Culture war 2020

Jaime just said in a comment:


“If the science is not faulty, then the people who deny the science must be insane, driven mad by ideology, racism, sexism, homophobism, fascism, or whatever other “ism” you can concoct.”

We’re seeing that tactic fall apart big time, not in the climate change debate, but in the response to Laurence Fox’s remarks on BBC question time and the attempt by the hysterical far left to shoe-horn him into an identity labelled ‘privileged white male’ to justify the accusation of his alleged racism and to effectively silence his right to speak in his own defence. They’ve done it so many times with success but they seem to have come unstuck this time. It is the Left of course who seek to control the climate change narrative and they employ exactly the same techniques to silence dissent from ‘deniers’ of man-made climate change.

The cover up of the Rotherham rape gangs is now exposed for all to see and it’s not a pretty sight – the police and the council effectively shut down investigations of the sexual abuse of young white and Sikh mainly working class girls by mainly Pakistani Muslims because they wanted to avoid accusations of racism supposedly. Left ideology is hence exposed as the main facilitator of mass rape of thousands of girls. If Leftists can do that for 30 years, then they certainly cannot be trusted to administer the supposed ‘cure’ for climate. Now their worst nightmare, Tommy Robinson, has bounced back in Norway, having been given the prestigious 2019 Sappho Award by the Free Press Society for his ground-breaking journalism. The late great Roger Scruton was a former winner. A momentous event not covered by the mainstream media of course and Facebook got so upset that they banned the Free Press Society immediately after they made the announcement! You get the sense that events are running away from the Left and they are starting to lose their iron grip on the false reality they have so successfully manufactured and maintained for so long. The climate change narrative may be just another one of the pillars of Wokeness which crumbles as the Left’s empire starts to fail, not necessarily because sceptics questioned the science, but because the public lost faith in the progressive Green, inclusive, diverse and ‘socially just’ Left altogether. Death by association.

In the Australian bushfires, the public are seeing just how detached from reality and hard evidence the Green Left really are, how desperate they are to control the narrative at any expense, how immoral and irresponsible they have become in the pursuit of their ideologically driven agenda. They’re losing it and the public are witnessing them losing it in real time. Thus far, public goodwill and widespread ignorance of just how dodgy climate science really is has sustained their rotten enterprise. That goodwill is evaporating faster than Victoria Falls.

DaveJR replied:

If only it was “just” Rotherham… From what I’ve heard there were confirmed cases of about 19000 minors a year, estimated to be much higher. The scale is staggering and all levels of government (including a missive from Gordon Brown), police and social services turned a blind eye for fear of stoking racial tension. Getting stabbed is part and parcel of living in a big city. Having child rape gangs across the country is a great bit of cultural enrichment. All that’s required now are the “feminists” to chime in placing blanket blame on all men.

Of course, the real criminals are the ones who demand justice.

As well as Laurence Fox and the awful and massive Pakistani rape gang issue I wanted to talk about this:

Five short years. Or should that be eight?

I agree, strongly, with Jaime that there is some important pushback at the moment against what I’ll call, for want of a better description, ‘woke 2020’. But you can call it what you like. I also agree that climate realism is a longstanding part of this, though there are also differences. Indeed, it’s hard to know which way this is all going to go.

This is for discussion of all the above and anything else that you see as part of the culture war, in the UK and perhaps elsewhere, in 2020.


  1. Ben, ever the realist, sees the Gervais and Fox events as great entertainment along the way (of demolishing Wokeness), but he doesn’t see them as leading the way.

    They’ve certainly energised the debate and provided much fun online as Wokelings squirm in the spotlight of the adverse publicity generated, whilst they scramble (unsuccessfully) to regain control of the narrative. But the heavy lifting is down to us, the commoners. This post is part of that mass group effort to reassert common sense, realism, rationality and genuine humanity back into public life, literally to take back society and its serving institutions from the ideological, progressive, illiberal elite who have infiltrated and used those institutions not to serve society but to dominate and control it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have much to add, save to comment that it’s my view that the illiberal ‘liberal’ establishment, comprising much of politics, business, media and academia, which shares a groupthink that might as well belong to an alternative universe so far as much of the world’s populace is concerned, are responsible for both Brexit and Trump (one a good thing and one definitely not, IMO).

    Ignoring the issues that concern most people, lecturing, hectoring and pushing an agenda down people’s throats (an agenda that’s irrelevant to most people), calling them racists, bigots and deplorables (for not supporting the agenda), was always going to backfire at some point.

    The problem for them is that they haven’t learned or understood the lesson. Instead of backing off, the likes of the Guardian and the BBC are doubling down. In the US, the Democrats’ determination to impeach Trump is playing right into his hands ahead of the next POTUS election at the back end of this year, and they just can’t see it.

    The sad thing is that regarding some of these issues, they do have a point, and I’m far from disagreeing with them about everything (though I do disagree with them about quite a lot). I’d like a functioning Labour Party in the UK, but until they ditch much of their irrelevant agenda, and re-connect with the concerns of their traditional voters, I fear Labour will remain in the wilderness for a long time to come.

