n the wake of the Conservatives’ electoral triumph there are a couple of flies in the ointment. One is the alleged Islamophobia problem that the Conservative Party is accused of; the other is the rumour – that will not die – of unwanted infiltrators joining the party from groups like Britain First. Both issues should be addressed as they are molehills which opponents plot to turn into mountains, mostly in an attempt to hide their own antisemitic deficiencies.
The Tory executive are well-placed to kill off the first alleged problem by issuing guidelines to politicians, officials, activists and members – explaining in no uncertain terms to them how racism (in its most elastic sense) has no home in the Conservative Party, whether it takes the form of race targeting as in antisemitism or targets religious minorities, such as Muslims. The word Islamophobia should be avoided at all costs – the word is a blatant attempt by Islamists, like the political Islamists of the MCB, to foist protections on their interpretations of medieval sharia which in 2020 are not merited by them and go against the grain of freedoms Britons have won, defended and deserve.
Killing off the second problem will take some work. It is not that simple to prevent a member of some neanderthal group like Britain First joining the Conservative Party through the Conservative Party website and lying about past or present affiliations. It is not practicable to Kroll check all members, as the cost will be exorbitant. Even that kind of check is unlikely to distinguish a Britain First extremist called Tom Smith from any other Tom Smith. CCHQ can only rely upon its own investigations and make sure that the most prominent members of Britain First are excised at the earliest opportunity.
The good news for the Conservatives is that Britain First – like other nuance-phobic extremist groups – has exaggerated its numbers. While The Guardian is happy to quote Britain First’s membership at 5,000 and Britain First claims it has 7,500 members, the actual number is likely nearer 2000 paid-up subs. The group tends to obfuscate and exaggerate its size by bad filing: in July 2019, the Electoral Commission announced that Britain First had been fined £44,200 following an investigation that identified a series of offences against electoral registration regulations, including failing to keep accurate financial records of transactions in 2016, failing to file any quarterly donation reports in 2016 (with £200,000 of undeclared donations), not having its 2016 accounts professionally audited and failing to provide information sought by the commission.
By addressing these two issues swiftly and effectively, the Conservative Party can continue to attack Labour from high ground – directly and via its outriders – for the obvious racism that eats at the heart of Labour under Corbyn and which, by support and association, festers in whoever comes to replace Corbyn as leader. The modern Conservative Party is neither racist, anti-religious nor a safe harbour for extremists – with effective command and control, these facts should be easy to promote. A one-strike-and-out policy – with a contracted-out rapid appeals unit – will protect the party and make Labour’s attempts to deal with its antisemitism problem look even more shambolic.
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