A grime artist just annihilated a Tory MP who said there was ‘no evidence’ of the Windrush scandal

Marci Phonix tore apart a Tory MPs argument over the Windrush scandal
Steve Topple

It took a grime artist just a few minutes to destroy a Conservative MP’s defence of the government in the ongoing Windrush scandal. But the exchange highlighted a deeper problem: the classism that exists within the UK.

It’s not about racism. Honest.

Marci Phonix, a rapper from London, was debating Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng on Channel 4 News on Wednesday 18 April.

Kwarteng insisted to host Krishnan Guru-Murthy that the Windrush scandal wasn’t about “institutional racism”, and that “we’re muddling lots of different things”. But he noted that we “do have problems with racism in this country”. Yet Kwarteng maintained that immigration and racism were “not really central” to the Windrush scandal.

Phonix was not happy. He asked Kwarteng how he would feel if his “mum was sent back”.

Eton-educated Kwarteng said he’d be “appalled”. But he claimed the government “don’t know” how many people had been deported under the Windrush scandal. He also claimed there was “no evidence” that anyone had been deported. He then accused Phonix of trying to “play politics” with the issue.

Windrush: the reality

But Kwarteng did not impress Phonix. He said:

I’m not a politician. I’m speaking for all the people who come from where I come from.

He went on to say Kwarteng was “talking nonsense”. The MP again defended the government, saying:

I don’t know of anyone who has been deported.

Phonix was not having it. He said:

You wouldn’t… You are not coming from the same place I’m coming from. You don’t represent the same people I represent. You would not know. And you don’t care… It’s a job for you… This is reality for me. When I leave here, my car can get pulled over for no reason… When I go in a shop, or my daughter goes in a shop, who’s 12, she gets followed around the shop…


A scandal

As The Canary‘s editor-in-chief Kerry Anne-Mendoza previously reported:

After the Second World War… parliament passed the British Nationality Act in 1948 and gave British citizenship to all people living in Commonwealth countries. This law granted them full rights of entry and settlement in Britain…

While home secretary, Theresa May passed an immigration bill which undid the rights of the Windrush generation.

It later emerged that the Home Office had deliberately destroyed the registration slips of Windrush citizens. This has made it impossible for many to prove their citizenship.

Institutionalised racism and classism

The exchange between Phonix and Kwarteng was telling. Not least because it highlighted a Conservative MP admitting the government has little idea what’s going on under its own watch. But what the debate really highlighted was the gulf that exists between some politicians and the communities they claim to represent.

Get Involved!

– Support the Stop Funding Hate campaign. Demand that advertisers withdraw funding from newspapers and websites that promote hate speech.

– Support the work of Hope Not Hate.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via YouTube

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed