Brown Tories!

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Pieces like this in The Guardian are somewhat funny, How did British Indians become so prominent in the Conservative party? It’s not that complicated. A lot of British Indians are professionally and economically successful. As bourgeois voters, they’re good targets for the Conservative Party, so long as that faction mutes excessive anti-minority sentiment.* The same calculus that is at work with British Jews applies to British Indians.

The numbers speak:

Fast-forward to 2010, and the Conservatives held 30% of the British Indian vote. After 30 years of Thatcherite ideology, British Indians were the most pro-Conservative ethnic minority, after the Jewish community. After decades of gradual advance, this number soared to 40% in 2017. In the 2019 election, as the Conservatives chased a realignment towards white northern voters based on racist scaremongering, support in constituencies with high Indian populations increased substantially again. At every point, this has included members of both groups of Indian migrants. Now British Indians make up 15% of the Tory cabinet.

The Tories have now managed to extend their appeal beyond the “two time” migrants by finding common cause in a project of Islamophobia. Supported by the Indian government and its far-right ruling party, the BJP, the Conservatives have exploited a sharp rise in Hindu nationalism within the British Indian community to play Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Muslim communities off against one another.

And of course, there is the fact that the Labour Party religion at prayer is Islam, at least of an ethnicized sort. For each action, there is an opposition and equal counter-reaction. British Jews and Hindus and Sikhs are suspicious of excessive Islamophilia. They will vote for the faction which is less friendly to this. It doesn’t take deep analysis.

* The racialist and Christian fixations of the Republican Party is the primary reason that most Indian Americans, who are immigrants, position themselves on the moderate Left with centrist Democrats.

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