Mediocre 7 embroiled in racism scandal on first day – no complaints procedure in place

Fellow guests react to Angela Smith’s racist comment – on a show to discuss racism

‘Quitter’ MPs embroiled in racism storm within first few hours of group’s existence

The group of ‘quitter’ MPs who announced their departure from the Labour Party this morning – supposedly over Brexit and racism – managed to embroil itself in a racism storm within an hour or two of the end of its ‘launch’ press conference.

Blairite MP Angela Smith appeared on the BBC’s Politics Live programme – and made a comment about BAME people that drew an astonished reaction from fellow guests:

The comment sparked instant outrage – and derision – on social media.

The incident spawned a hashtag, #FunnyTinge – and a lot of bitingly sharp memes leaving no room for doubt whatever about what many thought of Ms Smith and her comment:

Smith subsequently issued a statement that she ‘misspoke’ and was very sorry, but that appeared to cut little ice with people of colour:

But for the many – probably the only thing about today’s launch that could be said to be ‘for the many’ – people unsatisfied with the apology, the incident raised the question of what procedure the new group has in place for dealing with complaints of racism and other wrongdoings.

The answer appears to be: none at all.

The SKWAWKBOX wrote to each of the other six MPs involved and asked:

  • What is the complaints process for your new ‘independent group’? A lot of people wish to lodge a complaint about your colleague Ms Smith’s racist statement that BAME people are a ‘funny tint’ on BBC TV today.
  • please advise whether you will be reporting complaint statistics weekly. As Ms Smith demanded that at PLP meetings, it would seem the minimum standard.

Angela Smith was among MPs who expected that Labour general secretary – who doesn’t report to MPs at all – should report back to them weekly on complaints about Labour members, so surely the new group would have built such essential things into its procedures, given the lengthy build-up to their ‘launch’/flounce.

Sadly, no reply was received from any of them by the time of publication, except their parliamentary auto-responses. So it seems not – and so far none of her fellow ‘quitters’ even appear to have condemned her comment.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

The irony, hypocrisy – and incompetence – of the seven could scarcely be clearer. What are these seven doing in politics at all, let alone having cluttered up the Labour Party at parliamentary level for years, is hard to fathom.

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  1. Does ‘funny tinge’ include Umunna ?I thought he was more Pinko or Blue ?

    1. she obviously started to say “touch of the tar-brush” but managed to correct herself just in time so “tint” or “tinge” came out instead!

  2. I haven’t checked to see the MSM take on this but I was appalled yesterday at the BBC and Guardian describing the abuse that Alain Finkielkraut received on Saturday in Paris from Yellow Vests as antisemitic (as did Macron of course). Again: not the full story. I looked at the various transcripts of the abuse on twitter and elsewhere and I could find no evidence that anyone referred to Finkielkraut’s race. He was insulted in the street and that is to be regretted but the worst comments I could find were “dirty Zionist” and “dirty racist.” Since many regard Zionism as a form of racism, whether this per se constitutes antisemitism is a moot point. Finkielkraut is however a racist, of that there is little doubt; “dirty” may be the wrong adjective. Speaking to Israeli paper Haaretz in 2005 Finkielkraut opined: “People claim that our football team is admired by all because it is black, white and brown but in actual fact the national team is black, black, black, which makes it the laughing stock of all of Europe.” It’s a shame the Guardian & BBC are not able to contextualise this – but then again these are media hell bent on telling us that Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite.

  3. Replying to @ChukaUmunna

    Labour feels fitter already with you seven millstones gone.
    I plan to increase my monthly donation to Labour each time one of you useless Quislings leaves – and if I can persuade others to do the same I will.

    Don’t forget to send us a postcard from Oblivion, will you?


