To Americans, this is all painfully familiar
//Cast your mind back to the Rotherham by-election 21 months ago. The local MP, Denis MacShane, was on his way to prison after claiming public money by deceit. The candidate chosen to replace him, Sarah Champion, had been imposed by Labour’s NEC, prompting half the local party to walk out in protest. National news in the run-up to polling day was dominated by the removal of the children from their Ukip-voting foster home. And yet, even in a by-election when they might have painlessly signalled that they were sick of being messed around, the townsfolk dutifully gave Labour 46.46 per cent of the vote. You can hardly blame Labour for taking such voters for granted.
Any political organisation that lacks an opposition will, over time, become flabby, self-serving, intolerant of criticism, obsessed with its pet dogmas – foremost among which, in Rotherham, is what we erroneously call “anti-racism”.
“Anti-racism” has for a long time been the most powerful card in the Leftist deck, trumping everything else: free contract, free association, free speech. It has been elevated as the supreme goal of public policy. Local councils aren’t there to deliver services, but to “promote inclusiveness”. Universities aren’t there to teach, but to “mainstream diversity” (diversity, of course, referring to outward appearance, not opinion). Businesses aren’t there to make an honest profit, but to “reflect modern Britain”.
It’s easy enough to see how this dogma originally came about. People were reacting against hard, brutal racism of a kind that has become mercifully rare: fellow citizens being denied jobs for which they were qualified, turned away as tenants, called foul names, even physically attacked. These things can still happen, but their rarity now makes them shocking. Labour’s rotten boroughs, though, remain stuck in the early Eighties.//