Rod Liddle

The last working-class people in the Labour party

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

A couple of people in the Hornsey and Wood Green Labour party have come up with a fascinating suggestion — a section of the party for working-class people. I don’t know their names, but let’s call them Bob and Hilda for the time being. Bob and Hilda, the last two working–class people alive in the Labour party. The two of them say that while middle-class party members are in general very nice, Bob and Hilda sometimes feel patronised and talked to as if they were children. Bob and Hilda have recommended ‘awareness–raising group workshops’ to address this problem. Hmm. This made me wonder if Bob and Hilda were themselves middle-class people disguised as working-class people, because I know of no working-class people who would use the phrase ‘awareness-raising group workshops’, still less voluntarily attend one.

Still, at least Bob and Hilda are presumably not black. If they were, they would even more fully experience the pleasure of being treated like children by middle-class lefties. There is something deeply racist in the middle-class left’s behaviour towards black people, something proprietorial and quite offensive. Only Labour, said Labour, can ‘unlock the potential of black, Asian and minority ethnic people’, as if they were not merely children, but children in the special needs class. The same attitude is betrayed by that phrase they often use when criticising comedians and writers for making jokes about ethnic minorities: ‘punching down’. Down, you will note. They see themselves effortlessly above this morass of people who they consider simply too dumb to help themselves — black people, the white working-class, women. Anyway, I wish Bob and Hilda all the very best of luck, not least in finding one or two other working-class Labour party members, so they don’t feel lonely going into those workshops. There’s probably a few hiding out in, say, Wigan.

Item one on the workshop agenda might be ‘why the working-class wants foreign-born criminals deported immediately’. I am referring to the hoo-ha currently obsessing the BBC. Top story on the bulletins and the subject of endless, hand-wringing debate on the Today programme and elsewhere. Yet again, the corporation has totally failed to understand either the mindset of the public on this issue or indeed the rectitude of what is happening. For every witless BBC reporter keening by the runway as a Boeing 707 packed with Jamaican rapists, killers and drug dealers departs for Kingston, there will be a million licence-payers quietly applauding in their homes.

The arguments raised against the government’s actions are, as usual, a succession of non-sequiturs and idiocies. David Lammy  thinks it all ‘racist’, but given that he thinks absolutely everything is racist we might discount this objection immediately. The Jamaicans — the sole focus of those who oppose these deportations — are but a tiny minority of foreign-born villains being kicked out. And yet that fact is scarcely mentioned. Should we kick out the others but spare those from the Caribbean? And if so, why?

Some of them were ‘only’ involved in selling drugs, according to the protesters and the BBC: the very trade which is fuelling our epidemic of knife crime in the capital. Why should drug dealers who are not British citizens be allowed to remain here? What is the point of principle? We are enjoined to worry about the reception they will receive in their native country and that they may fall prey to gangsters. Well indeed. That is because many of them are gangsters themselves. We are also told that it’s not fair on Jamaica. It is utterly intolerable, of course, that Jamaica should be forced to put up with Jamaicans in their own country. It is also said that some of those deported were unable to afford the costs of applying for citizenship, which currently stands at about £1,300. If remaining here as a British citizen was important to them, couldn’t they have sold a few more bags of crack and maybe marked up the price a bit? Some of them were very young when they arrived here, apparently. In which case, where are their families?

There isn’t a single coherent argument from the protesters, and yet their massed sobbing is filling the BBC’s airwaves. The simple fact that citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and that people who arrive from another country and abuse the laws of the land should have no redress is something accepted pretty much worldwide. And yet we are urged to believe it shouldn’t apply here, when it is Jamaicans. It is a bizarre argument, lacking logic and morality.

My only quibble with the government is that the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, may be stinting a little, not pursuing her brief to the utmost. If I were in charge of the deportation programme, it would be like the Berlin airlift: one plane leaving every 30 seconds. I’d save a little bit of space on every flight for any protesters who found it intolerable to live in a country which didn’t grant automatic permanent citizenship to rapists and drug dealers from foreign lands, especially when — as they’ve explained to the BBC — they’re now going straight and wish to retrain as brain surgeons, or awareness-raising workshop facilitators. And I’d plant a tree to offset the carbon emissions, obvs.

The left is in crisis. It cannot win elections. It wonders why this is so. Its sponsors in the broadcast media wonder likewise. A story such as this crops up and they pile into it, convinced that this is the issue which will finally make the dunderheaded voters realise that we’re living Under Fascism, I mean like actually, OMG, we really are. And all those people who trooped across to the Tories in December look at the plane taking off and think: ‘At last! Why on earth didn’t I vote Conservative before?’

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