Are The Tories Really This Desperate? By Lisa Mulholland

‘Desperate times call for desperate measures’ as the saying goes, but just how low can you go? It seems the Tories have no bottom limit. And no shame. And no moral compass.

Yes the Tories have brought Anne Marie Morris back into the fold, and not just the fold, but she is now Conservative whip.

You know, the Tory MP who received a slap on the wrist for casually using a racist phrase ” N***** in the woodpile” during a meeting to discuss Brexit. The Tories are so desperate for votes that they have to rely on her to make up the numbers (let’s not forget the £1 billion vote gap filler deal made with the DUP).

It is the year 2017 and yet here I am about to try and define why Anne Marie Morris, the Conservative MP for Newton Abbott needed more than a suspension for her ” N***** in the woodpile” comment while discussing Brexit during a meeting.

This is a phrase that I have never heard before now and a quick search reveals it is a term used to describe when ‘Something is not quite right’.

Taken from Wikipedia “A n****** in the woodpile or fence is a figure of speech” originating in 19th Century America to describe fugitive slaves to mean “some fact of considerable importance that is not disclosed or that something suspicious or wrong”.

Could Morris not have just said that she felt that something was amiss, or that something did not add up?

Did she really need to use this phrase with slavery connotations to illustrate her point?

It is one thing for a nasty racist thug (that isn’t a member of the Conservative Party) to say that word, even in private, disgusting and outrageous that would be too. But it is quite another more serious matter for a Minister of Parliament to do so, and so publicly too.

As an MP, she has been elected to represent thousands of people in her constituency at the highest level in the United Kingdom. She has sat in Parliament, since she was elected in 2010 and in doing so she has been given the enormous right and more importantly, responsibility to vote on matters that concern the British public and be part of the policy making process.

As a Minister, she can vote on Bills that, after a series of processes and votes can eventually become British Law, whilst sitting in a grand building steeped in hundreds of years of history.

A place where numerous laws have been debated, voted on and became part of our British history.

The most prominent in my mind is the Race Relations Act of 1965 that made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their race.

This law would have gone through many different stages before being granted Royal Assent to become British Law. Those debates and conversations would have taken place in the very room that she sits in.

Anne Marie Morris was just 8 years old when the law finally came to pass. So where has she been hiding for the past 52 years?

What shocks me even more is her party’s response to this. Yes, Theresa May has suspended her. But since that suspension other MPs, media and supporters jumped to her defence. And now bringing her back in to the fold. Did she think we would forget?

The Spectator, in their article entitled “A vicious reaction to a very bad word” talks about Morris’ comments and called it an ‘outdated idiom’.

Yes, over 100 years out of date and apparently died out by about 1930.

That is of course if you aren’t a member of the Conservative party. Because on closer inspection and research, this we only have to go back to 2008 when Lord Dixon- Smith, a Conservative Party Minister under David Cameron used the exact same phrase.
According to The Telegraph he was said to have used the phrase, when forced to apologise he admitted, that “the unfortunate phrase had “slipped out without my thinking”, and added: “It was common parlance when I was younger, put it that way”.

Treating Morris as though she is a naughty child who doesn’t know what she is saying and just to be chastised is not acceptable. She is a 60-year-old, Oxford educated woman who chose a career in Politics.

I dread to think what she says in private if she thinks it is acceptable to state this publicly because N word is more than just a word.

It is a concept that encompasses 500 years of white rule. It is a vulgar term that is very rarely ever used these days. It has no place in our society even when stemming from the lowest forms of insult, or so I thought.

Theresa May has made a mockery of the last 52 years where we have had a law that is designed to protect the British people from racism (including all the acts and statutes that have been passed in recent years to strengthen that law) and she seems to have forgotten that this actually means something.

I wonder what depths she will sink to next to cling on to ‘power’?

The Fight for Equality is Everyone’s Fight By Nathen Amin

By Nathan Amin

We appear to be living in a peculiar period here in the UK where a bitter divide has opened between opposing sections of the populace over a topic that should, in truth, be a unifying force – equality.

