Welcome to the latest addition of out of touch politicians. The political sphere is spinning out of control and even those making the policies can no longer keep up with them (flashback to Nicky Morgan trying to defend the misleading figures in the Tory manifesto on Good Morning Britain earlier this week). And whilst each party pokes holes in the other uprooting failures, miscalculated figures, dodgy manifestos and yet another inappropriate Boris Johnson article. There is still somehow time for former government members to hop on Twitter and spew out Trump like non-sense. Que Michael Gove.
Earlier this week, UK rap artists Stormzy took to his social media to urge young people to register to vote and show his support to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. When asked about Stormzy’s comments on Talk Radio Gove decided to hit out at the rapper and later Tweet a confusing appropriation of his lyrics in response to criticism (is there nothing better that he could have been doing?)
Stormzy makes it clear in his post that the views are his own and his reasons for finding Boris Johnson ‘sinister’ is based on comments that the Prime Minister has made. It was only last week that Boris Johnson refused to apologies for his prior racist, Islamophobic and homophobic comments due to him having ‘the right to speak out’ on BBC Question Time.
Now, in this instance its hard to ignore the fact that Stormzy is an influential black man, and for many people in this country that is irritating. I won’t speculate on Michael Gove’s racial views but his comments on Talk Radio were very questionable: ““I think we again know that Stormzy, when he took to the stage at Glastonbury wearing a stab vest, he made clear what his political views were then…“He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst.”
Call me cynical but what I read when I see that is “This black guy better get out of politics and back to rapping”. Millions of people up and down the country including other artists like Lily Allen have supported Corbyn and opened up about their views. Yet, Gove thinks it is Stormzy who needs to get back in line. Let’s call this what it is, yet another example of institutional racism.
As if this wasn’t enough, to add salt to the injury Gove then went on to appropriate the use of slang when called out by Labour candidate Angela Rayner.
It’s infuriating to watch inappropriate behaviour accepted on the basis that those making such comments are white, middle-aged men in a society where that equates power. It has not been lost on me that Michael Gove admitted to cocaine use during the Tory leadership contest. Drugs aren’t sold in Waitrose, they come through a trade that promotes the exploitation of children, gang violence, addiction, death and crime. Perhaps Michael Gove should stick to self-improvement and tackling the Islamophobia and racism festering in his own party before attacking a positive black man in the media.