What exactly is woke? And why do we seem to hear it everywhere now?
The original meaning was ‘alert to racial prejudice and discrimination’, but in the last few years, it has become a word used (thrown around by?) by right wing politicians as a derogatory expression, meaning left wing, tolerant of differences in the human population, liberal… in other words, anything that means someone who may not agree with their policies.
How do you recognise a ‘woke’ person?
That can be difficult, but according to Tory ideology there are subtle signs that someone is woke.
Apparently, the first sign is the food they eat. Tofu is quintessential woke, no self-respecting conservative would be seen eating it, ever. It is something reserved for the woke masses, and has suffered public debasement for that reason.
Turnips may not have been named as woke, but according to (then?) Environment Secretary Theresa Coffey, for the poorer masses they are an acceptable replacement of the tomato. Just try it – spaghetti in turnip sauce, it makes your mouth water doesn’t it? And turnip chutney could become a staple of the British kitchen. Or maybe you could make porridge out of a turnip? That would surely be a Tory dream.
Even if you don’t eat tofu or turnips, your meals should not cost more than 30p, or at least that is what one of the great anti-woke campaigners Lee Anderson has told us. Try making a tofu-based meal that costs 30p per person! I challenge anyone, woke or not. You won’t manage, it can’t be done.
Then of course there is the choice of newspaper. To be really truly woke, you have to read the Guardian. Any other paper won’t do. (We at the Bylines Network would love to see all the Bylines publications added to this! Let’s hope it happens soon!)
And now we find out that your choice of pet also seems to be important. To be proper woke, according to that non-news channel calling itself GB News, you need to have Death Spaniels.
In my 34 years as a veterinary surgeon, I have not come across this breed. I know of Springers, Cavalier King Charleses, Cockers, Clumbers and Water Spaniels – but I have yet to come across the breed of Death Spaniels. They must be a very recent addition.
And how about me personally? Do I identify as one of the Wokerati, or could I belong to the Woke-a-nauts? This is yet another soul searching question. And I must admit I am not 100% sure of the difference.
Perhaps Woke-a-nauts wear space suits that protect them from being kissed/licked to death by their Death Spaniels, as I suspect that is how these violent beasts kill. Perhaps I am the more old-fashioned type, one of the wokerati.
But am I really woke?
I don’t really like tofu. Or turnips.
I don’t have a Death Spaniel.
I make meals that cost more than 30p.
Yet I do read the Guardian. And I volunteer for the Bylines Network. Does that make me woke? I hope so, as I would hate to think I have anything in common with the likes of those you see on GB News – I like to think I have better values than that.
On balance yes, I consider myself woke. It is an honorary title for many of us.