Right-wing politicians love a good culture war.Â Itâ€™s no coincidence that the terms â€˜political correctnessâ€™ and â€˜wokeâ€™, both originating on the American left, have been eagerly seized by the right. They know it is an ideal way of stirring up indignation and deflecting attention from things theyâ€™d rather not discuss.
…A few left-wing activists can usually be relied upon to give the right-wing press the ammunition it needs by doing or saying something silly. Even a poorly considered comment or rebuttal can lead to stories that run for years, like Baa Baa Green Sheep and Winterval.Â On the basis of one person writing â€˜racistâ€™ on Winston Churchillâ€™s statue, Boris Johnson has been able to cast himself as the defender of a monument that is not under any serious threat. He was at it again yesterday, attempting to spice up his lacklustre speech with a promises to defend theÂ â€œstatue of our greatest wartime leaderâ€ from, well, no-one really.
The problem for the left is thatÂ some of this stuff lands. It makes otherwise quite reasonable people cross. And it doesnâ€™t need to make many of them cross… All it needs is enough people in the right places.