BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
As someone who works daily with Africans, the words of David Lammy to investigator/presenter Stacey Dooley this week came as something of a surprise to me.
The citizens of African countries I work with welcome foreigners – for investment, tourism, to clean up environmental catastrophes, and to assist through NGO’s when their people are starving. Their warm welcome is nothing to do with skin colour – business, charity and tourism are all positives which benefit their local populations and result in all parties smiling. The white volunteers and tourists who you stumble across in the bars of Accra or Abidjan in downtime all talk about how they are received with open arms by their hosts. Lammy’s words seem very misplaced and one wonders how often he gets over to Africa – his parents are Guyanese after all, certainly not African, and Lammy seems to have little in common with Africans, whether they are white or black.
Should one be surprised at these kind of interventions by Lammy who seems to live off retweets and likes?
David Lammy is one of the worst, most divisive racists in Parliament. Beating Diane Abbott at her own game is no mean feat but Lammy does just that – he’s happier to create division between blacks and whites and to promote failed Identity Politics than to ameliorate social cohesion. Given that this is not his first foray into racism and inspiring social divisions, Lammy should be tapped on the shoulder by the Met for inciting racial hatred.
The only Africans that David Lammy has anything in common with are the dictators. Autocrats like Robert Mugabe who talk of “imperialist whites” – Mugabe blames his dreadful management of Zimbabwe on these white ghouls who do not exist. Some of the post-imperial Marxists, like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, were cut from the same cloth and preferred victim-hood over striving – actually encouraging aid to their countries. Lammy says he’s fed up of black Africans being portrayed as victims but it’s his Marxism and the nonsense dependency theory (based on economic imperialism that never existed) associated with some of the dodgier NGO’s like Oxfam which perpetuate this victim-hood strain. The Africans I come across want the dependency theorists to pack up and skedaddle.
The young black African students I talk to are entrepreneurial and go-getting – certainly not victims. They have benefited hugely from the return of repats from countries like the UK but are standing on their own feet and use mobile technology and the Web in ways that are astounding. In the UK you’d seek out a professional company to mend security cameras – out in Africa you ask one of the local kids. The new generation of black Africans puts Lammy’s victim generation to shame and their worldview is less bigoted, far less racist and way more optimistic than Lammy’s.
The signal that Lammy has given out to the gap year crowd and those young Brits who want to go and assist in orphanages across Africa – to the brilliant work the young Royals do in Lesotho – is frankly disgraceful. The orphans in Africa, in Nepal or the Philippines do not give a damn whether the young Brits who help them are white, black or orange with purple spots.
David Lammy should get out more. In the future, people will look back on the likes of Lammy and judge him more bothered by the tenets of Lyotard than Christ; less touched by the characteristics of selflessness and bravery than Stacey Dooley; just another middle-class socialist society-divider manifesting racism disguised as anti racism. To us today, Lammy is just a bore.
Post Brexit, Africa provides great opportunities for Britons and Britain provides great opportunities for African exporters. Don’t let the likes of Lammy have any sway over those relationships or make an issue about colour at all relevant. Those African students studying over here in the UK must be embarrassed by Lammy – except that handful of African students still bred in the Lammy genre who are studying social policy under Marxists at the LSE. (Such students are already being rejected back home in Africa and their once guaranteed government jobs are being taken by those with work experience in banks, business and the real world which David Lammy could do with spending some time in himself).