Keir Starmer – who has professed that a woman can have a penis – has become the latest figure to gaslight conservatives by making the ridiculous claim that the Culture War is an invention of Tories, rather than something being aggressively prosecuted by the Left against Britain, common sense and freedom. Allison Pearson in the Telegraph is having none of it.
In a speech on Monday at the Civil Society Summit, a gathering of charities and not-for-profit groups, Sir Keir accused the Tories of “sabotaging civil society to save their own skins. They got themselves so tangled up in culture wars of their own making,” he said, that “instead of working with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to find real solutions to stop the small boats their rhetoric has helped demonise them.”
The Tory party, he went on, was undertaking “a weird kind of McCarthyism… Trying to find woke agendas in the very civic institutions they once regarded with respect. Instead of working with the National Trust so more people can learn about – and celebrate – our culture and our history, they’ve managed to demean their work… It comes to something when the Tories are at war with the National Trust.”
Starmer’s speech was disingenuousness on stilts. The ones waging war on our culture are not Conservatives. As if. The people responsible for “sabotaging” charities are their own radicalised members of staff who put ideology before the public good. And the ‘wokewashing’ of our institutions is hardly a figment of the imagination of some Right-wing think-tank. It’s distressingly, oppressively real as gifted, decent people are ‘cancelled’ for refusing to parrot fashionable idiocies.
If the RNLI has sunk in public estimation it’s because it is perceived to be more interested in equality, diversity and inclusion than saving lives. In 2021, it was reported that the RNLI is “looking to promote empathy and understanding among the British public with respect to migrants crossing the Channel”. Donors don’t generally appreciate virtue-signalling lectures. Nor do they want the RNLI to pay for burkinis as part of an “anti-drowning project for Muslim women in Tanzania”. Honestly, I wish I was making this stuff up.
As for the National Trust, it no longer sees its primary role as helping British people to “celebrate our culture and history”, as the Labour leader claims. It’s more likely to be found berating its poor members, who go for tea and a tour of the gardens, because its beautiful properties have indirect links to slavery and a house’s sweeping staircase was made from teak forested by forced labour. Frankly, it’s a surprise they don’t have a notice at the gate of every stately home: “Don’t Think You’re Here For a Nice Day Out. Educate Yourselves!” Give it time, give it time.