The Tories are showing Labour how it's done on diversity

11 July 2022

3:45 AM

11 July 2022

3:45 AM

The elephant isn’t just in the room. It is trumpeting loudly but it is greeted with bemusement, denial, or polite silence.

I am talking about the Tory leadership race which is full of what the renowned fox-killer now apparently calls ‘brown’ people and those other odd chaps, called women. The Tories can always claim the first ethnic minority PM in Disraeli who was Jewish but they don’t make a song and dance about it.

Jollyon Morn has now deleted his so-called anti-racist tweet perhaps because it was in fact a teensy bit racist, was it not, to suggest that all ‘brown’ people must cleave to the political position of his choosing i.e. Labour?

Is it possible that we end up with the next Prime Minister actually being the third Conservative woman PM? Or more likely, the first, to put it in the correct terminology ‘BAME PM’ – Sunak, Javid, Braverman, Zahawi and Badenoch are in the running. Will Patel throw her hat in the ring?

The first two are serious contenders and Badenoch is one to watch for the future. You don’t have to agree with her – I mostly don’t – but she is a force to be reckoned with.

If the Tories are as racist as the left likes to think they are, then it will be Hunt or Truss, but does anyone think that seriously? Wallace has left the ring, which, of course, in some strange way only adds to his image as an honourable man.

Labour could not elect a woman leader even when three stood against one man. It is still very far off from having a BAME leader and yet this is the party that bangs on about equality and inclusivity. It mouths the word ‘diversity’ but what does it really mean?

Marrying non-white women if the former hopes of the Corbynite left are anything to go by.

Is that rude? No, it is just the truth. Of course, everyone is individually anti-racist and anti-sexist /whatevs or so they claim. Someone then has to ask what is actually going on?

This is an awkward question and one I wish I didn’t have to ask. But my job is to be an awkward cow as you already know. The answer is, surely, some kind of complacency, with a side-order of racism-lite.

All good people have to think one way. The moral high ground is only for certain folk as it is evident we can’t all fit in the promised land. Hence black people have to think a certain way, as do all Asian communities. Hugely different cultures are somehow expected to be monotone.

We all know this just isn’t the case. When it came to immigration and the pull of Brexit, we know that many 2nd generation immigrants voted Leave. No, they were not happy with Romanians and Lithuanians using services and taking homes that they considered to be their due. All of this is way more complicated than I am giving it credit for.

Identity always is.

That is why the left or more specifically the Labour party, which is so intertwined with identity politics on gender and race, looks, even in the current chaos, screwed. It is led by a straight white knight. It thinks men can be woman if they feel that to be the case. It thinks there should be more women in power and definitely more BAME people, but this just isn’t happening. Why not? I am not in the Labour party but have been round it long enough to have an inkling as to why, for sure.

Corbyn and his gang were certainly not feminists. That struggle would be dealt with later. That is always the hard left position. The evil centrists at least introduced women-only shortlists which lead to that infamous picture of Blair surrounded by his ‘babes’. This image always reminded me of Hugh Hefner. With boxy jackets instead of bunny girl costumes.

This is not to say there are not terrific women in the Labour movement. There are and it’s a real shame that many have been expelled for believing in biology/science/reality. Yet everyone is secretly waiting for the King of the North to make his move. By that, I mean for Andy Burnham to be given a safe seat and run for leader.

He was great during the pandemic, sure, but does that mean Labour will never have a woman leader?

I went to see the fabulous Fran Leibowitz the other night and she made a pertinent point about Hillary Clinton when, during the 2016 election against Trump, so many people said ‘I just don’t like her’ so did not want to vote for her. Fran’s answer was that Clinton was the best qualified for the job and you didn’t have to like her as she would not be ringing you up every night asking you to dinner.

It’s the old ‘Who would you rather have a pint with?’ mentality that also pervades British politics isn’t it? Someone like Yvette Cooper is never gonna fit that bill. Most women aren’t. Leave all that to Farage and his Wetherspoons’ Warriors.

So what is the left going to do? Bang on about diversity for ever and ever and yet not carry it through? That’s how it seems.

I have no skin in this game, as I often say I would rather boil my own head than vote Tory, but the left has a problem here. We could, in another setting call it structural racism and in-built misogyny. We could and indeed I would.

Kemi Badenoch though she won’t win, is challenging all this. What an interesting politician. The left, if it had its wits about it, would realise that her time is not now but it will come and it should have better answers prepared than it has right now.

Because right now its answer is still a form of fantasy politics.

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