Mary Wakefield

The contagious madness of the new PC

Obsessive searching for hurt and offence will create it where once it never existed

29 August 2015

9:00 AM

29 August 2015

9:00 AM

It’s becoming pretty clear, as the year rolls on, that some of our brightest youngsters have gone round the bend. It’s as if they’ve caught a virus, a mental one, a set of thoughts and ideas that might loosely be called political correctness, but seem to me weirder and more damaging than that.

Back in the 1990s, PC students would stamp about with placards demanding equal rights for minorities and talking about Foucault. This new PC doesn’t seem to be about protecting minorities so much as everyone, everywhere from ever having their feelings hurt. It came from America, this virus, incubated in the closed minds of the Land of the Free, but it’s here now, and contagious.

We have a right not to be offended, think these kids, but this has horrible implications, as Brendan O’Neill pointed out in his Spectator cover story ‘The Stepford students’ last year. Brendan arrived to speak in defence of abortion at Christchurch, Oxford, only to find his debate had been cancelled. Why? Because it was offensive and might damage the ‘mental safety’ of students to hear ‘a person without a uterus’ speak on abortion. What about free speech? Overrated, said the students. Just an excuse for bigots.

Students have also decided they need protecting from disturbing bits in books. There have been recent calls for content warnings — ‘trigger warnings’ — to be inserted into great books. The Great Gatsby (because it’s misogynist), Huckleberry Finn (racist) and The Merchant of Venice (anti-Semitic). This spring at Columbia University, a student complained she had been ‘triggered’ by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Proserpina’s treatment at the hands of Dis gave her flashbacks to a past assault, she said, and made her feel ‘unsafe’, though I’d have thought her assailant pretty pleased to be compared to a god. Columbia have just announced, sotto voce, that the Metamorphoses will be replaced by Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Here’s how twisted it’s all become: in December, Jeannie Suk, a professor of law, wrote a desperate piece for the New Yorker about the situation at Harvard, a sort of SOS. Her students, she said, had complained to the authorities that rape law was too ‘triggering ‘ to be taught at all. One girl thought the word ‘violate’ — as in ‘does this violate the law?’ — too traumatic to use in class. Surely some sensible top dog told them all to belt up? Nope, said Suk. The hounding that would follow on social media was too alarming a prospect.

Nor, as far as I can see, did anyone remind these kids that there are real victims of real rape out there who will need lawyers.

The hope, I suppose, is that this generation, both here and in America, will grow up one day; that reality will intervene. But I read a piece this week that considers a more alarming possibility. In the latest edition of the Atlantic magazine, Greg Lukianoff, a constitutional lawyer, and Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, argue that these youngsters are driving not just us, but themselves, literally mad. They cite a survey last year by the American College Health Association, in which 54 per cent of college students said they had ‘felt overwhelming anxiety’ in the past 12 months. No surprise, say Lukianoff and Haidt.

Who wouldn’t be stressed by this culture? The children of the West have created for themselves an echo chamber. The more obsessed they become with outlawing offence, the more hyper-alert for it they are, ‘triggered’ by every passing comment.

As Haidt and Lukianoff point out, the PC way of thinking is unhinged too. If someone feels slighted then no other arbitration is needed. Emotion is everything. If offence has been taken, an offence has been committed. But this is the thinking of paranoiacs and phobics. It’s to confuse reality with perception. I understand, I do. I’m pathetically claustrophobic, but I’ve learnt (sometimes) to face my fear, and that when I do, it retreats. The young victims of Oxbridge and the Ivy League imagine they can outlaw the causes of fear instead, and so are consumed by them.

One of the allures of the new PC world must be the thought that you’re particularly ‘caring’. But this too is deluded. Is it selfless to pose as a hero on social media, to accuse some poor don of racism for teaching Huckleberry Finn? It’s an unpleasant irony that a gang which purports to be so sensitive feels no qualms about destroying the lives of the inadvertently offensive.

There are other ironies to the new PC. My favourite is that this daft bunch, who insist they’re quite sane, are demanding padded cells. Universities must provide ‘safe spaces’ in case a ‘triggered’ individual needs respite from a frightening lecture, on Shakespeare, say. The safe space at Brown University contains cookies, Play-Doh and videos of puppies. I feel a little triggered just thinking about it.

And elsewhere, in the world beyond the safe space, the real victims of trauma — child soldiers, Isis prisoners, the people of North Korea — go unnoticed and unchampioned by these bright young things who should be fighting their cause.

Haidt and Lukianoff end their terrific piece with a plea to the young to stop obsessing about their selves and their own hurt feelings. Because Buddhism is fashionable these days, and inoffensive, they remind the young that the Buddha emphasises detachment from emotions.

To this, I’d add the lessons of Christianity — still at the bedrock of both Europe and America’s sense of right and wrong. There’s the bit about taking the beam out of your own eye before jumping up and down about the speck in another’s. More than that, there’s the whole gospel emphasis away from self.

In my twenties, just as full of self-pity and terror as this new generation, I once dropped in to see a priest, Father Fudge, and poured out my woes, imagining he would be both sympathetic and impressed by my torment. Fr Fudge listened quietly, then said: ‘The point of being a Christian is not to feel better, it is so God can use you to serve others.’

Others? They hadn’t occurred to me for a while. I said goodbye to Fr Fudge, feeling not triggered or marginalised but unaccountably lighter. It wasn’t all about me! I actually laughed with the relief of it.

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Show comments
  • Rik

    Me,me,me,ME,ME,ME,you vicious b8tch Mary,how dare you suggest me me me and my feelings are not the centre of the look what you have triggered,me me me and mine will now tw@tterstorm you out of existence from our safe space,hunt you down and destroy your career.We,we,we are so loving and caring so you must be obliterated from our raised conciousness.

    • Airey Belvoir

      There is a good poster of a very plain, scowling Feminazi with the caption: ‘Your Rights End Where My Feelings Begin.’

      • MikeF

        You could interchange the words ‘Rights’ and ‘Feelings’ there without altering the essential message.

  • jim

    The approach in this article is all wrong.There is no reasoning with these ninnies. The only response is to mock them or bait them.Force them to act on their ludicrous obsessions. Let them start “redacting” words or phrases from Great Gatsby.Soon they’ll be book burners. Force this fever to run it’s course. In the meantime start telling racist jokes just to annoy them…… Odd that The Speccie never points out where all this hate speechPC madness comes from.. Not PC to point the finger at “they who shall not be named”.

    • Little Black Censored


    • Alexsandr

      i was at a poltitcal meeting about racism. There was a west indian gentleman at the back with his d1ck in a bowl of yellow dessert.
      we asked him what he thought. he said ‘im fcuking dis custard’

      • Airey Belvoir

        I was at a fancy dress party where a kilted Scotsman had his todger stuck in a Wellington. My polite enquiry resulted in the answer “Ahm jest f*cking aboot.”

    • oldoddjobs

      Careful now

  • Terence Wilkinson

    Personally I think the warning label should be on the cover of The Great Gatsby: Warning – people may find this book to be overhyped garbage.

    • Dr. Heath

      Often, a book’s cover is its only pleasing feature. Amazon and the nation’s handful of remaining bookshops might want to consider just selling these without the contents.

