by Gareth Roberts
Thursday, 3
June 2021
Response
07:00

Tories, masters of the culture wars? Don’t make me laugh

The Conservatives are clueless, and culturally less powerful than the Left
by Gareth Roberts
Boris on the campaign trail on the Isle of Wight.Credit: Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

‘Why The Right Loves The Culture War’ is the title of an article by Ronan Bartenshaw and Marcus Barnett in the latest Tribune, which accuses the Tories of “reinventing themselves as culture warriors” to “overcome the disasters caused by decades of free-market economics”. The piece couldn’t be more different from my colleague Douglas Murray’s essay on the culture wars — which he is adamant are happening — in UnHerd yesterday.

It’s becoming a catchphrase that the current government, and its leader in particular, are lucky in their enemies. This piece captures one of the daftest beliefs about the Tories — that they are clever. For Tribune’s writers, the Conservative Party has embarked on a “project” to hoodwink the electorate by focusing on culture war issues while the gorilla of free market capitalism rampages, visible but unseen, across the stage.


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This is crediting the Conservative party with a sagacity I fear it does not possess. Have the authors seen the Tories? It’s always possible that Gavin Williamson is the panjandrums of a grandiose Asimovian project of mass social engineering, but somehow I doubt it. Even the supposedly intellectual Michael Gove has a terrible habit of blurting out his sinister secret plans in public, like the Master in Dr Who.

At one point, the authors vaunt the idea that Theresa May was planning to weaponise culture… This is the Prime Minister who happily used the word queer, banged on about “burning social injustices”, and who flattened a 24-point poll lead in three weeks. Some evil genius.

Bartenshaw and Barnett claim that the Conservative party is “embedded in every institution of influence in British society, from local business to the mass media, the parish church to the military.” The parish church as an institution of influence? Is this 1926?

They are notably coy on any specifics of the culture war (presumably they mean such things as ‘decolonising’ and ‘queer theory’), but they do say:

In the era of Keir Starmer and focus-grouped centrism, the greatest threat to that [Tory] hegemony comes from outside of official politics — from movements channelling deep-seated frustrations at injustice. A series of enabling acts to allow the repressive arm of the state to monitor, infiltrate, and stamp out these relatively nascent movements is logical.
- Tribune

‘Outside of official politics’ — four words that speak volumes. These “movements” are actually groups who have snuck through the gaps in democracy to grab huge amounts of unaccountable power.

This ideology is a product of the unequal capitalist society the authors affect to deprecate. It is the cultural hegemony, backed by the free-market behemoths that Tribune is (justifiably) upset about.

When underdogs such as Apple, Amazon and Facebook are on the same side as these ‘nascent movements’, maybe they’re not quite so grass roots? Are we really being asked to believe that The National Trust, Kew Gardens and the Royal Academy of Music are plucky, anti-establishment forces?

In fact it has taken years — decades! — to drag the hopelessly naive and unaware Tories, kicking and screaming, even to acknowledge tentatively the problems around, for example, gender ideology and critical race theory. And they are plainly terrified of appearing low-status by challenging these terrible ideas openly. “There’s nothing wrong with being woke” is an unusual thing for a Prime Minister committed to passing enabling acts to infiltrate and stamp it out to say.

In fact the Tories’ great failing is their lack of a coherent, thought-through response to identitarian ideology. And it’s the Left (or at least the harebrained middle class part of it) that is “embedded” in corporates and institutions.

Tribune are looking into a mirror and seeing somebody else.

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Alan T
Alan T
1 year ago

All my life I have watched the middle and upper-middle class people who run our institutions normalise their own values and pretend they are just being sensible and apolitical and kind. Wokery is just the most recent and most aggressively ideological manifestation of this.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan T

Yes, for years they’ve used ‘soft’ power. Critical Theory is the hardening of that power.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

They pus$yfooted into jackboot.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Yes, the Tribune article appears to be an absurd denial of all reality. The Left won the culture wars long ago and the results are all around us – the streets strewn with the dead and the maimed, a media that does not even know what the truth is, even it wanted to report it, an endless stream of unwatchable films and TV shows, the hotels full of illegal immigrants etc etc. The only place we can strike back is at the ballot box, which is presumably why the morons at Tribune confuse a Tory government with a Tory victory in the culture wars.

