The unbelievable Tom Harris MP


by Sunny
25th July, 2011 at 2:20 pm    

The Labour MP Tom Harris writes:

I got it wrong and I apologise. I should not have jumped to conclusions, especially not so early on in such a terrible sequence of events.

But (and of course there’s a “but” or I wouldn’t be writing this), the palpable relief that swept through the left when the identity of the terrorist was made known – a 32-year-old Norwegian christian fundamentalist – was revealing. Here, thank God, was a terrorist we can all hate without equivocation: white, christian and far right-wing.

When he first heard about the attacks, he pointed the finger at Muslims. There was little evidence for it but you know, they’re fair game right? When it turned out it wasn’t some Islamist terrorist, he issued a reluctant apology, and was criticised quite heavily for it on Twitter. So in an effort to make himself look further like a prat, he goes ahead and writes the above.

When the recent terrorist bombs went off in Mumbai – I was reading the news on Twitter. As some may recall, I instantly started live-tweeting news from Mumbai even though everyone else was talking about the phone-hacking scandal. I didn’t speculate about who it was, though the Indian govt blamed Islamic militants (I reported this). It is likely to be Islamic militants, though in the past Hindu militants have threatened bombs attacks to counter Muslims (Yes, really). I didn’t speculate however about who would be “relieved” by such an attack because such discussion would be highly insensitive and… well, just idiotic.

The disgusting blog-post by Tom Harris above is exactly that. Apparently people aren’t horrified by the deaths and the bombs. Apparently, people aren’t talking about it because they were horrified by his hate-filled rants and his Neo-Nazi ‘manifesto’.

No, making those kind of assumptions would be to require that sometimes people have benign motives. Tom Harris can’t assume that, he has his pride to think about.

So let me get this straight. If the next terrorist attack was by a Muslim, would it be legitimate to accuse Tom Harris of being “relieved” that it wasn’t a white-Christian terrorist so he could hate with impunity? Is that the level of discussion that a member of Parliament should be at? It boggles the mind.

Update: Melanie Phillips echoes Tom Harris:

The supposed beliefs of the Norway massacre’s perpetrator has got the left in general wetting itself in delirium at this apparently heaven-sent opportunity to take down those who fight for life, liberty and western civilisation against those who would destroy it.

He’s in good company.


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Filed in: Islamists,Muslim,Organisations,Terrorism






72 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://bit.ly/nKwwQ8


  2. Thom Townsend

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  3. Joe McNally

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  4. Mohammed Ansar

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  5. Dorian Lynskey

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  6. Chris Marshall

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  7. Skip Licker

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  8. Craig

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  9. SSP Campsie

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  10. riazat butt

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  11. BaronSarwarofGovan

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  12. shiv malik

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  13. Michael Hanley

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  14. anna-rose phipps

    RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/Ku0uuMl


  15. Hazel Lewry

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  16. Jill Hayward

    Some people should just learn to say sorry instead of fronting it out. RT @sunny_hundal The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/TEszcsZ


  17. Karen Hanna Kruzycka

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  18. Diane Lawrence

    RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/CUJM9gQ


  19. Aisha

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  20. Sean Longcroft

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  21. Dave Ludlam

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  22. Skip Licker

    @Jim_Watford http://t.co/fuyZDVm


  23. Lee Griffin

    RT @sunny_hundal Blogged: : The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/iB6pCi7 <– saves me writing the same thing. Disgusting.


  24. Nick Paddock

    @sunny_hundal showing @TomHarrisMP what's what http://bit.ly/nKwwQ8


  25. Owen Jones

    Blogged: : The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://bit.ly/nKwwQ8


  26. nicky clark

    Some people should just learn to say sorry instead of fronting it out. RT @sunny_hundal The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/TEszcsZ


  27. David Hodges

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  28. Alex Snowdon

    RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/vmwyNab


  29. Paul Francis

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  30. Tony Dowling

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  31. Caledonia67

    RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/psrv56P Why has @TomHarrisMP not been held to account by #Labour yet?


  32. Afro Celt

    Some people should just learn to say sorry instead of fronting it out. RT @sunny_hundal The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/TEszcsZ


  33. David Wilson

    http://t.co/igfrVwL excellent article by @sunny_hundal about the disgusting racist bigot Tom Harris. "a bomb! must've been THEM"


  34. David Wilson

    RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/psrv56P Why has @TomHarrisMP not been held to account by #Labour yet?