    • MacGuffin

      Oh please. Overhyped? At some points in the past, yes, perhaps. Garbage? Hardly.

      The shirts, the giant spectacles, and the green light…what more could you want?

      • Terence Wilkinson

        How about an interesting plot, sympathetic characters and brilliant writing? Admittedly it is not Fitzgerald’s worst effort but I would far rather read Hemingway (and have him taught in schools) than Fitzgerald’s tedious works.

        • Peter Hulse

          Hemingway? Seriously? Stick to Graham Greene.

          • Justin St.Denis

            I am with you on that score. Greene was brilliant, while EH plods along.

    • Shank

      Trigger Warning: This book is full of tedious arseholes. Proceed at your own risk.

      • GUBU

        You’ll have to put that sticker on the covers of 80% of the Booker Longlist each year.

      • goodsoldier

        Yes, wouldn’t you rather only read books about very nice people who are always rational and never unkind? Recommend a great book to me like this, please. I am curious.

  • Mark

    And yet none of these fools are “triggered” by the contents of the Quran or by people in London, Birmingham, Stafford, or Dewsbury dressed in the style of down town Kabul.

    Why is that?

    • Nicholas Adamson

      Because they care too much.

      • global city

        about their own revolutionary ends.

        We have to continually remind ourselves of the basic aims of the radical Left. What are their core utopian aims? If we do constantly remind ourselves of their ends, the means (and the evil impact they are created to achieve) become logical and rational. Also, if we do keep these basics in mind we can counter them.

        Since the fall of the Wall, we have largely forgotten to keep an eye on those evil folk.

        • dickhut

          Correct! And don’t forget that the ‘nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange’ , advocated by true socialists, is the blueprint for total control of everything and everybody by a self-perpetuating political oligarchy.

        • Fulgentian

          Spengler’s predictions about the Fall of the West seem to be coming true:
          “Spengler described the process by which Enlightenment rationalism undermines and destroys itself, passing from unlimited optimism to unqualified skepticism. The Cartesian self-centered rationalism leads to schools of thought that do not cognize outside of their own constructed worlds, ignoring actual every-day life experience. It applies criticism to its own artificial world until it exhausts itself in meaninglessness.”

          • sictransitvan

            Great book! So very unread and so very timely.

          • global city

            Brilliantly put.

    • English_Electric
      • oldoddjobs

        Stop noticing incredible patterns

    • Trojan

      Feminists, Gays, and most of the protected minorities, halt at the gates of Islam. Their identities are only adopted because they are opposed to our culture. Islam offers greater opposition, so it must not be criticised or limited. For example try asking the most ardent feminist you meet, why she has nothing to say about the rapes of children by muslim pedo gangs? I did. I asked the feminists and Class War girls protesting against the misogynist Ripper Museum in Cable Street. I was shouted down for racism.

      • colchar

        They are clearly too stupid to understand that Islam is not a race and that one cannot be racist against a religion that has adherents from all races. In fact, I would argue that they are the ones being racist because their claims of racism are predicated on the belief that Muslims are a homogenous group.

        • Trojan

          Oh yes, they describe it as a race, or a religion or a culture, whatever they can think up to support it. Sometimes they say it is racist to criticise Islam because most of its followers have dark skins. And this ignores hundreds of thousands of Africans and others who have different religions.

      • Robbydot1

        You should have asked them ” what race is islam?”.

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          They are an egg and spoon race. Easily egged on and spoon fed crap.

      • dwarfpoo

        This has taken a strange twist in Northern Ireland with Pastor James Mc Connell. The evangelical preacher faces up to six months in prison if convicted over a sermon last year in which he branded Islam as “heathen” and “Satanic”. main prosecution witness is Dr Raied Al-Wazzan who described the Pastors comments as “terrible comments” “offensive and disgusting”. The Dear Doctor then went on the say at a later date””Since the Islamic State took over, it has become the most peaceful city in the world,”
        “Yes, there are other things going wrong there… they are murdering people, I agree, but you can go from east to west of the city without fear.” That Muslims in Northern Ireland were professionals and that the people who listen to the pastor were poor uneducated Protestants.. nothing offensive there eh!

      • goodsoldier

        Douglas Murray is clearly an exception among homosexuals if what you are saying is true since he doesn’t ‘halt at the gates of Islam’. He is bold and courageous.

        • Trojan

          Agree entirely. I wish Murray was an MP. We need outspoken people like him. But think of Tatchell, gay rights activist and an official supporter of muslim Tell Mama.

    • dwarfpoo

      My son went to what i thought a Secular School. He came home with RE homework, the project was to pretend to be a Muslim and write to his non Muslim friends on how a pilgrimage to Hajj made him feel. On the hand outs it stated , men and women wear white to show equality. We had fun with that project and withdrew him from RE to have Russian lessons instead.

    • goodsoldier

      Because they want to appear sophisticated and worldly, imagining that accepting any foreign group no matter how distasteful is a sign of this comfortable, cool worldliness. It is youthful arrogance in a new form and many don’t grow out of it because it is so easy and rarely harms one’s social life. They don’t realize it is a sign of severe shallowness and true narrow-mindedness, not a bit virtuous either.

  • Dr. Heath

    Demands for trigger warnings to be printed on the book-flaps of Othello and Tom Sawyer. Calls for anyone who is neither “differently pigmented” nor skint to check their privilege before daring to express an opinion. Egregious virtue signalling. Widespread support for the hideous, Dark Ages concept of Muslim Privilege. Choosing political beliefs solely as a means of expressing to the world how good a person one is. Corbyn-worship. These are all forms of a new and virulent Puritanism. A religious movement, in other words. This faith’s mullahs haven’t yet succeeded in having apostates and non-compliant scoffers slaughtered or enslaved, so twitter storming and social network shaming will have to suffice for the time being. PC Puritans aren’t so much worried about hurt feelings as they are about the endless war to frighten you into keeping shtum. They’re motivated not by a desire to rescue others from oppression but to cause as much oppression, in the name of ‘righteousness’, as they possibly can.

  • WFB56

    “…that some of our brightest youngsters have gone round the bend.” A fine example of an oxymoron.

  • Roger Bodey

    We need Tom Lehrer as never before.

    • freddiethegreat

      He gave up when Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Prize. Imagine if he’d been around when silly little Obama got it for not being white.

  • Digger

    As the saying goes, when you live your life as a hammer everything starts to look like nail.

  • GUBU

    A compelling argument for changing the voting age to somewhere closer to 50, rather than 16.

    • Agreed. Young people are simply too dumb these days to be allowed out on their own, let alone allowed to vote. But this is why the Corbyn challenge may succeed – these stupid, self-centred, delusional kids WILL vote for idiocy, because they want it to be true.

      • kokoro dudu

        It won’t last long – it will collapse like a pack of cards.

        • Gergiev

          I wonder who these sensitive young souls will find to defend them against the butchers at our door?

      • Ambientereal

        I wouldn´t say dumb but inexperienced and un- traumatized. Trauma is useful, because it strengthens the character. Trauma is needed when young because the wounds heal better at that time. Without trauma our teenagers are too weak to adventure themselves into the real world, and then they prefer to build their own. So they keep growing in a shell (and we allow them) , and when put in contact with reality, they seem idiot, but they are only un – traumatized.

