Why I’m anti-woke

Woke authoritarians are a threat to freedom and equality.

Andrew Doyle

Andrew Doyle
columnist

During 2019’s Last Night of the Proms, the audience was treated to a rendition of Daniel Kidane’s latest composition, ‘Woke’. Kidane had written the piece because he was concerned that the word had veered from its earlier definition – that is, to be ‘alert to injustice in society, especially racism’. This was how the word was understood when it originated in the various black civil-rights movements of the 20th century. If this is all it means to be woke, then count me in.

Unfortunately, over the past few years the term has been appropriated and sloganised by the cult of social justice. ‘Woke’ is no longer simply a matter of standing up to racism, but is irrevocably connected to the authoritarian mindset of the identitarian left. Rather than confront bad ideas through discussion, debate, ridicule and protest, those who self-identify as ‘woke’ would sooner intimidate their detractors into silence through what has become known as ‘cancel culture’. More insidiously, they have sought to empower the state and strengthen hate-speech laws, which curb individual freedom. They do all this in the belief that theirs is a righteous cause, but their illiberal actions ultimately bolster the very ideas they purport to despise.

Moreover, this monomaniacal need to expose an ever-expanding set of ‘phobias’ in society means that they end up detecting prejudice even where it does not exist. In the absence of evidence of racism the woke have a habit of simply concocting it; hence the continual emphasis on ‘unconscious bias’, ‘white privilege’ and ‘institutional power structures’. Such ideas have germinated over many years in academia – particularly in the postmodern branches of critical theory – and have since seeped into the mainstream.

This is why the public is routinely confronted with absurd articles in the media grounded in an extreme form of intersectionality. One, for instance, claims that white women are ‘evil’, another that white DNA is an ‘abomination’. Barely a day goes by without some frenzied denunciation of a movie or a television series for its lack of diversity and positive representation, as though the function of the arts is to send a message that accords with identitarian values.

Few members of the public are entirely familiar with the jargon (‘cisgender’, ‘mansplaining’, ‘toxic masculinity’), but are assured nonetheless that the premises are indisputable. There’s a very good reason why the Catholic Church resisted translating the Bible into the vernacular for so long. Those in power are always threatened when the plebeians start thinking for themselves and asking difficult questions.

Some commentators have recently raised concerns that ‘woke’ has been weaponised by the far right as a slur against anti-racist campaigners. Afua Hirsch, for instance, has claimed in the Guardian that anyone using the word is ‘likely to be a right-wing culture warrior angry at a phenomenon that lives mainly in their imagination’. This strikes me as particularly odd, given the Guardian’s own frequent use of the word, including in headlines such as ‘Can a woke makeover win Barbie and Monopoly new fans?’ and ‘My search for Mr Woke: a dating diary’. Perhaps Hirsch’s colleagues are further to the right than is generally supposed.

The effect of the woke movement has been to cultivate a climate in which good people feel unable to speak their minds for fear of being misinterpreted and mischaracterised – wilfully or otherwise. Activists have managed to restrict the Overton Window to such an extent that much-needed discussions – such as how to deal with the challenges raised by gender self-identification – are often avoided entirely.

As Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay note in their forthcoming book, Cynical Theories, ‘many people are wondering what’s happening, how we got here, what it all means, and how (and how soon) we can fix it and restore some common ground, charity and reason’. Yet to make this point openly is to risk being decried in the most damaging terms. Indeed, the labels ‘racist’, ‘misogynist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘transphobe’ and ‘fascist’ – extremely serious allegations that should only be used when there is incontrovertible evidence to support them – are now so promiscuously applied that they have lost their impact. This not only provides cover for the far right, but also actively promotes the worst people in society by creating an illusion of widespread crypto-fascism.

The bullying tactics of the woke were never likely to be persuasive, and have left many feeling resentful. This accounts for the collective sigh of relief that followed the actor Laurence Fox’s appearance on Question Time, in which he openly challenged these new orthodoxies. He pointed out that many are frustrated with being told that we live in a racist country, when studies repeatedly confirm that ours is one of the most tolerant countries on the planet. As Fox said, we need to be united in our opposition to genuine racism, not conjuring enemies out of thin air.

