Police briefly stopped a car driving through a crime-ridden part of London.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a news story. But because one of the occupants was a race-baiting MP hungry for publicity, it has somehow made it to the front pages of several newspapers.
Here is how the left-leaning Sky News reported the story
A Labour MP who has accused the Metropolitan Police of racially profiling her has told Sky News: “This cannot continue”.
Dawn Butler, who represents Brent Central in northwest London, said police officers stopped her “black male friend” who was driving a “nice car” and questioned her while she was in the passenger seat.
She recorded the incident in Hackney, in which officers are heard saying they were searching the area because of “gang and knife crime”.
Hmm. Even the left-wing media, you can tell, feels slightly embarrassed about pretending that this is a viable news story. Hackney, after all, is a London borough where 40 per cent of the population is black or ethnic minority. It is also the setting for the Netflix gangster drama Top Boy where, just like in real life, mostly black gangs compete extremely violently for control of the drugs trade. There are stabbings, shootings, acid attacks. It would hardly seem unreasonable — at least in the eyes of any reasonable person — for the police to conduct spot checks occasionally on vehicles driven by people who are not white.
The Met Police have since released a statement saying that a police officer had “incorrectly entered” the vehicle’s registration into a police computer which linked it to an address in Yorkshire. When the police realised their mistake they apologised to Butler and the friend who was driving and let them go on their way.
Again, seems reasonable and plausible: the police made a minor cock-up, quickly remedied the situation, and apologised.
Yet still Butler wants us to believe that this was a racist incident, wholly typical of what she calls “institutional racism”.
As she told Sky News:
“There’s institutional racism in the police. We know that. And it needs to be taken out. It is cancerous and it needs to be cut out of the police force. And it is urgent. It is absolutely urgent. It’s just such a bad way to treat people. And when you are a black person you get treated every day going about your everyday business whether you’re walking in the street, going into the shop, driving on a Sunday afternoon. And getting treated in that way is just tiring and exhausting and mentally draining. I understand there are issues and that they need to be dealt with. But deal with it in an equitable way, don’t deal with it in and unfair way and a biased way and a racist way.”
I’ve quoted Butler at some length not because she has anything interesting or insightful to say but rather to illustrate just how low-grade, inarticulate, hackneyed and desperate some of our MPs are. We pay them over £80,000, plus extremely generous expenses. And what public service do they offer in return for this taxpayer largesse? Well in Butler’s case, not a great deal, I suspect. What she’s doing here looks to me like the most blatant identity politics-driven cry-bullying. (And also sounding like she’s on the BBC radio panel show Just A Minute, where you are required to bang on about the same subject for 60 seconds without deviation, hesitation, or repetition).
The day before Butler’s car was stopped by police a teenager was killed in broad daylight in a machete attack on London’s Oxford Street. These kinds of knife attacks — where the victims and perpetrators are often from ethnic minorities — have, of course, become so commonplace in Sadiq Khan’s London that they tend not to get nearly as much press coverage as stories about MPs having their car journeys briefly interrupted.
So here’s a simple question: do we think that knife and gun violence is more or less likely to be curtailed if the police become wary of stopping cars containing black people for fear that one of them might be a race-baiting MP eager to grab a few more moments in the spotlight playing the victim and mouthing the usual litany about police racism?
I’m going with “less likely”.
Hackney car stop: Chairman Ken Marsh tells @LBC this afternoon that his colleagues were simply doing their job – sadly this appears to be becoming increasingly difficult.
— Met Police Federation (@MPFed) August 10, 2020
Butler has form here. She was previously best known for an absurd incident in 2018 where she accused the TV chef Jamie Oliver of “cultural appropriation” because one of his recipes was called ‘punchy jerk rice.’ Because ‘jerk’ is a form of West Indian seasoning, Butler appeared to be arguing that only those of West Indian origin should be promoting it in recipes.
This, one might have hoped, would be the perfect occasion for an intelligent prime minister to set the moral tone: not just by refuting the unfair allegation of police “racism” but also by deploring Butler’s race-baiting attention-seeking as precisely the kind of behaviour that gives Britain’s MPs such a bad reputation.
But yet again, Boris blew it:
Boris Johnson said the police must act with “fairness and equality” after Labour MP Dawn Butler accused police of racial profiling after a car she was travelling in was pulled over.
The Prime Minister said the Metropolitan Police had acknowledged the intervention was the result of a mistake and said the force had to “continue to do everything that they can” to show they were serving “every part of our community”.
They do already, Boris. They do already. Why are you giving chancers like Butler more ammunition?
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