Corrie Mooney
Corrie Mooney
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

These culture wars are not the same as those culture wars.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Corrie Mooney

A lot of left-wing voices claim that institutions like BBC are right-wing. This is because they associate power with the right-wing wheras they are plucky little progressives. The fact that they have made their way through every institution (including politics ) and altered them still won’t shift their feeling like David against Goliath.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago

Another excellent piece by Roberts, we need more of this sort of stuff.
Yes the Tories are a bunch of grovelling woke-apologists for the most part. Especially Johnson, but even the more sensible Patel is unwilling to ditch the woke vocabulary. Institutional, systemic wokery embedded in the civil service, media, education system has established the strict rules of “acceptable” political / cultural language and discourse, and no matter whichever party is governing it’s bound by the rules unless they seriously set about dismantling systemic wokery – which is a task they are unwilling / unable to tackle. And quite an uphill battle too, as institutional wokery is global, international and supranational – the EU, the UN, WHO, the Vatican, the global tech companies, corporations, you name it.
The left declared hegemony on basic universal concepts such as ‘justice’, ‘values’, ‘morals’ etc. etc. and perv∑rted them to such extent that the mere word “justice” induces gag reflex in any sane person, because it is associated with shameless, revolting injustice these days. The woke’s idea of “injustice” is Mbobo being deported to his place of origin after he mugged, robbed and assaulted his way out of the welfare system as an illegally entered “asylum seeker”. Whereas a normal person’s idea of ‘injustice’ is Mbobo availing of the welfare system which has not been set up for him but for the benefit of those who are natural, organic parts of the society which sustains the welfare system by societal consensus (taxes). And so forth.
Wokery has no value, it is not just, and it is immoral and unethical. Wokery is the very travesty of those concepts it purports to represent. And wokery is systemic and institutional. It’s one thing to mock and laugh at the screeching bluehaired students and their inane twitter slogans, but they are just the dumb end-product of the manufacturing line. It is the designers and stakeholders of systemic institutional wokery we need to tackle for any meaningful change to happen.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
1 year ago

Well said indeed. And the Vatican is among the worst offenders.

Chris Jayne
Chris Jayne
1 year ago

Tribune following the Iron Law of Woke Projection

barbara neil
barbara neil
1 year ago

Bravo!

David Simpson
David Simpson
1 year ago

Still, if the “enemy” is as stupid as the Tribune, maybe there’s some hope even for this Tory government

James
James
1 year ago

I love these funny and concise pieces. It’s even more of an art now that culture is creating so much chaff, and more vital than ever. Thanks again, Gareth!

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
1 year ago
Reply to  James

Yes – bad on me. For shame. I should have said – good, amusing article. Thanks.

Alex Hunter
Alex Hunter
1 year ago

Thanks Gareth for this amusing and provocative piece. I think the point made in Tribune, which is essentially the old ‘extra-parliamentary’ activism trope is a chilling one.
That said, I realised the other week that I have reached the age (48) where I look around me and wonder what the hell’s going on! I am comforted that, one day, the likes of Owen Jones will probably be considered beyond the pale for their attitudes by the woke of the future.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
1 year ago

Thanks for that quote from Tribune. I pretty much don’t have the faintest idea what is going on, and it looks as if reading Tribune will leave me no further forward.
My days are bumblethwat and spartyglee, and I am hoppy hoppy hoppy.
Also, they now want me to pay them for the privilege of writing this crap. I was going to sign up, but I do so hate being manipulated. I can live without talking b+ll+cks on the internet you know.

Paul Hunt
Paul Hunt
1 year ago

My favourite thing I’ve read on unherd for ages, I’m a bit of a modern-liberal rather than a libertarian warrior and come here for the few pieces written with reseach, academic knowledge and a thought about whats important rather than narrative. Perhaps the war between people trying to be vehemently “Woke” or militantly “Anti-Woke” (all seemingly done for the benefit of their twitter followers) could be led by people who have actually read books on social politics and media theory. People are acting like organised groups who feel injustice are a new thing because there’s a scary bunch of lefties who spot the offence in nearly everything.
The culture wars are happening, the concept of the microagression is huge and instead of dividing bigots and moralists we have well meaning people bombarded with the problems that day-to-day life and our identity causes for thousands of other people by reason of their race gender or inbuilt personality. However, I love the point made here that in the face of how society actually runs- fuelled by inhuman and anti-social corporate entities, my question is… in twenty years will the whole palaver have mattered?

