Rees-Mogg: my golliwog taught me everything I know

by philapilus

by Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP

Following my comment piece in the Daily Telegraph, about how my nanny made me the man of the people that I am today, I wanted to say something of how my vision of the wider world was informed by Blacky, my dear old golliwog.

Blacky, or Woggy-wog as I first denoted him in my pre-bipedal, crawling years, was a present from an aunt, a marvellously dogmatic, stern-faced elderly lady, who campaigned tirelessly for British marmalade to replace ale, as the working class’s relaxant of choice.

Until she placed Woggy-wog into my youthful arms, I had not yet seen skin that was not reassuringly white, or at least the sausage-pink of the tradesmen, who oftentimes came to the scullery door.

Of course, my first response was to open my little lungs and let forth a terrible bawl of fear. But Aunt Persephone gave me a thunderous clout around the ear, told me to stiffen my upper lip, and hided me with a willow wand – such beatings being another fine old British tradition, now in sad disuse.

Over the months I became at first not un-fond, then quite fond, and finally considerably fond of my Blacky, with his fuzzy-wuzzy hair and big, toothy, negro smile.

He would sit at the foot of my bed, a faithful servant watching over ‘de sleepin’ Masser’, and when I had my boiled egg and toasted soldiers, he would sit beneath my chair, from where I would treat him with unwanted crusts.

Through Blackie I began to understand that, even if they didn’t have the good fortune to be born English, people of colour were not necessarily ‘the bogeymen’, and could even become a sort of companion.

It was with such an unprejudiced mindset, furnished by our relationship of near-parity, that I learned how to see not only the coloured fellow, but also by extension, the commoner, the female – and even the Frenchman – as people deserving of one’s consideration.

But these days the golliwog is, like the British Nanny, in decline. We are told the golli is ‘no longer PC’, is ‘old-fashioned’, and poor Blacky has become the bête noire of the liberal pinko crowd. Thus a whole generation is to be deprived of the lessons and camaraderie my dear, fuzzy friend afforded me.

But I say we make a stand; let’s protect our sacred institutions. Let’s give three cheers for the wog – golli or otherwise – and for the Great British traditions of decency and tolerance, now sorely tested by the dangers of miscegenation and multi-culturalism.

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