    I shall watch with interest, as 2020 unfolds, to see if the penny drops at any stage, or whether, as I suspect is likely, the counter-productive doubling-down continues.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Like many of us, I’m guessing, I hadn’t heard of Laurence Fox until he appeared on BBC Question Time on Thursday evening. I only caught up with the applause by watching on iPlayer the next day (here). And, on the very first question, on the Flybe bailout and its implications for the climate crisis, he hit gold:

    I think Ben is being a bit too negative. Here is a fresh, intelligent, much-needed voice. And ‘climate’ (meaning moronic energy policy ideas combined with hypocrisy) was the very first ball knocked out of the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Attractive as is your invitation to discuss almost any hot subject, the one that caught my eye was Rupert Darwall commenting the Shaun Spiers’ quote from Boris on boring old energy transitioning:

    “There’s no point in the UK reducing the amount of coal we burn if we then trundle over to Africa and line our pockets by encouraging African states to use more of it.”

    They don’t say what the UK will encourage Africans to use to provide the electricity which would obviate the need for burning dung indoors for cooking. It’s irrelevant anyway, because the Chinese will finance Africa’s energy needs and reap the benefit. Meanwhile, any comment from us sceptics on African energy policy will no doubt fall under the heading of racist microagression.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now Charles Moore joins in, with the possibly over-optimistic view that we have passed peak wokeness / identity politics:

    The result of our general election last month confirms that the culture war rages, and that the unwoke side is winning. If one had to pick a woke slogan which explains this trend it would be “Believe the victim”.

    Richard, I guess you don’t watch much TV or films! Laurence Fox is related to Emilia, Edward and James (heard of them?) He appeared most recently as Lord Palmerston in the BBC’s Victoria.

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  6. If the UK starts getting winter power cuts due to over-reliance on wind, any excuses containing the word ‘climate’ are not going to wash with voters.

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  7. Do you really think this is a culture WAR? I see instead lots of skirmishes. What worries me are indications of advancing big battalions – threats of legislative control determining our freedoms to control carbon emissions by curtailing our rights to drive in our city centres, heat our homes as we like and otherwise engage in activities that some would curtail for the good of the planet. The really worrying part is the support from the common citizen that these proposed measures are seemingly getting and the lack of critical analysis from the media that act in ways that resemble cheerleaders.

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  8. Paul Matthews: How dare you, sir!

    There have been vast swathes of my life without a TV. Around 1990 my oldest daughter almost knocked a little boy senseless in a small park in Islington, as he ran across the path of her swing. His father, a chap called Hugh Laurie, came over to thank me for my quick reaction. “What do you do?” I asked innocently as we pushed our offspring together, keeping the pendulum effect going, despite friction, according to the laws of physics. “What, adverts and stuff?” was my next query. “Ah, Blackadder. I used to play first slip at prep school to Richard Curtis as wicketkeeper.” Hugh was very amused by the last detail but also seemed pleased to be so comprehensively unrecognised. The next weekend was the only other time I ever saw him. At the swings again. “I checked you out – you are a real actor.” “I didn’t check you out – I don’t know if you’re a real software consultant.” “Don’t worry, there’s no such thing.”

    Fast forward to last year and I was having a meal in the South West with the same daughter. We got chatting about our favourite TV programmes and I confessed that my affections had moved decisively from Have I Got News For You to Would I Lie To You. “In the age of fake news, it’s the only show that makes sense.” She seemed to really like that rationale.

    And, of course, through WILTY I got to know Emilia Fox, said to be a relation of Basil Brush by the host Rob Brydon. Beautiful and witty – but whatever lie or truth she got given didn’t make the cut. So of course I know the Fox acting dynasty. But Lawrence and his no doubt stalwart efforts in Lewis on ITV had escaped me.

    Normal service may well be resumed shortly.

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  9. I’d never heard of Laurence Fox before a few days ago, having not watched TV now for nearly 10 years. But I’ve seen episodes of Lewis and recognised him instantly, first from his lovely, gravelly voice, and then secondly from his appearance.

    The Guardian is having a total freak out about this. It’s a joy to behold.

    “How the word ‘woke’ was weaponised by the right
    The term is meant to denote an attentiveness to important issues. But the likes of Laurence Fox and Toby Young have begun using it in a very different way.”


    “Like “politically correct” before it, the word “woke” has come to connote the opposite of what it means. Technically, going by the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition, woke means “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)”

    This is amusing because woke always did imply the exact opposite of what the word technically meant, i.e. you had to be a really dozy, unaware, ideologically blinded left wing bigot lacking in basic common sense and rationality to actually be woke!

    Equally amusing:

    Criticising “woke culture” has become a way of claiming victim status for yourself rather than acknowledging that more deserving others hold that status.

    They’re complaining that the detractors of wokeness (which is, in essence, the claiming of victim status for oneself or on behalf of others ‘less fortunate’) are peeing on their parade by claiming victim status themselves! Hilarious.

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  10. Geoff:

    Attractive as is your invitation to discuss almost any hot subject…

    Come on, you do that anyway.