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
1 year ago

Not to mention their failure to promote VJ day. Where were they for that?

Oh, and the 4th plinth was built for the West Africa Squadron Memorial. They’ve had literally hundreds of years to open their wallets and pay for that. Where is it?

Whenever I read about a late 19th century Indian famine, tories would say “oh, it was of its time”, failing to appreciate that some tories at the time were appa lled and tried to stop such famines, even when liberals didn’t care.
I’ve tried to write articles for the Spectator about how well-prepared our Navy has been for past conflicts (in the teeth of wrongly-declinist tory statements about how they weren’t prepared) and those articles have been rejected.
Too many Tories want to say some token ill-thought pro-Britain things, and then get back to the annual Party-association lunch. Many of them do not truly care about doing something for Britain. Frankly, I’d rather they let people build statues commemorating past heroes and put some of their own money towards films and games that expound on our successes. As it is, they’re just moaning about woke and doing nothing. What has Douglas Murray done to increase church attendance?
Why should they oppose woke when they won’t stand up for our past? I’d rather see someone apologise for our worst mistakes, than endure tory declinist fetishisms.

I’d just as happily see a West Africa Squadron Memorial though. Where do I donate to?

(oh, and where are the tory charities set up for the victims of Rotherham, or were they a stick to beat the left with and nothing more?)

Last edited 1 year ago by Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

Wasn’t the left insisting there is no culture war? The right is typically playing catch-up, that is true. Its best weapon is the left itself, which regularly finds or invents new fronts on the cultural battlefield. There is no limiting principle where this is concerned. It’s why the grievance groups are genetically incapable of taking “yes” for an answer.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Lekas
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
1 year ago

I read that linked article. Just about managed it.
Does, I wonder, the left wing intellectual understand those for whom he presumes to speak?
I would suggest he does not, and that is why he no longer speaks for them, and why he has lost their ear.
The Tories have not masterminded some great artifice, they have just walked into a vacuum and collected abandoned voters by the million.
May should have done it, but she was too hopeless, and possibly even too inherently decent, to recognise and seize the opportunity. The same cannot be said of Mr. Johnson, to whom fell the spoils of an easy kill.

What is point of a Tribune article, even one that makes some good points, when the Labour Party – apparently at almost every level – just doesn’t get it?

Most Labour voters do not hate their country. Most Labour voters do not want statues pulled down. Most Labour voters do not want unfettered immigration. Most Labour voters, `I suggest, are as appalled as most Tory voters at the sight of the Leader of the Opposition taking the knee, and feel far more affinity for Raab when he says the only person he bends the knee to is the Queen.

If you are going to write for Tribune, start thinking about how to get a few more votes next time, or exit the political stage altogether.

A Labour Party that is intellectually and morally pure but only so in the eyes of a few idealists is NEVER going to get power. You hear? NEVER.

That means that the Conservative party – an increasingly corrupt Conservative party – will hang on to power indefinitely.

Not a single Labour MP will ever again know what it is like to be in government.

The Labour Party will do no good for anyone in this country ever again, and it will only have itself to blame.

Ps. Mr Starmer – taking the knee was, and remains, a resigning matter.
You will lead labour to another defeat if you stay.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kremlington Swan
matthewspring
matthewspring
1 year ago

I take some degree of comfort in knowing that neither Starmer nor anyone else in a position of significance in the Labour Party will ever read this. For it is, every word of it (excepting the alleged ‘corruption’ at the heart of the Conservative Party), absolutely true.

Last edited 1 year ago by matthewspring
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
1 year ago
Reply to  matthewspring

See the ‘politics of confusion’ for justification of my statement that there is corruption at the heart of the Conservative party.
I do not mean the party itself is corrupt, only that at the dead centre of it, in Number Ten, there is corruption.