        • Kennybhoy

          “…and we allow them…”

          Aye, there’s the rub…

        • Tellytubby

          I agree. I don’t think teenagers are any more “dumb” today than they used to be. They’re not as well educated, but have more qualifications – have more information, but are not as well informed, and have more opinions but non of their own devising.

          In short, they are as you say, inexperienced and thus prone to believing fairy tales that we older, more cynical types simply don’t. Look at the love they have for Jeremy Corbyn for goodness’ sake.

          • Michael Wylie

            I’m going to take what you said and build on it.

            (See above)

        • Michael Wylie

          I’m going to take what you said and build on it.

          I never thought I would say this, but i’m grateful for the experience and what I learned growing up abused. Yea, you read that right. I’m not saying that it was right, or that it should ever happen, or if I had a choice I would go through it again. But I gained something because of it. Besides toughening me up, it taught me a lot about the real world, and how to survive in it.

          Today’s youth need “Safe Spaces” and “Safety Warnings”. They are coddled, spoiled, shallow, self centered, sheltered, and unsophisticated, needing to co-op others’ hardships and attach themselves to identity politics to make themselves feel smart, important, independent and ironically, empowered.

          Trauma can be useful, because it strengthens the character. Without trauma, our teenagers are too weak to adventure themselves into the real world, and then they prefer to build their own fantasy. So they keep growing in a shell (and we allow them) , and when put in contact with reality, they need to use group think to suppress and rally against it, because their ego is too frail, and their understanding is too limited.

          These are the same people who think the government should “bubble wrap” the world, so as to protect them from harm. They create false crisis’ to latch on to in order to accomplish that objective (rape culture, micro aggressions, wage gap, and the various faux shaming campaigns, for example), and complain about all life’s ill’s because they find out that the world won’t treat them like their helicopter parents did. And politicians are all too happy to oblige, because it increases their power, and voting bloc’s.

          In short, they are inexperienced and thus prone to believing fairy tales that we older, more cynical types simply don’t. I have been called an “Old Man” many times. I would rather be that, than not be prepared for life. These people are in for a rude awakening and are going to be those left behind, because they won’t be able to compete with those of us who are battle tested. What’s scary is, they are our future.

          • Ambientereal

            Thank you. This exchange of ideas was very instructive indeed.

      • Gregory Mason

        As one of those young folks I certainly agree that the voting age should be increased.

    • Ivan Ewan

      I’d agree, but wouldn’t that put all our lives at the whim of the Baby Boomers (yet again)? They’re everywhere, they’re on the streets, bored and with nothing to do but wave the flags of the PLO and to Heil Corbyn. Like the blue-haired woman on the bus I sometimes have to use.

      • Bosun Higgs

        What do you use her for?

        • Ivan Ewan

          HA HA HA! Ohhhhh boy. Walked into that one, didn’t I?

          I use her as an emergency brake when the bus stops abruptly.

          • Marc Lewinstein

            Why do you need a brake if the bus has stopped?

          • Airey Belvoir

            Probably because when the bus stops abruptly, you don’t. A bit of physics that causes lots of injuries in vehicles. We need some kind of restraining strap – ‘seat belt’ might be a good name for it . (Rushes off to Patent Office.)

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            My grandad’s first job was as the brake man on an early charabanc in 1916. He rode on the footplate carrying a large wedge of wood called the beetle. On steep hills the ordinary brakes were insufficient so grandad (then aged 12) would leap out and ram the wedge under the front wheels.
            It’s ‘elf n safety gawn mad I tell ya.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Because I don’t bolt myself to the floor, probably.

      • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

        UK babyboom was 1957 to 1973. Only those born pre1965 are over 50.

        • Ivan Ewan

          I really don’t care as much about that as you might imagine.

    • Lexy Mordio

      This wouldn’t be such an issue if the right cared more about cultural influences of the youth and the disgusting left wing aligned educational system. Study any political course and you are forced to read Karl Marx and consider him a hero while prodigys like Eunoch Powell are vilified.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Most of the culturally benign influences for the young have been denied them because of the unacceptable intrusions of Disclosure & Barring. I was a member of a morris side that passed a resolution not to allow any involvement with young people for this reason, with the result that it is a dying tradition now, and most dancers are now over 60.

        That leaves the commercial influences, with the money and anonymity not to be bothered by this, and the criminal influences, which find ways around it.

        I’m sure as many illegal and often dangerous criminals are slipping through our borders through sloppy and underfunded enforcement as nurses, wives for lonely Englishmen, and foreign students are being denied visas in order to meet the quotas already filled by the inflooding criminal gangs alongside the opportunists aspiring for a “better life”. They must be finding receptive minds in the young.

        Meanwhile the genuine refugees in desperate hardship, after collecting everything of value off them, end up dead in scuttled hulks in the sea, or rotting away crammed into abandoned lorries.

        My estranged daughter once explained that the reason she had blocked contact with me was that she couldn’t cope with the evil of the world and just wanted to retreat into her own fantasy world, which being filled with vampires and zombies, was a considerably nicer place.

      • colchar

        Nice try, but I have two university degrees (B.A. and M.A.) and not only was I never forced to read Marx, he certainly wasn’t considered a hero by my professors.

        • Lexy Mordio

          In what? You can have a BA in geography for all we know. Mine was history, politics and culture I even looked into the curriculum. This was 3 years ago but I doubt politically aligned degrees have changed that much. Also I am talking about America and UK can you say the same?

          • Marshal Phillips

            I studied English literature, journalism, and law; never once was asked to read Marx. I did take political science and he was covered along with others, but we didn’t really read Marx’s original writings, just summaries of what he wrote. But Marx is usually associated with Communism which is considered really bad totalitarianism.

          • Lexy Mordio

            That does help so thanks but you still haven’t stated either the country or the period of time you did it in. I was referring to 3 years ago in a British university where it was compulsory so it isn’t a nice try from me. Also the left dominates universities in the US where you get discriminated against for voting republican not to mention feminist doctrine is coated in Marxist ideas. I am grateful for giving your own view but without more background I can’t see how it relates to my own even if you studied something similar as cultural influence and time period is left out the details.

          • Marshal Phillips

            I was NOT responding to you, Lexy, I was responding to colchar. I have No idea about your experience, but if you had yours I had mine. I have a BA degree and a Juris Doctorate degree from mainstream mid-western American universities. Prior to that I went to a boarding school. In my experience Marx and Marxism were something negative whenever discussed by students or professors.

          • Lexy Mordio

            I apologise I made a mistake due to how disqus works and I agree with you completely by clarifying your background. The argument you make is even stronger so hopefully my mistake has been beneficial to you.

          • Gergiev

            While studying EngLit you would have found it hard to avoid Habermas, Adorno, Lukacs and of our own Terry Eagleton though…

        • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

          Same. But we were obliged to read Mein Kampf.

          • vieuxceps2

            “We were obliged to read Mein Kampf”-? A book that is banned in many countries was obligatory reading at a centre of learning? What was your subject? Fictional communications, maybe?

          • Jambo25

            I did study Fascism and wrote a paper on it when I was studying Politics.

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            What are you on about? I read at least a third of Mein Kampf in 1984. It was on the curriculum at my Uni where we were doing the causes of WW2.

          • vieuxceps2

            My local library got me a German copy, from Sheffield university, I think.Managed about a quarter,very boring. But if you were “obliged” to read it for your studies, how come you avoided your “obligation” and read but a third? Wasn’t really obligatory was it?

          • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

            It is a two volume 800 page book. Most of it is insane nationalistic ranting. I was looking specifically at references to a necessary war with Russia. That occupies a third of the book. Funnily enough anti -Semitism accounts for just 5 pages.

        • Jambo25

          I studied Politics during the early 70s when Marxism was quite influential in UK universities. I read Marx and Hegel, Feuerbach, Engels and others. However, nobody tried to indoctrinate me. I was also required to study the works of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Mill, Weber, the Elitists etc etc. It was called being educated. What would have traumatised modern students was the simple rule that if you failed an end of year exam paper: any end of year exam paper, you were out. No resits. No quiet chat with a sympathetic tutor or director of studies: just pack up and fare thee well.

        • Jaria1

          Lets hope you are not like many academics brilliant in your subject but having cincentrated so much in getting them are completely unaware of much else thats going on in the worldo

      • Midge

        So… what does Marx have to do with political correctness and stupid millenials? You may have been forced to read him, but clearly don’t remember much. I don’t think any of the wimpy millenials have read much Marx either.

        Don’t confuse liberalism and communism. 🙂

        • vieuxceps2

          The complete works of Marx are available on Kindle for 38 pence. Draw your own conclusions.

        • PapayaSF

          The connection is from Marx, to the cultural Marxism of Lukács and Gramsci, and then to today’s political correctness.

        • Lexy Mordio

          Have you read anything that those stupid millenials are spouting its definitely rooted in Marx especially feminism. Classic liberalism has absolutely nothing to do with anything they are talking about in fact those right leaning will have some common ground with classic liberals.

      • Tellytubby

        “Eunuch” Powell?

        I do agree with you though – but that is an unfortunate typo…

        • Lexy Mordio

          It was intentional surprised you were the only one to point it out. I felt that is what they did do to Enoch Powell as he was a wise man that if it wasn’t for the way phrased it wouldn’t have been shut down. Everyone I read it with in my seminar kept focusing on the words written rather than the context it was written in and the message was ignored.

    • porcelaincheekbones

      Virtue signalling. Blame the teachers for rewarding it.

    • Peter Bering

      25 would be about right

    • avrohombilgrei

      GUBU, right you are! BUT, who’s going to be a liberal at that point?

    • Absolutely. Those arguing for reduction in voting age are hoping to mobilise an army of half formed fools on their behalf. I was one once of course as were we all, but most of us grew up.

  • Clive

    A timely piece because the nutter who murdered the two news people in the USA was apparently ‘triggered’ by the racist murder of nine black people in Charleston.

    Personally, I doubt he was triggered by the event so much as the media and political world’s gorging on it. Because it was outright racist violence such as we have not seen for a long time. It was politically and media-emotionally easy. The outrage was expensive, not for the first time.

    Nor do I think that young people feel caring in their correctness. I believe the word is prescriptive. This is the prescriptive Left. ‘We know best and we will make you conform for your own good and for the good of society’.

    It has fuelled Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign among the young.

    You cannot be prescriptive about things like a free market economy (it’s been tried) because it seems too self-interested. You have to be prescriptive about things that might affect others. ‘Moral’ things. You decide the morality.

    How often have you heard the ‘It’s not for me, it’s so this will never happen again’ mantra ? But you have the satisfaction of supplying the prescription.

    Ultimately, prescriptiveness becomes totalitarianism. Because if you can persuade enough people that you are the source of wisdom in what is ‘right’ for them, they will follow you in everything, right or wrong. That is why the Left wraps around to become the Right as in Germany and Russia last century.

    I read up on Foucault some time ago. I decided he’s a postman because he seems to be post-everything. I think that’s because these grenouilles pensants don’t like to be labelled. It makes them seem less original. Anyway, I haven’t the faintest idea what he’s about except fame and fortune like all the rest of us.


    • whingebag

      I think Foucault thought everything is an expression of power and dominance, and he hated it. In other words, he hated civilization. Feel no shame for ignoring his nonsense.

  • Simon Morgan

    The Left never knows when enough is enough. Everything gets taken to absurd lengths. The real worry is what is going in our universities where, if you don’t conform to the sanctimony and double-standards, you are out of a job.

    It all started about the time supermarkets in the UK withdrew the jams and marmalades with the gollywog emblem (Robinsons?). I remember saying to myself at the time, this is really stupid and if they get away with this where will we be ten years time?

    Well, it’s more than ten years down the track, and we can see where we are at. In an Orwellian nightmare.

    • Clive

      I think those symbols on lavatory doors are incorrect.

      Why should women be portrayed in frocks ?

      They should both be in trousers.

      It would also save money in stick-on images

      • flydlbee

        Except in Scotland, where the male figures should be portrayed in kilts, so as not to “trigger” the ScotNats.

        • Clive

          It would not save the money in stick-ons but fortunately the SNP are above such hideous post-capitalist capitalist bankster immoral considerations

          So good point well made

      • Icebow

        Also, I note that the men’s legs are apart and the women’s together. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

      • Greenslime

        And make for some shocked faces when the girls get a good whiff of the average gents public loo!

        • Alexsandr

          best way to find the gents. follow your nose.

          • Justin St.Denis

            My youngest worked in a restaurant during her university years. She, like other women, assure me that mens facilities are frequently pristine compared to the LadiesRoom.

      • jeremy Morfey

        I was in Poland where one door to the public conveniences was marked with a circle and the other with a triangle. I never did find out which was the correct door to enter.

        Best guide is: Pedal bin in cublcle > Ladies. Wall basins without taps > Gents.

    • Kingstonian


    • splotchy

      Re gollies, we are at the point where state powers investigate teenagers in fancy dress collecting for charity, should they be dressed in stripy pants, jackets and blackface (Wick Gala, Caithness); ditto pantomime dames racing for hospice charity are reported to the police because they are deemed “transphobic” (Chorley).

      Yet find your house has been burgled and the police won’t even visit. In this supposed democracy. Paid for by our taxes.

      • Talwin

        …..and in fairness to the cops in Chorley, on this occasion they didn’t get their knickers in a twist, and as far as I’m aware took no action.

        • Simon Fay

          Should have told the accuser to lay off or get charged with wasting Police time if they were decent.

          • Johnny Foreigner


      • freddiethegreat

        Yeah. How does one play Othello now?

        • Airey Belvoir

          You either get Lenny Henry, or don’t bother.

      • Katabasis

        I came across a great term to describe this state of affairs a few years ago: ‘Anarcho-tyranny’.

        This is where substantial crimes go unpunished, ranging from burglary through to murder – there’s the ‘anarchy’. Whilst on the other hand, minor or idiotic infractions are assiduously pursued and punished (wrongspeak, cross dressing whilst straight etc) – there’s the tyranny.

    • Greenslime

      It’s about getting support. Draw enough nutters together and you can get power. With power you can change things. Eventually the nutters will be swept away with all of the others that the left has a tendency to dislike. But by then, it won’t matter. They will have served their purpose.

