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The tweet came from Nick Harrington, a councillor for the Stoneleigh and Cubbington ward of the Warwick District Council, in response to Ireland giving the UK zero-points during last night’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The tweet read, “#Eurovision2017 thanks Ireland. You can keep your f’king gypsies! Hard border coming folks!”
Councillor Harrington’s account has since been suspended or deleted, but a screenshot of the tweet has gone viral.
Some are now calling for his resignation while others have demanded an apology. One Twitter user claimed they had reported him to Surrey Police for hate speech.
The Tories’ open racism
Although it is not yet clear whether Councillor Harrington posted the tweet himself, such remarks only bring to the surface a problem which many already know to exist within the Conservative’s ranks. The Tories’ have a long and ignominious history of open racism.
This is, after all, the party which ran its 1964 Smethwick election campaign on the slogan “If you want a n*gger for a neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour.”
This is the party of Oliver Letwin, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, who in 1984 described black people as having “bad moral attitudes”. Letwin also went on to say that schemes to help black people would be spent in “the disco and drugs trade” and employment programmes would only see black people “graduate … into unemployment and crime”.
But nor is the Tories’ problem with racism confined to some murky past.
In 2002, Boris Johnson, the Tories’ current Foreign Secretary, described black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. He has also written that “blacks have lower IQs”.
In January 2010, Tory councillor for Colne, Smith Benson, complained that there were “too many Pakis” in his town.
In May 2014, David Bishop, a Tory council candidate in Brentwood, Essex, tweeted “it’s good to be anti-Islam” and called Islam “the religion of peace & rape”.
In October 2014, Maidenhead Tory councillor Alan Mellins suggested complained about Travellers and said the solution was to “execute them.”
In May 2015, Tory councillor for Leicestershire Bob Fahey referred to a fellow councillor as a “chink”.
The list is endless!
One thing that it is important to note is that in almost all of these cases no disciplinary actions were carried out against the perpetrators.
The Tories are unapologetic in their racism!
The comedian Stewart Lee recently quipped that “if political correctness has achieved one thing, it’s to make the Conservative Party cloak its inherent racism behind more creative language.”
As Councillor Harrington’s tweet illustrates once again, apparently this is only partially true.
A vote for Theresa May’s party is a vote for unchecked racism.