It is not the petty corruption of blagging some free wallpaper or a few posh dinners at the Ritz, but corruption that is deep as the deepest ocean ravine.
All the world’s a stage, you see. That was the insight picked up and given new significance by Putin’s deputy ring master. What matters is to be accepted as the director. You can make the players do anything you like if you are accepted as director. You can even put them through agony if you are accepted as director. In fact, it helps if you do put them through agony. The more you make them rely on your judgement the more surrendered they are to it, until it becomes unthinkable that they should be deciding what to do themselves.
I could not adequately conceptualise it despite all this past year becoming increasingly alarmed as the underlying pattern of manipulation took shape in front of my eyes. Then I heard that Johnson had told Cummings he was ok with confusion because it made people look to him for leadership.

I had begun to suspect that the apparently arbitrary and contradictory utterances coming from Number Ten were not some accidental quirk of the PM’s maverick character, but quite deliberate.

If you will bear with me for a few more conspiratorial moments, think to how a dog or a pony is ‘broken’.
Both are tamed by leading them in quite arbitrary and unpredictable directions, until the point is reached when they ‘break’ and begin to lean on the person doing the leading. They have become conditioned to accept the person holding the lead as master, and then it does not matter which direction they are led as long as they are on the end of that lead, and safe.
The sheer, incalculable horror of what is happening is barely registered. The only way to fight this, however, is for the understanding to be refined and effectively communicated.

At least think about it, please.
edit: I should have said that the Conservative Party is increasingly corrupted, rather than increasingly corrupt. It is an important distinction, which I failed to make.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kremlington Swan
David Jones
David Jones
1 year ago

The Conservatives are clueless, and culturally less powerful than the Left

But that mistakes the purpose of “culture wars”. The point is not to win them but to win elections by weaponising them. The polarised demographics of current voting patterns show that you can mobilise voters on cultural issues (or rejecting cultural issues) when they are less engaged on economic ones (being somewhat insulated from e.g. the labour market). Whether that leads to good government or good policy is another matter.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago

Nice piece of provocation. Of course the Conservative Party are supreme schemers and strategists. ‘Baggage’-free, enabled to push through anything, because as events of the last 40 years and continuing show us, they believe in nothing. All their combined guile is very effective. (I speak as the offspring of a Tory activist. Yes, he regretted Thatcher in the end.)
There are no real problems around creating theoretical models to try and make sense of terrible histories around racial supremacy. If people vandalise, assault or defame others having misinterpreted CRT – wilfully in numerous cases – then they should be prosecuted. It’s only a theory.
Re ‘gender ideology’ – as a gay ‘cisgender’ person, I can only say so much. But, of course a transgender person has the right to identify how they please. If however they assault, abuse etc. someone who refuses to acknowledge that, then they should have to answer for it. It’s not just a theory
Agreed, it is often the ‘allies’ in both these issues who can cause so much more trouble.
Of course none of this should be ‘stamped out’. That really is what totalitarians do.

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

 terrible histories around racial supremacy

Why the “terrible” adjective? You hit the discourse already in bad faith with that, before it even commences.

Of course none of this should be ‘stamped out’. That really is what totalitarians do.

Sure; just as long as nothing else gets stomped out as well. And that includes things you are prone to call “terrible racism”. If we, as a society, choose to tolerate wokery, then we must tolerate racism etc. too equally, no cherrypicking.

Nice piece of provocation. 

Only if you feel provoked by it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Johannes Kreisler
James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago

Professional ‘trolling’ nonsense. (Why not become a member?) I guess I should include full dictionary definitions. I shouldn’t have to reply but I will.
In reverse order. ‘Provocation’ as a positive thing. Yes, I feel ‘provoked’ enough to respond in a thoughtful way.
‘Stamped out’. With Gareth Robert’s sentence in mind –
There’s nothing wrong with being woke” is an unusual thing for a Prime Minister committed to passing enabling acts to infiltrate and stamp it out to say’. Roberts playing around – my po-faced after-thought response. Repeat, nothing should be ‘stamped out’ – in this context meaning academic departments, curricula or rights to self-identify one’s gender.
If racism is not thought to be ‘terrible’ – I actually called the histories ‘terrible’ – then… I am not quite sure what to say… except that is ‘bad faith’ provocation in itself. Racism per se, cannot be ‘stamped out’. I am not worried if I offend racists.

