Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Achilles heel of 'Jackboot' Straw

Many commentators are puzzling over why former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw - after killing tens of thousands of Muslims abroad - has now launched a racist attack on Muslims at home. Hmm, yeah, like that's a hard one.

Too often in this debate Jack Straw is made out to be some kind of liberal or something. I know he looks and sounds a bit like a harmless sheep, but in reality Straw is a bloodthirsty wolf, albeit a wolf in sheep's clothing. Perhaps those who doubt Straw's authoritarian streak ought to recall his time as Home Secretary, where he was responsible for the Asylum and Immigration Bill, the attempted removal of trial by jury and legal aid in many cases, the anti-terrorism bill, the curfew on teenagers, mandatory drug testing for criminal suspects, and a reactionary attitude towards cannabis, among other things. Indeed, one of his early admirers was Margaret Thatcher. She said "I trust Jack Straw. He is a very fair man." No wonder Blair appointed him Foreign Secretary after such high praise.

However, one possible factor in this disgusting affair, which has seen yet another New Labour politician demonise one of the poorest and most powerless sections of British society so that they might climb up the greasy pole of political power, has surely been somewhat overlooked. Might it not be that Jack Straw wants Muslim women who come to see him to take off their veils so that he has something with which to clean his hands with - hands still dripping with the blood of tens of thousands of Iraqis?

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At 3:55 pm, Blogger minifig said...

It's not a matter of race - Muslims are not a racial group, they are a group of people following a religion. So you can claim that it's an attack on Islam if you feel so inclined, but even then it's actually a cultural aspect of only a relatively small number of some Muslim communities - and often the ones that have the worst record of women's rights.

Anyway, the thing that I find intriguing about all this, though, is the fact that rumours were abounding at the time he lost his cabinet position that is was due to Ms Rice's visit to his constituency and her idea to tell Bush that the large numbers of Muslims in said constituency would influence his decision - is this Straw showing Blair, and therefore Bush that he's tough on Muslims (and, presumably, the cause of Muslims)?

At 9:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it's racist. It's a thinly veiled racist attack on Muslim people, in exactly the same vein as the BNP's attacks on Islam.

At 9:56 am, Blogger morbo said...

I think he's got a fetish for veil wearers.

At 9:16 pm, Blogger minifig said...

There is a difference between race and religion. Not all religions are distinct racial groups, indeed most aren't. That's not to say that it's OK slag them off, but there is a difference. If someone was attacking Christianity, would you call that a racist attack?

At 10:17 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Minifig - I wouldn't call an attack on Christianity racist - because Christianity has been one of the key ideological supports for Western Imperialism and white supremacists over the last five hundred years or so.

However, by your logic an attack on the religious clothing of Jews or Sikhs would not be racist either. So if Jack Straw turned around and said Jewish people should take off their skull caps or Sikhs should take off their turban as it was creating 'difference' and 'tension' etc etc would you not think there was a problem?

As for your notion that Jack Straw is defending women's rights, Muslim women mostly wear Islamic dress because they are proud of their Muslim identity - which is actually something which should be applauded in the current racist climate in Britain by the rest of us. We should all defend Muslims womens rights to choose to wear whatever they want to wear.

At 11:03 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Just got sent this:

Respect public rally - this Saturday 'Islamophobia: causes and consequences'

Speakers: George Galloway MP, Respect national secretary John Rees, Respect councillors Salma Yaqoob and Oli Rahman, Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition.

Time: 3.30pm
Date: Saturday 14th October
Place: Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London (nearest tube Euston)

At 11:17 am, Blogger Snowball said...

George Galloway has an article here about 'jackboots'.

At 1:25 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Also read this excellent piece by Mobeen Azhar

At 11:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack Straw = the demon headmaster

He can stop wearing those glasses all he wants, he can't escape the truth!

At 11:34 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Yes - I'll try to find an image...

At 5:16 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Damn - I can't sorry. But you are quite right, jen.


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