British Conservative Letwin’s racism revealed

This video from Britain says about itself:

30 December 2015

LONDON: One of Prime Minister David Cameron‘s top advisers has publicly apologized for racist comments he made 30 years ago that have just been made public.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin said today that comments he made to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1985, when several major British cities were gripped by riots, were “badly worded and wrong.”

In a memo to Thatcher, Letwin blamed “bad moral attitudes” for rioting in mostly black inner city communities. He said white communities had lived for decades in similar conditions without rioting.

He was at the time an influential adviser to Thatcher and helped shape her government’s response to the inner city disturbances.

The memo was released by the National Archives under a rule requiring government documents to be made public after three decades.

By Rob Wells in Britain:

After Letwin Broadwater comments, black activists ask DID TORY RACISM OF ’85 EVER END?

Thursday 31st December 2015

A STORM of condemnation threatened to engulf Tory eminence grise Oliver Letwin yesterday as equality activists warned his recently revealed racist remarks are reflected in 2015 government policies.

Cabinet Office minister Mr Letwin claimed in a 1985 government memo that inner-city riots were caused by “bad moral attitudes” — and argued schemes to get poverty-hit black people into business would see them “set up in the disco and drug trade.”

Diane Abbott, shadow international development minister and Labour MP for Hackney North, warned that such views may still be “reflected in Tory attitudes today.”

Ms Abbott said that the economic and social reasons for the riots were laid out plainly in 1981’s Scarman report.

So, four years later, “for Oliver Letwin to say that the rioting was caused by black people’s moral degeneracy and … if you tried to encourage us to go into business, we’d only go into discos and drug-dealing, is quite appalling,” she told ITN.

The secret memo, published under the 30-year rule, dates from when Mr Letwin was a Thatcher adviser in the No 10 Policy Unit.

He said yesterday: “I apologise unreservedly for any offence these comments have caused and wish to make clear that none was intended.”

But Ms Abbott, who defeated Mr Letwin in the 1987 general election, was categorical: “Even 30 years ago, had he said those views publicly, people would have been shocked.”

And rights campaigner Darcus Howe said: “If a black man had said something quite like that he’d have been called into Scotland Yard and and he might be charged with incitement to riot.”

Mr Letwin’s words “reflect not just an attitude to black people but his attitude to inner cities generally [and] anybody living in an inner-city community … must wonder about David Cameron’s policies today,” said Ms Abbott.

Such views linger, she said, “particularly when it comes to housing.”

“Oliver Letwin said you couldn’t invest in council housing because people would only vandalise it. I think this is reflected in Tory attitudes today.”

Operation Black Vote director Simon Woolley branded Mr Letwin’s words “despicable” and “truly, truly racist.”

He said the test would be whether Letwin “can hold to account his boss” on his promise to end race discrimination.

And former Equality and Human Rights Commission head Trevor Phillips said that “if Oliver really wants to be contrite” he should say something about “how they’re going to make good on the Prime Minster’s pledge to attack race inequality.”

The Tories have actively made it harder to fight racism at work by putting employment tribunals out of reach and further restricting trade unions.

Oliver Letwin memo borders on criminality, says Darcus Howe. Civil liberties campaigner condemns comments about black communities made in 1985 as David Cameron’s policy chief issues an apology: here.

I was one of those people Letwin wrote his memo about – and as a former policeman, I find myself unsurprised. Letwin’s party is the same one who only two decades prior to his memo ran an election campaign saying ‘If you desire a coloured for a neighbour vote Labour, if you are already burdened with one vote Tory’: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

‘Sorry guv’ is not enough

Thursday 31st December 2015

OLIVER LETWIN has apologised unreservedly for “badly worded and wrong” comments that he made nearly 30 years ago, so that’s OK, right?

Possibly it depends on how seriously you take the spectacle of someone born with a silver canteen of cutlery in his mouth spewing out demeaning remarks against not only black people in particular but inner-city residents in general.

Letwin has been excused by some commentators on the grounds that it’s unfair to hold his behaviour of three decades ago against him now.

Things have clearly changed a great deal — and for the better — in the intervening period.