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

If racism is not thought to be ‘terrible’ – I actually called the histories ‘terrible’ – then… I am not quite sure what to say… 

Define ‘racism’. Define it in clear unambiguous terms, then we can discuss whether it merits to be thought to be terrible or not, and to what extent. BUT we need to define what racism is, as opposed to what gets called ‘racism’ regularly and incorrectly.
As for the “terrible histories around racial supremacy” – race theories are relatively recent concepts (19th century at best), so there’s very little in the way of ‘history’ attached to racial matters. The transatlantic sIave trade for example was a mercantile endeavour with no racial motive, as race theories were not conceived at the time – in fact as soon as they emerged, they led to the dismantling of sIavery. Calling it a ‘racist’ endeavour is as much anachronistic and historically illiterate as calling the 12th century Albigens movements ‘Calvinist’ for example. Or PETA accusing neanderthal humans with animal cruelty, etc. So the window for “histories around racial supremacy” is extremely narrow and limited.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago

Thank you for your reply. ‘Racism’ – my nutshell definition is: active negative discrimination, where the racist – individual, organisation – is in a superior postion to the sufferer. Racially motivated assault, verbal, physical, aka ‘hate crime’, by anyone, is obvious ‘racism’ too.
Maybe many people really mean ‘prejudice’ when they question why ‘racism’ is so wrong? Prejudice from wariness, fear, suspicion is questionably more ‘neutral’ and maybe more ‘natural’, but given we’re all of the same race, i.e. humans, it does seem hard to sustain.
Re histories of racial supremacy. For my undergraduate dissertation I looked at the case of James Meredith and the University of Mississippi, 1962 – James Meredith – Wikipedia . For my reading I consulted many items dealing with Segregation in the US. – lynchings etc. All those terrible happenings come directly from 17th to 19th c. slave trade.

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

Thank you for your reply, likewise.
My nutshell definition contains the crucial point of unjustified / unjustifiable. Unjustified / unjustifiable prejudice, unjustified discrimination, unjustified treatment, based solely on characteristics which do not warrant the prejudice / discrimination / treatment. For example, antisemitism is a fully unjustified / unjustifiable prejudice, as Jews, as a group, tend to be most valuable, integral parts of any society. The driving motive behind antisemitism is typically envy.
Take for a different example another group whose collective characteristics / behavioural patterns are consistently inconducive to society’s wellbeing – be it high tendency of criminality, low educational attainment, high tendency of welfare dependency, etc. etc. – the prejudice is rational and warranted until disproved. Say, disproportionate stop-and-search of that group is prejudiced, and also warranted, rational and logical. Prejudice can be irrational (wrong), and rational (correct).
Racially motivated assault, verbal or physical, is wrong, no matter what / who.
Pre-emptive / defensive measures or policies with racialised outcomes (like stop-and-search, school exclusions, targeted immigration controls etc. etc.) are statistical evidence-based, rational, justified.

Last edited 1 year ago by Johannes Kreisler
Karen Livingstone
Karen Livingstone
1 year ago

“The transatlantic sIave trade for example was a mercantile endeavour with no racial motive, as race theories were not conceived at the time – in fact as soon as they emerged, they led to the dismantling of sIavery. ” Really? Whilst theories were not in place at the time views of black Africans as subhuman have been in place since the Enlightenment.

