Patrick Mercer: racist as well as greedy

June 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm (anti-semitism, corruption, David Cameron, Guardian, Jim D, Racism, Tory scum)

Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP at the centre of the lobbying scandal, is obviously a greedy bastard, telling the fake-lobbyists: “I do not charge a great deal for these things. I would normally come out at £500 per half day, so £1,000 a day.”

Above: Mercer, greedy racist and typical public school anti-Semite

In fairness to the Tories, it should be noted that the lobbying scandal has now extended to include Lord Laird of the Ulster Unionists and two Labour  peers, Lords Cunningham and Mackenzie, both of whom have been suspended from the Party. Lord Cunningham is, of course, Jack Cunningham, scion of the old Labour/GMB Right in the North West, and enforcer for both Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair.

But back to Mercer: whether or not he’s actually a crook remains to be seen (so our lawyers tell us), but his record on race is certainly of interest.

He was sacked from Cameron’s shadow cabinet in 2007 after saying that as an Army officer he had met ” a lot” of “idle and useless” ethnic minority soldiers who’d used false claims of “racism” as a “cover.” He also said that being called a “black bastard” was a normal part of Army life.

Interestingly, one of the few commentators to defend Mercer at the time, was Edward Pearce, in the Guardian(!), who stated:

Mr Mercer told the truth: that hard words pass among men, likely to be blown apart fighting Mr Blair’s futile wars, as being not very important. Soldiers, if they do not start grown-up, quickly become so, learning what matters, the point made with fierce eloquence by the black sergeant who ran to his colonel’s defence. “I’ve talked with him eaten with him, shared the night sky with him, and I tell you he isn’t a racist.”

Well, Pearce is plainly right that “hard words pass amongst men” in places like the Army and public schools, and Mercer’s explanation, that terms like “black bastard” are no more than par for the course, is plainly true.

In fact, Mercer’s casual, upper class racism only served to made the following completely unsurprising: describing meeting a young female soldier during a recent trip he’d taken to Israel, he told one of the fake lobbyists that he’d  thought, “You don’t look like a soldier to me. You look like a bloody Jew.”

Always remember: anti-Semitism isn’t first and foremost a left wing phenomenon. Its roots (in Britain, at least) are public school-Tory, and only from there has it infected the “left”.

6 Comments

  1. Robin Carmody said,

    Indeed. And this I think is the root cause of why so many Leftists make excuses for it – it *was* marginalised in the Tory party in recent times, along with that class which has now returned to its old dominance of the party, but to praise those who have challenged Tory anti-Semitism from within, and had some success in pushing it from the mainstream of the party to the margins, is of course to praise an aspect of Thatcherism. And while she was probably one of the most resolute and determined opponents of anti-Semitism ever to hold high office in Britain, she was also – as we know – so much the hammer of British socialism that much of the British Left cannot bring itself to praise *anything* she did (even those things, such as media deregulation, which realised New Left aims through the back door).

    It was Margaret Thatcher’s implacable opposition to the anti-Semitism of “backwoodsmen” like Mercer, more than anything else, which led to the rehabilitation of anti-Semitism on the British Left – opposition to anti-Semitism was seen as the territory of “the wrong people”, British Jews were seen as supporters of neoliberalism, and therefore the British Left gave up defending them – sort of “they’ve already got Thatcher & Murdoch on their side, they don’t need us” (this is exactly how I used to think, btw). If people like Mercer had remained much more dominant in the Tory party in the 1980s and 1990s, and the self-made men and women (now almost entirely marginalised again – Andrew Neil and his ilk blame the disappearance of grammar schools in most areas for this; I don’t) who identified with Jewish resolve and business acumen had not had their brief period of dominance, there can be no doubt that the British Left would be far less tolerant of anti-Semitism today. So in this respect even the aspect of Thatcherism which furthered a long-standing aim of much of the British Left has merely rehabilitated that old right-wing prejudice on the Left itself, so cannot be said to be have had a progressive outcome for the Left (also very much the story of deregulated broadcasting).

  2. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    IIRC it was some Tory diarist like Harold Nicholson or Chips Channon who defended Churchill’s minister Leslie Hore-Belisha (who those of us of a certain age will remember as the man who gave us the Belisha Beacon) against charges of impropriety with the line that he’d been ‘more Jewed against than Jewing’.

    But left anti-semitism goes way back – even leaving aside Marx’s Jewish Question you see for instance extraordinary anti-semitic bile in the pre-WW1 radical press due to the Marconi scandal and the anti-imperialists labelling of the Boer War as the work of sinister international financiers who just happened to be heavily Jewish.

    And a century earlier here’s the radical firebrand Lord Byron:

    “Who hold the balance of the world? Who reign

    O’er congress, whether royalist or liberal?

