If there is to be a word of the decade, let it be ‘febrile’.
We are living in a permanently febrile atmosphere. This is largely driven by the Left, using agitation and propaganda to fuel public hysteria on numerous topics and to make people forget the truth about socialism. Tough luck trying to sell this in the centenary of Lenin’s revolution.
The main tool used by the Left is denunciation. In repressive regimes and cultures, people would denounce neighbours and colleagues, perhaps as a way of ingratiating themselves with those in power. Those known to have successfully denounced someone would become an object of fear as it would be reasoned that any denunciation, even an untruthful one, would be believed by authority.
Denunciation is the mentality of the lynch mob. It follows no form of reason.
In the West, we allow only magistrates and judges to denounce, and then only on the facts. But this is changing.
Our anonymous urban life created social disconnections. The advent of the Internet is restoring these connections for good and, regrettably, ill.
Closed communities dealt with denunciation in a traditional way, the rule of the mob. Nowadays, this method has expanded globally and across time, to the point where we are all now, willing or otherwise, members of a supercommunity that knows no real barrier and we seem to have to conform to shifting, but exacting standards that are sometimes quite alien.
We are experiencing a global version of the Jimmy Savile scandal, owing to the fact that instead of just the BBC, this has been triggered by the home of global media, Hollywood.
This does seem to be affecting only the English-speaking world. No reports of similar scandals in Germany or France.
However, it might be prudent to take the ‘long view’.
Historic sexual abuse is being re-examined in much more detail. Victims of those in power and influence are starting to be believed. This seems to be some kind of domino effect. Because the accusations against Savile were validated, the implication is that all historic accusations must be right. The challenge is that some might be wrong, and have been fabricated for political reasons or for personal aggrandisement. These, and other kinds of denunciations, are also being used to advance the cause of socialism.
The Left have been trying to rewrite British history for decades, to denounce our past. They are now trying to equate the British Empire with the Third Reich. In truth, Britain elevated the world with capital investments and the promotion of peace under the imperial umbrella. But the Left are not content with trashing our proud history. They must also denounce the dead.
Edward Heath was a man who did not marry and had no known girlfriends of note. He had no boyfriends either. As such he is a target of suspicion and innuendo. The late Peter Morrison, Margaret Thatcher’s Personal Private Secretary, has been outed as a paedophile, and this, along with the story of Sir Peter Hayman’s perversions, is being used to discredit Conservative governments as a way of promoting socialism. Socialists cannot denounce Mrs Thatcher’s economic policies, simply because they were successful, so they use different methods, creating a conspiracy theory they can then denounce.
There is an Orwellian motivation here of constant historic revisionism to disconnect people with their culture and traditions and to associate economic and political freedom with decadence.
It is ironic that the social progress following 1945 is being cast as a dark age of institutionalised child sexual exploitation as a way of denouncing all structures of political power, but especially the Conservatives. The Hard Left, who were never in power, want to emerge with clean hands and sell themselves to an electorate that has been deliberately undereducated about the history of communism.
However the hands of the Left are not all that clean. Sexual abuse abounded in the Workers Revolutionary Party and Socialist Workers Party. The attacks on female Labour politicians started when they were opposing Jeremy Corbyn to a point where over 40 of them wrote a letter to him begging for it to stop. Votes on Labour’s National Executive Committee had to be held in secret lest women members be targeted by vengeful Corbynites.
Discussion is being now informally policed and closed down with denunciations such as racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, class prejudice, and a new one, transphobia. This means that dialogue and debate are shunned by the Left. When a Left-wing protester publicly confronted Jacob Rees-Mogg at a fringe meeting to the Conservative Party conference, all he did was denounce. Similarly when Scottee, some kind of self-righteous Left-wing misandrist performance artist, was challenged by Michael Portillo on the BBC’s ‘This Week’ after denouncing the ‘patriarchy’, he did not actually disagree with Portillo’s demolition of his arguments, but simply made cheap jibes, rolled his eyes and looked away.
Debate on the matters of abuse is being strictly controlled. Sometimes victims will bear some responsibility for their predicament. Trivial issues are being magnified, such as Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knees being touched by an MP. However these concepts are closed down with accusations of victim-blaming or ignoring. The real world does not operate on such Manichean principles. Our interactions are more nuanced.
There also may be an instance of whataboutery taking place. The antics of Sheffield Hallam’s worst-ever MP now seem largely forgotten, which may have been the point of the shift in focus to the Conservative Party.
So we seem to have had a culture of denunciation imposed on us, where some denunciations are seen as better than others, and all denunciations are accepted as true, making people guilty until proven innocent. What is not being looked at too closely is who is doing the denouncing and why they are doing it, but also, why now and not before. The current furore cannot have started just because Harvey Weinstein is now at retirement age and can no longer damage careers.
It may be time to take a breather from all the public hysteria, ade-febrile-ate ourselves and look at these issues objectively and rationally. Then the truth might be separated from the fiction.