Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Jeremy Corbyn Must Follow Ted Heath's example - He sacked Enoch Powell and Sarah Champion must be sacked

You Can’t Have A Racist in the Shadow Cabinet

Update - Victory as Champion Goes

Within 12 hours of my posting this blog Sarah Champion had resigned as Shadow Womens and Equalities Spokesperson.  It just shows the power of this blog!

When Enoch Powell gave his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968, Ted Heath instantly sacked him from the  Tory Shadow Cabinet.  Powell spoke of ‘Black piccaninnies’ and, as a Classicist used a Roman metaphor:  "It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre" and "Like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood."

Heath was never forgiven for this by the Tory Right but by his swift action he made it clear that the kind of racist demonization we have seen in the last week is unacceptable.  It is equally intolerable that Sarah Champion, who has engaged in no less despicable racist stereotyping, remains as Labour's Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.
Enoch  Powell was sacked by Ted Heath - Corbyn needs to demonstrate his mettle by sacking Champion

Sarah Champion’s decision to write an article in the Scum, of all papers, a paper which has made the depiction of women’s bodies for gratification into an art form, is shocking.  No less shocking is the headline over her article ‘British Pakistanis ARE raping white girls’.  The extrapolation from what a particular gang of Muslim men did to all Pakistanis is overtly racist and belongs in the repertoire of the British National Party and Britain First, not the Labour Party.

Sarah Champion - Labour's Enoch Powell
Noone pretends that the  activities of this gang of rapists in Newcastle is anything other than horrifying.  There is no justification for what they did and they deserve long prison sentences.  What is not acceptable is the drawing of an equation between Muslim or Pakistani men and rape and child sex abuse.  It hardly needs to be said that all men, whatever their colour or ethnic origin are equally capable of rape and paedophilia.
Sarah Champion chose well for her racist diatribe - the Sun

When a group of white men did exactly the same just over a year ago there were no lurid headlines in the Scum about white men abusing and raping.  It was not considered newsworthy.

When Lord Greville Janner, the former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews was widely acknowledged to have sexually abused and raped at least 20 young boys, no one except the most despicable fascist would have gone on to draw an equation between him and Jewish men per se.
Image result for jimmy savile
Jimmy Saville - protected by the Police and BBC - is not believed to have been Pakistani or Muslim

Nor did anyone try to suggest that Jimmy Saville, whose activities were covered up by at least 3 Police forces and BBC Executives, was typical of White British men.

There is no evidence that Muslim men are more inclined than any other men to rape or abuse.  As Richard Seymour describes in the article below, there are material reasons why abuse by Muslim men in certain Northern cities may take a particular form.   The fact that they are engaged in night time trades, kebab shops, taxis etc. lends itself to this kind of networking.
The Rev. Peter Ball, ex-Bishop of Lewes, was gaoled for 32 months for abusing at least 18 children, one of whom later committed suicide as a result.  Doesn't seem to have a Pakistani heritage
In the same way, rape and abuse by Catholic and Church of England priests takes another form, often over much longer periods of time and also subject to various forms of cover up by the authorities.  When the impeccably White ex-Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball was gaoled for just 32 months, of which he served only 16 months, for abusing 18 aspiring young priests no one campaigned against White Priests once again being caught raping and abusing.  Noone seemed bothered to ask why Prince Charles and other members of the Establishment covered up for him.  Charles even provided Ball with a grace and favour home on his estate.  [see Disgraced sex abuse Bishop, who was protected from prosecution for years by Establishment figures, walks free from jail]

The abuse in Ireland, not simply sexual abuse but what was tantamount to the murder of children and young women in Catholic homes, hardly bears repeating.  It was a veritable holocaust but it reflected on the misogyny of the Irish Catholic church not all Irish Catholics.   The same is true of the Protestant Kincora home in Belfast where, under the watchful eye of MI6 and Northern Ireland’s Special Branch, young boys were raped and abused by senior Loyalists.

