No General Election campaign can be complete without a little light relief, and so it was that the BBC Radio 4 Today programme featured another episode of the hit retro comedy Hancock’s Half Hearted, starring Matt Hancock as the downtrodden but ever-hopeful soul from Railway Cuttings, East Cheam (surely Little Thurlow, Suffolk? - Ed.). Today, he hilariously pretended to know something about those ghastly brown people.
It's the way he tells 'em
As the Independent put it earlier today, “Baroness Warsi, who was the female Muslim to attend cabinet, has been campaigning for a full independent inquiry into Islamophobia … However the prime minister said the Conservatives would be conducting a ‘general investigation into prejudice’ stopping short of Baroness Warsi's calls for an independent probe”. So what did our plucky anti-hero have to say about that?
“Well look, I like Sayeeda (Warsi), she has a particular view on this. There are others who take a more balanced approach”. Bloody hell, I never heard being soft on racism called “more balanced” before. Was he calling her unbalanced? “No, I'm certainly not saying that. I have an enormous amount of respect for Sayeeda but she does take a particular view”. Yes, she calls out racism in her own party. The audacity of the woman!
So what would he propose as an alternative, other than to keep his North and South open and insert the other foot? “There needs to be an inquiry of course, but of course you should look into all kinds of prejudice … I think that this is something that any responsible party always needs to be on the look-out for”. Yes, he did indeed choose to keep his mouth open while inserting the other foot. The double standards are blatant.
Just imagine what the response would have been if that had been a senior Labour figure and anti-Semitism allegations. In fact, we do not need to merely imagine: whenever Jeremy Corbyn talks of being against “all forms of racism” he is routinely shouted down as being insufficiently tough on anti-Semitism. Small wonder Hancock has been criticised.
Quite apart from Sayeeda Warsi telling him “Thank you for ‘whitesplaining’ this to me … I’m so glad I have colleagues like you who can educate me even after my 30 years of experience of work in race relations. Thousand apologies sir”, Labour’s Afzal Khan called it out for what it was. “This gaslighting of Baroness Warsi’s experience and expertise within the Tory Party is a clear example of that racism in action”.
Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson made a commitment during the Tory leadership contest to have an inquiry into Islamophobia. But like his predecessor David Cameron and press misbehaviour, it was a promise that was always going to be broken. And so it has been. But all is not bad news.
As all kinds of prejudice will be considered, perhaps Bozo would like to include Jacob Rees Mogg’s use of the anti-Semitic “Illuminati” and “Soros” dog whistles, Michael “Oiky” Gove conflating “Jews” and “Israel”, Priti Patel talking of a “North London metropolitan liberal elite”, and Jake Berry shouting “Britain First” at Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons.
Or perhaps that, too, will be abandoned before anything incriminating is revealed. Maybe it will feature in the next hilarious Hancock’s Half Hearted. When you’re ready, Bozo.
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