Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama's victory: the right-wing press

Jumping on the bandwagon, colour-related puns and conspiracy theories. The British right-wing press is talking about Obama's victory.

Finding admirers of John McCain and Sarah Palin is already looking as hopeless as the quest to unearth any supporter of John Major in the Nineties. You won't find a single paper or MP openly expressing disappointment at Obama's victory. Yesterday's pathetic exchange between David Cameron and Gordon Brown already looked like two slugs fighting for who could dribble the most in their "I'm-exactly-like-Obama" competition.

The Telegraph, for instance, is quite candid in its "Republican post-mortem", underlining the divide between the social conservatives who think gays should all be burned at the stake "and moderates who think the fanaticism of some evangelical voters has driven away independent voters".

Even Max Hastings in the Daily Mail is writing that "the miracle has happened", adding: "Almost all of us are thrilled that Obama has made it, passionately keen for him to succeed". In the same paper, David Jones calls it "a night to remember and to relish". Seriously, that's in today's Daily Mail. Look it up here and here if you don't want to be seen at the till with a copy of it.

But as we shift even further to the right, you can sense the unease. You can't expect the Daily Express, who is about as right wing as Thatcher's handbag, to do a Daily Mail and jump on the bandwagon. Theirs is a different angle. "TARGET OBAMA", is their headline, "FEARS PRESIDENT MAY NEVER MAKE IT TO THE WHITE HOUSE", as they report what Ku Klux Klan International leader Railton Loy said of Mr Obama: “If that man is elected president, he’ll be shot sure as hell. The hate would be so deep down South".

Incidentally, a similarly grim prediction is made by BNP leader Nick Griffin. He writes that "At its worst, a string of white supremacist nuts and disgruntled ex-jarheads will be arrested plotting to assassinate him, and one will succeed, sparking not just pogroms but the legalised dispossession of a white America paralysed by fear and guilt". Followed by the predictable, "for at the very heart of Barak Obama there is a deep-seated anti-white racism". Textbook reverse psychology there.

On to more familiar territory, you can tell the whole Sun staff spent the past twenty four hours obsessing over colour-related puns. Kelvin MacKenzie's contribution is "Black? I hope Obama's got lots of grey". What a witty guy. Then look at this pearl, "I will only believe there’s no racism any more when they put a white man in charge of Rwanda". Put that page three down MacKenzie, get your hand off your knob and pick up a history book. You may have even heard of good old Rhodesia or apartheid South Africa. "White men" were "in charge" of Africa for quite a few years.

As for Jeremy Clarkson, not a word yet. So let's content ourselves with Fergus Shanahan, another one of our favourites, who goes for the Schwarznegger angle, "You look at [Obama's] slender frame and think: such a burden on such slim shoulders".

Oh aren't they seething.


thepatriot said...

I'm right-wing and my priorities are a million miles away from Obama's or the people who run this blog. But may I be the first one to say that what Mackenzie wrote is totally dumb. This obsession with skin colour is plain stupid. But if you told him he'd probably tell you he was just being cheeky.
The Sun is ruining this country.

Anonymous said...

If you want to end racism, then we need stop trying to label people based on the color of their skin and get back to using color for what its main purpose was. An adjective and nothing more.

thepatriot said...

Hey check this out from the Daily Mail: Berlusconi faces race row as he calls America's first black president 'suntanned'