  35. Robbie Crossan

    RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/psrv56P Why has @TomHarrisMP not been held to account by #Labour yet?


  36. ThankUAndGnite

    @maajidnawaz should also take note. RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/841Ltsq @tomharrismp


  37. Stuart Crawford

    RT @sunny_hundal Blogged: : The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://bit.ly/nKwwQ8


  38. Caledonia67

    @TomHarrisMP I'm far from the only one disgusted by your comments/blog http://t.co/vJl0wGq


  39. emma

    RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/i98AgMY


  40. Faye Savage

    @PhillipCruddace http://t.co/XNM96zy


  41. Peter Cranie

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  42. David Smith

    The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://zite.to/q853z9 via @zite


  43. Martin Watson

    Apparently Lefties 'relieved', 'delirious', that killer wasnt a Muslim. RT @sunny_hundal: The unbelievable Tom Harris MP http://t.co/PkZSX0i


  44. kenny hegney

    @TomHarrisMP http://t.co/d9edmHk
    http://t.co/6uWye1n
    Yea right!


  45. AB

    bmc875 This Tom Harris. http://t.co/mDJkA7es




  1. Chris — on 25th July, 2011 at 2:38 pm  

    “There was little evidence for it but you know, they’re fair game right?”

    With respect, flicking through any of the major news channels on the day you’d have been forgiven for thinking the same.

    Even after it was revealed he was white, I saw a host of “experts” claiming that it was probably still Al Qaeda as they have been recruiting white people so as not to arouse suspicion.

    So, in fairness, Tom is one of a long line of people you should be angry at – including Sky and, most prominently, the BBC. I exclusively watched BBC News 24 for the story, and went to bed with no doubt in my mind Islamic extremists were to blame.

  2. Lee Griffin — on 25th July, 2011 at 2:55 pm  

    With respect, Chris, just because everyone is being a moron about how they report stories, it doesn’t make one jot of difference to the fact that Tom Harris is one of the minority of super-morons that feel it necessary to somehow justify why they went so off piste with everyone else, and to some how try and make it seem like really they were kind of right all along.

    I don’t hear the BBC, or anyone else in that ilk, that reported wrongly that it was Al Qaeda, now indulging in such turgid whataboutery.

    And Sunny, glad you wrote this, makes me feel less like needing to. But the line that disgusted me the most (and for me encapsulates the kind of entrenched thinking deep in the Labour seniority still not waning from the time of Blair) is this…

    “If the left continues an ever-present liberal fretting about tarnishing ordinary, law-abiding muslim citizens with the stain of jihadism, which prevents it from articulating the awful threat we face, then the public – who do understand the threat and who need our support and protection – will turn instead to the right. And who could blame them?”

    or, to paraphrase “Let us tar all Muslim’s with the same brush, it’s not hurting anyone, by making a fuss about tarring everyone with the same brush you’re pushing people towards right-wing ideology.”

    What nonsense, and dangerous nonsense at that.

  3. Kulvinder — on 25th July, 2011 at 2:57 pm  

    So, in fairness, Tom is one of a long line of people you should be angry at

    Perhaps; but i hold politicians to a higher moral standard than presenters – not least because getting it so wrong is incredibly divisive and harmful. He shouldn’t have speculated and was a fool for doing so.

    I would have been as appalled if, for instance, he or other politicians and commentators started presuming and tweeting that the next child stabbed to death in the London was black based on nothing more than racist stereotyping.

  4. Carole Williams — on 25th July, 2011 at 3:05 pm  

    Whether Muslim or Christian hatred is not the answer. It was hatred that drove Breivik to carry out the autrocities in Norway last week. Hate without equivocation is distructive to the extreme and should not be condoned by anyone. Not least an MP!

  5. Eoin — on 25th July, 2011 at 3:09 pm  

    For me the word ‘apoligise’ is not sorry.

    A proper sorry is easy to spot.

    1. They tell u what they did wrong.
    2. They explain why it happened.
    3. They tell u how it is never going to happen again.

    The acid test for a sincere apology is whether or not the tire of repeating it. Genuine contrition is not tiresome.

