Mixed legacy of a controversial figure
26 April, 2019
Narendra Makanji at an anti-apartheid protest
• I WAS sorry to learn about the untimely death of former councillor Narendra Makanji, (Anti-racist campaigner who stood up for the Whittington, April 12).
He was for a time a very influential and controversial figure, but his legacy was also a mixed one. He had a principled anti-racist and anti-Zionist position worthy of respect.
He was instrumental in setting up Black Sections (together with Marc Wadsworth) within Labour. Some doubted whether they were an instrument to increase minority representation.
They were viewed as an opportunist attempt to fast-track ethnic minority members into leading roles precisely because they belonged to ethnic minorities.
This was the beginning of the obsession with identity politics and contrived grievances which has poisoned Labour and continues to do so.
Labour was repeatedly warned about this and chose to ignore it. It must now pay the price.
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