Tory prime minister Theresa May announced a campaign against racism on Tuesday.
A new website was launched and government departments will be expected to “explain or change” their procedures to account for disparities.
It’s outrageous hypocrisy. May has presided over vicious racist assaults both as prime minister and home secretary.
Now she throws up her hands in horror at the results of the policies her own government peddles.
As home secretary May was responsible for the infamous “go home” vans that threatened undocumented migrants with deportation.
She said she wanted “to create a hostile environment” for such migrants.
When David Cameron called refugees stranded in Calais “a bunch of migrants” she cheered along with the rest of the Tory front bench.
In 2015 May said immigration made it “impossible to build a cohesive society”. She trotted out the old lie that migration means “wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.”
The Islamophobic Prevent strategy was pushed out further and deeper under her watch as well.
So nobody can believe that May is serious about tackling racism.
The party she leads is completely wedded to using it as a means of dividing us while it pursues the interests of the rich.
Tory racism gives racist movements such as the Football Lads Alliance—and others—the oxygen they need to breathe and grow. In 2015 Derek Laud, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher and John Major, described the Conservatives as “essentially racist”.
And in 2001, former Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley spoke of “endemic racism” in the party. “It’s in the system,” he said.
May said on Tuesday, “This audit means that for society as a whole—for government, for our public services—there is nowhere to hide.”
But beginning to root out racism would mean dismantling the laws that shut out migrants and closing the detention centres.
It would mean dealing with the killer cops, genuinely fighting inequality—at work and in housing—and much more.
May would have to fight it herself. But racism isn’t just in the Tory party—it’s how the capitalist system works.
And the Tories have no desire to change the system they manage for the bosses.
We will have to fight for real change—and against Tory racism and austerity.