As any of you who have passed a pleasurable 30 seconds by looking at Morag’s profile will have noticed – Morag’s toes are a lovely shade of brown. Ipso facto so are Morag’s legs, arms and other bits and pieces. Happy with it, wouldn’t have it any other way etcetera; however every now and then you hit a rough patch and you throw your arms up in despair. This week is one of them.
On one hand you have Bob Spink on the other Trevor Philips and I don’t know which is worse. One appears to have the diplomatic skills of an elephant in Liberty’s china department. The other is like a blind man with a club trying to swat a fly.
One of the biggest bones of contention that my Lovely Lefty friends have with me now is ‘How can a self-respecting black person call themselves a Conservative’. *Please be assured that every single person who has said that to me is as white as Jan Leeming. And almost all of my friends who are black (with the exception of 2), are Conservatives.
Well firstly I am a self-respecting person – not a self-respecting Black Person. Secondly, having lived in this country for 14 years now I have not observed behavior from the average Conservative that is particularly more ‘unpleasantly biased on racial matters’ than any other group of people. However it is obvious there is a problem with many people’s perception about ‘The Tory Attitude Towards Matters of Ethnic Interest’. And we’ve got to fix it and soon.
People like Bob Spink don’t make our job any easier. Shouting the odds about ‘political correctness gone mad’ means nothing and just makes you look foolish. Yes Political Correctness has gone mad but Basic Diplomacy 101 hasn’t. If you are a politician you are not a ‘regular person’ – you lose that luxury once you ask people to put a check (not cheque) next to your name.
You lose the right to say whatever you feel like, whenever you feel – tough – it would be nice if it weren’t that way but it is. That means no off-the-cuff snide remarks, no silly emails, no slightly dodgy jokes at public functions. Being a public figure is a job (trust me) – and part of it entails realizing that at any given moment whatever you say or do may be held up to account.
So when someone asks you a question like “Are you saying that a lot more criminals are black than white – or that there are more black people in jail
than white because they are stopped more often?” the correct response is NOT “The former and that’s what people don’t seem to like.”
It is “The former and that is one of the issues we are now hoping to examine/address/do some serious work on”.
If Mr.Spink or anyone else would like to come for lessons in how not to cause offense and exacerbate one of the biggest problems we are facing in the public’s perception of us as a party, please feel free to raise your hand and Miss Morag will be right over.