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Thursday 1 December 2022

Royal Family Isn’t Racist … BUT

In a superb example of “There’s always a column”, the Daily Mail’s appallingly selfish pundit Sarah “Vain” Vine told readers only a week and a half ago that “If anyone deserves an anti-racism award it's King Charles, not Harry and Meghan”. Their award was about “the couple’s accusation of racism against senior members of the Royal Family”. But Ms Vine knew better.

Vehemently denied by the Prince of Wales and repudiated in characteristically diplomatic manner by the late Queen - ‘recollections may vary’ - it’s never been entirely obvious what form this so-called racism was supposed to have taken … insulting the work of Harry’s grandmother, it leads to the Royal Family suffering the vilest of accusations and abuse”.

The Royals didn’t do racism, right? And that, in the narrowest sense, may be true. But we now know that someone who, while not being Royal herself, was, as the late John Arlott might have put it, “very adjacent” to them, has been caught being not merely racist, but aggressive and patronising with it.

At a charity event last Tuesday hosted by Queen Consort Camilla, Lady Susan Hussey, formerly a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, met Ngozi Fulami, who founded charity Sistah Space, which supports women and families affected by domestic abuse. Lady Hussey had been helping to host events at Buckingham Palace. Ms Fulami recalled her exchange with Milady.

“Lady SH: Where are you from?
Me: Sistah Space.
SH: No, where do you come from?
Me: We're based in Hackney.
SH: No, what part of Africa are you from?
Me: I don't know, they didn't leave any records.
SH: Well, you must know where you're from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?
Me: Here, the UK.
SH: No, but what nationality are you?
Me: I am born here and am British.
SH: No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?
Me: 'My people', lady, what is this?
SH: Oh I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you're from. When did you first come here?
Me: Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50s when...
SH: Oh, I knew we'd get there in the end, you're Caribbean!
Me: No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality”.

What could make it worse? Lady Hussey was not only Godmother to the Prince of Wales, but she alsowas reportedly directed by Buckingham Palace to help the Duchess of Sussex settle into royal life prior to and after her wedding to Prince Harry”. She had apparently claimed that Haz and Meg’s marriage would “all end in tears”. It was bad for the BBC, too.

What did we tell you?

Lady Hussey was married to the late Duke Hussey, former chair of the Corporation’s Governors. Duke Hussey was a Tory. He had effectively been inserted into the role at the behest of Margaret Thatcher, and his first act as chair was to inform then Director General Alasdair Milne that he required the latter to resign his post. Mrs T’s vindictive streak once again.

Lady Hussey has now been thrown under the bus; she has resigned. But the damage has not only been done, our free and fearless press knows it’s been done. Hence the Mail going in to bat for someone who was aggressive, patronising and, just in case anyone had forgotten, appallingly racist.

The headline on arch-creep Richard Kay’s apologia says it all: “Lady Susan Hussey will be mortified at causing offence with her remarks. But friends are accusing the Palace - which is extremely sensitive ahead of Harry and Meghan's Netflix documentary - of acting with indecent haste

Causing offence? CAUSING OFFENCE? It gets worse: “however unfortunate her comments, her sudden resignation yesterday for repeatedly asking a black British charity boss where she originally came from has stunned her closest friends and reopened the toxic debate about alleged racism within the Royal Household”. Don’t worry, it was only a “black British charity boss”.

After all, she was “Unflappable, loyal and discreet … among the handful of the late monarch's most trusted staff invited to serve the new Queen Consort Camilla … 'unjust' treatment of an 83-year-old widow who devoted her life to the royals … exemplary life of service and dedication to the monarchy”.

The Sussexes were right to call out racism in the Royal household. The right-wing press is plain flat wrong to defend it. This incident has shown just how out of touch the establishment class has become, whether it’s the courtier or media part of it. And it’s no good trying to excuse what happened: the press backed the wrong side. Now we all know: for them, racism is fine.

Except it’s not fine. It’s bang out of order. Did someone mention Leveson 2?

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Arnold said...

All the Mail articles have moderated comments, but racism is still oozing through.
One best rated comment.
Ngozi Fulani was wearing a traditional Caribbean head dress and Lady Hussey asked her about her heritage. A 'race row', because she was asked where she came from?

Most replies agree. Any that point out it was more of a hostile interrogation are heavily downvoted.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about direct racism, the old girl comes from the county class. ‘Where are your people from’ is pretty much standard and not much more. I would have just said Durham…..

Arnold said...

Unbelievably in the Express.

We refused to believe it but were Meghan and Harry right all along? Asks PAUL BALDWIN
That one, as we have all become horribly aware over the last 24 hours, was issued by a spokesman for the Prince and Princess of Wales after William's godmother inexplicably displayed levels of racism at Buckingham Palace we all deeply hoped had gone the way of the horse-drawn carriage.


Arnold said...

And the first to use the C word is - Drumroll.

GB News political reporter Olivia Utley admitted the comments had caused offence to Ngozi Fulani but rejected the idea that Lady Susan Hussey should be cancelled for her mistake.


Mr Larrington said...

@Arnold: what Latin textbooks mean by “questions expecting the answer 'yes'”.

Hopefully the upcoming Haz'n'Megs Show will cause colossal bellend Piers “Morgan” Moron to have another meltdown too.

Burlington Bertie from Bow said...

Ah, Olivia Utley, granddaughter of T.E.Utley, leader writer on the Daily Telegraph in its glory years of the late 20th century when it was very keen on Ian Smith and 'kith and kin'in the then Rhodesia, fervently supported apartheid, attacked sporting boycotts of South Africa and always endeavoured to illustrate court reports with a picture of the convicted if he happened to be black.

How 'liberal and progressive' of her to recognise that Hussey had 'caused offence'. Slow progress in the Utley tribe after two generations, but credit where its due.

And it's really no surprise that these dimwits believe that 'cancel culture' is taking over the world if they imagine that this case constitutes an example of it. Hussey was sacked/resigned/stood down as a result of ill-judged and offensive behaviour. Or should we regard Johnson, Hancock, Williamson. Patel and the managers of the Belgium and Germany football teams as being 'cancelled' when they have, in fact, signally failed to effectively carry out the roles allotted to them?

Crispin Fisher said...

Today she accused Harry and Meghan of being narcissistic because they released a picture to coincide with their forthcoming TV series. This is the same Sarah
Vine who still uses the username @WestministerWag even though she is no longer married to an MP.

Zoe Paleologa said...

For me, the point - she would never have spoken to a white person that way. If you're behaving in a way you would never countenance with a white person towards a BAME person - it's almost certainly racism.

Mark Hayhurst said...

My old friend Bertie is right in his bold, though slightly laboured, analysis here.

This is not cancel culture at all. I hold.little hope for the Utley clan if this is all the progress they have made in their time. Fine writer though her grandfather was.

Mr Larrington said...

I'm told that the likes of Isabel Talkshitte and Katharine “Sideshow Birb” Birbalsingh are wading in to defend Hussey, conclusively proving she was out of order.