It's amazing how my scoop about the race gaffe of Boris Johnson's top aide has uncovered the "nasty party" elements of the Conservatives. The-Latest and my personal email in-box have been flooded with an orchestrated tide of support for sacked James McGrath.
Messages have ranged from the Enoch Powell-type suggestion that I should "Go back home if I don't like it in Britain", a version of the slur which cost McGrath his job, to the hurtful and untrue statement that I, not McGrath, am "a racist", from a leading Tory blogger Dr Andrew Lilico. These are not the cuddly, hug-a-hoody people David Cameron would like us to believe his party has now become.
Some voters who, London mayor Boris Johnson acknowledged, hovered their pencil over his name before putting an "x" against it might now think the old political attack dogs are the true face of the "new" Conservatives. Britain has travelled a distance since the Anti-Racist Alliance, the Black-led all-party, all-faith movement I founded in 1991, helped parents Doreen and Neville set up their Stephen Lawrence campaign for justice after their son was murdered by racist thugs.
The Metropolitan police force, which bungled the investigation so badly that Stephen's killers are still walking the streets unpunished, has made moves to rid itself of "institutional racism". And a few other British institutions have attempted to do the same. But some white people are still incredibly touchy when Black people talk about racism — to a point where, too often, they are prepared to shoot the messenger, as demonstrated by the current Torygate scandal at London's city hall.
When I put to McGrath that an influential Black columnist for the Voice newspaper suggested that older Caribbeans in London might want to go back to the islands from which they came after Johnson's election, surely the right response was for him to have said: "Neither Boris Johnson nor I would want that. Black people are an important and valued part of London and we want them to stay."
Instead, the arrogant apparatchik, who is himself an immigrant from Australia, snapped: "Well, let them go if they don't like it here." I was flabbergasted. Hadn't such talk from a public servant gone out of fashion decades ago?
But more important than firing an official who has embarrassed him on the issue of race, for which Johnson himself has been criticised over his past utterances, the mayor should now put into action his declared commitment to 'multiculturalism'.
He has a legal obligation to do this, starting with him adopting a race equality policy and senior advisers to put it in place - both of which he has so far failed to do.
See my television interview on ITV's London Tonight: http://www.itvlocal.com/london/news/?void=204011
* Evening Standard columnist Will Self wrote, of McGrath's infamous outburst: "Was this a racist remark? I suspect so - but that is largely because of prejudices of my own: McGrath is a white Australian right-winger, a notoriously racist breed."
He added: "How refreshing it would be to hear a politician admit that he or she has occasional racist or misogynistic thoughts, and recognises the need to counter them with meaningful and effective policies. It would certainly give one greater faith in their understanding - both of themselves and society around them."