The Coronavirus Diaries, 15th January 2020

I can’t say I am complete convert to millet, but having used it in Red Bean Stew with Millet Pilaff tonight I am certainly going to be using it again. Or at least using up what I have still in the cupboard. Watch this space.

I have continued to be gripped by events in the US and Trump’s impeachment. Listening to and reading reports and analysis, especially about how senators are wearing body armour, employing bodyguards, fearing for their own and their families’ safety, made me think about some parallel events here. When the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Gina Miller after she took the UK government to court in 2016 over its authority to trigger article 50 without parliamentary approval she became a hate figure, received death threats, and had to have 24 hour security installed in her home. The Mail described the judges as enemies of the people, when they were exercising their independence and protecting our democracy. Ironic as The Mail tends to see itself as upholders of law and order. This headline was not just wrong, it was an attack on the judiciary, it undermined the judiciary and that is a dangerous thing to do. It is important for the judiciary to be independent and that government actions can be challenged through the courts.

Gina Miller was on the receiving end of misogyny and racism. Being a woman, and a woman of colour at that, made her a double target. The Sun described her as a “foreign-born multi-millionaire”. She was born in Guyana and has lived in the UK since she was ten. Asked if a white man in the same position would receive the same level of abuse she replied: “The simple answer: absolutely no.”

It’s bullying, shutting people down, and making them targets. Priti Patel does the same thing when she dismisses human rights lawyers as ‘activists’, ‘do-gooders’ and ‘lefty lawyers’. It’s believed her language led to a violent attack in a London law firm. This is not a million miles from what Trump has done, and don’t forget that Johnson has also complained that the justice system is ‘hamstrung by lefty human rights lawyers’.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, language matters, truth matters, for all of us, and for those in the public eye, those who write headlines in the popular press, it matters even more that they think about the integrity of what they say and write.

Stay safe. Keep well.

3 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 15th January 2020

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