Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
Political correctness, and its cousin, the ‘politics of denial’ continue to gather pace in the UK. Rational debate shut down; public space closed for those who don’t tow the line or dare to put forward contrary opinions. The self-appointed arbiters of the debate-space will end any argument that contradicts them. It’s not a state of affairs we must accept.
PC arose in the 1960s hippy era to help generate tolerance. People who were different didn't want to feel intimidated by specific words, which got dropped from use. This encouraged inclusiveness. Then in the 1990s, the radical left imposed its agenda, through liberal arts courses at universities. Soon the PC culture spread out into all aspects of life. Along the way, evolving into a tool of control.
Our media, politicians and commentators bullied into adopting it, even when it meant distorting facts. Law enforcement, striving to overcome repeated acts of unprofessionalism, sought favour. Police chiefs dived into the PC culture headfirst. Postmodernism, with its rejection of the enlightenment and science, drove the spread.
In turn, this led to the rise of identity politics. The tenets of which are intellectually lazy, yet appealing to the naive. Students taught these ideas learn that when things go wrong, its the fault of the system and you’re a victim. Victimhood is, of course, a cop out. It’s easy to say “I didn’t get the job because I’m the wrong race” or “Promotion was denied by my gender”. These mantras free the individual of the opportunity to examine themselves. Fundamentally, it’s dishonest.
Plus, once you’re a victim that entitles you to fight back by all means. Including adopting the unlawful because you occupy the high moral ground. Let’s not forget that the Nazi’s portrayed themselves as victims of an alleged Jewish conspiracy. This attitude then justified their ‘harsh measures, which in time led to the gassing of six million.
Today there exists a conspiracy of silence that ignores stark issues. For example, you can’t voice out that radicalised Muslims are predominantly responsible for terrorist attacks in the UK. Neither can you say the name of groups accountable for grooming young girls for sex. In Rotherham 1,400 abused girls passed through the hands of a Muslim gang. Plain-speaking Muslim commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has set out the issues. She said,
“I partly blame the families and communities. Too many Asian mothers spoil their boys, undervalue their girls and demean their daughters-in-law. Within some British Asian circles, the West is considered degenerate and immoral. So it is OK to take their girls and ruin them further. Some of the fiercest rows I have ever had have been with Asian women who hold these disgusting views.”
To me, it denigrates the majority of law-abiding British Muslims that we are not prepared to call out the radicals or sex offenders. Public figures are cowed and fearful of PC oafs, while communities are being held hostage to a distorted agenda.
With free speech under threat from the left, the SJW don't want a debate, but to impose their will. They even restrict respected figures from the left with whom they disagree.
All this is producing a backlash that gave us Trump and Brexit. Communities polarise, as communication halts. When folks can’t have an open debate in the middle ground, they move to occupy the radical ends of the political spectrum.
The bullying rhetoric of the SJWs has consequences that are bizarre. Take for instance Hertfordshire Police. Earlier this year, a staff member received through the internal police mail a cartoon about Islamic terrorists. The picture is a cutting from the satirical magazine Private Eye. It mocks the failure of the UK intelligence services. The recipient happens to be a Muslim. What transpires next is astonishing. The Police demand that Private Eye hand over its subscriber list.
When declined, the Police seek a production order under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Chief Inspector Adam Gallop asserts the subscriber list will help them narrow down who sent the cartoon. This approach ignores the fact that most Private Eyes get sold through supermarkets and newsagents. Fortunately, Judge Farrell ruled the Police action was disproportionate. He suggested the Police were taking a ‘shot in the dark.’ Private Eye won the case, and the Police went away chastened.
No one questions that the Police need to deal with internal racism, but is it wise to behave like this? Throwing so much time and money at this case is questionable. In the meantime, Hertfordshire Police have many unsolved crimes on their books. Could Chief Inspector Gallop be better deployed investigating this?
The UK’s response to the threat of terrorism is emblematic of the PC approach. It distorts the truth so as not to offend. Instead of dealing with the real issue, the risk of Islamic terrorists, we get a lame story called 'Moggy's Coming’. Part of an effort to educate children, this tale is revealing about the cowed status of officials. In place of being honest, they produce a book on how to deal with a terrorist attack with the kids as mice. The terrorist is a cat. The authors negotiated a minefield of political correctness as the children scurry away to hide from the cat.
The U.K. suffered five terrorist attacks in as many months. Nobody called John Smith, or Roger Winterbottom was responsible. Nor was a cat. British politicians are running scared and afraid to say it. If they do, the SJWs will play the racist card to shut down the debate.
Meanwhile, Britains counter-extremist policy remains a complete mess. Things must be wrong because even the liberals at the Guardian are getting annoyed. Some time ago, the CIA decided it can no longer sit back relying on the British intelligence services. It’s mounting operations in the north of England around ‘certain’ communities in Leeds and Bradford. As one operator put it “Britain’s most significant export ... radicalised Islamists’.
How far does this nonsense go? How far is the policing of language generating into normal life? Ask Joshua Sutcliffe. The Oxford-based teacher is suspended for accidentally calling a transgender pupil ‘girl’. He awaits a disciplinary hearing for ‘misgendering’. Sutcliffe was complimenting his pupils for good work in a maths lesson when he uttered the terrible words “Well done Girls!”. One of the teenage ’girls’ apparently identifies as a ‘boy’ although he/she is biologically a female. Also, it took six weeks for the complaint to arrive.
Sutcliffe is a self-effacing, earnest man, who by all accounts is an excellent teacher. He now faces charges because some snowflake was offended by the word ‘girl’. It’s gone too far and is beyond the pale. Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit commented “It seems to me this is a mad world when someone gets disciplined for stating a biological fact’. Indeed, but that’s what happens.”
In the world of the SJWs, as a white male, I’m automatically judged incompetent to comment. More than that, white men are being excluded from police recruit seminars. The British Transport Police assert no one faces discrimination in their recruitment process. And yet, white guys can’t attend their workshops. Go figure.
By shutting down a rational examination of problems, PC harms those it intends to help. It creates victims. People then blame others for their troubles, thus discouraging them from taking responsibility. Self-inflicted problems, like drug abuse, are attributed to others. Playing the victim card is now the default reaction.
Compromised institutions and law enforcement is the result. The integrity of investigations undermined as officers fear offending groups or cultures. Policy and procedures are formulated to stop even the mildest offence or opposing opinion that may displease. If genuine progress is the aim, the debate needs reasoning, facts and understanding, rather than emotion, dogma, and an intolerance of dissent. But you’ve got to laugh at the SJWs.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.