Many from the ‘Left’, progressives, Cultural Marxists and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical, Orwellian and ideological views and variations of mind control. The following articles provide evidence.
- Meghan, A woke Wallis Simpson By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked Online, 11 January 2020
- In 2020, we need to fight the new thought-policeBy Frank Furedi, Spiked, 27 December 2019
- Green left trashes votes by its contempt for the mainstream By Chris Kenny, The Australian, 21 December 2019
Meghan, A woke Wallis Simpson
Why is Meghan ditching her duchess role? Because she wants to be the global Queen of Woke.
So Harry and Meghan are stepping back. They’re resigning from The Firm. They’re ducking out of the Sovereign Grant and royal duties and going it alone. They’re going to split their time between the UK and North America – think of all the CO2! – and become more ‘independent’.
Why? Come on, we all know why. Forget the tripe about them fleeing the racism of the UK tabloids and the nonsense about the first DOC (duchess of colour) not being made to feel welcome in the stiff, white House of Windsor. No, H&M, the most right-on royals in history, are breaking off so that they can foist even more woke bollocks on the plebs without having to worry about receiving a tutting phone-call from Her Maj’s press secretary reminding them that they’re royalty and not virtue-signalling Hollywood celebs.
Megxit, as this royal bombshell is wittily being called, is a striking sign of the times. What Harry and Meghan are doing is virtually unprecedented in the history of the royals. They are jacking in their jobs (I say jobs) as senior royals and pursuing a more ‘financially independent’ path that will allow them to earn, travel and – this is important – jabber on about their pet concerns and causes as much as they like.
Even leaving aside the fact that they won’t actually be financially independent – they’ll still get wads of cash from the Duchy of Cornwall and will still stay in that Frogmore Cottage us British taxpayers just splashed 2.4million quid on – still their move is a startling and concerning one.
What it fundamentally reveals is the incompatibility of the modern culture of narcissism with the values of duty, loyalty and self-negation traditionally associated with royal life. To someone like Meghan, who sprang from celebville, who sees herself as the embodiment of right-on goodness, and who loves nothing more than advertising her eco-virtue and performing her PC credentials, life in the British monarchy was never going to be a good fit.
Yes, the woke agenda Meghan expresses so well shares much in common with the old-world elitism of the monarchical system. Both obsess over inherited characteristics (the woke bang on about race and gender, the monarchy is all about bloodline). Both have a penchant for looking down their noses at the little people. And both have an instinctive loathing for modernity, from Charles’ longstanding conservationism to H&M’s humanity-bashing eco-hysteria.
But there’s one big, irreconcilable difference: where the woke value the self over everything else, senior royals are meant, ostensibly at least, to be selfless, to submerge the self into the crown. It looks like this is a deal-breaker for the younger, more celebrity-oriented royals, especially newcomer Meghan but also Harry, too. Their unprecedented ‘stepping back’, and the fury this has allegedly caused in the Palace, suggests the cult of the self that Meghan and other showily virtuous celebs embody and promote, does not work within an institution whose ideal is the Queen: opinion-free, emotions hidden, dutiful, unquestioning and in it for the long haul.
Duty is anathema to a new generation whose chief goal is often self-realisation. Any notion of collapsing the self into something bigger than oneself, something more historic or something collective, is alien to many in the selfie-taking, values-performing generation. Indeed, the most striking thing about Harry and Meghan’s bombshell is the way they talk about the royal family as if it is little more than a stepping stone to their self-realisation.
To them, the monarchy seems to be little more than a workspace, a place where they learned some skills which they will now take into their new role as global promoters of wokeness and of themselves. They talk about having ‘internal discussions’ and deciding to ‘make a transition’ in order to ‘carve out a progressive new role within this institution’. They sound more like Silicon Valley millennials making the case for a job promotion than members of a family that was allegedly chosen by God to rule the nation.
