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Saturday, August 27, 2016

United Nations highlights post-Brexit hate crime spike

I have written already on the racist legacy of the Brexit campaign, now the United Nations has chipped in with a statement by the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that it is “seriously concerned” that British politicians whipped up hatred and then “failed to condemn” racist abuse during the campaign.

The Independent points out that immediately following the referendum hate crimes surged by 42 per cent in England and Wales, with a total of 3,076 incidents recorded across the country between 16 and 30 June. They add that police figures show that many areas that voted strongly for Leave posted even higher results.

The UN Committee's report’s says that they are concerned about the “negative portrayal” of ethnic minority communities, immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees in the British media.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage was widely criticised for unveiling a poster with pictures of Syrian refugees alongside the caption the “breaking point”. He was also criticised for saying the referendum campaign had been won “without a shot being fired”, despite the shooting of Labour MP Jo Cox.

No doubt the brexiteers' reaction to this report will be to call for a referendum on us leaving the UN. The wider implications of the normalsiation of racist language in UK politics though have still not been fully assessed. All of this has consequences.

It is up to the media and politicians on all sides of the political divide to try and heal the sores they have opened up by once again making it unacceptable to act in this way.
You are right in bringing this issue up once again. The whole Brexit campaign was based purely on racism.

Immigrants, Asians, asylum seekers, foreigners, Polish, Muslims.. oh and the Turks. Do you remember that one ? They'll be coming over here next week.. secret deal.. Germany wants them ... and Cameron supports Turkish membership of the EU .. and so it went on. That fib was almost as big as the '£350 million a week we're going to spend on the NHS' advert we saw on the bus.

Whilst knocking on doors during the campaign, I lost count of how many times I heard racist rants and diatribes. However, I did notice one other interesting thing. Every single rant began in the same way..

" I'm not racist BUT......"

The Brexit campaign has given racists the platform they have been denied for decades. It is now OK to be openly racist.
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