Free speech? That's a young man's game
Toby Young is a professionally well-travelled, well-respected journalist who has written for – among many others – Vanity Fair and The Spectator, founded the influential Modern Review in the 90s, written a book called How to Lose Friends and Alienate People which was filmed starring Simon Pegg and, more recently, founded four free schools. His latest venture is the ‘Free Speech Union’.
The organisation is designed to function like any other union in protecting rights, but the rights being protected here are under very real threat, unlike some of the petty nonsense trades unions involve themselves in. The impetus for the new organization was Young’s experience when invited to speak at Durham University, an event at which he was viciously insulted in front of his young children.
Young has an eye for historico-political comparison, referring to ‘a new climate of Maoist intolerance’, the ‘trans Taliban’, and ‘reducing the power of the Politburo’. He discusses the most recent ‘victory’ by the new Puritans which led to the forced resignation of newsreader Alistair Stewart, who Tweeted a passage from Measure for Measure in which the simile of an ape was used. An angry black man, who didn’t even receive the Tweet, felt aggrieved and the process, as it always does, went through the form with epic dispatch.
Young isolates and anatomises the way that what we here at BI call the ‘malevolent Left’ operate: ‘offence archaeology’, an approved lexicon, a table of heresies, public shaming, collusion with the media and various other tactics from the new Puritan playbook. He is accurate, well-measured, and determined to turn back the tide of near-psychotic intolerance washing away the edifice of reasoned debate and commentary.
What the malevolent Left have done is to create a co-axial language – a language within a language, like Cockney rhyming slang or the terminology used in formal logic – and demanded that everyone adhere to it and its extraordinary ‘referents’, or the ‘things’ it refers to. Cishet, TERF, otherkin, Xe; these monstrosities sound as though they were excerpted from a workplace chat in Klingon.
The crucial, central point which must never be forgotten while the bullets fly in this war of semantics is that the malevolent Left do not care about ‘transgender’ folk, gays, Muslims, blacks, owlkin or any other of the new pets they have invented, as though modern society were the island of Dr. Moreau. These people are simply points of leverage.
And it must not be thought that it is merely a claque of rabid offence archaeologists working from a student union office (gee, they must be fun places to work) who go after people such as Young. The MSM is also complicit. Young wrote a piece for The Spectator praising a programme on cars, some of which had scantily clad women draped across them, and the sub-editor chose to put his or her tongue in their cheek and head it Confessions of a Porn Addict. Seventeen – that’s and one and a seven – years later, some info-weevil mining the veins of past journalism reported Young to teacher, and London’s Evening Standard – the only free publication in Britain which makes the reader feel they have been ripped off – ran a headline suggesting that ‘pressure was mounting’ on Theresa May to remove Young from an advisory post on education. George Osborne edits the Standard now, and they deserve each other.
The revolutionary fervor, the glee of Bolshevik zealotry and celebration, is always and everywhere apparent once a scalp has been claimed by the malevolent Left and their word police. The reason for this is not difficult to ascertain. They have further spoiled Britain. The great joy with which the malevolent Left greeted the defenestration of Sir Roger Scruton – hounded while a sick and dying man – was nothing to do with protecting minorities and everything to do with a hatred for what Sir Roger might have done to improve British architecture when what the malchicks of the Left want to see on the horizon is a brutalist Legoland filled with unemployed immigrants. Never forget that the Left hate Britain, and England in particular.
They kill too. There has been more than one suicide as a result of the type of Bacchic hounding – and it very often involves women. This is an area with generous gender equality – and undoubted episodes of mental illness. But, for the malevolent Left, this is collateral that is not just worth paying, it’s fun. Fight the fash, as they say in certain fetid areas of the damp floor of social media.
Toby Young’s Free Speech Union aims to provide support, legal advice and representation, information and networking for anyone who has suffered from the current infestation of social justice zombies (our phrase, not his), and their website is now live at www.freespeechunion.orgwith an email address at email@example.com
What began as a phenomenon that would produce snorts of derisive laughter has blossomed and swarmed into a very dangerous weapon of the hard Left. It is profoundly to be hoped that Young’s initiative will carry the fight back against those who would rob us of our freedoms.
Photo credit - Raj Curry