Friday, May 09, 2008

Dog Whistle Politics Win Out in London?

Okay, life moves on. Boris is Mayor and is giving conciliating interviews and patting Ken on the back at today’s assembly meeting. However ....while at the risk of making this post sound like sour grapes, please always remember this is my blog, my view, my interpretation of events.

In January I posted on a speech that City & East Assembly member, John Biggs, gave to West Ham Labour Party GC. In this speech, John spoke about his fears that the Tories have resorted to “dog whistle politics” in their political campaigning for the London Assembly elections.

“Dog whistle” politics were perfected by conservative politicians in Australia who used “coded” language in political campaigning, which appears to mean one thing to the general population but in reality is directed and targeted to a specific audience. Like dog whistles which humans cannot hear but dogs can.

To be absolutely clear – what I think went on during the recent election was a deliberate and prolonged attempt by certain Tories supporters and the media to make malicious and sensational allegations against mainly black advisers to Ken Livingstone, in order to polarise white voters and frighten them into not voting for Labour (and therefore encouraging them to vote Tory).

Former adviser to Ken on Equalities (I assume soon also to be made redundant from the GLA) Jasper Lee may well have acted inappropriately with regard to his personal life. However, there is no evidence that he was ever corrupt. The drip, drip lies, innuendo, slurs and sensationalistic reporting were to my mind a deliberate attempt to plant racist messages in the mind of white London voters.

Okay, while I am personally convinced that “dog whistle” politics was practiced during this campaign, I do not think that this was the only reason for Ken’s defeat. There were a number of other reasons. But, let’s face it “dog whistle” stuff helped.

(Heard something? - Picture of "Little Miss Muffet" and her pups circa 1971-ish)


Robert said...

Labour started these types of politics they now must live under them.

John Gray said...

Evidence Robert please.

Anonymous said...

The Nu-labour politics and policies! were the ones that that handed the key over to the right wing raciest, the key was handed to them because of the policies that would even have put a smile on Thatchers face.
What with the mass privatisation of all public services, the giveaway of peoples homes to private company's, the planning permission given at the drop of a hat, and the total destruction of anything Labour stands for.
Lets not go into the war.
The dirty politics that the electorate have received continuously with Nu-labour up and down the country,
its no wonder there wasn't a bloody revolution against all the crap they have handed out,
What is a real shame is Ken has had to pay the price of piss take politics that we have had over and over from Nu-labour and there cronies.

I am just angry that Biggs retained his seat, as he is part of the Nu-labour machine and has been keeping it oiled for them over the last eight years.

Its a shame that George Galloway's Respect party asked the electorate to support Ken this I am sure was the downfall of the Respect party not getting a seat on the Assembly and only paved the way for the useless Biggs to be reelected.
God help us all if we are going to have to rely on him to put up any battles in city hall! if his past record it anything to go by he hardly lifted a finger (this i know for a fact!)
So sadly we all must reap what you and your chums have sewn had have to !dine with the swine and and roll in the pig-shit.
Please roll on quick to the next elections

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
Not sure of course about “mass privatisation of all public services” et al – “total destruction of everything Labour stands for” – Labour stands for ordinary working people e.g. the massive increase in pension, minimum wage, huge investment in Schools and hospitals - unlike “Parties” who just like whining and moaning about things.

I don’t think you quite understand that the mayor and the assembly votes were different? The only votes that Galloway got was from Bangledeshi community interests.

BTW – why do you write in the same style as BNP supporters? I think we should be told!