I am not often asked wherev I am from. If so I’d mumble someing about Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and that would be that. Nobody would ask “but where are you really from?” forcing me to discuss Kent, Dorset, Worcestershire -on two sides – and my illegitimate great grandmother who was from God only knows where. I am more often asked where my wonderful wife is from and that is because she has brown skin. I say Nottingham.
The Mrs was born in Nottingham and lived there till she went to University. But that does not suffice, The follow up is “but where is she really from?” I say “Nottingham, that is where she was born”. And that is where is she is from, saying anything else is like me saying I come from Worcestershire, which I do not. If folks persist with “but where are her parents from” I say “Nottingham” as that is where they have lived for the vast majority of their lives. After a final push I will concede that my in-laws were both born in a place that they and I refer to as Madras but which the Mrs calls something else.
The Mrs says she thinks nothing of such conversations but rather laughs at the way I force the questioner to ask what they really want to know. But then the Mrs is a decent sort.
I see that the late Queen’s former lady in waiting Susan Hussey is in trouble for having a conversation like the one above with a lady called Ngozi Fulani, an African name for a lady with parents from the Caribbean. You and I might wonder about that, as you might question me taking the name Tadg Mac Giolla Bhain in a throwback to a distant Donegal link. But in 2022 one would probably not do so aloud. The conversation was one that might have been considered perfectly normal a few decades ago. Can you imagine Prince Phillip NOT starting such a chat?
In 2022 things are different. Too many of the folks in the charities world where Ms Fulani, clearly does great work, are baiters and hustlers. And the Royal family is walking on eggshells on the matter of race as Princess Meghan accuses it, without any apparent basis in fact, of racism on a daily basis. And so, within hours of Ms Fulani kicking up a fuss, Lady Susan has, aged 83, been fired and made a non-person.
One day we may look back on these woke purges and consider that treating an 83 year old lady who has been a loyal servant to the Crown for all of her life, with a summary firing over this, was not very compassionate. As a lifelong Republican I have great sympathy for an old lady who has been shamed and whose last years will now be ones of pain and regret.
Susan Hussey offered to meet Ms Fulani to understand her sins in a show trial, she offered, in effect, to grovel. But no. This is 2022 and the Royal Family is a business with a brand to protect. “Off with her head!”