THERE is nothing quite like a leftie MP with their head in the sand. But that is what we have with the great case of Claudia Webbe.
Ms Webbe is the MP for Leicester East and, given what is going on in her constituency in recent weeks, it is not surprising that she should try to speak out.
Because since the end of last month there has been serious unrest on the streets of Leicester.
Pakistan’s supporters replied in kind.
Soon groups of Muslims and Hindus were facing off in their hundreds on the city’s streets.
Social media footage shared by both Hindus and Muslims shows groups from both sides — masked men banging on people’s windows in Hindu-majority areas and pulling down religious decorations, and others marching down predominantly Muslim-populated streets, chanting a religious slogan used by far-right Hindu nationalist groups in India.
Tensions have now been running high for weeks, and the local police have been caught in the middle of it.
And what does Corbynite MP Claudia warn about? She has said the Government needs to clamp down on “extremist right-wing ideology” being spread online.
Gosh, what an interesting set of priorities is there.
Most read in News
It is to be assumed that Webbe does not mean the Hindu nationalists or Muslim extremists battling each other on the streets of her constituency.
Although by a number of definitions they could easily be labelled “right-wing”. But no, it appears that Webbe is more concerned about what is happening in the virtual world than about what’s happening in the real world.
And that is a familiar trope in our era. Five years ago when three Islamist extremists started slashing at the throats of pedestrians on London Bridge, the then Prime Minister and Mayor of London talked about the role that the tech companies needed to play in stopping extremism.
As though the jihadists who committed that atrocity were somehow provoked by Facebook.
They never talked about the immigration that had led to this — including the fact that at least one of the attackers was here illegally, was known to be here illegally and had not even come close to being deported.
It is always the same in this country. Our politicians of all stripes — to be fair to her, Webbe is not the only one — forever focus on everything but the primary issue.
The primary issue in Leicester is that community relations have broken down. And nobody has a damn idea of what to do about it, other than to keep the two sides apart.
Will the police be able to do that for ever? Is Leicester always due to be just one cricket match away from disaster? Quite possibly. But that is what happens when you have an immigration policy that has never been able to think forwards more than 24 hours.
All Webbe and her colleagues know to do is to call for calm. And blame shadowy “right-wing” forces online, of course.
But in fact, while some people certainly do spread disinformation online, most people are simply passing around videos of what is happening on the streets of one of our cities.
Because it worries people. Indeed, it has even worried the Indian government, whose High Commission in London has written to their British counterpart urging them to bring peace to Leicester’s streets and protect Hindu communities.
This is an insane state of affairs.
We might expect such a call to go the other way around. But what does it say about 21st Century Britain that countries like India have to call on the British government to end inter-religious violence in our cities?
Nothing positive, that’s for sure.
The truth is that what is happening on the streets of Leicester has happened before and will happen again.
Twenty-one years ago there were similar disturbances on the streets of Oldham. A report was commissioned into it and then everybody moved on.
And we should expect this to happen again and again.
Why? Because MPs like Claudia have already decided what the problem cannot be.
The problem cannot be that we have had an immigration system in recent decades that has allowed too many people in too fast.
And which hasn’t bothered to be selective or even wondered what the impact might be of bringing in people from parts of the world with very deep ethnic tensions of their own.
Tensions that now play out on Britain’s streets.
No — all of that discussion is way off limits. Because it would involve admitting mistakes.
And trying not to make them again. Which is about the last thing our MPs can do.
And that is why we shouldn’t be shocked about what is happening in Leicester.
Fat's a sign of Covid 2
ACCORDING to something called “The World Obesity Federation” we’re all going to start getting fatter.
Specifically, the wonks claim that by 2060 around 85 per cent of us will be obese or overweight.
I don’t know how some of these foundations come up with stats like this.
Most people can’t guess what their weight will be in two years’ time. So how the hell do these researchers think they can work out how much we’re all going to weigh in 40 years?
It makes me worry they know something we don’t.
The single biggest cause of obesity in recent years was Covid.
In the name of tackling a virus that targeted the obese, the Government shut all gyms, banned outdoor activities and made the nation sit on the sofa eating Doritos and watching telly for a year.
If The World Obesity Federation has some information on upcoming pandemics then I really think they should share it with us.
CASE OF STRESS BALLS?
IN the meantime we are also apparently undergoing a global plague of “anxiety”.
According to a US health panel, levels of anxiety are so high that everyone under 65 should be screened for it.
It is true that some people have totally irrational fears that plague their lives.
But a lot of what is called “anxiety” now is what we used to call “reality”. According to the experts, one of the things that causes anxiety is “uncertainty”.
Well, I have news for them. Life is a tricky old business. We worry about whether we’re going to have enough food tomorrow. Or a roof over our head.
We worry about the people closest to us and we worry about the world.
Some of this can be distorting for a tiny number of people.
But more often this is just a matter of life. And while that might very well be stressful, we don’t need screening for it.
Online victim Molly
AN inquest this week heard the tragic tale of Molly Russell, a 14-year- old schoolgirl who took her own life in 2017.
The hearing was told she fell into a set of online forums which normalised self-harm and suicide.
Tragic Molly’s father told the inquest that his daughter had been “full of love, hope and happiness” until she fell into this online ghetto.
Of course the tech giants always claim to be on top of this sort of thing. But they are wrong. These sorts of sites are alarmingly easy to find and even age restrictions are easy enough for children to get around.
And the truth is that young girls are especially vulnerable.
There are all sorts of amazing advances that have come with the internet. But there are huge costs too, and many of these are borne by teenage girls.
Study after study has found teenage girls are especially vulnerable to the cultures of selfies and self-harm – things that go very much hand in hand.
It never has been easy growing up, but it is especially hard if you are a teenage girl in the age of Instagram. Feelings of not fitting in are normal for teenagers. But now the net tells them that there are ways out.
There is no easy answer to the problems of growing up. But there certainly is an easy way to stop the sites which promote and glamorise the worst answer of all.
IT’S SEW TYPICAL
THERE isn’t a bit of life that can’t be destroyed by the woke-erati.
This week the genteel world of needlework is the latest victim.
You might not have previously imagined that needlework was a bastion of bigotry. But in its latest issue, Simply Sewing has started stating the pronouns of contributors.
According to one writer, all of this helps the LGBTQ community and creates “a more inclusive society”.
Incidentally, the pronouns of this contributor to Simply Sewing turn out to be “She/hers”.
Well, blow me down. Who’d have thought it.