The explanation for such overzealous behaviour probably lies in the woke movement’s rehabilitation of racialised thinking. It regards people primarily in terms of group identity determined by skin colour, and only secondarily through their qualities as individuals. The ideal of colour-blindness, a beautiful notion that emphasises the equality of all human beings, is itself now routinely dismissed as racist.

If one were to deliberately construct an ideology intended to foster racial division and popularise the objectives of the far right, one could hardly do better than the social-justice movement in its current manifestation. It is for this reason that Pluckrose and Lindsay adopt a capitalised form of ‘Social Justice’ in their book to distinguish from the noble principles of ‘social justice’, the former inadvertently working against the aims of the latter.

This is also why Ellie Mae O’Hagan’s recent article for the Guardian – in which she describes the ‘anti-woke’ backlash as being in direct opposition to social liberalism – is so utterly wrongheaded, however well intentioned. Most of us who oppose wokeness do so precisely because it represents a direct threat to social liberalism. As I have argued previously on spiked, identitarians on the right and left have an interdependent relationship; each one nourishes and sustains the other.

If we are serious about true social justice we should take the woke to task for their ongoing trivialisation of important causes such as anti-racism, gender equality and rights for sexual minorities. It is the responsibility of true progressives to reassert the centrality of open debate as the cornerstone of any free society. In short, we need to robustly defend the liberal values that woke activists have foolishly rejected as forms of institutional oppression.

Andrew Doyle is a stand-up comedian and spiked columnist. He is doing a live tour with Douglas Murray in the spring, called ‘Resisting Wokeness’. Get tickets here.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Fred Walls

23rd February 2020 at 6:51 pm

Almost (statistically) zero white Americans were racist in 2008. Virtually ALL American blacks were and are virulent racists (you all know this is true). Now, a lot of whites who never had a racist thought in their lives are being forced to seriously reconsider. Congratulations, Obama: you succeded in your goal to “fundamentally transform the country.”

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Fred Walls

23rd February 2020 at 10:22 pm

I don’t believe you.

Detlef Pelz

13th February 2020 at 2:29 pm

Do I detect smidgen of micro-pacifism here?

nick hunt

10th February 2020 at 4:25 pm

W_ke people: ”White people are sh_t and Britain is sh_t and men are just awful.“
Also w_oke people: “Racism, xenophobia, and sexism are bad. Do better.”

Cedar Grove

7th February 2020 at 8:38 pm

There’s an unbelievably idiotic squabble BTL in The Guardian (an old issue) where I was reading an article about one of Picasso’s paramours, written by her grandson.
The writer says that Marie Therese ‘woke’ something in the artist.

Many commentators appear not to know that the word is not merely a contemporary adjective, but a past participle of a verb which has been in use in English for around 800 years.

Hugh Oxford

6th February 2020 at 11:25 am

I thought it was against the law for public servants such as the police to make political statements, support political causes or display political symbols. So why are they emblazoned in the political imagery of the LGBT movement?

nick hunt

10th February 2020 at 3:40 pm

Because ‘woke’ or leftist values in general rule us all by appearing as above and superior to the usual political realm; as Spiked has memorably put it, woke is elitism masquerading as compassion. Leftist beliefs extend way way beyond those calling themselves leftist, because who wants to be accused of having no compassion? And manipulating emotion is how the left wins the culture war. Their values disguised as facts now dominate and animate most professionals within our media, education and other institutions; even the police must now show how they care about and protect the victims they ‘know’ our evil, prejudiced culture always creates. And there’s nothing political or false about that, got it?

John Felgate

6th February 2020 at 10:42 am

When people use the term anti-racist to define themselves and what they stand for (or anti-anything for that matter), from there on, there purpose in life depends on the existence of the thing that they oppose. That is why the anti-racists spend so much time trying to find racism. They search under every stone and behind every bush, in every filing cabinet and in every book, movie, speech, article, and every utterance of every unwary person they chance upon. In a word, they obsess over it. The reason they do this is because they simply HAVE to find lots of racism going on: without it, their obsession, and therefore the major part of their own lives, would be ‘completely pointless’ (to borrow from Graham Taylor).

John Felgate

6th February 2020 at 10:47 am

Apologies for the aberrant “there” .

Rock Ape

5th February 2020 at 9:05 pm

Far right ?….where ?…O yes that’s right, they used to be known as normal sane moderate centrists. But now that the left has gone FAR FAR FAR FAR left into destructive insanity we are now classified as “right wing”

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 2:01 pm

Oh dear, wrong again Jerry!

You must work in a grocery store, it’s the only job someone with your intelligence could do.

And still obsessed with me I see, how sad.

Jerry Owen

5th February 2020 at 4:02 pm

‘Obsessed’ little Jonnie .. no just trying to get you to explain your scribblings.
I note your insult to those that work in stores, or shops as we call them here. What a nasty little snob you really are. Myself I prefer to judge people on their character not their job.
It appears that a lot of people over the last few days have expressed their views about you which confirm mine.
I’m happy that you have exposed yourself for the snipey evasive snobbish little nerd you really are, well done!

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 5:29 pm

“Myself I prefer to judge people on their character not their job.”

No you don’t Jerry, you go round sneering at people who live with their mother.
What a nasty little snob YOU are. And a liar. And a hypocrite.

“It appears that a lot of people over the last few days have expressed their views about you which confirm mine.”

Erm like who? No one else is so obsessed by my tweets like you are. No one else is such a sneering troll like you are.

All you’ve done here is exposed yourself. You can give it but you cannot take it.

No doubt you probably live with your mother yourself, and your elitism is actually just self hatred dressed up in projection.

Jerry Owen

5th February 2020 at 5:43 pm

Little Jonnie
Such a funny little outburst !

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 5:51 pm

Wow, more sniping from Jerry. How predictable.

At least you’ve dropped the faux outrage now.

Dominic Straiton

5th February 2020 at 1:57 pm

“woke” and intersectionality are ideas based on nothing but faith. Its racial theory has much in common with the 1930s German Nuremberg race laws. The idea of white “privilege” is the same hatred as that aimed at the Jews.Its racist. Today science has been bent to political aims, dogma and ideology. I dont think we are heading in the right direction.

Dominic Straiton

5th February 2020 at 6:21 pm

There is an answer. A bulwark. Individual freedom set out over a thousand years of English common law .The English and American bill of rights and the constitutions they created. To my mind the unwritten one is better.

Dominic Straiton

5th February 2020 at 6:27 pm

We may fail but at least for the first time in 47 years its in our hands.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

7th February 2020 at 12:59 pm

DOMINIC STRAITON — And Scotland and NI are about to be loosed from your grip.

Cedar Grove

7th February 2020 at 8:56 pm

Yes. The principle in England, later the United Kingdom, was the freedom to do anything not specifically forbidden.

In Europe, it was that people should do only what was specifically allowed.

As soon as we write a Constitution we’ll be banging our heads against unforeseen limitations.

nick hunt

10th February 2020 at 3:56 pm

Anyone wanting to know what it feels like to be part of a hated and persecuted minority just needs to wear a Trump hat around for a few days, especially on a university campus or MSM office. The hat soon detects those suffering most from the sneering hatred that afflicts elitists and supremacists. Like Trump himself, the MAGA hat provokes and exposes these red fascists effortlessly. Their mental slavery means they can never understand that we deploreables love and admire what they so fear and hate, nor that their feelings of hate belong to them, not to Trump. For fascists, hate trumps love for those other than themselves.

Christopher Tyson

5th February 2020 at 1:22 pm

I agree with the article, just one thing. I don’t remember when exactly ‘racism’ became a thing. But I do remember when I was a kid, learning about ‘colour prejudice’. That is making judgements (usually negative) about people on the basis of their skin colour. Colour blindness in this context is about accepting people as we find them, without pre-conceptions, it is poetic, it is a metaphor. There can be problems when we confuse metaphors with reality. It may be good manners to ignore people’s physical characteristics, infirmities or disabilities, we may even be sincere in this, but those characteristic are still there. Indeed there may be times when others will need our assistance. Do you stand in solidarity with those who face racism? Colour blindness makes this problematic. Racists, they will say that racism does not exist, and is the product of paranoia. So colour blindness as a metaphor is a good thing, in reality it is nonsense. If your name is ‘Doyle’ most of the time it may be inconsequential, but you can’t pretend that it is not your name (easier than pretending not to be black when you are). Occasionally someone will comment, they may be hostile to Irish people, or they may be interested or wondering if you are related to them. It is folly to pretend to be colour blind in a world in which so many others, both hostile and friendly, aren’t.

nick hunt

10th February 2020 at 5:52 pm

Many leftists or ‘progressive’ people only ever see and call out racism by white people against non-whites, never the reverse. That must be because they are the real racists, and hugely widespread too. Also, people endlessly discussing ‘race’ are clearly obsessed with the issue. Maybe that’s why Trump almost always talks about ‘Americans’.