    In short, Harris is the same arsehole last week as he is this week. A gabshite.

  6. Finton Stack — on 25th July, 2011 at 3:16 pm  

    Chris (no.1): The difference is that most of the public figures jumping to conclusions weren’t Labour MPs (in Harris’ case, representing a constituency with a large Muslim community), nor did they spend several hours hurling disgusting bile (including baseless accusations of being “fellow-travellers” of Al Qaeda) at those who suggested otherwise.

    A lot of people did jump to conclusions, but few with the enthusiasm of Harris, fewer still who clung to them with his dogged tenacity long after they’d be shown to be unsustainable, and even fewer who abused their critics in the way he did (though he shares a podium with Dan Hodges there).

  7. Optimist — on 25th July, 2011 at 3:27 pm  

    Lee Grifin -

    But the line that disgusted me the most … is this…

    “If the left continues an ever-present liberal fretting about tarnishing ordinary, law-abiding muslim citizens with the stain of jihadism, which prevents it from articulating the awful threat we face, then the public – who do understand the threat and who need our support and protection – will turn instead to the right. And who could blame them?”

    Yes, it disgusts me most as well and reading the rest of his garbage only shows that he has not apologised at all in fact has just provided us with another of his rants against the Muslims as well as the left.

  8. Don — on 25th July, 2011 at 3:51 pm  

    palpable relief that swept through the left..

    Beneath contempt. And beyond any words I allow myself to use.

    I don’t know if I’m even still left, but one emotion I have not felt over this is fucking relief.

  9. Eoin — on 25th July, 2011 at 4:03 pm  

    Is there a formal mechanism to have an MP reprimanded?

  10. meatpie — on 25th July, 2011 at 4:27 pm  

    Not a fan of philips and have never heard of Harris. But he has got a point. Liberals did breath a sigh of relief when it was blonde nutter rather than a Muslim. The reflux the liberals show was exactly how the right responded with 9/11. Admit it sunny boy and co it made your day. It gave the excuse to label any one with any benign crit of Islam as culpable for this crime. For the liberals and the soft left Islamic terrorism has a more organic liberationists feel to it. Noe-nazi/Blondie nutter terrorism is so just so damn wrong for lefties (as it should be).

  11. Optimist — on 25th July, 2011 at 4:30 pm  

    Eoin -

    Maybe if enogh people sign a petition- lets start a petition – demanding that he is ‘reprimanded’ – and addressed to his constituents. Since fair number of them are from Muslim background, they may want to have two words with him – the words that start with ‘F’ and ‘O’!

  12. Don — on 25th July, 2011 at 4:58 pm  

    Liberals did breath a sigh of relief

    Evidence?

    it made your day

    Sick.

    For the liberals and the soft left Islamic terrorism has a more organic liberationists feel to it.

    Yeah, it gives me a real warm fuzzy every time I think about it. Idiot.

  13. damon — on 25th July, 2011 at 5:32 pm  

    I think part of the problem is suggesting that he pointed the finger ”at muslims”.

    Was the worst of what he said ”Even after Oslo, we’ll still have the apologists for terrorism saying it was caused by “foreign policy” or by “disrespect to the Prophet”.”?

    It is pretty stupid to be tweeting such things so soon after such an atack, but Al Qaeda were very high on the suspect’s list. And it’s what most people would innocently presume when they first heard about it.
    Same as, if a bomb goes off in Northern Ireland, the IRA dissidents are the first people you are going to think of.
    Why that would be seen as pointing the finger at ordinary Catholics I don’t know. Neither muslims or Irish catholics should be put in the frame for what terrorists do.

    And the point he was making I think was, that there are people who have said we have to understand the anger that spawned Al Qaeda. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Question Time after 9/11 comes to mind.

    This is really set to become a political football with people scoring cheap points on either side.
    Tom Hodges in New Statesman says that the killer ”is the right’s Angel of Death.”
    Who are ”the right”? The Daily Mail? Melanie Phillips? Harry’s Place?

