The evacuation was orderly, and it had to be: SS Stella sank in merely eight minutes. This regular steamer from Southampton to Guernsey, the crew disorientated by thick mist, struck the dreaded Casquets rocks near Alderney. Lifeboats were launched, with the cry of ‘Women and children first’. The stricken ship went stern up and then straight down, taking most of the male passengers and crew to a watery grave.
I learned of this 1899 disaster in Guernsey’s maritime museum at Castle Cornet, St Peter Port. Later, I mused on the rather chivalrous prioritisation of female passengers if a similar incident occurred today. Following Justine Greening’s enforcement of gender fluidity, I was tempted to write some conjecture on how 100 women left port but 200 were rescued (with an aside on that Corbynite shadow minister’s proposed female-only train carriages, in the desperation of the morning rush hour).
Then I read the newspapers and discovered that such satire on transgenderism could now be classified as a hate crime. So I decided to throw in my tuppence ha’penny about the risible Crown Prosecution Service guidance on pursuing writers of politically incorrect online comments. I’ve returned from holiday to a country whose establishment is now undeniably hell-bent on dismantling not only our Judaeo-Christian heritage but also our post-Enlightenment liberty and reason.
You know the details already, but it’s worth repeating this disturbing document and its justification by Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions. The boys in blue will be knocking on your door if you write something racist, anti-religious, homophobic, biphobic or transphobic. And in tune with the Macpherson Report, whereby any perceived discrimination is recorded as true, the scope is broad, including ‘unfriendliness’ or ‘dislike’. To ridicule the burka, for example, would be risky.
Reading of Saunders’s latest wheeze, I contrasted the coverage in the Sun and the Times. The former stridently opposed this meddlesome censorship, with a superb rebuttal by Brendan O’Neill. To my exasperation, the Times was supportive. But reading the metropolitan snobbery of, for example, Robert Crampton, it’s unsurprising that the ‘paper of record’ sees such mission creep as a benefit for society (meaning its liberal middle-class readers).
In the same edition of the Times, in a commentary on the gender pay gap, Emma Duncan told of her family debating the case of James Damore, the Google employee who was sacked for expressing his opinion on sex differences in the technological industry. Duncan’s son ‘thought that most of what he said was right, but that Google was right to fire him on the grounds that he was clearly a plonker’. A perfect illustration, I thought, of how millennials have been trained to think: truth is unacceptable if it discriminates. If we’re not careful, this is the future.
The next day’s Times had a mild corrective by Clare Foges, but her column characterised the targets of the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines as ‘drunk inadequates’. The law applies to all – and that means writers like her too. Every one of us is guilty of criticising or disliking something that other people do. Saunders, like the National Trust’s Dame Helen Ghosh and numerous other liberal-leftards who hold the reins in our official and cultural institutions, decides what we are allowed to say.
Libertarians and social conservatives must join forces in fighting this attack on our fundamental freedom. We should press and probe for clarity on their Alice in Wonderland rules of citizenship. Saunders argues that hate crime ‘can affect entire communities, forcing people to change their way of life and live in fear’. Which community do you think she has in mind? Is it the same community that Jeremy Corbyn told Sarah Champion must not be generalised?
I guess there is indeed fear among poor white girls in northern towns who have been treated like pieces of meat by members of the supposedly victimised community. And fear in people who have directly experienced jihadi terror in Manchester or London. Undoubtedly we have been forced to change our way of life owing to hate-fuelled crimes against us, as in the overbearing security procedures from airports to museums. But now we have the added fear of arrest merely for criticising a medieval death cult that repeatedly slaughters innocent people.
Fear of changing our way of life is why many voted for Brexit. The backlash against us has been vociferous and unrelenting. A constant stream of ageist and inverse racist abuse. People are afraid to admit that they voted for Britain to resume its status as an independent country. Fear of changing our way of life, as in the stunting of democratic process. Consider Conservative candidates in the general election, who were deterred from hustings by Left-wing thugs.
Of course, these are not the fears that Saunders and her fellow cultural Marxists are concerned about. The law is not for us any more – it is their toy now. We must hope that they will take enough rope to hang themselves. And that a fresh generation emerges to overturn the humourless zealotry that currently prevails. Until that happens, third-rate sociology nonsense will continue its advance as the law of the land. But if chivalry equals power equals hate crime, at least I’ll get a place on the lifeboat.