Marcus Millgate
Marcus Millgate
1 year ago

Anyone familiar with the history of slavery around the world knows that its origins go back thousands of years and that slaves and slave owners were very often of the same race. Those who are ignorant of all this, or who think of slavery in the United States as if it were the only slavery, go ballistic when anyone tells them that this institution was not based on race.
Blacks were not enslaved because they were black, but because they were available at the time. Whites enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black slave was brought to the Western Hemisphere.
Only late in history were human beings even capable of crossing an ocean to get millions of other human beings of a different race. In the thousands of years before that, not only did Europeans enslave other Europeans, Asians enslaved other Asians, Africans enslaved other Africans, and the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere enslaved other native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
D’Souza was right. Slavery was not about race. The fact that his critics are ignorant of history is their problem.
What was peculiar about the American situation was not just that slaves and slave owners were of different races, but that slavery contradicted the whole philosophy of freedom on which the society was founded. If all men were created equal, as the Declaration of Independence said, then blacks had to be depicted as less than men.
While the antebellum South produced a huge volume of apologetic literature trying to justify slavery on racist grounds, no such justification was considered necessary in vast reaches of the world and over vast expanses of time. In most parts of the world, people saw nothing wrong with slavery.
Strange as that seems to us today, a hundred years ago only Western civilization saw anything wrong with slavery. And two hundred years ago, only a minority in the West thought it was wrong.
Africans, Arabs, Asians and others not only maintained slavery long after it was abolished throughout the Western Hemisphere, they resisted all attempts of the West to stamp out slavery in their lands during the age of imperialism. Only the fact that the West had greater firepower and more economic and political clout enabled them to impose the abolition of slavery, as they imposed other Western ideas, on the non-Western world.
Those who talk about slavery as if it were just the enslavement of blacks by whites ignore not only how widespread this institution was and how far back in history it went, they also ignore how recently slavery continued to exist outside of Western civilization.
Thomas Sowell

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

And regarding your edit:

Repeat, nothing should be ‘stamped out’ – in this context meaning academic departments, curricula or rights to self-identify one’s gender.

You conflate disparate things. Everybody has the right to self-identify as they please already. I’m at full liberty to identify as Jeanne d’Arc, or a pufferfish or anything i fancy. But nobody shall have the right to impose their personal, private self-identifications upon others, let alone demand legislature to enforce their imposition.
As for academic departments and curricula: nothing without academic merit shall be given academic status and place in curricula. Gender / critical race / etc. theories are NOT academic matters but dogmas, fetishes, taboo systems, political affiliations, articles of faith, irrational superstitions, make-believe nonsense. Their only place in academic context is as subject matter & phenomena to be observed, analysed and dissected by sociologists, ethnographists (“cultural anthropologists”), historians.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago

Re your first para. No one has the ‘right’ to offend anyone else and not expect legal reprisal. Everyone has the ‘right’ to agitate for changes in legislation. Most people who choose to gender- reassign would be working in organisations where this would not be an issue. Of course there are cases where this is questioned – hence the current angst.
Re your second para. Forgive me but I’d say that was your ‘dogma’.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

Re your second para. Forgive me but I’d say that was your ‘dogma’.

So, in your opinion, the established facts of biology, anatomy, medicine, etc. are all ‘dogma’? Do you happen to be creationist flatearther too?

No one has the ‘right’ to offend anyone else and not expect legal reprisal. 

The what??
Everyone has the right to offend anyone without legal reprisal. No one has the right to commit criminal offense against anyone and not expect legal reprisal, that’s what the justice system is for. There’s a world of difference between crime and non-crime. The latter is lawful, even if/when it someone finds it offensive.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago

‘Free speech’ is not free from consequences. Defamation and hate crime laws are there to provide remedy for incitement and slander. So many alt right libertarians are aware of this. They know their law.
Re your second paragraph again. I only have to read: “As for academic departments and curricula: nothing without academic merit shall be given academic status and place in curricula.” And you are who?

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

‘Free speech’ is not free from consequences. It comes under defamation and hate crime. 

1. Defamation is a prosecutable criminal offence.
2. There’s no such thing as “hate crime” or “hate speech”. There’s crime, which is, well, crime. There’s incitement, which is a prosecutable criminal offence. The fact that these two *hate* items were accepted into legislature makes a mockery of the law, reminiscent of the worst excesses of totalitarian regimes.
You’re mixing up widely disparate things again.

And you are who?

