We know why the Tory MP who used the word n*gger in public isn’t getting fired [EDITORIAL]

Anne Marie Morris
Support us and go ad-free

Conservative MP and party whip Anne Marie Morris used the racist slur ‘n*gger’ in a public meeting earlier this year. Rather than sacking her, the party has restored the whip to Morris. Whatever the Conservatives say about their commitment to fighting racism, this action speaks louder than words. The Tory party doesn’t give two sh*ts about racism.

“N*gger in the woodpile”

The Newton Abbot MP was speaking at a public event in July, and used a racist slur to describe a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario. She said:

Now we get to the real n*gger in the woodpile, which is in two years what happens if there is no deal?

The phrase derives from the Deep South of the United States. It refers to slaveowners capturing slaves attempting to flee their persecution. This deeply racist term is not the sort of thing that slips off a person’s tongue unless it already had a home there. And in the moment, Theresa May claimed to agree, saying in a statement:

I immediately asked the Chief Whip to suspend the party whip…

Language like this has absolutely no place in politics or in today’s society.

But a few months later, as the country winds down for Christmas, the party has reinstated Morris’s whip:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

By contrast, Labour MP Jared O’Mara was recently suspended from the party, sacked from the shadow front bench and forced to resign from his select committee position over homophobic comments he made online 15 years prior to becoming the MP for Sheffield Hallam.

Zero integrity

The timing of this move is also troublesome.

In October of this year, we got the results of May’s study on ethnic prejudice in the UK. And the findings were horrific. Responding to the report, May said:

People who have lived with discrimination don’t need a government audit to make them aware of the scale of the challenge.

But this audit means that for society as a whole – for government, for our public services – there is nowhere to hide.

Just weeks later, we know exactly where those with racist views can take refuge: the Conservative Party. Because this issue does not begin and end with Morris. As a former aide to Margaret Thatcher and John Major put it in 2015, the party is “essentially racist”.

The Conservative Party is a place where men like Boris Johnson refer to black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”; and state that former US President Barack Obama was “part-Kenyan” with an “ancestral dislike” for Britain. Then, rather than facing political oblivion, he becomes Mayor of London and Foreign Secretary.

The Conservative Party is the place where a Muslim baroness speaks out about Islamophobia, and party bigwigs tell her to shut up. This literally happened in 2011.

And let’s not forget that, while the international community placed sanctions on apartheid South Africa, David Cameron was defying them. He travelled to the racist regime in a sanctions-busting show of solidarity in 1989, while Nelson Mandela was still imprisoned. This did not prevent Cameron leading the party as a ‘moderniser’.

This is before we even touch on the litany of other examples of this racism pervading the party:


The message is clear: the Conservative Party doesn’t give two sh*ts about racism. Virtually any and every example of racist behaviour is dismissed as a brain fart. ‘Oops, I belched out some racism. Sorry. Now can we all move on?’

Newsflash: this isn’t how racism works. You don’t accidentally call someone a n*gger. Not unless you think of them as one. And despite this being blatantly obvious, the press often colludes with this false narrative, in a way that it does not if the offender is from another party.

We should not simply shrug our shoulders and accept that the Conservative Party is racist, like it doesn’t matter. A party full of racists should not be leading the country. And we should demand better. Because if we don’t, we have surrendered to bigotry.

If we persistently reward p*ss-poor behaviour with our votes, we will be paid back in contempt. This is the good news. Where May and her party’s disciplinary procedures fail, voters can win. Because ultimately, they have the say in who occupies each seat of parliament. And it’s time for some of those seats to be filled with better candidates.

Get Involved!

– Support the work of anti-racism campaigners Hope Not Hate.

– Take direct action with the Anti-Fascist Network.

 Featured image via Wikipedia/Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE)

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed