PIERS MORGAN: Enough! When even world leaders are cowed into supine silence by cancel culture, it’s time to stand up to the howling woke mob and tell them we’re not playing by their stupid intolerant rules anymore
I witnessed a truly terrifying moment of television this morning.
A moment that exposed the true insidious nature of the appalling cancel culture enveloping our world.
It came on Good Morning Britain, the show from which I recently cancelled myself after refusing to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle’s behemoth of bullsh*t during her Oprah whine-athon.
And it emanated from the mouth of Tony Blair, a man who won three terms as British Prime Minister.
Blair has many faults, not least his career-defining, reputation-slaying decision to unite with President George W Bush on the catastrophic war in Iraq.
But one thing I’ve always admired in him is his willingness to speak his mind, however sensitive the subject.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is 68, added: ‘I am afraid I am of an age where I am now terrified if I can talk about any of these subjects that I am going to say something that I should not say. It is a minefield on virtually everything. If you are of a certain generation, you are not sure what you can or what you can’t say. Or whether you can make a joke about something you cannot make a joke, so I will leave it at that’
This morning, he was quizzed by his own former Downing Street communications chief Alastair Campbell, the man temporarily sitting in my vacated GMB seat, about comments he had written about him in his memoirs.
Campbell, who suffers from depression, told Blair: ‘You said that there are two types of crazy people, there are crazy people who are just dangerous, and there are crazy people who are creative and give you energy and ideas, and that’s Alastair’s type of craziness.’
Then Campbell took his old boss and close friend to task for his use of language.
‘Do you accept that’s a tad stereotyping of mental health?’ he scolded.
Initially, Blair tried to make a joke of it.
‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘but it’s probably better than if I’d put you in the former category.’
But then Blair, who is 68, added: ‘I am afraid I am of an age where I am now terrified if I can talk about any of these subjects that I am going to say something that I should not say. It is a minefield on virtually everything. If you are of a certain generation, you are not sure what you can or what you can’t say. Or whether you can make a joke about something you cannot make a joke, so I will leave it at that.’
I was absolutely stunned.
Blair also said: ‘The correct course for progressives on culture questions is to make a virtue of reason and moderation. To be intolerant of intolerance – saying you can disagree without denouncing. To seek unity. To eschew gesture politics and slogans’
Here was one of the most famous world leaders for the past 50 years bowing to the woke mob and admitting he dare not say what he thinks for fear of being cancelled.
Blair may as well have taken both knees to them while he was at it and begged for pre-emptive mercy lest he say anything in the rest of the interview that might upset them.
There were several ironies to this humiliating spectacle.
The first is that Campbell has previously called himself ‘crazy’.
In an interview with UK tech firm Plexal, he said: ‘There is no better feeling than that energy that you have when you’re a bit kind of crazy and a bit manic.’
So, he only seems to object to stereotypical mental health language when it is other people using it, the same kind of hypocrisy we see all the time from those woke warriors Meghan and Harry who love to preach about equality and climate change from their Californian mansion and private jets.
The second irony is that Blair has just penned a brilliant piece in New Statesman magazine about the dangers of cancel culture in which he urged liberal leaders to stand up to it and stop ‘being backed into electorally off-putting positions’ on cultural issues like transgenderism.
Blair wrote: ‘A progressive party seeking power which looks askance at the likes of JK Rowling is not going to win. Progressive politics needs to debate these cultural questions urgently and openly. It needs to push back strongly against those who will try to shout down the debate.’
Blair has just penned a brilliant piece in New Statesman magazine about the dangers of cancel culture in which he urged liberal leaders to stand up to it and stop ‘being backed into electorally off-putting positions’ on cultural issues like transgenderism
Blair explained the inherent self-harming danger of intransigent wokery in a way that should make President Biden sit up and take notice as he’s repeatedly dragged towards it by people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
‘There is a big culture battle going on,’ Blair said. ‘Progressive folk tend to wince at terms such as ‘woke’ and ‘political correctness’, but the normal public knows exactly what they mean. And the battle is being fought on ground defined by the right because sensible progressives don’t want to be on the field at all. The consequence of this is that the ‘radical’ progressives, who are quite happy to fight on that ground, carry the progressive standard. The fact that it ensures continued right-wing victory doesn’t deter them at all. On the contrary, it gives them a heightened sense of righteousness, like political kamikaze.’
