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1st July 2020

THE refusal of the Conservative Party to interest itself in the culture wars that have been rumbling on for decades is a strategic error that the public continues to pay for heavily. The latest battle in the long war took place last week with mass protests and the vandalising of statues and desecration of war memorials.

The chain of events which started with the horrible death of an evidently drug-addled career petty criminal at the hands of a policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and ended with the vandalising and boarding up of Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square, is the kind of grim farce which could only occur in the mad world our leaders have permitted to evolve. Even the 1st Baron Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout movement and dead these past 79 years somehow got dragged into the imbroglio. Which dead person will be named and shamed next, I wonder. Is there a blue plaque to Enid Blyton somewhere – remember the golliwogs stealing Noddy’s car? – and will it be prised off and stamped on by angry white lefties, as happened to Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol? The advisory committee of the Royal Mint refused to have Blyton on the 50p coin last year, so perhaps she has been adequately traduced by the snub.

The inchoate resentment and rage of the crowds in Britain will likely blow over soon enough or at least when schools and universities resume full time. However, the implications and revelations of the past week are here to stay: we, the taxpaying public, are surrounded by a civil administration captured more or less in its entirety by the Left. We are paying for the dissolution of our own civilisation and its liberties. British policemen, whose conduct regulations bar them from making political gestures, have been photographed ‘taking the knee’, an action started by Colin Kaepernick, an American football player, to highlight police brutality against black people, and fast becoming the virtue signaller’s genuflection of choice. Even Sir Keir Starmer and sundry Labour MPs have been photographed doing it. And why wouldn’t they? It is after all a gesture in support of a neo-Marxist reading of society.

At the same time, police permitted protesters to destroy Colston’s statue. Superintendent Andy Bennett, who led the Avon & Somerset police operation around the statue, told the Bristol Post afterwards that allowing the destruction of the monument was ‘the right thing to do’. He added: ‘Bristol should be proud of itself.’

Superintendent Bennett also said: ‘People will say we allowed them to roll it all the way to the docks . . . if you’ve got a police cordon protecting a statue of a man who made his money trading slaves, you can imagine how different things might have been.’

Here we have the extraordinary spectacle of a senior law enforcement officer giving warm approbation to politicised criminality, or cultural terrorism, and also excusing himself and his officers from preventing crime and disorder on the grounds that it may have been bad PR to do so.

This is not the first time the police have shown the extent of left-wing penetration in its ranks. Officers displaying LGBT activist symbols are now commonplace.  I don’t recall the long-serving ‘conservative’ home secretary Theresa May raising objections about this politicisation of the police, a good deal of which happened on her watch.

I would suggest the police concentrate on crime: Home Office figures show that 2.2 million crimes in England and Wales went unsolved in 2019, including 80 per cent of burglaries

Colston’s statue was destroyed on Sunday, June 7. Forty-eight hours later 130 Labour councils announced wide-ranging reviews of landmarks and Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, announced the deeply sinister sounding Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm. This Orwellian group – and who sits on it – will need to be watched very closely for it is inevitable that it will resume an airbrushing of history and maps which began under the ‘Loony Left’ councils in the Eighties. It is almost 35 years since market traders took Blackburn Council to court over its proposal to change Market Avenue to Nelson Mandela Street. The traders cited unjustifiable costs in changing letterheads and stationery. A magistrate saw sense and the traders won. Will any of Mayor Khan’s decisions be legally challenged and upheld? We must wait and see but I am not filled with optimism.

Mayor Khan then had Winston Churchill’s statue boarded up. This was a sly move: a form of bureaucratic vandalism that gave the protesters what they wanted under the guise of protecting the monument. Finally Boris Johnson, the Conservative prime minister and Churchill biographer, spoke up with a smidgin of conviction and claimed he would defend the statue to his last breath. I hope he will.

The behaviour of Mr Khan made me think, and not for the first time, that the office of Mayor of London should be abolished. Though the Conservatives are hobbling along in the manner of Theresa May’s administration with her majority of zilch, they in fact have one consisting of 80 seats. This means it could have a tilt at overturning the Greater London Authority (Referendum) Act 1998. That piece of legislation, overseen by New Labour’s chief lummox John Prescott, led to what amounted to a revival of the corpse of Ken Livingstone’s GLC, a left-wing dragon slayed by Margaret Thatcher in 1986. Given the social engineering via mass immigration that has happened under both Labour and Tory governments, the post of London Mayor will henceforward always be a Labour fiefdom. Mayor Khan it was who had the casting vote in the selection of Dame Cressida Dick, an officer who evidently believes in assiduous political correction, as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Her tenure has been a disaster for the city, with soaring knife and drug crime.

Then there is the media. Its affirmative coverage during the George Floyd furore has demonstrated that ‘woke’ thinking – ie radical leftist social views – are now dominant in the industry. Fallacies and sophistry go unchallenged, just as it did with Extinction Rebellion. The hardcore Marxist background to Black Lives Matter – a framing of the old class struggle theories now reframed in race terms – goes largely unpicked and unexplained by journalists, many of whom are middle class Millennials with clear ambitions to be ‘social justice warriors’. Yes, the outrageously biased BBC needs to have the skids put under it – but the rest of television news is just as guilty of overwhelming ‘woke’ bias. The media conflation of America’s race relations history with Britain’s is as routine as it is profoundly wrong. Sky News is now prefacing items on the Floyd fallout with a title card saying Race and Revolution. At such a febrile time this is inflammatory.

I have yet to hear any clear-eyed analysis or on British television news of the bald facts, stats and counter opinions behind BLM’s rhetoric, as for example put forward by black conservatives, such as Candace Owens here.

The ‘long march through institutions’ as proposed by the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci seems to have taken place in Britain over the past 40 odd years, 27 of which have seen Conservative governments running the show with progressively worsening levels of capitulation to the Left’s social policies. As I indicated at the start of this piece, the Tories thought that market economics would see them right, in other words they knew they price of everything and the value of nothing. Therefore, by trying to ignore, exploit or ride the tigers of political correctness, mass immigration, climate change extremism and the politicisation of policing and education they have been midwife to the rebirth of a great beast: communism Mk II. Can Mr Johnson and his team fight this hydra-headed force? I am not hopeful.

This article previously appeared in The Conservative Woman 

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