However, even then he wasn’t simply voicing commonly held opinions of the time, irrespective of former Equality and Human Rights Commission chairman Trevor Phillips’s assertion that his remarks wouldn’t “have raised a single eyebrow at the time.”

As Hackney North MP Diane Abbott points out, the Scarman Report into the 1981 riots in Brixton — expanded to include subsequent events in Southall, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester — had already been published.

The effect of racial discrimination, police brutality, unemployment, inadequate housing and social exclusion in provoking a violent reaction on the streets had already been documented and measures proposed to improve matters.

Many people within the police, politics and media were compelled to confront their own prejudices and unthinking readiness to accept stereotypical formulations in favour of realising that Britain was already and would remain a multiethnic and multicultural society.

Letwin and his fellow future Tory MP Hartley Booth — who had to resign office later over false denial of a personal relationship — set their faces like flint against any temptation to take residence in the 20th century.

They were influenced neither by Scarman nor by the Church of England report Faith in the City that was commended to Thatcher by Anglican former bishop of Liverpool David Sheppard, asking her to take inner-city poverty seriously.

Booth claimed that the report was an “unwitting dupe of the extreme left” likely to subvert “support for the hard-pressed forces of law and order” and to whip up racial tension.

He and Letwin, who both worked at the time in Thatcher’s policy unit, alleged that state funds were being used to support “destructive far-left groups.”

This was music to their patron’s ears, as was similar claptrap that investing in a £10 million communities investment programme would merely “subsidise Rastafarian arts and crafts workshops” or help black entrepreneurs to “set up in the disco and drug trade.”

The same goes for their rubbishing of suggestions to build new local authority housing since homes would decay or be vandalised.

Abbott’s description of Letwin’s comments as “almost laughably ignorant” is unchallengeable, as is her observation that his contempt for black people is extended to inner-city residents in general.

This old Etonian’s mealy-mouthed attempt to draw a line under his scandalous statements by classifying them now as “badly worded and wrong” won’t wash.

He has form a yard long from being an early proponent of using Scotland as a “trailblazer” for the poll tax to displaying contempt for his constituents by dumping their letters to him in a set of bins in a London park.

Letwin has been constantly protected by those who share his wealth, background, acquaintances and political attitudes.

His gaffe-strewn career is extended now by his role as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, saving him from huge exposure to the public eye.

He collects membership of countless Cabinet committees and implementation taskforces, placing him at the right hand of David Cameron and George Osborne.

Will they do the decent thing and sack him or back their fellow dependant on hereditary wealth and privilege?

Don’t bet the rent on decency winning out.

9 thoughts on “British Conservative Letwin’s racism revealed

  1. Pingback: British Conservative Letwin’s racism revealed | Dear Kitty. Some blog | sdbast

  2. Never heard of Letwin? typically a spokesman of many for establishment propaganda, the racial riots were all a set up by establishment starting with Duggan murdered by police for expedience, for police to retain powers and avoid losing jobs in the police organization and also to reinforce establishment values of having a reason for diverting public opinion from supporting the 1% rich and for the upper crust of a repressive regime and destroy working class morale such as the miners and others of this class.
    The history of Britain and its violent upper class colonial regime throughout the world created the import of low paid labor such as the blacks and others, this is to create low paid jobs and also the division of those who are identifiable as different to causing targets of those who diverted from the enemy of class the upper class to take out the anger of lower class division and keep the problem within the lower classes.
    Same policy working in the Middle East? division of people on religious grounds thus you do not need a army from Imperialist countries when you can obtain resources from these countries by creating turmoil within that country.
    The affirmation of racial prejudice to be exploited and diverted from class prejudice? the same forces at work today as when Letwin was on the scene, the drugs are all part of establishment who need drugs for the constant repression of the lower classes, it is curious on ABC TV Jane Hutcheon expressed her dismay on drug use as a legal endorsed program? it is the banning of many now illegal drugs that establishment requires to be maintained as a money making program and also a repressive tool for establishment for its own ends, Ms Hutcheon is all part of what is required to endorse right wing values to maintain her job multiply her by the whole of establishment on presenters and you have a propaganda machine of some power.