    …the one that caught my eye was Rupert Darwall…

    They don’t say what the UK will encourage Africans to use to provide the electricity which would obviate the need for burning dung indoors for cooking. It’s irrelevant anyway, because the Chinese will finance Africa’s energy needs and reap the benefit. Meanwhile, any comment from us sceptics on African energy policy will no doubt fall under the heading of racist microagression.

    Yep, thanks for this. Trump’s Chinese hoax tweet, though strictly untrue, by most standards, was a very concise way to make an incredibly important point. Cui bono and all that – and after all it’s de rigeur to mention Bono when the welfare of 1.1 billion Africans is at stake. Or one can listen to our own Ben Pile:

    The other thing to notice, not for the first time, is that the anti-woke party is sticking up for the rights and welfare of 1.1 billion Africans. Wokeism seems determinedly against human welfare, whether in proper development or in bringing needless division between groups trying to live in harmony in our modern, pluralist societies. There’s much more that could be said. Please, anyone, do say it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Paul:

    Now Charles Moore joins in, with the possibly over-optimistic view that we have passed peak wokeness / identity politics


    Do you really think this is a culture WAR? I see instead lots of skirmishes … The really worrying part is the support from the common citizen that these proposed measures are seemingly getting

    I have sympathy with both ‘possibly over-optimistic’ and ‘really worrying part’.

    But yes, I do see this as a culture war against ‘woke 2020’. Though I also said ‘you can call it what you like’. The trans extremism comes largely out of Queer Theory, the crazy overstatements on racism from Critical Race Theory, both bastard children of Michel Foucault and post-modernism from what I’m told. And it’s the extent of the foundations in such cases that makes me feel War isn’t a bad word. How do Alan’s ‘big battalions’ and ‘threats of legislative control’ to purportedly solve the purported climate crisis relate to those other parts of the War? That’s tricky. But the thing about Lawrence Fox on Thursday is that he hit sixes on both the climate/energy front and the racism one. I know he was already an accomplished actor but a debut on Question Time is a very different thing that has caused many others to come unstuck. I just hope he can keep it up. From what Jaime reports, The Guardian is really helping.


  12. “the attempt by the hysterical far left to shoe-horn him into an identity labelled ‘privileged white male’ . . . It is the Left of course who seek to control the climate change narrative . . .”.

    As you don’t say what you mean by the “far left”, the hysterical ditto or even by “the Left”, I’m not sure your categories are going to prove useful or that, absent argument, it is reasonable to segue from wokeness to Australian bush fires even if you call in at Rotherham on the way. (The idea that “the police and [Rotherham] council” can usefully be described as “hysterical far” or even plain Left is at least novel.)

    It is IIRC thirteen years since the Rotherham scandal was first reported and five since Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Counci was suspended in light of the Casey report. (If ever there was a safe pair of hands, it was Dame Louise’s but that’s another story; I haven’t read her report.) OTOH, the Australian bush-fires atrocity – for such it is – is a unarguably a current Green-driven scandal even if it is 12,000 miles away.

    Similar points can be made of post-feminist “woke” – far from being hysterically left, it is, as Joanna Williams’ excellent “Women vs Feminism” argues, an unashamed fight for middle-class female hegemony flavoured with a dash of misandry. Genuinely oppressed women – such as those who clock in at 4am to clean the offices of those woke-driven, power-dressed CEOs and get a zero-hours, minimum-wage contract for their efforts – need not apply.

    Trust me, while few would accept all of Williams’ points, many on the left are as bitterly critical of “identity politics” as any. (As it happens, I wasn’t too impressed by the 1960s feminist wave either but I’m happy to acknowledge that it made many valid points. I also much respect Germain Greer’s standing up to this lot.)

    As I’ve argued here before, the ideological roots of the climate change stampede are generally to be found in far-right thought, ne’er a tinge of leftism. Authors of left and right alike have made the same point – it’s not that hard to research. But what matters is that that was then.

    What is now is not only that it has been adopted by almost all the Western mainstream parties and by Western-dominated international bodies but that it has created a bureaucracy at international, national and local levels that the Soviets would have envied. Pertinent here is that has also seduced sections of a (Western) middle-class left keen to move on from those troublesome proles. That’s what’s new and that’s what we need to understand. Much as I love good rants, they’re not enough.

    PS: Does anyone know of any book or paper on the topic that even attempts seriously to define what it means by “environmentalism”? That little cutie (Ah, those were the days) Flossy Fee taught me that, absent definitions, you’ll flounder. Examples abound.


  13. Ryelands,

    I was not aware that one had to rigidly define one’s terminology when speaking in rather general terms of ‘progressive’, illiberal, woke, social justice warriors who might variously be labelled as left or far left (the distinction is often blurred) and whose overtly hysterical over-reactions to what normal folks might consider quite reasonable discourse define them as – unsurprisingly – ‘hysterical’. But there you are. It’s certainly a stretch to consider that such people might identify themselves as being centre, right or even far right, so they must be left. It’s even more of a stretch to imagine that today’s climate worriers and activists whose base instincts appear to be almost universally globalist, socialist, anti-nationalist, and decidedly left wing politically might derive their ideological roots from an 80 year old far right Fascist nationalist socialist movement, which paraded a nascent form of modern environmentalism, and whose leader was a vegetarian dog lover.