A member of the public whom the institutions (educational etc.) are supposed to serve and are funded by, per societal consensus. If i had school-aged children, i would be livid by the prospect of their education being trampled into the manure by gender- / race- / etc. cultist anti-intellectual woke mob currently infesting a significant part of academia.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago

OK, my last response. (I am not trying to ‘win’ anything. I am finding it frankly tedious. Mistake to engage. But it does help in a weird way.) There is such a ‘thing’ as ‘hate crime’. End of. Hate crime | The Crown Prosecution Service (cps.gov.uk) It’s how people communicate, so they know what they’re talking about.
The fact that these two *hate* items were accepted into legislature makes a mockery of the law, reminiscent of the worst excesses of totalitarian regimes”. Almost comical…
We can of course send our children wherever we want to. (But probably better to home-tutor, eh? Safer that way…)

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

But does help in a weird way.

Certainly beats preaching to the choir, if you ask me.

You can of course send your children wherever you want to. But probably better to home-tutor, eh? Safer that way…

They grew out of school already. STEM subjects are not exactly easy to home tutor anyway. However, as i recall my own schoolyears (primary / secondary) in the easternbloc, i’d have been in deep shyte had i been left to the mercy of state-communist-approved curricula, without the extensive home library and discerning family background i had. So i’m not knocking home-tutoring, it certainly helps to supplement the education system’s shortcomings.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

I speak as the offspring of a Tory activist. Yes, he regretted Thatcher in the end

I call bu115hit. No Tory except Heath ever regretted Thatcher.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Boom boom. Oh yes they did. But similar to today they held their noses.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I think there is evidence to suggest that many of the old school/grouse moor/wet Tories regretted Thatcher and never accepted her. It is analogous to the way in which the more wet and useless of the Republicans hated Trump.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

I think your point about the Tories (that is, the powerful Tories) believing in nothing is a key one. They constantly tread the line between not doing things that would outrage most reasonably compassionate people and doing things (sometimes unnecessarily cruel things) to appease their less compassionate supporters.
So, we have proposals for an open door immigration policy for the wealthy/economically useful combined with a policy to make claiming asylum in the UK practically impossible. (You cant claim asylum if you enter the country illegally and you can’t enter the country legally if you’re an asylum seeker). The Tories aren’t against mass immigration but they want to be seen to be against mass immigration. Poor white people in Northern England aren’t helped in any way by either policy.
And it is in this context that they resolve to stop local Councils deciding on street names, the National Trust putting into context the origins of the wealth of people who built old houses and Student Unions and Universities deciding who they do or don’t want to come and speak to them. They don’t really care about these things but they want to be seen to care and the way to do that is to pretend they’re fighting a culture war.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Agreed. Yes, it’s the disingenuousness which makes many of them so shameful.
Re current overseas aid budget ‘revolt’. If backbenchers were able to defy the government in the up-coming vote, it would restore a smidgen of faith in there being some core of decency within the Party.
Theresa May joins Conservative rebels attempting to overturn cuts to foreign aid spending (inews.co.uk)

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

The Overseas Aid budget needs to be abolished, period.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

things that would outrage most reasonably compassionate people and doing things (sometimes unnecessarily cruel things) to appease their less compassionate supporters.

Curious what’s your definition of and criterion for “compassionate”. Does a “compassionate” person have to be discerned with certain ethnic/racial/social groups’ wellbeing, to the exclusion of the rest?
Have you ever contemplated the possibility that perfectly compassionate people are compassionate about their fellow countrymen’s wellbeing and welfare, and that’s precisely why they are against the immigration of masses who bring harm to any place they migrate to en masse?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago

Removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance in England, There’s an example of a short sighted, mean minded, compassionless policy.
Another would be the imposition of Benefits Sanctions on families for individuals failing to comply with arbitrary conditions.
Why don’t you spell it out? You don’t want lots of poor brown Muslims in the country you live in. You think Jews and Europeans are superior to Africans and Asians are useful if they are the hard working assimilating type who don’t get too uppity, make lots of money and don’t complain about racism.
My fellow countrymen are brown Muslims and benefit claimants and junkies and refugees and happily married white van driving Englishmen and transsexuals and down on their luck aristocrats. Even Tory MPs. Feeling compassion for one bunch doesn’t have to be at the expense of feeling it for another.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You don’t want lots of poor brown Muslims in the country you live in. 

Why on earth would or should lots of poor (or not poor), brown, pale or black muslims live in non-muslim Europe? There’s the muslim world for them to live in. Do you see droves of nonmuslims (Cristians, Jews, Hindus, atheists) scampering to go to live in muslim countries? No.

