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Notting Hill Carnival
Scott Wishart / Time Out

The Daily Mail reckon Notting Hill Carnival ‘isn’t a celebration of Caribbean culture’. Here’s why they’re wrong

Oliver Keens

After City Hall published a report into the future of Notting Hill Carnival this week, news has reached the Daily Mail, who today published a piece on the report – subtly titled 'The Truth About Notting Hill Carnival Mayhem'. 

It was written by Sarah Vine. She's a star columnist for the Mail, also the wife of Trump's new bessie Michael Gove and an all-round stirrer supreme.

In the piece, she claims the event is 'little more than an excuse for drug dealers, thugs and other assorted criminals to go on the rampage'. She calls Sadiq Khan an 'empty-headed lightweight'. For good measure, she also chooses to weave in mentions of the Rotherham child abuse scandal and FGM in the space of 700 words.

But the most eye-opening line comes in the first paragraph:

'The Notting Hill Carnival is no more a celebration of Caribbean culture than Katie Price is a vestal virgin.'

Interesting. So, Sarah Vine thinks that Carnival isn't a celebration of Caribbean culture. Let's look at some recent pictures of Carnival and explore that… 

Yes, someone's holding a Jamaican flag there, but I wouldn't call this a celebration of Caribbean culture.  

True, this mas dancer has the flag of Barbados attached to her costume, but is this a celebration of Caribbean culture?

Three Carnival goers draped in the flag of Grenada. Hard to see how this is a celebration of Caribbean culture.

Ditto flags from Trinidad and Barbados...


A photo posted by Ma Vero (@veronique_75) on

That's a mock-up of Empire Windrush, which famously sailed from Jamaica in 1948 – a journey largely seen as the roots of Caribbean culture in Britain. No idea why that would be at Carnival...


A video posted by Andy Taylor (@wearethesunset) on

Nice work, Sarah Vine.

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