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Why the BBC had to memory-hole Roísín Murphy

The BBC has denied removing Roísín Murphy's music because of her comments on puberty blockers. Credit: Getty

September 13, 2023 - 3:00pm

In George Orwell’s 1984, the memory hole is a place where slips of paper containing unwelcome knowledge are deposited, in order that the past be “brought up to date”:

All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.
- George Orwell. 1984

Alas, it is hard to memory-hole things in the Internet age. For instance, much as the BBC might like you to think that Roísín Murphy was never due to have 10 hours of coverage on 6 Music next week, her place in the listings has already been screenshotted. Online, however, it is no longer visible. 

The BBC has denied that the decision is related to Murphy’s comments on puberty blockers, though this explanation seems doubtful. Two weeks ago, a private online conversation was leaked in which the singer criticised the use of puberty blockers on distressed children. Since then, Murphy’s record label has stopped promoting her album, while the Guardian’s Laura Snapes produced a ludicrous five-star review-cum-denunciation

The problem is not that Murphy is ignorant, nor that she voiced an opinion based on incomplete or inadequate knowledge (it would likely have been much easier for her if she had). Contrary to her later statement that “fixed views are not helpful”, this is a debate in which one side has been utterly discredited. 

What is more, they know it. They know Murphy is right. What can you do in such a situation, other than try to rewrite history? 

Liberal people — or at least, people who think of themselves as such — have sleepwalked into supporting the medicalisation and, in many cases, subsequent sterilisation of gay, autistic and/or sexually abused children. They have lied to these children, telling them that biological sex is not immutable. 

One does not need to read the Cass Review’s interim report, or Hannah Barnes’ excellent Time To Think, to realise how horrendous this is. The whole thing was entirely predictable, yet many self-styled “inclusive” people chose not to listen. Now they face a choice between backtracking — and in many cases facing up to lifelong, unnecessary harm they may have done to themselves, their children or their patients — or digging in deeper. 

It is especially telling that Murphy is facing erasure for a view she expressed in private. It’s not just unbearable for those still supporting childhood transition to hear the counter-argument in public; it’s unbearable for them to know other people are even considering it. 

In Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken and Stanley Schachter’s 1956 work When Prophecy Fails, the authors describe how members of doomsday cults struggle when their prophecies are proven to be false. “The dissonance cannot be eliminated completely by denying or rationalising the disconfirmation,” they write:

But there is a way in which the remaining dissonance can be reduced. If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must, after all, be correct. Consider the extreme case: if everyone in the whole world believed something there would be no question at all as to the validity of this belief.
- Festinger, Riecken and Schachter. When Prophecy Fails

If non-believers are simply denied all social, cultural and political status, the same effect is achieved. “Human beings can change sex and children can be born in the wrong body” becomes true if every disbeliever can be erased. Indeed, it’s the only way to make it true, now that the rest of the game is well and truly up. 

Ultimately, it’s not Murphy’s music that people are trying to memory-hole. It’s awareness of what they’ve done, of the harm in which they are complicit. It’s knowledge of sex itself. 

They will fail, of course, but the death throes will be vicious — vicious, but also pathetic. Delist as many songs as you like, but I’m not sure your conscience will be clear. 


Victoria Smith is a writer and creator of the Glosswitch newsletter.

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D Walsh
D Walsh
10 months ago

War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Diversity is our strength.

Ignorance is strength.

TransWomen are women.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Heil Hitler!

David Harris
David Harris
10 months ago

Oh THAT’s where I’ve seen you…

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
10 months ago

Racist Grandpa living up to his brand!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago

To be fair, CS, just from reading your posts, you seem a little bigoted yourself. Even the above comment comes across as ageist. I think the reason people are going off progressive causes, is because many of their proponents act like you online. Unable to argue effectively for whatever redundant cause they support, they fall into insults, intimidation and accusatory misrepresentations. Despite your vitriol, I do understand your anger and frustration. The opinions posted here don’t fit neatly into your fixed world view, and so, out of fear, you come to the comments section to lash out and shut them down.
The liberal world order is on the verge of collapse. Like all other authoritarians who profit from the status quo, you may feel threatened by words and other forms of free expression that differ from your own. However, all is not bleak. Do some reading, go educate yourself, try to find out why so many people are at odds with your world view. Are they all racist, hateful, xenophobic bigots? If your answer to that is a quick ‘yes’, then perhaps you need to take a long slow look in the mirror.
All the best,
Julian Farrows

Adam Smith
Adam Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Julian, I don’t know you, but that’s one of the greatest put downs I’ve ever read!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You’re talking to the wall, Julian. But well done anyway.

Andrew H
Andrew H
10 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

There was a great sticker of this fairly near to me in Glasgow during lockdown. The encouraging thing was that it wasn’t ripped off or defaced for a good six months or so. Once it finally went I upcycled the lamppost with one of Kellie-Jay Keen’s “Woman = adult human female” stickers.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

I find it hard to believe that the good and right people at the BBC think they are doing harm to children. They believe they are righteous and on the right side of history. Any amount of logic and fact will not dissuade them of this. They erase Murphy because they consider her a bad person who must be punished for her transgressions.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

No, they know full well what they are doing. Transgenderism (and the LGBQT movement in general) is a global movement that supersedes national governments. It is the banner under which global rule is being imposed upon us. This is the reason the World Bank refuses to loan Uganda any more money. Transgenderism comes with a whole lot of other kind of progressive mandates that are designed to radically transform local cultures and economies.
The flag has already changed. It has become more warlike. Under the guise of lifting oppression, woke corporations and governments can now install their own systems of oppression on majority populations.
Transgender ideology is the perfect vehicle for this. It requires good people to lie to themselves about simple biological facts, thus forcing them to either become accomplices or opponents. The BBC is not at all misguided. The reason Roisin Murphy got cancelled was not because she stated simple biological facts, but because she refused to go along with the lie. The underlying message here (to her fans and others) is that if you refuse to go along with our lie we will hurt you. This is what tyranny looks like.

Last edited 10 months ago by Julian Farrows
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I have no doubt the political elite use woke ideology to punish political opponents when it’s convenient for them. That’s why they hammer democratically elected govt’s like Hungary and give a free pass to authoritarian regimes like a Saudia Arabia. But the people at the BBC are way more banal than that. They cancel because that’s what is expected of them. They are warriors for the cause and think they are doing good by harming opponents.

D Walsh
D Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

Theodore Dalrymple

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I’m inclined to agree with aspects of both of your assertions. From my perspective, the corporate/WEF/elitists realised about 10-12 years ago (when they presumably ‘bought’ and neutered the righteous Occupy movement – whatever happened to them??) that the virtuous Left are an unstoppable force for change, if you channel their righteous energy, something that Rightists, who are instinctively pragmatists, don’t possess.

The elitists have successfully made their Covid hoax work because it appealed to the Leftists’ unstoppable virtue. Ditto the climate hysteria. With that achieved, they can push through most of their desired structural changes.

The trans and BLM nonsense is aimed at the whole population, with the purpose you describe so accurately JF. Thus, all resistance is neutered.

Any solutions to our predicament? I can’t think of any..

Waffles
Waffles
9 months ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Maybe if you work in a corporation, join all the various victimhood committees and push them towards ever more extreme recommendations. Eg “all white male staff should resign with immediate effect”. “Every staff meeting should begin with someone reading out the name of every Native American that has ever lived.” “Separate bathrooms based according to every religion in the world, including Satanism (to be inclusive) .”

Eventually wokeness will implode under its own contradictions, racism and ignorance. We can help it along.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

” It is the banner under which global rule is being imposed upon us. This is the reason the World Bank refuses to loan Uganda any more money.”
I realize that trying to make sense of your word salads is a futile exercise but, pray tell, how does the World Bank refusing to lend Uganda money equate to global rule being imposed on anyone?
This should be amusing!

Steve Hay
Steve Hay
10 months ago

Don’t you mean give money. Possibly they are adverse to sending good money after bad. No problem here in the real world.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago

Hint: ‘world’ bank.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I’m afraid that is going to be a bit too subtle for ChampagneSocialist, who is unlikely to see any connection at all between ‘world’ and ‘globalist’ unless it is spelt out in excruciating and explicit detail.
But tbh I wouldn’t bother wasting my time.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
10 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

I’m enjoying how none of you seem to be able to follow this thread. Boys, it really isn’t that hard! Do try to keep up!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago

Yawn

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Are you too sleepy to explain to us how you global rule is being imposed on you?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago

No, you’re just boring.

