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Debate frappé

Labour peer Baroness Uddin claims £100,000 expenses on empty flat - Times Online.

Baroness_Uddin_538100aThe facts of this story seem simple enough and (subject to their being confirmed by due process) the legal conclusions quite clear. Perhaps a more interesting aspect of the story is how difficult it is to discuss alleged criminality by members of ethnic minorities without accusations of racism being made.

Craig Murray, for example, made disappointing allegations against Iain Dale on the patented Damian McBride/Derek Draper "guilt by association" formula that he failed to delete allegedly racist comments on his blog. In doing so, Murray stimulated a despair-inducing exchange of sloganising in his own comments. It seems rational discourse is impossible in such a context. How are we going to bring the different races and religions on our islands to live in harmony, when political correctness has such a chilling effect on debate? Particularly hurtful was Murray's own remark that:

I tend to the view that this proves that, if you move in Tory circles, you get inured to comments that make ordinary people's toes curl.

This is pure, ignorant prejudice. I am no longer a Conservative (see the sidebar) but I moved widely in Tory circles more than 25 years ago and never heard a racist sentiment expressed. I hardly think racism is likely to have crept in since. Tories, in my experience, are far less obsessed with human taxonomy, whether by race or class, than Socialists are. If Conservatives have a prejudice, it's generally for the productive against the unproductive. Of course that may not be true of all their voters, but it's not true of all Labour's voters either. Murray should be ashamed of his snide remark. As one of his commenters put it;

She is not a fraudster because that is a behaviour common to immigrants. She is a fraudster because that is a behaviour common to New Labour.

That's probably an unfair generalisation too. I am sure there must be some honest New Labourites. Give me a moment to think of one...

h/t Iain Dale via Craig Murray