Terror stalks Britain. Terror stalks much of the Western world. According to journalist Anthony Browne, whose pamphlet 'The Retreat of Reason' has been making considerable waves over the past couple of weeks, this terror is political correctness. A scourge of modern life that has poisoned public debate. Worse, since 1997 Britain has been run 'by a government largely controlled by politically-correct ideology'. Scary. What does this ideology entail? Well:
people who transgress politically correct beliefs are seen not just as wrong, to be debated with, but evil, to be condemned, silenced and spurned.
Let's put Browne's frightening vision to the test. Here as some of the tenets of political correctness, as posited by Browne:
America, as the world’s most powerful country, can never do any good, even though it is the world’s most powerful liberal democracy, the largest donor of overseas aid, and it defeated both Nazism and Communism.
Golly. So, what happens to people who don't share this view? They are indeed horribly marginalised in modern Britain. Deprived of any real power, they must content themselves with such menial posts as Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Defence, Leader of the Opposition. Prevented by the PC commissars from taking any meaningful part in public life, they are reduced to taking such decisions as sending British troops to war alongside our American allies and their miserable social lives include such low-key events as hosting international leaders and being lauded by the US president for their contribution to the Anglo-American alliance. The iron fist of the PC dictatorship is strong indeed.
What other views are compulsory under the new terror?
The West, as the world’s most powerful cultural and economic group, can safely be blamed for all the world’s ills, even though it is largely responsible for the worldwide spread of prosperity, democracy and scientific advance.
And the people who don't agree with this? The Frederick Forsyths, the Melanie Phillipses, the Boris Johnsons? These poor benighted souls are reduced to publishing bestselling novels and hiding their despised views in weekly columns in mass-circulation newspapers, where no-one apart from the entire population can read them. Horrible it must be to be so excluded from public debate.
But it gets worse. Not just politics are affected.
Multinational corporations are condemned as the oppressors of the world’s poor, rather than seen as engines of global economic growth with vast job-creating investments in the world’s poorest countries, pushing up wages and transferring knowledge.
Again, misery awaits those who disagree with this fundamental PC truth. They can aspire to little more than being some of the most affluent and powerful people in the country, in charge of the economy, pushing global trade to levels unseen before in human history and making Britain and the rest of the West rich beyond any precedent. Pity them, pity them indeed.
Browne's view is chilling in the extreme. If only it were true.