Even more startling is the way they talk about the queen. They say they will ‘continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen’. Collaborate with? They sound more like Kendall Jenner talking about her adverts with Pepsi than individuals who are meant to devote themselves for life to royal duty and the preservation of the crown. I’m about as republican as it gets (abolish the monarchy is my view), but even I recognise that treating the queen as a kind of big business one temporarily ‘collaborates with’ is out of order. Meghan comes off like a woke Wallis Simpson, taking away a senior royal into a new life of PC globetrotting.
Of course, the Meghan-loving liberal set are responding to Megxit by chastising the British tabloids and, by extension, the riff-raff who read them. You racist shits drove this wonderful woman away – that’s the undertone, and sometimes the overtone, of what they’re saying. It captures how snooty the woke brigade is, where they are essentially reprimanding the masses for daring to criticise their royal superiors. Overlooking, of course, that there was a lot to criticise about H&M, from their moaning about their privileged lives to their hypocritical jetting around the world to make platitudinous lectures about climate change.
Harry and Meghan haven’t been driven out by racism or prejudice or hatred. Rather, they’re ducking out of their own accord so that they can go even more global, more woke, more famously, internationally, irritatingly PC. They’re going to become even more insufferable. And here’s the thing: they will trade on their still existing royal titles to do so. So Meghan spent a couple of years in the royal family and now is pretty much leaving it while holding on to the duchess / princess thing in order to give her naff feminism and eco-posturing and celeb shoulder-rubbing more oomph? I’ll say it again: abolish the monarchy.
In 2020, we need to fight the new thought-police
In 2020, we need to fight the new thought-policeBy Frank Furedi, Spiked, 27 December 2019
During the past decade, and especially this year, those in positions of influence have tried to change the narrative through which society understands itself.
There is an insidious crusade afoot aiming at controlling what the public sees, hears, thinks and believes. This project, which seeks hegemony in various Western cultures, is no less pervasive and thoroughgoing than previous attempts at thought control by totalitarian and theocratic regimes.
But since this campaign to control the narrative has no name, and does not promote an explicit ideology, its significance tends to be underestimated, even by those who oppose the many attempts to police language and thought.
A new identity-obsessed, anti-humanist and anti-civilisational narrative has taken hold. We are increasingly encouraged to change our language, adopt hitherto unknown words, and accept deeply questionable claims.
This campaign has been so successful because its opponents have failed to grasp its significance. Typically, the demands of extreme identitarians are dismissed as either of no significance or as a joke. Take one example that emerged last week.
A group of 16 scientists – from such prestigious universities as Cambridge and Oxford – wrote a letter to the journal Nature denouncing its use of the term ‘quantum supremacy’. This was on the grounds that it conveys racist and colonialist ideas.
They said that, in their view, ‘supremacy’ has ‘overtones of violence, neocolonialism and racism through its association with “white supremacy”’, and demanded that the term be replaced by ‘quantum advantage’.
It is of course tempting to dismiss this as a silly gesture by self-important scientists with too much time on their hands. And that is precisely how many people responded to this ludicrous letter. But its authors are not alone in thinking as they do.
In August, a team at the Human Interface Technology lab in New Zealand asserted that it was problematic that most robots were manufactured out of white plastic, since it smacked of imperialism and white supremacy.
Here we can see how white supremacy has been redefined, turned from a distinct and vicious political ideology into a kind of original sin possessed by all those born with light skin. This is ridiculous, of course, but the impact of this nonsense is no joke.
This redefined notion of white supremacy is now an integral feature of a certain cultural narrative, one that is designed not only to pathologise white people, but also to discredit some of the important legacies of human civilisation.
In the United States, there is a growing industry of consultants who advise organisations about how to rid themselves of their supposed ‘white-supremacy culture’. According to these zealots, some of the attitudes and behaviours associated with white-supremacy culture include ‘individualism’, ‘a sense of urgency’ and ‘perfectionism’.
In other words, those who take their work too seriously may be tainted by white supremacy. Thinking logically is basically thinking white.
The transformation of white supremacy into an all-purpose term of abuse, and the rapid acceptance of this by the private and public sectors, is a remarkable development. And it has been forged out of the policing of speech, culture and thought.