    • Stuck-Record

      The SJW (Social Justice Warriors) can’t use big houses and sports cars to define their personal success and ego, as these are products of evil capitalism.

      Another way would be, as the author suggests, want to go out and risk their lives against real dangers. Can’t do that as they are mostly cowards.

      How then are they to fulfil that natural egotistical urge to show they are better than others? Enter ‘positional goods’.

      “A positional good is a good that people acquire to signal where they stand in a social hierarchy; it is acquired in order to set oneself apart from others. Positional goods therefore have a peculiar property: the utility their consumers derive from them is inversely related to the number of people who can access them… PC-brigadiers behave exactly like owners of a positional good who panic because wider availability of that good threatens their social status. The PC brigade has been highly successful in creating new social taboos, but their success is their very problem. Moral superiority is a prime example of a positional good, because we cannot all be morally superior to each other. Once you have successfully exorcised a word or an opinion, how do you differentiate yourself from others now? You need new things to be outraged about, new ways of asserting your imagined moral superiority.”

      The problem is the market. A PC positional good is created (let’s say: anti-smoking) and your SJW warrior can prove they are better than their peers by being a supporter and shouting, castigating smokers.

      Excellent. Job done.

      But what do they do when millions join the anti-smoking band-wagon? They have to create a niche product, say, anti-vaping. This pushes them to the bleeding edge again. When the mainstream catch up they will move again.

      Problem is, there are only so many reasonable issues. What we are seeing now is SJW crowd finding smaller and smaller niches, and protesting louder and LOUDER and LOUDER, to differentiate themselves.

    • Gilbert White

      What if we do get taken over by robots who feel more emotionally comfortable with a golliwog external identity image projection? Would Corbyn oblige them or try to talk alternatives?

    • jeremy Morfey

      About 10 years ago, the little historic town of Bromyard came into
      prominence when Pettifers ironmongers put gollywogs in the shop window.
      The police raided the premises just before dawn, placing the offending
      black-faced effigies in the cells, and awaking a campaign locally for
      their liberation.

      The Bromyard Three were released in the end, and
      auctioned for charity. Pettifer’s still graced their shop displays
      with gollywogs, including holding a William and Catherine mug. I have
      one sitting in the corner of my living room looking down at the TV.

      Wasn’t Carol Thatcher sacked from the BBC for likening one to a French tennis player with a bad hair day?

    • freddiethegreat

      I remember this – about ’82 or ’83. I had a golliwog as a kid, and regarded it as just another toy. I couldn’t understand what the Robertsons fuss was about, and someone had to explain to me (at about 25!). The lefties really got in a jam.

  • flydlbee

    Perhaps the trigger warning should read “may offend feeble-minded self-obsessed dorks”

  • I hate to break this to you – but these students are not very intelligent. They shouldn’t be in university as they’re too thick.

    • Peter Hulse

      If they refuse to learn anything about the bits that might offend them, they will not become graduates.
      On reflection, in these dumbed-down days, they might.

      • Windygirl

        You’re right about that, I have a friend who used to teach future physicians and he quit because he said they were “getting more stupid by the year.” Those doctors are now practicing in the truest sense of the word.

    • Faulkner Orkney

      Things have gone down hill they allowed my local pub to became a university and the carpet shop in the high-street became a polytechnic.

  • watcherofolde

    You forgot one thing-it came from the American LEFT-especially educators.

  • gerronwithit

    It doesn’t say very much for academia that it can be hijacked by a bunch of malicious, low thinking troublemakers whose ‘intellectual ‘arguments should have been crushed into the dirt the instant they were uttered instead of cowering in their collective corners.

    As for any of these misandrist, racist, anti-heterosexual creatures of misery, if I I have triggered any of your fears then it will only make my day. Either way, as far as I am concerned, you can jog off and take loads of offence.

    • Ringstone

      The problem is they get many of these ideas from “radical” academics who would be unemployable in any other sphere. They are at critical mass teaching dumbed down courses, for the 40% who weren’t “university material” in the good old days, at the Department of Underwater Morris Dancing and Comparative Basket Weaving in “cough” universities around the country – their present students a major presence on Twitter and social media.
      More fool us for humouring any of them.

      • Colonel Mustard

        It is true that there is simply insufficient public ridicule levelled at the loons – but that is in part the increasing intimidation to not cause offence and the spineless submission of those who rule over us.

      • vieuxceps2

        “More fool us”-Alas, you sum it up in three words. What’s to be done?

    • Colonel Mustard

      The problem is that a current feminist agenda is to equate alleged and largely subjective psychological harm with actual criminal harm in order to justify the prosecution of ‘offenders’ (as in those causing offence by what they express). All the usual suspects seem to be committed to “progressing” that sinister agenda. It’s a slippery slope to a very evil place but we are already on it.

  • ForGodsSake1

    I have their anthem – George Harrison’s ‘I me mine’.

  • JamesCovey123

    That was a great piece, Mary.

    Just one point.

    “Back in the 1990s, PC students would stamp about with placards demanding
    equal rights for minorities and talking about Foucault. ”

    It started in the 60s & 70s in universities. Saw it with my own eyes.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    I’m inclined to think as a nation were getting more and more confused about the position of ordinary people in the face of trending laws about ” hate”. I happen to think one has every democratic right to be offensive or give offence , even when it means saying ” no” or ” OXI” as the Greeks did recently, but one must also be big enough never to take offence.

    At the moment ” contact culture” as personified by corporate executive types seems to be causing a lot of confusion too, I think. but I think we’re onto it..

  • global city

    No. It is PRESENTED as hurt feelings, but it is all about control. Political correctness is STILL about narrowing thought and speech to fields the oppressors have deemed acceptable and what sentiments are politically correct, regardless of things like truth and stuff.

    • Crumbs

      You’re quite right, global city. Here is Lindybeige nailing that point almost casually in passing.

      • global city

        Indeed. I have never come across this fellow’s videos, so thanks for the link. I’ve just watched this one too

        Now, isolation….isn’t that PRECISELY the point of multiculturalism? Taboo on ‘criticism’ is nothing to do with protection, rather, it is all about creating hostile, suspicious and competing identity groups. We have to remember that there is ALWAYS an evil intent that gains the left power behind all of their memes.

        Bad, bad people.

        • Crumbs

          You’re welcome.

        • vieuxceps2

          Bad,bad people indeed. But who are they?

  • thammond

    I think there are many strands to this.

    Partly it is a continuation of the “worried well” phenomenon, translated to feelings and pseudo-psychology.

    Partly it is the desire of teenagers and young people to find a cause that is different from their elders, a stick to beat us with. Unfortunately, us elders are today reasonably PC already.

    Partly it is a reflection of the power of social media, which has allowed bullying and intimidation on a scale that is shocking.

    Partly it is the fault of the concept of offence being in the eye of the beholder: that has inevitably led to the most easily offended being in charge.