Puddy Cat

5th February 2020 at 11:47 am

An item on BBC text today, in the headlines and business sections, is the person that claims their job application was turned down because their African name. Now was not present at the interview but I would have thought that examination may have been looking for certain merits and that they could have been found wanting, what’s in a name?

So many stories of the discriminatory sort do not supply us with a preamble, the person’s other traits or history which may be detrimental to their cause. I was born into a era when the help that society offered was strictly limited and there was a degree of gratefulness for that. But when the (now Left) middle classes required to disperse guilt about their comforts and security they attached to the working classes. But, rather than helping them along the way, merely filled them with jealousy and a standard line in the duplicity of the state. Now we have a sizeable ethnic population the room for such interventions grows and has formed a dependency culture which is reminiscent of the Cargo Cult.

The word ‘woke’ is quite fitting. For a large number of our literate young born into cosiness and copious resource, they suddenly come across the underclasses upon leaving the nest and believe it to be a discovery of a new phenomenon. As with all discoveries a lexicon has to be created that accounts for all our startling observations and the weight of ignorance falls upon thin shoulders who suddenly discover that not everyone lives the way that they do.

The problem is with the shielded ones that they apply the same carapace to their own dealings repeat the mistakes (a nice home, good education, an eye for nutrition, lavish holidays) that their parents made. They put themselves in the situation that they encourage the very errors which they accuse their elders of divining. Pitching in at the monetary level or even the acceptance level misses out on the obligations that such interventions promote. To be gifted a job or a place in university (even at the lower standard of entrance) only stores-up problems down the line.

Work is rarely just a skill at a function, it is all those things about knowing your place, team working and focus. If you have been excused all these tools somewhere down the line you may start to harbour thoughts of being discriminated against. You are not fully formed and largess has only misled you.

The ‘woke’ attitude seems to have arrived at the same time as the decline in scientific studies. Science today is a malleable friend cosseting your truth. Constantly told that a scientist has said something compliant and definite I am increasingly apt to disregard such commentary, you can buy a scientist, especially one with no provenance. When science and it imprecision meets with oratory and the romance of writing you can easily be led to believe you are in the wrong.

This soul searching, vegan munching, white hating confabulation is the essence of Puritanism. Where in the 17th century we may have feared denial of heaven today we run in fear of an equally saintly, clean Eden in Wokeness, the new religion.

James Williams

5th February 2020 at 5:25 pm

Unfortunately I have been in new staff hiring meetings where some people have been dismissed based on their name. A good CV with an Asian name was not considered as they thought if he was a Muslim they wouldn’t fit in with company culture. As much as I have grown tired of the radical woke agenda we need to stand up and admit that prejudice still exists and try to be the bigger people and fight that battle when possible. There needn’t be two loud agendas that are poles apart. Reading Spiked and The Guardian on the same afternoon can be a strange experience and I long for a utopian centre ground to rise up soon!

Shin Bone

17th February 2020 at 5:26 pm

You cannot interview everbody that applies..

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K Tojo

5th February 2020 at 10:20 am

In his final paragraph Doyle says:
“…we should take the woke to task for their ongoing trivialisation of important causes such as anti-racism, gender equality and rights for sexual minorities. It is the responsibility of true progressives to reassert the centrality of open debate as the cornerstone of any free society.”

That neatly encapsulates the nature of the internecine battle the older moderate Left is waging against the younger extreme Left. The so-called Social Justice Warriors desperately want a cultural revolution. They are only taking to a logical conclusion the lessons taught by older socialists. Why tolerate a hideously white, patriarchal and oppressive capitalist society when they should be working to overthrow it? Debate?! That would mean giving consideration and respect to their political enemies and risk being seduced by their weasel words.

