This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind
Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Boris Puts Spiked In Charge On Race
To those unaware of their backstory, putting someone from a BAME background in charge of setting up a commission on racial inequalities, and bringing on board a former chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, who is also from a BAME background, looks like a sensible move. But in the world of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and chief polecat Dominic Cummings, it’s never that straightforward.
As the Guardianhas reported, “Munira Mirza, the head of the No 10 policy unit, is leading much of the work to form the commission on race and ethnic disparities announced by Boris Johnson on Sunday after the global wave of Black Lives Matter protests … It is understood that Mirza has said she hopes to recruit Trevor Phillips as part of the commission”. So let’s look at those backstories.
Phillips, as the Guardian points out, “previously referred to UK Muslims as being ‘a nation within a nation’”. His attack on the “Muslim fostering” row, written for the Murdoch Sun, was dead on arrival: many of the claims he made about Tower Hamlets Council and the emergency placement of a child in foster care were known to be untrue, as details of the Case Management Hearing the previous day had already been made public.
Ms Mirza is also an experienced practitioner in Muslim bashing: as a regular contributor to Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago, her litany of incendiary headlines makes grim reading. From “The press should be free to ridicule Islam” (it already is, thanks), through “Diversity is divisive” and “Stop pandering to Muslims” (stop something that never started - good move, eh?) to “Lammy review: the myth of institutional racism”, the impression of a provocateur peddling misinformation is inescapable.
So why is Ms Mirza being given this role? Simples. Bozo The Clown is inept, the public are starting to rumble him, a distraction is needed, and no-one muddies the waters with alternate reality like Spiked. Sebastian Payne of the FT let the cat out of the bag when he told “officials in Boris Johnson’s inner circle are urging a ‘war on woke’ and have influenced the PM‘s thinking on the culture war”. What culture war?
Ah well. That would be the culture war about to be ramped up as a crude and predictable diversion from Bozo’s failings. Payne also slipped up badly when he then claimed “Johnson himself has taken a generally balanced approach to cultural issues. He made a big defence of Winston Churchill’s statue on Monday, but has also made it clear he is listening to the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement”. And to that I call bullshit.
There is no defence needed for the Churchill statue: the claims that there is a move to have it taken down are bogus, another excuse for that culture war. Bozo isn’t listening to BLM, and as to “generally balanced”, Peter Jukes of Byline Media had something to say.
“So Johnson’s first bid to become PM - his Telegraph column about Muslim women looking like ‘bank robbers’, aided by ‘proud to be racist’ Steve Bannon is ‘generally balanced’, Sebastian? If your middle ground is there I suggest you’re part of an obvious culture capture”. But good of Payne to reveal what is already being briefed by Downing Street.
Putting Spiked in charge of the Ministry of Truth? We are truly through the looking glass.
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