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Labour Black Socialists: party’s treatment of Abbott show’s it’s unfit to talk about race relations

Party is ‘uniquely disqualified from advocating for a Race Relations Act because of its own present and past complicity’ with racism, says left-wing Black activists’ group

The Labour Black Socialists (LBS) group has issued a hard-hitting condemnation of the Labour right’s rampant racism – as typified by the party regime’s decision to exclude Diane Abbott, the UK’s first Black woman MP, and other leaders on the Black left from a recent ‘BAME’ (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) event on race relations.

And LBS assesses the state of the party under Keir Starmer – and concludes that racism is such an issue that the party is unfit even to talk about race relations, let alone lead on it:


A few days ago, the Labour Party reached out to some BAME members to hear their views on its proposed Labour Relations Act project.

LBS believes that the Labour Party is uniquely disqualified from advocating for a Race Relations Act because of its own present and past complicity with systematic and institutional racism.

The leaked Governance and Legal Unit Anti-Semitism Report, the Forde Inquiry Report, the Al-Jazeera programmes The Lobby and The Labour Files as well as the lived experiences of current and suspended, expelled, triggered, blocked, exasperated and disillusioned Councillors, MPs and CLP members are evidence of the disqualification of the Labour Party to talk about anti-racism, Islamophobia, anti-Gypsy, Roma and Traveller bigotry and anti-Semitism.

We note that some of the most senior black MPs and Councillors are being diminished by black NEC members with no history of struggle and whom very few people know from the days of Adam or Eve. It is not that we believe that these senior black MPs and Councillors are infallible. On the contrary, they bear the scars of the racism that a Race Relations Act would wish to address. Their witness is our political piety. We acknowledge those who came before us as forces for good.

We are being told that it was unreasonable to expect these black leaders to have been invited because time slots were limited on a one-off event. And those associated with Jeremy Corbyn do not count anymore. Luke and Abdi know nothings can tell us about our lived experiences. Worse still, a white man who supports the racism and bigotry of a government in the Middle East assumes the privilege to tell us who our leaders are.

LBS believes that the mere fact that people were not heard in the meeting is not an accident. The Forde Report does talk about the whiteness of Labour Party operations. The Labour Party cannot easily claim anti-racist credentials without blushing. The meeting and its aftermath instantiate the hierarchy of racism that the Forde Report has identified.

LBS urges people not to despair. We can only fight racism on an anti-racist platform. There is no place for racists and bigots in the fight for a Race Relations Act. That has been the lived experience of black people – with black being the colour of our politics not our skins- from the days of slavery which built this United Kingdom. Not every black person is our ally in the fight against racism. Look at the Sewell Report. Who wrote that? Now, there are some of these in every organisation.

Anti-black racism has a long history with slavery, colonialism, imperialism and neoliberalism. The current leadership of the Labour Party, including the white and black men trying to explain anti-racism to us are not part of the solution. Only anti-racists can fight racism in a broad-based movement that fights for justice for everybody irrespective of differences in class, gender, ethnicity, religion and nationality.

Right-wing NEC member Luke Akehurst attempted to justify the party’s decision – only to, presumably inadvertently, confirm that the Labour right only wants the views of ‘the right kind of Black person’:

Abbott has long been the biggest target among MPs of racist abuse, yet her views and those of her colleagues were not welcome at the Labour right’s PR exercise – unsurprisingly, since she was the victim of a ‘disgraceful’, ‘disgusting’ verbal assault from right-wing favourite Wes Streeting, as well as of persistent vile racism from right-wing Labour staffers, as even the Starmer-commissioned Forde Report had to conclude.

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  1. One of many reasons that I, a white Englishman, left the corrupt racist Labour Party under Starmer. Even more hypocritical than the Tories. Both Parties should be banned.

    1. Hypocrisy rampant in Starmer’s Labour. Professed aim at antisemitism – unless you’re an antizionist – and racism against BAME members, with Diane Abbott suffering again as she does in the leak. No surprise Akehurst throws in remark on behalf of the rw.

      1. No surprise Akehurst throws in remark on behalf of the rw

        And how revealing it is…

        “Obviously the platform will be tilted at MPs who support the leadership

        Not IS GOING to be decided….but WILL be (meaning WAS)

        And just who decided that, then? 🤔

      2. IS GOING to be tilted

        (NOT ‘decided’ as originally written)

    2. Really. Don’t like something, ban it? Come on Andy where would that lead us? We need debates and we need to win those debates. When ideas go underground they morph into something even nastier than when they were in the open. Yeah, you were being ironic, but some are opposed to the freedom of speech, BBC, ITN the press, and the media outlets in general.

  2. The labour party is much more dangerous than the calamity tory party because they are trading on the old labour working class anti racist legacy and reputation.
    “The first casualty of Tyrants is Truth “!

  3. As far as BAME representation goes, Abbott could almost (and probably should) be regarded as a party grandee.

    I’m wondering if she’d be the BAME equivalent of the father (mother) of the house? Don’t know any other longer serving black MP.

