Britain’s Labour Party has now banned TalkRadio host Julia Hartley-Brewer from its conference next year after finding her guilty of making a joke on Twitter about safe spaces.
This is madness.
When I first reported the story for Breitbart a few days ago, I assumed it was a bit of a flier. That is, though it was certainly true that one or two attention-seeking professional victim types had claimed to be offended by Hartley-Brewer’s harmless joke, I never imagined that their pathetic whining would be sanctioned and endorsed by the party that could form Britain’s next government.
But it has.
We’re all pretty used by now to the Safe Space nonsense that takes place on university campus: archaeology students being given trigger warnings that they might have to dig up human bones; English students being warned that Shakespeare may include scenes of sex and violence; sombreros being banned at Mexican parties because of ‘cultural appropriation’; and so on.
What I don’t think any of us imagined is that this nonsense would be adopted by the world of grown-ups. (Or, at least, in Labour’s case, arrested adolescents who think they’re grown-ups.)
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) September 24, 2018
This is how totalitarianism takes hold of a nation.
The day before yesterday’s unthinkable joke becomes yesterday’s dystopian fantasy, then today’s lived reality.
I doubt somewhat that the nonentities who complained seriously imagined anyone was going to pay much attention. After all, how desperate and weird and strained do you have to expect anyone to believe that you were genuinely caused any emotional distress by a video of a woman going “boo” in an empty toilet designated “Safe Space”?
But this is what Lenin meant when he said “Probe with a bayonet; if you meet steel, stop! If you meet mush, then push.”
It’s how the hard left has always worked.
You keep trying it on, making ever more petulant, outrageous demands. And if, somehow, you get away with it then next time you make your demands more outrageous still.
None of us, even five years ago, would have believed that a well-respected radio presenter would ever be banned from reporting on a party’s political conference purely for the crime of making a joke. Making jokes, after all, is part of the rumbustious tradition of political commentary in Britain. Indeed, making jokes is about the only thing that makes politics and politicians bearable.
Yet here we are.
As Brendon O’Neill rightly says in the Sun, “Labour increasingly resembles a Stalinist student union.”
If that lot ever get in, it’s the gulag for all of us.