Increasingly, the project of controlling the narrative is directed towards regulating what you can watch, hear, read and think. And this doesn’t just revolve around issues of race.
In some instances, the policing of culture can rely on the police themselves. Earlier this year, Harry Miller, a docker from Humberside, was contacted by the police after he retweeted a trans-sceptical limerick on Twitter. The officer informed him that ‘we need to check your thinking’.
Though Miller was informed that he had not committed a crime, he was told that his retweet would be recorded as a ‘hate incident’ and his social-media account would be monitored. Thought has literally become a police matter.
The task of controlling the narrative is by no means monopolised by the police, of course. The new narratives are mediated through a variety of institutions and gatekeepers.
‘Sensitivity readers’ are now employed by publishing houses and other institutions to ensure that the language used by authors does not violate the norms and values of the cultural elites. In a different world, these sensitivity readers would have been called censors. But in an era when the new narrative is characteristically opaque and euphemistic, the term censor is replaced by that of sensitivity reader.
Though they may be very sensitive, these readers have no inhibition about dictating what books should or should not be published. This broader culture is having a serious impact on creative freedom. A young-adult fiction author, Amélie Wen Zhao, withdrew her debut book, Blood Heir, earlier this year because reviewers and colleagues who had seen advanced copies deemed her depictions of certain groups to be ‘problematic’.
The world of advertising has also been affected by all this. Here, images rather than words are policed. Earlier this year a ban on adverts containing ‘dangerous’ gender stereotypes was brought in by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority. According to the new rules, images of women doing housework while lazy men look on, or women driving badly, are outlawed.
The media in general are increasingly drawn in to this project of telling people what they should think. The new streaming service Disney+ has adopted the policy of attaching warnings about ‘outdated cultural depictions’ to classic films and cartoons. These warning messages are designed to protect viewers from being contaminated by old classics such as Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and Dumbo.
The term ‘outdated cultural depictions’ is significant. Through self-consciously distancing the public from the values of the past, and condemning them as both wrong and irrelevant, this term reinforces the message that we have no choice but to embrace the new cultural narrative.
Indeed, one of the principal objectives of this crusade to control the narrative is to distance society from the ideals and values of the past, and not just those that we are all glad to have left behind. The way in which communities understand themselves and their role in the world has been called into question, as have the breakthroughs and achievements of previous generations. There is a relentless attempt to render the past as outdated, bad and even evil.
Exhibitions in museums and other cultural institutions constantly denigrate what humanity has achieved in the past. The glories of Ancient Greece are forever tainted by slavery. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment are presented as products of Western ethnocentrism. The magnificent Victorian era is depicted as an age of irredeemable evil. There is no relief from the war against the past.
In June, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London posted signs outside an exhibition on the history of British humour, stating ‘this display confronts uncomfortable truths about the past’.
None of this should surprise us: wresting control of the narrative requires a diminishing of the influence that the past has on contemporary society. The success of this project can be measured in the way that people can now be humiliated for voicing beliefs which have been held for centuries.
Take the case of disability assessor, Dr David Mackereth, from Dudley in the West Midlands. Earlier this year he was fired from his post because he refused to use transgender people’s chosen pronouns, as it went against his Christian faith. An employment tribunal ruled that his views were ‘incompatible with human dignity’, and that ‘a lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others’.
In effect, the tribunal ruled that it is not enough simply to spout the vocabulary of the new narrative — you must also believe it! That the act of punishing someone for his ‘lack of belief in transgenderism’ goes almost unnoticed today shows how powerful the new narrative is.
Perhaps even worse was the recent ruling in the case of Maya Forstater, who lost her job at a charitable organisation over tweets questioning government plans to let people declare their own gender. The final sentence of this sinister ruling states that Forstater’s views do not have the ‘protected characteristic of philosophical belief’. That is another way of saying that it is okay to criminalise the belief that there are only two biological sexes.