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  4. Saturday 2nd January 2016

    posted by Paddy McGuffin

    Dear Oliver,

    I am writing to inform you that, after the recent disturbances, I have grave doubts about the “moral attitude” within the Tory Party.

    I would go further and suggest that the only money from the Exchequer issuing forth to stem the floods which have devastated huge swathes of the north of England, and according to the venerable Lord Lawson have in no way anything to do with climate change, appears to have been diverted to those areas more financially capable of looking after themselves than most.

    I fear that such public funds would be squandered by the frivolous establishment of Tory clubs and the bistros of which your voters are perennial habituees, which I am sure we can agree can have no positive effect on this nation and its people.

    Rather than squander this money on those who do not require subsidence, I would propose that you and your party cease your constant pandering to your pals and cronies in order to witness what the real world is like.

    I admit that this will be a traumatic experience for many but so too was your election to many of us.

    Whereas decent northern people have rallied round in support of one another, your blessed leader did nothing more than give a cursory glance from the rarified view of the elite before sodding off reassured that it was only the peasants that were suffering.

    One seems to recall that when the floods hit the south-west he was somewhat more hands on…

    I would further point out that, as inner cities adviser in the ’80s, you failed spectacularly to achieve, or even acknowledge, the issue of social inequality, which continues to blight the country to this day.

    I pity you, Letwin. You are pathetic, a canker on the arse of this nation, but you are at least a true, blue Tory, and therefore a blowhard hate-monger like the rest of them so the emergence of your repugnant views is hardly a surprise.

    Rather it is merely further evidence, as if any were required, of the odious opinions and bigotries which continue to be so prevalent within the serried ranks of your party.

    Yours sincerely,



    It wouldn’t be the new year without a senior Tory being undone by the emergence of ill-advised correspondence from their past.

    This week, under the 30-year rule, a five-page memo co-authored by arch-Thatcherite Oliver Letwin — now David Cameron’s most trusted policy adviser — blamed the 1985 riots in Broadwater Farm, Toxteth, St Pauls and elsewhere as the result of “bad moral attitudes” among the predominantly black communities.

    He dismissed the blatantly obvious fact that the unrest was a result of decades of deprivation and police harassment and brutality, claiming that similarly deprived “white” communities had never reacted in the same way.

    Setting aside the fact that this is patently untrue — the Luddites, the Chartists, anyone? — there is also the glaring point that members of “white communities” tended not be as likely to be beaten up or shot by the boys in blue.

    As if that were not bad enough, he went on to claim that investment in the area would merely fuel the “drug and disco” trade and would in effect only “subsidise Rastafarian arts and crafts workshops.”

    Yes, because that’s all black people do isn’t it…?

    Letwin, in a squirming pseudo-apology, said that the memo was a “historical document” and that he was sorry it had been badly worded in places.

    Hmm, the places that make you look like a grand wizard in the KKK, you mean?

    He said: “I want to make clear that some parts of a private memo I wrote nearly 30 years ago were both badly worded and wrong.

    “I apologise unreservedly for any offence these comments have caused and wish to make clear that none was intended.”

    Of course what he really means is that it was never intended that his xenophobic views became public.

    The claim that this was all a long time ago also doesn’t hold water. It may have been almost 30 years ago but HE’S STILL IN GOVERNMENT and, as policy minister for the Cabinet Office, is the key adviser to the Prime Minister.

    In a hastily dashed-off attempt at damage limitation, a Cabinet Office spokesman risibly claimed: “We remain thoroughly committed to helping the most vulnerable and ensuring that nobody is confined by the circumstances of their birth.”

    Yes, by kicking them off benefits, denigrating them as scroungers, blaming them for their own misfortune, mocking their afflictions and forcing them to work themselves to death.

    Now why does that sound familiar?

    Today, just as in 1985, the poorest are trampled underfoot, communities are set against each other by deliberately divisive policies targeting ethnic minorities and, just as it was back then, if you were born into money it seems you can do anything you want.

    Plus ca change…


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