I suspect that Justin Trudeau’s cringing apology for blacking himself ‘blinded by his own white privilege’ has done him rather more harm than the original offence.
It was a themed ‘Arabian Nights’ fancy-dress party for heaven’s sake!
It comes to something when you can’t dress-up as Aladdin without attracting the opprobrium of the ‘great and good’. He would have done better to have said it was an entirely acceptable bit of fun and refused to apologise.
I once went to a ‘Blues Brothers’ themed fancy-dress party as James Brown. I went to some trouble to be as authentic as possible. I can assure readers of this column that I have no intention of apologising.
Constituents often write to me having been infuriated by some latest absurdity of political correctness. I tell them that the best response is simply to laugh at it.
Here’s one to amuse them: last week academics attended a conference at Roehampton University entitled “Thinking beyond Transversal Transfeminisms” and wearing badges informing each other if they were happy to chat, or prefer not to be spoken to at all.
Barking -or what?
Notwithstanding the rather crass and misjudged statement in this blog that I had no intention of apologising, nevertheless I did do so when contacted by the media. I make it clear that I am sorry for any offence that I gave, none was intended.
More recently I received two letters from constituents with ethnic minority backgrounds, setting out in moving testimony why they had been offended by the blog and giving insight from their own experience.
This prompted me to read Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and I am accordingly resolved to be much more sensitive in future.