What one person proclaims should be a natural right for all is often vociferously condemned by another as a threat to their culture’s established way of life. It is a bizarre time indeed, and this is one ideological conflict I am not quite sure I understand. Surely, the battle for equality is a battle ALL of us should be fighting, regardless of our genealogical background, which we have no control over incidentally, or political outlook.

I can’t be the only person exasperated by witnessing protests by those seeking to establish equal rights for minority sections of the British public; reduced to nothing more than violent clashes between the right and left. Both sides often degraded by the other with unhelpful monikers such as fascist and Anti-FA, Nazi and snowflake, and so on.

How the hell a term like ‘liberal’, incidentally, became an insult, I’ll never know, and truth be told, I’ll never comprehend how anyone can protest against equality in the first place.

Let me expand a little bit. Whether we appreciate the fact or not, and it appears that many in modern-day Britain are wilfully preferring to remain ignorant, we are all affected by issues surrounding gender, health, sexuality, race, religion or creed. The fight for equality for those who are dreadfully affected by prejudice on a daily basis is a fight we should all be partaking in, as a united society, and not one that divides us into separate battalions headed for an inevitable clash every time our divergent paths cross, literally and figuratively. And yet, here we are.

Now, admittedly, I may be in an unusual place where I am affected by the fight for equality on several fronts, courtesy of my immediate family unit. I am affected on racial and religious grounds because of my own mixed-race ethnicity, my non-white father being a Muslim. I am affected on grounds of disability and mental health because of conditions which affect my sister and wife, whilst I also strive for equality based on sexual orientation because another sibling is LGBT. Naturally, some of these relations are women in the workplace, which opens up another front on which I want to see them receive parity they wholeheartedly deserve. It is absolutely in my interest that those people get every inch of support needed to, at the very least, ensure they are receiving equality in and out of the workplace.

If support is lacking in their life, if the women aren’t being paid fairly for a job a man does, or if a gay woman is discriminated against on account of her sexuality, or whether another family member gets overlooked for a role based on their colour, then you best believe that affects my own life. So I am a supporter of gay marriage, rights for migrants, support for mental health services, and yes, I am a male advocate of feminism.

Not everyone is in my situation, however, so I want to speak directly to those who openly criticise folk for espousing the desire to see equality given in all areas of life. I’m speaking to those who post bitter, obscenity-laden, diatribes online decrying another ‘lefty’ attempt to destroy our ‘native’ culture by pushing for gay marriage, defending immigration, giving too much credence to mental health issues, or even supposedly pandering to other faiths such as Judaism and Islam to the detriment of ‘our Christian way of life’. How dare those women call for equal pay in work!

Well, have you guys ever considered the fact that any fight for equality might just be a fight you will someday appreciate, and even be grateful for?

Allow me to be a bit blunt, hereon in. The majority of those who loudly decry ‘pandering’ to minorities, whether based on racial grounds, on sexual orientation, or any other basis, are largely drawn from a straight, white British-born male demographic. Not all, of course, as some within that background are as left and inclusive as the next person, but it’s not incorrect to suggest that the make-up of most EDL, Britain First or other Far-Right or conservative movements tend to be from those drawn from such a background. It is these counter-activists who claim to stand up for their endangered culture, to be the defenders of perverse notions such as embracing multi-culturalism or freedom of sexuality. And you can, on one hand, understand why. After all, those men, you know the types, often snarling with indignation whether in person or on the internet, don’t care about being foreign, gay or a woman, and who often implore those with mental health issues to simply ‘suck it up’. They’re white, British, straight, male. This, it seems, is not their fight, and they don’t see why concessions should be made.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder. In time, these men will have wives, they will have daughters and sons, and they will perhaps even have a brood of grandchildren.

Have they never considered the fact that equality in the workplace between men and womencould mean the difference between their wives being paid the same amount of money to do a job another man does? 

Or the fact that one of their children, or grandchildren, may be homosexual and want to marry, or perhaps are even straight but have wed into a family of an immigrant background with different faith. Perhaps they will have a child who suffers from mental illness that prohibits them from leading a full and active lifestyle. Maybe even THEY will suffer from a depressive episode in their life. Having a ‘stiff upper lip’ won’t fend off the ravages of depression, regardless of their boasts of ‘manning up’. The very ideas these, I hesitate to call them men, persons stand against are the very things that could, one day, be imperative in protecting their own families. And that’s, after all, what it means to be a man, surely – to protect your loved ones, and ensure they have every opportunity to become the very best versions of themselves?

