Socialist Worker

LETTERS - Islamophobia from the Tories, but also from a shocking source

Issue No. 2675

Boris Johnson has pushed Islamophobia

Boris Johnson has pushed Islamophobia (Pic: UK Parliament/Flickr)

At the Tory party conference in Manchester last week its racism and reaction was on show.

At a fringe event called “Challenging Islamophobia” you might possibly have thought that Islamophobia would be challenged.

Instead many at the meeting challenged the very idea that Islamophobia existed.

The meeting promoted Islamophobia and denied the racism that Muslims experience. Some argued the term Islamophobia is a threat to free speech.

Muslims experience Islamophobia everyday through physical and verbal abuse, the imposition of Prevent and the far right violence promoted by the likes of Tommy Robinson. Yet the meeting spent much of its time attacking Muslims.

Shockingly, it was chaired by Trevor Phillips, ex-chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Worse, LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell was a panellist. It is outrageous that he joined this discussion.

LGBT+ attacks have increased 144 percent over the last four years of Tory rule.

The government has failed to support schools under attack over changes in Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) to include reference to LGBT+ issues. Tatchell should oppose the Tories’ racism 100 percent. Worse still, Phillips and Tatchell joked about which one might be awarded the title Islamophobe of the Year.

Their active support for this meeting undermines the fight against racism and the fight for LGBT+ liberation.

We need to take on the Tories, not debate with them. We need to forge a unity amongst oppressed people, not create divisions.

It is vital that we take a stand against both Islamophobia and the attacks on LGBT+ people, and defend LGBT+ inclusive education and SRE. We need to beat back the bigots, not give them a lifeline.

Michael Dance, North London

Would you have George Monbiot in an XR group?

Phil Knight (Letters, 2 October) attacks the writer and activist George Monbiot because he has supported nuclear power.

The letter tries to link Monbiot to the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan.

It’s such a blinkered view of who it is possible to work with over the climate emergency.

Monbiot has written some of the clearest pieces of analysis about climate change and has been scathing about solutions that come from within the corporate mindset.

He never lets the people at the top off the hook, and he links the climate emergency to wider social questions such as excessive wealth.

I would be very happy if Monbiot was part of my Extinction Rebellion group.

Presumably Phil Knight would want to drive him out because of a statement he made years ago.

Erica Butler, Milton Keynes

Brexit politics feels so removed from me

I am very concerned about the way that politics is going in Britain.

Everything is about Brexit and what’s happening in parliament. But really that doesn’t affect me much.

I know people say it will be my job or my future that will be hit.

But when you are paid less than £9 an hour I can’t say I find that convincing.

So I was cheered up by some of the policies that were passed at Labour’s conference.

But is Jeremy Corbyn going to get elected and is he then going to be able to get through what conference passed?

Like a lot of people I feel very pessimistic.

I am concerned that a lot of very right wing people will get the most from what’s going on while all the hope we have had about Corbyn gets taken away.

I hope I am wrong.

Anita Robertson, Birmingham

Hoey must be sacked

You’re right to say that Margaret Hodge should be dumped as a Labour MP (Socialist Worker, 2 October).

But Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey should go as well.

She spoke at a fringe meeting at the Tory party conference. That’s bad enough, but she actually said, “Coming from Northern Ireland I am very proud that Boris Johnson has called the Benn bill a surrender bill because we all know about no surrender in Northern Ireland.”

She was peddling a phrase wholly associated with Loyalist supremacism and violence.

I can’t believe Labour lets her get away with it.

Robert Lucas, South London

Unite to stop GM fat cats

Thanks for your coverage of the General Motors (GM) strike in the United States. I am 100 percent with those workers fighting back and can only hope they win a big victory.

And it’s such a refreshing change to read about international solidarity rather than workers at plants in different countries fighting each other.

We should remember that the company chief executive, Mary Barra, gets a salary of £18 million a year.

That’s nearly 300 times the average pay of a GM worker.

Mary White, Bradford

Who’s winning in Hong Kong?

I was fully in support of the Hong Kong protests when they began.

But now they seem to be wholly captured by the US and Britain.

Or do the Western media only show us the protesters they like?

Madeleine Pugh, On Facebook

Bolsonaro and the murderers

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has been pictured grinning and giving the thumbs up alongside a man arrested in connection with the murder of left wing councillor Marielle Franco in 2018.

It was the second time he has been photographed alongside a suspect in the case.

He is a killer. He has to be driven out or Brazil will go back to dictatorship.

Maria Mautner, South London

I don’t trust a ‘caretaker’

If Labour goes into a “caretaker” government headed by anyone except Jeremy Corbyn it will be a disaster.

It will be the triumph of Blairite ideas about “national unity” if they line up behind a figure such as Margaret Beckett, let alone Tory Ken Clarke.

Mark Neville, Shrewsbury

Tory Rory is no progressive

So Rory Stewart has left the Tory party.

But he’s no progressive. He was a deputy governor in Western-occupied Iraq and prisons minister in a government of austerity and racism.

Ben Hillier, Leicester

Fracking good news to cheer

Two pieces of good news in a week.

The Scottish government has banned fracking, and fracking company Cuadrilla has begun removing its equipment from its site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

Maybe we are winning.

Tammy Gordon, Walsall

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.