Novara faces reckoning after showing its arse over racism in the Lucy Letby case

Serial killer Lucy Letby
Support us and go ad-free

The case of serial baby killer Lucy Letby has shocked the country – though seemingly for the wrong reasons. Predictably, media coverage of the case depicted Letby, a young white woman, in a sympathetic light. People expressed disbelief over how ‘someone like her’ could have committed such heinous acts. Worse still, supposedly left-wing media outlet Novara decided to deny that racism played a role.

Lucy Letby: ‘her violence is the standard’

The subtext behind ‘someone like her’ is obviously someone who is a young, attractive white woman from a conventionally respectable background. Barrister Dr Charlotte Proudman noted:

Almost immediately, to those who know better, the role of race became evident in explaining how Letby managed to evade justice for so long. This was particularly obvious in the fact that a senior doctor of South Asian origin, Dr Ravi Jayaram, repeatedly raised alarm bells regarding Letby – but hospital management shut him down.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

As author and lawyer Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu tweeted:

Writer and podcaster Kelechi Okafor took to Twitter to state that violence from white women is not anomalous:

Okafor said:

They’re presenting it like an anomaly, when actually when we look at it historically and presently, the violence of white women is not an anomaly, it is the standard …

She went on to state that:

One of the greatest crimes against humanity was the translatlantic slave trade and colonization, and it was a white female monarch in Britain, if we’re talking about this in the British context, that said, yes, let’s run it.

Okafor described how the presumed innocence of white women was central to the existence of white supremacist hetero-patriarchy. She also pointed to the way in which white supremacy protects white women despite the evil they commit.

This, of course, relates directly to the way the Countess of Chester Hospital protected Letby. In fact, even the head of the Royal College of Nursing has said that Letby got away with it for as long as she did because she was white:

It’s bizarre, then, that talking heads from Novara Media decided to suggest this case doesn’t have to be about race.


Novara‘s Ash Sarkar declared on Twitter:

Apparently using the words “incredibly reductive” means you can say something stupid and pass it off as intelligent without expecting any scrutiny.

Fellow Novara-er Michael Walker also decided to get in on the action, though he later deleted his tweet:


Never one to sit out a messy take, Aaron Bastani chimed in too, directly quoting Okafor’s words:

Okafor has written extensively about Black women’s experiences within healthcare. So for Sarkar, Walker, and Bastani – none of whom happen to be Black women – to diminish her input in this way is nothing short of appalling:

Unfortunately for them, sensible people on Twitter weren’t taking their word for it:

The hashtag #NoMoreNovara gained traction as people shared their anger in a Twitter space:

Bad taste

It also seems as though this has gone far beyond a hashtag. Novara employees minimising the experiences of Black women won’t be forgotten any time soon:

And although Sarkar later apologised for her words, she didn’t delete her tweet. As Okafor noted:

And that’s the crux of it, really.  Why would a group of ‘leftists’ – none of whom happen to be Black – argue with a Black woman about the role of racism in shielding white women within healthcare? They’re either complete idiots, or they’re doing it because messy opinions will boost their engagement in a way that standing up for what’s right won’t.

With allies like these, who needs serial killers.

Featured image via YouTube/ The Mirror

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
            1. Apologies.Canary deleted my original comment so my second one looks nonsensical.I must have said something that offended them although my language is nowhere near as coarse and abusive as theirs.Interesting that a few years ago a white nurse was arrested and jailed for 6 weeks on suspicion of murdering 3 patients but in fact it was a Fillipino nurse who carried out the murders.Obviously the Canary wont mention that case because it doesnt suit their agenda.People of any race,any colour,any gender,any sexuality,any religion can be evil.Thats just how humanity is.Oh and my original comment I mentioned as an aside that the silly women who was ,I presume,blaming Queen Victoria for the slave trade had forgotten she became Queen 30 years after Britian abolished the slave trade.