The fact is that sexual abuse and rape takes many forms in many societies.  There is no doubt that all religions, Islam included, are misogynist.  It hardly bears repeating that the West, Britain and the USA in particular, have sponsored and supported the most reactionary strand of Islam, Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, a strand which encourages and legitimates sexual abuse.  It was Wahhabism which gave the inspiration to ISIS which made the enslavement and rape of Yazidi women a matter of policy. 
A poster that appeared in Streicher's Der Sturmer featuring the lecherous Jewish male predator - this is a common theme in racist narratives
In Nazi Germany Jewish men were also alleged to be predators.  It was the staple diet of Der Sturmer magazine run by Julius Streicher.  There is no doubt that the incidence of child sexual abuse within sections of Jewish ultra-orthodoxy is high.  People like senior Lubavitch Rabbi Manis Friedman have openly belittled and made light of such abuse.  [see Call for apology as Rabbi Manis Friedman likens child sex abuse to 'diarrhoea'

Lubavitch, which is a very active Hasidic sect in the Orthodox British Jewish community has consistently refused to condemn Friedman’s remarks.  Friedman who remains in a position of power is widely believed to be a child sex abuser himself, at least according to his son, who is also an abuser.

One could if one wanted to look at the way non-Jewish women are treated and considered in the Jewish religion since Islam is held up to the mirror.   The term ‘Shiksa’ for a non-Jewish woman is derived from Sheketz, ‘unclean’ and is used to refer to a prostitute.  The attitude of the Jewish Orthodoxy to non-Jewish women would not bear examination.

None of this excuses Sarah Champion’s decision to write in the Scum.  He decision has particular poignancy given that this was the paper that lied about Liverpool football fans at Hillsborough football stadium.  It should be a sacking offence for any Labour shadow cabinet minister to write in this paper.  To add political petrol to the flames of the Scum’s racism and sexism is unacceptable.

Sarah Champion Must Go – Corbyn Must Sack Her

Aug 10 at 4:49pm
Richard Seymour

Operation Sanctuary has uncovered, prosecuted and convicted members of another large child sex grooming ring, this time in Newcastle.

As is always the case when the majority of the perpetrators are not white, this has provoked a 'debate' about race, that vacillates between the hand-wringing and the downright sinister. Sarah Champion MP has managed both, attacking the Tories from the right on race, and berating the "floppy left" for finding anything problematic in this. In particular, Champion avers that these offenders are "predominantly Pakistani" and castigates the government for not investigating this. Such debates are not provoked when the perpetrators are white, and this tells us something about the role of "race and culture" as talking points.

Now, contrary to what Champion claims, she is not breaking new ground here. Back in 2012 when a string of major child sex abuse stories, inculpating politicians, celebrities, senior police and others, exploded onto the national news, there was also a national panic about Muslim men as a result of child sex rings in the north. Keith Vaz MP explained on BBC Radio that one in five of the perpetrators of child sex grooming are British Asians. He was drawing on data from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.

Even he wasn't breaking new ground, merely reiterating what Jack Straw MP had said years before. This is an old and dishonourable tactic by a certain kind of politician. In particular, it is Labour politicians who think that they have to demonstrate their un-PC credentials by pandering to racism.

That this is in fact what Champion is doing, and knowingly, is disappointing given her record. She won her seat by defeating a toxic Ukip campaign orchestrated precisely on the axis of a panic about child abuse, implicating British Asians as a menace to white sexual innocence. Ukip claimed that Labour was more worried about political correctness and not being racist than in protecting white British kids.

Champion did not, at the time, concede ground to the racist fearmongering. She, as a professional with direct experience in dealing with child abuse, knows the literature and expertise well enough to refute race-baiting. And she increased Labour's majority. Now she is repeating the Ukip lines.

There are a few things to clarify before a sensible discussion can even be had. First of all, "race and culture" should not be spoken in the same breath, as if they are the same type of thing. Cultures exist, but they are raggedy in outline, porous, and changeable. Their outlines are more like weather fronts than borders. Races don't exist, except as a political and ideological construct. The idea that any one specific culture could be imputed to British Asian men is incoherent.

