Now the army of overgrown babies who say everyone must think like them are invading our bedrooms, says DOUGLAS MURRAY after the attempt to ‘cancel’ Killing Eve star Jodie Comer
Do you believe in thought crime? In picking people off, one by one, till everybody agrees with just a single point of view? Each week, we see this world come a little closer.
Many of the victims are famous. But people who are not remotely well known are writing to me every week to say that they, too, now fear for their livelihoods.
Still more are keeping their heads down, fearing what will happen if they dare to speak out against the dogmas of the time and the new totalitarians who promote them.
Killing Eve actress Jodie Comer is pictured with new boyfriend James Burke. Mr Burke is alleged to be a registered Republican and a Donald Trump supporter. Cue an internet meltdown and a demand by activists that Comer be prevented from working again. It’s ludicrous
There’s been a steadily rising tide of conformity in recent years. Increasingly, we have been told what we are allowed to say, hear, see and know.
Swarming over the internet, the Left-wing mob is waging a campaign to silence dissenting voices and get free-thinking people removed from their jobs. And they have succeeded. Now the wokerati want to enter the bedroom and say who we may sleep with, too.
Take last week’s attempt to ‘cancel’ the Killing Eve actress Jodie Comer. Her crime? Nothing she has said or thought.
Instead, the online trolls had been enraged to discovered who she is dating. The supposed culprit is an American lacrosse player called James Burke.
Daly competes in the full-blooded series run by Nascar – the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – which is much-loved in the southern USA. Yet consider this: Daly was not alive at the time of the alleged offence. How had he mis-spoken before he’d even been born? The answer is he hadn’t. Daly lost his sponsorship because his racing driver father was alleged to have made a racial slur three decades earlier. The pair are pictured above
His crime? Mr Burke is alleged to be a registered Republican and a Donald Trump supporter. Cue an internet meltdown and a demand by activists that Comer be prevented from working again.
It’s ludicrous. How can anyone demand that we restrict ourselves to partners who are in 100 per cent ideological alignment with the views of a Left-wing sect?
The bullying of inoffensive Jodie Comer might be a new low, but I’ve seen it coming for some time.
Two years ago, a 26-year-old racing driver called Conor Daly lost his sponsors because of something said in the 1980s. Daly competes in the full-blooded series run by Nascar – the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – which is much-loved in the southern USA.
Yet consider this: Daly was not alive at the time of the alleged offence. How had he mis-spoken before he’d even been born?
The answer is he hadn’t. Daly lost his sponsorship because his racing driver father was alleged to have made a racial slur three decades earlier. And there was no reprieve.
This totalitarian instinct has crept up on us with amazing ease. It is the product of a vindictive Leftism which used only to reside on certain US university campuses.
Yet today, boosted hugely by the internet, this half-baked ideology, tribal and dogmatic, obsessed with the language of racial, sexual and gender politics, is running riot.
All decent attitudes, not least the British idea of fair play, have been driven out. It is perfectly normal to have a point of view and argue it. It is perfectly fine to dislike and even disdain some ideas. Who doesn’t?
But no one has the right to get people fired or made unemployable because of views that differ from their own, let alone because of their partner’s views.
That is neither democratic nor acceptable. It is fascism. Red fascism, but fascism all the same.
It is important we face up to this. Extremism can occur on all political sides. Every political and religious movement can become a focus for bitter people and radical malcontents. But in our age, the bullying totalitarians come from an ever-more assertive political Left.
Take last week’s letter to Harper’s magazine, signed by 153 artists, writers, and scholars. The letter called for an end to ‘cancel culture’ which sees online mobs trying to intimidate and ‘de-platform’ people simply because of their views.
As it happens, the letter was Left-leaning, including the compulsory attack on President Trump. The signatories, likewise, were almost all from the Left, suggesting little interest in ‘reaching across the aisle’. But the sentiments were hard to disagree with – or so you might have thought.
The luminaries named at the bottom of the letter were picked off one by one. Did they know they were signing their name alongside the appalling ‘transphobe’ J. K. Rowling? Did they know a solitary conservative, George W Bush’s former speechwriter, David Frum, had signed the letter? Soon enough, some signatories were apologising for signing in the first place.
At a certain stage of growing up, most of us come to understand that worldwide agreement with our own set of personally held views is not achievable, even if it were desirable. Which it isn’t.
Today, however, we are dealing with an army of overgrown babies who never did make that realisation. They never did learn that the world is diverse in its opinions.
At university, they were told something positively dangerous: that people who disagree with them are not merely wrong, not merely ignorant, they are ill-informed bigots. And that, in order to achieve justice, these people must be cleared out of the way.
At one stage the female comedian declared ‘free speech is now basically a way adult people can say racist stuff without any consequences’. There was no hint of irony. Wrong-headed certainty like this is ruining comedy like much else, as Ricky Gervais (above) said just a few days ago
The world these activists are creating is vengeful and vicious, and increasingly dull. Last week, a clip from a recent BBC comedy show, The Mash Report, was posted online. Even for those of us who long ago gave up bothering trying to find anything funny on the BBC, it was jaw-droppingly awful.
It included a segment of two unfunny comedians agreeing with each other in an unfunny manner. At one stage the female comedian declared ‘free speech is now basically a way adult people can say racist stuff without any consequences’. There was no hint of irony.
Wrong-headed certainty like this is ruining comedy like much else, as Ricky Gervais said just a few days ago. Who would dare to make a dangerous joke today? Much safer to make political sermons on the BBC under the guise of ‘humour’.
Some people – especially if they are white and male – think the best way to get through this madness is to shut their eyes and swear allegiance to the big lies and presumptions of the time. They have seen how the mob comes for anyone who says something controversial.
Today, charities, public sector bodies and whole corporations are increasingly filled with people who have been told what to say and what to believe. Some have been told by their bosses what books they should read – a sinister development.
Last month I received a leaked letter sent out by an NHS boss in Birmingham. She had told those working under her to read four books on ‘white privilege’ so they could ‘correct’ their attitudes.
This is wrong, and people should stand against it while we have the chance. The woke warriors might like it were we to live in a dictatorship run by them. But we don’t – not yet, at any rate.
We live in a democracy. One in which people have the right to voice their opinions and still have the right to date free-minded individuals who disagree with the mob.
The bullies want to stop the rest of us talking or thinking. It’s time the rest of us answered back.
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