More on Racism

So the Football Association has finally decided to strip John Terry of the England captaincy. They are fully entitled to do so if they feel that he has brought the game into disrepute or that his conduct has so alienated other team members that they will no longer accept his leadership. There have been reports that certain members do indeed feel this way.

We accept this decision, albeit with reservations. First, it appears that the England manager at the time, Fabio Capello, did not agree with the decision and was not properly consulted. Second, there is concern that the attitude of the FA and of the team members may have been influenced and inflamed by the existence of criminal charges against Terry rather than by the facts of the case against him. As we argued in our previous article, those ‘facts’ (even if Terry accepted them) amount to little more than a storm in a teapot and in no way warrant lengthy police investigations and the immensely costly paraphernalia of criminal court proceedings. Why is it that the mere word ‘racism’ causes a lot of normally sensible people to lose all sense of proportion?

Since our previous article a further ‘racist’ incident has occurred, whose handling merits comparison with the prosecution of Terry. Labour MP and Shadow spokesman Diane Abbot has been widely reported as having ‘tweeted’ that “white people divide and rule”. This statement is clearly racist since it implies an unpleasant characteristic arising from skin colour and nothing else. It applies to every single person of that skin colour, not merely in the UK but throughout Europe and across the world. It appears to be a considered opinion rather than a spur of the moment reaction in a highly charged atmosphere and in the face of provocation, as in the case of John Terry. Have the police been involved? Has the Racial Equality Commission been asked to look into this? Is the CPS considering charges? No, of course not. Abbot has received a tough dressing down from Ed Miliband, but retains her job and no further action is apparently contemplated. She has not even apologised, merely stating that her remark was ‘taken out of context’. That is the normal excuse for those who are seeking to escape the consequences of unwise remarks and, as is usual in such cases, no explanation of what that context might be has been given. In fact, it is hard to imagine any context in which Abbot’s remark could be regarded as anything except racist.

Vindex believes in freedom of expression and considers that if Diane Abbot holds views which are offensive to a majority of the British population, she should not be debarred from exposing them. Indeed, it may be helpful to her constituents to learn about them. However, in the light of John Terry’s prosecution, it seems clear that while freedom of expression is a British shibboleth, some people are now freer to express themselves than others. Much the same applies to the equally sacred British principle of equality before the law. In both cases, the degree of freedom and equality permitted by our so-called liberal society, corrupted by political correctness, seems to depend on the colour of people’s skin.

Our fundamental British freedoms are stealthily being eroded. Nonetheless, there are ways in which the institutions of political correctness can be turned against their creators if we can rouse ourselves from our torpor and campaign. It would be premature to do so before the outcome of the case against Terry is known and this is scheduled for July. We will return to this subject then.

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