You think Jews and Europeans are superior to Africans

Objectively and collectively*? Yes they are. If they weren’t, would there be such immense difference between Africa and the rest of the continents in civilisational terms?
*Emphasis on collectively, as i’m well aware that there are many eminently bright and brilliant blacks. I know quite a few personally, and know of many many more. However, those are the outliers rather than the statistical average if you look at numbers and proportions.

Asians are useful if they are the hard working assimilating type who don’t get too uppity, make lots of money and don’t complain about racism.

Where on earth did i say such a thing? I did not. You made all that up. Presuming you meant East Asians by “Asians”, i possess none of those sentiments about East Asians you wrote. Much on the contrary.

Feeling compassion for one bunch doesn’t have to be at the expense of feeling it for another.

Likewise, having compassion (empathy etc.) for X, Y and Z does not mean that one has to have compassion for all & sundry, indiscriminately. In fact, indiscriminate compassion is a pathology.

Last edited 1 year ago by Johannes Kreisler
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago

You think compassion should not be indiscriminate – it should be discriminate. And you think, collectively and objectively, some religions/races are superior to others. You’re racist – fair enough. Saves time if you just start with that.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Saves time if you just start with that.

Saves time for what/whom/where?

You’re racist 

And apparently you’re an antiracist, by the same token. Which is a good deal more problematic, if you look at antiracism’s track record of late. Vandalism, violence, assault, arson, looting, advancement of of fascistic policies. If someone accused me of being an antiracist or a woke, i would be deeply offended.
Of course compassion shouldn’t be indiscriminate, or else there would be no opposition to the h¡tlers, stal¡ns, mass murderers, sadists etc. of the world. In fact there are very few things that should be indiscriminately offered to everyone: equality in front of the law, and courtesy – those are two obvious ones. And being judged by one’s merit and character, of course.

Last edited 1 year ago by Johannes Kreisler
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago

It saves time for people who don’t believe that the accident of where an individual happens to have been born determines their value or their entitlement. You disagree.
If you start with ‘As a racist, I think…,’ then people get where you’re coming from straight away.

Marcus Millgate
Marcus Millgate
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Many non white & non christians think they’re superior races/religions. Do you accuse them of being racist?

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

And it is in this context that they resolve to stop local Councils deciding on street names

In all fairness some of those street names were downright awful: Equality Street, Diversity Road, Intersectional Square etc.
The last thing we need are street names preaching at us. We already have education and the media for that.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

It’s about rubbing our noses into the fact that the wokes have all the power to do as they please with impunity.
Straight outta the soviet zone circa 1975. Red Army Street, Liberation Square, all that.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago

Trafalgar Square? Wellington Place? Get a grip – everywhere does it. It’s normal and not a sign we’re at war.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The difference is that neither Wellington Place nor Trafalgar Square is named after things, persons or events the population despises with a fiery passion. Imposing repulsive disgusting names on public spaces is a gesture of totalitarian arrogance.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Yes. But it’s not really all that important. My point is they don’t give a fig what new streets in Coventry or Bradford are called but use the issue to pretend they’re at war.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

But it’s not really all that important.

If it’s not all that important, then why mess with it to start with?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The ‘compassion’ of which you speak is turning western countries into ****holes that are no different to those countries from which the economic migrants and assorted criminals and chancers have emanated. Sweden now has the highest murder rate in Europe – even the Swedish press is admitting this. Of course, they will blame middle class white men, but at least they are acknowledging the facts for once.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You conservative types are always running the country down. I think it’s a great multi cultural place with a lot to be proud of. Your lack of patriotism and endless negativity is wearing.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Yes there’s still a lot to be proud of in this country, however the wokes are trying hard to tear them down and replace them with trash.
The problem is not “multikulti” itself. Multikulti can be a very good thing when done well and selectively. The problem is the indiscriminate, unsolicited rubbish floating into Europe from the thirdworld.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

This is something which needs to be emphasised – the profound lack of patriotism of conservatives today. Saloon-bar reactionaries (in union jack socks and camel hair coats) are nothing new of course, but now they are causing actual damage.

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater