The tyranny of cancel culture

Trump is right: cancel culture is destroying freedom of thought.

Brendan O'Neill
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Trump is right. Cancel culture is the key weapon in the armoury of the intolerant. In his 4 July speech at Mount Rushmore, Trump talked about the ‘political weapon’ of ‘cancel culture’ – the totalitarian thirst for ‘driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees’.

On the cult of wokeness, the ideology of PC that says there is only one way to think about history, race, gender and myriad other issues, Trump declared: ‘If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished.’

Anyone who has been awake at any time over the past four weeks will know that Trump is right. They will have witnessed the furious, misogynistic rage against JK Rowling for refusing to ‘speak the language’ of the new woke elites – in this case the eccentric, science-denying language of ‘genderfluidity’. They will have seen Britain’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab being mauled for days for refusing to ‘perform the rituals’ of the correct-think mob – in this case by taking the knee (that is, bowing down) to the slogan of Black Lives Matter and all the identitarian nonsense that lurks behind it.

And they will have seen black actor and TV host Terry Crews being denounced as a race traitor for refusing to ‘recite the mantras’ of the new identitarianism – in Crews’ case by expressing concern that the cry of ‘black lives matter’ might morph into a belief that ‘black lives are better’. In short, Crews was flirting with the great blasphemy of our time – the idea that ‘all lives matter’.

And yet what has been the response to Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech from the commentariat and the liberal elites? Sheer, bizarre denialism. They insist cancel culture is a myth. They say there is no culture war against the past or against ordinary people’s moral and cultural values. That’s a lie spread by right-wingers like Trump, they claim. In fact, if anyone is igniting a culture war, it’s Trump, they say. ‘Trump fuels culture war at Mount Rushmore’, as a New York Times headline put it.

Why is it a culture war when Trump criticises cancel culture and defends the American Revolution, but not a culture war when the New York Times launches a vast multimedia project to diminish the importance of 1776, the year America declared independence, and to elevate the importance of 1619, the year slaves first arrived in the US? Why is it a culture war when Trump encourages his supporters to stand up to the new authoritarianism, but not a culture war when the New York Times caves in to its young woke employees and sacks its opinion editor for the crime of publishing a wrongthink piece about the recent George Floyd riots? Why is it a culture war when right-wingers complain about intolerance and censorship, but not a culture war when the cultural elites enforce such things?

The reaction to Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech has provided a fascinating insight into contemporary wokeness, into the outlook of those convinced that they are in possession of all the correct thoughts and that they must now cleanse and reorder the minds of those who are not.

The most striking thing is the cognitive dissonance. Even as statues continue to fall, these people claim there is no culture war against the values of the past. Even as likenesses of George Washington are burnt and abused and monuments to Christopher Columbus are decapitated and daubed with slurs, they insist there’s no culture war – except from those who say ‘Leave the statues alone’, of course. Even as JK Rowling continues to be subjected to a slurry of misogynistic insults – telling her to ‘suck a lady dick’ or ‘fuck off and die’ – they claim there is no serious culture of intolerance. Even as people literally lose their jobs for criticising BLM, they say PC cancellation is a myth dreamt up by right-wingers.

It’s remarkable. And revealing. Such levels of self-deception, such a Kafkaesque ability to be simultaneously engaged in a war against history and wrongthink while publicly insisting that these things only exist in the fevered imaginations of the likes of Trump and the people who vote for him, speaks to the dangers of life in the echo chamber.

For when you inhabit a ‘safe space’, when you inoculate yourself against what you consider to be difficult, challenging or simply divergent points of view, a number of bad things happen to you. You become dogmatic, since you increasingly cling to your beliefs not because you have tested them in the public sphere (that’s too scary) but because you just know they are right. You become less adept at critical thought and critical self-reflection. After all, as Cardinal John Henry Newman put it, ‘The human intellect does from opposition grow’. Force-fielding oneself against opposition stunts one’s capacity to reason and change.

And you become unworldly. Divorced from reality. So blindly convinced of your own righteousness that you do not even recognise your censorship, your fury and your hatred for what they are. To you, they’re good, normal things. To you, it’s bizarre when someone accuses you of being engaged in vicious crusades of intolerance against people who merely disagree with you, because you believe that cancel culture is a decent thing, the right response to those who are morally fallen and who refuse to speak the language, perform the rituals and recite the mantras of political communities like yours. Life in the self-reinforcing chamber of correct opinion warps the human intellect to such a degree that the chamber’s inhabitants come to mistake their dogma for truth, their censorship for a public good, and their extraordinary cruelty against dissenters for essential moral correction.

In a sense we should sympathise with those who say cancel culture is a myth. Some of them are just lying, sure, desperately trying to deflect criticism of their immoral behaviour. But others say this because they are so lost in the increasingly unstable cult of hyper-fragility, and in the self-protecting campaigns of intolerance that go along with it, that they cannot see the wrongness of what they are doing. That’s bad for those of us who want to understand and challenge the new politics of unfreedom, and it’s bad for the deniers, too, who live in a fantasy world in which they are the decent, progressive ones on the right side of history, when nothing could be further from the truth. Such self-delusion is not healthy.

