Wednesday 21 December 2022

Wokery explored: is it our fault for allowing thousands of years of experience-based common sense to be replaced by a decade of fanatics promoting extremism?

Wokery analysed: 

21 Dec 2022

it's a self-inflicted cultural disaster - but we don't seem willing or able to stop it...

The  Spectator's ever perspicacious Rod Liddle has been thinking a lot about Wokeness lately, and has managed to make a decent fist of nailing this quivering blob of cultural jelly to the ceiling at last. If you are not already a Spectator subscriber, then you should be... here's a sample...

"...We going through a phase in the United Kingdom where unless the Spectator is willing to freely cast its pearls of wisdom beyond its subscriber base for a while, the country may be sufficiently diminished that no one will be able to afford a subscription after the next general election. Indeed the extreme regime in place will probably send the entire Spectator staff for re-education on collective farms in the Orkneys.

And again, I remind you to familiarise yourself with Yuri Bezmanov's analysis of how the west has been slowly but certainly destroying itself from within for the past 70 years. Then this all makes perfect sense, although it does not offer a solution to put our society back on the rails.

Two very brief excerpts from Radio 4 last week. First, my wife turned on her radio in time to hear an actor in the afternoon play utter the words: ‘But Bob, you’ve been helping young disadvantaged black kids all your life!’ At which point, she turned off. Two days later I switched on my car radio and the display announced a ‘radical updating of Oliver Twist’ and I had just enough time to hear an actor say something like: ‘Quick, come quick! Babatunde has been shot in de leg by de gangs!’ before I too turned off. 

They are nothing if not psychotically obsessive at Radio 4, I think. It is worth tuning in for three seconds every few hours at random just to see what gratuitous wokery they are spraying in our direction – before switching over to something else, anything else.

People wonder where wokery has come from and those on the alt-right are often inclined to put it down to some ectoplasmic thing called ‘Cultural Marxism’. I have my grave doubts. Marx was both empirical and famously collectivist, while progressive politics is individualistic and post-rational. In the late autumn of this year I was asked by the New Culture Forum to deliver the Smith Lecture in front of a few hundred people in London and took as my topic the origins of this asinine creed, wokery. (I don’t know who Smith is, by the way. It wasn’t Adam, nor Jacqui, nor W.H. Perhaps it was named in honour of George Smith, a combative midfielder who played for Middlesbrough at the turn of the 1970s and a little later for Birmingham City.)

My conclusion was not a particularly happy or useful one. What we call wokery does not have a proper ideological base because it is incoherent and often contradictory: you would need to be on very good-quality acid to unite its various strands into a semblance of semantic order – and it still wouldn’t make sense. Instead, we have created it unwittingly, without thinking, over the past 50 or 60 years and as such only have ourselves to blame. It is, beyond all else, a creature of affluence, comfort and security: nobody in Somalia or Chad gets terribly worked up if you misgender them. The consequence, then, of cosseting.

The young generation which has taken progressive politics to its heart is the most affluent the world has ever seen, the most mollycoddled and the least at risk from warfare. Even within our society, just as in the USA, wokery has little or no purchase among the poor or the working class and instead thrives in areas populated by the wealthiest – our university cities, for example. 

Further, it is the most affluent of universities which most gladly embrace every and any woke idiocy which hoves into view: Oxford, Cambridge, Durham – not Teesside Poly. It is all a means by which the middle class can differentiate themselves from the working class and look down upon them (much as with Brexit, of course).

The rapid rise of Health and Safety is a contributory factor, its language utilised by social justice warriors on the campuses and beyond. They insist that they merely wish to be ‘safe’ by not reading Macbeth or listening to Douglas Murray give a speech. 

We might add into the mix that other growth industry, Human Resources, where the focus is always on the individual at the expense of the majority and the response to whining complainants of ‘Can’t you just get on with it?’ is no longer acceptable. Increasingly, these days, industry seems to exist to nurture individuals and cater to their whims, rather than to actually, y’know, make things

In our schools we have seen a shift away from the acquisition of knowledge towards how one feels about stuff, how one might interpret it.
This is crucial, I would suggest. It is not merely that the acquisition of knowledge is tiresome and difficult – it is that the knowledge acquired is itself part of the problem, an agency which enables white supremacy and the straight hegemony (as critical race theory has argued about maths, for example).

Further, if facts are not important – only your own truth and your lived experience – then the woke project is immune to rational analysis and empirical objections can be dismissed with an effete wave of the hand. I might add that the enormous number of pastoral care staff in schools (in my old comprehensive of 1,900 kids we had one nurse) reinforces the unfortunate notion among young people that their petty worries matter – when in fact they do not matter at all, and it would be far more instructive to let the kids know that.