    Of course, I also did not identify the Rotherham authorities as hysterical far left or even left, I suggested that left wing ideology (the reluctance to appear ‘racist’) was the principal reason why the Rotherham girls were fed to the wolves. This necessarily implies that the people in charge, those making the decisions at the very top, were either terrified of being labelled ‘racist’ by some mythical, tyrannical left wing establishment even further up the food chain than themselves or they were themselves ideological left wing zealots who put concerns of racism, the apparent singling out of a ‘protected minority’, social justice and community cohesion before the welfare of vulnerable white children. I find the latter explanation more persuasive.

    The introduction of the Australian bushfires was to illustrate the dangerous detachment from reality currently afflicting the environmentalist political left wing and how that detachment is becoming ever more transparent to the public. Thus far, the left have been very successful in masking their ideologically driven agenda which is about as far detached from reality and truth as you can imagine. I identified the key leftist tactic of smearing and thereby discrediting opponents who threaten to expose the truth (be it wildfires in Australia, abuse of girls in Rotherham, or the innocuous words of an actor who dared to criticise Meghan Markle) by assigning them as (variously) white, male, privileged, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, bigoted, far right, mentally deficient conspiracy-loving nut jobs – via the testimony of ‘experts’ such as Lew.

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  14. Ryelands:

    Thanks for that! Three reactions from me as the original poster.

    I did something unusual, if not unprecedented, for Cliscep in starting with a long quote from Jaime Jessop, then a shorter one from DaveJR, from just a few hours before. I did so because I thought the combination of things mentioned by Jaime – the emergence of Lawrence Fox, false claims of racism and sexism, rape gangs, climate and the propaganda thereof – was so important to try to think about together and that wasn’t going to be easy in a thread about mere climate psychobabble! (It’s not easy here either but I thought that we could at least try!)

    I personally probably wouldn’t have used ‘far left,’ ‘left’ and ‘leftist’ as much as Jaime did. Geoff still calls himself a communist which sounds pretty Left to me – and he so often has sensible things to say across so many of these issues, as was true again above. There are others like Mark Hodgson who comes from a Left background (sorry no response to Mark from me but it’s probably for the best!) and is trying to work out many conflicting thoughts, as I think we all are. However, as on other occasions, Jaime showed courage. She of course also mentioned Tommy Robinson and his recent award for free speech. That wasn’t a key part of why I quoted her at length but it didn’t stop me.

    Second, on Joanna Williams, I haven’t read the book but I did respect Joanna greatly for something she said at a panel session on the transgender issue I attended at the Battle of Ideas in 2018. She began her remarks by paying tribute to the crucial contribution of radical feminists in leading the fight on this particular issue. That I felt (and, trust me, I have never identified as a rad fem!) was both correct and generous, given what I knew of her critique of feminisms of various kinds.

    Third, I would say to other potential commenters not to worry about defining terms. People of course are perfectly free to take up your challenge on that but I don’t think it should detain us. We are I think exploring on the edges of any of our understanding. More rigour will be needed later.

    PS Written before I saw Jaime’s comment. I won’t change mine now but will have a further think having taken stock!


  15. I hadn’t spotted that Davos was about to start, the day after I began this thread.

    Climate, culture, the BBC and Trump. Discuss. Tim’s another leftie.

    This is really pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think there is such a thing as the ‘traditional’ Left (in the UK at least) who have generally stood up for worker’s rights, the working class and a perceived fairer society based upon a more equal distribution of wealth. Those are fine aspirations. Naturally, this has tended more towards socialist, communist, Marxist ideals than free market capitalism. In practice, socialism fails whereas free market capitalism works fairly well for the betterment of society as a whole. The modern Left does not appear to have much in common with the traditional Left. It has morphed into something altogether different and rather more dangerous in my opinion, but for convenience sake, we still call it ‘left’, because it retains a few of the core characteristics of the ‘old Left’ – most notably socialism and at least the pretence of standing up for the common man and the rights of the working classes. But in essence, the modern Left has abandoned its core supporters in the UK to pursue ‘social justice’ in the form of ‘diversity and inclusion’ and has abandoned nationalism in favour of a pernicious form of globalism. That said, it is unmistakably elitist, not inclusive or diverse at all when it comes to deciding who will make the rules which the rest of society must follow ‘for their own good’.

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  17. Trump at Davos:

    “They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers. These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform & control every aspect of our lives. We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country or eradicate our liberty.”

    Not what Greta and her followers and admirers wanted to hear I suspect.

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  18. Jaime at 7.54pm, thank you. I don’t quite agree with every word, but I do agree with the general thrust of that.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Jaime wrote: “The modern Left does not appear to have much in common with the traditional Left.”

