IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Grubby attack on a fighter against racism

03 May, 2019

Narendra Makanji with Jeremy Corbyn

• NARENDRA Makanji had a long and inspiring record as a leader of the struggle against racism and anti-semitism, and in campaigning for BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] representation in the Labour Party (Mixed legacy of a contro­versial figure, April 26).

That your corres­pondent should hide behind anonymity and wait until Narendra’s death before submitting this attack shows only too clearly why the fight for BAME representation was so necessary.

“Some doubted whether [Black Sections] were an instrument to increase minority represent­ation,” claims the writer. And, more explicitly: “They were viewed as an opport­unist attempt to fast-track ethnic minority members into leading roles precisely because they belonged to ethnic minorities.”

It’s not clear whose view this was, but we’re told that this was “an obsession with identity politics and contrived grievances” (!) that has “poisoned Labour”, which “must now pay the price”.

One might wonder if the writer is an aggrieved member of Labour’s right wing who may well have failed a selection in favour of an ethnic minority candidate.

But this is a grubby and divisive complaint, which was an ugly wart on your letters pages and had no right to be published at all, let alone anonymously.

ED FREDENBURGH AND SHOSH MORRIS
Milner Square, N1

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