MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Minister who won’t be intimidated by a sneering liberal elite
However weak and fact-free your case may be, you can still win a debate in modern Britain by falsely accusing your opponent of racial prejudice, fascism, climate denial or some other alleged bigotry.
Those who use these techniques only triumph because so much of our national debate is moderated by the BBC, which has largely abandoned impartiality and accepts the Left-wing rules which classify conservative dissent as toxic. Theirs is an ideology which regards disagreement with its ideals as not just wrong but bad.
It feels free to make spiteful personal attacks on those who do not wholly accept its policies and beliefs. The concept of fair debate between respectful opponents has almost vanished.
MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Home Secretary Suella Braverman has offered – in her exclusive interview today with The Mail on Sunday – what is perhaps the most forceful challenge to the legions of wokeism that has ever been offered by a senior Minister
Yet there are still millions who hold perfectly civilised views on the conservative side of things and are tired of being told they are evil racists and semi-Nazis. In recent years, especially in the Brexit referendum and the demolition of the Red Wall by Boris Johnson, there have been strong signs that those people have had enough of being patronised, ignored, belittled and insulted simply for holding reasonable, justified opinions.
Now, as an Election approaches in which the snobs and commissars of political correctness hope to triumph, Home Secretary Suella Braverman has offered – in her exclusive interview today with The Mail on Sunday – what is perhaps the most forceful challenge to the legions of wokeism that has ever been offered by a senior Minister. Rightly angered by recent remarks from BBC pundit Gary Lineker and much-loved singer Sir Elton John, she has responded with civility and force, so demonstrating that conservative Britain still has a voice and that it (unlike its critics) prefers to stay within the old-fashioned rules of civilised debate.
She set out the core issue around mass migration and the pressures this places mainly on the poor. Ms Braverman is the daughter of migrants and sits in a Cabinet which celebrates the success of multi-racial integration, headed by the first premier of Indian origin. It would be ludicrous for anyone to call her, or this Government, racist and she began her interview by saying how proud she is of Britain’s multi-ethnic society in the 21st Century.
But she acknowledged the truth known to many that ‘there are many areas around the country where integration hasn’t worked’. In this she believes, rightly, she is voicing a concern shared by the British people.
This is why the issue of large-scale migration is so important. Integration of new arrivals, which makes for a successful, harmonious society, is incredibly difficult if numbers arriving are very high. The idea that we could open our doors to all comers is absurd and unworkable.
So she rightly points out: ‘Many people want to come and live here but we need to be honest and say it’s not possible, it’s not sustainable. We need to put the British people first.’
Braverman and the UK’s ambassador to the US Karen Pierce with senior United States senator from South Carolina in his office in Washington DC, during the home secretary’s three-day visit
She is justified in scolding Sir Elton (while praising his work) for out-of-touch moralising from his privileged position, in which wealth protects him from the consequences of migration chaos and people-smuggling.
Compared to his unwarranted claim that she was ‘legitimising hate and violence’, or Lineker’s wildly unjustified suggestion she was using language worthy of the Nazis, her rebuke is mild.
But it hits its targets and gives many hope that they have allies in government who put them first and won’t be intimidated by the intolerant parrot cries of an insulated liberal elite.
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