    Except this isn’t really the “modern left”. I’ve previously posted a video showing exactly the same kind of behavior going on in the London Labour councils of the 80s. They never went away, they’ve just become more brazen as of late, no doubt primarily due to social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Watched Jo Coburn on bbc politics live ask what trump meant when he says “reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of apocalypse,”

    these people/bbc seem to have no clue, we should be under water by now for 1!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jaime pointed to yesterday evening’s article by Allison Pearson, which starts with Lawrence Fox on Question Time on Thursday (just as the two previously cited Telegraph pieces on this thread did) but then includes this:

    Not much “white privilege” for poor Victoria Agoglia, whose grandmother begged in vain for police and social services to help her. Nor for the 11-year-old in Oxford whose buttock was branded with the initial of her British-Pakistani “owner”. On the contrary. The girls being white, and their abusers being non-white, made it much less likely they would be protected.

    Because Fox had mentioned this tragic issue as one of the possible results of the new ‘anti-racism’. Not that it’s that new in the case of Rotherham – if the police officer said to one father it had been going on for 30 years, I think in 2004, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it, we could be talking about a problem going back to the 70s. (And DaveJR, I for one take the point about all this not just being a new-fangled left thing, pace Jaime. But it’s all highly complex.)

    Timescales were one thing I wanted to talk about:

    1. climate poppycock – from 1988?
    2. the Pakistani rape gang phenomenon – from 1970s but hidden/suppressed?
    3. the extreme trans issue – from around 2012? That’s incredibly fast and there are reasons.

    The point of course about 2 and 3 is that precious human beings have been terribly and irreversibly damaged, even as the woke proclaim either the opposite of the truth or ridiculous diversions. With the $1.5 trillion a year of ‘climate mitigation’ that’s built up since 88 it’s harder to see the victims but they are there.

    But, anyway, I fundamentally agree with Jaime here on the rape gang issue:

    If any part of the culture war 2020 is fought on this particular battlefield, it’s going to get very bloody.

    I wouldn’t have started this thread if it wasn’t to be included.


  22. Despite the seriousness, there’s also a lot of fun going on on Twitter:

    Andrew is the man behind the Twitter woke parody accounts Titania McGrath and the ‘trans’ Jarvis Dupont, her once lover, of course. The Pink News story is truly astonishing. Fox is revelling in all of this.


  23. Culture war 2020 exhibit A:

    The rational response:

    It’s great that these hysterical illiberal progressives stick so rigidly to a style guide though, ticking all the right boxes. making them instantly identifiable on social media.


  24. Mona and I go back a long way. Well, she wasn’t aware of my existence before 11 days ago, I assume, but I’ve followed her for years. I still am following her, despite the extreme things she’s said about ‘transphobes’ in general and Charmian Neary in particular, a really great Leftie (or at least US Democrat) whose recent permanent ban by Twitter was rescinded, possibly helped by my threat to boycott the platform as a result:

    This stuff is really complicated at every level. Mona has for me flipped due to pressure from the trans lobby but *has* I think done some good for women in the Middle East in the past. Or at least tried to. Julie Bindel certainly thinks so. All the women mentioned are considered Lefties as well as feminists but, for me, Charmian is streets ahead of the others. But I do make a point of following many with whom I disagree on much. I was reasonably pleasantly surprised not to be blocked this time by Mona. That happens a lot, thus intensifying my own echo chamber. An aspect of Twitter culture that I find really weird.

    Here’s a pretty fair summary of Julie Bindel defending Mona and laying into Posie Parker because she allegedly took some money from the Heritage Foundation (also known to be evil climate deniers), then having second thoughts and deleting:

    Being anti-woke, or even identifying who is anti-woke, may not be so easy.


  25. Here is the full Trump Davos speech plus transcript

    Interesting tactics – he mentions doomster scares

    we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the Apocalypse.

    They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the 70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s.

    But he doesn’t explicitly mention the current climate cult, though it’s quite clear that is what he’s getting at.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ok, I take it back. That guy is anti-woke. And that’s easy.

    It’s brilliant that he doesn’t even mention the climate version of doomsterism. Beneath contempt.

    No wonder they are so desperate to get rid of him.


  27. Pushback against regressive environmentalism is gathering pace. Former Australian PM Tony Abbott has laid into the Greens in his own country, accusing them of falsely linking the bushfires to climate change. It looks like, after initially wavering under pressure from activists, Scomo is refusing to accept that dismantling the coal industry is the solution to Australia’s weather woes, arson woes and forest managment woes. If Trump gets a second term, he will almost certainly set up the team of expert scientists questioning the consensus on climate change which he promised to do in his first term, but shelved, on advice. Then I think it may be game over for climate alarmists, especially if the world continues to warm much less rapidly than the climate models predict. Climate Wokelings are not going to be happy bunnies.

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  28. “Can someone who disagrees with you on some things infect you by following you?”

    Most certainly. Guilt by association is a key factor leading to the excommunication of wrong thinkers.

    However, I’ve mentioned before psychological experiments examining the effects of peer pressure. The basic experiment was that of something like 12 people on a jury, 11 of them are instructed to to make a basic misrepresentation of an obvious fact. This made it highly likely the single person would go along with the group, even though they knew they were wrong. However, if even just one person spoke out, the “spell” would be largely broken and they would be far more likely to speak against the group. It is therefore of great benefit to remove any dissenting voices from being heard, especially when your group wants people to believe in “bad” ideas.


