If you’re a racist, bigot or generally think that black people need putting in their place, or the Scots are chippy tossers, or calling someone an ‘Irish cunt’ is something that’s just a bit of laugh then this has been the week for you.
The week started with Steve Bell suggesting that the SNP would support incest for a chance of power, not to mention that because Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are Scottish they’d look hilarious if they were doing Scottish dancing and talked like they came out of Brigadoon.
Buy hey, casual racism is fine when it comes to Scots, or indeed, anything perceived as working class in the media. Had this been the Welsh they’d be portrayed carrying leeks and worrying sheep (though the media would have to discover Wales in the first place) or Liverpool would have chirpy Scousers with Souness moustaches, and so on. Know your place. Eat your cereal.
Then came along Jeremy Clarkson, beloved of middle aged men and people that think The Lad Bible is funny. He’s been suspended from the BBC for a ‘fracas’ that his mates think wasn’t a big deal but the gossip site Popbitch (normally a good source for this sort of thing) report this…
It’s not just physical abuse
Clarkson doled out. The words used
are said to be something along the
lines of “Where’s our hot food, you
lazy fucking Irish cunt?”
So all those people signing petitions (one now outnumbers that against female genital mutilation) are supporting not only someone that resorts to violence as they don’t have people jumping at their whims, but uses the nationality of someone as a pejorative.
Mike Small of the site Bella Caledonia wrote a fantastic article on Bell and Clarkson in the context of the abuse Scotland and Scots (of all descriptions) have taken this week, but I don’t think anyone could predict the week would come to an end with Nigel Farage trying to yet again drag the UK back to the 1950’s in possibly the most open display of UKIP’s petty beige racism that’s they’ve done yet, and this is saying quite a bit. Farage’s idea to get rid of equality and race discrimination law which is shocking enough but hidden in there is the real reason which is to allow employers to hire and fire whomever they like. Black and the best person for the job? Nah, fuck it, racist bosses can ignore you? Female and off work to have a kid? Sorry, you’ve lost your job.
Following Farage’s bizarre logic is that this legislation isn’t needed because people should be free to do what they want because people can be racist if they want to be. It’s simply pandering to this idea that the majority of people are imposed upon because they’re white, middle class and English so that the minorities in this country should somehow put up with a little bit of casual racism as UKIP are ‘colour blind’.
This is all part of the same thing in that racism, bigotry and the sort of imperialist attitudes that diminish Scots and Irish to scare figures of those of the abused is the mainstream view and not that of a group that’s kept quiet. Clarkson’s casual bigotry and violence is seen to be something that’s just ‘bants’ and no big deal, yet he smacked someone and called them an ‘Irish cunt’ because they didn’t bring him something to eat? Is that really the actions of an ordinary person? Bell abused Scots for the crime of being Scottish yet this week we’ve seen anti-Scottish rhetoric hit new heights and there’s still weeks to go before the election so it’s just building up a head of steam. And Farage, well, Farage just made it clear he’s not even attempting to pretend UKIP are an inclusive party of the 21st century. All of this isn’t helped by the majority of the media engaging in a narrative where these people are given time and space to air their views unopposed most of the time, yet the likes of Clarkson and Farage pretend they’re not given an inordinate amount of space to speak freely in the media.
It seems that all the work people did from the 1950’s onwards is slowly being unraveled and not just by Tory tossers like Clarkson or far right demagogues like Farage, but supposed champions of the left like Bell as the idea of equality and egalitarianism is dumped for identity politics or tribalism. It’s simply repulsive that society is being reshaped to be harder, more brutal and ultimately callous as the establishment realises that the jig is up so they’re making one last stand as people from all sides of the establishment combine to purge what they see as threats and to shape a new UK that’s not going to be a nice place to live.
So when you laugh at a Bell cartoon mocking Scots, or think Farage has a point, or that Clarkson’s just having some fun as he smacked someone and called them an Irish cunt, look at yourself and wonder where your fucking humanity has gone. It’s been a dreadful week and the thing is, there’s worse to come before the election. At least now we realise that the gloves are off and anything goes.