The ideal of tolerance emerged in the 17th century through a struggle to protect people’s beliefs against state repression. Centuries later we are entering a new dark age of intolerance.
In the 2020s, liberating society from the spell of the intolerant anti-humanist narrative is the key challenge facing those committed to freedom and democracy. What is at stake is not just language and words, but the preservation of the most precious ideals of human civilisation.
Frank Furedi’s How Fear Works: the Culture of Fear in the 21st Century is published by Bloomsbury Press.
Green left trashes votes by its contempt for the mainstream
Green left trashes votes by its contempt for the mainstream By Chris Kenny, The Australian, 21 December 2019
Almost 15 years ago I wrote about the accidental insight of Mark Latham’s diaries (which were a minor sensation at the time). My thesis was that the diaries revealed a disdain for mainstream people, the voters the former Labor leader was trying to win over.
Reincarnated first as a political commentator and now as NSW’s One Nation leader, Latham seems belatedly to have learned this lesson, becoming an unashamed and articulate champion for mainstream families and values. (To be fair, this is exactly what he threatened to become in the successful early days of his stint as federal opposition leader — the bitterness in his diaries might have been inflamed by subsequent events.)
The point is that you don’t win people over by demeaning them. Bob Hawke constantly praised mainstream Australians, flattering them and appealing to their intelligence. John Howard had a similar approach.
As I put it in reference to Latham’s diaries in 2005: “The left have developed a sneering attitude to the populace. Latham’s description of what he says is half the population is withering: ‘… the disengaged, self-interested middle class, who tend to delegate economic management to the Coalition in federal elections, but trust state Labor with the health and education services. Apathy Rules.’ ”
There were many other examples to support my conclusion: “This is a slippery slide — from not engaging with the public, to siding with the elites against an apparently unenlightened public. Eventually there is distrust and even disdain for the very people you are relying on for support.”
Clearly the trend has continued; through myriad turns and issues, it seems this divide has become the defining one in Western liberal democracies — those who hold voters in high regard, and those who look down at them.
Apart from turning off voters, it affects how the politicians behave; the more they sneer at voters, the more they think they can fool them and the more cynical their tactics become. And voters see through it.
Take what I think was the most telling moment in the 2016 US presidential campaign. It did not spring from anything Donald Trump said, it came from his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic,” she told Democratic donors in New York City in September 2016, “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”
It is not hard to see why this can be politically fatal. It has become a typically left-of-centre failing but it is a trap too for so-called moderates on the right of centre who shy from tough debates and look for the easy way out.
Take the 2012 US election when Mitt Romney notoriously was caught out lamenting that 47 per cent of voters were locked on to Barack Obama because they “are dependent upon government” and “believe that they are victims”. Romney tanked.
In Australia the left has fallen for this trap repeatedly. Sometimes voters are derided indirectly — think about how Labor and Greens politicians, along with many journalists and commentators, have accused the Coalition of “dog-whistling” on border protection policies. Such a charge, by extension, insults voters in three important ways: it accuses them of supporting foolish policies; it hinges on mainstream voters harbouring innate racism; and it tarnishes them as gullible enough to be fooled.
For a decade or two the green left in Australia has accused Coalition politicians and, by extension anyone thinking of voting for them, of being xenophobic or even racist when it comes to border security. They are deemed as selfish deniers on global warming, Islamophobes when it comes to countering terrorism, and greedy and heartless on taxes and welfare.
“But hey,” says the left, “haul your racist, sexist, selfish, denier, Islamophobic and heartless attitudes into the polling booth and vote for us.” It becomes tiresome, especially when the policy arguments lack substance.
And it hasn’t worked. Why do politicians demean voters? You can think of the scorn as the ugly but necessary hull that keeps afloat the colourful spinnakers of virtue signalling, or perhaps the invective is the foundation stone to the cathedral of sanctimony. It is only by demonising others that the green left can demonstrate its own moral superiority. So contempt directed at others becomes a necessary precondition of moral posturing.