Interestingly, each side in this battle accuses the other of “encouraging the far Right”. Where is this newly emboldened far Right lurking I wonder? Anywhere to the Right of Momentum perhaps?

Willie Penwright

5th February 2020 at 9:53 am

This is a well-argued contribution to the debate on where-the-feck-are-we-going but there are so many terms used that are only understood by small incestuous groups of politicoes.
I tried to disentangle the discussion in the comments section but got lost in the opposing use of the same terms.
Discussion requires a common language and there is no longer a common language among those who care about the state of society. I speak as an under-bed red and English is my first language. Perhaps Andrew could write another book, seriously, defining all these new terms and redefined old ones and making discussion possible once again.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

5th February 2020 at 9:48 am

It’s the lack of diversity inside BON’s head that’s really bothering me. He’s like an anti-Woke Titania McGrath. Does he have an off switch?

Jerry Owen

5th February 2020 at 10:29 am

ZP
I notice you have run away from me on other threads. I had to educate you on the fact that the EU is an expansionist Empire as stated by Verhofstadt. What with you disdain for Empires I wondered how you could support this Empire with such vigour?

The Killgrave

5th February 2020 at 12:08 pm

At last the first bit of diversity in this thread! Strange that it doesn’t improve it at all.

Ed Turnbull

5th February 2020 at 1:00 pm

ZP, why do you mention BON? This article was written by *Andrew Doyle*, hadn’t you noticed? Or is this yet another Spiked piece that you’ve failed to even read before sounding off? C’mon ZP, enquiring minds wanna know.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

5th February 2020 at 9:41 am

It’s Groundhog Day at Spiked… Yet another anti-woke article… Yawn.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

5th February 2020 at 9:44 am

It’s Groundhog Day at S piked… Yet another anti-Woke article. Yawn.

Jerry Owen

5th February 2020 at 4:04 pm

ZP God you are repetitive !

Fred Walls

23rd February 2020 at 10:22 pm

Yet another thug misogynist. How boring.

Geoff Cox

5th February 2020 at 9:29 am

“Barely a day goes by without some frenzied denunciation of a movie or a television series for its lack of diversity and positive representation …”

Not in my house! Here, barely a day goes by without seeing me in a frenzied denunciation of a movie or television series for its appropriation of white culture by black and brown and the shoe-horning of said actors into historical dramas. Most recently on my “not to watch list” is 1917.

The only safe place to go for films is in the foreign language category especially Russian and Middle Eastern.

The thought police and re-education camps are alive and broadcasting.

Michael Lynch

6th February 2020 at 10:22 am

Ah, someone else who noticed those daft extras in 1917. The rewriting of British history continues apace.

Ven Oods

5th February 2020 at 9:10 am

The police are trying to recruit more people. I’m not sure making them drive around in cars done up like a pair of Calvin Klein joke boxers is going to do it.

Michael Lynch

5th February 2020 at 9:02 am

Woke is about to go up in smoke. It was always an insane idea to start calling white people inherently racist in countries where they make up the majority of the population. They’ve done it to death and people are merely starting their backs on it and sneer at their accusers. Besides, going Green is going to preoccupy the Left from now on and concerns about race will become a poor second as they start to attack the Third World for carbon consumption and over population. The modern liberal will begin to undeniably show themselves for what they truly are; outrageous hypocrites.

Jim Lawrie

5th February 2020 at 9:32 am

Per annum China’s cement and concrete industry puts out 4.5x the entire UK total of CO₂. We must remind wokesters of this every time they touch down, walk through the terminal building, travel along a road, stay in a hotel, switch on an appliance etc …. Just to raise their awareness to the level where they stop doing committing these crimes.

Gerard Barry

5th February 2020 at 10:17 am

I wish you were right but I’m not so sure. I work for an international law firm in Germany that is so politically correct it is almost nauseating. Recently, the company is trying to get us all to use “gender-neutral” language (German nouns are gendered). This includes such things as using “gender stars” and “gender gaps” to even include supposedly transsexual people. The frightening thing is the lack of resistance to it.

Geoff Cox

5th February 2020 at 1:34 pm

People are worried about their jobs. This is why Douglas Murray says it is incumbent upon the retired and self employed to speak out for the rest.

