The Coronabug crisis has rather knocked Britain for six and exposed hideous faults in the workings of a petulant government. But to my mind there is a far more dangerous disease than Covid 19 threatening the very existence of this country and it is being largely overlooked.
This hugely infectious ailment is of course the current climate of political correctness – for some reason referred to as ‘wokeness’ by the chattering classes.
Universities for instance have always been bastions of left wing ideology but now they seem to have lost the plot completely. To students and lecturers alike, any dissenting voices to their own beliefs just have to be silenced. A growing number of schools seem to be joining them in propagating this woke orthodoxy too.
‘Critical race theory’ is a sub-Marxist ideology in which ‘white privilege’ is invoked to explain all kinds of injustice and it is increasingly being taught as part of ‘decolonising the curriculum.’
I would have thought that only applied to history, but it seems that no subject is immune from this re-education campaign in our schools and universities.
Academics at Birmingham City University have proposed that Mozart be eliminated from music teaching (was he racist I wonder?) and replaced by the rapper Stormzy. Eton College has announced it will change the teaching of history, geography, religion, politics and English, along with school assemblies and societies, in order to ensure that ‘decolonisation’ is enforced across the board. What on earth does that mean and how does it apply to geography, religion, politics and English?
Of course, the young of every nation have always been full of ideological theories but this woke agenda seems to go way beyond education and infiltrates every other institution of public life – the very pillars of our so-called civilisation.
The head of the Church of England, Justin Welby has for example, suggested that it is wrong to portray Jesus as white. Different cultures portray him in different ways, the Archbishop of Canterbury points out. Sure they do but the fact is that Jesus was neither black nor white. He was a Jew, who spoke the ancient Semitic language of Aramaic – something Welby doesn’t seem to consider.
Our police force has also been affected by woke attitudes. Yes modern coppers face many difficulties that did not exist in those long forgotten days when I pounded a beat. There have recently been violent attacks by protesters on them in Hackney, Brixton, White City and other parts of London. Also, it is true that some have been tainted by racism, but in any large organisation, there will always be a few bad apples.
In the current conditions with everyone howling for their blood, the police are bound to be cautious. But that does not explain officers dancing along with Extinction Rebellion protesters, as some did in April last year at a demonstration at London’s Oxford Circus. There were also scenes of police officers ‘taking the knee’ during the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Why are police officers virtue-signalling their wokery for God’s sake? The task of the police is to enforce the law and maintain public peace, not show sympathy for any political movement.
One reason why British institutions have been captured by the forces of illiberalism is contagion from the US, where the movement has been most extreme. Even the citadels of capitalism have fallen. Giant corporations instruct their employees in diversity training but fail to provide them with medical insurance, childcare facilities or decent incomes.
At the same time there has been a general witch-hunt which has seen leading figures driven from American institutions. Last week, the senior curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art resigned, accused of ‘white supremacist language’ after he stated that refusing to collect white artists would be ‘reverse discrimination.’ The fact that he was correct did not help him at all.
And an opinion editor and writer at the New York Times resigned, citing ‘constant bullying by colleagues’ who attacked what they called her ‘forays into Wrongthink.’ This reference to George Orwell’s novel 1984 – where people are punished for ‘thought-crime’ – is surely significant.
What is more, major American news providers and magazines are now operating a system in which staff are encouraged to tell tales on their colleagues and denounce one another on Twitter. I may be right off the mark, but to me this hounding of people is strikingly reminiscent of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which convulsed communist China when I was a young man and wrecked much of what remained of the country’s ancient civilisation.
The only way someone accused of thought-crime in those days could escape punishment was through public confession, ‘re-education’ and abject apology in so-called ‘struggle sessions,’ in which they were humiliated and tormented by their accusers.
Tragically, the woke movement has reinvented this vile ritual, with teachers, journalists, professors, politicians and others seeking to hang on to their jobs by desperately begging forgiveness. Why damnit? Stand up for your views even if they go against the febrile opinions of the great unwashed.
In some ways, today’s Twitter Maoism is worse than the original Chinese version. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was unleashed by a communist dictator, who used the upheaval to consolidate his power. It was wrong and everyone knew it was wrong but that did not stop it.
In Britain and America today, our leading institutions have shamefully surrendered their own authority to another destructive ideology and it is surely vital that this ideological rampage does not rage on for a decade as Mao’s did in China.
Otherwise we will find our freedom lost to a movement that aims to dictate how we live and think, and British civilisation will suffer irreparable harm.
As I said, this is a far more dangerous and infectious disease than the Coronabug.
Since I started this piece, I looked up the word ‘woke’ and it would seem to mean being alert to injustice in society, especially racism.
“We need to stay angry and stay woke.”
The computer dictionary did not tell me where the quote came from but it reinforces my belief that this really is a load of hysterical nonsense!
The Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle – a vast improvement on his poisonous predecessor – this week invited a police sniffer dog to sit in his chair in the Commons chamber. Poppy is an explosives detection specialist and was awarded a ‘canine OBE’ for her work during the 2017 Borough Market terror attack. She has since been employed sweeping the Houses of Parliament for bombs.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is considering scrapping the terms ‘Islamist terrorist’ and ‘jihadi’ to describe Islamist terrorists and jihadis. Why?
Well it seems that from now on they will be called ‘faith-claimed terrorists’ or ‘terrorists abusing religious motivations.’ This ridiculous idea has come from the ambitious anti-terror chief Neil Basu, who seems to think that the greatest security threat Britain faces is from the ‘Far Right.’ What rubbish! In recent years, all the Far Right have done is stage a few demonstrations and cause the odd punch up on the streets of London. Almost all the other attacks from Borough Market to Manchester Arena and a few places in between were the work of Islamist terrorists or as they like to call themselves, Jihadis.
Basu, who supports ‘taking the knee’ and thinks the Black Lives Matter violence – in which forty nine of his own officers were injured – was a triumph for enlightened policing, seems to fancy his chances of becoming Commissioner when Dame Dick hangs up her truncheon.
He obviously believes spouting woke drivel will improve his chances. I think we would all feel safer they gave the job to Poppy.