A fortnight ago, a young woman, Sarah Everard, spent an evening at a friend’s house in Clapham, South London.
Late at night she walked home to Brixton, further south. Anyone familiar with London could have warned her that making that journey on foot was all her life was worth.
Alas, no one did, and Sarah was abducted and killed. The suspect, a police officer with a history of flashing women in public, was arrested.
Now imagine you’re a member of the House of Lords, up on your feet to respond to that tragic event. You realise that merely expressing outrage and delivering the requisite litany of “our thoughts and prayers go to…” won’t be enough.
You must come up with a bill outlining measures that would make even iffy parts of town safer. What would you propose? What would any sane person propose?
You’d probably say we need more cops on the beat. Then perhaps you might suggest that policemen be vetted more carefully, to make sure they prevent crimes rather than committing them. Nor would it be a bad idea to increase both conviction rates and prison sentences, making the law more feared and respected. It would also be advisable to remind people, men as well as women, that they should take extra care when walking through certain neighbourhoods at night.
Is that all you can come up with? This only goes to show you are a misogynist global-warming denier, and probably also a homophobe, sexist, transphobe, crypto-rapist and fascist.
The Green peer Baroness Jones is none of those things, but then neither is she sane. That’s why, instead of the aforementioned measures, she proposed a blanket curfew keeping all men off the streets after 6 pm. “I feel,” she said, “this would make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened.”
All men, Lady Jones? Even tweedy sixtyish gentlemen going home after dinner at a Pall Mall club? And all kinds of discrimination? How about discrimination between sanity and lunacy? That too, by the sound of it.
A mere couple of decades ago such daring proposals were seldom heard outside lunatic asylums. However, now those institutions are under new management, and their boundaries have expanded over the whole country.
Hence crazy subversive ideas, solely designed to sever all ties of tradition, decency and sanity holding society together, are in the mainstream of ‘progressive’ thought. As such, they can be seriously – often solely – discussed in the Mother of All Parliaments, most media and at smart parties in the parts of London considerably better than Brixton or even Clapham.
Some such ideas make it into laws, some don’t, but they all have a steadily erosive effect. Yesterday’s lunacy becomes today’s eccentricity and tomorrow’s norm. All certitudes get inverted, all ties snipped one by one. Society is cast adrift, whirled around uncontrollably in the maelstrom of hot air.
This job is done by most people with a public voice, though their number is hard to assess. I’d be surprised if there were more than a few hundred, perhaps a thousand or two, but they are all good at wielding the knife. A nick here, a notch there, a chop elsewhere, and suddenly there’s no way back. Our civilisation dies by a thousand… well, cuts.
This strategy was tersely worded in ancient times: divide et impera – divide and conquer. Facing solid opposition, turn its members against one another, making sure friends and allies become implacable enemies. That scheme is clearly discernible in the workings of our vociferous minority.
Its members systematically sow discord between the sexes, rending families asunder and destroying the very concept of a family.
They radicalise racial rancour, fomenting unrest and violence.
They cut society off its history by portraying it as nothing but a series of heinous crimes.
They hack away at education, producing generations of youngsters well-versed in the delights of transsexuality and the use of condoms, but incapable of thinking soundly or even reading fluently.
They cut language to pieces. Thus ‘liberal’ gets to mean tyrannical; ‘liberty’, cultural and intellectual bondage; ‘social justice’, social injustice; ‘progressive’, subversive. I call this semantic vandalism glossocracy, controlling thought by controlling language.
Underpinning all these efforts is the slogan of equality for all – except of course for the vociferous minority lording it over everybody.
Baroness Jones’s diatribe is part of an important prong of this multifarious offensive: alienating the sexes. Arguing against her specific proposal is pointless – it’s like arguing against one of the weapons brandished to kill you.
If one were so inclined, one could mention that two thirds of the people murdered in London are men, not women. Moreover, three-quarters of the female victims are killed not by stray rapists, but by members of the same household.
But, as I say, there’s no point. Baroness Jones didn’t really mean that the entire male population of London should go into a lockdown. She was simply screaming hatred for everything that makes Britain British, Western, civilised or indeed sane.
Some people find it tempting to ascribe such outbursts to a dastardly cabal staffed with members of whatever group one finds objectionable: the Illuminati, Jews, Masons, Judaeo-Masons, the Rothschilds, social media billionaires, the Bilderberg Society, the Trilateral Commission, you name it.
But such temptations ought to be resisted. Conspiracies, real like communism or imaginary like so many others, only slake the natural human thirst for simple explanations.
Alas, those seeking such simplicity end up slitting their intellectual throats with Occam’s razor. The real problem lies much deeper than a smoky cellar in which evildoers concoct their knavish tricks.
Every civilisation in history has always had its share of professional malcontents, which isn’t always a bad thing. Even as competition makes an economy stronger, malcontents and their rants may add focus to society, helping it reassess itself, its values and priorities, making it better and stronger as a result.
However, a funny thing happened on the way to modernity: some three centuries ago the malcontents began to gain power at the expense of the whole Western civilisation. Their eyes got wider, their voices louder, their aims loftier.
They began to smell not just political victory, but an existential one. They realised they could destroy not only old politics, but also the old religion, old philosophies, old morality – old just about everything. These could be replaced with… what exactly?
The newly empowered malcontents weren’t unduly bothered by such details. They were electrons, not positrons. Their charge was negative, not positive. Destruction was their primary objective, with creation strictly secondary or even tertiary.
Sometimes they wielded an axe, sometimes a knife, sometimes a chisel, but each tool was handled with consummate expertise. Step by step, farfetched hypotheses became lapidary facts, appetites became rights, truths became lies and vice versa.
And then the snowball effect kicked in. More and more people began to listen and nod. Upholding the old certitudes was becoming mildly embarrassing, infra dig, not quite the done thing. Mocking those who did so anyway became a matter of kneejerk reflex, not serious, sound or even sane argument.
Hence Baroness Jones received support from all the customary quarters.
Such as the Scottish independence fanatic Nicola Sturgeon, who said: “there will be few – if any – women who don’t completely understand and identify with this”. If that’s true, I count myself lucky being married to one of the few. (Parenthetically, for the benefit of the uninitiated, what Scottish independence means to Nicola is leaving the UK and joining the EU.)
Or MP Diane Abbott, who wrote: “Even after all these years if I am out late at night on an isolated street & I hear a man’s footsteps behind me I automatically cross the road.” If it’s my steps, Diane, you should run, not just cross the road.
Or Kelechi Okafor, some kind of actress (see photograph above), who more or less claimed it was Piers Morgan what done it, by whipping up “socially encouraged misogyny” through his “incessant rants about Meghan Markle.”
It’s easy to dismiss such people as stupid, woke ideologues. But it’s much easier for them to dismiss the few remaining holdouts. It’s Jones and her ilk who have real, and growing, power. They are the ones who wield the knife, administering death by a thousand… well, cuts.