John Wesley was one of the greatest of Englishmen. His indefatigable travel to bring the gospel to the poorest inspires awe. Over fifty-four years, travelling mostly on horseback, he covered about five thousand miles a year. That is some two hundred and ninety thousand miles, equal to circumnavigating the globe about twelve times.

Much of his travel was revisiting towns and villages where he had already preached the gospel. A pattern emerged: Wesley would present the gospel, people would come to Christ and lives would be changed. Drunks would become sober, the indolent would apply themselves, husbands and wives would become faithful, chaotic lives would find a stable purpose. Changed morality led to changed lifestyles.


As their economic condition inevitably improved, people would move from the poorest areas and establish themselves in more secure environments. At a time of great social upheaval, their places would be taken by country people moving into the towns. Wesley rejoiced that converts’ lives were changed so dramatically, and proceeded with the task of taking the gospel to the new urban poor.

Today’s secular world has the opposite dynamic. It is to the express advantage of some individual advocacy organisations devoted to the rights of a particular victim group to inflate and perpetuate the victim status.

There are disturbing aspects to the commonplace culture of victimhood. Firstly, in the plethora of claims for special treatment for differing victim groups it is difficult to work out who tops the Victim League at any particular time.

There is much to be gained or lost socially, politically and economically depending on one’s position on the Victim League. As a victim caste, women have fallen behind Muslims, hence the silence concerning female genital mutilation which, until recently, has been quietly accepted by progressives.

There is nothing new under the sun. When the 14th Amendment to the US constitution was adopted in 1868, black men were given the vote when women of all races were disenfranchised. The former slave Frederick Douglass said at the time: ‘This is the Negro’s hour.’ He continued: ‘When women because they are women are dragged from their houses and hung upon lamp-posts . . . then they will have the urgency to obtain the ballot equal to our own.’

Women had been dragged out of their homes as booty of war, and within their homes subjected to domestic slavery simply because they were women for far longer than the brief few centuries of American slavery, horrific as that was. But Douglass was not concerned with either historical fact or equal rights, he was concerned with the rights of what he saw as his people. His real argument was ‘Our suffering beats your suffering, so our rights beat your rights’. As Orwell taught us, ‘All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others’.

Sectional interest always argues ‘I’m more unequal than you and have suffered more than you, therefore I have more rights than you’. Suffering, however, is relative and has a significant element of ego. We all feel our own pain and the pain of those close to us much more acutely than we feel the pain of others.

That sense of personal suffering is played upon by activists to increase their influence and gain higher positioning in the Victim League. To work out priorities or who ‘deserves’ favoured treatment we rely not on the substance of the suffering but on the vociferousness of the complainant. Outrage, real or manufactured, is the deciding factor. Anger triumphs over fact.

There is another, and more troubling, aspect of victim culture. When individuals are told by activists that they are part of a class of victims, should expect to be victims, and that they need to be constantly looking over their shoulders in case they become victims, then they will read into every slight, real or imagined, a personal attack. The sense of victimhood is inevitably increased.

That this may not accord with the facts is immaterial. Despite constant media insistence and activists engendering an atmosphere of fear, the fact is that virtually zero homosexuals are victims of hate crime. According to a UCLA study released in April 2011, an estimated 3.5 per cent of Americans self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, which equates to approximately 9million adults. The FBI reports that there were 1376 victims of hate crime, including verbal abuse, due to sexual identity in 2012. This translates to 0.00015 per cent of all LGBT people being hate crime victims.

It is, however, important for activists of whatever cause to maintain pressure on behalf of their victim group. In 2016 more than a million Londoners voted for Sadiq Khan in the mayoral election, giving him the largest direct mandate enjoyed by any individual in British history. This in the capital of a nation in which, according to Lady Warsi, it has become ‘socially acceptable’ to despise Muslims.

The ‘constituency’ of activists are the victimised. One of the activists’ problems is: How do we make it appear that we are working for our constituents and making progress, without making so much progress that your constituency gets the impression that activists are no longer required?

When victimhood is seen as your source of identity and empowerment, recovery is seen as the enemy. Blame is apportioned to the oppressors, solutions are found in the activist bodies which assure them they are victims, and so the victim remains a perpetual victim. What is promoted as a corrective to injustice becomes a source and reinforcer of injustice.

One solution is that by concentrating on peripheral issues such as speech codes, gaining small victories gives the impression that progress is being made by an able, caring and dynamic leadership. This leads to declaring wolf-whistling a hate crime. When a vicious racially motivated assault and a brickie whistling at a woman can be considered the same type of ‘crime’, society has slipped its moorings.

28 COMMENTS

  1. The same thinking underlies the ‘aid’ agencies and charities in Africa.

    It goes: It’s awful here but a few pounds a month from you will help us fix it.*

    Well some charities have been in Africa now for decades building clean water sources and yet still the same journeys are being made by the children of those who two decades ago were walking 10 miles a day for a container of clean water. Either the charities are shockingly bad at their chosen job or something is amiss.

    * aka our 4×4’s are looking a bit past their sell by date and need replacing….

    • Well in the experience of my friends one of the things that goes amiss is that once the charity moves on the well, tap, clinic etc. simply falls into decay as no one takes responsibility for its upkeep. My friends view is that just giving sort of reproduces our malaise of assuming “someone” is responsible and therefore behaving as if no one is.
      Their stories used to shock me as this isn’t about littering streets or pot plants at the Town Hall but going back to diseased water and long treks to collect it (often children). Human beings are strange beings sometimes.

