Daily Express: Woke Twitterati think they’re the chosen ones but they don’t represent us

LAST year, I wrote an article for the Sunday Express to coincide with ‘International Women’s Day’, arguing that we should not single out any group with preferential treatment based on their gender, ethnicity, or whom they love, instead we should champion meritocracy and not pander to the leftist agenda.
Eighteen months on we are experiencing a period of woke-ism on steroids. In the past year we have experienced a depressing state of upheaval in which we have witnessed people trying to erase and deny our history, and groups such as BLM and Extinction Rebellion, going unchallenged for breaking lockdown measures and damaging public property. I firmly believe that the law should apply and be upheld equally for everyone; whatever your background, and in name of whichever cause, if you break the law you will face the consequences.

In my neighbouring city of Leeds, the beautiful statue of Queen Victoria on Woodhouse Moor was damaged with unsightly graffiti during the BLM protests.

This is criminal damage by vandalising public property. But were there any consequences to these actions? Not in the form you would expect: as far as I am aware none of these criminals were arrested or changed.

Instead, the Labour-run Leeds City Council responded by setting up an independent panel to assess “all of the statues present in Leeds and establish whether any should be replaced with more diverse representations.”

To quote the council: “The aim is to improve inclusivity in public spaces in the wake of the Black Lives Matter demonstration, which saw the statue of slave trader Edward Colston toppled into the harbour by protesters in Bristol.”

The not-so-hidden aim of this review, in my opinion, is not to promote diversity with new statues and monuments but to erase everything that doesn’t conform with the anti-capitalist BLM agenda.

If councils pandered to the requests of the most extremes amongst these activists, they would accept to cancel rich parts of our great country’s history, like Queen Victoria, or Churchill. Instead of understanding and challenging the complexity of history, some try to rewrite by using ultra-progressist lenses.

I appreciate that unlike me not everyone is a keen Royalist, but the attempt to erase our country’s past is wrong and ignorant.

Instead, we should learn the lessons of our history, remember our mistakes and celebrate the diversity and complexity of our rich, global past.

Tragic mistakes were made on different fronts (as they were made consistently in history across the world), but also wonderful things and, one thing is for sure, without our past we wouldn’t be the open, diverse, tolerant and freedom-loving country we are now.

To waste taxpayers’ money in a moment of national crisis on what looks like a one-sided exercise that adheres to a politicised idea of “diversity”, looks like having a wrong sense of priority to me. I was relieved that the vast majority of residents involved in the review promoted by Leeds City Council, agreed that statues should stay where they were.

I am proud that this Conservative Government while promoting modern legislation on equality and the environment, don’t pander to the hysteria of the extreme left.

Our roots are solid and in continuity with the great history of our nation. We are proud of our union and of being British and we won’t be indulging in the chase of the latest hashtag on Twitter just to be popular with social justice warriors that are too easily offended.

Angry protestors labelled Churchill ‘a racist’ during the BLM movement (Image: Getty)

We passed legislation to protect our police and armed forces, to make sure that those seeking refuge from wars are welcomed in a legal and controlled way, without being exploited by organised crime trying to cross the Channel.

We are promoting a BBC that really represents all area and all people in the country, not only Central London, that is truly impartial and doesn’t drag to court those not paying its licence fee and for an OFCOM that is fair.

Yet again, as we saw with Brexit, influential groups with the backing of the Glitterati and the Twitterati, think they are the chosen people whose mission is to lead us all out of ignorance into the heavens of progressivism.

The truth is, they only represent themselves and not the vast majority of us who still uses common sense. This became quite clear in the General Election in December, where Jeremy Corbyn got incredible traction on social media and Boris Johnson and his candidates, including me, were abused on Twitter and vilified by part of the mainstream media. Think about what would have happened if they had won.