Malcolm X wouldn’t recognise Smethwick these days. When he visited in 1965, the town north-west of Birmingham was certainly the most colour-conscious, perhaps the most racist, place in Britain. Its Conservative MP, Peter Griffiths, had been elected in the previous year’s general election on the slogan “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.” The slogan helped buck national voting trends in 1964. Griffiths refused to disown it: “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign. “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.” In that election, Labour came to power in Westminster for the first time in 13 years with a national swing from the Tories of 3.5%. In Smethwick, though, there was a swing in the opposite direction: in what is surely the most racist election campaign ever fought in Britain, the Labour incumbent, shadow home secretary Patrick Gordon Walker lost on a 7.2% swing to the Tories that reduced his vote from 20,670 in the previous election to 14,916. Griffiths, a local councillor born and bred in the Black Country, succeeded in mobilising racist working-class sentiment against a seemingly patrician Walker, whom local Conservatives derided… Read full this story
- Island Records - A History of 50 Years of Cutting Edge Music
- Metaphysics, the Election & America's Fate
- No Room For Politics of Hate in Our Elections
- A Great Short Story of World Records and Olympic Gold
- Police turning a blind eye to crime: Devastating dispatch from the worst force in Britain shows what's gone wrong with policing as warped priorities and inept leadership leave community in fearful despair
- Style and Substance in the 2008 US Election Campaign
- Middle School Teacher Placed on Leave After Racist Rant Caught on Video
- Zealotry in the 2008 US Presidential Election Campaign
- Obama Election - White People Celebrating a Black President of United States
- What Do the First World War, the US Election and You Have in Common?
Britain’s most racist election: the story of Smethwick, 50 years on have 311 words, post on www.theguardian.com at October 15, 2014. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.