James O'Brien: 'Who are Tories fighting in this culture war?!'

21 February 2022, 13:01

By Seán Hickey

As sections of politics and the media give continued coverage to 'the culture war' and 'wokeism', James O'Brien wonders who, or what, are they fighting against.

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"What exactly are you cross about when you're covering the National Trust's historic links to slavery?" James O'Brien asked, after reading instances of Tory politicians stressing the need to transcend the "culture wars" and the "woke" debate, which more times than not riles up the public against apparent "culture warriors".

Read more: James O'Brien baffled by Oliver Dowden's 'painful woke psychodrama' speech

He argued that on the surface level, the fears stoked by politicians and the media stems from racism.

"Who are Tories actually fighting in this culture war? The only answer that fits the fact as far as I can tell, is people who think that racism, homophobia and all the other isms, are wrong."

James stopped himself, however, and suggested that there is a deeper sensibility at play in the stoking of culture war fires.

Read more: Whitehall's 'woke' rules hit the pub as after-work drinks could be discriminatory

Read more: Woke headteacher forces children to go vegetarian after banning meat at primary school

He told listeners that the legacy of empire is at the root of the issue: "You come away from looking and learning about the Empire somehow convinced or somehow believing that something about being English is unique."

James then rounded up his argument: "This is James O'Brien's theory of woke, version 376. What, or who, exactly are they fighting?

"They're fighting people who are making it increasingly difficult to cling to the notion that being born on these islands imbues you with some special qualities"

"That's a nicer analysis than the racist or the sexist or the homophobic analysis."

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