Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric

Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric UK Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles and Interior Minister Teresa May at a meeting of the Council of Deputies of British Jews in London, January 18, 2015.

Political Correctness remains one of the main principles in British internal politics. Traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism remain important for most British people.

On June 11, 2014, the British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to stop the attempts of Islamists to influence the public schools in Birmingham. This city is home to one of the UK's largest communities of people of Pakistan, which accounts for 13.5% of its population. "The protection of children is the primary responsibility of the government," – the British Prime Minister said – "This is why the reports of the alleged activities of Islamic radicals in Birmingham schools require a particularly harsh response."

On June 16, 2014, Mail published Prime Minister Cameron's statement that Britain has been too tolerant towards Muslims. He encouraged schools to promote national values among their students.

On June 22, 2014, David Cameron wrote a letter to an elderly LGBT activist to thank him for his actions. He said that he is proud of government activities in promoting equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people – including the legitimisation of same-sex marriage. He added that government welcomes positive changes in attitude towards equal marriage.

On September 1, Cameron spoke against anti-Semitism. On September 10, he wrote to Chief Rabbi of Great Britain Efraim Mirvis, saying that Great Britain makes it loud and clear that there are no excuses for anti-Semitism. He added that the government is making every effort to combat these manifestations.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg condemned anti-Semitism in an article in Jewish News on October 10.

Minister for Sports, Tourism and Equality Helen Grant said at an anti-racism event that “Show Racism the Red Card” sends a clear signal that we will not tolerate racism on the [football] field or beyond.

On April 21, 2014, a number of British politicians condemned UKIP’s election posters. On April 21, other political parties condemned UKIP for its racist election campaign in the European Elections.

On May 4, 2014, the House of Commons reported that the statement of the deputy from the Conservative Party P. Mercer, who called a female Israeli woman "a bloody Jew" was "one of the worst ever breaches of parliamentary rules". Mercer himself apologised for his words. On May 4, it was reported that a British politician D. Bishop was expelled from the Conservative Party for anti-Muslim comments on Twitter. The leader of the City Council of Brent, a member of the Labour Party, Muhammed Butt, condemned Islamophobic comments of Vockrodt, a candidate to city council from UKIP. "The vile comments of Vockrodt are deeply offensive," – he said.

On June 4, 2014, the First Minister of Northern Ireland P. Robinson apologised to the Muslim community for his Islamophobic comments and met with Muslim leaders.

On July 9, Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi expressed that political commentaries and publications about Muslims in the media evoke associations with the attitude to the Jews in Nazi Germany. Conservative MP Robert Halfon condemned George Galloway’s anti-Israeli remarks, saying that he is sure that residents of Bradford will support him in this issue.

On September 1, 2014, Labour leader Ed Miliband condemned anti-Semitism.

On September 18, former Secretary of State for Health during the Margaret Thatcher administration, Lord Norman Fowler, apologised for Section 28 of the Local Government Act that brought in the ban on schools from promoting homosexuality as a “normal family relationship”. The law was repealed in 2003. Lord Fowler told the Evening Standard: “We have come a long way. It [Section 28] was a great mistake and I think it’s now recognised as a great mistake and I would apologise for it. It was totally misjudged.”

Mayor of Tower Hamlets said on March 22, 2014, “There is a worrying growth of racism in Europe”, he welcomed the Day Against Racism in London and condemned politicians who target immigrants.

Leader of the Greens Natalie Bennett said that anti-immigration rhetoric must be stopped.

On October 19, 2014, member of the Tower Hamlets Council, Rabina Khan condemned the increasing anti-Muslim remarks by influential politicians. She said that distorted media coverage coupled with remarks by politicians are enough to damage the whole Muslim community.

In 2015, tough statements against anti-Semitism were made by Home Secretary Theresa May and the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who described certain anti-Semitic actions as “horrific,” referring to the terrorist act in Paris on January 7, 2015.

In July 2016 the Government announced its new “Hate crime action plan 2016”. It included “measures to increase the reporting of hate incidents and crimes, including working with communities and police to develop third party reporting centres. It covers work to prevent hate crimes on public transport, and it sets out how [the British Government] will provide stronger support for victims.” Further, the plan stated that a budget of £2.4m will be made available to churches, temples and mosques for the purpose of developing robust security systems.

A heated debate has arisen in the UK in recent years over the role of elite discourse in stoking popular anti-immigrant sentiment. In this respect, 2017 was no exception. In August 2017, a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration suggested that Conservative Government’s target of cutting net migration to less than 100,000 was particularly to blame for stoking anxieties and driving forward hate crime following the 2016 Brexit vote.

Moreover, the same report identified rhetoric used by key British politicians in the 2016 referendum campaign in ‘licensing’ individuals to act on racist attitudes – which had previously gone unexpressed – and go onto commit hate crimes in the wake of the 23 June 2016 vote. Moreover, this was picked up by the international community: the U.N.’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination noted that the ‘divisive, anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric’ of the referendum campaign, plus the failure of politicians to condemn racist abuse, had led to a surge in attacks after the vote. This represented unusually strong language from the United Nations.

Britain is gradually moving toward harsh law enforcement measures against hate speech, modeled on the Scottish Hate Crime and Public Order Act. In October 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke harshly at a parliamentary hearing on online hate speech. He said the government would look for ways to "tighten up" the law and promised to "crack down hard on those who irresponsibly allow dangerous and extremist content to make its way onto the Internet." He added: "What we also hope for is that no matter how tough our proposals are, the opposition will support them." Johnson proposed that the regulator Ofcom have the power to impose fines of up to £18 million or 10% of global profits, whichever is greater, on social media platforms that fail to comply with the new Internet safety laws.

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