    (Not so) very strange that she wasn’t invited. Also, it’s an up yours to the Hackney BAME community, too.

  4. Off topic, but I came across this OpenDemocracy article earlier:

    ‘Just Stop Oil didn’t delay us getting to M20 crash, says ambulance service’

    Exclusive: Ambulance service says claims in The Sun and the Daily Mail that protesters slowed paramedics were wrong

    Right-wing papers were wrong to claim climate activists on the Dartford Crossing delayed paramedics responding to a fatal crash, the ambulance service has said.

    The Sun and the Daily Mail accused two Just Stop Oil protesters who shut down the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge for two days from Monday 17 October of preventing ambulances from quickly responding to an incident on the M20 in which two women died.

    Both papers reported that disruption caused by the protest meant ambulances were delayed in arriving at the scene.

    But that claim has now been rubbished by the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

    The ambulance service told openDemocracy its crew was not delayed and arrived at the crash – which was more than 10 miles from the protest – “well before” the 40 minutes reported by the papers. A spokesperson pointed out that an air ambulance also attended the scene – a detail the paper did not mention in its report.

    1. Shortly after reading the OpenDemocracy article it occurred to me to check out The Sun (which has labelled climate activists ‘eco-yobs’) and its coverage of Global Warming, and so I did a search on their website, and THIS was the first relevant article that came up in the list of results, courtesy of Jeremy Clarkson:

      ‘JEREMY CLARKSON I’ve turned climate change into a drinking game. Every time it crops up in a David Attenborough doc I have a beer’

      DO you remember how unbelievably good David Attenborough’s nature documentaries used to be?

      We’d see amazing creatures do amazing things and then Dave would climb inside a termite mound and explain in great detail how this complex, billion-strong society functioned. Before he rushed off to converse with a gorilla.

      Sadly, however, those days are gone.

      Now, Sir David just reads out words that have been written by a team of vegan communists who have only one thing on their minds. Climate change

      I’ve been watching Frozen Planet II and it’s a joke, because we learn nothing at all. We see some dramatic footage of a polar bear and before we are told anything at all, we are warned that because of human activity and capitalism and Donald Trump, the poor bear’s habitat is disappearing.

      When I first began to notice this stuck-record commentary, I decided to get my own back. Every time they mentioned global warming, I’d turn my central heating up a notch.

      But that’s too expensive, really.

      So I’ve turned it into a drinking game. Every time climate change crops up, I have a beer.

      It’s the only way to make this half-arsed twaddle tolerable.

      Yes, and it no doubt sums up the Sun’s ‘view’ on Global Warming and how it inculcates its readers re GW. Clarkson is one of the fascists favourite fascists.

      1. Is breather still in his bedroom banging on about polar bears. Nasty sods and there are loads of them just ask the leaping walrusses. Pray for me supergluers.

      1. Climate is still up in the air (pun not intended). We cannot model clouds accurately, let alone the Sun (not the rag). So far we’ve had cooling, acid rain, the ozone and global warming. Hmmm…

        Do we need to change our ways? Yes, we do. But you’ll note that the next climate meeting in Cancun WILL be about finances and financial services. Big money is being sank into development of things that cannot be achievable without the use of oil (wind turbine uses tons of steel and copper, and that’s just one). Lithium is turning out to be poison. No surprise there…

        Be mindful of the voices.

    2. Thank you, Allan.
      I read somewhere that the Labour Party is attacking anti-global warming protesters in some of its online adverts to people in target seats.

  5. Every small part and/interjection by those such as Luke Akehurst can only diminish the likelihood of meaningful progress.

  6. The party supports apartheid! so why the fuck have you not all dumped this Party of betrayal ? We are so bored of all the moaners who see nothing in front of themselves…

  7. Re: An earlier report in which the “MH17 trial” was discussed.
    Not only did the US not provide the satellite imagery which they claimed confirmed the prosecution’s case. In addition, the prosecution submitted a dashcam video which they also claimed supported their case.
    Erik van de Beek, a Dutch independent journalist, has viewed the video, which was made available, and reports that the date the video was shown to have been made was in 2012 (MH17 came down on 17th July 2014).

  8. Luke Akehurst’s smug attitude justifying the obviously inexcusable exclusion of Dianne Abbott is yet another example of Labour’s right wing determination to gain power as a Tory lite crawl to power at any cost. Even the support of reactionary media will fail to mask the stench of their traitorous abandonment of working people,their needs and rights, aspirations and their potential power and influence in a currently unfair class dominated society. P

  9. It’s gone quiet, so I’ll take us off topic. Nevertheless, the article in the link is very interesting.
    Those who read it will notice the name, Christopher Steele.
    That’s interesting.
    I seem to recall that he was the fellow who produced the Trump/Russia etc. dodgy dossier.
    As I recall, he was also the “handler” of Skripal when Skripal was spying for the UK, and he subsequently lived a few minutes from Skripal in Salisbury..
    Wheels within wheels?

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