First published in 1999, Political Languages of Race and the Politics of Exclusion examines the post-race signification logic of languages used to promote and achieve the exclusion and stigmatisation of migrant groups within post-war Britain. Re-examining the time of Smethwick and Powellism, as well as extensive Parliamentary debates, this book develops an original thesis to show how Backbench racism became legitimated as Frontbench commons’ sense. The book argues that the achievement of the success of post-war Parliamentary racism has been made possible by the development of a ubiquitously anecdotal narrative of the travails of the ‘Forgotten Englishman’ awoken to a multi-cultural nightmare in Britain’s decaying inner cities. While the concept of ‘race’ has remained under erasure, the logic of post-race signification discourse has allowed the re-making of racism in public Britain.
Table of Contents
1. The Erasure of Race in Public Space. 2. Back to the Future: the New Racism Revisited. 3. Racism and Parliamentary Discourse (I): 1957-68. 4. Racism and Parliamentary Discourse (II): 1968-88. 5. Smethwick and the Rise of a ‘Political Racism’. 6. Enoch’s Island: Race, Nation and Authoritarianism in the Language and Politics of Powellism.