Some Racism on Twitter from Diane Abbott MP

You may remember a few months ago when I blogged about the vile racist tweets of Liam O’Donoughoe.  Well, the latest piece of racism I’ve spotted comes not from the world of football, but from the account of a Labour MP and member of the shadow cabinet, Diane Abbott.

Dianne Abbott racist tweet

"White people love playing "divide & rule" We should not play their game"

You’ll notice the sweeping ‘white people’ generalisation. It’s accompanied with  ‘#tacticasoldascolonialism’, a contraction of “tactic as old as colonialism”. So, it looks very much like the MP is saying that white people are colonialists who want to divide and rule. To judge any group of people based on their skin colour, as Diane Abbott has done here, is racism, plain and simple. But perhaps I’m being too hasty. Maybe I’ve taken this out of context. Let’s see:Perhaps not. Obviously I can’t speak of much experience with this matter, but it seems that Bim Adewunmi commences by making a quite reasonable tweet about her feelings about certain terms. Then Abbott wields out the ‘divide and conquer’ line. Bim then follows up by commenting that some so called ‘community leaders’ don’t represent the people they are supposed to represent. As an MP, I would have thought Diane Abbott would have been very familiar with that concept! But no, Abbott continues with the idea of ‘solidarity’ being more important than expressing one’s views.

I’d just like to make a couple of points here: firstly, I believe it’s wrong to stop someone voicing valid concerns because you want everyone to ‘pull together’, ‘tow the party line’, or whatever expression you want to use. I find the idea of that to be totally undemocratic. Second (and I know this is an idealistic position), I do get a bit disheartened by talk of different ‘communities’, especially when people like Diane Abbott appear to foster an ‘us versus them’ attitude. Are we not all people?

Anyway, the point of this post is that Diane Abbott has made some racist tweets. I hope the Labour party takes some sort of action.

I also consider it to be a great shame, because before those tweets Abbott was using Twitter to espouse her rationalism in promoting the MMR vaccine. More of that from all MPs would be very welcome.

Incidentally, I’m a paid up Liberal Democrat. I’d be absolutely disgusted if a party member told me I couldn’t say anything about Nick Clegg’s position on tuition fees.

EDIT: Abbott has since apologised. Also, thanks to everyone for pointing out the hashtag!


  1. I think the hash tag was ‘Tactic as old as colonialism’ rather than ‘Tactic Sold as colonialism’.

    Deeply shocking though – especially from a member of the shadow cabinet

  2. David Turner

    Maybe we need, sooner or later, to acknowledge that most unattractive ‘isms’ (Racism, ageism, sexism) are intrinsically normal, human nature. We can legislate against the expression of them but that in itself cannot stop them. Homosexuality was decriminalised in the 1960s but homophobia is unlikely to go away soon. Women are supposed to have equal rights but are still raped, abused, underpaid, subject to the glass ceiling in professions. Our liberal society cannot stop what people think, however objectionable it is.

  3. ros fallows

    I hear calls for Diane Abbott’s resignation over her blatant racist comments. I would not want to see her resign; she must be FIRED!

  4. Jon Paul Price

    Hmmm…. This is a toughy, ok she’s wrong in what she say’s but should she get the sack for it? She’s obviously just shown her weak side, her narrow mindedness.. I think it’s down to Ed Milliband to weigh thing’s up, will she be a hinderance or a positive power in the next election?

    The Torries can in no way compare this to the sacking of their MP who attended a Nazi Party in France. I mean that’s just ridiculous! There’s a huge difference! That is a sacking offence! And as for Diane’s offence – well it’s clearly not meant in the way people are interpritating it, i think it’s just one of those thing’s.. We all say stupid non-fact’s at one point or another, she just happens to be in a high position where everybody takes note of every word she will have to say, plus she said this on Twitter which is a really stupid mistake! She shouldn’t of said it but i think this is a matter of one more strike and your out! Give her the benefit of the doubt. I mean it’s not like she attended some racist party or anything like that! It’s just a light comment (possibly taken out of contex).. Although i know all you public schoolboys probably won’t see it as a light comment as you’ve never heard the word ****:)

    P.s. Im a white guy. I would normally just say im a human being but i know there will be certain people out there saying thing’s like ‘oh he must be black because he’s sticking up for Diane.’ Im not, im just human and humans make mistakes so give her a chance robots.

  5. Nick

    What she wrote was a racist generalization. She has not apologized, she said, ‘”I apologise for any offence caused.I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people. I do not believe in doing that.” Implying she did not make a generalization, it is those who interpreted it that way who are at fault but she’s sorry if their misinterpretation led them to be offended. She is a public figure and as such responsible for her public statements. Racist generalizations are unacceptable and divide us citizens into us and them rather than all of us. If the labor party is to be credibly anti racism she has to be sanctioned for her actions.

  6. Paul Nelson

    White middle-class people accuse a black woman of being “racist”…in a country run and controlled by…white middle-class people. Oh the Irony!!!

    How about you all experience five hundred years of slavery and oppression and then get your descendants to comment on “racism”. I wonder how many of you have actually experienced racism FIRST HAND? Been physically and verbally attacked day-in-day-out, week-in-week-out, year-in-year out for the colour of your skin? Refused a job because of the colour of your skin? Stopped by the police because fo the colour of your skin.


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