And so 2016 has arrived. On time, too, and with no announced rise in fares. While the going is good, therefore, Happy New Year.
The publication of government papers from 1985 under the thirty year rule saw Oliver Letwin reveal himself in a memo for Thatcher’s policy unit as a racist and a snob. The fact that snobbery and racism was rife among Tories in 1985 is hardly surprising. That he could write the things he did in a memo that was supposed to offer thoughts on government response to inner city poverty, unemployment, and police abuse simply confirms that such beliefs were, if not the norm, at least widely accepted and met with some approval. That Letwin retains his current job implies that such racism and snobbery are still tolerated among leading Tories today. Again, hardly surprising.
The most startling thing to emerge from this episode, however, is surely Letwin’s proffered apology on being confronted with the damning evidence of his bigotry. In short, he claims that no offence ‘was intended’. Apparently, what he wrote was ‘badly worded’. As Private Eye would say, that’s all right then.
It comes down to this: either Letwin is a racist and should have no role in government; or he is an ignorant ass and should have no role in government.
My view is that what Oliver Letwin wrote suggests he is a racist, an elitist snob, and an ignorant jerk.
No offence intended, Oliver.