David Cameron doesn’t ‘want Muslims out of London’; he wants them in Parliament
This has led to demands from the Conservative Party co-chairman Baroness Warsi for Ms Buck to be dismissed.
Certainly, it is a bizarre allegation to make of the Conservative Party under David Cameron, since he bent over backwards to ensure that more black and ethnic minority candidates stood at the last general election than ever before:
Possibly the most visible distinction between Cameron’s conservatism and that embodied by previous Conservative Party leaders is evidenced in the extent to which his party has adapted to contemporary ethno-religious demography: the Party went into the 2010 general election with the prospect of around 15 ethnic-minority candidates likely to win their seats, which roughly reflected the proportion of black and ethnic minority people within the population. Not all did, of course. But there are still quite a few different skin tones now basking on the Government benches, and a very healthy number are Conservative.
The traditional Anglican allegiance of the Conservative Party has been systematically down-played or refuted over recent years in favour of the interests and common agendas of all faith communities, which may be identified as the family, poverty, urban regeneration, racism, asylum and world debt. Potentially divisive issues are either not usually addressed or are skirted around (such as practices arising from strongly-held religious convictions which may appear morally unacceptable to the wider community, the law, or even internationally acknowledged human rights). Such a multi-faith approach is consistent with David Cameron’s ecumenical Anglicanism, and perhaps stems from his appreciation that Christianity does not exert the same dominance in the public sphere as it did when the Conservative Party last formed a government.
Yet calling for a Labour MP to be dismissed for playing ‘the race card’ is bit rich when the Prime Minister himself is not averse to calling UKIP 'closet racists’.
And the inference of Baroness Warsi’s comment that derogatory talk about Muslims has ‘passed the dinner-table test’ is that we are all 'Islamophobic' and subliminally want Muslims kept out of Midsomer Murders.
It is cheap and easy for politicians to hurl insults and call their opponents (and even their allies) unpleasant names. Good grief, it wasn’t so long ago that Patrick Mercer was ‘racist’, and His Grace has lost track of the number of ‘bigots’ or ‘homophobes’ there are. But such is the rough and tumble of what now passes for political debate in this country: if you dare to mention immigration, you're racist. If your raise sexual morality, you're homophobic. And don't, for God's sake, mention the Act of Settlement.
Karen Buck is just wrong about the Conservative Party and wrong about David Cameron. Further, she appears to have omitted to notice that the policy of capping housing benefit at £20k per annum (an eminently sensible move in times of fiscal restraint) is a coalition initiative. If the Conservatives ‘want Muslims out of London’, so must the Liberal Democrats.
While no sensible and discerning person could possibly believe that the Liberal Democrats are either liberal or democratic, it is absurd to assert that they are a party which would support a programme of 'ethnic cleansing'. But asking Ed Miliband to sack Karen Buck is as fruitless and futile as Nigel Farage asking the Conservatives to sack David Cameron. The Conservatives do not ‘want Muslims out of London’; UKIP are not closet racists. Touché.