Cedar Grove

7th February 2020 at 8:51 pm

Disagree. The Left refuses to even consider that over-population may have something to do with global warming. It insists that the only problem is unequal distribution, caused mostly by the USA.

William Murphy

5th February 2020 at 8:54 am

Thanks very much Andrew. I’m glad to see that your alter ego Titania McGrath is still Twittering away:

Anti-gay hate crimes recorded by police in 2019:

Saudi Arabia: 0
Pakistan: 0
Yemen: 0
Brunei: 0
Somalia: 0
Afghanistan: 0
USA: 1404

Also, many thanks to the editor who picked the picture of the most Woke police car I have ever seen. Yes, it’s a BMW – the British police really love their Beemers. But not only is this car wearing its gay colours and Pride logo with Pride. It’s an i3, so it’s electric and totally green….except that I suspect this one has the optional petrol engine, so you don’t run out of charge while chasing the bad guys. So you can combine being woke with hypocrisy….which is a natural combination anyway.

(Will Boris Johnson still allow the cops some seriously overpowered Beemers for their homicidally fast chases when he bans all other petrol cars?)

Ven Oods

5th February 2020 at 9:13 am

No; they’ll be using drone technology to blow up the fleeing miscreants. A huge saving on German cars, legal aid and pointless court appearances. And no more worries about rehabilitation of repeat offenders.

Ian Davies

5th February 2020 at 11:08 am

I doubt very much that it had any petrol option. Firstly they are probably too thick to realise the limitations of their choice and secondly, chase bad guys?, what on earth would you do that for?

William Murphy

5th February 2020 at 12:10 pm

It’s the sheer fun of the chase. And it’s all funded by the taxpayer, which makes it even more fun. Like this debacle, where several police cars chased a 19 year old in a poxy little Ford Fiesta….with fatal results. I understand that our local fuzz loved any excuse to put on the blue lights and chase someone who might possibly be dodgy. Though they might be a little more cautious after this visible exposure.

https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/family-of-reading-man-who-died-in-high-speed-police-chase-receive-payout/

Roger Jago

5th February 2020 at 8:45 am

I’m one you refer to as ‘ not that familiar with the jargon’; but then, at age 87, I do not wish to complicate my comfortable old-fashioned views of English society. Perhaps we could again encourage the correct use and meaning of words. ‘phobia’ is a suffix that means ‘a dislike of fear of’, not ‘a hate of’; so my conscience and mind remain Islamophobic (and I’m several other ‘phobics’ whether woke or not). To change that would require thought control. Also the almost poetic word ‘grooming’ is a nice term suggesting care and love, as with an animal (or even as my two tries at being a bridegroom). Drop the softy-softy word grooming and Use the correct I also find that I am now labelled as ‘racist’ despite having brought two ‘women of colour’ to UK to marry, but found our cultures and values too great. But I have been happily married for 25 years to a Filipina, and have brought several of her nieces to UK, all of whom have married Englishmen, had one child each and make very good carers (recently of my two brothers in dementia care).

Roger Jago

5th February 2020 at 8:51 am

correction to my post accidentally posted incomplete: The correct term for the so-called ‘grooming’ is “Enslavement, by drugs and alcohol, of under-age English girls by paedophiles”

The Killgrave

5th February 2020 at 12:12 pm

Or simply “Rape gangs”

Cedar Grove

7th February 2020 at 8:45 pm

But importing younger Asian women from poor countries, to provide sexual services and take care of older men when they get physically and mentally ill, seems right and proper to you?

Jerry Owen

5th February 2020 at 8:44 am

Racism like all the phobias is illegal, Britain is a bastion of tolerance towards others. The left rake over ever thinner ground to weed out racism etc where it simply doesn’t exist.
The left have lost their cause their reason for existence over the last few decades, their ever narrowing ideology spiralling up their backsides.
This whole fragile house of cards will inevitably collapse.
What will they have left to fight with? Economic policy, don’t make me laugh .. tax the rich is their economic policy.. No, they have invested so much in the grievance industry that when that rancid bubble bursts they will collapse, and I look forward to the day when that happens.
The modern left have destroyed a traditional left that I used to be able to identify with, their betrayal of traditional left-wing politics turning it into a cancerous disease is the greatest betrayal of working class people imaginable.