The same scenario has been played out on steroids in Britain during the past three years of the Brexit debate, coming to its inevitable conclusion in last week’s election.
In the millions of words of analysis, nothing cut through like this pithy and personalised summary from journalist and bestselling author Douglas Murray.
“As it happens, I share the views of the majority of the country,” Murray wrote in the Mail on Sunday. “I have seen the Leftist robots up close for years. I have sat in halls and studios with them and been insulted by them just as the rest of the general public have. They have called me a ‘Little Englander’ because I happen to think that our country isn’t a good fit with the EU. They have called me a ‘racist’ and ‘scum’ because I’m concerned about too-high levels of immigration. They have called me a ‘bigot’ and a ‘transphobe’ because I refuse to pretend that biological sex does not exist.
“And amazingly, at the end of all that, I felt no more desire to vote for them than I had beforehand. I suspect the general public have the same view.”
Murray went on to conclude that the central political divide now is “between the ugly, intolerant, metropolitan Left and the rest of us”. He has summed it up, in a nutshell.
A defining characteristic of modern politics in Western liberal democracies is that the left is regressing to the discredited socialist goals of the 1970s. The young green left has forgotten the lessons of the collapse of the Soviet Union or, more likely, it never learned them.
Instead, the green left tackles a range of economic, environmental, foreign affairs and social goals, and does it with a sense of moral superiority that is misplaced, evangelical and ruthless. To oppose their goals is to be deemed unworthy as a human being and dismissed or attacked — the issues are not to be debated, the dissidents are to be de-platformed or destroyed.
The modern left is corrupted by the coarse manners and lack of persuasiveness in S11, Occupy Wall Street, antifa and Extinction Rebellion. These extremist activists pollute the movement, their memes are propagated through social media and find their way into mainstream journalism before being spat from the mouths of green-left politicians.
This is the reason the love media is such an ironic term. The hate preached by the green left and its media supporters is beyond the bounds of normal discourse. It scares voters away.
Former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone got a taste of this during the week when she retweeted my climate change column from last weekend suggesting it was “spot on”. This seemingly harmless act invited an avalanche of vile and idiotic abuse from hundreds of people who clearly had not read the article and based their responses on the headline (the only words not written by the columnist and the least interesting aspect to those responding).
Twitter is not only full of insults and vitriol, its prime fault is that it is overwhelmingly obtuse. Whatever is most popular on Twitter is almost invariably wrong; yet, inexplicably, mainstream media take their cue from it. Because it is easy, I suppose.
In this way, the most ridiculous ideas on Twitter, such as blaming Scott Morrison for bushfires or deifying Greta Thunberg as bringing something new to the climate debate, can soon find their way into the news bulletins of our public broadcasters or the pages of Time magazine. All the while the intelligent life forms who ignore all this are never heard from, either drowned out or scared away.
They have their say on election day. And we are left to wonder why the green left hasn’t mended its ways.
The Trump election victory, Russiagate embarrassment and impeachment process, Brexit referendum, Morrison election win and Boris Johnson triumph — the media/political class keep misreading the public and embarrassing themselves. Will they ever learn?
There are only two possible explanations. Either they are too ideological to modify their behaviour — they really do believe their propaganda and despise mainstream voters — or their egos are so warped they forsake the goal of medium-term success for short-term social media gratification.
