Liberal whites tend to suffer from inverted racism. They assume that all black and Asian people must be right-on (or “woke”, as the incurably derivative would put it nowadays), and even lapse into disappointment when they’re not. This is often a very naive and patronising white assumption. I remember being at dinner in a Sri Lankan friend’s home in London, many years ago, and nearly choking on my (memorably delicious) turmeric rice when my friend’s immigrant Sri Lankan Mum gave me her opinion on how much she disliked “all these scrounger immigrants coming into London“. Shocked, I looked over at my friend for guidance as to what the hell to say to that particular conversational bombshell, but she was trying hard not to laugh at my obvious discomfiture, and just rolled her eyes, as if to say, “let it go”.
In that case, as a former tea plantation owner ousted in a military coup in Sri Lanka, the elderly woman was right wing herself, and had been so before coming to Britain, and saw no need to change. However, I often noticed how second-generation immigrants, born or mainly reared in a white country, would also align themselves with the racist white right wing in their adopted / new country. It derives from a desire to fit in, and, in Britain, from a desire to “prove their Britishness”. In so doing, ironically, such people only reveal how racist they are about whites, in that they assume that the most authentic form of white political culture is a racist white culture. That is, they assume that a liberal white is a semi-traitor, and certainly not someone worthy of being emulated.
As far as the UK’s Attorney General, Suella Braverman, is concerned, I’m with the bloke in <The Guardian>:
“Look what Johnson’s gone and got himself: an attorney general who says he can do what the hell he likes! Johnson has chosen well. Braverman has been auditioning for the role of useful idiot for years and bears as much responsibility as Johnson does for our collapse into gormless authoritarianism … the attorney general is a deluded dogmatist who feeds the paranoia of the Tory party’s base while betraying her professional principles to please its dictatorial leaders.”
Trial by jury is a cornerstone of the rule of law and of the British judicial system.
The jury in a recent case in Bristol in England acquitted 4 people who had been charged with putting a statue of a slaver in the harbour.
The pro-slavery brigade are very upset, obviously, but the rule of law has been upheld, and the system worked perfectly.
Despite this, Tory ministers are fuming that the verdict “undermines the rule of law“.
It does nothing of the sort; the fact that a verdict so in defiance of the wishes of the government can be passed is a triumphant demonstration of the very opposite, namely that the rule of law is still alive and kicking.
This bears repeating – the rule of law is only dead when courts routinely start to deliver decisions that the government wants. That’s how Russia operates; that’s how N Korea operates.
And, while the bould Ms. Braverman knows she can’t go there, yet, not quite; you can see how her mind is working:
“Trial by jury is an important guardian of liberty and must not be undermined. However, the decision in the Colston statue case is causing confusion.
“Without affecting the result of this case, as attorney general, I am able to refer matters to the court of appeal so that senior judges have the opportunity to clarify the law for future cases. I am carefully considering whether to do so.”
She can only do so if she considers that the judge erred in law. No doubt she’ll try to dredge something up.
She’s beneath contempt. The decision is crystal clear and is causing no “confusion” whatsoever. It’s pissing off the Tory right alright, but even they are not confused.
Braverman is too gutless to say what she really means, so let’s say it for her:
“The government wants these statue vandals jailed. We’re very disappointed that the court has failed to do so. We’re very annoyed by the idiots on the jury who arrived at such a perverse and un-patriotic decision. It is the job of my office to find ways to correct any court decision that this government dislikes, and that’s what I’m now about to look into. We will of course in any event introduce new criminal laws to protect statues of notable historical figures (including slave traders); and I will also look at ways to rein in the powers of juries in such matters, as they clearly can no longer be relied on to arrive at the right decision. In matters such as this, the rule of law is best served by being subordinated to the wishes of the Tory party. You can take this jury stuff too far; we need in any event to ensure that people who are sympathetic to criminals, as this jury clearly was, are disbarred from jury service from the outset.”
No system needs to be tinkered with merely because you disagree with the outcome in a particular case. Unfortunately, we live in a era where the entire apparatus of democracy is a source of continual “disappoinments” for powerful “patriots“. And this latest disappointment is a perfect opportunity for the likes of Braverman to show that, in the social climbing stakes, no face whitening cream suceeds as well as a policy lifted from a UKIP manual.