So let’s get things straight. Cancel culture is real and it is incredibly destructive. Here are just a small proportion of the people cancelled for wrongthink in the UK in recent years. Labour MP Sarah Champion lost her place in the shadow cabinet for daring to speak about working-class girls who were being raped by largely Muslim grooming gangs. Alastair Stewart lost his job at ITV News for a tweet that some wrongly said was racist. Same with radio host Danny Baker.

Maya Forstater has lost work for daring to criticise the cult of transgenderism. Selina Todd and Julie Bindel are No Platformed for the same thoughtcrime. Graham Linehan has been expelled from Twitter for likewise doubting the ability of men to become women. Toby Young lost education jobs after Twittermobs subjected him to a politically vindictive round of offence archaeology and dug up some old jokes he’d made. Baroness Nicholson was dumped by the Booker Prize for ‘transphobia’, a radio presenter on the Isle of Man was suspended for criticising the idea of white privilege (he’s now been reinstated), and a Welsh journalist was removed from the judging panel of a literary prize after he criticised BLM.

Here’s the critical thing, though: even when targets for cancellation don’t lose their jobs, cancel culture still has its desired noxious effect. It still chills public debate. It still sends a clear warning to the public: express these views and you could be punished; you might even lose your income. Indeed, the central problem with cancel culture is not what it does to individuals – awful as that is – but rather what it does to public life more broadly. Consider the case of JK Rowling. ‘She’s still a successful author. She hasn’t been cancelled’, say the misogynistic apologists for the abuse that she receives. Rowling, of course, is too much of a global cultural phenomenon to be cancelled. It doesn’t work on her. But what about people who share her views but do not enjoy her level of financial or cultural security? They will see her being subjected to rape threats, death threats, boycotts and defamation and conclude: ‘Expressing biological truths is too risky. I won’t do it.’

This is cancel culture’s most grotesque achievement: to chill everyday discussion; to make examples of prominent wrongthinkers in order to warn the entire population; to enforce and police parameters of acceptable thought and to make it clear that anyone who steps outside of them risks, in Trump’s words, being ‘censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished’. It is real, it is wrong, and it is destructive. It harms individuals and it shatters liberty. It induces fear in ordinary people and it stultifies public debate. A healthy society is built on freedom, openness and the rights of dissent and intellectual experimentation. Cancel culture undermines all of those things. That’s why it must be defeated.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

dom torato

13th July 2020 at 6:55 am

Americans than by other ethnic minorities, let alone ‘whites’, and don’t show unfavourable treatment at all. HERE► Read More

dom torato

13th July 2020 at 6:55 am

My god – this piece is so far off-kilter, I don’t know whether to be sad or angry.

Steve Huckle

12th July 2020 at 9:35 am

My god – this piece is so far off-kilter, I don’t know whether to be sad or angry.

The zeitgeist is about a state-backed militarised police force discriminating against whole races and cultures. Conflating that with anything else is missing the point entirely.

And if that obnoxious spoilt brat of a US President is your pin-up boy, may I suggest you need to go take a good long hard look in the mirror?

steve moxon

12th July 2020 at 2:17 pm

Zeitgeist my arse. It’s part of reactionary garbage by the Left because they cannot get ordinary people to buy Left BS.
There is no wholesale discrimination by the police: in the USA, never mind Britain or anywhere else.
Likely in the USA there is a vestige of the historical ‘South’ that may reflect in behaviour of a small proportion of police in certain locales, but now there’s much more racism in the ‘black’ > ‘white’ direction.
The stats on police shootings are a good fit with the much greater propensity for ‘street’ and violent crime by African-Americans than by other ethnic minorities, let alone ‘whites’, and don’t show unfavourable treatment at all.

dom torato

12th July 2020 at 8:03 am

eft’s reaction refreshing at times. Debate rationally and you will be banned for thought on right wing sites. That isn’t yet true on more HERE► Read More

dom torato

12th July 2020 at 7:59 am

While i sorta agree with the intolerance on both sides, having been online since the beginning and reading too much I find the so called HERE► Read More

Jim Denham

11th July 2020 at 3:44 pm

Still awaiting Spiked’s campaign in defence of David Starkey.

James Midcann

11th July 2020 at 12:06 pm

While i sorta agree with the intolerance on both sides, having been online since the beginning and reading too much I find the so called left’s reaction refreshing at times. Debate rationally and you will be banned for thought on right wing sites. That isn’t yet true on more liberal sites. When does tolerance for diverse ideas enter the area of tolerating hate. But Interesting still, I’ll sit back a while and see where we go next. (Geoff Nunberg wrote an interesting book on topic.)

Cathy Archer

11th July 2020 at 4:42 am

O’Neill is more than happy for a cancel culture to exist in the minds of the pregnant women in his ideal “healthy society”, more than happy to enthusiastically support the slaughter of small and helpless human beings who have committed the offense of being “inconvenient” and “unwanted”. O’Neill I’ll believe you on “cancel culture” when your local abortion clinic dumpster isn’t filled with culturally canceled sons and daughters of sexual degenerates who “just wanted to have sex” and “didn’t want to have a baby”. It is trite and it got old long ago, O’Neill’s hapless lifelong war for “public life” to be cleansed of authoritarian leftism. There are millions of human beings who will never get the opportunity to participate in public life, because scum like O’Neill thinks their lives are about as valuable as a cigarette butt.

Gareth Roberts

9th July 2020 at 10:23 pm

Excellent article. One would hope that everyone can see how toxic cancel culture is. Unfortunately the chattering class is infested with marxists and people who have been brainwashed by marxists. Some time ago I made the mistake of following Rachel Riley on twitter and was soon horrified by her enthusiasm for censorship, or “cancelling” anyone accused of anti-semitism or islamophobia without any semblance of due process. One can only suppose she is quite typical of the snowflake generation.

AQNXIOUS COUPE

8th July 2020 at 7:06 pm

How can o neill once the revolutionary communist complain , he is parroting his drivel on lots of radio stations and even on his hated BBC , Brendan has done a massive u turn in the last few years he has now turned into a tory fanboy and and a self proclaimed libertarian right/teaparty steve bannon act

Noel Mac

10th July 2020 at 9:59 pm

Shut up you tart.

Ben Gardener

7th July 2020 at 5:41 pm

Brendo, when did you write scathingly about Trump ordering the police to arrest journalists as part of the Minneapolis riots? Oh yeah you didn’t.

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 5:13 pm

* PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF BARE-FACED DISHONEST EXTREME-LEFT BEHAVIOUR.
This is the first post on this thread by “Bros Bro” (followed by a subsequent one of its):
… “Bros Bro
7th July 2020 at 5:14 am
Bore off you Naz I.
No one bought your book and no one wants to read your irrelevant, loony posts.
Sign on you loser” …
Now here’s ‘Bros Bro’ in his later, repeated response to me, pretending that HIS own behaviour somehow is of my initiation — actually ‘projecting’ his bad behaviour on to me:
… “Name calling is usually a sign of losing the argument and frankly being a bit dim. If you really are who you say you are, it doesn’t surprise me the way Publ ic service has gone downhill in the last 20 years.on here, you need to have your arguments in place. Its not an echo chamber like Parl er. I predict you wont last long.
Unless of course, you just want money from Fa sci sts, they pay anyone whose useful but beware they discard you just as easily.”
* TYPICAL EXTREME-LEFT BARE-FACED DISHONESTY, OR WHAT?!

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 12:29 pm

Name calling is usually a sign of losing the argument and frankly being a bit dim. If you really are who you say you are, it doesn’t surprise me the way Publ ic service has gone downhill in the last 20 years.on here, you need to have your arguments in place. Its not an echo chamber like Parl er. I predict you wont last long.
Unless ofcourse, you just want money from Fa sci sts, they pay anyone whose useful but beware they discard you just as easily.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 12:32 pm

FAO Steve

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 3:41 pm

TO REPEAT:
The uber rabid bigot ‘projects’ as all Leftard malicious nutjobs do.
Do you know what ‘projection’ is?
It’s worse than the pot calling the kettle ‘black’.
It’s extremists like you who have no argument and instead just dump ideological rhetoric who degrade discussion on this website and oblige debunking.
If you had been on this site as many years as I have then you would know that many threads are largely erudite — through absence in the main of extremist rhetoric and the presence instead of informed and detailed exchange of ideas.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 5:42 am

Or Remeber the false allegations of Anti Semitism against Imam Abdullah Patel Now you’re crying like babies. Judging by the comments, I bet Brendan cant believe just how stupid most of you are.

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 6:59 am

Anyone who dishes out accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ and at the same time complains about bogus accusations of anti-Semitism is not going to get much traction.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 11:14 am

You think I care about what gets “traction” from those who have double standards when it comes to Islamophobia and Anti Se mi times.

Sometimes, Islamophobia is real and Anti Semi tism is manufactured and exaggerated. And It can be vice versa as well. Do you believe the standards should be the same? What is Anti Sem itic about showing Israel on a map as a State in America or claiming that U.S politicians are on the Zionists pay-roll or only 5 million people died in the holo caust or gas chambers didnt exist?
You might not agree abut surely free speech should allow such statements. Or is it only you who can decide what the historical facts are?
You’re not gonna last long here if you are a Eedee-el type or a simple bigot

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 11:42 am

Wha hae!
The ‘Bro’ uber rabid bigot ‘projects’ as all Leftard malicious nutjobs do

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 11:41 am

Wha hae!
The uber rabid bigot ‘projects’ as all Leftard malicious nutjobs do.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 12:19 pm

Name calling is usually a sign of losing the argument and frankly being a bit dim. If you really are who you say you are, it doesn’t surprise me the way Public service has gone downhill in the last 20 years.This is Spiked where you need to have your arguments in place. Its not an echo chamber like Parler. I predict you wont last long.
Unless ofcourse, you just want money from Fascists, they pay anyone whose useful but beware they discard you just as easily.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 12:26 pm

Name calling is usually a sign of losing the argument and frankly being a bit dim. If you really are who you say you are, it doesn’t surprise me the way Public service has gone downhill in the last 20 years.This is Spiked where you need to have your arguments in place. Its not an echo chamber like Par ler. I predict you wont last long.
Unless ofcourse, you just want money from Fasc ists, they pay anyone whose useful but beware they discard you just as easily.

