Politics

‘Don’t distort David Lammy’s words – he’s calling extremist views what they are’

They come for you hardest when you hit a nerve.

They mock you, malign you and misrepresent your words to make you sound like a crackpot.

What they can’t do, however, is escape the truth.

David Lammy is calling out the extremism of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson for what it is.

He is holding up a mirror to their dog-whistle xenophobia and pointing out that it is their actions defining them.

Some claimed Lammy called Leave voters Nazis. He did not.

To suggest as much is offensive and a distortion of the interview in which an articulate man made himself very clear.

But then the establishment does that when you touch a nerve.

Just to be clear, Lammy on his social media feed added his believe that: “Many decent Tory voters, members and politicians are also appalled” by the Tory party’s lurch to the hard right.

“Let’s unite around rejecting this extremism before we repeat the mistakes of the past,” he added.

We already know what Johnson is all about with his descriptions of black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” and his depiction of Muslim women as “bank robbers”.

Then there are Johnson’s talks with Steve Bannon, the man he has praised and with whom he wants to form an alliance.

Then there is Rees-Mogg, promoting the AfD of the German far right. A party whose anti-Jewish sentiment is well documented.

The same Rees-Mogg who in 2013 was “guest of honour” at the annual dinner for a group called Traditional Britain, which called for black Britons to “return to their natural homelands”.

He claimed not know their views beforehand. Last week he claimed he was “not supporting the AfD”, “just pointing out that there is something worth watching”.

Yet can he really not get that people are appalled?

Can Johnson really be upset after himself suggesting that Theresa May’s deal was like a “suicide vest” around Britain and that the EU was behaving “like Hitler”?

Tory peer Lord Heseltine has backed Lammy. Rightly so.

These are times for making it clear which side you are on.

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