Opinion

Pantomime baddie Braverman sacked after shameless Trumpian pitch to dregs of British society – Mary Kelly

SUELLA Braverman was apparently originally named Sue Ellen, after the drink-addled wife of the villain JR Ewing in Dallas, and you’ve got to wonder if she also decided that she wanted to be a proper baddie in the soap opera that is the Tory government. Or did she want to be sacked all along?

Since it’s nearly pantomime season, maybe she wanted to get the audience booing and hissing at her every utterance.

Hardly a day passed without this awful Home Secretary coming out with something unspeakable, from stirring up racial hatred with her complaints of an “invasion of migrants”, dreaming of putting them all on a boat to Rwanda, or claiming that the homeless sleep in tents on the streets as a “lifestyle choice”.

Read more:

  • Suella Braverman's ignorance about Gaza, "Ulster" and "hate marchers"
  • Call for Suella Braverman to be sacked as Orange Order seeks clarification over Northern Ireland 'hate marches' comparison
  • Braverman takes aim at police over pro-Palestinian protests

She deliberately provoked Rishi by writing an article in The Times, accusing the Metropolitan Police of left-wing bias for not banning the pro-Palestinian demonstration on Saturday, which she called a “hate march”.

And since hate is what she’s good at whipping up, the only real trouble faced by police on the day was from a group of extremist right-wing yobs who responded to her dog whistle. They were led by Tommy Robinson, chief of the English Defence League, who is so patriotic he lives in Spain.

It’s been called her “Rivers of Blood” moment, recalling the racist speech by Enoch Powell in 1968. 

Except of course that the PM then, Edward Heath, immediately sacked Powell. Up until yesterday Rishi Sunak appeared incapable of such decisiveness and indeed said he had full confidence in Braverman, so terrified was he of the Tory ultras who back her.

Rishi Sunak finally moved to take action against his errant Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Rishi Sunak finally moved to take action against his errant Home Secretary Suella Braverman Rishi Sunak finally moved to take action against his errant Home Secretary Suella Braverman

It was a truly shameless Trumpian pitch to the lowest dregs of British society, and if it ultimately wins her the party leadership that she so obviously craves, then the Conservatives are finished.

But the most off-the-wall bit of her article was when she said these pro-Gaza marches were assertions of primacy by certain groups “of the kind we are more used to seeing in Northern Ireland”.

Cue instant outrage across the water. Wasn’t it hilarious to hear that Orange Order Grand Panjandrum, Mervyn Gibson, was seeking “clarification” over her remarks. Could she really mean us? Surely not.

How pathetic that with the appalling death toll in Gaza, the suffering of young children and babies in the firing line of Israel’s vengeance and the ongoing plight of the Hamas hostages, that Mr Gibson is concerned that his organisation is being insulted. But then, seeing the big picture has not been something norn Iron people are known for.

Orange Order Grand Secretary Mervyn Gibson
Orange Order Grand Secretary Mervyn Gibson Orange Order Grand Secretary Mervyn Gibson

President Macron has now broken ranks in the western alliance by demanding a ceasefire to end the slaughter. Can Keir Starmer really continue to hold on to the increasingly weak-sounding call for a mere humanitarian pause in hostilities?

The urgent question is what happens next. It’s hard to see Hamas as a future partner in any peace deal. They have been bad for Palestinians too.

Their strict interpretation of Islam has already transformed Gaza from a largely secular state to one where everyone must adhere to their conservative mind-set. I’ve yet to see a woman in Gaza without a headscarf on. Is that really by choice?

This is a time for statesmanship, but Israel needs someone better than Netanyahu to deliver them out of the mess that he helped create.

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Travelling back from England recently, I was struck by the ease of getting from Newcastle airport to the city by metro. What a pity we can’t manage any rail connection from either of our two airports, nor Dublin either.

The last time I went to Dublin, our train home was delayed by 40 minutes, leaving us at an empty Lanyon station after midnight. There was a sign on the wall advertising the taxi company that held the franchise, just no actual vehicles.

Joined up transport – put that on the wish-list in this promised new Ireland.