Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Ben Bradley FAILS To Appropriate MLK

Washington DC, late August 1963, summer heat, a sea of humanity: Martin Luther King Jr told the crowdI have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character … I have a dream today!

Ben Bradley MP

Dr King passed long ago, but his dream endures, and not only in the USA. People of colour endured, and continue to endure, vicious racism here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. It is a reality that some of what Robin Day rightly and memorably called “here today and gone tomorrow politicians” are still reluctant to accept.

And it is a reality that those who, consciously or otherwise, enjoy white privilege are most reluctant to take on board. Which brings us to the increasingly gaffe-prone Ben Bradley, the Tory MP who represents the unfortunate voters of Mansfield: Bradley has attempted to appropriate the words of MLK. This has been a campaign that has developed not necessarily to his advantage. Not after Dr King’s daughter Berenice King got involved.

Dr King addresses the crowd, August 1963

Bradley took an abbreviated form of the “I have a dream” speech and added the singularly dishonest coda “His point was that skin colour doesn’t matter. We’re equal. Now you want to define people by their physical characteristics?” Sadly, no man is of perfect courage, and Bradley later deleted his Tweet. Unfortunately for him, Ms King took a copy.

Her response was scathing. "My father’s point and central to his beliefs, teachings and activism (per his speeches/books) was this: We cannot condone racism, but must eradicate it as one of the pervasive, systemic, overt and destructive Triple Evils, with militarism and poverty being the other two”. And there was more.

To that end, we should [use] his words, not to ignore racism, but to stop the type of suppression of Black votes that’s being attempted in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan right now. And to end health, policing and housing disparities driven by racism. Eradicate racism”. Bradley has, it seems, chosen to ignore or at least dismiss racism.

Worse, he has attempted to deflect on the issue of poverty, another societal evil that Dr King identified. Recently, he claimedAt one school in Mansfield 75% of kids have a social worker, 25% of parents are illiterate. The estate is the centre of the area’s crime. One kid lives in a crack den, another in a brothel. These are the kids that most need our help, extending [Free School Meals] doesn’t reach these kids”. Then it got worse.

After someone suggested flippantly “£20 cash direct to a crack den and brothel really sounds like the way forward with this one”, Bradley responded “That’s what FSM vouchers in the summer effectively did”. He later deleted his Tweet and claimed he was the victim.

Now, Ben Bradley has once again hit the delete button too late. He doesn’t have a clue what Dr King was about. And he would not have reached as far as King’s ankles.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Unknown said...

Bradley is a wannabee Brownshirt Hog/Thug. End of.

Unknown said...

Is this the same Ben Bradley who publicly spat his dummy because he was asked to do unconscious bias training?

Doesn't need it does he?

Nigel Stapley said...

Those of us with long memories (or who were merely politically aware at that time) will recall that the Tory Party of the 80s had a whole army of rent-a-quote gobshite MPs who were given the run of their mouths in the (completely non-biased, of course, oh-dear-me-yes) official media to spout racist (or just simply inhumane) bollocks: Anthony Beaumont-Dark, Peter Bruinvels, David Evans. Some, like Fabric*nt, are still there.

Plus ça change...

Jez Box said...

He really is an utter moron. No idea how he's become an elected MP.

Unknown said...

He's the moron's moron.

Anonymous said...

MLK was murdered precisely because he broadened his political position far beyond institutional racism. At that point he became a clear and present danger to US fascism, as had the Kennedy brothers and Malcolm X. Losing all of those men at that time is one of the roots of existing global horror.

By comparison, far right racist tory Bradley is worth less than a bucket of warm spit.