26 thoughts on Anne Marie Morris's racist outburst


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Some thoughts on the news that a Conservative MP, Anne Marie Morris, described a “no deal” Brexit as “the n****r in the woodpile”.

  1. Seriously?
  2. What even is “the n****r in the woodpile”?
  3. According to Wikipedia, “the n****r in the woodpile” refers to “a fact of considerable importance that is not disclosed”. It may originate with the practice of hiding escaped slaves in, well, piles of wood. This doesn’t make any sense, as Morris was referring to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal. This is actually the clearest scenario we have for the future of financial services – the topic that Morris was discussing.  If anything “the n****r in the woodpile” is what our eventual deal with the EU will look like.
  4. God there’s something incredibly naff about British politicians using the N-word, isn’t there? Are you a Republican Congressman in a Confederate state? No, of course not, you’re a lawyer turned Conservative backbencher from Dorset representing Newton Abbot.
  5. Where even is Newton Abbot?
  6. There’s probably some freelance money to be made here.
  7. That’s good because I’ve done something funny to the back of my shoes.
  8. Probably better money in supporting her.
  9. I wonder what the per-word rate at Spiked is.
  10. How on earth do you become an MP while being so stupid as to use the N-word at a public event?
  11. I mean, surely, even if you are an honest-to-God, white sheet-wearing KKK racist, your basic self-preservation instinct kicks in and goes “Hmm. Wait a second. I wonder if this might possibly backfire?”
  12. I mean, come on, aren’t these the same people who go on about political correctness gone mad?
  13. Anne Marie Morris presumably had to defeat at least one other person to be selected as the Conservative candidate.
  14. Imagine how rubbish you must be to lose to someone who uses the word “n****r” at a meeting in 2017.
  15. Anne Marie Morris is 60.
  16. How do you get to be a) a professional politician and b) 60 without clocking that you shouldn’t use the word “n****r” in a public setting?
  17. I’m more offended by the ineptitude than anything else.
  18. Who even uses the phrase “n****r in a woodpile”?
  19. Who uses the phrase incorrectly?
  20. She’s apologised. I hope that doesn’t disrupt the flow of the piece all that much.
  21. She’s said that the remark was unintentional. What was she trying to say?
  22. Is she claiming she, like, tripped?
  23. I get that the remark wasn’t actually unintentional, I’m just perplexed that the non-apology is so bad.
  24. Is she claiming she read from an auto-cue with a really bad auto-correct?
  25. Please someone ask her what she intended to say.
  26. See 1.

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics. He also co-hosts the New Statesman podcast.

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