Thursday, April 25, 2024
HomeCulture WarA week in the life of Woke Central

A week in the life of Woke Central


FOR the student of wokery, the People’s Republic of Brighton is the gift which keeps on giving. Your intrepid spy in the camp, following his self-sacrificial immersion in the city’s ‘Day of Compassion’, has garnered further choice examples of its ‘liberal’ proclivities. I offer you the following parody-free highlights of the week.        


Naively spotting a potential outpost of traditionalism (a trait to which my C of E lays no claim), I venture into a Roman Catholic church. Good early sign – a packed congregation. But wait: everyone is muzzled. Nothing abashed, I stride, conspicuously mask-free, towards a pew. The church (Covid) warden intercepts me, waving a bottle of hand gel. I wave back, dismissively. 

Matters worsen. The reader leads us in prayers for this week’s holy trinity: COP26, greater awareness of violence against women, and Brighton’s refugees. Every hymn is insipid. But at least there’s ‘Onward Christian Solderers’ – the Polish welder-priest solemnly dons full visor to administer the Eucharist. Rome, like Canterbury, has fallen.


Talking of Poles, I hear that local trans activists have a new head on the end of theirs: Professor Kathleen Stock has resigned her post at Sussex University. I wonder if she’s with HSBC. Said bank has a new poster on billboards featuring Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner and the strapline ‘Gender should never be a Barrier to Opportunity’. In case we don’t immediately get the once-stuffy-HSBC-is-now-cool message, Jenner’s hand is placed oh-so-subversively on his or her crotch. Surprise, surprise, a secondary school in town has the highest number of trans-identifying students in the country. 


The Green Party newsletter arrives. It’s given its usual swift ‘recycle’, but not before I’m reminded of the party’s key priorities, including ‘combating runaway climate change, a universal basic income, human rights, animal rights, the environment, the NHS, a ban on fracking for ever, and standing up for asylum-seekers, refugees, and our resident non-UK citizens.’ Tories in disguise, I say. Once they’ve saved the planet, perhaps they could prioritise affordable refuse-collection: the Green-controlled council has recently caved in to exorbitant pay-demands of striking binmen. The GMB union knows a soft touch when it sees one.      


I notice with relief that my nearest Sainsbury’s has finally taken down its copious Black History Month bunting. A po-faced council official declines to enter into the rambunctious spirit of upcoming Guy Fawkes Night, warning that ‘some communities take offence at the burning of effigies’ (a glorious feature of the nearby Lewes bonfire festivities).  


I peruse an email from the aforementioned Anglican church, headed ‘Our Wonderful World’, advertising next Sunday’s service. No room for that tricky Christ-crucified business. Instead there’ll be a focus on ‘the environment, climate change and looking after creation. Come along to learn about combatting [sic] climate change and why it’s important for people of faith’. Dammit, I’m cleaning the gutters on Sunday.

Later: I’m sitting in a queue of traffic with my car window down. There’s a lorry behind me. A woman in her mid-twenties walks along the pavement opposite, alone. Referring to the lorry-driver, I hear her say: ‘That’s right, keep the fumes coming. Destroy the planet, why don’t you?’ Ladies and gentlemen, we’re dealing with a full-on cult, a psychosis.   


A hospice has released drag-themed Christmas cards ‘in celebration of the city’s LGBTQ+ reputation’. 

One of the few remaining traditions here, the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, is scheduled for this Sunday. Trouble is, vintage cars use petrol. So, a Green councillor has, I hear, launched a rival London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally. The event is apparently ‘open to participants with electric vehicles of all types, shapes and sizes, with prizes for lowest energy consumption in all classes’. I think I’ll stick to cheering on 1890s Daimlers and Benz.


Extinction Rebellion protesters descend on Brighton’s streets, causing the usual disruption. The city is a magnet for these people. If a week here didn’t include a middle-class Left-wing demo I’d feel quite disoriented.

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Stuart Major
Stuart Major
Stuart Major is an independent scholar based in Sussex.

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