Second, as an elementary point of logic, correlation is not causation. Commenting on the CEOP figures, an investigator told The Guardian that the higher representation of British Asian men in the data is likely to reflect not 'race' or 'culture' in these cases, but occupation. In other words, these grooming rings were made possible by a night-time economy populated by young girls moving between taxis and fast food outlets. Which, given a racial segregation of the labour force, meant that there was a unique opportunity for a small number of men, mostly British Asian in the case of Operation Sanctuary, to generate a grooming circuit, based on attention, flattery, parties, booze and drugs. Relatedly, where biases toward the over-representation of a particular minority group have been found among child sex abusers, typically it is because race is indexed to other factors that make children vulnerable, such as class.

Third, proof of the stereotypical nature of this debate is Champion's claim that gang-related child sexual abuse is "predominantly Pakistani". This is often asserted, but there's no evidence for it, and the CEOP figures simply don't bear that out. "Just 35 of the 415 Asians are recorded as having Pakistani heritage and thus highly likely to be Muslim, and only five are recorded as being from a Bangladeshi background. The heritage of 366 of the Asian group is not stated in those figures." As a result, the CEOP is quite explicit about its inability to draw any nationwide conclusions based on the fragmentary and partial nature of its data. It depends entirely on data deriving from cases reported to a police unit investigating these crimes.

Fourth, the construction of child abuse along racial or national lines depends entirely on how you focus your search. The majority of sex offenders in the UK, according to statistics collected by Sheffield Hallam University, are white. In the figures collected in 2007, 5.6 per cent of the sex offender population was 'South Asian' by origin, and 81.9% white. Taking into account the fact that this was the prison population, and that there are racial biases in the criminal justice system from arrest to prosecution, it would be surprising if these figures didn't exaggerate the representation of British Asians among the sex offenders population.

Fifth, one reason for the extraordinarily high rate of estimated non-disclosure is that the majority of sexual assaults are inflicted on children. And abuse selects for vulnerability. This means that there is, even in the best official data, a huge zone of blindness. But with the data we have, it is possible to say that the majority of child sex abuse is not like the grooming cases. It usually involves one-to-one assaults, in a residence, either first thing in the morning, during after-school hours, or at midnight. So, attempting to draw wider conclusions about the nature of child sexual abuse from the high profile grooming cases is at best a mistake.

The problem with Sarah Champion's intervention is not that she wants to talk about culture. If we started to talk about the cultural biases and cognitive distortions that enable abusers, that would require a careful and nuanced discussion, which would take into account the specific ways in which different groups of offenders -- be they the abusers at Kincora Boys Home, the groomers of Rotherham and Newcastle, or the fathers who assault their children ongoingly -- are informed by their cultural self-understandings, their religion, their socioeconomic position, and so on. It would not try to simplify all this by forcing it through the morally charged and oppressive grid of race.

To reinforce race as the appropriate framework for analysis and police action is to, as Sarah Champion admits, raise the pitch of nationwide Islamophobia. It is also to add one more giant weapon to the arsenals of silence. Children don't speak out for many reasons. In part because they fear they will not be believed, in part because they fear punishment or revenge. But one of the best known reasons is their fear of the process of accountability and prosecution itself. Their fear, in a word, that the process will run out of their control, that it will have consequences well beyond their intentions. If you turn child sex abuse into a national morality tale about race relations in 21st century Britain, you haven't made it easier for people to speak -- especially children who are particularly vulnerable because of the way they are racialised.

Because contrary to Champion's claims, this sort of intervention is not about protecting children. Racism is not child protection.

Addendum: Since I wrote this, Sarah Champion has taken to the pages of The Sun to further incite racial hatred. The headline: "British Pakistanis ARE raping white girls ... and we must face up to it". Followed by the first sentence: "Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls."

