Dear IRR News subscriber,
Like his hero Churchill, Boris Johnson has proved to be quite arrogant in his racism. Amidst the chaotic bearpit that was this week’s House of Commons, we should not forget that it witnessed one of the sole times a prime minister was called to account in the House for racism. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, the MP for Slough, the first man to wear a turban in the Commons, and who had himself since childhood endured racist name-calling, demanded an apology from Johnson for his now notorious Daily Telegraph article in 2018 in which he described fully-veiled Muslim women as looking like bank robbers or letter-boxes. (An echo of the ‘half-naked’ ‘fakir’ description of Gandhi by his hero?) And, as a report from Tell Mama shows (see our calendar of racism and resistance), such words from opinion-makers and politicians have a direct fall-out on the streets. In the week following the piece, the organisation recorded an increase of 375 per cent of anti-Muslim incidents.
The future of Johnson is of course far from secure, but for the record Frances Webber has written an account of what his administration means to date in terms of immigration policy. Read it here.
IRR News Team