable and poorest in society. But instead of tackling the issue, he gladly accepted a £20,000 donation from Neil Goulden, the Chairman Emeritus of the Gala Coral Group.
Crying wolf When Mr Umunna cries foul play over the no confidence votes in some of his colleagues, he conveniently forgets that it was his hero, Tony Blair himself, who tried to get Jeremy Corbyn deselected for voting against the party whip on numerous occasions, with the final straw being the Iraq War. However, this failed because his constituency has always been happy with his representation. The then Chief Whip, Hilary Armstrong, was planning “show trials” for those disloyal to the leadership of Tony Blair.
Targeted deselection by the leadership is something that concerns MPs such as Chuka Umunna because it is something that individuals like him have happily advocated and even carried out in the not so distant past. In 2007, Bob Wareing was axed by his constituents in an organised deselection by the party leadership in favour of Stephen Twigg.
Mr Wareing had been the representative for West Derby for 24 years and it is known that he was deselected because he constantly opposed party policy, he went on to resign from the party to stand as an independent. In an article at the time, Mr Wareing told the Liverpool Echo, “The party I joined 60 years ago is not the same party I have now resigned from”. This is representative of how many felt during the Blair/Brown era, after Tony Blair had made significant changes to the party structure which made Labour representatives less accountable for their actions.
Institutional racism? The very fabric of a capitalist society is racist and institutional racism exists in almost every single institute within the UK and labelling the Labour Party as such is disingenuous to the cause. Further to the point, it allows the Conservatives, who are institutionally racist to get away with this and it allows those on the right to go unnoticed whilst the likes of Mr Umunna cry wolf about something that is untrue.
Using the powerful far-right media as a medium to air views that are blatantly false will only serve to legitimise racism even further. This is because many people still believe everything that the media says and if genuine racists hear Chuka Umunna claim that a large mainstream political party is racist (whether this is true or not), this will legitimise that thought process within their own minds because it acts as proxy and enables them to deflect that negative image onto one of the leading anti-racist movements within the UK.
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