    • sictransitvan

      You are right, there are many strands here. My take on this is that it is overall it is a sort of puritanism that is stalking the West. It’s just as bad on the far right as on the far left. The amount of doctrinaire ideology, the notion of racial purity, the commissars of the right wing attempting to bludgeon the masses into ‘waking up’, the notion of returning to the ethno-nationalist period etc. etc. It is the same sort of dogmatism in a mirror image, an atmosphere of oppressive rigid views and thought control. Neither side can bear to step outside their ideological frame and see the bigger picture. They both believe they are working for a cause when in truth they are both symptoms of the same period in the development of the West.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I am offended by the existence of Manchester United FC, they must be closed down immediately. And while you’re at it, Liverpool FC annoy and upset me too…

  • Muttley

    Is there a new BA in Virtue-Signalling? Even more useful than Media Studies.

  • anotherjoeblogs

    I wonder if there is a connection between a certain hypersensitive ‘ religion ‘ ( the one whose adherents are permanently offended ) and this growing princess and the pea syndrome.Maybe it is a case of ‘ I fancy a bit of that myself and I don’t want to be excluded ‘. It has come to the point when the intention is null and if something is inferred to be offensive, it is that.

  • locomotion

    Whatever you think about political correctness, you have to admit that the proponents of it have been STAGGERINGLY successful in the last 25 years. A whole generation has had their way of thinking transformed; Stalin couldn’t have done it better.
    And of course it HAD to happen for the West to keep functioning, because if people had actually been allowed to properly complain about the effects of mass immigration and multiculturalism – clearly BY FAR the worst things that have happened to this country since the War, for many, many reasons – then there would have been widespread unrest and dysfunctionality.
    So what we have now is unlanced boils of resentment and impotent anger (partly lanced on these sorts of messageboards and also manifested in, for example, ushered conversations between very close friends, who have somehow escaped the brainwashing, in the back of pubs where they know their “wrong” chatter can’t be used to persecute them).
    What joy.

    • Unlanced boils tend to be very ugly when they burst… and the systemic infection of the body alone’s been known to kill.

      I think we’re seeing a solution to the ‘Where are all the alien civilization’ questions. They get to a point where they develop SJWs, then development essentially ceases because it ‘might offend someone’.

      • locomotion

        It has long been the Left’s policy to attack the LANGUAGE used by their opponents rather than actually engaging in discussion on the ISSUE. Hence Margaret Thatcher attacked in the 1970s for saying the indigenous population were feeling ‘swamped’, or more recently David Cameron saying the immigrants were a ‘swarm’. It deflects attention from the real issues – issues which the Left tend to be completely wrong about.

        • Attack the language used and you can ignore the issue – it’s a great tactic, especially when you caused the issue in the first place.

        • vieuxceps2

          Yes indeed,Locomotion. We all need to ensure that our language remains our own so that our thoughts can be free.I am astonished at how so few people are aware of this.

    • Blazeaway

      I wish you were right about people feeling able to speak in the back of pubs.

      In the last year or so I have noticed friends not only lowering their voices, but also looking around before they do so, before they talk about something that may offend the PC

      • Justin St.Denis

        Those bright enough to see this coming got out of Britain decades ago. Thanks Mum! Thanks again!

  • Maureen Fisher

    These are the very people who slaughtered millions for their various causes so why are we surprised at their shrill intolerance?

  • Allyup

    Being PC is a very popular form of infantilism.

    Such people find the real world far too shocking to bear. We have moved about as far as you can from the concept of adults being mature people who can face the world – warts and all. The PC brigade are just overgrown children in disguise.

  • splotchy

    This is exactly why I raise a (silent, you never know who is listening) cheer at Clarkson, Hopkins, Liddle et al when they are gloriously unPC in saying things as they see them. Not because I endorse wilful offensiveness should that be their collateral – but because I believe in free speech and despair that we are losing it. Free speech = Free society.

    Plus normal conversation is no longer possible because of the recoil one encounters on using certain words – I no longer know what are the currently acceptable words for ‘non-caucasian’, ‘not slim’, ‘not fully fit and able’, ‘born with damaged brain of limited potential’ etc, although oddly enough those who object most strongly to the simple and honest words used historically for these, have no problem with expressions such as ‘tory c*nt!’ or othe expletives used to vilify those who have different opinions to them.

    • jeremy Morfey

      There was that famous time when James Naughtie inadvertently used rhyming slang when referring to the current Health Secretary.

    • vieuxceps2

      I understand that it’s abnormal in lefty circles to say the word Tory without addding an insult. Tory SCUM for example. Don’t see why the way my Mother and my Auntie vote should make them scummy, but it may be that PC speech has passed me by…..

  • Eudaemonia71

    It still amazes me that Derek and Clive are available on iTunes et al. Just a few clicks and you can be offended senseless – and have a damn good laugh at the same time. Give it time.

    I also suspect depictions of smoking in old films will one day be CGI’d out of existence (Cigged? Remember I said it first lest I get all triggered and offended).

    Not 40 years ago The Yoof used to go out of their way to challenge, shock, offend and generally get on everyone’s jugs. How far the termites have spread and how well they have dined.

    And Han fired first!

  • Greenslime

    It’s just such a pernicious malignancy. A world where disagreement has to be voiced so carefully because offense can be achieved so easily, rapidly and for a plethora of innocuous and unpredictable reasons. Men don’t have have a uterus, so they may not have a view. Moslems get angry because someone has drawn a matchstick man. put a beard on it, and said it might look like Allah, Orthodox Jews who don’t want mums driving their kids to school (although the last one was manna for someone from every point of the “I am deeply offended” spectrum).

    Of course, we remain in that world where it is only ‘THEY'(whoever happens to be ‘they’ at the time), who may draw offence from what is said. Reciprocated respect is not something these people do, although they will argue until they are blue in the face to the contrary.

  • new_number_2

    “Obsessive searching for hurt and offence will create it where once it never existed”

    As is occurring with the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

    • Dan O’Connor

      The standard Leftist whataboutery tactic.
      Jeremy Corbyn was one of the 60’s hippy Cult Marxists useful idiots that was the forerunner that gave birth to these little demogogues who have transformed our once proud citadels of courageous debate and enquirey and intellectual curiosity into Student’ Union moral torch mob intellectual Stalinist gulags of cringing mass conformism.
      The cult of permanent intellectual adolescence.

    • therealguyfaux

      “Obsessive searching for hurt and offence will create it…”

      And if you are a paranoid overweight black poofter in Virginia, you then lash out violently when it deservedly comes your way– I mean, if you were disposed to take everything everyone told you as being racist and homophobic, then why wouldn’t somebody just eventually lose their calm and good sense, and tell you off for the grievance-collector you are?

  • Malus Pudor

    Political correctness is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end…

  • Bosun Higgs

    It’s back to the nineteenth century, girls and boys, with a strange mixture of prudish not-mentioning-such-things-I-hope-my-dear and quivering Romantic emotional sensitivity.

    • Airey Belvoir

      It’s a problem for the poor things when their PC sensitivities collide head-on. So. no criticism of vile, misogynistic lyrics in rap music, because ‘black culture’ must be respected. No mention of the primitive treatment of women by Muslim men, either.

  • Bosun Higgs

    Incidentally, this ‘trigger’ thingy would pretty much take Jane Austen out of the curriculum:
    Sense and Sensibility – underage sex
    Pride and Prejudice – attempted seduction of an underage girl
    Mansfield Park – slavery, mental cruelty
    Emma – the stigma of illegitimacy
    Persuasion – exploitation by the patriarchy
    Northanger Abbey – abduction

  • Realismista

    These stupid young Americans clearly overlooked the triggers that the word trigger might cause some of them….

