They want to divide us. From the thugs desecrating statues or trashing police cars, to the Labour politicians claiming, disgracefully, that the British government needs to “get off BAME people’s neck”, the aim is to whip up tension, fray tempers, solidify divides. For all the pretence of caring about equality and harmony, this is about putting up walls and sealing off communities. It’s about as far from progress, in the truest sense of the word, you can get. Meanwhile, across our institutions – Education, the Arts, the BBC – identitarian dogma, of the type fuelled by the pungent racial politics of ‘Black Lives Matters’, is becoming ever more entrenched. It is an extremely regrettable situation.
The Western world faces a problem. Across America, the UK, Australia and Europe, extreme Woke movements are laying waste to our culture and communities. Debate is being stifled by people who are not interested in standard political interactions; their methods are methods of coercion and intimidation, on occasion boiling over into violence. A rootless society – a society that has erased its history – is one that is more susceptible to domination and control. It’s Orwellian. It’s Year Zero.
Despite the best efforts of our media overlords, the average man-on-the-street is seeing through the bias and the ideological sheen.
We should not underestimate the backlash. We have already seen far right thugs organising. Ordinary people are beginning to see the world once again through racial prisms. Faith in our Education system is ebbing away. The Defund the BBC campaign is gathering momentum. Despite the best efforts of our media overlords, the average man-on-the-street is seeing through the bias and the ideological sheen, and is becoming increasingly alarmed at what they’re witnessing. A Britain of cultural collapse and race wars is not the Britain the vast majority, no matter their background, wants.
But this is, paradoxically, an opportunity to shine. The UK’s race relations, in reality, have been historically good. Different communities tend to get on pretty well. We pride ourselves in democracy and free speech, the essential tenets of a liberal society, and re-affirmed those tenets both when we voted to leave the EU in 2016, and elected Boris Johnson and the Conservatives to spearhead the transformation in 2019. For all the downbeat language and gloom-mongering from our media, we are in the best possible position to repel the identitarian demons, and emerge strongly and confidently into the post-Coronavirus world. And we shouldn’t be afraid of a bit of pomp, or, even, a bit of bling. Personally, I like the Prime Minister’s new official aircraft.
The problem, in reality, is a middle class one. Where once the middle classes gave back to society, now they are seeking unduly to influence it. Overindulged, perhaps, rather than the backbone of the nation, they have become the backbone of the institutions which seek to undermine the nation. Universities are suffused with middle class “academics” and middle class “students”, whiling away the hours on Critical Theory modules, telling each other how awful everything is. Meanwhile, at the BBC, middle class graduates are bringing their pernicious ideology to bear on everything from Saturday evening drama or Friday night comedy to the news and current affairs. This is the same group of people who voted Remain, and who now prop up an ailing Labour Party.
A Global Britain needs to cast off the shackles of middle-class identitarian pessimism and guilt. We need, as part of our reconnection with the wider world, to demonstrate that cultural reform is possible. Let’s bin the BBC, showing that we can move with the times. Let’s reform our universities, so they are beacons of intellectual freedom again – a magnet for the best and brightest. Let’s demand our media does better; nuance and circumspection can only return when we stop portraying the extremes as normal. And, instead of tearing down statues, let’s learn from our history and add to our cityscapes. It’s time to hold our heads up high, and lead the way into a New Enlightenment.
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