  29. DaveJR: 100% agree in real life. But in the narrow sense of ‘follow’ on Twitter 100% disagree.

    Ken Rice follows us on Cliscep, in a loose sense of the term, at least more than I follow his blog And Then There’s Fizzicks. His and a fellow academic’s accusation of anti-semitism against Geoff Chambers after reading one of Geoff’s recent posts here would be an excellent example of how right you are. Except of course that neither man could locate the cojones to either provide evidence or apologise and retract. But other than that it was a recent case in point.

    But if Ken Rice followed me on Twitter I wouldn’t give it a moment’s thought, let alone concern.

    Make any sense? Nah, didn’t think so. 🙂


  30. Only just spotted this, from the person I’d consider the leading anti-woke intellectual in the UK, in the Mail on Sunday, the same day this post came struggling out.

    I don’t have time to find it right now but I was talking on Cliscep fairly recently about Murray and Andrew Doyle’s conversation at the Battle of Ideas and that first question from the audience to Murray on whether he was going to tackle climate – after transgenderism, anti-racism and the rest in his recent book. I thought he was hesitant in response – but apparently not! Very, very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Six days ago I tried to correct Andrew Doyle about something. Well, I realised he like me was operating under the Twitter 280 character limit but I felt he’d missed something vital that Lawrence Fox had said:

    This morning I see this:

    I manage to get through the paywall for one of my free articles and read this:

    The commentariat had a similar tantrum this week after the actor Laurence Fox had the temerity to express his opinions on Question Time. In the light of the threats and abuse that Fox has received since his appearance, it’s worth considering what he actually said. He urged everyone to be united in our condemnation of racism. He said that the word ‘racism’ should be reserved for racists. He pointed out that the fear of being falsely branded as racist can have catastrophic consequences, citing the revelations that police in Manchester failed to protect children from rape and violence due to concerns over race relations. He argued that the concept of ‘white privilege’ was unhelpful and generalising. Finally, he mocked Shami Chakrabarti’s suggestion that the Labour leadership should be decided on the basis of gender. On all of these points he happens to be right, but even if one takes a contrary stance I can’t see how any of this is especially controversial. Question Time is meant to be a debate, not a one-sided reiteration of intersectional dogma. This is one of the reasons I’m touring the UK with Douglas Murray later this year in a discussion show called Resisting Wokeness. We hope to open up some conversations that are badly needed.

    My bold. That meant a lot. Because of the lost lives, like Victoria:

    In all three areas I’ve wanted to compare (and contrast) in this thread – climate alarmism, transgenderism, faux anti-racism – it’s the young and the very young that are the biggest victims. Wokeism destroys the very young. Finding the right way to stand up to it remains non-trivial. But Murray’s piece in the Mail on Sunday shows it can be done, with power and compassion.


  32. I wrote yesterday:

    Wokeism destroys the very young. Finding the right way to stand up to it remains non-trivial.

    In what way non-trivial? Many, but one is that you think the important new weakness in wokeness you’ve identified explains everything. Some temperature adjustments that look dodgy to you mean the whole of the greenhouse effect is rubbish. Etc.

    Meanwhile, Twitter friends can be strange. Some you will never meet in real life. Some use pseudonyms. Here’s a guy who, so far, falls into both camps, at least for me. But this meant a lot.

    (You’ve got the wrong eye, Jesus!) I won’t say more about the saga of the macular hole in my left eye except that I was told it was a pretty big deal eighteen months ago (quite different from macular degeneration, which is far more common) and I finally got the all-clear two weeks ago:

    Æthelstan’s an original. I don’t always agree with him. We have exchanged words on Donald Trump, for example. But then who hasn’t? But, on the Pakistani rape gang tragedy, he thought he had something to add to what I was saying and I felt I learned a lot.

    So, Andrew Doyle summarised Lawrence Fox’s view as “the fear of being falsely branded as racist can have catastrophic consequences, [as he cited] the revelations that police in Manchester failed to protect children from rape and violence due to concerns over race relations,” I believe that is true. But it’s not the whole story. “I repeat, it is not just the fear of racist label or community relations. I assume these men are feared in their own communities.” I also believe that from Æthelstan. Being anti-woke doesn’t solve everything. In fact, you could argue it doesn’t solve anything. More on that shortly, as we look back on our discussion of Leftists and decide we badly need them.


  33. In the Telegraph AGAIN today. They are leading the charge it would seem.

    The crisis of confidence at the BBC – and make no mistake, it is a full blown, all alarm bells ringing, catastrophic crisis – is probably the most visible sign of the shift but it is much bigger than this.

    So bear with me: I promise that the whole column is not going to be about the BBC, even though it is easily the most infuriating and useful exemplar of the problem.

    But no, what could be about to implode is not just the sublime, unlimited self-regard of the broadcasters. It is nothing less than the whole interlocking set of preconceptions that are so embedded in the consciousness of those who decide what it is acceptable to think that they must ignore or traduce anything that contradicts them.

    If you listen to the patronising tone of the many public information pronouncements of the time, this is what you hear: we are going to create a new future with better housing, a fairer distribution of resources, state-run services and comprehensive health and welfare provision. You must trust our judgment in all things: we know better than you what is needed. Which is pretty much exactly the tone that the political descendants of those public policy managers adopt today, only now they are talking about climate change, multiculturalism, economic globalisation and gender identity.