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 3:25 pm

TO REPEAT:
The uber rabid bigot ‘projects’ as all Leftard malicious nutjobs do.
Do you know what ‘projection’ is?
It’s worse than the pot calling the kettle ‘black’.

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 3:47 pm

Just to remind you of your INITIATING comment (here cut & pasted from below):
“Bros Bro
7th July 2020 at 5:14 am
Bore off you Naz I.
No one bought your book and no one wants to read your irrelevant, loony posts.
Sign on you loser.”
CASE CLOSED.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 5:06 am

What goes around comes around!
I can remember when those who are pretending to be warriors of free speech today, were only a few years prior, demanding that Muslim speakers are banned from college campuses for daring to suggest that terrorism might be linked to Britain’s unethical and inconsistent foreign policy. As George Carlin said ” why does everyone elses stuff look like shit and your shit look like stuff?”

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 6:49 am

That’d be because Islamo-fascist hatred is extremist misinterpretation of Islam, as in such as Wahhabism, fused with Western extremist notions stemming from Marx, and in no way stems from anything other than Islamo-fascist hatred, and clearly not from anything in UK foreign policy or practice. Islamo-fascist hatred feeds on itself and continues irrespective of anything else.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 12:37 pm

Wahabiism IS somewhat as you describe but theres not many Wahabis in the mainstream. From the 1500 or so Mosques in the U.K, very few would describe themselves as Wahabi Mosques. They have on the large part got their house in order. The government needs to do a lot more to tackle On- line radicalisation.

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 3:33 pm

It’s not just Wahhabism — there are other sources of (even worse) Islamic extremism — and Wahhabis have been behind a lot of mosques in the UK. There is no denying the big problem of UK Islamic extremism. Many third-generation UK-resident Muslims, the grandsons/daughters and sons/daughters of very good citizens — as I well know; I lived over 20 years in central Leicester, and I knew Muslim individuals from various countries, branches of the religion, and degree of Westernisation — have become radicalised or radicalised themselves.

Bros Bro

9th July 2020 at 3:52 pm

How do you define “radicalisation”?

Brandy Cluster

6th July 2020 at 11:47 pm

The latest news is that a Boeing executive has been fired for comments he made 33 years ago that “women shouldn’t be in combat”. All that is missing from our lives now is the jackboots and grey uniforms. I’m deadly serious.

Paul Donaldson

6th July 2020 at 11:45 pm

Nice one BON

Glenn Bell

6th July 2020 at 11:12 pm

I am sick to death of all the self righteous “wokeism” we hear and see every day, along with the cretins who are “woke.” In 30 years time, probably sooner, we’ll all be living is a sort of Orwellian nightmare of PC and full on “wokism” Our very thoughts will be monitored by Thought Police and those daring to speak against it will simply disappear, victims of the First Woke Gestapo. I doubt I’ll be around in 30 years and to be honest, if this is the future, I dont want to be. The wokists can have all go fxxk themselves.

jmNZ

6th July 2020 at 9:35 pm

Looks like they’re also cancelling facts:
The vice president of Research and Innovation at Michigan State University, physicist Stephen Hsu, has been forced out of his position at the university after daring to show actual facts from a 2019 study that show there to be no racial bias in incidents of police shootings.

David Wolcott

6th July 2020 at 9:32 pm

Brendan’s list doesn’t include the historian David Starkey, who was cancelled a few days ago after what he said in an interview with Darren Grimes. The case is trickier, because in full flight Starkey did talk about how many “damn blacks” there still are. But rather than just quietly turning away, I think we should compare this to the treatment of his colleague at Cambridge University, Professor Priyamvada Gopal, who a week before had tweeted “White lives don’t matter.” She was defended and condoned, and her critics labelled as the racists. Here’s a good discussion on this: https://uferox.blogspot.com/2020/07/can-cambridge-university-sink-any-lower.html

Kevin Turner

7th July 2020 at 12:13 am

She was not only defended and condoned; she was also promoted.

And guess what, her “primary interests are in colonial and postcolonial literature and theory” and she has “related interests in…gender and feminism; Marxism, critical race studies, and the politics and cultures of empire and globalisation” (https://www.english.cam.ac.uk/people/Priyamvada.Gopal/).

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 5:08 am

The Right are not attacking her too much because she’s a Hindu.

nick hunt

7th July 2020 at 4:28 pm

Bang Bros: because she’s Hindu, or because only whites can be real racists? Reasons and evidence please.

George Whale

7th July 2020 at 8:19 am

“And guess what, her ‘primary interests are in colonial and postcolonial literature and theory’ and she has ‘related interests in… gender and feminism…'”
Somebody here the other day described universities as “cesspits of communism”. The description is true.

nick hunt

7th July 2020 at 4:25 pm

Was the promotion after her later tweet saying she had to ‘resist urges to kneecap whites’ or before?

