Self-appointed thought police tell us what we can say – even in private

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If only George Orwell were alive to see this

On the news yesterday morning I heard a university vice-chancellor defending action being taken by the institution against students who had written a private post on social media.

It was shared by others until it went into the public domain whereupon questions began to be raised about its offensiveness.

Now, I’ve not read the post so I can’t tell you how offensive it was. It seems to me, however, that the persons to be excoriated are not those who wrote something offensive for private consumption, but those who made it public and thus ensured that someone, somewhere was offended.

I was brought up in an era when you were polite to everybody: you said nothing deliberately to offend and nothing that you thought would cause offence – that would simply be bad manners.

What you said among friends or family was private. We tried to not give offence as that would be impolite – not because our thoughts needed policing to meet some standard set by others.

We seem now to be losing that concept of politeness and privacy, our every word has to be self-monitored in case we offend the sensitivities of listeners parading their right-on liberal values.

Instead then of common values, of politeness as to what you can say when and where, we are now to be told by self-appointed thought police, what we can and cannot say…ever…even in private. If only George Orwell were alive now.

What gives the moralisers, these liberals, the right to decide what is or is not offensive?

Too often liberals seem to see their views as so morally superior to others that they must be forced on those who cannot see their rightness.

We’ve been here before, Savranola and his bonfires, Stalin and his gulags, Hitler and his camps, Ulbricht and his wall, these should be uneasy company for the illiberal liberals to keep.

Whoops must stop now: I see the Stasi at the end of the drive, may not be back next week…

1 COMMENT

  1. Well said!
    Add to your list, the PC zealots at Manchester University Students’ Union, who’ve now decided to expunge Rudyard Kipling from history by painting over his poem “If” on the grounds that he was, in their opinion, a racist bigot.
    Oddly enough, the SU may be right in its assessment of Kipling (and just about every other eminent Victorian) but only when looking at such historical characters with 21st century eyes and applying current attitudes: very selectively as it turns out.
    I say selectively, as these precious and under-informed snowflakes appear to be conveniently forgetting exactly where they are and how their educational establishment came to be. If they actually did their homework and applied their anti-Kipling attitudes to Manchester University, they’d surely have to burn the place down, go home and never consider sullying their personal reputations by association with the fine city of Manchester, or its esteemed university.
    In brief, the uni started life c.150 years ago c/o generous donations from mill owners and other prosperous industrialists, whose mid-Victorian attitudes to women, workers, immigrants, homosexuals, Roman Catholics et al would make Rudyard Kipling (and the other SU hate figure, Cecil Rhodes) look like St Francis of Assisi.
    It’s very fashionable at the moment to criticise the British Empire and imperialism generally. To a degree I’ll go along with this but only if such criticism is contextual. The more naive would have you believe that India, Africa, the Caribbean and even Ireland were wonderful, Utopian paradises, full of happy people hugging each other, until the English/British/white man came long and ruined everything. Dream on! In a seething morass of warring factions, all round the world, the redcoat tribe generally turned out to be the most successful and having won enough battles, or cut sufficient deals, instilled Pax Britannica on its own terms. That’s simply the way it was done then and shock, horror, wobble (look away snowflakes) it’s still going on! Think Zimbabwe, ISIL and the increasingly hegemonic Russia. Curiously, I don’t see Manchester SU taking on Mugabe, Daesh, or yer man Putin. Funny that!
    Even more curious is that the SU censors have chosen one of Kipling’s finest works as their target. “If” is a poem urging a positive, can do attitude: the triumph of hope over adversity. “If” is a worthy model, or mantra if you prefer, for all people and for all time, provided that is, that you can actually get out of your bed and be bothered. “Yours is the Earth and everything in it” Not a bad thing to aim at.
    Or, as Arthur Daley might have put it: “The world is your lobster, my son!”
    Oh dear, I’m quoting another middle aged, white, Christian, male Brit. Now, where’s the whitewash?

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