Five times UK has gone ‘so woke’ it’s left ordinary Brits exploding in fury

Five times UK has gone ‘so woke’ it’s left ordinary Brits exploding in fury

Mark Francois warns MoD is more interested in wokery not weaponry

Woke. It is a phrase that came from nowhere, but has its roots in a 1962 New York Times article titled, ‘If You’re Woke You Dig It’.

Today, the term has come to represent everything progressive by one demographic and everything wrong in the world by another.

In its most recent form, the adjective is seen as a way to alert the world to “racial prejudice and discrimination”.

It truly took off at the beginning of the 2010s and soon snowballed into something that got everyone talking.

Here, charts some of the most bonkers ‘woke’ moments of this year, from a change to the England football shirt to the BBC being accused of “rewriting British history”.

England's new kit

The newest addition to England’s kit replaces the old red cross with a multicoloured one (Image: Nike)

This week, England fans across the country woke up to the devastating news that their beloved national side’s football shirt had been changed.

The fury was not in what had been added but that which had been taken away: the red St George’s Cross on the back of the collar. In its place was what Nike described as a “playful update” intended “to unite and inspire”.

The New Cross is multicoloured and features navy, light blue and purple flavours. Nike said the colours were inspired by the training kit worn by England’s 1966 World Cup winners, but some football pundits and political figures have laid heavy criticism on the move.

Sir Keir Starmer told The Sun that the “flag is used by everybody, it is a unifier, it doesn’t need to be changed”.

He said: “We just need to be proud of it. So I think they should just reconsider this and change it back. I’m not even sure they properly can explain why they thought they needed to change in the first place.”

Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton similarly told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he did not agree with the changes, and described himself as a “traditionalist”.

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Aerial view of rows of back to back terraced house in a UK city

Local communities across the country are facing bankrupt councils (Image: GETTY)

Cash-strapped councils almost double spending on equality, diversity and inclusion jobs

Councils across England have had a tough few years. No fewer than six have issued section 114 notices since 2021, declaring themselves effectively bankrupt. Several more say they may need to issue one.

Yet, some have managed to dig deep enough and find the money for things that won’t necessarily save them. In the last three years, more than £50million of taxpayers’ cash was spent by local authorities on equality, diversity, and inclusion roles.

The number stood at just £12million for the period 2020/21 but jumped to £23million in 2022/23. In all, almost 200 councils across Britain have found money to fund so-called DEI roles since 2020.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ordered local authorities to ditch such schemes and clamp down on wasteful spending.

Tory MP Nick Fletcher told the Daily Mail: “Enough of this ridiculous woke spending that actually creates division. We absolutely must find a way to get rid of this wasteful and divisive resource allocation from right across our public sector.”

The UK's Fire And Rescue Service

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority declared itself ‘racist’ this year (Image: GETTY)

Fire service declares itself ‘institutionally racist’

Authorities who protect and serve their communities around the world have embarked on reflective journeys ever since the horrific death of George Floyd.

These surveys cover things like inclusion, but also racism and sexism. While some say such assessments are well overdue, others hit out at their ‘woke’ nature.

This was true when the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority declared itself “institutionally racist” earlier this year.

A report compiled ahead of the statement said an investigation had “found numerous examples of bullying, harassment and discrimination, including staff rehabbing poorly towards each other in inappropriate and unacceptable ways. In some fire services, we found evidence of racism, sexism, and homophobia, and a culture where staff, including managers, didn’t always feel confident to challenge poor behaviour”.

After the force declared itself “institutionally racist”, Lee Anderson, the MP who was suspended from the Conservative Party after “refusing to apologise” for comments aimed at Sadiq Khan, said: “I think this is a case of a boss just ticking a box.”

The now Reform UK MP and GB News Presenter added: “It’s virtue signalling at the highest level. The thing is, she is the boss. She’s admitted they’re institutionally racist then couldn’t provide any evidence to back it up. She’s just ticking boxes to keep a job, as far as I’m concerned.”

Golden Chippy

Golden Chippy’s once colourful walls are now plain and white since the council’s order (Image: Google Maps)

Award-winning chip shop told to take down Union Jack mural

Alongside hot cross buns stand fish and chips, an even greater delicacy of the British brand. Go anywhere in the country and you’ll find scores of the places, each more than likely draped in the Union Jack and the flag of their respective nation.

But for one of London’s best fish and chip shops things went awry when the council took umbrage with its display of patriotism.

Golden Chippy, in Greenwich, south-east London, has won awards for its food and draws tourists in from far and wide, largely to its place as London’s highest-rated fish and chip shop online.

Before this month, a mural was painted on the takeaway’s outside wall depicting a Union Jack held by a humanoid fish and a message reading, ‘A Great British Meal’.

The shop’s owner, Chris Kanizi and his staff were left confused when Greenwich Council made an order to have the mural removed after “a number of complaints [were] made to local ward councillors.”

But locals had an altogether different view of their go-to food spot. “It doesn’t offend me at all. It’s a fish and chip shop isn’t it? I’ve got nothing against it. It’s just a part of the advertising,” one told GB News.

Another said: “I think it’s quite good and quite beautiful. It shows the flag of Great Britain and I think that’s good. I don’t think they should take it down.”

A third chimed in: “I think its fantastic artwork. I really like it, it reminds me of Banksy. If it was a Banksy there, then they wouldn’t complain. So why can’t other artists who do fantastic artwork like that also have the opportunity to lighten up the streets joyfully.”

A Greenwich council spokesman said: “Following a number of complaints made to local ward councillors, an enforcement case was raised about the mural in question.

“Our Planning Enforcement team is investigating this as it is effectively an unauthorised advert for the chip shop. The owner has agreed to paint over it. We will always try to negotiate with the owner before proceeding to a formal planning enforcement notice.”

BBC Broadcasting house and All Souls Church London

The BBC has time and again been accused of being ‘woke’ (Image: GETTY)

The BBC ‘rewrites British history’

You’ll have a hard job finding an organisation that has faced accusations of ‘woke’ more than the BBC.

The public broadcaster has time and again been accused of trying too hard to please the ‘woke’ section of Britain, and was recently in the sights of a group of academics who declared it was “rewriting British history”.

The group, whose report came out in December 2022, said the BBC was trying to “promote a woke agenda”, and cited many examples of “bias” in its documentaries.

Compiled by History Reclaimed, whose co-editors are David Abulafia and Robert Tombs, the report claimed that the broadcaster was failing in its duty of impartiality by allowing “politically motivated campaigners” to present “tendentious” views of British history as fact.

One example provided by Lord Roberts, an author and broadcaster, accused the BBC of pursuing a “fatwa” against Sir Winston Churchill, and that documentaries on subjects like slavery, colonialism and the Irish famine distort the truth about Britain’s past through inaccuracy or omitting important facts.

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