Blair was quizzed by his own former Downing Street communications chief Alastair Campbell (seen above on GMB this morning)
Blair perfectly articulated why the woke mentality is so alienating to most voters: ‘People do not like their country, their flag or their history being disrespected,’ he said. ‘The left always gets confused by this sentiment and assume this means people support everything their country has done or think all their history is sacrosanct. They don’t. But they query imposing the thinking of today on the practices of yesterday; they’re suspicious that behind the agenda of many of the culture warriors on the left lies an ideology they find alien and extreme; and they’re instinctively brilliant at distinguishing between the sentiment and the movement. They will support strongly campaigns against racism; but they recoil from some of the language and actions of the fringes of the Black Lives Matter movement. You could go through the entire litany of modern causes and find the same – from Extinction Rebellion to trans rights to Reclaim the Streets – in the same way. People like common sense, proportion and reason. They dislike prejudice; but they dislike extremism in combating prejudice. They support the police and the armed forces. Again, it doesn’t mean that they think those institutions are beyond reproach. Not at all. But they’re on their guard for those who they think use any wrongdoing to smear the institutions themselves. And they expect their leaders to voice their own opinion, not sub-contract opinion to pressure groups, no matter how worthy.’
Blair concluded: ‘The correct course for progressives on culture questions is to make a virtue of reason and moderation. To be intolerant of intolerance – saying you can disagree without denouncing. To seek unity. To eschew gesture politics and slogans. And when they’re accused of being insufficiently supportive of the causes – which is inevitable – to stand up for themselves and make it clear they’re not going to be bullied or pushed around. This will lose some votes among a minority with loud voices; but it will bind the solid but often silent centre to them. And, of course, it will allow the causes themselves to be effectively pursued, as the last (UK) Labour government did with its own revolution in gay rights and the pathway to equal marriage – and the forced conversion of the Conservative Party on the issue.’
Blair’s lengthy article was one of the best things I’ve ever read about the menace of woke cancel culture, and all the more powerful coming from a liberal leader who enjoyed huge electoral success.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pictured during their Oprah interview
He knows that with the exception of Biden’s 2020 election win over Donald Trump, which was almost entirely down to the pandemic and Trump’s woeful leadership during it, most liberal parties around the world have been losing power and support.
And he also knows it’s the hard-left woke nonsense that is driving many traditional liberal voters to vote for populists like Trump in 2016 and Boris Johnson in the UK in 2019.
Biden, and every other liberal leader, should heed his warning as a matter of urgency.
But perhaps the biggest powerful message Tony Blair could have possibly sent about woke cancel culture was contained in his own abject surrender to it on Good Morning Britain today.
If someone who’s run a country like Britain for ten years, a place built on freedom of speech and expression, is now too scared to even speak out about things like mental health, race or gender, lest he upsets the woke mob, then the mob’s battle is nearly won.
Shame on you, Mr Blair.
This is not a time for such surrender, it’s a time to practice what you preached in your New Statesman piece and take the fight to these insufferable, intolerant, increasingly oppressive woke numpties.
I met an 80-year-old Australian lady on my morning walk in West London a few days ago who stopped me to say I had her full support over the Princess Pinocchio debacle.
‘I loathe these self-righteous so-called woke people telling us what to do, say and think all the time,’ she declared. ‘You can’t have an opinion or joke about anything anymore or they get mortally offended and want you ruined. They’re sucking all the fun out of life.’
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Enough of this crap.
If we don’t rise up to stop the ever more frenzied woke insanity, it will drown us all in a tidal wave of opinion-devoid, humour-defunct, preaching, virtue-signalling blandness and that’s not a place I think most of us want to wash up.
I’m heading for the culture war beach with my metaphorical bayonet to stop these imbeciles from wreaking even more damage on society.
Who’s with me?
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