Claire D

5th February 2020 at 6:26 am

I am not sure about “colour-blindness”, I argued against it elsewhere recently because it seems to me to be a part denial of the Self. Yes, we are our characters but the physical body is not negligible, it is also us, it shows our age, sex, life experience and where we are from originally by skin colour. Surely only if we think there is something wrong with being from certain places does colour become a problem to which we should be ‘ blind ‘ ?
Skin colour has no morality attached to it essentially, the identitarians attach morality to it but that’s neurotic and false.
Skin colour is dictated by melanin production in response to the geographical location of where our ancestors lived, the hotter and more relentless the sun the darker your skin will be with melanin to protect you from burning alive. Northern Europeans need less melanin and paler skin to ensure we take in as much sunlight as we can get for the Vitamin D we all need to live.
This is why I think “colour-blindness” is a bad idea, it assumes there is something wrong with colour which we must ignore to be correct in our behaviour, ie, woke.

Claire D

5th February 2020 at 7:23 am

However, what we do want is that a person’s colour should not have a detrimental affect on their life chances. The only way to achieve that is to ensure a good, well rounded education for all our children and equal opportunities as much as possible, then it’s up to the individual, whatever their colour, to make the best of it.

Jim Lawrie

5th February 2020 at 9:21 am

“The only way … ” – another of those phrases designed to give the user’s opinion the status of objective fact. There is the option of the market. Loads of Indians and Asians work in IT without impediment because they are good enough.
Abolition of the grammar schools removed what market there was in education. The resulting drop in standards right across the board has not been stopped by the expansion of private education because the competition to the private sector was the grammar schools.

Claire D

5th February 2020 at 10:09 am

@ Jim Lawrie

Perhaps ” the only way ” was not the right phrase to use. The point I was trying to make was that a decent education is a good start in life whatever the colour of your skin.
I agree with you about the regrettable rejection of grammar schools.

a watson

5th February 2020 at 10:50 am

White males, and those with a West Indian background, from low income backgrounds are at the bottom of most educational achievement lists. What do those BBC and Labour woke put this down to? The attitude is another slur on poor and working class people, especially if they happen to be white, male and British.

domisit domisit

5th February 2020 at 6:21 am

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David Webb

5th February 2020 at 4:18 am

You’re anti-woke, but pro-all the woke causes like “anti-racism” etc. You simply disagree with their manner of promoting these causes. But what they realise and you don’t, Andrew, is that the public don’t support immigration, multiculturalism etc, and so your Cultural Marxist agenda cannot be promoted by means of public support and free discussion. Authoritarianism and censoriousness are the only way you can destroy our culture.

quaybored

5th February 2020 at 12:26 am

Woke authoritarian is an oxymoron.
To be an authoritarian one must have authority. Power.
And the world is not governed by politically correct woke lefty snowflakes but by powerful right wing strong men.
Trump, Putin, Johnson, Orban, Modi, Erdogan, Bolsanaro, Duterte, Kaczynski, Xi Jinping, Morrison, to name but a few. And these are already the rulers of more than half the world’s population.

T Zazoo

5th February 2020 at 2:35 am

From Websters:
Authoritarian: relating to, or favoring blind submission to authority

In this case the blind submission to being woke.

Seems to fit just fine.

David George

5th February 2020 at 6:47 am

When you can be publicly vilified, banned from social media and charged by the Police for saying women don’t have penises, you have “woke authoritarianism”.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

5th February 2020 at 9:49 am

Women don’t have penises. That’s news to me. Are you sure?

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 2:03 pm

No you don’t.

Jerry Owen

5th February 2020 at 8:30 am

And I thought Doyle was a comedian!

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 2:02 pm

Not the first time you’ve been wrong Jerry, and it certainly won’t be the last!

Jim Lawrie

5th February 2020 at 10:16 am

You make the mistake of thinking that only those who hold office have power. The ability to hound people out of their jobs is real and devastating. No-one on your list forced Alistair Stewart out.
Your approach is technical and unthinking.

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 2:46 pm

Who did force Stewart out then?

How did they come by their power?

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 12:24 am

“He pointed out that many are frustrated with being told that we live in a racist country, when studies repeatedly confirm that ours is one of the most tolerant countries on the planet.”

