One of the few plus points when Donald Trump was elected US President in 2016 was at the least the opportunity to watch the ‘Progressive Left’ that controls cultural output in the West embark on a highly entertaining four-year meltdown as it struggled to come to terms with the fact the plebs didn’t do as they were told and vote for their candidate. Since then, of course, most of the Progressive Left’s toxic philosophies have been imported into the UK, so one wonders what entertainment we might be in for should the Conservative Party choose to elect a black woman to succeed Boris Johnson. After all, the Woke wing are as set in their blinkered ways as the mega-computer that malfunctioned in the typically prescient episode of ‘The Prisoner’ warning of the dumbing-down of education titled ‘The General’, when No.6 simply punches the question ‘Why?’ into the machine and it blows a permanent fuse. The patronising expectation is that people of colour are supposed to think the way the Identity Politics police tell them to, so how does that explain Kemi Badenoch?
The former Minister for Women and Equalities is undoubtedly the sole intriguing contender in a rather tired and jaded list of runners and riders competing to replace Boris at No.10 – and not just because she’s something of an unknown to the majority of people outside of her Saffron Walden constituency. She launched her campaign early with an impressive piece in the Times a few days ago, and by hitting out at the cancelling culture of Identity Politics and the overreach of the State, she instantly connected with many way beyond the narrow confines of the Tory Shires whose favour she already seems to have won by standing a close second behind Penny Mordaunt in the poll amongst Party members on ConservativeHome. Unlike some of her fellow contenders who see no shame in being a ‘continuity candidate’ (surely the last thing the country needs), Badenoch looks forward whilst shrewdly avoiding alienating those members who still believe in the soon-to-be-ex-PM by describing Boris as ‘a symptom of the problems we face, not the cause of them’. She added that ‘What’s missing is an intellectual grasp of what is required to run the country in an era of increased polarisation, protectionism and populism amplified by social media’.
Badenoch made a key point when she wrote of how her vision of governing Britain ‘can achieve things despite entrenched opposition from a cultural establishment that will not accept the world has moved on from Blairism.’ Rishi Sunak, the bookies’ favourite, launched his own campaign in a slick manner all-too reminiscent of Blair, and the billionaire smoothie exuded an insincerity that wouldn’t make anyone looking to pick up a second-hand motor part with their pennies. He reminds me so much of a slippery estate agent and the argument that he has Cabinet experience due to his largely ineffective spell as Chancellor isn’t a good enough reason to make him PM. Badenoch has Cabinet experience too, and that’s more than either David Cameron or St Tony himself could boast when they took office. Okay, so she might have received the backing of Michael Gove, but we shouldn’t hold that against her. Anyway, a reminder of what she’s up against came via ‘working-class barrister’ and noted fox-killer Jolyon Maugham, who asked in a sneering tweet if the Tories would dare elect a ‘brown person’ as PM. Considering half of the four great offices of state have been occupied by ‘brown people’ during Boris’s tenure and his Cabinet has been the most racially diverse in history, why wouldn’t they?
Three of the contenders in this race – Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and Sajid Javid – are in interracial marriages, further disrupting the narrative; and if you push the narrative that anyone non-white is an oppressed victim, then any person of colour who contradicts it by tearing up the rule book and transcending such restrictive boundaries by not acknowledging their place is fair game to be called an Uncle Tom, or – as was the case with the black Supreme Court judge who helped overturn the Roe Vs Wade ruling in the US – an ‘uppity ni****’, as he was labelled by an activist on Twitter. It’s like inserting the word ‘white’ into one’s description of a detested individual – and even the most otherwise seemingly sane people now do it – as though their whiteness is the cause of everything you hate about them, as though without that they’d be OK; therefore, for a person of colour to cross the Rubicon and see beyond colour is asking for it.
How will the Identitarian storm-troopers of the Left react if the next PM is a black woman and one with the ‘wrong opinions’ who has voiced the feelings of millions by saying out loud that people are sick and tired of being told what they can and can’t say? Badenoch already roused the Identitarian ire when she announced the ending of the disastrous ‘gender neutral’ toilet experiment in all new public buildings, so expect a storm.
When any prominent person of colour veers off-script, the Progressive reaction is the point at which virulent ‘antiracism’ merely exposes itself as straightforward racism. Minorities who have the wrong opinions and white people who aren’t prepared to self-flagellate in public as penance for their Original Sin – perfectly fine to apply racism to them, of course. Activists want the races to be educated separately in the US – Jim Crow, anyone? – and their segregationist ‘antiracism’ naturally extends to frowning upon the coming together of races by marriage. Someone calling herself ‘Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu’ tweeted in response to the news that Badenoch was running, ‘Her power grabbing ambition is rooted in discrediting & delegitimizing antiracism efforts, denying systematic racism’ – the bread & butter of race-baiting activism, of course – ‘whitewashing British Empire & enabling White supremacy against black people. She can crawl back into her mother.’
What we are seeing now is a long-overdue backlash against this kind of thinking, which has been allowed to run riot across all our institutions for far too long; and the backlash is not some far-right extremist movement; it’s ordinary, apolitical people of all colours and all genders who are sick to the back teeth of this Soviet-style mind control, weary of the constant policing of their speech. Take early noughties one-hit wonder Macy Gray, who aired a ‘controversial’ opinion on the trans issue, received the predictable vomit of online abuse and hatred and then hastily retracted her opinion and begged forgiveness as she claimed to be on ‘a learning curve’ (reminiscent of Keith Lemon a couple of years ago); she should never have apologised and bowed before our cultural Politburo in this way, for forgiveness and redemption are not elements of the religion – you give them the proverbial inch and they take more miles than The Proclaimers have ever walked. But we see this happening time and time again and people have had enough. Whether or not a long shot like Kemi Badenoch can arrest this by becoming PM is in the lap of the Conservative membership; but at the moment she seems like the only fresh apple in a fairly rotten barrel.
MICHAEL BARRATT (1928-2022)
94 is certainly what used to be referred to as ‘a good innings’, and that’s the age that avuncular pair of safe childhood hands Michael Barratt made it to before exiting the stage a couple of days ago. As the anchor of ‘Nationwide’ for eight years, right from its beginning in 1969, gruff-voiced Barratt was the Harold Wilson lookalike who linked the country at teatime from his desk at Lime Grove, routinely swivelling around on his chair to face one of the monitor screens behind him and conducting a down-the-line interview with BBC studios from Bristol to Birmingham and from Norwich to Newcastle; vicars jumping over eggs, skateboarding ducks and beer-drinking snails were amongst the many regional attractions to receive national coverage and lead to the inevitable parodies on comedy shows such as ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’. Barratt wasn’t beyond sending himself up either, making a couple of memorable cameos in episodes of ‘The Goodies’ at the height of his status as a much-loved fixture of the television furniture in the 1970s. So ubiquitous was he in the middle of the decade that as a child I was even convinced it was him and not Lenny Bruce to be found with all the other famous faces on the cover of ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Part of me still wishes it was.
© The Editor