Would these people be satisfied to learn their child didn’t get that job because they were a lesbian, or their wife couldn’t get that promotion because she was a woman?

No-one in their right mind in today’s British society should sincerely consider equality to be a negative thing. 

Freeing everyone of any shackles, mentally, physically, legally, will only benefit everyone. I want the best for my family and friends, be they white, brown, male, female, straight, gay, disabled or otherwise. I want everyone to be free to reach whatever goal they have set for themselves, and not to be barred by their race, gender, sexuality or health. That’s not a bad thing to stand for.

Equality affects us all. Let me repeat that, Equality affects us ALL.

**

Nathen Amin grew up in the heart of Carmarthenshire, West Wales, and is the author of non-fiction books Tudor Wales (2014), York Pubs (2016) and House of Beaufort (2017), an Amazon #1 Bestseller for Wars of the Roses. He is currently working on his fourth book, Pretenders to the Tudor Crown, for release in 2019. He has also featured discussing the Tudors on BBC radio and television, as well as in print and online media across the UK. He has a degree in Business and Journalism and now lives in York, where he works as a Technical Writer.

The return of the far right in Germany by Helen Hill

By Helen Hill

Today, Sunday 24th September, a general election takes place in Germany.

Whilst we have seen the right wing rise in America and come close to parliamentary success in many European counties in recent elections (notably France) the country that I would have thought we were least likely to ever see this happen is Germany. 

84 years ago in 1933 – Germany elected a far right wing Nationalist party, this led to some of the worst atrocities in modern history and ultimately World War 2.

Ever since then, the Germans have kept the far right out of their Parliament and no far right wing party has ever held a single seat since. I doubt that fact would surprise anyone given the scale of what went on there and less than a century later with some of the people who endured it still around to remind us of the danger that the far right wing can present, it is almost a given! 

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the polls suggest that for the first time since World War 2 a far right wing party are looking likely to win seats in the German parliament today.

The party in question are called the AfD or “Alternative for Germany” and when I say they are anti immigration, I mean it. 
Their election campaign has centred around anti Muslim rhetoric and the campaign posters are well…. not dissimilar to the hate spilling and divisive ones produced by the Nazi party 84 years ago. 

“New Germans? We Will Make Our Own”

“Tourists Welcome, we will deport bogus asylum seekers and Islamists!”

“Burqa’s? We prefer Bikinis!”

They later pulled a poster from their campaign that read “Islam does not fit with our cuisine!” displaying a picture of a piglet, but not for reasons you might think. 

They did not pull it because they realised it was racist, they pulled it because they realised it was not having the desired effect because people felt sorry for the pig! 

They were worried it would put children off from voting for them in the future because the children would view them as the party who are cruel to pigs! (Yes, not a race of human beings – pigs!)

More worrying still, this party do not look set to win just a couple of seats from misguided protest votes that would give them little influence, they are looking as though they will win many and could actually become the official opposition. 

So, what has changed? Why are German people now looking to a far right wing party to represent them after shutting them out for so long? 

Well, it would appear it is down to Merkel and her parties policy on refugees. There appears to be huge division in opinion among citizens on this particular policy. Some German people are proud of it and see it as something to celebrate, others see it as irresponsible, a drain on resources and a danger to homeland security. None of the other mainstream parties seem to be offering anything much different in terms of their stance on immigration and as a result, people are turning to the far right. 
Merkel looks set to stay in power for an impressive fourth term, not by a majority win but rather a coalition government and who that will be formed with remains to be seen, but I think given the vast difference in stance on immigration alone it will not be the that AfD she chooses to share power with. 

Whether the pundits are correct and the AfD will do as well as is being suggested will become clear this evening when the ballots close and if they do I think this raises some questions for the left wing all over Europe – if the right can even rise in Germany after what they did there, is anywhere safe? 



Helen Hill is also the Editor at:

https://www.facebook.com/thesocialiteuk/