Con­fed­er­acy of dunces now in con­trol

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO OPINION - Gra­ham Spence

I HAVE spent most of my life liv­ing un­der mi­nor­ity rule. First in South Africa, and now in Eng­land.

Eng­land? The home of democ­racy? Yes. I’ll come to that.

But first South Africa. I con­sid­ered mi­nor­ity rule apartheid grossly un­fair and wrote about it as a jour­nal­ist.

This was not ac­tivism on my part. Just straight re­port­ing on ev­ery­day stuff re­vealed in the so­ci­ety we lived in.

To­day in Eng­land, I am still liv­ing un­der mi­nor­ity rule. But this time not in a po­lit­i­cal sense.

In­stead, it is mi­nor­ity mob rule, where a group of hys­ter­i­cal ac­tivists are hell-bent on in­vad­ing ev­ery facet of the lives of or­di­nary peo­ple.

You have to take your hat off to the ag­i­ta­tors who brought this about. It takes Machi­avel­lian cun­ning to new heights - or rather, depths.

Pos­ing as ‘hu­man rights’ and ‘anti-fas­cist’ cam­paign­ers, these rad­i­cal rab­ble-rousers have some­how man­u­fac­tured of­ten-al­leged mi­nor­ity griev­ances to such an ex­tent that the ma­jor­ity are cowed into sub­mis­sion for fear of be­ing called racist or (in­sert pre­fix)-pho­bic.

Even more bizarrely, these zealots shout­ing or tweet­ing ha­tred for the ma­jor­ity un­der the guise of be­ing ‘anti-hate’ are sel­dom eth­nic mi­nori­ties.

In­stead, they’re pre­dom­i­nantly white rab­ble-rousers weapon­is­ing ‘griev­ances’ for their own ends.

Their launch pad is so­cial me­dia, bury­ing dis­senters un­der a bar­rage of hash-tagged bile that is as dam­ag­ing as a Stalin-style purge.

Ob­vi­ously the ‘re­ac­tionar­ies’ are not sent to a gu­lag, but many lose their jobs and are os­tra­cized.

If you don’t be­lieve me, ask

No­bel lau­re­ate Tim Hunt, a sci­en­tist who joked that re­search lab­o­ra­to­ries should be se­gre­gated as men tended to fall in love with women.

Even though the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple thought his com­ments harm­less, he was hounded out of his po­si­tion at Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don.

In­deed, academia is rife with mi­nor­ity mob rule. You can find in­stances on any given day.

For ex­am­ple, a hand­ful of stu­dents are cur­rently de­mand­ing the statue of Ce­cil Rhodes, Ox­ford Univer­sity’s most gen­er­ous bene­fac­tor, be torn down as he was a racist two cen­turies ago. They are, how­ever, quite happy to ac­cept ‘racist’ money.

It gets weirder. The­atre com­pa­nies in Lon­don’s famed West End don’t qual­ify for Arts Coun­cil sub­si­dies un­less they show ‘pro­gres­sivism’, such as women play­ing Ham­let, or mus­cu­lar Ja­maicans get­ting roles as re­gency fops in all-white courts.

Most the­atre-go­ers con­sider this in­sane, but who cares about them?

It’s also dan­ger­ous. The Royal Na­tional Lifeboat In­sti­tu­tion re­cently sacked vet­eran coxswains for own­ing tea mugs with risqué im­ages of women.

Sailors stranded in the chan­nel will now be res­cued by luvvies re­fer­ring to buoys as ‘trans­gen­der float­ing de­vices’.

There is no end to this crazi­ness. Even lit­er­a­ture, the last refuge of in­fi­nite imag­i­na­tion, is un­der threat from mi­nor­ity-rule fas­cists.

I have a dog in this fight as I con­sider my­self a writer, even if no one else does. So it was with ab­so­lute in­credulity that I dis­cov­ered a pub­lish­ing gi­ant will only ac­cept manuscripts that ‘take into ac­count eth­nic­ity, gen­der, sex­u­al­ity, so­cial mo­bil­ity and dis­abil­ity’.

It now em­ploys ‘sen­si­tiv­ity read­ers’ to po­lice hid­den eth­nic or pho­bic slights. Boiled down, this means that if you are a white guy, it is of­fen­sive to write about a black guy as you have ‘none of his life ex­pe­ri­ences’.

I lived for 47 years in Africa. I have more aware­ness of the life of a black African than a black Lon­doner does. Yet I may be con­tra­ven­ing the ‘sen­si­tiv­ity’ code if I in­tro­duce a black hero in a work of fic­tion.

Taken to its log­i­cal con­clu­sion, this is cre­ative writ­ing’s Ti­tanic ice­berg. If only gay writ­ers can in­clude a gay char­ac­ter, then what’s the next step? Only crim­i­nals al­lowed to write crime nov­els? Men be­ing un­able to write about women?

This is one rea­son I only sub­mit my non-fic­tion work to pub­lish­ers. My fic­tion stuff, which helps pay the bills in-be­tween ghost-writ­ing gigs, is all self-pub­lished, mainly be­cause writ­ing about red-blooded he­roes and vil­lains of all creeds, colours, ap­petites and sexes will prob­a­bly not cut the mus­tard with ‘sen­si­tiv­ity read­ers’.

Most read­ers just want a rol­lick­ing good read — but hey, they’re in the ma­jor­ity so they don’t count.

Maybe one day the ma­jor­ity will rule. For me, it’ll be a first.

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