Home > News > British Left-Wing Sexism & Antisemitism: Two Peas; One Pod
18 August, 2017
My comrades on the Left flaunt their moral superiority. But many of them are the most racist and sexist of all
Trevor Phillips, Daily Mail 16 August 2017
Trevor Phillips is the Former Head Of The Commission For Racial Equality
Jess Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, said Left-wing men ‘don’t think of [women] in the same way’
Three cheers for Jess Phillips, one Labour MP who tells it like it is — even if it involves exposing the sanctimonious self-righteous posturing of the trendy Left in British politics.
Her acid observation — reported in the Mail yesterday — that Left-wing men are ‘the worst, the actual worst’ when it comes to sexism is difficult to refute if you’ve witnessed as I have, male comrades locking horns over some ideological minutiae, while the ‘sisters’ take the minutes and make the tea.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the MP for Birmingham Yardley said while Left-wing men say they want equality ‘they don’t think of [women] on the same level’, adding that the ‘Left-leaning’ were worse than those described as ‘out-and-out sexists of the Right’.
In another withering put- down she said ‘men who want to own your equality and the things you fought for are absolutely fine if they want you to own it as well, but when they want it to puff out their own chests, that is really, really, really annoying’.
For the record, we’re not related. I’ve met her once. But DNA aside, I can only describe her as my No 1 soul sister.
Her honesty is breathtaking. She told Jeremy Corbyn she would knife him ‘in the front, not the back’ if he damaged Labour’s electoral appeal.
And almost uniquely in modern politics she’s not afraid to admit it when she gets something wrong, apologising to him publicly after what, by the pathetic standards of today’s Labour Party, seemed a miraculous act of survival following the General Election.
It was Phillips, too, who prompted widespread hilarity — quickly stifled by the Party’s grim-faced Gauleiters — when, after a heated exchange about the lack of women in top jobs in the Shadow Cabinet, she told the Corbynista MP Diane Abbott to ‘f*** off’.
‘People said to me they had always wanted to say that to her, and I don’t know why they don’t as the opportunity presents itself every other minute,’ she said later. Nor has she held back in her criticism of Corbyn’s Labour for its ‘low-level misogyny’.
Phillips’s habit of puncturing some of the little hypocrisies with which many of us on the Left constantly reassure ourselves — that we permanently occupy the moral high-ground on racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and diversity — is an immensely valuable one.
For the truth is that our smug pomposity doesn’t always bear scrutiny and it is steadily alienating our natural supporters.
The Left could do with more plain speakers like Jess. And we could definitely start calling out our own two-facedness in all manner of areas where we parade our moral credentials.
Take racism. In one of her wiser pronouncements, Diane Abbott pointed out the British Left semi-worships Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, but feels less comfortable with black folks in its own leadership.
The further away black men are, the more they are loved by the Left. And they tend to achieve truly heroic status only after the ultimate act of distance — death.
In the Seventies, I became president of the National Union of Students. Our great cause was anti-racism. Yet after I stepped down in 1980, it was to be another 37 years before that invariably Left-leaning union could bring itself to elect another black president.
Perhaps the students were following the lead of their elders in the Trades Unions; they haven’t managed to put a non-white person at the head of any of Britain’s major unions since Bill Morris retired from the Transport and General Workers’ Union in 2003.
Incidentally, the unions didn’t escape Ms Phillips’s ire this week either, as she attacked their antediluvian attitudes. Women are entirely missing from Labour’s industrial strategy, she said, because it was all about ‘men with shovels’.
Ms Phillips told Jeremy Corbyn she would knife him ‘in the front, not the back’ if he damaged Labour’s electoral appeal
Some hypocrisies are amusing, others simply illuminating. But increasingly these double standards are taking a potentially more dangerous turn.
I have written in these pages before about the scores of young girls betrayed by Labour councillors who turned a blind eye to the grooming scandals in Rochdale, Rotherham and now Newcastle, so as not to offend their Muslim block vote.
Now we see another equally disturbing trend. There is little doubt the Far Left is bent on turning Labour into a comfortable home for anti-Semites.
The pretext is support for Palestinians. But all too many mask their real feelings towards Jews by spouting high-minded twaddle about condemning all violence in the Middle East while making it clear that ‘evil Zionists’ are to blame. They ignore the Jihadi death cults who’ve murdered tens of thousands of their fellow Muslims. And they mutter darkly about the Jewish State’s American sponsors and Jewish influence in the White House.
Two Jewish friends recently told me an acquaintance apologised for not inviting them to a party for fear of offending a well-known Left-winger who was ‘uncomfortable’ around Jews.
A rabid anti-capitalist, like many on the Left, this man regards Jewish success in business as deeply suspect and sees Israel as a front for U.S. multinationals’ desire to control Middle Eastern oilfields.
The attachment of most British Jews to Israel’s existence puts the whole community in the enemy camp as far as many of the Left are concerned.
But it is, I think, the treatment of women that most exposes what we on the Left would call our ‘contradictions’.
Let me remind readers of the Assange affair. In recent years, the liberal glitterati flocked to the banner of the Wikileaks eminence grise, Julian Assange, now entering his sixth year barricaded inside the Embassy of Ecuador in London.
Assange sought asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced accusations of sexual assault and rape (which he denied and the investigation was dropped in May) — and from there, he feared, onward extradition to America over the online publication of top-secret documents.
The fact that everyone on the Left holds up Sweden as a model nation — more liberal, more equal and more just than anywhere else in the world — was conveniently dismissed. According to Assange’s supporters, it couldn’t be trusted to treat him fairly.
As for any concerns for the women who made the allegations, well they were seemingly over-ridden by the Left’s reflex anti-Americanism. It took far too long for his blinkered supporters to drop him.