    Now I just need to figure out how to increase my donation.
    So far it looks like either you have to have two standing orders or cancel one and arrange another ‘~’

  4. Smith is not the brightest MP in the Chamber. She was ‘interviewed’ by Evan Davies on R4 recently and couldn’t even return his underarm bowling. It was like one of those R4 Vox-pox interviews in the NE after the Referundum with incoherent drunks growling approval of the result. I wonder if she sees Chuka as having a slight tinge or as a full throated Black. By ‘tinge’ clearly meant to say ‘brown’ people thinking of Muslims and Indians but then remembered Luciana’s Middle Eastern ‘tinge’ and got confused about whether that was a bad or good thing. Would Berger agree she has a ‘tinge’? Does she mind the description? Smith is very keen to topple Maduro ‘to keep us safe’. It was one of her objections to the Labour Party – always resisting well meaning military adventures and sticking up for the Tinged of the World.

    1. Hmm! The 3 recall reasons are prison; suspension by Standards Committtee or conviction for false info. And that’s it!! Not even a recall for an MP who turns out to be crazy or a 5th Columnist of some sort. Maybe fighting for their seats on the basis they supported Brexit was a misrepresentation?

    2. Thing is, although we know that MPs are elected via the Party machinery, in law they are individuals. And, truth told, I wouldn’t wish it any other way.

      The issue of resignation is one of personal integrity and honesty, and few who resign the whip have those qualities to the point of putting their neck on the line. The comeback is that people tend to recognise the hypocrisy at a later stage, even that is of small comfort now.

  5. I honestly thought that photo was hatey hopkins at first glance earlier…

    I was half right.

    1. Nice one. To think that our party is full of em. She’s finished but she could try UKIP. We are living in dark, tinged times. Who knows.

  6. Let’s quickly re-admit George Galloway, Ken Livingstone and Marc Wadsworth and immediate and unconditional lifting of the suspension of Jackie Walker as a matter of urgency now that their false accusers are gone.

    1. There’s no short circuit here : it was the timidity/bias? of the NEC that allowed their different departures; there needs to be a review mechanism (although Livingstone, of course, resigned voluntarily after telling an uncomfortable historical fact).

      The case of Marc Wadsworth was a disgrace, and we saw the evidence on film – but he is taking legal action. My worry is that, as the allegation of ‘antisemitism’ against him was dropped because it was so ludicrous, he is left with fighting the nebulous charge of ‘bringing the Party into disrepute’ which was gifted to the lobby as a consolation prize.

      The main – and key – upcoming issue is that of Jackie Walker. Again – facts are known. If the NEC doesn’t dismiss all charges against her, the Party is in deep trouble in terms of wilting in the face of false allegations used for purely political ends. The Israeli lobby needs to be told to **** off when they concoct stories to divert attention from Israeli behaviour.

      For many of us, I think this will be a test of the mettle and credibility of the Party machinery in terms of its commitment to actual anti-racism.

  7. “Funny tinge!? You really couldn’t make it up, could you?

    It seems like Smith and her partners in crime will sink faster than a lead balloon weighted by a boulder – seven of them, in fact.

    I remember something very similar happening in the early eighties when the infamous “Gang of Four” left the Labour Party to form the SDP. This proved to be the dampest of squibs and was saved only by its amalgamation with the Liberal Party. as its junior partner in the Liberal Democrat Party, otherwise known as the Lib Dems.

    Lest we forget it was this shower of er…manure that was responsible for propping up the first Cameron Tory Government. The rest, regrettably, is history

    The political abyss awaits, you miserable fcukers. It couldn’t happen to nicer people.

    Oh, and while we are on the subject, could you have the good grace to step down from your Parliamentary seats now you no longer represent the party that put its resources, human and otherwise, into your election. Trigger bye elections and have the guts and principle to stand as ‘Independents’ against official Labour candidates and let your constituents decide who will represent them. But you have cold feet? Thought so.

  8. Shower of all that makes our job even harder, never mind. As Scarborians say, what goes around etc. As our tinged, orange-garbed comrades would offer, Karma. Both right, justice will out. Good luck at GE comrades.

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