Monday, 11 June 2018

The Tories are actually trying to spin their anti-Muslim bigotry scandal as a vote winner!

After the Muslim Council of Britain and several senior Conservatives demanded an investigation into anti-Muslim prejudice in the Tory party, many on the left have been quick to point out the tiny flicker of mainstream media coverage on the issue in relation to the massive Labour anti-Semitism furore before the local elections.

The discrepancy in coverage is obvious, but it should come as no surprise at all given the relentless pro-Tory anti-Corbyn bias that not only dominates the print media, but also thrives on the supposedly neutral BBC too.

The allegations of widespread Islamophobia in the Tory ranks and specific accusations of anti-Muslim discrimination against Michael Gove and the Tory leadership should surely be getting more media coverage, but the reason these stories aren't getting much traction are obvious.

Of course mainstream media journalists don't want to scrutinise Tory Islamophobia to the same extent they attacked Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism. Firstly such scrutiny would run entirely counter to the mainstream media groupthink objective of protecting the neoliberal status quo by working to oust Jeremy Corbyn, and secondly "the Tory party is over-run with bigots" is really more of a common sense assertion rather than a groundbreaking news story anyway, isn't it? 

For me the huge disparity between mainstream media coverage of the Labour anti-Semitsm row and the Tory anti-Muslim allegations is actually secondary to another issue, the shockingly cynical Tory response to these allegations of widespread anti-Muslim bigotry in their own party.

While Labour took the position that anti-Semitism is wrong, and that it should be stamped out in all of society, including when it arises in the Labour ranks (the correct response), the Tories have signalled that they're absolutely fine with the allegations and have no intention of investigating them, or dealing with anti-Muslim bigots in their ranks.

The refusal to take the allegations seriously was exemplified by the new Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid when he attempted to publicly delegitimise the Muslim Council of Britain rather than deal with their concerns over Tory anti-Muslim bigotry.

Labour admitted that they had a problem and proposed to take action to combat it and mainstream media hacks hounded them for weeks over it, and the Tories have basically said "fuck you, we're fine with it" and the mainstream press have largely left them alone.

The interesting thing here is that the Tory response to these allegations has been clearly calculated. They're not just adopting this "fuck you, we're fine with it" attitude because they expect to be allowed to get away with it by their chums in the mainstream media, they will also have considered the public opinion consequences too.

Given that the Tories are only clinging onto power at all because they managed to absorb the majority of the hard-right ultranationalist voters who fled the wreckage of UKIP, a belligerent "fuck you" response to accusations of widespread anti-Muslim bigotry in their ranks is likely to resonate a lot more strongly with this crucial demographic than an admission that anti-Muslim attitudes are wrong, and the launch of an investigation into the problem.

The Tories seem to have calculated that their "fuck you, we're fine with it" attitude will play so well with the large extreme-right ultranationalist demographic they're so desperate to appease, that it will easily mitigate any fallout amongst Tory voting Muslims.

The logic being that any Muslim who still votes Tory after the outrageous BNP stype anti-Muslim fearmongering campaign they ran for Zac Goldsmith's London mayoral campaign in 2015, is clearly also likely to tolerate their refusal to investigate widespread accusations of anti-Muslim bigotry in the Tory ranks too.

An admission of the problem and the launch of an inquiry into it would infuriate the crucial blue-kip demographic the Tory party has rendered itself utterly reliant upon, whilst their belligerent refusal to engage with the criticisms creates the impression that they're exactly the kind of bigoted extreme-right anti-Muslim party this hard right blue-kip demographic are looking for.

just think about it. British society has not yet drifted so far to the extreme-right that the Tories can come out and explicitly position themselves as an anti-Muslim party, but what's the next best thing to appeal to the extreme-right - ultranationalist - white-supremacist - anti-Muslim demographic?

Publicly attacking and delegitimising the Muslim Council of Britain, and clearly signalling that they have no intention of rooting out anti-Muslim bigots from their party would seem ideal for the purpose don't you think?

The Tories are actually playing their anti-Muslim bigotry scandal as a vote winner, knowing that to a significant swathe of right-wing people, rampant anti-Muslim prejudice is actually an attractive quality!

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