Dominic Straiton

6th July 2020 at 6:32 pm

Lets look at McCarthyism. Actually he was a defender of the Nation State and stood against Communism. He was cancelled decades ago.

Brandy Cluster

6th July 2020 at 11:45 pm

I’ve said this for years. Americans were shedding blood in Europe to destroy tyranny and fools in the ‘arts community’ were spreading communism through the theatre and in film. I have no sympathy for the idiots who ended up before HUAC.

John D Henry

6th July 2020 at 6:15 pm

Excellent piece by Brendan O’Neill, an important message. Personally I’m aware of friends and family who have an employer, whom actively keep their views to themselves, out of fear of the mob.

KATHLEEN CARR

6th July 2020 at 6:13 pm

The cruelty of the puritan children who call out ‘truth to power’ by destroying the academic career of an old man for one word . I hope they enjoy living in the prison they are creating for themselves.

Dominic Straiton

6th July 2020 at 6:06 pm

For some strange reason “cancel culture” hasnt come for slave owner, slave trader, murderer and warlord Mohamed. Why is this? Ignorance? cowardice? indoctrination?All parts of Africa and the Middle East have a far more long running and shameful association with slavery than Western Europe and North America.

Lyn Keay

6th July 2020 at 7:47 pm

Brendon seems keen on psychological reasons today, so here is one for your question. Maslow’s needs pyramid. The middle east etc are too busy trying to make it by today to be hung up with the existential angst that the west is involved in.

Dominic Straiton

6th July 2020 at 8:34 pm

Well thanks for that. you seem as pissed as me at 8.30 pm. Nothing wrong with that. go to the Pub and give them your money.

George Lennan

6th July 2020 at 6:03 pm

They’ve declared war
Does that have consequences for them or not?

James Knight

6th July 2020 at 6:02 pm

You cannot appease the woke mob, they have institutional and corporate backing. Consider the US footballer who was forced to denounce and apologise something his wife said in Serbian on social media. They fired him afterwards. Rather like Game of Thrones where a pardon is offered in return for a public confession to a child-like King who then immediately has him executed.

Barbara Baker

6th July 2020 at 6:14 pm

See !…..Raab was right – taking a knee is from Game of Thrones !

Jim Denham

6th July 2020 at 5:14 pm

Come on, Spiked and Comrade O’Neill: where’s the fearless, anti-“woke” campaign in defence of David Starkey? I’m disappointed in you, comrades!

michael savell

6th July 2020 at 4:54 pm

Am I right or wrong.Brendan uses the word misogynist very often and this means someone who hates women,which is not true in the context he uses.There are more women than men baying for the blood of J.K.ROWLING and he must know these are terms that have and are used in the battle
against male rights.Misandry could be used now and again just for the point of equality even though Brendan doesn’t seem to recognise it.

steve moxon

6th July 2020 at 6:33 pm

Yes, Brendan hasn’t caught up with the now researched finding that there is no such thing as misogyny — the charge of misogyny actually is a from of misandry — and that the flak women receive is from other women.
SEE: ‘Misognyny has no scientific basis of any kind: the evidence is of of philogyny — and misandry. New Male Studies 7(2), 26-42.
ABSTRACT: No published science paper demonstrates misogyny exists. Data on both implicit and explicit gender attitudes shows males substantially favouring females – philogyny – or, at worst, gender neutrality. This is hidden by elision with the wider notion of sexism; but there’s no evidence for hostile sexism, and hypothesised benevolent sexism is fatally flawed in operational definition. The mode whereby sexism supposedly causes harm — stereotyping (stereotype threat) — has been debunked; likewise inter-sexual dominance, removing any theoretical basis. Possible male harm by control is belied in women being found the controlling party. Misogyny / sexism in being defined circularly is unfalsifiable, therefore non-scientific conceptualisation: ideology itself actually hostile sexism (misandry, which is shown to be real but unseen).

Lyn Keay

6th July 2020 at 7:57 pm

Spiked has written quite a bit over the years about the attacks what have been considered traditionally to be male values, so I wouldn’t say it doesn’t think about equality.

Wrt misogyny & JK Rowling it isn’t the numbers of men vs women criticising but the content of the criticism. The many instances where she is told to suck someones female d ick is telling. She is a woman being put in her place, which is why its misogyny. There is a worrying trend for women to be treated as vulnerable & in need of caring for & also of being put in our places. Disreputable men & women who like a good time should resist this.

Jerry Owen

6th July 2020 at 4:50 pm

I stopped watching F1 when the great Michael Schumacher’s career unfortunately ended. If I were still watching it I would stop now after seeing the self flagellation of many F1 drivers on the grid. It was as if those that didn’t ‘take the knee’ were somehow not committed to anti racism despite wearing BLM tee shirts.
Hamilton the whinge bag himself says of his team mates (!) that aren’t posting anti racist messages on social media, ‘I know who you are and I see you’. What an astonishing and threatening thing to say. What does he think he can do?
He also whinges at how lonely it is being the only black man ( he is in reality mixed race) on the grid. I have news for him, it’s lonely on the grid for all the drivers..from all different nationalities incidentally, the cars only had one seat when I last watched it !
He played the race card in one of his very first races where he caused an incident and said he was punished ‘because I’m black’.
Perhaps Hamilton could setup a foundation with his fortune to bring more BAME people into the sport.
He won’t and we all know it, it would be counter productive, as it would take away his racist narrative if the grid had more dark skinned people on it.