  • rwellsrwells

    Think maybe helicopter parents are the cause of this nonsense?

  • Dan O’Connor

    Don’t laugh at these people, they are dangerous and have become the greatest threat that European civilzation has ever had to face because they hate and despise everything about their own culture , history, civilzation and race. and put every other culturé and race on a pedastel by knee jerk reflex and will never take the side of their own people in any conflict . and consider this proof of being modern , intellectually more sophisticated and virtuous . Laughing at them and believing they are just going through a youthfull phase of rebellion and that they will grow out of it, is the mistake ordinary normal people made in the 60’s when the same quarter educated utopian hippies were beginning their useful idiot Frankfurt School Cult Marxian Long March Through the Institutions of the West. They got away with it because Cuckservatism Inc. deserted the ideological battlefield so they faced no opposition, scrutiny or critcism of their ideas. Now internationalist Cuckservatism Inc is just a more buisness friendly version of the internationalist Cult Marx Left , and the New Left , is a newly emerging Technocratic aristocracy / intellectual priesthood caste, and acts at the Left wing of the Capitalist plutocracy and their Though Police
    They have been allowed to transform our universities into their own personal fiefdoms, and intellectual stalinist gulags and have become the Masters of the Moral Universe and the sole arbiters of evil and good , right and wrong and thought and speech.
    Politicians are absolutely petrified of them.
    This cult of little tantrum brats since the 60’s have become fully qualified Social Justice Warriors and natural born world pseudo experts on Life , the Universe, and Everything within 14 days of enrolling at Art Colllege . Reading a book is not required. Just memorise the same hand me down, fossilized standard arsenal of cutsey and clever sounding half educated , half truths, historical ignorance, oversimplifications, and evasions and global compassion fakery they overhear at the table of the college cafeteria . Fakes and fraudsters and con men , all of them .
    20 years old and they believe they are the cleverest, wisest , most enlightened and virtuous people who have ever lived .

    • vieuxceps2

      Agree with you entirely on the danger these people pose to us.Their weapon of PC speech is a mighty one and has given them great and continuing success.We must all fight against it. It’s not easy,as anyone who has been “moderated”on such comment boards as this will know.Do not laugh , my friends, for they are deadly serious.

  • gelert

    While the faculties of American universities take the coward’s route by avoiding giving offence to Muslims.

  • The Grim Reaper

    I wonder if any of these sensitive souls can remember the quickly forgotten “Bring Back Our Girls” or ” Make Poverty History”. Fast forgotten in the narcissistic age of Twatter.

    • Doh

      You mean the #BringBackOurGirlsFromRotherham campaign?

  • Dan O’Connor

    The Frankfurt School of a competing and hostile tribal Freudian / Cultural Marxism , = tolerance for any ideas from the Left and total intolerance for any ideas from the Right .
    But there is something missing from this equation , so we have to peel another layer off this neurolinguistic weaponised pseudo ideology that has been inserted like a bacilli into the psyche and body politic of Western man like peeling an onion and go deeper .
    What tribal Freudian / Cultural Marxism really means is that anything that is destructive to the economic, cultural , political , territorial , and demographic and ethnic and racial group interests and social fabric of White societies, is logical
    And anything that is not destructive is not logical.

    The real but camouflaged war that the Left / Capitalists / Cuckservatives and the Managerial elite and the army of the student faculty useful idiots are waging against their own historical peoples, is on the battlefield of race.
    Meanwhile Tea Party / Cuckservatism Inc. has caved into every Cult Márx demand out of shear cowardice and is waging a war where the real battle is not taking place, which is on the Libertarian battlefield of lower taxes for corporate billionaires, smaller goverment and the belief that if we let everyone do what they want , and they’ll all do the right thing , ( freedum , freedum , freedum , freedum )

  • “To this, I’d add the lessons of Christianity — still at the bedrock of
    both Europe and America’s sense of right and wrong. There’s the bit
    about taking the beam out of your own eye before jumping up and down
    about the speck in another’s”


    Today it’s take the beam out of your own eye and figure our who you can sue.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Anyone else notice that when articles like this pop up that expose universities for the seething couldrons of civilizational / racial self-hatred that they are, by some strange coincidence , the Lefty one liner trolls that plague these threads always suddenly disappear into thin air.

  • Doh

    This is what a decade or two of pandering to the Left will do to a country. The more you indulge these cretins the worse it gets.

    Vote UKIP, tell the perpetually offended to eff right off, and bring back National Service. The root of the problem is indoctrination in schools in which left wing teaches preach climate change, various faux phobias and the Isms. Stamp it all out to at least prevent the next generation being infected.

  • PerplexedSardine

    They then graduate and go straight into politics via the NUS and the media via internships. They never come down into the real world where their worldview might be shattered.

    This has been going on a long time in universities and has been getting steadily worse. The first generation of this kind of student – from back in the sixties – to reach the levers of power did so in 1997.

    I graduated only a few years ago, you people out here have no idea of the nonsense you’re in for…

  • Gilbert White

    Irony the only really multicultural book now is treasure island with an empowered disabled man with psittacosis.

  • Chamber Pot

    Unfortunately, the only thing that will shake these spoiled babies out of their decadent daydream is a bloody war where they will have to start dealing with real life and death issues.

    Their unwillingness to engage with reality and their weak mindedness means that such an outcome is a certainty as our enemies internally and externally already realise how lacking in any backbone are our ruling and ‘ educated ‘ classes.

    • Simon Fay

      They will make good and deserving human shields in the conflict to come.

  • Blazeaway

    One day UKIP will have to take on PC. I hope it has the balls.

    It will be attacked massively when it does. By the Conservatives as well as the left.

    But it has to be done

  • Simon Fay

    The threat of being hounded on social media by these shrieking children? If that’s their worst then bring it on.

    • justejudexultionis

      What kind of imbecile uses ‘social media’?

      • Alexsandr

        ae$e book and tw@tter. best ignored.

  • Dan O’Connor

    The happy hunting days of Mr White middle / upper class Lefty taking an education in African Basket Weaving / Multiculti studies / and getting a guaranteed cushy, glamourous and well payed job in the diversity industry racket , hob-nob with their fellow champagne marxist at dinner parties , and swoon over foreign cultures they know F-all about , and be able to afford to live as far away from diversity as they can get –are coming to an end –and Lefty knows it.
    That’s why they are desperatley trying to fabricate a new thought crime/ cause celebre / oppressed minority group every day, instead of every week . — ” White privilege ”
    ” White micro-agressions ” safe spaces away from the evil White male heterosexual ” trigger words ” They want the roll they’ve been on since the baby boomer 60’s to never end .
    Western middle / upper class trendy progressive hipsterism is the fear of being an ordinary person working in an ordinary job . They all see themselves standing on the bow as captain of a Green Peace ship or becoming a new John Lennon Philosopher King who will be at the forefront of the glorious march towards the rainbow nation brotherhood of man. Or maybe a Guardian or BBC journalist.

  • convincing

    Too many youngsters living their life online instead of on the street. Get out, get a life and think for yourself or is that asking too much. Is it just me , or does their constant whining ‘trigger’ my common sense to erupt.

