I arrive back in the UK today to a strange dystopia – a world of the outraged. Syria? Bank debt? Taxation? No, the insidious creeping grey goo of the professionally offended. The man who lied to take us to a war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives is offended by a fancy dress costume and has demanded it be removed from all of our choices. Because Alistair Campbell finds it distasteful due to his own (some might say self inflicted) battles with his mental health, none of us may now purchase a “mental patient” Halloween costume. His crusade is not over yet. He will not be happy until all references to mental health are only positive and all alcohol is banned in case any of us comes to the harm he managed to inflict upon himself.
The ever-creeping cancer of “correctness” is anything but. It is a world of falsehoods, spin and manipulation designed to ensure we live in a world of bland humourless monotony, with State bans on what we may or may not wear, talk or think. Twitter has turned into a race to inflict your righteous views on the entire population and woe betide any that do not join the “ something must be done, think of the children” mob.
Just yesterday, a checkout girl in Allerton, Liverpool was chastised for expressing an opinion about a newspaper whilst her detractor was hounded off the Internet with death threats because he too, had dared to note his thoughts on social media. The result will be complete silence. When nurses are losing their jobs because they dare to enjoy their time at the coalface and the wrath of the ever indignant Daily Mail whips up the twitter mob, it won’t be long before we are all pouring over each others postings desperately searching for something to take offence at and report to the authorities.
What a boring and soulless society we will build for ourselves. Jokes will be written by lawyers and performed at licensed premises where the public will be forced to sign waivers less their sensibilities be offended. Comedians and satirists will risk life and limb in the fruitless search for a joke that is funny, yet cannot offend. Individualism, so despised by the collective regimes of China, Korea or the Soviet Union will be crushed under the screeching wail of “The Righteous”, who know much better than you or I how to live our simple little lives. Any spark of creativity, imagination or maverick thinking will be crushed under the weight of the digital stocks where the ordinary and mediocre throw rotten vegetables at anyone daring to step outside the ever tightening circle of “normality”.
Will this new Digital Puritanism actually change anything? Of course not – students will continue to dress as mental patients, politicians will continue to dress as Adolf Hitler, and tasteless jokes will still be told in pubs, but all will be done under an ever spreading veil of secrecy. To laugh freely will be seen as a sign of decadence or sedition and banter will be restricted to closest friends who can be trusted not to run to the salivating media. Those who read Private Eye will do so in darkened rooms, under threat of being outed as possessing a non conformist sense of humour. Counselling and re-education will be offered to those who dare to chuckle at anything other than the permitted output of the Ministry of Humour. We will become the grey, miserable army of identical drones that Mao and Stalin so coveted and to our own shame, and we will have inflicted it upon ourselves.
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