David Graham

6th July 2020 at 4:01 pm

Is this a form of politicide? Or democide or ideocide? The failure of the established elites at the ballot box, though still in high places and even in government, has triggered a counter reaction utilising tools that have been long in development. The removal of voices and silencing of other perspectives appears to be a power grab. Our historic culture and democracy is under attack. There is a sense of totalitarian ideology behind the cancel culture. Of course those doing it won’t recognise it as they only recognise their own legitimacy.

Philip Humphrey

6th July 2020 at 3:53 pm

I think it needs legislation to put “cancel culture” on the back foot and take away the power of the censors. For example, making it illegal for an employer to sack anyone on the grounds of what they may have said or written in their private time (unless what was said was directly derogatory or defamatory against the employer’s business or customers). And we could “defund” any university or educational establishment that fails to allow free speech of all taxpayers money. But I do think we need a more general “freedom act” to specifically allow free speech short of direct incitement to violence or slander, and for people to live whatever lifestyle and have whatever beliefs they choose as long as it doesn’t directly harm others.

Kevin Turner

6th July 2020 at 3:25 pm

I’m surprised you didn’t mention Dr David Starkey; cancelled for saying slavery was not genocide. As well as being dropped by two publishers, Dr Starkey resigned his fellowship a Cambridge because he knew what was coming.

Meanwhile, Dr Priyamvada Gopal got promoted at the same institute after tweeting “white lives don’t matter”, and then had the temerity to complain after being subjected to a torrent of abuse.

Kafkaesque indeed.

Dominic Straiton

6th July 2020 at 6:09 pm

Actually it was genocide. Which is why there are no sub Saharan populations in the Middle East.

Kevin Turner

6th July 2020 at 11:54 pm

Genocide is defined as “[t]he deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group” (OED). What slave trader/owner would have sought to deliberately or intentionally kill their slaves? So no, slavery is not genocide.

A large number of slaves certainly died due to insanitary conditions and brutal treatment, but that is not the same thing as an organised system of deliberate killing.

But hey, let’s not let the actual and consensual definitions of words get in the way of political point scoring.

Jesse Franklin

6th July 2020 at 2:54 pm

Watching these events as an American spectator, I think that America deserves the whole PC/woke culture. I think that maybe it’s punishment for Middle America/Main street treated children who were smart and sensitive who went on to become coastal elites.

PAUL ROGERS

6th July 2020 at 2:19 pm

Powerful stuff, Brendan. Well said.

I watched Trump’s speech. It’s good. He actually measures his words well. It’s more jingoistic than we tend to do in Britain. But you can hardly criticise a man for national pride. Unless you have TDS.

George Whale

6th July 2020 at 2:38 pm

Difficult to imagine weak-kneed, politically correct Boris Johnson making such a speech.

PAUL ROGERS

6th July 2020 at 6:51 pm

I really hope that he can. I am not holding my breath, but can you imagine just how PROUD most of us are to be British. We all want to be reminded of how great our country is, not how a few hate it. They can go to their favourite place if they like. I like the one I live in.

I am half Turkish. It is no coincidence that those that have seen somewhere else appreciate just how good modern Britain is.

jamie murray

7th July 2020 at 8:32 am

My thoughts exactly, I despair at how many people are fooled into thinking this London-centric, liberal rich elitist is somehow a patriotic man of the people, who shares our thoughts and ideals. He’s a clever chancer who like most politicians will say what he needs to in order to prosper himself.
As for the hair and the bumbling act, doesn’t make him “cuddly old Boris” to me, it makes him seem even more of a fraud!

nick hunt

7th July 2020 at 4:37 pm

Leftists have been attacking patriots and pride in nationhood since the 1st communist international in the 20s. They exist to replace pride with shame and love of nation with hate, are anti-family and anti-religion precisely because totalitarians can tolerate no challenge to their supremacy. They are also globalists, remember?

Jonathan Palmer

6th July 2020 at 2:08 pm

‘If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished.’

In a couple of years or so Obama will say it and the half-witted Scandinavians will give him another Nobel Prize

Mor Vir

6th July 2020 at 2:07 pm

Well said B, but good luck with that. Trump is an aberration, the forces of PC authoritarianism otherwise control all of the organs and instruments of the state.

nick hunt

7th July 2020 at 4:39 pm

Sounds like you prefer the authoritarianism to the aberration

jmNZ

6th July 2020 at 1:48 pm

Trump may be an ignorant, rude politician but he does at least appear to have the intellectual honesty to risk unpopularity defending elementary principles of humanity.
For that he is most likely to be re-elected and deservedly so.

Barbara Baker

6th July 2020 at 5:33 pm

I’m not sure he’s risking much JMNZ, I doubt much of rust belt America exists in the Twittersphere and those people bother to go out to vote . The more the MSM plaster him all over the telly , the higher his vote share will go.

