Magazine article The Spectator

Sorry State

Magazine article The Spectator

Sorry State

Article excerpt

Gstaad

I've been wondering how people like Tony Blair, Michael Howard and assorted busybodies would react if some concentration-camp guard sued Ken Livingstone for comparing him to a British journalist. I don't think there are any German ones around, but surely there are gulag concentration-camp guards still alive and kicking, and most of them are proud of their profession. Go for it, Boris (I mean the guard, not the sainted one); perhaps the Court of Human Rights will hear your case.

Mind you, it wouldn't surprise me one bit. The whole thing has become so absurd; political correctness has forced intellectual dishonesty on otherwise reasonable people. Can you imagine anyone asking Red Ken (who actually started the rot with his opposition to Zola Budd) to say sorry to a pestering tabloid hack even ten years ago? That an appointed Standards Board would go around bullying elected officials? That freedom of speech would be curtailed in the country where it flourished 15 years after the collapse of communism? Or that the Board of Deputies of British Jews would refer this absurd incident to the SBE? That claiming anti-Semitism would replace crying wolf?

On the other side of the pond, where PC lynch mobs are always on the lookout for any sucker for free speech, Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard University, is in deep shit for expressing a few truths. I do not feel sorry for Summers, however, because he's been criss-crossing the country apologising for having told it like it is. It's people like him who allowed political correctness to take over the campuses in the land of the depraved in the first place, so now the chickens have come home to roost, as they say in Dixie.

Summers, who is Jewish, said that there are fewer whites playing professional basketball than blacks, fewer Jews farming than Protestants, and fewer Catholics practising investment banking than other religions. Oh, yes, and that women were less able than men at maths and the sciences. All true, of course, but the coward is running around begging people to forgive him. I wonder in which circle of Hell Dante would dump those who abase themselves before us for having told the truth. Mind you, we like that. Nothing like saying sorry. The great Duke, John Wayne, called it a sign of weakness, but those were the good old days. …

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