The radio presenter, journalist and author Elizabeth Mary “Libby” Purves, OBE can hardly be described as a “far right jingoistic whatever….” She is very much of the respectable establishment. However, in today’s Daily Mail she laments the tenderness of the present generation of easily offended students.
Libby Purves and the DM timed the publication of the above well being on the last day of 2016. This day is the day from reminiscing about the past and looking forward to the future.
The future for democracy in the British Isles does NOT bode well.
At this point we must state that we will not be mentioning “Brexit” or “climate change” in this article.
One of the key ingredients a democracy MUST have is a broadness of debate. It is a hallmark of those societies that cannot be described as democracies that this broadness is narrowed. Some of course more than others. What this means is that people can only publish or discuss opinions that fall within a limited and defined range of “acceptable” opinion – without some form of sanction taken against them.
This had already narrowed to a frightening extent in the UK, to the extent that those expressing opinions critical of what is known as “equal marriage” or “same sex marriage” are singled out for especial criticism and action to be taken against them. At the moment this generally takes the form of removing portraits or statues of them and “no platforming” (preventing the owner of a meeting hall from allowing this person to speak).
Those individuals behind this of course claim to act in the cause of tolerance. They are naive young people who cannot see that to be “intolerant” of “intolerance” is being “intolerant” and not “tolerant”.
More concerning still is the steadily lowering of the “level of offence” caused or suffered by “a suspected offender” required before the police beginning to take action. These actions – such as investigating for possible racial harassment of a lady who has a one or two golliwogs in a window facing onto a public highway – illustrate a worrying trend, indicative that the police will take an ever stricter line of enforcing such.
The problem is a generational one. At the moment there are still sufficient numbers of reasonably mature and middle aged folk in positions of influence and power to place a measure of restraint on these intolerant tendencies. However as the young lady’s generation take these folks place and are followed by equally sensitive and easily offended youngsters, then it is difficult to see how democracy can survive.
The problem is that “Generation Snowflake” do not want democracy to survive. They want to live in a country where only their views (and those which only slightly deviate from them) are allowed.