Elvis P

6th July 2020 at 1:39 pm

Turning ! But probably gurning as well😄

Elvis P

6th July 2020 at 1:38 pm

I work for a major child care charity and am constantly bombarded with BLM and LGBTQ propaganda and “the cause” has nearly become more important than the needs of the children we are meant to be working with. Very sad. However , as Brendan mentions if I react my job is most certainly at risk.
The old Doctor would be gurning in his grave. Oops

Constantine Sotiriou

6th July 2020 at 1:27 pm

I know you’d all be out of the job at spiked if you stopped talking about this but what’s the point anymore? It’s a game no one can win. Just Turn it all off. Delete your social media. Cancel your Netflix, amazon. Opt out of your TV license. Don’t play any part in it. I’ve given up caring about any of it and that’s really all you can do.

nick hunt

7th July 2020 at 4:42 pm

Loser mentality

Anjela Kewell

6th July 2020 at 1:26 pm

You forgot some of the original truth tellers. Tommy Robinson actually hounded by the establishment for telling the truth about grooming gangs. Lauren Southern for daring to question why the British Government was refusing to help white farmers in SA. Germain Greer for talking intelligently about uteruses. Roger Scruton for talking utmost sense all the time and now this week Dr Starkey for making a very correct statement and using a word everyone accepts when we are damn fed up with any given situation.

Then there are those who have lost their jobs for making a joke, fined for creating comedy on YouTube. The insidious cutting down of conservative thinkers, comedians and writers s now out of control. We have a civil service who is embedded with leftwing dogma and MPs controlled by the media. Marc Sidwell has just written a book about this culture and thinks we ate lost.

Melanie Phillips has written a number of books predicting the situation we now find ourselves in because we continue to fund Colleges and Universities we know are feeding marxist views to our children. Even Melanie has to go to USA to get her books published which is an outrage. Many of her books are no longer held in our very leftwing and woke books shops. They seem to like the socialist Hilary Mantel or Mayo Angelou.

Until the government stop feeding education with money without expecting a complete change in curriculum, we will not get through this. All that needs to be done is the defunding of ‘ologies’ as so succinctly expressed by Milo in his Faggots Tour three years ago. To return many universities back to technical and research colleges and to encourage the practical skills through apprenticeships from the age of 16 yrs. This will be a huge task and I suspect the Government will shy away as they do most serious issues.

Michel Houllebeq

6th July 2020 at 1:33 pm

Tommy Robinson is an incredible man – look at his Oxford University speech:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YQ94jFg_4A

One of the few videos of him left on youtube after he was banned (because labour mps wrote to the social media companies to silence him)

Being White English and working class is a very heavy burden in the UK.

nick hunt

7th July 2020 at 4:47 pm

The left certainly are expert at getting all those they despise as non-left to fund the left and the institutions it largely dominates – politics, education, popular culture and media – all intent on denigrating and ultimately deleting indigenous Britain.

