Paper targets anti-racists

THE DAILY Telegraph was more outraged at the response to the bombings than the bombings themselves. It started its editorial last Monday with, "The race industry has had a good three weeks," as though anti-racists somehow welcomed the bombs! It then dropped any pretence of reasoned argument by turning its letters page into a hate noticeboard.

H M Tankey of Liverpool wrote: "Just as the unsolved Stephen Lawrence murder is being exploited to build an upturned pyramid of counterracist institutions, so, I fear, the nail bomb horrors will be used in an attempt to deprive currently lawful "white British" organisations of support and legality. Let it not be forgotten that the BNP is a law and order party."

J K B Sutherland of Devon wrote that the bombs were the fault of a government "obsessed with furthering the rights of certain minority groups". Richard Tracey of France wrote that the motivation for the bombings lay with "the government's determination to lower the homosexual age of consent". In the Sunday Telegraph, columnist Matthew d'Ancona wrote that the Macpherson report into Stephen Lawrence's murder was to blame for provoking the bomber, and that "its endorsement at every level of government and officialdom has only encouraged the worst paranoia of white militants".

The Sun said on Monday, "The bombers want us to be fearful of the black community. Of Asians. Of Jews. Of gays. They seek to divide Britain. But they failed." Fine words. But can we trust the Sun? If it is serious it should start by sacking rabid right wing columnists Gary Bushell and Richard Littlejohn, who have made their careers by stirring up hatred and prejudice.

Bushell poses as an Alf Garnett type working class bigot, his columns laced with National Front style drivel about "Englishness". In the middle of the bombing campaign Bushell attacked the BBC for "watering down" a TV programme about St George's Day. Bushell attacked what he called the "Race Gestapo" before writing: "All the man at the centre of the programme wants is for the English to get 'fair and equal treatment in our own country'."

When the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report came out it was the Sun's Richard Littlejohn who led the attack in terms the Nazis must have applauded. On Tony Blair he wrote, "I'm surprised he didn't mention that his childhood friend was Malcolm X, that his favourite food is goat curry or yams, or that he changed his middle name to Lynton. No one ever voted for a multicultural society. It was imposed on them."

Littlejohn regularly writes homophobic rants. When Welsh secretary Ron Davies resigned Littlejohn wrote, "In the Commons Tony Blair labelled the Tories 'the party of BSE and E coli'. "I suppose that makes Labour the party of AIDS and hepatitis B."