After Priti Patel, who is claimed to be Home Secretary, fronted the Government’s daily briefing last Saturday and showed a crude lack of empathy, and indeed numeracy, some took the piss out of her. Others noted the difference in the way our free and fearless press treated her, as opposed to its pursuit of her former Labour shadow Diane Abbott.criticism focused on her non-apology - “I’m sorry if you feel that” - and her making a Horlicks of reading out the number of those tested for Covid-19. This situation therefore incurred the displeasure of Brendan O’Neill from the planet Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago. He decided there had been racism.
And so it came to pass that The Great Man fired up his quote generator and told anyone not yet asleep “What this all boils down to is the idea that Priti Patel is a ‘nasty woman’ … It’s time to cut the crap. Patel-bashing is not political critique … This is where wokeness and its obsession with racial issues crosses the line into something like actual racism”.
There is more. “They hate Patel because she is disobedient; because she deviates from their vision of the good immigrant descendant; because she ‘smirks’ rather than smiling softly and saying ‘Yes, boss’ to the PC elites”. Ah, those “PC elites” that he just made up. As opposed to the elite of which he is very much an integral part.
But he does know, after doing rather a lot of chattering, that, er, “The chattering class’s hatred of Priti Patel is crossing the line into something like racism”. Now compare and contrast with his sniffy, condescending and dismissive attitude to Diane Abbott after the latter’s recent appearance on BBC Question Time. “Man up, Diane”, he commanded.
And away he goes. “Abbott is so unbelievably patrician and condescending [while Priti Patel is not, eh Bren?] … Corbyn crew claim QT presenter Fiona Bruce interrupted Abbott more than the other guests … the sad bastards … The Labour machine’s reaction to the QT row has been chilling, even sinister … We can only hope that the BBC tells Labour to piss off and refuses to bow to its shrill, censorious demands”.
Racism is not racism. But what is not racism really is racism. Or, most likely, Brendan O’Neill saw Toby Young being handed a column by the Murdoch Sun and wanted to remind the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker that he’d rather like one too.
Even if it involves him facing both ways and standing on his head. What a trouper.