    Who rouse the shirtless patriots of Spain? [*]

    (That make old Europe’s journals squeak and gibber all.)

    Who keep the world, both old and new, in pain

    Or pleasure? Who make politics run glibber all?

    The shade of Buonaparte’s noble daring? —

    Jew Rothschild, and his fellow-Christian, Baring.

    VI

    Those, and the truly liberal Lafitte,

    Are the true lords of Europe. Every loan

    Is not a merely speculative hit,

    But seats a nation or upsets a throne.

    Republics also get involved a bit;

    Columbia’s stock hath holders not unknown

    On ‘Change; and even thy silver soil, Peru,

    Must get itself discounted by a Jew.”

    From Don Juan which I can remember both Paul and Michael Foot praising as a poem that should be read by everyone and which Hitchens also considered ‘imperishable’.

    I also recently came across some fascinating radical pamphlets from the likes of William Cobbett where Scots (whose MPs played as disproportionate a role in reactionary Tory cabinets and in their parliamentary majority c.1813 as they do for Labour now) are directly compared with the Jews and accused of sharing every anti-semitic stereotype – mean, money-grubbing, clannish, manipulative, cowardly (Highlanders and their regiments being regarded as barely Scots at all until Sir Walter Scott singlehandedly redefined them as such) and devoted to abstract and unnatural intellectualism.

    And when William Hazlitt wanted to make a splash amongst his fellow radical intellectuals (i.e. Byron, Cobbett and their followers) he could think of nothing that would be more provocative and get him talked about than to pen a not entirely ironic defence of Shylock.

    So making modern left anti-semitism a product of our noticing that Thatcher’s cabinet had ‘more Estonians than Etonians’ (Harold Macmillan who didn’t let not one of Thatcher’s Jewish ministers forebears actually coming from Estonia – which incidentally always had relatively few Jews even before the Nazi Einsatzgruppen arrived and were able to declare it judenrein after just a few weeks work – get in the way of a good line) or even of Israeli misbehaviour is a real misrepresentation of something with roots that go all the way back to the very origins of the left.

  3. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Plus it was Disraeli who was the first Jew (albeit like Marx the son a convert to Christianity) to lead any major state after the fall of the Khazar empire in the 10th century – courtesy of the British Tories whose anti-semitism has always been of the soft and social variety and has never got in the way of their putting the best man in the job.

    Indeed it was precisely the decamping of the more liberal and enlightened Peelite Tories from the party over the Corn Laws and the reduction of what was then called for some years the Protectionist Party to a rump led by the Earl of Derby who had far more interest in horses than politics which propelled Disraeli from the back to the front bench where he sat amongst the most rabid and reactionary Squire Haggard figures.

    And AFAIK the first openly practising Jew to become a cabinet minister anywhere was Judah P. Benjamin who was appointed to the job by Confederate President Jefferson Davis……

    So real radical exclusionary/exterminatory right wing anti-semitism is arguably a product of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries when it took over key tropes from earlier left anti-semitism and arguably left wing philo-semitism was a response to that and particularly to the rise of anti-Dreyfusardism.

  4. Shimon said,

    Your characterisation of left-wing antisemitism as an infection from the Tory upper classes isn’t at all convincing, either as history or as apology. As David Cesarani writes in The Left and the Jews, “attempts by socialists to transcend religion did not remove sources of ambivalence or even hostility towards Jewish particularity”. Antisemitism is as much part of the fabric of the Left as it is of the Right – and all the stops in between.
    You can read Cesarani’s work here: http://www.engageonline.org.uk/ressources/left_jews/Left_Jews_final.pdf

  5. Sue Powdrill said,

    Anti-Semitism is neither left wing nor right wing. It is a pathological hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. It rears its ugly head from the mouths of those that are fearful, resentful and jealous of the uncommon successes and prosperity of the Jewish people throughout the centuries. Patrick Mercer’s attitude manifested through his offensive language: – “Mercer recounted an exchange in which he asked the woman who she is (including swear word), and she responded “a soldier.” “Are you? You don’t look like a soldier to me. You look like a bloody Jew,” Mercer said.” (Jerusalem Post, June 9 2013) – shows his total lack of respect, firstly for the IDF and secondly for female soldiers, and reveals his anti-Semitic mind-set towards the Jewish people. It is shameful that a elected public figure such as Mr Mercer can be sustained in any public role of influence and authority.

  6. Drew Smith said,

    Patrick Mercer is not worthy of dignifying his disgusting comments. He is a heathen and a sub terranean platupus who was oddly elected to a position of power. He is a disgrace to the U.K. and should simply dissappear from society on a permanent basis.

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