The cloven hoof as popped out again on the Guido Fawkes blog today as readers of the political gossip site posted a series of appalling comments underneath a story about Respect candidate Lee Jasper’s chances of winning the Croydon North byelection.
Guido Fawkes, run by Right-winger Paul Staines, wrote a reasonable piece itself – which you can see here – however as has happened so many times before, he shuns comment moderation when it comes to racist remarks posted by readers.
As well as unacceptable jibes, readers also posted videos including Al Jonson’s Mammy and Ol’ Man River by Paul Robeson.
Some of the reader comments include:
Peter Grimes says: The demographics will ensure the odious Jasper’s win. Have you ever visited Croydon North? Probably not as if you ever did you would be unlikely to be still alive to post here.
Kevin T says: Slightly less white than downtown Mogadishu.
Tory Chief Whip says: Is Croydon a zoo by any chance?
Organise Now! says: The battle of demographics must be confronted or we are lost as a nation. What you see in Croydon is a vision of the future countrywide. The nation will be outbred and outvoted, Those of the enemy not bred here will be imported via mass immigration.
Jonathan Bowden says: Thank God for the Poles I say. Their birthrate is very high. Personally I welcome them with open arms!
Red Ken Lyingscum says: Keep up the good work, Lee. Grovelling to the effnix didn’t work for me though…
concerned citizen says: that’s the fella who nicked my i-phone!
Geopolitician says: He will invade White Croydon South
Peter Grimes says: Hope he does it at night so that we can see his eyes.
The is just no excuse for Staines to allow such comments to stand on his blog unmoderated. This is not an isolated example either.
A few years ago, while working for the race equality think-tank The 1990 Trust, I protested about the way Right wing blogs, including Guido Fawkes, wilfully turning a blind eye to virulent racist comments.
It would be a different story if we were talking about Far Right websites, but blogs like Guido are very much part of the political landscape, and feed off a stream of tip-offs and leaks from respected sources. As such they must take responsibility for moderating racism.
Defenders of Guido would no doubt counter that they regularly insult people regardless of race, but a cursory look at the comment threads reveals an alarming tendency to revert to racist remarks whenever the subject of the story is Black, Asian or Muslim.
Lately Guido has been going after Labour’s Chuka Umunna on a regular basis, running six blogs in October and November alone, even when there’s virtually no story to speak of. The Streatham MP is tagged in 15 stories. Comments underneath these pieces include:
Street Chuka says: me gonna work dat batty on this white liver!
Diane Abbot says: I am hideously black.
Tom Catesby says: Which one’s Chuka? [A comment responding to a video of Tanzanian bushmen that was posted].
Anonymous says: Chuka? More like fucking spear chuka! Hunt!
There has been similar abuse towards Conservative frontbencher Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. I think people of all political persuasions should be concerned that a mainstream political blog is tolerating such foul sentiments.
UPDATE! 24/11: A friend points out that he doesn’t think that Guido has ever been moderated but “that does not make it right.” He says the site tends to be run by Harry Cole these days. My friend thinks I’m “beating a dead horse” on this one, but I disagree. As Gary Younge wrote in The Guardian (see link) we should never accept online racism.
By Lester Holloway @brolezholloway