  14. Kismet Hardy — on 25th July, 2011 at 6:30 pm  

    It’s sad and more than a bit annoying that the likes of melanie and tom don’t realise let alone accept it’s precisely their scaremongering mission to rail against an Islamic takeover that makes twisted paranoid freaks like Breivik react with so much justification…

  15. meatpie — on 25th July, 2011 at 6:41 pm  

    It does chime though.
    The soft left and its radical chums,with its monomaniacal obsession over Israel over any other topic. Its blogging ,twittwerating navel gazing londonist, eterno PHD students,vote labour without illusion, middle class Harrington wearing wasters. And despite its beefs with the right on the same platform,they still know and quaff in the same incestuous circles.Jobs in thinktanks,columns in the guardian,interviews on booktalk.Situationist eterno studes as figureheads bummfluff boy Owen Jones,Ben ‘Jews’ White ,the soon to on suicide watch laurie penny. No wonder the soft modern left is fucked,irrelevant,out of anyones radar

  16. Don — on 25th July, 2011 at 6:44 pm  

    That’s charitable of you, Kismet. Maybe they do realise it and consider it a price worth paying.

  17. Auberon — on 25th July, 2011 at 6:52 pm  

    One could note the ‘palpable disappointment’ of Tom Harris, Melanie Phillips and others that the murderer was not a Muslim, but someone who espoused views similar to their own.

  18. Don — on 25th July, 2011 at 6:58 pm  

    #15

    You do realise that was babble.

    Harrington?

  19. meatpie — on 25th July, 2011 at 6:59 pm  

    Didn’t realise for all her lunacy philips wanted mass murder??. Left clutching at straws again,well i never

  20. meatpie — on 25th July, 2011 at 7:00 pm  

    truthful babble

  21. Shamit — on 26th July, 2011 at 12:25 am  

    Meatpie -

    The same reason we should strongly object Muslim hate preachers who incite hatred from preaching their venom here it is equally important to do so against right wing nutters. I see no difference.

    And you know very little about Picklers. They range from Tory voters to Labour to Lib dem and are not a monolithic bunch by any means.

    And while there are valid arguments against the behaviour and beliefs of some parts of the left I think even the most conservative (but sane) person agrees that socio-economic divide is growing at such a pace that it would become unsustainable to support a coherent society.

    That while globalisation and integration of economies have been great for a large minority a vast majority have been left behind.

    These are questions that the serious pragmatic left have been asking when right wingers were still talking up the virtues of supply side economics.

    And it is no surprise that since the days of the early 1990s despite lack of progress in many areas, there is a huge public policy focus on tackling socio-economic divide and boosting social mobility. And the credit goes to the Labour government.

    Early intervention and Graham Allen’s work especially in Nottingham, Academies, localism, devolution, investment in public services were all key parts of the Labour administration’s agenda – it may not have got all the things completely right but definitely put the country in the right direction at least until 2007.

    So is the left that out of touch? Don’t think so.

  22. douglas clark — on 26th July, 2011 at 2:54 am  

    Mr Tom Harris is, unfortunately, my MP. Do any of you now understand why I prefer to vote SNP? Can’t quite see where the likes of meatpie is coming from. There are folk that come from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds that get on OK with each other, then there are the nutters. The nutters, from whatever background, are fair game, indeed the rest of us should excoriate the boys from Mumbai and the solo nut in Oslo. It is a mutual preservation society, which meatpie appears to fail to understand.

  23. meatpie — on 26th July, 2011 at 11:35 am  

    Fuck me im being lectured to by a drone vote labourite. Give it to someone who gives a toss.

  24. douglas clark — on 26th July, 2011 at 1:57 pm  

    meatpie,

    Fuck me im being lectured to by a drone vote labourite. Give it to someone who gives a toss.

    And we are supposed to read shit from you? It’s OK for you to spread your shit around here and what? No-one can talk back?

    Peeps should just take it from a thug like you and like it?

    Don’t work meat pie.

  25. Kismet Hardy — on 26th July, 2011 at 2:06 pm  

    “Don’t work meat pie.”

    I wouldn’t hire him. If you can read and have a bone that isn’t hateful, this might tickle you…

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/western-culture-still-very-much-there,-say-experts-201107264118/

  26. douglas clark — on 26th July, 2011 at 2:13 pm  

    Kismet Hardy @ 25,

    Seems to me.

    When did the Daily Mash stop being funny and just tell it as it is? Sad days man…

  27. douglas clark — on 26th July, 2011 at 2:18 pm  

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