Either way, they are not offering much hope for working families. And they won’t find success until they rediscover mainstream values and learn to identify with the people who hold them.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (NATIONAL AFFAIRS)
Commentator, author and former political adviser, Chris Kenny also hosts The Kenny Report Monday-Thursday 12-2pm, Kenny on Sunday at 8pm, and Kenny on Media on Mondays at 8pm on Sky News. He takes an unashamedl… Read more
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- Politics, judiciary must remain separate By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 4 February 2017
- CP Editorial, Julian Tomlinson, 2 Feb 2017 By Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 2 Feb
- The ballot box defeats media and far left trying to usurp democracy By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 1 February
- CP Julian Tomlinson editorial 260117 by Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 26 January
- The Demise of the Left By Paul Craig Roberts, 26 January 2017
- Australian politicians ignore forthcoming perils By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 18 January 2017
- The censorious, mollycoddled environment of modern academe By Nick Cater, The Australian, 17 January 2017
- The Left’s near-total dominance of the political stage in Australia By Dr Michael Galak, Quadrant Online, 12 January 2
- cp-editorial-171116 – Cairns Post Editorial, Julian Tomlinson, 17 November 2016
- the-snobbish-nastiness-and-division-perpetuated-by-gender-studies-experts By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 16 November 2016
- at-last-the-pontificating-media-elites-are-trumped By Nick Cater, The Australian, 15 November 2016
- trigger-warning-freedom-of-speech-not-welcome Editorial, The Australian, 8 October
- lies-and-propaganda-of-the-supranational-elites By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 31 October 2016
- taxpayer-funded-activism-undermining-the-nation The Australian editorial, 24 October 2016
- australias-thought-police-are-destroying-freedom-of-speech James Allan, The Australian, 20 October 2016
- the-war-on-free-speech-has-just-begun By Mark Steyn, The Australian, 19 October
- offended-left-claims-exclusive-right-to-freedom-of-expression By Gerard Henderson, The Australian, 15 October 2016
- road-to-tyranny-is-paved-with-leftie-assumptions By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 27 September 2016
- protecting-americas-children-from-police-state-goons-bureaucratic-idiots-mercenary-creeps By John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, 22 September 2016
- free-speech-inimical-to-lefts-stifling-orthodoxies By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 21 September 2016
- swamped-by-outdated-multicultural-model By Nick Cater, The Australian, 20 September 2016
- egressive-left-puts-bigotry-and-militant-islam-on-a-pedestal By Peter Baldwin, previously a minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor governments. The Australian, 17 September 2016
- Parents allowed tough love By Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 1 September 2016
- Australians see all this as craven, cultural surrender by the ruling classes By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 1 September 2016
- George Soros evil influence on Western politics By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 22 August 2016
- What Became of the Left Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for Political Economy, 20 August 2016
- 21st-century Left waging new war on free speech By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 15 August 2015
- Denial of speech is one step towards totalitarianism By Nick Cater, The Australian, 25 July 2016
- Generation Snowflake By Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 21 July 2016
- The silent majority starting to speak out By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 13 July
- A march against democracy By Tom Slater, Spikes Online, 10 July 2016
- Australia’s unprotected rebel against the political elites By Grace Collier, The Australian, 9 July 2016
- Australia’s politics in disarray By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 7 July 2016
- Censorship is not education By Julian Tomlinson – the Cairns Post, 30 June 2016
- Brexit, this is what democracy feels like By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked Online, 25 June
- No offence – but harden up! By Julian Tomlinson – the Cairns Post, 23 June 2016
- The Brazen Left’s Bid to Kill Quadrant By Jeremy Sammut, Quadrant Online, 1 June
- How to raise boys and avoid PC nonsense By Julian Tomlinson – the Cairns Post, 26 May 2016
- The Greens, sirens of socialism By Nick Cater, The Australian, 3 May 2016
- Leftists for the EU, the radical wing of the oligarchy By Brendon O”Neill, Spiked Online, 23 April 2016
- A new authoritarianism has descended By Neil Brown, The Spectator, 11 April 2016
- Don’t fear the freedom police By Julian Tomlinson, Deputy Editor, Cairns Post, 7 April
- Australia’s Marxist-LGBTI engineers By Merv Bendle, Quadrant Online, 2 March 2016
- Authenticity, the answer to PC pundits By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 17 February 2016
- cairns-post-editorial-201016 Laws of diminishing returns as the ‘nanny state’ takes over control of our freedom, By Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 20 October 2016
- The counter-revolution against the Deep State From Inner Circle, 26 August 2016
- The welfare state fails Aboriginals yet again By Gary Johns, The Australian, 25 August 2016
- I quit, the bureaucrats had beaten me By Charles Hugh-Smith, 13 August 2015