It is not trivial to point out that the majority of those arrested, prosecuted and convicted in this latest grooming circle in Newcastle are not Pakistani. To respond to this case by, as Champion has from the start, inciting against Pakistani men, is to conflate all the men with brown skin who were arrested, be they Iraqi, Bangladeshi, or Indian into a sort of racial amalgam, a Muslamic horde.

It also goes without saying that Champion styles herself as someone very brave and original, as though what she is saying has not been said over and over again by opportunistic Labour MPs, Tories, Ukippers, Sun columnists, and so on. "There. I said it. Does that make me a racist?" She asks. Yes.

Areeq Chowdhury Chief Executive of WebRoots Democracy

Sarah Champion MP, I think you’re racist. There. I said it. Does that make me politically correct? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?
If you think I am being over the top, have a quick read of the column in the Sun written by Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister, Sarah Champion. It’s entitled “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls... and it’s time we faced up to it.” She inexplicably opens with the line “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?”
Well to answer what I’m sure was a rhetorical question Sarah, yes, it does make you a racist. Let me explain why.
In a country which has a history of abuse against South Asians by way of activities such as “Paki-bashings” and at a time of resurgent racism, to make such a sweeping and factually inaccurate statement is incendiary and achieves nothing other than establishing further stigma against minorities. Is it true that there is “a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls” or is it just some Pakistani men? A very small minority? Your statement is lazy and suggests the problem is with all British Pakistani men, which as your colleague Naz Shah MP points out includes other politicians such as Sajid Javid and Sadiq Khan, as well as her two sons.

Naz Shah’s rebuttal article makes me wonder whether you consulted with any of your British Pakistani colleagues before launching such a vocal tirade against Pakistani people. Did you?
You go on to say “for too long we have ignored the race of these abusers and, worse, tried to cover it up...these people are predators and the common denominator is their ethnic heritage.” Let’s overlook the questionable accuracy of your assumptions again, but look at the common denominator that you identify, their “ethnic heritage”.
The case which her comments come after is the horrendous sex gang case in Newcastle. Unusually for a sex abuse case, the ethnicity of the perpetrators has been the main focus, and the focus of choice for Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister. The convicted men were mostly British-born, from Iraqi, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Iranian, and Turkish communities. Whilst the majority were British Pakistani, not all were. Regardless of this, Ms Champion has labelled the problem as a “Pakistani” one. It’s a modern-day, non-violent version of “Paki-bashing” attacking those who are brown-skinned under the all-encompassing “Pakistani” label.
Like more contemporary racists, you have chosen to identify the common denominator, without proper evidence, as “ethnic-heritage” or as it appears you are unable to differentiate between different ethnic backgrounds, just the skin colour. But say it was the ethnic heritage. Is it British Pakistani culture and upbringing that you are pointing the finger at? Are you able to identify what that culture is? Because I can’t. Like every other “culture”, upbringing varies wildly based on multiple factors. Would you claim the culture and upbringing of an Eton-educated southerner is the same as a manual labourer from a working-class community in Wales, just because they are both White British? Give me a break. You could have pointed out that the common denominator is that they all have dark hair or that they are all men. But you chose race.
For argument’s sake, let’s assume the premise of your arguments are true. That child sexual exploitation is a problem unique to the British Pakistani community. The solution would therefore be to engage with British Pakistani communities and to enable them to tackle the problem head-on. But what do you hope to achieve by writing a column about it in the Sun? Have you been briefed that the Sun has a large Pakistani readership? Are Pakistani mothers and fathers buying copies of the Sun to catch a glimpse of Page 3? If there are huge numbers of Pakistani people reading it, why haven’t you addressed the article to them? When you refer to British Pakistani men as “these people” it sure doesn’t sound like you’re speaking to them directly.
There is a lot more that can said about this, but let me leave you with this thought. Had this article been written by an MP from any other political party or someone like Donald Trump or Nigel Farage, what would the reaction have been? The fact that the article has been penned by an MP from the proudly anti-racist Labour Party is reason enough to be shocked, nevermind the fact that the MP is the Shadow Minister for “Equalities.”

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