There is so much more, so much that we have done to enable wokery. Our retreat from the church, for example. Where once Christianity (and particularly Protestantism) fostered a sense of self-reliance, communitarianism and the adherence to a bunch of simple and very clear strictures, that has all gone. We are now pretty much a secular society and yet we have put nothing in the place of God, be he fictional or real, that might inculcate societal norms and mores – and so everything is up for grabs and we are left with a bland moral relativism and a ‘Don’t judge me!’ mentality.

The generation which has taken these progressive politics to its heart is the most affluent ever seen.

Allied to this is the constant injunction, these days, not to stigmatise sections of society or individuals for behaviour which is both injurious to themselves and incivistic. The problem is that stigma is society’s way of regulating antisocial behaviour. 

If you remove the stigma of being, say, obese, more people will be overweight, the diminution of marriage and the reform of divorce laws, the lack of an external threat to this country and the rise of a post-rational feminism – they’re all in the mix. Truth is, we should have seen woke coming..."

Friday 9 December 2022

"Let's kill all the lawyers" - top advice from WiIliam Shakespeare:

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" 

William Shakespeare Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2

08DEC22 0v2

Internet pioneer and all-round Cassandra, Peter Dawe, has made some more observations that are just too sensible - and so will never get past the vested interests of "the system" to be able to benefit us all. But here goes anyway. . But to make anything happen, we will need to take Shakespeare's advice from Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2. "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"

"...The UK justice system is an excellent example of how a system becomes self-toxic.

  1. The system is defined by lawyers, and the same interests run it.
  2. It is in the interest of lawyers to make the requirement for lawyer expertise in effect essential to access the system
  3. It is in the interest of lawyers to make the system ever more onerous, thus requiring ever more legal advice
  4. They make it illegal to do stuff without the advice of lawyers
  5. They make it the norm that lawyers do not give "advice", merely answer whether a particular course of action is likely to be legal or not. Thus absolving themselves of any risk or being liable
  6. They ensure that the system is not symmetrical between litigants. This ensures that the wealthy and the criminal are better represented than the poor or the victim.
  7. They demand the ability to challenge every decision through ever more tiers of justice, to keep the £ flowing.

Eventually, the system collapses. In this case, the cost of prosecution in criminal courts has become too much for the public purse to bear. However, rather than change the system, they campaign for more money to go into the court system.

And what consumer in their right mind would seek justice against a corporate? They just keep the case going until the opponent runs out of money, patience or just simply dies!

So here is an idea; a voluntary parallel justice system, where the litigants are restricted to a fraction of the value of the harm. The papers are presented to a random jury, who determine the JUSTICE of the case. (Note, not the "law"). If one of the litigants refuses to accept the judgement, they are refused the future use of the system.

Litigants can always use the legacy law system if they want...."

Far too sensible to make it past the vested interested of the "system", but well worth discussion and further development.

Recent legislation like the EU's all-encompassing GDPR law has careered out of control and created a labyrinthine set of rules and enforcement procedures that have pretty much created its own entire industry for the benefit of lawyers and paralegal rent seekers.

The Online Safety bill is another classic example of a vague idea that has been allowed to career totally out of control by activist lawyers that infest the "civil service". It sets out to address issues that are basically already covered by existing "off-line" legislation. Alex Belfield was convicted of stalking using all extant laws and process - despite no question of any physical intimidation being involved - Belfield got 5.5 years porridge as the result of a most astonishing case that is subject to appeal. Alex made no secret of anti-woke views, and this almost certainly was used against him as he foolishly conducted his own defence, in the fond belief that British Justice was all he needed. Silly boy...

And there is also now a serious attempt to legislate rude and irreverent jokes out of existence... you can probably imagine the activist ranks that have been triggered into being outraged and motivated to demand action and
establish a specific criminal offence of public sexual harassment. Hold tight...

"Consultation outcome...  The government’s response to the targeted consultation on whether there should be a criminal offence of public sexual harassment ...

How can this madness happen? Simple This government has been systematically perverted and destroyed by a determinedly subversive civil service, determined to make mischief and make governing impossible... you will recall that Dominic Cummings tried to clear out the politicized civil service that infested Whitehall and Westminster? Well, of course the "blob" quickly managed to close ranks and arrange for his entrapment and removal.

Tony Blair's regime established the "Supreme Court" - Blair and his missus were both lawyers you will recall - the Blob takes its orders from the cabal of left wing lawyers who have spent their lives gaming the system. If I was inclined to conspiracy theories