Now and then one steps out into the bright light of day and steps straight into a pile of the very worst sort of ordure – an innocent comment of a chum’s political statement, namely:
Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
The disputed author was George Carlin, the American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author who in a career spanning four decades, had once been dubbed “the dean of counterculture comedians.”
Forgetting that unlike several of my readers, I had no PPE degree, I suggested that it was probably better (I avoided saying “more correct”), to say that political correctness is totalitarianism, rather than fascism. I then got out my favourite entrenching tool and started digging. “Fascism is a kind of totalitarianism, “I went on, “but then you must also consider theocracies, such as the Vatican State and Iran, and of course Communism.”
This suggestion, immediately led to the accusation, that I did not grasp the difference between Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism. My ignorance was compounded by the fact that I was unaware of the origins of the phrase “politically correct”. This was alleged to be found in a 1934 New York Times article which reported that Nazi Germany was granting reporting permits “…only to pure ‘Aryans’ whose opinions are politically correct.“
This went on for some time, and like you now, I had by then reached a level of ennui that stopped it going any further.
Sadly, this apathy of which we are all guilty, lies at the heart of something far worse than political correctness, because our laziness is allowing the real growth of illiberal culturalism. At its heart is the ‘Cancel Culture’ mob, who have no interest in the lessons of history, has no truck with common sense, has little time for any view which cannot be expressed in minimal words (Dominic Cummings understands), and primarily uses the easily manipulated Twittersphere into killing off any alternative voice.
For clarification, the Cancel Culture is when an individual or an organisation says, supports or promotes something that other people find offensive. Like angry wasps, they swarm, piling on the criticism via social media channels, primarily Twitter. Then that person or company is largely shunned, or ‘cancelled’.”
Their victims so far include:
- Bari Weiss, the prominent New York Times columnist resigned very publicly from the paper, claiming it was being edited not by its notional editor, but by Twitter.
- At the same paper last month, James Bennett, the editorial page editor, was sacked because he published a piece by a Republican senator Tom Cotton defending the use of the Insurrection Act, which permits the use of federal troops to quell riots.
- At the Guardian, the loathsome cartoonist Steve Bell, their principal caricaturist for over a third of a century, has been sacked – accused of using anti-semitic tropes and of engaging in racism towards other minorities. I thought he was a dreadful man, who appeared to have a visceral hatred of the Tories, the wealthy, industrialists, people who wanted to work hard and most Peers. But he was also fully entitled to express his opinion – I could avoid buying the Guardian if I didn’t want to see his work. I did, however, because he is the nearest political cartoonist we have, after the retirement of Gerald Scarfe, to a 21st century Hogarth, and his work is important.
- A data analyst and veteran of the Obama re-election campaign was fired by Civis Analytics for tweeting a link to a paper written by a well-regarded (and, worth noting, biracial) Princeton professor of African-American studies finding that riots are bad for black communities.
- Alastair Stewart, forced off ITV News, ending a 40-year career after bosses identified ‘multiple errors of judgement’ on social media. The only incident which was reported in the press, however, was when he tweeted a Shakespeare passage that contains the phrase ‘an angry ape’ at a black Twitter user – a passage he had quoted on Twitter before at others.
- Lady Emma Nicholson, Booker Prize vice-president and a Conservative peer, was removed from her post as the honorary vice-president of the Booker Prize Foundation following an online row with transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf. She referred to Bergdorf as a ‘weird creature’ and was accused of misgendering her. The foundation distanced itself from Nicholson’s views, saying it ‘deplore[s] racism, homophobia and transphobia’. The Booker Prize has since axed all of its honorary roles.
- Gillian Philip, bestselling children’s author was sacked by her publisher after changing her Twitter handle to include the hashtag #IStandWithJKRowling. The CC Mob has discredited JK Rowling as a transphobe for her support for women’s rights and her criticism of gender-identity dogma. Philip was first bombarded with sexualised misogynistic abuse by trans-rights supporters and then fired.
- Martin Shipton, the journalist was asked to step down as a judge from the Wales Book of the Year competition after a series of tweets questioning why BLM protests were being allowed during the lockdown, and what protesting in Cardiff could actually do about police violence in the US. Literature Wales said Shipton’s ‘aggressive language’ was ‘detrimental’ to its values.
- Nick Buckley was dismissed as director of Mancunian Way, a charity which had helped thousands of BAME youngsters to find employment. However, when Buckley wrote a blog post criticising some of BLM’s radical aims, a petition was started to remove him. Days later, the charity’s trustees informed him their relationship had been ‘terminated’. He had, by the by, founded the charity.
- Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow minister and radical socialist, was sacked by Keir Starmer after she shared an interview with actor Maxine Peake on social media and referred to Peake as an ‘absolute diamond’. In the interview, Peake suggested the American police were taught the kneeling technique – used during the death of George Floyd – by Israeli forces. I don’t like the woman, but it was patently unfair and more importantly, an illiberal and direct abuse of censorship.
Meanwhile, the final day of Memorial Golf Tournament takes place and promises to be a cracker. Confusingly it is held at Muirfield (not – not that one), in Dublin, (no not that one), in Ohio. Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer are the final pair out and if he wins this, Rahm would become the world’s top-ranked player. However, having seen the pin placements for today, I think an upset and the overturning of Rahm’s four-shot lead might easily happen.
Rahm knows that he needs to focus and maintain self-belief, a battle he has faced throughout his career. A four-shot lead is clearly handy, but his mind will also have him wrestling with decisions on maintaining his thoughts of playing his natural attacking game or trying to defend. “There have definitely been moments out there this week where I could have just lost it or maybe in the past I would have gotten more frustrated and changed my game plan,” Rahm says. “Maybe a couple of years ago I don’t think I would be here with a four-shot lead right now going into tomorrow. Each shot is a battle. There’s not one shot that you can let down on and you’ve just got to get the job done. It’s as simple as that. Mistakes are going to happen, and I just simply need to remember that I’m not the only one out there making mistakes, so hopefully, I can keep hitting it great off the tee and keep giving myself chances to hit some good shots into the green.”
Those lining up behind Rahm remain confident knowing anything under par will apply some pressure and put those emotions he speaks of to the ultimate test. “He’ll be the guy to catch tomorrow. I’ve got a four-shot deficit that I’m going to try to make up in the wind, and I think it’s doable,” Tony Finau said. Even Jason Day believes he can have a crack: “It’s more like survival tomorrow,” Day added. “If I can be patient out there, I think I have a good shot at it.”
I quite like the look of Danny Willett and for interest’s sake, I shall have a small e/w at 28/1 two places for ¼ odds. He’s not far behind and he only needs Rahm to drop three and gain three himself to have a play off. More importantly at 7/1 the place he only needs a stroke-a-side reversal to be in the money.