Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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At last, a conservative Tory MP

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I AM beginning to wonder if we have found our next Conservative Party leader. Kemi Badenoch’s speech in the Commons this week marked her out as a true conservative instead of the progressive trend-followers we have become used to.

Some of the tabloids headlined the fact that the women and equalities minister used the ‘n-word’ in a debate on Black History Month. This was not the important part of what she had to say, however.

She attacked a ‘dangerous trend’ in race relations being taught in schools, saying: ‘It is the promotion of critical race theory – an ideology that sees my blackness as victimhood and their whiteness as oppression. I want to be absolutely clear – this Government stands unequivocally against critical race theory.’

She said that teachers who tell their pupils that white privilege is a fact are breaking the law.

Answering Labour’s Dawn Butler, who said the history curriculum needs to be ‘decolonised’, she said the curriculum did not need decolonising for ‘the simple reason that it is not colonised’, adding: ‘We should not apologise for the fact that British children primarily study the history of these islands.

‘And it goes without saying that the recent fad to decolonise maths, decolonise engineering, decolonise the sciences that we’ve seen across our universities, to make race the defining principle of what is studied, is not just misguided but actively opposed to the fundamental purpose of education.’ 

She said pupils should not be learning about ‘white privilege and their inherited racial guilt’, saying that any school which teaches ‘these elements of political race theory as fact, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing views, is breaking the law’.

You can see her speech here.

How refreshing! Perhaps head teachers who have been falling over themselves to ‘decolonise’ their courses – even at Eton – will realise that they have been made to look fools by the divisive race activists.

Badenoch, 40, was born in London to a GP father and a professor of physiology mother, both of Nigerian origin. She has experience of the real world, unlike so many of her colleagues, starting when she worked in McDonalds while studying for A-levels. After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in computer systems engineering, she worked as a software engineer, an associate director at Coutts Bank and as digital director of the Spectator. She is married to a banker and they have three children. She was elected in 2017 as MP for Saffron Walden, increasing her predecessor’s vote, and increased it again in 2019. She now has a majority of 27,594.

She made waves in June when she said Britain is one of the best countries in the world in which to be black. This week she told Spectator editor Fraser Nelson: ‘I’d go further and say this is the best country. I’ve lived in the US, I’ve lived in Nigeria, so I feel like I’ve got some context to compare. I look at South Africa and look around Europe and ask: are those places better to be black than the UK? I don’t think so. It doesn’t mean everything is perfect . . . But if as a politician, especially a black politician, I don’t say this, who will?’

Nelson’s article goes on: ‘Black people who think like her, she says, tend not to be invited on to television. “There is a left-wing view of racial politics that’s assumed to be the black view of politics. Being black is not just about being a minority. On a global scale we are not a minority – but the rhetoric in this country is talking about us as if we are almost a separate sub-species”.

‘A Tory equalities agenda, she says, should be based on Martin Luther King’s dream – that people should be judged on the content of their character and not the colour of their skin. “Now, it’s all about the colour of your skin. That cannot be,” she says emphatically. “You can’t pick and choose the rules depending on the colour of someone’s skin. That is what the racists do”.’

Here is a short interview in which she says she supports Brexit (tick) and would abolish Twitter if she could, calling it ‘Satan’s messageboard’ (tick). She names Airey Neave as her political idol ‘because he was one of Margaret Thatcher’s strongest backers and you need men to support women, and also he escaped from Colditz which is probably the coolest thing an MP has ever done.’ Sadly, she also says she does not want to be Prime Minister, but maybe she could be persuaded.

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Margaret Ashworth
Margaret Ashworth is a retired national newspaper journalist. She runs the Subbing Clinic in a hopeless attempt to keep up standards, and co-runs A & M Records where she indulges her passion for 60s pop.

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