Today is the 5th anniversary of the Brexit referendum. I remember it as the day I was aggressively told I was 'not English' by a Leave-supporting woman, as I stood outside a polling station in a sleepy Devon town - the first time in a lengthy life (as a white person in England) that I… Continue reading 5 years on, racism still shapes the legacy of Brexit and the Tory nationalist regime
Many of Britain's leading antiracists have devoted themselves, over the last week, to refuting - and sometimes ridiculing - the racism denial of a new official report on 'racial and ethnic disparities'. This document is now notorious for the attempt of its chair, Tony Sewell (right), to put a positive gloss on the 'slave period'… Continue reading Sewell’s denialism is a problem of strategic, as well as structural, racism
This paper is finally out in Patterns of Prejudice, HERE. Here's the abstract: 'Shaw’s paper examines Eric Kaufmann’s idea of ‘racial self-interest’—which references Max Weber’s types of rationality in order to support ‘cordoning off’ racism from broader anti-immigration attitudes—through an analysis of Brexit, Kaufmann’s principal case. It discusses how Weber’s ideas might help us identify… Continue reading Racial self-interest, Max Weber and the production of racism: the strategy and propaganda of Vote Leave during the Brexit referendum
My latest on openDemocracy: review article on Maria Sobolewska and Robert Ford, Brexitland: Identity, Diversity and the Reshaping of British Politics, Cambridge University Press, 2020. Political racism is key to Johnson's rise, but 'racism' is absent from Brexitland's conceptual framework British politics has been profoundly restructured since the 2016 referendum, Sobolewska and Ford argue in… Continue reading Political racism and the making of ‘Brexitland’ – review article
(Now published on openDemocracy) As Keir Starmer prepares for Labour’s 2020 conference he has almost closed the gap with the Tories in the polls and is ahead of Boris Johnson as ‘best prime minister’. He is currently visiting Scotland - where Labour is still very weak - and writes in The Scotsman that ‘the number… Continue reading Only a bold democratic programme can stop Starmer becoming Labour’s third leader to be squeezed in the war of English and Scottish nationalisms
No.10 tweet from the day Dominic Cummings returned to work (now deleted, of course) As the fall-out continues from the UK's disastrous pandemic policy-making in the first quarter of 2020, which has led to date to 63,000 excess deaths, it is vital that British sociology and politics academics provide accurate critical analyses. Sir Lawrence Freedman,… Continue reading Culpable ignorance, political humiliation, and their consequences: my revision of Lawrence Freedman’s first draft of the UK’s pandemic policy history
Pro-Johnson propaganda, London, 22 April 2020 “The debate is now between people who think we should suppress the virus completely and those who think we should run things quite hot, use the spare capacity in the NHS and aim to keep the R number just below one,” one official said. Another senior insider said: “You… Continue reading ‘Running hot’: the Tory priority remains to manage death, not minimise it. But will they get away with the unnecessary loss of life they have caused?
Dr David Hepburn tells C4 News (3 April) ‘all our ICU patients are in their 50s or younger’ A central feature of the Government’s public health advice has been the idea that the over-70s, along with people with serious health conditions, are the ‘vulnerable’, ‘at risk’ group in the epidemic. Most younger people therefore believed… Continue reading As many younger people die, why did the Government minimise the under-70s’ vulnerability to Covid-19?
On 17 March, when the extent of the British government's failure to protect the population from the coronavirus had become clear, the respected political commentator Ian Dunt tweeted, 'The Conservative party is not composed of genocidal murderers. They are not trying to cull the population', commenting that it's 'depressing that this needs saying. ... I'm seeing… Continue reading ‘Herd immunity and let the old people die’ – Boris Johnson’s callous policy and the idea of genocide
After a court judgment forced the government to remove more than half the people from the recent deportation flight to Jamaica, the prime minister’s press secretary said that the reaction to the case showed that 'certain parts of Westminster still haven’t learned the lessons of the 2019 election'. What this tells us is that for Johnson and… Continue reading Jamaica flight: Johnson/Cummings believe that symbolic racist cruelty will send the ‘red wall’ voters the message that the Government is on their side