Lady Hussey and the tyranny of identity

Dec 6, 2022 by

by Brendan O’Neill, spiked:

The cancellation of this elderly lady shows just how cruel and ruthless the new elites can be.

Does anyone else get the feeling that the identitarians have overplayed their hand in the Lady Hussey affair? It is now five days since 83-year-old Lady Susan Hussey was unceremoniously ousted from the royal household, an institution she had faithfully served for more than 60 years, for the crime of repeatedly asking black charity worker Ngozi Fulani where she’s from. And what I’m hearing from people is that this is no way to treat an old lady. That Lady Hussey may have been brusque, yes – posh people often are – but to damn her in the twilight of her life as a racist unfit for public life is out of order. It feels like there’s a lot of sympathy for Hussey, and anger at the arbitrary power of the new elites to destroy reputations on a whim.

We can agree that Lady Hussey lacked tact in her engagement with Ms Fulani at Buckingham Palace last week. It was at a reception for domestic-violence workers, hosted by Queen Camilla, that Lady Hussey reportedly moved aside Fulani’s hair so that she could see her name badge and then continually asked her to state her ‘real’ national heritage. It’s not very politic, is it? In Hussey’s defence, though, Fulani was wearing traditional African garb, and she has an African-sounding name, so it’s understandable people will be curious about her origins. Is it really so shocking that a socially cosseted octogenarian would press a woman wearing dreadlocks, a crown, beads and a leopard-skin dress about her cultural origins? Hold the front page – old lady asks woman in African clothing where she’s from!

Far more disturbing than Lady Hussey’s allegedly artless style of chit-chat has been the subsequent treatment of Hussey. She’s been made into a witch for the racially correct mob. Into a symbol of the moral decay of the stuffy old establishment. Into living, breathing proof that the palace and probably every other ageing institution in this godforsaken country is riddled with racism. This elderly woman has been saddled with the sins of Old Britain, branded a representative of the foul old order, and we’ve all been invited to mock and denounce her. It feels almost medieval. That’s the irony: Hussey’s army of woke critics pose as the super-modern defenders of fairness against a ‘racist’ old bat, but it is their actions, not Hussey’s, that have the stench of pre-modern intolerance, of the thrill that old-world mobs would derive from hounding moral desirables out of town.

Related Posts


Share This