After the Daily Mail had reacted with customary curtain-twitching horror to events in Bristol at the weekend, when the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down from its plinth and deposited in the Floating Harbour, the paper and its array of variously unappealing pundits have begun to desperately play catch-up, to try and appear relevant. And no-one does desperate catch-up like Sarah “Vain” Vine.tells the headline, missing the minor detail that no part of the past has been erased, and the idea that a Mail pundit has had their freedom of thought constrained is beyond ridiculous. But do go on.
“Complex questions of politics, race and identity have become sharply polarised, stripped of all nuance, simplified beyond all reason and presented as moral imperatives, a simple case of good versus evil, love versus hate, and yes, black versus white”. Which, freely translated, means she doesn’t know what the hell she is going on about.
But she’s trying. Very trying. “Virtually nowhere is it possible to have an open, constructive debate about the pros and cons of any given issue. Reason has been replaced by insult”. And that surprises a Mail pundit? The paper doesn’t do “debate”. It tells its readers how to think. And the Mail replaced reason with insult many years ago. Do try and keep up, 007.
“There is so much that I have found deeply saddening about the scenes in recent days … In particular, the notion that all white people need to apologise for their very existence … and the idea we are all racists”. What’s that paper you write for, Ms V? But, as the late Clive James might have said, I digress. Normal Vine service is soon resumed.
“University students are ‘shamed’ into complying with the political demands of their unions, ‘called out’ for not participating in endless boycotts, fearful that if they refuse or dissent they will be ‘cancelled’ and their lives made a misery”. Bullshit. Anyone who’s been through University will know that if the student’s union tried to tell students what to do, they would get short shrift. No research, no credibility. But more lefty-bashing.
For instance, “As I write, Labour-led councils across Britain are threatening the future of any statues deemed to be offensive to the new cultural commissars”. More bullshit. No citation, and none will be provided. And the worst thing about her latest rant?
The column shows a statue of Robert Milligan, an 18th Century slave owner, being removed from its plinth outside the Museum of London Docklands. Ms Vine tells her readers that the past is being erased. Yet just behind where the statue stood, in that museum, is a Heritage Lottery Fund exhibition called London, Sugar, Slavery.
The past is not being erased. Nor, sadly, are Sarah Vine’s piss-poor columns.