Boris Johnson’s Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Dominic Raab, briefly took a stand against taking a knee, but caved quickly after receiving moderate pushback from left-liberals.
Raab, who as First Secretary of State served as an acting prime minister while Boris Johnson was incapacitated by coronavirus, had told talkRadio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that he could “understand this sense of frustration and restlessness which is driving the Black Lives Matters movement [sic]”.
He added, however, that “on this taking the knee thing, I don’t know, maybe it’s got a broader history, but it seems to be taken from the Game of Thrones, it feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination rather than one of liberation and emancipation — I understand people feel differently about it so it’s a matter of personal choice.”
“So would you or wouldn’t you do it?” asked Hartley-Brewer.
“I take the knee for two people, the Queen and the missus when I asked her to marry me,” he said — an answer which was likely to win some plaudits from the Conservative Party’s base, even though he fell short of including God in his list as more self-confident conservatives have done.
Asked if he would take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab: "I take the knee for two people; the Queen and the Mrs when I asked her to marry me." Listen live ► https://t.co/sv3MZUm41c@JuliaHB1 | @DominicRaab pic.twitter.com/HbCIrCFKKV
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) June 18, 2020
Of course, the more vituperative supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United Kingdom were quick to condemn Raab for declining to bend the knee to the concept of bending the knee.
“This is not just insulting to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is deeply embarrassing for Dominic Raab,” pronounced David Lammy, the Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice who has previously said that comparing Brexit-supporting Tories to Nazis is “not strong enough” and praised song lyrics describing the “evil” ancestry of white men.
“[Raab] is supposed to be the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom,” Lammy added, clearly incredulous but not really elaborating as to why.
“Unbelievable.. Foreign Secretary @DominicRaab [sic] thinks taking the knee is from Game of Thrones,” chimed in Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.
“This Government continues to shame us to the world.”
“How has Dominic Raab made it into government and not found his level as an assistant manager of a leisure centre in Stevenage,” added Anita Singh, arts and entertainment editor at the allegedly conservative Daily Telegraph.
To be clear: I have full respect for the Black Lives Matter movement, and the issues driving them. If people wish to take a knee, that’s their choice and I respect it. We all need to come together to tackle any discrimination and social injustice.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 18, 2020
Raab, a Brexiteer who has made a habit of compromising and U-turning in the face of adversity, soon climbed down from his previously robust stance.
“To be clear: I have full respect for the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the issues driving them,” he tweeted — perhaps not realising that the stated aims of the UK branch of Black Lives Matter include defunding Britain’s police forces, which his government is supposed to be expanding.
“If people wish to take a knee, that’s their choice and I respect it. We all need to come together to tackle any discrimination and social injustice,” he added.
This merely irritated former supporters while failing to appease his detractors, however.
Emma Webb of the Civitas Institute, for example, commented: “We can’t have politicians being insecure and second guessing themselves in this way. If you have an opinion, be robust — don’t do a u-turn a few hours after saying what you think. It makes you look weak.”
UK Foreign Office Says Statue of Clive of India ‘May Have to Go’ https://t.co/4T8dZfI7EE
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 16, 2020
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