    Needless to say, that is not the case with the doctrines being enforced by the great unidentifiable Authority now. Even if you accept that climate change is a fact, you might want to see less shrill alarmism and more attention paid to possible solutions that do not involve pauperising the developing world. (The BBC recently put Sir David Attenborough’s announcement of imminent climate crisis at the top of its main news bulletins. With great respect to the saintly Sir David, something that he says is not the most important news story of any day.)

    You may welcome migrants of all colours and backgrounds, and have limitless compassion for the disabled, without wishing to see classic literary texts re-written and programme presentation rotas designed to ensure their visibility. You may sympathise with the problems of sexual minorities but be disturbed by the proportion of attention that is devoted to their demands. In other words, you may be angry and frustrated by the implicit assumption that you and your reservations are beyond the pale.

    The Twin Pillows of Wokeness are being shaken and it’s a delight to see. More on that if I can get around to doing another article.


  34. Jaime: thanks for that. Janet Daley has been good value for a number of years. One of a number of American women who have made their home in the UK and made themselves useful – I immediately also think of Lionel Shriver, Kate Andrews and Allie Rennison. Their perspective on institutions like the BBC and the general elitist groupthink can be very handy.

    The Telegraph of course then points to Charles Moore yesterday: In the 21st century we should be able to imagine life without the BBC licence fee:

    I totally agree with that, despite what I’ve said to Alan on the other thread. Time’s up for the monopoly. Many more diverse voices please.

    Having read your comment I had to use the car and Radio 5 Live was on. They were just turning to Donald Trump’s defence lawyers in the impeachment farce today in the Senate. It was truly hilarious. The reporter from Washington was basically trying to prepare those in the studio in London that based on today there was really very little to hope for for the Trump haters. But he had to tread carefully!

    Twitter shows that the woke will persist even on the demise of the Beeb though. Always more to do. I’d love to hear what the two pillars are.


  35. Here’s part of my thesis: we still need lefties because they’re much more likely to dig into and uncover horrendous stories like this.

    There again, “the left won’t touch this.” Meaning the media. Mad world. But really worth a read.


  36. Richard “Time’s up for the monopoly. Many more diverse voices please.”
    What monopoly? BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 News are so similar that you could switch between them and not be aware (except for the presenters). The BBC stands out in terms of quantity of science programmes and plays, but not now in terms of quality. In terms of climate change they are as bad as each other but seemingly only the BBC comes in for approbation. If this is pointed out, then the question of the licence fee is raised, as if this holds the BBC to some higher standard (but insisting they compete head to head).

    Successive governments’ requirement that the BBC be responsible for collecting the greater part of its funding directly from the public has paid dividends. Control the amount, and the legal consequences of non-payment but insist the BBC control the prosecution of offenders, and guess who the public blame? State media in other countries (if they exist) are funded directly by the government, and are thereby potentially (or in reality ) under its control.
    Do you realistically believe that ITV, Channel 5 and other advertisement-funded media would welcome a BBC competitor forced to fund itself by advertizing? Or do you envisage the BBC reduced to pauper status, like PBS in the USA?

    Yes there are things wrong with the BBC , but their is much good that requires defending.

    There is much talk here, and elsewhere of removing the licence fee, but little about the consequences or suggestions for how a somehow reformed BBC would be funded. Some relish the possibility of its total demise. Almost nothing is said about about parts of the BBC that we don’t now pay for – BBC Radio, the worldwide listening service, BBC World and so on.


  37. The Conservative Woman:

    Beyond the moderate entertainment value of the cringeworthy reactions of the wokesters, what Gervais and Fox did was to expose the fragile foundations upon which the hitherto cultural dominance of the political and cultural elites rests. Refreshing interventions indeed, in an atmosphere in which even the slightest ‘microaggression’ against the ever-increasing array of victim groups and self-righteous causes provokes howls of collective Leftist outrage that demands dismissals, blacklisting and worse.

    This was but the latest instalment in the long-standing cultural war, hidden behind PC niceties, that seeks to replace the Western Judeo-Christian heritage with a Communist Utopia where anything goes. Underpinning this mission has been an elaborate entryist plan to ‘capture’ all public and private institutions from within, which has given activists platforms from which to intimidate and silence opponents with tactics reminiscent of Maoist anti-rightist campaigns and struggle sessions. No aspect of Western public (and increasingly private) life has escaped unmolested from these wokesters, churned out by the conveyor belts of the captured educational institutions.

    The succession of populist triumphs across the Western world, from Trump and Brexit and the recent Johnson victory to those sweeping across Europe, have doubtless engendered confidence where hitherto fear prevailed.

    All sounds very encouraging, but I still worry. The “populist triumph of Brexit” is anything but in its current phase. To triumph, Brexit relies upon the goodwill and promises and sheer gritty determination of a One Nation Tory whose fiancee is as woke as the rest of them and who has yet to prove his mettle when the going gets really tough – and it will. Many false dawns often precede the eventual rising of the Sun.


