Back in the 1970s and 1980s, there was a whole breed of Conservative MP – some of them still living and breathing – that proved to me why being politically correct is actually a good thing. Being un-PC back in the period this blog covers was all about blocking payments to minority groups and tongue lashing liberals and lefties in the way you’d only see now in the United States.
The Thatcherite right had an army of blowhards in parliament and allied voices on Fleet Street, particularly in the tabloids. Terry Dicks was one such Tory creature who was very typical of the Thatcher era. In my archive, I found an early example of his unpleasantness, as a London councilor, when he moved to stop a Kenyan Asian family getting a council house.
They hadn’t actually broken the law and the British embassy in Nairobi had told them to come to the UK where they would be housed. Note that Kenyan Asians had been expelled en masse – as had Ugandan Asians. I reproduce the friendly article in The Sun – November, 1978 – backing up Dicks.
As an MP, Dicks predictably tried to block arts funding – well, it’s all for lefties innit? And then took a pretty reprehensible position on AIDS/HIV funding at the height of the epidemic – apparently, in his words, it was a ‘luvvies disease’.