‘Alcohol is no excuse for vile racist abuse in 2020s Britain’

EastEnders actress Katie Jarvis (Image: Eastnews Press Agency)

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It should surely go without saying that racism has no place in 2020s Britain. But given what ­EastEnders actress Katie Jarvis said to Michelle Antonio, that message is still not getting through to some people.

Her language was foul. The sentiment behind it even more so.

Being drunk is no excuse and, as Michelle rightly observes, it’s a person’s true feelings that often come out after having a few.

Jarvis claims she is not a racist – but her behaviour suggests otherwise. She deserved jail instead of the community sentence she got.

And Michelle does a public service today by telling us what a devastating effect this vile incident, and the subsequent court case, has had on her life.

(Image: Reach Commissioned/Steve Bainbridge)

No one should ever have to put up with that. And if, by telling her story, it makes others think twice before hurling racist abuse then some good will come of this.

It started as a silly dispute over a chair.

There are many such arguments across the land each and every day and the rights and wrongs are often a little blurred. Bringing a person’s colour into it is not.

It is always unacceptable. Always wrong. And must always be called out and stamped on.

Part of Jarvis’s rant had her declaring: “I’m a celebrity.” Not in our book, you aren’t.

A real celebrity uses the privilege of their profile for good – not as a badge for hurling around filthy, disgusting and hurtful language.

Fix it, Sajid

It was right to ban mixed sex wards in 2010 in order to preserve the dignity of patients.

So it is utterly wrong that, 12 years later, there have been more than 13,000 incidents since October in which men and women were made to share the same hospital space.

Under normal circumstances that would run up £250 fines for each breach – but that was suspended during the pandemic.

The last thing we would want to see is the NHS deprived of money. God knows, it struggles on the little it has.

And of course we appreciate the pressures which hospitals are under. It is not the fault of overstretched staff when the choice is between a mixed ward or no bed.

But it is the responsibility of Sajid Javid to get a grip. He never tires of telling us how hard he is working to clear the NHS backlog.

The Health Secretary should now work a bit harder so that patients can be treated in the ­dignified conditions they deserve.

Real honour

It was only fitting that the future king of England should be the one to personally give the queen of fundraising her damehood.

Today we picture podcaster Deborah James – whose Bowel Babe Fund has reached an astonishing £6million – with the insignia which means so much to her.

And you mean so much to us, Deborah.

The pride you take in your new honour is second only to how proud the nation is of you.