  2. Forget who leads the league– can any “team” be relegated?

  3. The establishment left doesnt dare criticise anything that a Muslim does or an islamic country does, so they are top of the victim charts.

    All muslims magically become “asians” whenever they are found to have been a rapist, a murderer or a terrorist. No other victim group has those magical powers.

    • Yes, but lauded for being proudly Moslem (and so quite superior to us) when they win baking competitions.

  4. Excellent article! The whole “progressive” virtue-signalling competition reminds me of Jesus rebuke against the Pharisees – “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead”. “Progressives” don’t actually care for the poor, they care for their image of caring for the poor, which gives them power in the form of moral and political authority in the eyes of the naive.

    • Perfectly phrased.
      It was only half an hour back that I was thinking what a pair of unpleasant creeps
      Jo & Brendan Cox were.
      I trust he now has got a proper job appropriate to his skills & morality.
      Possibly acting as janitor in a monastery.

  5. Top Trumps

    My cause takes precedence because it’s mine.
    There is no evidence but I define
    Myself as an oppressed minority,
    As such I claim superiority.
    I “wear my tribulation like a rose”,
    Whose sickly fragrance fills the air about me,
    So that when you’re in my presence
    You needs must breathe it in,
    Bow down before my suffering
    And never doubt me.
    To question any claim I make to victimhood
    Is to deny and utterly offend me,
    My existence is my terrible affliction;
    Your sympathy confirms man’s brotherhood.
    My cause takes precedence because it’s mine,
    And knowing this you must enshrine
    In law my right to more than understanding.
    Never ask if what I am demanding
    Imposes far too much. For the frustration
    Others feel at my commanding
    So much of what they are allowed to do
    Is very much a price worth paying,
    Because I am superior to you.

  6. I don’t know why we bother with the Olympics or Eurovision when we are shown ‘Competitive Victimhood’ as the prime Media Event.

    Some people might call me a ‘pale stale male’ or even a ‘gammon’ but I care not. I’m just glad that I have no ‘champion’ telling me how victimised I am (and getting paid a salary to do so).

    • Competitive Victimhood seems to the ‘raison d’etre’ of the BBC. Certainly of the ‘Today’ programme each morning.

  7. I couldn’t tell you who will be top of the league (actually I can, it’s Muslims), but I can say for certain who will never be promoted to the league at all: middle-aged, white, straight men.

  8. “When victimhood is seen as your source of identity and empowerment, recovery is seen as the enemy. ”
    That is true but more for the people who gain power from it. The activist, the community leaders, the politician, criminals etc. The average person in that group would prefer not to be a victim.

  9. As Orwell observed “a lot of money is to be made out of founding a new Religion” and whereas Ron L Hubbard cracked it with his Pyramid Scams of Dyanetic-Scientolgy he never got Establishment endorsement that ‘Victimhood’ has!

  10. I recently saw a video with a black woman asking why no one talks about the slaves that went East. The Ottoman empire continued condoning official slaving until 1890. The Africans were enslaved by the Ashanti in particular, (Afua Hirsch seems never be challenged about that, despite exploitating her Ghanaian ancestry for her arguments) and the Arabs. Most slavery today is still carried out by those two groups. This started prior to white people being involved, and carries on after it had ceased in European cultures. Also, black men were usually castrated to stop them breeding. I await the BBC documentary…

  11. “Women have been subject to domestic slavery ” RUBBISH. Women were confined to the home in the past by the lack of contraception, lack of domestic appliances and the need to look after the domestic domain while their husband was held responsible for their financial security. Don’t write such ignorant nonsense.

  12. Sick of lefties. Sick of the causes of lefties. Enough is enough. Make them stop. Etc.

  13. Current League Table:

    Islam
    Trans whatevers
    Feminists
    Remainers
    David Lammy
    The Democrat Party
    Gays
    Scousers
    Mancunians
    The SNP
    Plaid Cymru
    The “Disabled”
    The Yoof
    Junkies
    Criminals

    • Have you seen the case in the US where a Muslim beautician refused to treat a trans customer (who still had all his/her male parts). The left will be in torment at who to throw under the bus.

    • Sorry, can’t find myself in there. I guess I don’t even make it into the premier league.

  14. The Labour Party love a victim. That’s where the majority of their votes come from – well, aside from those who search out victim groups. As soon as the ‘victim’ is seen as no longer the ‘victim’ that’s when they become the oppressor and their voices are to be shut down as meaningless. Living in poverty in a grotty suburb in the North of England? Tory cuts, you must be a victim and you’re perfect for our party. Transitioning from a boy to a girl, a woman to a man? You must be a victim of circumstance and thus belong to our party. The Tories are to blame for not recognising your needs. Black and can’t get a job? Institutional racism from an ignorant Tory government. Come on over. A woman who has decided to take maternity leave to have octuplets and is being passed over for a promotion? Gender bias in the workplace. Tory’s fault, yada yada yada.
    If you’re not a victim, you’re the oppressor and this is how Labour group it regardless of the fact that the majority of the country doesn’t believe that things are so black and white. It works for them and they’ll carry on regardless.

    • As the old saying goes: ‘The Labour Party loves the poor, which is why they wish to create ever more of them’.

      The same goes for any self identifying ‘victim’ with a vote.

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