Coffee House Shots

Have Conservatives lost the culture wars?

12 min listen

The Prime Minister looked visibly uncomfortable at Prime Minister’s Questions today, as Keir Starmer accused him of ‘giving racism the green light’ with the Conservative party’s stance on footballers taking the knee. It comes after a week in which other Tories – notably Priti Patel – have been criticised by footballers and begs the question – did the Conservatives wade into a culture war they can’t win? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman. Isabel points out that the Tories were never going to win in a popularity contest:

‘But really, it was obvious – and has long been obvious – that footballers are more popular than politicians. So to pick a fight with them… it’s very difficult for white Conservative MPs to criticise the gesture that those footballers have chosen to take a stand against the racism that they themselves have experienced.’

And James points out that, despite all this, this government’s credentials on race are better than most:

‘There is another irony here – it is in some ways remarkable that they’ve got themselves into this position when they have by far the most ethnically diverse cabinet than anyone can remember.’

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