Bagehot – Munira Mirza, revolutionary conservative | Britain

Bagehot – Munira Mirza, revolutionary conservative | Britain

Jun 25th 2020DURING A RECENT Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park, one of the organisers, Imarn Ayton, led the crowd in chanting “Munira Mirza mu

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DURING A RECENT Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park, one of the organisers, Imarn Ayton, led the crowd in chanting “Munira Mirza must go”. “She does not believe in what we believe in,” proclaimed Ms Ayton. “New narrative today!” As director of Number 10’s in-house think-tank, the Policy Unit, the unbeliever in question has hitherto been an obscure figure in Boris Johnson’s high command, albeit an important one. She has been content to let Dominic Cummings soak up the media’s attention while building up the most impressive Conservative policy team since Margaret Thatcher’s day. But Boris Johnson’s decision to give her the job of establishing a new government commission on racial inequalities immediately transformed her into a lightning rod.

Ms Mirza is an unlikely Tory. Her parents—a factory worker and a part-time Urdu teacher—migrated from Pakistan to Oldham, a northern working-class town. She went to an overwhelmingly Asian comprehensive school and was the only pupil from her sixth-form college to go to Oxford University, where she got a first in English. She joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a Trotskyite groupuscule that regarded the Communist Party of Great Britain as a bunch of sell-outs. She spent her spare time reading not just Lenin and Trotsky but also Antonio Gramsci, who believed that revolutionaries need to take over…



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