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Unmasking the Drama: Suella Braverman Departs, but the Pantomime Continues Unabated

Tuesday, 14 November 2023 06:53 Sport

"Unveiling the Shadow: Suella Braverman's Departure Exposes Deep-Rooted Divisiveness"

The Conservative party has long harbored an undercurrent of ugly and divisive rhetoric, a trend tracing back to the days of 'moderates' such as Cameron and May. The departure of Suella Braverman, often cast as the pantomime villain, should serve as a stark reminder that illusions about the political establishment are far from warranted. Braverman's tenure in one of the great offices of state owed much to the calculated political maneuvering of Rishi Sunak, whose ambitions outstripped his talents, thinly veiled by a technocratic facade.

Braverman's pivotal endorsement of Sunak's leadership candidacy, a move to shore up his right flank against potential challenges from the likes of Boris Johnson, came at a significant long-term cost. While her dismissal may seem a short-term victory, it is essential not to mistake it as a symbol of Sunak's newfound moderation. Braverman's penchant for crudely exploiting extreme political sentiments for personal gain is undeniable.

From decrying immigration as an existential threat to European civilization to perpetuating the "great replacement" conspiracy theory embraced by the far right, Braverman's rhetoric was inflammatory. Her likening of migrants to a destructive hurricane and baseless claims about child grooming gangs aimed at fostering racist division only exacerbated the harm. Her demonization of those opposing the government's stance on Israel's actions in Gaza played a role in inciting the far-right mob that stormed the cenotaph on Armistice Day.

Braverman's demagoguery, though contrived, was no less offensive or harmful. Her departure from the political stage offers a moment to reflect on the perils of divisive rhetoric and underscores the imperative to strive for a more inclusive and responsible political discourse.

"Unmasking the Poison: Suella Braverman and the Pervasive Toxicity within the Tory Party"

Suella Braverman, often viewed as a crude embodiment of toxicity within the Tory party, is just the tip of the iceberg. Delving deeper reveals a history of poison coursing through the party's veins, epitomized by figures like David Cameron. Despite being portrayed as the torchbearer of Tory moderation, Cameron's legacy is stained by slash-and-burn cuts that inflicted mass human misery, tearing at the country's social fabric and sowing the seeds of the political turmoil we grapple with today.

Cameron's scapegoating of migrants created a breeding ground for figures like Braverman. Twelve years ago, he bemoaned "too high" immigration, blaming migrants for supposed failures in integration that allegedly led to "discomfort and disjointedness" in communities. This toxic rhetoric conveniently shifted blame from the consequences of Tory austerity to the classic scapegoat – the demonized foreigner.

Braverman, with her added layer of cruelty, cannot be detached from this legacy. Cameron's denunciation of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party as "security-threatening, terrorist-sympathizing, Britain-hating" mirrors Braverman's own vitriolic oratory. The same rings true for Theresa May, whose rebranding as a moderate reveals a convenient amnesia in our national discourse. Described as "a remainer who hates immigration," May consistently displayed antagonism toward those settling in the UK from abroad.

May's infamous "citizen of nowhere" speech in 2016, asserting that the real elite were rootless metropolitans, foreshadowed Braverman's own denunciation of the "luxury beliefs" of a "privileged woke minority." The pervasive toxicity within the Tory party transcends individual figures, highlighting the urgent need for a reevaluation of political discourse and a rejection of divisive rhetoric.

"Beneath the Facade: Suella Braverman's Exit Marks a Continuation of Toxic Toryism"

As Suella Braverman steps off the political stage, her departure does not signal a shift away from the toxic currents within the Tory party; rather, it exposes the core of modern Toryism. The divisive legacy she leaves behind is not a mere aberration but a reflection of a broader trend that transcends individual figures.

Examining figures like Boris Johnson reveals a troubling entanglement of Islamophobic remarks and far-right support, eroding the once-clear boundaries between the centre-right and the extreme right. Johnson's controversial comments comparing Muslim women to letterboxes triggered a surge in hate crimes, with far-right extremists chanting his name in approval. The approval of figures like Tommy Robinson and Britain First underscores the gravity of the situation.

Rishi Sunak, often portrayed as a tech nerd, belies a political stance firmly to Johnson's right. While his style may differ from Braverman's, the fundamental differences lie in nuances of presentation rather than substance. Sunak's positions, from demonizing trans people to opposing green policies and vilifying critics of Israel, echo the essence of Bravermanism. His ministers' indulgence in far-right conspiracies at the Tory conference further illustrates the normalization of such rhetoric within the party.

Braverman's exit, though marking a change in presentation, does not alter the substance of contemporary Toryism. Her promise to "have more to say" suggests a shift from dog whistles to loudhailers, revealing a willingness to be more overt. Colleagues may seek subtlety, but the core content remains unchanged. Bravermanism, in essence, represents an unvarnished glimpse into the underlying ugliness of modern Toryism. Stripped of embellishments, it exposes a political landscape where divisive rhetoric prevails. Suella Braverman may have left the stage, but the echoes of her ideology persist within the party's foundations.

Owen Jones, Guardian Columnist

"In the wake of Suella Braverman's departure, the curtain may have fallen on her individual political act, but the resonance of her divisive ideology lingers as a sobering reminder of the prevailing currents within modern Toryism. Her exit does not mark a departure from the toxic rhetoric woven into the party's fabric but rather exposes its core. As her successors may seek subtlety in their approach, the fundamental content remains unchanged. Bravermanism, in its unadorned honesty, reflects the contemporary face of Toryism, revealing an unsettling underbelly beneath the political trimmings. Suella Braverman's promise to 'have more to say' hints at a continuation of her ideological legacy, signaling a shift from dog whistles to louder declarations. As the political stage adapts, the echoes of Braverman's influence persist, leaving us to confront the enduring reality of divisive rhetoric within the party's foundations."

Owen Jones, Guardian Columnist

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