It is perfectly possible for both of those things to be true together – that Britain is one of the least racist places in the world yet still has issues of racism itself.

I’m sure a great many “anti woke” people are indeed champions of social liberalism, but there can be no doubt the word has been weaponised and used as a slur against social liberalism and it’s advocates.

It isn’t the first term to be re defined in this way – just before it was “SJW”. This sort of thing goes right back the 1980s and all the false scaremongering stories about The “loony left” who were apparently banning nursery rhymes and what not, whilst also supposedly “indoctrinating” people over homosexuality.

It’s not wrong to point out we see much of the same scaremongering today over “woke”.

quaybored

5th February 2020 at 1:03 am

It certainly is possible for the British people to be among the least racist in the world, while the laws governing how immigrants and ethnic minorities get treated are racially discriminatory in their effect. It took only one person to bring this condition about – Theresa May.
During her long tenure as Home Secretary, she created the Hostile Environment, a set of laws requiring the civilian population to act effectively as unpaid, untrained immigration officers. Its stated purpose was to make life in the UK impossible for people who were here illegally so they would go away. Its unstated purpose was to make life more difficult also for legal migrants, and British citizens from ethnic minorities, so that some of them also would go away and contribute to the overall target to reduce net migration. Landlords, employers and others face hefty fines and prison sentences for inadvertently hiring or housing an illegal immigrant, and the “easiest” response is to simply turn away everyone who appears to be of foreign origin.
So we have people who are NOT racist, committing racist acts, to avoid ruining their lives with a criminal record.

Ven Oods

5th February 2020 at 9:24 am

“committing racist acts”
Yet, everywhere I go in Europe, I have to prove who I am, even though I currently have an EU-type passport. I can’t drive without having my passport to hand, and have even been obliged to surrender it when arriving at an hotel. I’ve never felt this to be ‘racist’ – just over-bureaucratic. Of course, the hotels would be quite happy to take my money without troubling over who I really am, but their national and local laws insist that they do.
How is that different from what (only lately) happens here in UK?

Jim Lawrie

5th February 2020 at 9:41 am

Surely every citizen must play his role in fighting a foreign invasion?

quaybored

7th February 2020 at 11:54 pm

Ven Oods – the hotels that ask for your passport are hardly likely to turn you away as you’re their lifeblood. And any checks you face in most European countries are “just bureaucracy” because they are universal and compulsory. The UK’s Hostile Environment checks are racist because they are NOT compulsory – carrying them out (in what necessarily must be a rigidly prescribed manner) provides a legal defence should your employee or tenant subsequently be found to be an illegal immigrant. So it’s possible to avoid any risk of “getting it wrong” by only dealing with white people who speak the Queens English and turning away all others. And those who do the checks “by the book” are going to end up turning away some people who are legally in the UK. Like the black British citizen who is too poor to afford foreign holidays and therefore doesn’t have a passport.
There are two elements of racism at play here.
PREJUDICE – pre-judging people as being “too much trouble” because of their skin colour or foreign sounding name or accent,
DISCRIMINATION – acting in such a way as to disadvantage such people.
If you want to catch illegals without harming people who have played by the rules, then whatever checks you do should apply equally to everyone. And provide everyone with a single standard document that they should use – national identity cards for citizens and residence cards for legally registered foreign nationals. If Orban’s Hungary can manage this then surely we can.

Jerry Owen

5th February 2020 at 10:37 am

Little Jonnie.. you ran away from me on the Hopkins thread as I knew you would.. I rest my case, thanks for conceding !

Jonnie Henly

5th February 2020 at 2:03 pm

Oh dear, wrong again Jerry!

You must work in a grocery store, it’s the only job someone with your intelligence could do.

And still obsessed with me I see, how sad.

nick hunt

10th February 2020 at 4:10 pm

As a defender of woke, please link us to posts where you criticise the Islamist, communist, and other tyrannical states where human rights never exist and where promoting woke gets you imprisoned, tortured and killed. Posts attacking racism, oppression and genocide by any non-white, non-western culture also most welcome. Otherwise your constant attacks on western culture and conservative ideas look highly partisan, not to mention hypocritical and false. Readers may recall Spiked’s recent dictum that wokeness is ‘elitism masquerading as compassion’.

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