    1. Like J. Corbyn I am a Socialist and do not have a Bigoted bone in my 71 Year Old Body, I will say this though the Canary has changed and not for the better it was once a form of balanced views, Now it is spreading Anti White Propaganda everything to do with Race in this news outlet is all Whites in Britain are allowed to say whatever they please and most of what the Whites say is Racist and whatever any non White says or writes about Whites being Racist is applauded by You at the Canary, Is this Country now so shattered and splintered that all non White British People believe All Whites are Rabid Racists if they do they are wrong and do they also believe that all non White British People are Not Racist if this is so again they are wrong, There are many Evil Bastards on both sides of this Divide but there is many many many more Good Decent People I feel a deep sadness how some British People have turned this Maniacs Murder of Tiny Babies into a Race Issue WTF is wrong with You People, This Crime has nothing to do with Race Creed or Religion it has everything to do with a British Nurse abusing the Trust of everyone who knew her and Murdering Babies, Personally I am pig sick of all factions using the Race Card to further their own ends and I am Definitely Sick of England First the NF the EDF and the SDL, along with the BLM the BLA, the BLF, There are Thugs on both sides and what I am about to write is true but will be construed by some as Racism a Non White anywhere in this World can say or write virtually anything Derogatory they please against Whites, But any White casting the same Derogatory views against non Whites can be Arrested for Hate Crimes and even in some cases Imprisoned. To Me the Authorities have gone to far and it is now a one way street it is time for change if anyone Coloured non Coloured Jew Orthodox or otherwise,Islamist, Christian, or any of the myriad of Religious factions Worldwide commits to saying or writing Hateful sayings ALL not just Whites should suffer the Consequences. Due to the Canary’s shift in outlook I am directly after this post withdrawing my Subscription.

      1. “I’m not a racist but..” is not a great way to start your rant. The point of the piece was that, if the nurse had black skin, she would not have been given so much leeway by NHS management to continue killing children.

    2. I watched the Novara Live episode in which that was discussed in the company of my wife, a retired critical care nurse, and a very good friend of ours who is a consultant intensivist, born in Gujarat and raised in London. Both agreed that Ash Sarkar’s comments were measured and largely fair. Both my wife and our friend pointed out that Dr Ravi Jayaram was one of a group of consultant paediatricians who raised concerns. The group included the clinical lead for the neonatal unit, Dr Stephen Brearey, who is white, and whose concerns were also dismissed by managers.

    3. What a very unfair attack piece, You disagree with their stance, thats ok. Its your opinion, but to attack a news outlet that has been supportive in the past, seems very wrong, you can disagree without being agggressive and personalising it. this last paragraph,

      “And that’s the crux of it, really. Why would a group of ‘leftists’ – none of whom happen to be Black – argue with a Black woman about the role of racism in shielding white women within healthcare? They’re either complete idiots, or they’re doing it because messy opinions will boost their engagement in a way that standing up for what’s right won’t.

      With allies like these, who needs serial killers.”

      What an absolute disgrace of a thing to say. The Canary should withdraw this.

    4. So how far do we want to travel in this direction, Canary ?

      Fred and Rose West only got away with it for so long because they were white ?

      Jack the Ripper ? Probably white, never caught. Although better go careful there because there is some evidence he may have been Jewish, and you don’t want to be anti-semitic, do you ?

      I dunno…. I had some hopes for the brave new “radical” Canary, but it seems to have quickly sunk into a morass of the old divide and rule, driven by people with agendas that seem suspect to me.

    5. Sorry Canary ….
      Your team post some sound opinions.
      I’m not afraid of posting “unpopular” opinions,
      Your take on the Lucy Letby case and your comment re. Novara are just plain-wrong
      You seem to be suggesting that, if I’d been a white member of the hospital team, then I would have been part of the problem.
      Sorry – But I think not.

    6. Lots of White-victimhood here by people who are, umm, white.

      The article says that a Black/non-white female nurse would have likely had the investigations taken against them more seriously.

      Not having the experience of being Black, female, or a stint in a hospital environment, I could not comment on such matters.

      It is not beyond expectation though, considering wider UK society.

      While ‘Appeal to Authority’ can often be an error, it seems the president of the Royal College of Nursing agrees with this sentiment too.

      One might expect she has some experience, and is not just butthurt at feeling “Whites” are being maliciously targeted.

      Britain ended its slave trade in human souls because it needed consumers to buy the new cheap industrialised goods across the US. Slaves are terrible consumers, what with the “no pay for hard work” American ethos. Try ending wage-slavery in favour of Smithian Capitalist cooperatives, and see how far the Old Empire would have let you go. Lets not go overboard about UK beneficience.

    7. Thank you so much for this article, Canary.

      I was disappointed in Novara’s coverage of the Lucy Letby case. There is indeed a lot of White-victimhood going on that ignores the reality that black nurses would have been treated with suspicion much sooner and would not have been granted such leeway.

      If Karen-like behaviour from white women is at one end of a scale, then Lucy Letby is a logical far end of that scale if such behaviour were to be left unchecked.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.