The year of living obediently

Rod Liddle

I wonder if British universities will follow Cornell’s innovative approach to ensuring students are protected from wretched viruses? The American institution has received plaudits for its rigorous regime. Students who refuse to have the flu vaccine will be barred from the Cornell libraries and other campus buildings — or, at least, they will if they are white. ‘Students of colour’ can decline to receive the vaccine. Why?

Cornell explains: ‘Students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC) may have personal concerns about fulfilling the Compact requirements based on historical injustices and current events.’ The university authorities give a little more detail about what those concerns might be: ‘Recent acts of violence against Black people by law enforcement may contribute to feelings of distrust or powerlessness.’ So, white kids must be tested and vaccinated or face being kicked out, while black students are invited to register their preference for exemption, largely on the grounds that George Floyd was killed by a policemen in a state 1,000 miles away.

I offer up this little vignette as almost the perfect postscript to 2020, the Year of Epic Derangement, seeing as it brings together the cringing, self-flagellating lunacy of white liberals when faced with people who have a different skin colour, and this virus of ours, under whose suffocating shroud so many other lunacies have been allowed to flourish. I think if I were a black student at Cornell who contracted flu from another black student who had filed for exemption, I would sue the college on the grounds of a failure of duty of care and, indeed, unadorned racism.

That’s the alternative hypothesis, I suppose — that the college is actually run by the Klan and they want as many black people to die as possible. It is difficult not to feel an enormous sympathy for the US’s black population, as this sort of stuff ratchets up the loathing among genuine white supremacists and meanwhile they are treated as needy infants by the liberal left. One day black Americans will shrug off the yoke of victimhood imposed upon them for reasons of political expediency by the Democrats. This is already beginning to happen, in fact, much as it is with Hispanic voters.

The Epic Derangement of which I speak coincided almost precisely with the (assumed) advent in our countries of Covid and thus, a little later, lockdown. It was also facilitated by the virus — by the almost absolute absence for ten months of the voice of the ordinary, sane and rational human being. No more clearly was this seen than in professional football. The knee-bending in support of a genuinely odious organisation, Black Lives Matter, was encouraged from the top down by the virtue–signalling idiots in the Football Association, the Premier League and the English Football League.

It would have lasted precisely one week if fans had been allowed into the grounds — or not have been introduced at all. But when the public is absent, corporate wokeism faces no corrective from the real world, any more than do our advertising agencies, who now think it necessary to have a black face central in just about every single TV advert — always black, almost never Indian, Chinese or Bangladeshi.

This irks the public, not because they object to seeing black faces but because they understand that they are once again being hammered over the head by patronising and frankly racist corporate wokeism. Viewers are treated to scenarios which appear awkward and forced. Meanwhile, on stage and screen it is perfectly acceptable, according to the current zeitgeist, for a black or Asian actor to play a white man, or a gay actor to play a straight man, or a trans actor to play either gender. But woe betide a white, straight actor who dares to play the part of a black man, or a gay or transgendered person. Beyond derangement, I think.

The Covid shroud also draped itself over the most comprehensive trashing of our nation’s history and traditions since the dissolution of the monasteries. Those ‘largely peaceful’ (said the BBC) protests on the part of BLM saw statues demolished or defaced with the connivance of the police. Few protestors were arrested, regardless of their infractions of social distancing rules — though other protestors were not treated with such indulgence.

The authorities — universities, colleges, the British Library, leftish councils — leaped upon this trundling bandwagon of pig ignorance and nihilism and began to expunge from our lives everything which did not conform to the tyranny of ‘now’. A renaming took place, of schools, roads, public buildings, as ever without the assent of the public, that being the only real difference to the similar movement which occurred in Eastern Bloc countries following the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was top down, not bottom up. The public had no recourse to object. Under the guise of that inane term ‘decolonising’, even mathematics and the hard sciences were not immune.

It was Covid which provided the excuse for the BBC to do what it has long yearned to do and ban the ‘jingoistic’ (as a BBC Music magazine columnist called them) lyrics to ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ from the Last Night of the Proms. Only a last-minute intervention from the incoming director-general, Tim Davie, ensured that the decision would be reversed.

This is why Covid-19, that spiky little interloper which we must never refer to as the ‘Chinese virus’, despite the fact that it came from China, has given us a salutary lesson. When the public is masked up and silenced, cowed into the quiescence of one or another tier or a full lockdown, there is nothing our masters will not try to get away with. Let 2021 bring the counter-revolution.

Rod Liddle