Australian Notes

Australian notes

27 June 2020

9:00 AM

27 June 2020

9:00 AM

Time to cancel cancel culture

If I were ever asked, and I won’t be, I would urge the government to use all its influence and all its financial and other power to ensure that any university student on any Australian university campus who shouted down or disrupted an invited speaker would be expelled. Immediately. Disagreement would be fine. Tough questioning fine. But take any steps to stop the other point of view from being put and you’re out. If that means hundreds of student expulsions, so be it. Same goes for shouting down any lecturer or professor or for vandalising any statue or other commemorative structure on campus. No second chances. If you try to limit the views of others, rather than challenge and refute them, you don’t belong on the campus of an institution dedicated to higher learning and you would be gone. The same goes for university administrators who try to silence other views. Fired. Gone. Of course that would require this country’s vice-chancellors to grow a pair.  Likewise, it would require the prime minister and top cabinet ministers to grow a pair.

Again, if I were asked, and I won’t be, I would urge big business in this country to use all its influence, financial and otherwise, to stand up against the cancel culture. If, say, Sky comes under pressure to remove a presenter the Twitter mob dislikes – and recent evidence out of the US shows that just two per cent of Americans ever post on Twitter, so it’s a medium pretty much as representative as your local Green Party Trotskyite Vegan Collective – then it vows never to cave in. If its own employees urge it to cave in (as we’ve seen with publishers in the UK and with the New York Times and countless other businesses) then all such employees would be fired. Immediately. No second chances. If you’re against free speech you don’t belong there. And if advertisers on Sky buckle to some social media campaign and withdraw their advertising to pressure a broadcaster to remove someone whose view they dislike, then Sky will publish all those craven advertisers each day.  Government would then pledge never to contract with any of them and as far as possible not to buy any of their goods. You and I dear readers could then also pitch in by also not buying anything produced by advertisers who cave in to any anti-free thought and anti-free speech campaigns by these authoritarian two-percenters. Of course that would require the top executives at Sky and the terrestrial broadcasters to grow a pair. Likewise it would require other corporate elites to grow a pair. And likewise, again, it would require the prime minister and top cabinet ministers to grow a pair.

Let’s be honest. At the moment it’s brutally hard to decide who is more craven, cowardly and pusillanimous in defending Western civilisation, with its emphasis on free thought and free speech and commitment to a range of diverse views and opinions. Is it today’s political class, our top politicians? Or is it the corporate elite? As craven and gutless as the politicos are – and please, please, please Mr Morrison no more talk of only caring about jobs and putting food on the table when the health of a culture is clearly at stake; we already know you’re no Winston Churchill when it comes to standing up for values – the corporate types are worse. Our corporate elites don’t seem to have a single spine or backbone to share between them all. And don’t talk to me about doing what the customers want. Many of these corporate elites are as woke and ‘right on’ as they come. It’s time for all of us voters to vote with our wallets. We need to just stop buying anything, ever, from any business that is complicit in this cancel culture cancer.

I started trying this last year. I know that alone I make no difference at all. But if all of us acted who care about our culture, the best culture ever to have evolved on earth, we would make a difference. I’ve cut out Gillette, Nike, the NBA and more. You can do it too.

Who would have guessed that the most forceful defence of Western culture to come out of a politician’s lips would come from an ex-socialist, technocrat from France. It was President Macron who said of France last week that we ‘won’t erase any name from [our] history. [We] will forget none of [our] artworks, [we] won’t take down statues’. Monsieur Macron even went on to specify that statues of controversial colonial figures were included in his dictum. Warts and all they are part of a country’s history.

A Daniel come to judgment! (Though of course you won’t know what that phrase means if you don’t know your Bible or Shakespeare – meaning most tertiary-educated students in the last two decades won’t have a clue.) But why Macron and not Boris or ScoMo? It’s not that hard to stand up for your wonderful heritage. If a French socialist ex-bureaucrat can do it, you can too.

It is now plain that protesting and sloganeering under the banner of ‘diversity’ is just camouflage for wanting conformity, uniformity and groupthink. The one thing advocates of diversity clearly cannot tolerate is any sort of diversity of outlook or belief or thought. For them, outlying thought has to be crushed, and crushed completely. The fact they undertake this intolerance in the name of ‘tolerance’ should not fool any of us.

Worse, the fact so many of our elites let them get away with it is a disgrace. There are but two explanations. One is that these elites deep down agree with those who detest and want to abase their own culture. The other is that they are cowards. ‘Take the easy road and appease rather than the hard road and fight’, that’s their motto. Well, the rest of us can do something about it. Little bits. But together if we all speak up and don’t keep quiet, if we put our monies where our beliefs are, then we can cancel cancel culture.

Better start now as the rot has seeped through virtually all of our institutions.

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