Andrew Neil savages ‘woke zealots’ as nation links arms to celebrate Queen’s Jubilee

Neil Oliver slams comparisons of use of Union flag to fascism

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The Spectator Chairman criticised those who, prompted by the “brutal” death of George Floyd, have sought to “spread cancel culture and associated wokery”, particularly under the banner of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) political movement. He added that among their demands was that Britons must “see everything through the prism of race”.

But commentators have insisted the celebrations around the Queen’s 70th year on the throne suggest Britain is far more divided than some like to think.

Reports have pointed to crowds gathering down The Mall on Thursday to see Her Majesty on the balcony at Buckingham Palace as a “solid mass”, stretching “as far as the eye can see”.

And not just in London, but across the country (that is, across the whole of the United Kingdom, not just in England).

Mr Neil stressed that the many and various celebrations have shown “we are nowhere near as racist and divided as the BLM acolytes would have us believe”.

He wrote in the Daily Mail: “Instead, we see an increasingly diverse society remarkably at peace with itself, united in celebration and thanks for The Queen’s seven decades of unstinting public service…

“The Jubilee has brought us together in a way that defies race-obsessed woke activists, for whom a society racially at ease with itself is their worst nightmare, because it takes away their very purpose.”

A host of a leading US talkshow has been less complementary about the celebrations.

The View co-host Sunny Hostin insisted the “pomp and circumstance” of the events had been “built on the backs and the souls of slaves”.

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She added she was once a fan of British royal occasions but had changed her mind after considering the legacy of “imperialism and colonialism”.

Mr Neil conceded that “we still have a long way to go to reach a colour-blind society”.

But he added that “the problems we still need to overcome should not blind us to the progress we have made”.

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The broadcaster added that The Queen has herself played an important role in this progress, “turning the British Empire, a creation of colonialism, into a voluntary association of independent nations which even countries that were not former colonies are keen to join”.

Founder of Opera Holland Park and writer Michael Volpe OBE agreed that the response to the Jubilee demonstrates many Britons are united, but not all.

He wrote in a post on Twitter: “I think it showed that those who love the Monarchy are united in that, and perhaps that the Monarchy are still generally approved of by the population.

“None of that says that the country is not divided, however.”

Mr Volpe added that “anybody with eyes can see that it is dangerously so”.

An open-air concert will be held in front of Buckingham Palace this evening for the Jubilee, with tomorrow bringing the celebration’s to a close.

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