Title suggested by Michelle Craik Friday 26 March
My mother was very “proper” and her sternest reprimand was “that is not done (in good society)!” My father was big on chivalry and respect.
Their ethos was maintaining the status quo. They would have been aghast by today’s cancel culture, the bastard child of political correctness.
Social media has weaponised the assault against anyone right of centre. Freedom of speech is drowned by the floods of woke activists; intolerant of differing opinions, they publicly shame and punish dissenters.
Sadly politicians have all submitted to the tyranny that political correctness now promotes.
When a faceless mob starts dictating what can be said and what cannot be said, then democracy is at death’s door.
Thus the woke mob has enabled conviction upon mere allegation, the disregard of due process and the immediate destruction of reputations without allowing defence. Debates are reduced to memes and emojis, dissent is dissed.
The fear of being pillored makes us inhibited and afraid to address even the most banal issues directly. We have taken a knee and will be obliged to do so until we get brave enough to challenge the mob.
We have ourselves to blame. Our society has forgotten that freedom must be cherished and enjoyed responsibly. We have forgotten that freedom extends to everyone and we have become prisoners of populism.
The mob has grown and has immense power and influence. So much so that governments tailor their policies and actions to conform.
And in the naked light, I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sound of silence
Paul Simon, 1964