Waffles
Waffles
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Exactly. Comrades must not just SAY 2 plus 2 equals 5 (a man in a wig and a dress is a woman) they must BELIEVE that 2 plus 2 equals 5.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

What the political left, even in democratic countries, share is the notion that knowledgeable and virtuous people like themselves have both a right and a duty to use the power of government to impose their superior knowledge and virtue on others.
~ Thomas Sowell
Knowledgeable and virtuous people are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that the end justifies the means. Which just shows that they are not especially knowledgeable or virtuous.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

The author refers to religious cults and the measures they will take to prevent their skewed reality from being destroyed by the light of open debate. It’s my opinion that this is only a matter of degree, and that certain very popular mainstream religions have a similar problem; opponents of their views must be silenced, for fear of their whole collective psyche being destroyed. It becomes a literal matter of life and death.

Whilst the type of attempts to silence those who speak out such as Roisin Murphy by the BBC / Guardian cultists hasn’t quite reached those proportions (yet), the parallels of mindset are as clear as day.

Swing it back, Roisin.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
10 months ago

“The problem is not that Murphy is ignorant, nor that she voiced an opinion based on incomplete or inadequate knowledge”

Indeed. The problem, if you want one, is that she apologised – in classic North Korean style.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Wrong, she absolutely did not apologise. She commented further but there was no retraction of the opinion she’d expressed; only sorrow that some were unable to take it on board with the humanity it required.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

https://twitter.com/roisinmurphy/status/1696510651378582006

Sounds like an apology to me (assuming you can see it.)

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

It was on the basis of seeing (reading) that, that my reply to you was made.
She expresses sorrow that her unapologetic opinion may have caused distress, but i think your interpretation of the term “apology” suggests a retraction, which she absolutely does not make.
Further: to label it “classic North Korean style” is very wide of the mark and simply demonstrates you were trying to make capital out of her remarks which they in no way warranted.

William Cameron
William Cameron
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As she was right why should she apologise ?

Amelia Melkinthorpe
Amelia Melkinthorpe
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Unfortunately, she has said that she will NEVER AGAIN express an opinion on this subject.
Explain, if you will, how this is not classic communist behaviour?

Matt S
Matt S
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

How was that not an apology? She didn’t specifically say her opinions were incorrect but she was so busy on her hands and knees with her face on the floor that she probably just forgot to do so. This is not the rhetoric of someone who is standing tall and proud in the face of an angry mob. I can only think that financially they have her balls in a vice (pun there somewhere) as I would be livid if it happened to me.

Steve Hay
Steve Hay
10 months ago

Make trans conversion of underage children as socially acceptable as dealing them drugs or sexually abusing them. Which when you think about it is the same thing.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago

If deconstruction is taught at university (Derrida to Foucault to Butler) to the extent that students understand every discourse around the human body to be epistemically constructed by the powerholders who control the dissemination of knowledge…
…then you are intellectually and academically licencing an Idealist world of gender non-comformity legitimising potentially extreme medical interventions.
But let’s be clear, theory is one thing but psychiatrists, counsellors, surgeons and their public association are most at fault here – cowardly and craven.

Ralph Hanke
Ralph Hanke
10 months ago

Dear Victoria,
Thank you for writing this.
Ralph

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
10 months ago

Puberty blockers for boys equals chemical castration.
And we don’t even get beautiful castrati voices in opera as some small payback for the damage caused.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
9 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Oh no. I assumed that we would. Why dont we?

William Cameron
William Cameron
10 months ago

Why do these people hurt people who tell the truth ? What do they get out of it ?

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
10 months ago

As the article says, they get comfort. It is disturbing to know that there are people who disbelieve, it raises the silent question whether disbelief might be justified.

Andrew H
Andrew H
10 months ago

This is spot on. A truly sinister – but now sadly wholly unsurprising – move from the BBC, an organisation that is one of the prime examples of institutional capture by the wokeist mob.
Examples like this just fuel the case for disbanding/disfunding the BBC. I’m not yet convinced this would be a good thing and there is definitely still good BBC content I would really miss, but Auntie Beeb is in a hole and just keeps digging.

Richard Hopkins
Richard Hopkins
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew H

On 7th November 2017 a statue of George Orwell was unveiled in the plaza of the BBC’s New Broadcasting House. Ah, the irony – or should that be doublethink?

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
9 months ago

They’re using `1984’ as a how to manual, rather than a warning

Waffles
Waffles
9 months ago

Defund the BBC. From Jimmy Savile to the trans industrial complex, they have not served children well.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
9 months ago

As the saying goes, it is easier to believe a lie, than to believe you were lied to