Why is the BBC broadcasting the Commonwealth Games? The corporation is clearly deeply ill at ease with what its staff would regard as a “problematic”, “imperialist” (racist) institution. Coverage of the opening ceremony, which should have been a fantastic, uplifting celebration of sport, was barely watchable, I found. It was like being forced, in the middle of a birthday party, to attend a lecture on diversity and LGBTQ rights. A bard from Birmingham called Casey Bailey intoned a dire bit of doggerel which instructed us to “check the galleries and palaces for the evidence of wrongdoing”. I’m sure that Adam Peaty and our gold-winning swimmers in the 4 x 100-meter relay think of little else.
As Casey fretted about millions of people “held under” by the Commonwealth’s banner, the Beeb helpfully added footage of the National Front (from 50 years ago) just to remind viewers what a horrible, racist country we live in. “What does the Commonwealth mean in modern society?” a frowningly earnest Clare Balding asked her studio panel. “The history of the Commonwealth isn’t the best,” said Ama Agbeze, who strangely seems to have done quite well under that dreadful organization, captaining England in 2018 to a Gold medal in hideously white netball no less.
Gymnast Max Whitlock told Clare he was excited about the “diverse and inclusive” opening ceremony, saying it would be “a statement about the need for many Commonwealth countries to change laws, change attitudes”. That turned out to mean Tom Daley carrying the Pride flag into the stadium with six other standard-bearers who represented the 35 Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is still a crime. Black members of the Commonwealth used to be patronized and told off by white fascists. Now, they get patronized and told off by white liberals. And they call this progress.
Ironically, the colonizers of today are the Wokeists who want to infiltrate every aspect of life – sport, culture, politics – and bend it to their righteous, hectoring creed. The BBC could have acknowledged that some Christian Commonwealth countries have a moral objection to the philosophy of Pride. That would have shown the “cultural sensitivity” which they aggressively demand of others. But, no. Its attitude is that such people should be “educating” themselves in inclusion instead of training 12 hours a day to run faster than any human before them. Sounds a teeny bit racist, don’t you think?
Why must everything be about “Diversity” instead of Diversity’s sweet, magnanimous sibling, Unity? No occasion is just allowed to be fun any more. Enough people are sick of it now, I think, for the fightback to begin, starting with the highest offices in the land. On LBC this week, Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke with his customary lethal courtesy about civil servants in the Cabinet Office who had done a “Check Yo Privilege” course. The idea of all those Oxbridge-educated mandarins excusing that appalling grammar – Yo must be joking, Humphrey! – and reflecting on how their sociocultural identities had shaped their ascent from Winchester to Whitehall would be hilarious were it not for the scandalous amount of public money wasted on what Mr Rees-Mogg correctly called “woke rubbish”.
Suella Braverman also lent her mighty mind to the battle against what she called a “new religion with a new priestly caste”. The Attorney General said she was “horrified to discover that hundreds of government lawyers spent nearly 2,000 hours of taxpayer-funded time last year attending lectures on “micro-incivilities”, different “lived experiences” and “how to be a straight ally”, courtesy of Stonewall. Incredibly, the lawyers are told that if a black person says something is offensive then it is offensive, and they don’t have a right to question it. So much for due process and Magna Carta, eh?
Guilt-ridden, self-loathing elite groups seem particularly prone to drinking in this kind of Left-wing indoctrination. Normal people are more bothered about the macro-incivilities of their upcoming gas bill. Liz Truss has pledged to scrap diversity jobs in Whitehall. Good. A pernicious identity politics which claims to enlarge tolerance only sows division, fear and, ultimately, racism. We need a Counter-Reformation to purge the heretic-hunting Stonewall Inquisition from our schools and institutions.
Funnily enough, despite the BBC’s tedious obsession with inclusion, I have really enjoyed watching the sport from Birmingham, especially the gymnastics of Jake Jarman. Peterborough-born Jake’s double-back somersault with a triple twist defies gravity just as it defies belief. When he stood on the podium to collect his fourth gold medal, with the strains of Jerusalem swelling around him, did that mixed-race athlete think the Commonwealth event he bestrode like a god was about examining the past for evidence of wrongdoing? Or did his heart swell with pride, as he made our hearts swell with pride, and did he give that adorable shy smile of his and think, “Hooray! I won it for England”? That’s unity.