The Labour Party are showing the classic signs of a political party that's under pressure, as having run out of token slogans, like "One Nation" this and that, or the latest "Cost of Living Crises", their daily mouthpiece, the Daily Mirror, continues to attack Mr Miliband's political adversaries in the most dubious fashion, by carrying out a campaign of misrepresentation and propaganda, more reminiscent of American presidential adverts, where rubbishing and trivialising your opponents is far more important than offering a viable political alternative to them.
Possibly as part of flipping through their new negative campaigning playbook, over the past few days, Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan, has been wheeled out in public by the Daily Mirror to add his own two-penneth-worth about how truly nasty their Conservative opponents are; and making sure to let his readership know that if they're Black or Asian then the Tory Party was part of their everyday problems, not a potential solution.
"The Tories are out of touch and not to be trusted when it comes to race" Labour claimed today, according to the newspaper. In a stinging attack, Labour frontbencher Sadiq Khan suggested the Conservatives came across as part of the “racist establishment” of the 1980s. The Shadow Justice Secretary also said that David Cameron’s insistence that his party wanted to reach out to Black and Asian voters should be viewed with “suspicion”. He pointed out the Coalition Cabinet was “overwhelmingly white and male” with Baroness Warsi, the only member who was from an ethnic minority .
Writing for the Mirror, the Labour Shadow Minister said: “No party can understand society without looking like the country it represents. “Britain will know when the Tory party has finally changed on race and ethnicity – after all, seeing is believing.” He went on: “But as the election gets closer, the Tories are targeting ethnic communities. They say they’ve changed, but have they?”
Mr Khan also revealed today how Labour was to launch a new drive to reach out to black and minority ethnic voters. He said the party could not “rest on its laurels” and assume it had the black vote in the bag. The Tooting MP added: “We need to give the next generation of ethnic minority Brits, a reason to vote Labour, not just because it was something their parents have always done.”
His comments came after Tory election candidate Afzal Amin admitted last week that the “general perception” among ethnic minorities was the party was racist. And Tory election guru Lynton Crosby had reportedly said that reaching out to ethnic voters “muddies” the party message.
Mr Khan also added : "Having grown up as an Asian boy in Thatcher’s Britain, I’m suspicious of the Tories on race. It was tough, with a racist establishment which the Tory Government failed to challenge. They ignored Stephen Lawrence’s family after his murder and they were never on my side when I suffered racism. I’m proud to be an MP for the Labour Party – which has always fought for those facing discrimination. Only Labour’s policies speak to minority Brits, from tackling stop and search abuses to hiring more minority police officers."
Obviously, for a purportedly educated man, Mr Khan is either being deliberately disingenuous, or really is pretty stupid to begin with. Having employed the usual left-wing attempt to close down debate on his own comments by deploying the charge of "racist" against his political opponents, one can only assume that Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary recognises that he is attempting to use a fairly vacuous argument to begin with; and hopes that his Black and Asian readers will simply be foolish enough to fall for it, which I am sure many will not.
First of all, the reason why the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrat Party, UKIP and the rest of the minor political parties are represented by white people, is because some 87.1% of the UK population is white. There would be something seriously wrong with the country if a predominantly white electorate were to vote almost entirely for either Black or Asian representatives, especially when people from such ethnic groups don't generally stand for election to public office and only account for between 3 and 5% of the total population.
As for the actual disparity between men and women on the government benches, although Labour have a much better record than the Conservatives in that particular respect, that has as much to do with Women-only constituency shortlists, as it does with the Labour Party attracting more women into politics generally. The truth of the matter, is that purely on the basis of parliament reflecting the British population in terms of gender, there should be around 325 female MP's sitting in the House of Commons, on both sides of the house, so Labour is certainly in no position to criticise anyone else about female representation in Westminster.
As for the other issues raised by Mr Khan in his newspaper article, his growing up with a racist establishment, one that ignored the family of Stephen Lawrence, that were never on his side when he personally suffered racism, whilst at the same time praising the Labour Party that always fought for those facing discrimination, that tackled the issues of Stop and Search abuses, the Labour Party that hired more ethnic minority police officers. Of course, Mr Khan offers no qualification over the "establishment" that he's referring to, when he whinges about his own troubled past, before trying to closely associate his own personal suffering with that of the Lawrence family, as if there could be any comparison. The callous murder of Stephen Lawrence was a tragedy, but no more so than the hundreds of other personal tragedies that are visited on British families everyday of the week, every week of the year. The death of a loved one, whether by fair means or foul is a tragedy, regardless of whether you're white, black, British, Asian, or whatever. But for Mr Khan to try and make political capital out of that specific tragedy for entirely for party advantage, is a rather despicable method of trying to score points over your political opponents. But then, when you have a senior politician still whingeing and complaining about perceived wrongs done to him several decades before, then maybe it says more about him as an individual than it says about our country at large.
And as to Mr Khan's claim that the Labour Party somehow reduced the numbers of Stops and Searches carried out by the police, perhaps he has conveniently forgotten about the 101,000 Stops and Searches that were carried out in 2009/10 under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, that was introduced by the Labour Party. Perhaps Mr Khan has also forgotten about the 150,000 S & S's that were carried out under the same regulations in 2008/09, or the 1.2 million Stop and Searches (all sections) that were carried out in England and Wales in the year 2009/10. That is not to forget the 878,153 Stops and Searches that were carried out by police in the year 2005/06, but perhaps Mr Khan doesn't believe that these actions are anything to do with the Labour Party that he's talking about in his recent newspaper articles, the same political party that has been instrumental in making us one of the most stopped and surveilled democratic populations in the world? But then, isn't that the thing about being a good liar, you need a very good memory; and clearly in that particular respect, Mr Khan is obviously a bit of a failure. However, no doubt he can put that down to being a member of an ethnic minority as well?