Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

When did we give up on the truth?

[Getty Images]

During that rather strange summer of 2020 I used the phrase ‘the gentle armed robber George Floyd’ in several articles for various publications, but the phrase was often taken out. I had thought it a mild corrective to the seeming beatification of a man who, while having been wrongly killed, was not, to my mind, quite worthy of the retrospective adoration being poured upon him. Nope, there would be no corrective – not about George. Indeed in that summer of lockdowns, hand sanitiser and existential angst it was pretty much impossible to challenge the programme of Black Lives Matter, full stop. Hence it was swallowed whole by the establishment and we saw coppers going down on one knee, TV pundits (and footballers) pressured to wear BLM badges or insignia, the police watching in admiration as statues were toppled and so on.

This all happened under the shroud of Covid, of course: the public did not get a say. We heard a little of what they felt when small numbers of fans were later allowed into football grounds and booed, resoundingly, when the players dropped to one knee. My take on it was that BLM’s claims in this country (but also largely in the USA) were demonstrably false. There was – as Tony Sewell’s report for the government later confirmed – no institutional or structural racism in our society, aside from the racism inherent in supposedly positive discrimination. There were still, of course, some racists knocking around, but our society was not riven with racism.

A statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square after a protest outside the US Embassy on June 7, 2020 (Getty Images)
‘I’m a championship-winning footballer trapped in a man’s body.’

In other words the BLM programme was based upon a series of untruths. But it was not really possible to say that then and instead, unchallenged, all of our institutions began ‘decolonising’ themselves and – as a bizarre and unforeseen development – within a year almost it seems everybody in a TV advert was of mixed race or black provenance.

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