The Guardian, a one-time liberal British newspaper that is now very woke, green, and Brussophile, recently took the opportunity to throw a hissy fit against Boris Johnson’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab.
Mr Raab had committed the sin of thinking that the current globally fashionable phenomenon of “taking the knee” had originated in the “Game of Thrones” television series instead of as a form of protest against racism, notably as most recently manifested in the killing of George Floyd by a policeman in Minneapolis last month.
The Guardian’s columnists, op-ed pundits, and reporters could scarcely conceal their glee as they went to town on Mr Raab. His ignorance was yet another sign of the “total incompetence” of Mr Johnson’s cabinet. Some or other Lib Dem was trundled out to tell the newspaper’s readers that taking the knee – as any fule kno – is a “key global movement”. A former Conservative MP chimed in that Mr Raab was an “embarrassment to our country”.
“Taking the knee”, the newspaper informed its readers, had originated among American athletes as a protest against racism and police brutality, but had since become a “way of showing support for Black Lives Matter”. Mr Raab was now “mocking the Black Lives Matter movement”. To add insult to injury, he had said he would take the knee only to the Queen, although he might have done so when he proposed to his wife.
All of this, The Guardian and its columnists informed us, showed that Mr Raab and the Johnson government were “on the wrong side of history”.
If so, they are in excellent company, for The Guardian was once right there itself. This is the newspaper, which, when it was still the Manchester Guardian, wrote of Abraham Lincoln that “it was an evil day both for America and the world when he was chosen president of the United States”. Not even Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865 caused the paper to soften its opinion of the man whose proclamation liberating slaves had come into effect in January 1863.