I missed this year’s Marxism 2010 conference – I know, I lead a sheltered life. That means I also missed out on our old pal Richard Seymour’s talk on ‘The changing face of racism in Britain’.
In it he explains why opposing honour killings is racist. Nothing new there – he’s been banging that drum for at least six years. There is truth in what he says, a little, we have seen genuine cultural racism with the Eurabia crowd. On the whole, though, racism is anti-migrant in general as well as specifically anti-Muslim. I wonder why the far left has kittens over non-issues like the Birmingham CCTV controversy, when it could be tackling the problem of refugees being deported to countries where they can face serious harm.
What’s also interesting is what’s not said. It used to be that politicians used a fear of community discohesion and rivers of blood to justify an anti-immigrant stance. In reality, people get along better than Powell realised and there were few burning towns during the migrant boom years of the 2000s. Now there is an obvious economic cover for racists who want to persecute immigrants.
Rather than saying ‘Let’s deport Mr Ahmed because I don’t like his skin colour’ they can say ‘Let’s deport Mr Ahmed because although I am not racist I fear for the weight he and his family will bear on our already overburdened public services.’ If you come from an angle of a scarcity of jobs and resources then you can indeed justify locking people up indefinitely without trial and also sending them to places where they may be tortured and murdered.
The fact that this zero sum approach demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of wealth creation and how markets work is irrelevant. It convinces people and it will convince a lot more people as the Con/Dems slash and burn and the wounds of recession begin to sizzle. Given all this, I wonder that Seymour didn’t pursue the point in his speech.