Daily Mail

Week Keir proved he will divide Britain — not unite it

- Sarah Vine

HERE’S the thing. It is quite possible that, come next Christmas, both America and the UK will have new political administra­tions.

The U.S. goes to the polls on november 5 — a date which won’t mean much to most Americans, but which we Brits may find ironic given the explosive nature of Donald Trump’s politics — and Britain will mostly likely go the week after.

Don’t all Google ‘ remote caves to visit in november’ at once.

Given Trump’s recent landslide victory in Iowa over his rival for the Republican nomination, Ron DeSantis, and given the fact that Joe Biden doesn’t seem entirely aware that he even is President, it’s perfectly possible that The Donald will make a triumphant return to the White House.

(Assuming, that is, he doesn’t end up starring in his own prisondram­a series Orange Is The new Orange, having come a cropper in one — or more — of the innumerabl­e criminal and civil cases against him.)

meanwhile, back in Blighty, unless Rishi Sunak and the Conservati­ve Party pull a very big rabbit out of a very battered hat, all the signs would indicate a Keir Starmer premiershi­p.

Over the space of just a few weeks, the entire axis of Western government could be flipped on its head. Biden’s weak presidency replaced by Trump’s muscular bluster; years of robust(ish) Conservati­sm swept aside to make way for a party led by man who can’t even say what a woman is.

Chalk and cheese: so much for the ‘special relationsh­ip’.

There’s no doubt that Trump is strong meat, and very far from an appetising prospect, regardless of what side of the political fence you sit on. But as distastefu­l as some of his rhetoric is, there is also plenty about Starmer that is hard to swallow.

Or to put it another way, if Trump is a triple quarter-pounder with extra cheese, Starmer is a vegan sausage roll.

Only this week he reminded us where he stands — or should I say, takes the knee — on the issue of all things woke when he accused the Government of engaging in a ‘kind of weird mcCarthyis­m’ in respect to important institutio­ns such as the national Trust.

The organisati­on which, a few years ago, published a list of nearly 100 properties it claimed had links to slavery and colonialis­m, including the homes of Winston Churchill and Rudyard Kipling. Homes now earmarked for cultural cleansing.

Labour’s culture spokespers­on, Thangam Debbonaire, then doubled down on the notion by telling the BBC that critical race theory — which effectivel­y teaches that all white people are inherently racist, overprivil­eged and generally a blight on society — is ‘ a good idea’ and an appropriat­e subject to teach children in school.

Right. Tell that to the white teenage rape victims of the Rochdale grooming gangs, one of whose ringleader­s — father-of-five Qari Abdul Rauf — remains at large in manchester, having served just two-and-a-half years of a sixyear sentence for conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under 16 and traffickin­g for sexual exploitati­on.

But I digress.

MY POINT is, what planet is the man on? What does he mean, McCarthyis­m? Surely if anyone is guilty of McCarthyis­m it’s those who seek to re-write history through a modern lens, who twist complex actions and events out of context and who re-model the past to suit a narrow political agenda — while destroying people’s lives and legacies in the process.

Indeed, one might say that publishing a hit-list of figures to be cancelled, expunged from history for fear of causing offence, is pretty much the definition of McCarthyis­m.

For what are the endless witch hunts pursued on social media by self-righteous woke armies against anyone who dares question their ‘truth’ if not the mirror image of

‘If Trump is a triple quarter pounder with extra cheese, Starmer is a vegan sausage roll’

the reign of terror exercised against alleged Communist sympathise­rs in post-war America? Extreme woke-ism, of the kind that Sir Keir repeatedly endorses, is modern-day McCarthyis­m.

How dim do you have to be not to see that?

That the man likely to be the next leader of Britain should make fuelling the idiotic and cruel culture wars a central plank of his election campaign is deeply depressing — just look at the how they have divided ( and arguably) destroyed America under Biden.

not only does it show a worrying paucity of intellect, it also indicates that, far from striving to bring Britain together politicall­y, Starmer only intends to drive a bigger wedge between the arrogant metropolit­an elites who believe it is their God-given right to rule and the many whose day- to- day concerns stretch way beyond whether someone might have accidental­ly misgendere­d them in the artisanal coffee queue.

These are serious times Britain faces. If we’re going to have a change of Pm, we need someone with substance and vision. A bit of backbone. Someone who can stand up to pressure groups, who can unite opinion instead of dividing it, someone who can call a spade a spade (and, for that matter, a woman a woman).

In short, someone who can engage in grown-up government instead of endlessly chasing the sugar high of political lowhanging fruit.

I won’t hold my breath.

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