The Conservative party and their enablers have killed 120,000 of their own citizens in recent years, but it’s weird how we never hear every day about The Conservatives’ Systemic Murder Problem.
They meant to do it as well. With policy. I’m not talking about regretted tweets or de-contextualised comments. This is an organisation killing people in doctrine and deed.
Imagine the press doing what naive people imagine the media’s job to be: holding the powerful to account. Imagine the constant front page stories, the resignations, the cries of “too little, too late!” and the actual lives saved.
I guess whether or not something gets viewed as urgent comes from which stories we want to tell, and how we tell them.
If, say, a company has rules and a process for dealing with racism in the workplace, and if we see people within the company able to call out racism, and people who break the rules being disciplined and dismissed, and we see the number of incidents involving racism declining over time, you could say it’s evidence that the rules are working, that the organisation is functional.
Or you could say it’s evidence that the organisation has a permanent racism problem (like most of the world has a permanent racism problem) every day, depending on what you want to achieve.
For the Labour party and the Left, it feels to me like the bar has now been raised to having to prove that zero anti-Semitism resides in anybody aligned with them. Which of course is ideal, but hard to prove. Organisations can make rules and sanction people who break them, monitor and invite outsiders to measure what can be measured, but of course it’s going to be impossible to *prove* zero prejudice. And It feels to me like that’s the point, to make this the story forever.
I think if those of us on the left choose to accept this framing, the framing of our ideological opponents, anything we do or say on this issue will always be characterised as not taking this permanent (and rightly urgent) challenge seriously enough.
Our opponents can choose to tell our story this way. It’s a free discourse.
But let’s also remember there’s this other story of the Left. A story of anti-racist, anti-imperialist social movements that have spent their whole existence struggling (and succeeding) to devolve power away from a privileged few to the hands of the many. Let’s also remember that story, and be energised by it.
Because the body count being racked up by the Conservatives’ Institutional Murder Problem is also an urgent crisis, and it needs to end. Yesterday.