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Sack Race

Diane Abbott MP has apparently made some insensitive, arguably racist comments on Twitter amidst the discussion taking place following the conviction of some of Stephen Lawrence's killers. From the bits I've read, she does seem to have got stuck in a 'them and us' mindset. And her references to 19th century colonialism to justify her ill-received tweet strike me as nothing more than someone trying to make a rash remark sound well thought-out - it suggests a lack of humility.

But the calls for her to be sacked are as hysterical as the calls for Jeremy Clarkson to be sacked following his comments about strikers. There really needs to be a line drawn here between foolish people and hateful people. If people are going to start losing their jobs for occasionally saying something foolish, then we're all likely to be unemployed by the end of the month.

In most situations a retraction and apology - a straightforward 'sorry, my bad' would suffice. Whether career politicians like Diane Abbott can manage that - or our scandal-hungry, adversarial media will allow it - remains to be seen.

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