  38. Re: the future of the beeb

    I haven’t really thought this through, so I might trip over my own shoelaces in a minute, but:

    I would consider moving it to a Netflix-style subscription system. It seems that “live” TV is en route to being a thing of the past, with the exception of major events. Young folk will move to on-demand services (beeb or not), while at the same time the folk who use the beeb as daytime moving wallpaper/ another human voice in the room will be the ones getting it for naught. I’d keep the news and current affairs free to air, without ads. Have separate subs for drama and sport, but have some of each free: dramas with and by newcomers and minor sports with small audiences. Give the beeb a kernel of quids direct from gov’t to fund the news, WS, radio and talent development. The license fee would be scrapped altogether.

    Oh, and cap salaries – let’s say peg max pay to the PM’s.

    (I was going to complain bitterly about missing TMS, but realised that would be like the mouse who lost his cheese; I’m trying to keep my analysis independent of what I would like to happen personally!)


  39. Richard, from Jennifer Bilek’s article:

    As the example of the Arcus Foundation shows, the LGB civil rights movement of yore has morphed into a relentless behemoth, one that has strong ties to the medical industrial complex and global corporatists. The pharmaceutical lobby is the largest lobbying entity in Congress. Although activists present the LGBT movement as a weak, powerless group suffering oppression and discrimination, in truth it wields enormous power and influence—power it increasingly uses to remake our laws, schools, and society.

    The claim appears to be that they added the ‘T’ to transform the movement into a vehicle for widespread social change at the behest (and no doubt the financial profit) of Big Pharma and the globalist corporatists. I’m not sure that you need to be ‘left’ or ‘right’ to dig into the roots of globalism and the vested interest industries managed and run by corporatists and multi-nationals for their own enrichment. I’m not even sure that it’s that simple. There are three main drivers of human behaviour which generally result in widespread corruption: Money, Power and Sex. They are of course not independent. The desire for all three is what drives the globalists. The Culture War is the friction generated when their ambitions come up against the basic wishes of the majority populace to live simple, uncomplicated lives, free lives, safe lives, productive but untroubled lives. Globalism demands behavioural and ideological conformism, the adoption of a complex set of rules and regulations; it is micro-managerialism for the masses. People don’t want it. Neither ‘left’ nor ‘right’.


  40. @ Richard

    Good news about the eye. I can’t imagine how terrifying it must be to have medics interfering with your optics with pointy implements.


  41. Alan: You can be such a pedant sometimes. Obviously, when I used the word ‘monopoly’ I meant something rather different but equally pejorative!

    I did another jump-in-the-car-and sample-the-Beeb an hour or so ago. I’d left Radio 4 on, unusually. Fergal Keane was just finishing “The Remarkable Resistance of Lilo” about a hero of the resistance against Hitler. It sounded first-class. Then there was an ad for a forthcoming programme on ‘Woke Capitalism’. Titania has changed the culture so that Woke no longer means unquestionable good. Titania would never have happened on the Beeb but they are listening. At least a little. I remain conflicted but resolute!


  42. Jit on the eye. (Sounds painful in itself!) this tells a bit more of the story. 2018 was really challenging but I ‘trusted the experts’ as they say.

    Jaime has picked up something really important on the addition of the T to LGB and how deceptive that has been. And there are other things that I feel I’d like to respond to. But that will probably only be tomorrow now. Feel free to tell horrible lies about me in my absence!


  43. Richard pedant perhaps but then I never professed to having the “inner ear” that would enable one to read into a single word – “monopoly” something very different, especially when the person using that word knows that words like it have been used repeatedly to disparage what I have been defending in the past.

    Hands up all those who thought “monopoly”” didn’t mean “monopoly”.

    The pedant will sit down then.


  44. Jaime:

    The claim appears to be that they added the ‘T’ to transform the movement into a vehicle for widespread social change at the behest (and no doubt the financial profit) of Big Pharma and the globalist corporatists.

    Exactly. I learned about the same ploy from Sheila Jeffreys in two meetings I attended in 2018 organised by rad fem Venice Allan – another leftie who’d already been thrown out of the Labour Party because of her gender critical stance.

    I don’t say righties can’t make the link to Big Pharma but I think, empirically, that they are slower to do so. But it takes a special kind of leftie as well:

    Brandon’s a Christian and First Things is a Christian/Jewish theistic operation, I think. Hence Jennifer’s ‘apology’ to her mostly left-wing followers above. But that was the other strange thing I was going to say about Lefties. Some of them, like Roy Hattersley and Tony Benn, look (or looked) back in history for the Christian roots of the Labour movement they loved. Hattersley has written biographies of John Wesley and William and Catherine Booth for this very reason. But then William Hague has done the same for William Wilberforce, the Tory encouraged by Wesley in his fight against slavery. And so today left and right needs to come together again, because, as we’ve shown, wokeism is destroying children. Including those needlessly dying of indoor smoke because of uncaring, ideological climate alarmism. Plus the psychological damage to many more described by Douglas Murray. It’s all very much the same, whether in Rotherham or Rwanda. And it will be strange combinations that overcome it.

    Liked by 1 person

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