Two reasons why firing James McGrath was right

Sunny Hundal

Boris Johnson sacked a senior advisor who said in an interview, responding to the suggestion by writer Darcus Howe that Boris Johnson's election may trigger an exodus of older African-Caribbean migrants back to the West Indies, he said:  "Well, let them go if they don't like it here." Naturally the Tories are up in arms over this.

1) The realpolitik reason. For the Tories to complain about mis-characterisation, mis-representation and saying its  "political correctness gone mad" is rich given they're just put out a document to character assassinate Gordon Brown. They've indulged in this for years, and on sensitive issues nuance always goes out of the window. Remember this furore over senior Lib-Dem member Jenny Tonge MP because she dared to sympathise with militant Palestinians under siege from the Israelis? Tories are just as much to blame for the lack of nuance in political debates.

In that regard, only Tory columnists Fraser Nelson at the Coffeehouse seems to have correctly seen the writing on the wall.

2) Then there is the morally right decision. Telling minority groups to go somewhere else if they don't like it here has long been part of the racist agenda perpetuated by the fascist British National Party (BNP) that says that these people might be born and bred in the UK, but they'll never be truly British.

There's an old BNP line:  "Just because a dog is born in a stable, it doesn't grow up to become a horse," which is used when confronted with someone like me who sees himself quite firmly as a Briton.

As part of that narrative, anytime someone of a minority background questions their country's policies - they are told to move to another country if they don't like it. So for example, once liberal Guardian pundit Melanie Phillips now a Daily Mail and Spectator turncoat can complain that the country is in moral decay and no one raises an eyebrow but if a British Muslim says it then they're told to head to the Middle East. You don't belong here anyway - is the subtext.

Whether James McGrath, Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Iain Dale or Tim Montgomerie like it or not - just using the phrase  "move to another country if you don't like it here" has deep associations with BNP language and terminology. For that reason, the phrase and its variations should never be part of acceptable discourse.

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1 Response to "Two reasons why firing James McGrath was right"

Phill

Sun, 06/29/2008 - 19:34
<p>Your first &#39;reason&#39; as to why it was OK to sack Mr McGrath is a complete red herring fallacy.</p><p>You post an article set out to discuss the two reasons why it was OK to sack him and in the first paragraph you substitute the argument for another unrelated one (Gordon Browns character according to the Tories) and pass that off as a valid reason. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Your second reason is a total Strawman fallacy.<br /> </p><p>Mr McGrath stated in reply to Darcus Howe&#39;s statement that with Boris as mayor of London many black Londoners might decide to return to the Caribbean; &quot;Well, let them go if they don&#39;t like it here.&quot;</p><p>You lay out the BNP&#39;s position and attack that position then weave the BNP in with Mr McGraths statement which you believe is the second valid reason to sack Mr McGrath</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>