Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Tory Suella Braverman criticised for using ‘anti-Semitic trope’ Cultural Marxism

Tory MP Suella Braverman has been slammed by anti-racism charities and Jewish groups for using the 'anti-Semitic trope' Cultural Marxism.

The Brexiteer told a meeting of the eurosceptic Bruges Group on Tuesday that her party was engaged in "a fight against cultural Marxism" being led by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn .

She used the term as part of her allegation that the UK is seeing an increasing culture of censorship.

The former chair of the European Research Group, said: "As Conservatives, we are engaged in a battle against cultural Marxism," she said.

"I'm very worried about this ongoing creep of cultural Marxism which has come from Jeremy Corbyn."

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said Suella Braverman should explain what she meant and pledge to not use the phrase again.

Hope Not Hate said it was “deeply disturbing” to see an MP use such language.

The Labour MP Wes Streeting said Braverman should apologise for using an “ugly and reprehensible term with antisemitic connotations”. He added: “Members of parliament should know better and she should apologise immediately or the whip should be removed.”

The term refers to a conspiracy theory often repeated by far-right groups – including far right Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik and the man who shot dead 50 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this month.

It claims that a small group of Marxist Jewish academics in Frankfurt in the 1930s devised an ongoing plot to undermine Western democracies.

It became synonymous with anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish control on world affairs.

Asked by journalist Dawn Foster why the Tory MP was pushing a far-right term used by far right terrorist Anders Breivik, the MP said she was only trying to prevent further attacks on the "British genius."

"We have a culture evolving from the far left which is about snuffing out freedom of speech, freedom of thought," she said.

"No one can get offended anymore. We are living in a culture where we are putting everybody in cotton wool. Our risk-averse mentalities are taking over.

"And that instinct for freedom, for risk-taking, for making a mistake, for innovation, for creativity is being killed. And it's absolutely damaging for our spirit as British people and our genius — that British genius."

Joe Mulhall, senior researcher at Hope Not Hate, said: “This is deeply disturbing and disappointing language to hear from a Conservative MP. In fact, it’s worrying that a mainstream politician would even have heard of such a phrase, which is usually championed by those on the extreme right.”

He added: “Given the term is championed by many figures inside the alt-right milieu, no politician in their right mind should be promoting such an obviously fake conspiracy theory. These are ill-judged, ill-chosen words.”

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