Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Cleese and the world turned upside down


WELL, the new puritans are now outraged at John Cleese’s remark that he believes London is no longer an English city. The wokerati have denounced him as a racist, despite the fact that Cleese has stated he cares not about the race or ethnicity of London’s residents, but that his remarks referred to the demise of English culture in the city, and that he prefers cultures that do not go in for female genital mutilation. As Cleese lives on a Caribbean island and states his admiration and preference for the culture of its black inhabitants, calling him a racist is beyond ludicrous.Is this really where we are at now, that to denounce the barbarity of FGM is seen as an indicator of white supremacy? As I wrote in a piece for The Conservative Woman last year, how can it be racist to have cultural preferences?

Although Irish, I prefer living in Britain. I prefer soul music to traditional Irish music and I prefer the comedy of Monty Python to the awfulness of Mrs Brown’s Boys. By the ludicrous logic of Cleese’s critics this would make me a self-hating anti-Irish racist.

It’s admirable to see that Cleese is defending his remarks because you can’t win with the purveyors of Left-wing identity politics. If Cleese had stated he was going to do backing vocals for a reggae band on the Caribbean island where he lives he would be denounced for his white privilege and cultural appropriation. If there are aspects of the cultures of some immigrant communities you don’t like, you are a racist. If there are aspects of foreign cultures you have a deep affinity with, you are a cultural imperialist appropriating that which doesn’t belong to you.

However, one’s cultural preferences being used as barometer for how much of a racist you are is applied almost entirely to the proclivities of white westerners. Ahmed the Islamist from the Punjab can move to Britain with his three sharia-compliant wives. He can attend a number of mosques that preach hatred for British and western culture and its concomitant espousal of individual rights. However, in this morally inverted epoch in which we live it is not the anti-western racist Islamist Ahmeds who are subjected to widespread social media opprobrium but the likes of John Cleese who question why they are here in the first place.

‘In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act’ – George Orwell

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Andrew Devine
Andrew Devine
Andrew Devine is an Orwell Prize winning writer & blogger

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