‘Almost every day, there is a man’s sneering, hovering head sitting on top of a few hundred words of what is really the sort of existential hysteria of an animal whose cosy ecosystem has been disturbed.’
Carl Sargeant was yet to be buried but the Guardian didn’t waste time in resuming the Sexual Inquisition. The tragic death of the Welsh Assembly minister, after his sacking and suspension from the Labour Party for allegations he was not allowed to see, should have been a turning point in the current hysteria. But no, a father’s death is mere collateral damage in the militant feminist campaign against ‘toxic masculinity’. As with all other Guardian articles on sexual harassment, the writer of the piece I have quoted, Nesrine Malik, was exempted from below-the-line comments, which would have allowed a public corrective to this insensitively timed misandry.
The tactics – for witch-hunts are not simply an emotional outrage – are framed in the notion of power. According to Michel Foucault, all social relations are bound by power structures and relationships. It would be a mistake to think that long-dead deconstructionists from the Cold War era took their theories to the grave. Insipidly, Marx, Gramsci and fellow prophets of the revolutionary Left have taken over the establishment, as relativist notions of inequality justify an overhaul of society.
Today, identity politics is all the rage. As nobody in authority dares to confront the stridently subversive demands of transgenderism, for example, agitators gain ground by stealth. Social conservative politicians (i.e. backbenchers) find that reasoned argument by Judeo-Christian, Platonic or Kantian principles is ineffective. ‘Whataboutery’ and complaints of mental gymnastics hold little weight. The Left has it sewn up. A black person cannot be racist, and a woman cannot be sexist, because of a simple dialectic: one has power; the other is disempowered.
The general acceptance of power relations as a rationale for government policy is a major success of cultural Marxism. The middle-class graduate class has taken to Leftist dogma, because the arc of social justice can be bent to its own ends. Graced with intellect and social status, feminists of privileged background are exploiting the simplistic gender power dichotomy to advance their careers. They show little concern for the genuinely powerless, such as the girls raped by mainly Pakistani grooming gangs, or the homeless men they pass outside their office block.
ITV news anchorman Tom Bradby, writing on the pros and cons of social media in the Evening Standard, glibly stated: ‘From the lecherous MPs of Westminster to the world of those who hide their money away in offshore tax havens, there is no hiding place any more for those who abuse their power.’ But what if someone was falsely accused? Or if the alleged misdemeanour was simply an overfriendly remark blown out of proportion? Mr Bradby should consider how he would feel if placed in the line of fire himself. Malicious allegations could be made and organisations, particularly since the Weinstein scandal, automatically suspend the accused. Would one, in that situation, be enjoying one’s sense of power?
The BBC and broadsheet newspapers have become as bad as online gossip in sensationalising and condemning the growing number of men whose names have been brought before the public jury. The female accuser is presumed to speak truth; the male culprit deserves his downfall. Political activist and journalist Kate Maltby was described as ‘brave’ for going public with insinuations about deputy prime minister Damian Green. But the likes of Maltby and Jane Merrick are not weak women. They are using a platform denied to women and girls who have suffered from real abuse, hidden in patriarchal communities or ignored by politically correct authorities more worried about Islamophobia than child safety.
Where are the institutional checks and balances to this witch-hunt? Head of Met Police, Cressida Dick is a leading figure of the establishment. This woman in power says she would be ‘delighted’ to investigate Damian Green, a senior government minister who has not been accused of crime. Meanwhile Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders receives bucketloads of criticism, but she is not threatened by the Inquisition. Indeed, some would perceive her as inquisitor-in-chief, with her strategy to skew prosecution of sex crime cases so that all defendants face a legal system that wants them to be guilty.
Where is the responsibility? Kelvin Hopkins was suspended by the Labour Party, and we must wait to know whether claims of sexual misconduct are true. But fellow Labour MP Kerry McCarthy is too impatient for due process. Like Hopkins, McCarthy has served on the Labour front bench. She released letters Hopkins sent to her over a period of some years, complaining that this was overfriendly and unwanted attention. McCarthy’s action has caused Hopkins ‘immense personal hurt and utter dismay’, and he asks ‘why a parliamentarian of such experience and standing, who is also a long-term friend, would not have told me that she was unhappy with any aspect of our relationship, rather than going straight to the national press?’ Some might see McCarthy as courageous, but I guess most people will roll their eyes.
Some of this tide of denunciation has hints of nastiness. Thank goodness for female commentators who raise their heads above the parapet to call for a halt to this 21st century Salem atmosphere. Sensible writers such as Ella Whelan and Joanna Williams on Spiked, Jennifer Selway in the Daily Express, Sarah Vine and Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail, and our scribes on The Conservative Woman, see the damage that this unedifying spectacle is causing to society and to womankind. Such writers realise that feminism, in its present self-serving expression of middle-class entitlement, is not representative of women. Hopefully they will inspire more of their sex to rise against the po-faced destroyers of humour and erstwhile norms of sexual liberty.
The liberal-Left intelligentsia, our virtue-signalling politicians and emancipatory activists claim to pursue a fairer society. But we have seen more than a glimpse of radical feminist justice – and it isn’t pretty. By abusing the concept of power, they are abusing power itself.