Freedom Of Speech: The Key Battleground Of The Next Decade

AP Photo/Valentina Petrova
AP Photo/Valentina Petrova

The madness grows exponentially. Daily now, the totalitarian prescriptions of the enforcers of political correctness reach new heights of absurdity. The latest victim is the veteran golf commentator Peter Alliss, denounced by the Twitter rabble for “sexist” comments.

His crime was to say on air, as he looked at the wife of American golfer Zach Johnson watching her husband preparing to size up a putt to win The Open: “She is probably thinking ‘If this goes in I get a new kitchen.’ “

Oh, what hate speech! What fascist depravity! The collective wail of the chronically offended swamped the Twitterzone. Since Alliss’s employer is the BBC, the offence-takers were knocking on an open door. The only response any sane person would have made to the social media cry-babies was either contemptuous silence or the admonition “Get a life!” Instead, predictably, the Corporation apologised for their broadcaster’s “inappropriate” comment.

“Inappropriate” is, of course, the most invoked weasel word employed by the PC enforcers. In what way was Peter Alliss’s remark inappropriate? What is inherently improbable – or outrageous – in the speculation that the wife of a golfer about to win a packet in prize money might well be contemplating fitting out a new kitchen? Do women who have the good fortune to come into affluent circumstances never spend money on kitchens? How many times have we heard women discussing among themselves how much they would like to gut their kitchen premises and make improvements, if only they could afford it?

Or is the mere notion of a woman ever entering a kitchen instead of – or even as well as – a boardroom, now a male, sexist defamation? Nick Faldo’s manager, Leslie Anne Wade, tweeted: “Can’t believe he can say this!” In contrast, she congratulated Zach Johnson for calling his wife “the CEO”. Both the kitchen comment and the affectionate CEO nickname are light-hearted remarks, deserving of neither reprobation nor praise. To attach significance of any kind to them is infantile.

Yet this lunacy cannot be dismissed, for it is becoming entrenched as a dominant influence in the police state that is Cameron’s Britain. It has recently ended the career of a Nobel Prize winner, Sir Tim Hunt, now banned from an Italian university campus from fear of “some hazardous occurrence” if he were to address a conference. In other words, Academe is suppressing freedom of expression because of violent intimidation by feminist and PC activists. So much for academic freedom.

Universities were formerly bastions of freedom of expression. Today they are foremost in suppressing it. In America free speech is guaranteed under the Constitution, but that does not extend to North American campuses which, in the words of one commentator, have become “small, ivy-clad North Koreas”. It is the same in Britain, as UCL’s treatment of Sir Tim Hunt demonstrated.

Britain is a police state. All adverse comment on women, homosexuals, minorities of any kind, Islam and every other protected species adopted by the Progressive Consensus is prohibited and punished with heavy sanctions and public opprobrium. The Twiteratti, who collectively possess the thinking power of a geranium, are the voluntary enforcers, the Young Pioneers of our culturally Marxist state.

It is notable, whenever the Twitterzone is in uproar over some allegedly “sexist” offence, how many of the offendees are male. These are the girlie men who seek to curry favour with young women, only to be dismayed when they subsequently depart on the pillion of a heavily tattooed and rampantly misogynist biker.

Humour, however feeble, is especially anathema (“unacceptable” in PC jargon) to the enforcers. Remember the student arrested for calling a police horse “gay” and the man who was fined £385 and who lost his job for joking on Twitter about blowing up an airport in Nottingham after experiencing severe delays.

Although there are legal sanctions, the chief weapon in the armoury of the intolerant left is job loss or withholding of promotion. It is commonplace in Cameron’s Britain for people to be sent for re- education after uttering some non-PC opinion. The worst development is the phenomenon of self- censorship. In conversation one routinely sees normally articulate people stumbling, as they struggle to find acceptable Newspeak terminology to refer to some hallowed minority.

Now David Cameron is seeking to extend the policing of speech. In his recent, duplicitous speech on Islamic extremism – which he will do absolutely nothing to contain – he pledged measures to tackle “non-violent extremism”. What is that? It is the expression of opinions of which Dave disapproves – and, in many cases, of which most people might disapprove – at the expense of the principle of free speech. We may be certain, too, that if such measures are introduced, they will chiefly be invoked not against Muslims but against Christians, opponents of homosexual marriage and all other non-PC views.

Within the past century, hundreds of thousands of Britons died to protect freedom of speech. We must not allow that sacrifice to be negated by an unholy alliance of minority pressure groups, inquisitorial public-sector pondlife, a politicised police force, the BBC, the Twitter cretins, a pseudo- Conservative government, the European Union and a complicit media. If we cannot say what we think, we shall eventually lose the faculty of thinking – and that is precisely what the new totalitarians want to happen.


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