steve moxon

6th July 2020 at 1:25 pm

It’s been going on for a long time. It happened to me 15 years ago. The usual digging up (actually non-public: BBC) archives of emails so as to take out of context and mis-present as supposed rayceesum.
To remind Brendan of its basis: ‘THE ORIGIN OF ‘IDENTITY POLITICS’ & ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’: Not Consideration for Minorities but Hatred Towards the Mass of Ordinary People; Specifically ‘the Workers’ — Tracing the Roots of Why and How it Arose and Developed Reveals the Greatest Political Fraud in History’.
SUMMARY: ‘Identity politics’ (often or even usually dubbed ‘political correctness’, though it’s not the same thing, as I explain) is the result of a political-Left major backlash against the mass of ordinary people (in Europe and ‘the West’), beginning in the 1920s, in the wake of the persistent failure of Marxist theory to be realised in European ‘revolution’ or any real change through democracy. In shifting the blame away from Marxist theory and its adherents, and on to those the theory had prescribed and predicted would have been the beneficiaries — the workers (if only they had responded accordingly) — then the cognitive-dissonance within the political-left mindset caused by this crisis to an extent was salved. [It is NOT at all the same as what the Left mistakenly term ‘the politics of identity’ to tag the new movements against the elite, on the false assumption that they are essentially nationalistic and ‘white backlash’. Trump and Brexit triumphed because the general populace have come to realise that the government-media-education elite has an unwarranted profound contempt for if not hatred towards them; and, therefore hardly is liable to act in their interests.]
The intellectual rationalisation was to build on false notions of Engels (co-author with Marx of The Communist Manifesto) that ‘capitalism’ created the family and ‘false consciousness’, by theorising mechanisms of how ‘the workers’ were somehow prevented from revolting. This was by invoking Freud’s now comprehensively discredited notion of ‘repression’, first to attempt to explain a supposed impact on ‘the workers’ of ‘capitalism’ acting within the context of the family. With most workers (the group considered the principal ‘agents of social change’ in a ‘revolution’) being male, then the theoreticians had in mind the male as ‘head’ of the family. It was a simple extension in political-Left imagination for ‘the worker’ to change from being the putative conduit of the impact of ‘capitalism’ to its embodiment, leaving by default women to be deemed a replacement supposed ‘oppressed’ and ‘disadvantaged’ ‘group’. The false notion of ‘repression’ was also considered in a wider sense to produce ‘false consciousness’ in the ‘proletariat’, supposedly obscuring what was in their own best interests.
This implausible and unfalsifiable non-scientific nonsense mainly festered within academia until circa 1968 the New Left in the USA, spurred by, indeed aping the Chinese ‘cultural revolution’, co-opted a movement which, though having nothing do do with the Left, appeared to be akin to the revolutionary activity predicted by Marxism: US ‘civil rights’. This added to the ‘new oppressed’ another category, which like that of women could be envisaged as an inversion of a retrospective stereotype of ‘the worker’. In the wake of the similarly seeming revolutionary Stonewall riots of 1969, the ‘gay rights’ lobby also was co-opted (again, despite having had nothing to do with the Left) to further add by inversion to the abstract demonised aspects of ‘the worker’, thereafter retrospectively stereotyped as male plus ‘white’ plus heterosexual.
This prizing into the role of being emblematic of Marxist struggle naturally rendered the specific conflicts more generalisable, allowing expansion into more widely encompassing categories. US Afro-Americans, in being championed as the ‘ethnic minority’ supposed warriors of the Left thereby meant anyone generically of an ‘ethnic minority’ was deemed to belong to the club. Likewise, ‘gays’ became generic ‘homosexuals’. The problem thereby arose of false identification. The category non-white / ethnic minority includes such as migrant Indians and Chinese, who by no criteria are ‘disadvantaged’ or ‘oppressed’. Likewise lesbians drawn into the category homosexual. As for women, by objective, non-ideological analysis, women are privileged, as they are bound to be with the female being the limiting factor in reproduction. As has been regularly pointed out, Western middle-class women are the most privileged large ‘group’ in history. The ‘groups’ are far too heterogeneous to be in reality ‘oppressed’ or ‘disadvantaged’, providing a window on the sophistry and origin of this politics as other than it purports.
The strands of the ‘new oppressed’ naturally combined as a new (neo-Marxist) conceptualisation to account for these political shifts after the fact, which came to be termed identity politics (or more pejoratively though actually more accurately, cultural Marxism). The deemed ‘groups’ replacing ‘the workers’ subsequently were not only expanded in their scope but added to — by the disabled, the elderly, trans-sexuals, the obese … . Again, all are abstractions rather than groups per se. This relentless expansion and then the use and abuse of these mis-identifications of under-privilege by educated individuals belonging to one or more of the categories, has been dubbed ‘the oppression olympics’, making ‘identity politics’ a gravy train for the already privileged, serving actually to substantially increase inequality. Worse still, it is an instrument of oppression against the very ‘group’ perennially disadvantaged and the victim of prejudice, which formerly had been identified as worthy of the liberation Marxism promised: the vast majority of (necessarily lower-status) men — ‘the workers’. This was the whole point of the political development, of course.
The pretence to egalitarianism is perfect cover for what actually is ‘identity politics’: the very perennial and ubiquitous elitist-separatism (status-grabbing) the political-Left ethos (supposedly) is to attack, and which Left zealots vehemently deny exists in themselves. Leftist bigotry betrays either unusually high status-seeking motivation or particularly deep frustration in the quest for status, which is ‘projected’ on to everyone else, who actually have normal levels of motivation to achieve status and manage to ride the ups and downs of life without requiring such dysfunctional ideation. The Left’s egalitarianism is a feint for selfishly pursuing the very opposite. If everyone else is held at a uniformly low status, Leftists thereby become ‘the chosen few’. Transparently, this is an ideology in the wake — a residue — of Christianity. A quasi-religion of supposed inevitable progress towards ‘the promised land’, rendered a utopia of equality-of-outcome. The high priests of this faith — the social justice warriors — are the ‘saved’ striving to convert the rest of us on the promise of entry to ‘heaven’. This represents a continuation of secularisation: a shift in religiosity from envisaging a ‘god’ as being in man’s image, through the humanist deification of mankind, to worship of a supposed dynamic of teleological social change (Marxism). ‘Identity politics’, in being profoundly not what it pretends to be and so deeply entrenched across the whole and every facet of the establishment in Anglophone nations especially and to a large extent in ‘the West’ generally, can properly be regarded as the greatest political fraud in history.

Bros Bro

7th July 2020 at 5:14 am

Bore off you Naz I.
No one bought your book and no one wants to read your irrelevant, loony posts.
Sign on you loser

steve moxon

7th July 2020 at 6:50 am

Wha hae! The Nazi calling the anti-Nazi after his own calling.
Well there’s a surprise.

Noel Mac

10th July 2020 at 10:00 pm

But you read it anyway. Irony upon irony.

fret slider

6th July 2020 at 1:06 pm

“…censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished…”

Or to give it the correct post-modern religious term –

Excommunicated.

nick hunt

7th July 2020 at 4:53 pm

Good one. Brits criticising Islam and wokism are now heretics and blasphemers

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Deplorables — a spiked film