Message to Simon Danczuk MP: Being wrong is not the same as being racist

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, the MP who recently clashed with Owen Jones on the Daily Politics over the Spending Review, has a piece in today's Telegraph in which he writes that the politics of the Labour left "should be viewed in the same way as we view the views of the BNP".

Labour MP Simon Danczuk, the MP who recently clashed with Owen Jones on the Daily Politics over the Spending Review, has a piece in today’s Telegraph in which he writes that the  politics of the Labour left “should be viewed in the same way as we view the views of the BNP”.

This is a shame, and it appears frustration has got the better of Danczuk, because putting aside this absurd comparison he makes some good points in the piece.

But no, the Labour left should not “be viewed in the same way as the BNP”. The BNP are a racist party who, amongst other things, would like to forcibly repatriate non-white Britons. If Danczuk had been comparing communists to the BNP then there might have been an academic argument to be had (Stalinists killed more people than fascists, after all), but he only refers to the “Labour left”.

In other words, Danczuk is comparing people who use their time and energy to try to improve the lives of working people – usually for nothing in return – to racist thugs and holocaust deniers who firebomb “P*ki shops”.

As well as being extraordinarily lazy, this is a disgraceful slur on many fine activists.

Sure, some of the Labour left’s ideas about nationalisation may be a little naive; but this does not make them comparable to a party that promotes sinister racial theories and hates people based on nothing more than the pigmentation of their skin.

Danczuk is right to highlight the economic illiteracy of those unreconstructed Bennites who have failed to learn from the failures of the post-war settlement. He is also right to criticise those in the Labour Party who view “Blairites” as the main enemy, rather than the Conservative Party. But comparing the Labour left to the BNP is not the way to make that point.

Being wrong is not the same as being racist, and it’s remarkable that anyone (least of all an MP) should need to be told that.

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

27 Responses to “Message to Simon Danczuk MP: Being wrong is not the same as being racist”

  1. Dopermine

    You may as well compare Blairites to Nazis – they invaded Iraq, oversaw the slaughter of 700,000 all in the name of imperialist glorification.

    Naive? Is thinking that Quantitative Easing and Austerity (both originally New Labour policies) are anything other than the unfolding of class power under an updated guise (pour £375bn into pockets of finance capitalists while spanking people in wheelchairs).

    The failure of the post-war settlement occurred 40 years ago. Now we are dealing with the failure of the Neo-Liberal settlement that replaced it, one which Blair heartily endorsed.

  2. NT86

    What is so naive about renationalisation of *certain* things? Granted I think most industries can remain private, and there are areas I don’t always agree with the Labour left about. But how has privatisation benefited the railways or utilities all these decades? Like health, those are natural monopolies which are used by virtually everyone. Costs have been escalating for years and only serve shareholders. For example, the last Labour government renationalised the East Coast franchise. It was profitable for the taxpayer and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from commuters. So what does this government plan to do with it? Reverse that all.

    Those are the two areas that wouldn’t actually hurt gradually being taken back into public ownership.

    It’s pretty depressing that Simon Danczuk represents a town that gave us the Rochdale Pioneers, and the birth of modern co-operatives.

    Owen Jones can be a bit “right-on” for my liking at times. But what on earth is so militant about someone who shows compassion for the weakest in society, most of whom are in their situation for no fault of their own? The way unemployed and disabled people are being portrayed is vile and hypocritical, given that politicians are subsidised by the taxpayer and were famously caught up in the biggest scandal of benefit fraud in 2009. Owen is certainly not wrong to question the policies of Iain Duncan Smith.

  3. PeterG

    What an incredibly offensive & bizare thing for a Labour MP to say about Labour Party members. I wish he had the same antipathy towards the coalition government. He should apologise.

    We are absolutely certain he isn’t in the process of defecting to the Tories aren’t we?

  4. ciccio

    Hmmm…Stalinism, in the same manner, cannot be considered as Communism which is the inference above.

  5. Ron Porter

    The BNP hates anybody from a different racial or national background, while Labour hates those from an indigenous background, certainly if they’re English. Neither is tolerant or tolerable. They’re two sides of the same coin, and the currency is bigotry.

Comments are closed.