From London, Hamish Tristram reports on Summer, ‘the silly season for the media in Britain’ —
‘Westminster is in recess; however ‘ those set in authority over us,’ as the Book of Common Prayer has it, lob the occasional beach ball over the Channel from their Continental vacation villas.
Thus are we Britons reminded that our ruling class is ever vigilant on our behalf.
This week’s holiday missile was cast by the ex- Foreign Secretary, blond bombshell Boris, arguing in the Daily Telegraph against banning the burka.
His language was characteristically jokey and arresting in describing those wearing this garment.
Now, dear reader, I shall not try your patience or insult your intelligence by mustering arguments for and against the burka or ‘colourful’ language.
My personal observation is that this furore is not another instance of a national wave of racism and intolerance.
Such claims say more about those making them than the much – maligned British public.
Two countervailing instances of ordinary attitudes here.
- The first is the chants of Liverpool F.C. fans extolling a star Egyptian player for the Premier League team : Mo Salah.
- Paraphrased, the chant says that if the mosque is good enough for him, it’s good enough for them. And Scourse Imams have made the supporters welcome in their mosques. Liverpool is a great cosmopolitan city with a substantial Irish and Catholic heritage. Go figure.
- Another example : the recent Royal Wedding was marked by unforced joy and celebration on a glorious English summer’s day.
Never despair I say!