Why do the Tories have a problem with taking a knee?

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Why do the Tories have a problem with taking a knee?

“I don’t support protest...” Was it that a simple gaffe of the type we’ve grown to expect from Priti Patel, or more of a Freudian slip? In truth, i

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“I don’t support protest…” Was it that a simple gaffe of the type we’ve grown to expect from Priti Patel, or more of a Freudian slip?

In truth, it wasn’t all that revealing. Ms Patel may not personally have much in common with Donald Trump, but she does possess an almost Trumpian talent to spot incipient cultural conflict and ignite it for political gain. Or, in this case, reignite it, as she seized the opportunity presented by a radio interview to drip contempt on the Black Lives Matter movement and the custom of “taking a knee”. She may not be able to pronounce long numbers, but her populist instincts are preternaturally sharp.

Both BLM and taking a knee have been twisted and redefined – you might say gaslit – to suit a particular agenda. BLM is supposedly now some kind of highly disciplined Bolshevik-style political cadre dedicated to the overthrow of “our history”, whatever that means, while taking a knee is presented as some sort of grotesque act of racial subjugation. It is quite the opposite, and the Black Lives Matter movement, which has spawned some organised groups, is an inchoate collection of honourable people making a simple but powerful gesture against racism. No conservative or patriot need fear or despise it, and there would be no objection to the likes of Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage joining in.

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