When I watched the BBC clip first time around I felt something very familiar in the exaggerated response from Ruqaiya Haris. Then I realised what it was.
Back in the mid-Eighties I worked in a wine merchant shop (off-licence) near Clapham Junction. One day a couple of women (about my age at the time – 20) came into the shop and browsed the wines. I remember both of them looking like tomboy/skinhead types, and were perhaps a same-sex couple. Who knows? Who cares?
Then, to my astonishment, they both came up to me at the counter and accused me of being a racist! They informed me that because there was South African wine on our shelves, I was promoting South African Apartheid and should be ashamed of myself.
The thought had never crossed my mind (I was only 20 years old, and a simple working-class lad from “up north”) but these two women – who had obviously only entered the shop to check out the South African wine situation – pissed me off royally.
I threw them out!
They got into their little car and, as they pulled away, I gave them 2 fingers. THEY STOPPED ABRUPTLY! They both got out and walked briskly towards the door where I was standing – the door which I then locked. As one of them pushed the door, in vain, I smiled the biggest smile I could muster. They both shouted something (which I cannot remember), gave up and returned to their little car (it was as small as a Renault 5, and might actually have been a Renault 5) and drove away.
That was one experience early in my adult life that had a major influence on my political views in later years. I came to the conclusion that some people enjoy satisfying themselves with petty sanctimonious acts. They feel they can sleep well at night as long as they let other people know just how “right” they are, without doing anything tangible to help the people they are so concerned about.
It took another decade for me to realise that this approach is almost always associated with those on the Left of politics.
And so it is with Ruqaiya Haris. Her reaction to the guy with sunglasses is the same as the reaction I received in the shop I was working in. It’s nothing but faux outrage – they are not offended! They are scoring “moral” points – they are holier-than-thou!
The BBC are experts at acting in this way. When will they be brought to judgment?