  • Always_Worth_Saying

    The Spectator hosts columns by convicted pedofile Jonathan King. Trigger that.

  • Jett Rink

    It is our generations fault that the early 20’s are such a lost generation. We wanted to protect them from the *stuff* we had to go through. We have done them no service coddling them and protecting them from every imagined bogeyman out there.

  • Maureen Fisher

    Speaking as someone from a working class family who went to University through effort back in the late sixties, these middle class tossers make me sick. And I’m quite sure people like me are pretty much excluded from lefty universities these days!

  • geo

    western civilisation is pretty much screwed … the 70’s and 80’s generations who got out there and did … have been replaced by whiny, overprotected, inert vegetables.

    • As the French say the May 68ers (today in power in France) who went around scribbling its “forbidden to forbid” all over Paris walls nowadays just “forbid”.

  • R M

    I have a teenage brother six years my junior who keeps comes out like censorial tosh like this every now and again. Maybe he’s just regurgitating the stuff his girlfriend comes out with (a nice and utterly clueless girl who this week confidently declared that the Chinese were doing bad stuff to the world economy on purpose), but it is a new phenomenon and I am really concerned that it’s becoming really pervasive amongst the next generation. I don’t understand it.

  • jeremy Morfey

    When I once worked in a Government department (the site has now been closed and sold for a housing estate), I was given a verbal warning for using the word “niggle” which all my life meant a minor irritation, and still does as far as I know. I was also given a warning for letting it be known that I was off sick with viral meningitis, since it might cause distress among my colleagues. Despite it being a disciplinary offence to take sick leave, I was quite incapable of work for a couple of days. A few days later, I permanently lost the hearing in one ear. It was never diagnosed.

    This was in 2002 – I see here that things have deteriorated since then.

    Yesterday, the Spectator’s Left Wing counterpart, the New Statesman, redesigned its website removing all capacity to comment on its articles, and also making unavailable all previous discussions among its readers. One of the writers previously argued against debating in an online forum (such as this one, which survives for now), comparing it to writing on a lavatory wall.

    It seems the Left will no longer tolerate free discussion, lest it offend those who might not be in full agreement. Such a pity, since the nation needs someone who can hold this Government to account, and we can hardly expect this level of scrutiny from the House of Lords, now it has become a rubberstamp of Party cronies.

  • Sue Smith

    Cf Brendan O’Neill’s “Empire of Offense”.

    The whole quest for offense is unimaginative, brutish, humorless, victim-inducing, unintelligent land fill. It is the love-child of resentment and the “if I can’t have it neither can you” mentality. And it’s calculated, as somebody said on these pages, “to prevent white folks from seeing things”.

  • Lemniscate

    Let’s not forget the willing role played by the university administration, who are all too happy to advance the grip of politically correct ideology on university life.

  • Adam Bromley

    What’s most concerning about this idea of vetting books, avoiding triggers and creating safe spaces is the infantilising effect as Mary highlights. We can’t avoid trauma, it’s a fact of the human condition. Everyone we know will die, our parents, our friends and our partners. Bereavement is traumatic, we all experience it throughout our lives. We try to shield children from the worst of human life for good reason, but that’s impossible for adults. You have to face the world as it is, most people are kind and decent. Some are not. When you have ISIL broadcasting execution videos daily, the idea that you can protect anyone from unpleasant experiences is absurd. At least the bravery of the US soliders on the French train shows there are still those with moral fibre out there.

    • Alexsandr

      but you cant shield kids from death because it just happens.
      the old b*gger with a scythe has had a good go at my family recently, and the grandkids turned out for the funerals. They coped with that. Too much feather bedding of kids.

      • Adam Bromley

        Yes, I guess that’s true also. Better they learn about loss and how to grieve that to pretend no one dies.

  • Windygirl

    I’d like to apologise for this particular export from the US. Any political correctness is born from the liberal mindset of magical thinking, where parents are described as helicopter and do everything to be certain their progeny is not inconvenienced or hurt. It does not raise a person to be a responsible adult, and creates an adult with the mentality of a toddler. A fine example would be our current shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan. His form of helicopter parenting was different than the sophisticated, he grew up within a very exclusive religious cult. He, too, was not prepared to be a responsible adult. Add to that defect, he was also mentally ill with a sense of entitlement that in fact *is* political correctness, so double-whammy. Donald Trump came along at the right time, if not a bit too late.

  • So as fairly conservative student studying at a public university, I don’t think that trigger warnings are the main cause of my generations anxiety. The fact that for years the unemployment and underemployment of our graduated peers has hovered around 30%, forcing us to work harder and longer in an attempt to compete has more to do with my personal anxiety, and the anxiety of many of my friends

  • gray cooper

    This is what is so wrong with this once great country-to deliberately find offence. What is so wrong in being offended? I’m offended by the smoking ban, tobacco control and politicians, I shrug my shoulders and refuse help to any of the pc brigade. To change one’s ways because someone else doesn’t like it -did I ask them?

  • Digger

    These idiots seem to think that they have a RIGHT to not read, see or hear anything they may not agree with.

    Meanwhile, back in the REAL WORLD we all have to take jobs and deal with people that we may not necessarily like. But we tolerate other points of view and have productive lives, because we need to support families.

  • Thomas Katz

    Political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical left
    wing minority. It is the refuge behind which those of insufficient
    integrity to speak their own minds hide, as it is with those of
    insufficient intellect to have their own mind. These hold forth the
    proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t*rd by the
    clean end.

  • Solage 1386

    Only middle-class persons are affected by the contagious madness of the new pc.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t that the whole goal of PC to begin with? Finding hurt where non-exists I think is a perfect summary.

  • Cornelius Bonkers

    The problem of making a fetish out of offence has arisen since the western world started on its “journey” of feminisation. An excess of CARING as a means to an unattainable end – equality – has had two effects. It’s produced a dangerous challenge to male domination (hence the creation of ISIS and its excessive return to the reality of, and preference for fundamental male brutality) and also a dismemberment in the home and the school of adult/child relations….be afraid, very afraid…

  • Marc Lewinstein

    The repeated use of the word “trigger” in this article makes me depressed about not having received an invitation for the Glorious Twelfth.

  • Kevin T

    They’re not being taught to think and criticise and be sceptical. Instead they’re effectively being brainwashed with progressive ideology, which is often bizarrely contradictory. They’re told to prize equality above all things and then taught to treat everyone differently based on their physical traits. They’re taught religion is a bad influence but Islam is blameless for all the things done in its name. The computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey goes mad because it’s given conflicting orders and many of these people probably have the same issue.

  • Glen Cram
  • Disqus8a40fa

    It came from America, this virus, incubated in the closed minds of the Land of the Free, but it’s here now, and contagious.

    No, it came from Frankfurt, birthed by a group of Jews whose intent was to hasten the destruction of the West.

    Neither is it contagious. It needs constant promotion in the controlled media to keep it alive.

  • Uh, Morrison’s The Song of Solomon is about a man being tried for, of all things, rape. It’s far more graphic than Metamorphoses. Whacky. Just plain whacky.

    • Mc

      But all the downtrodden in Morrison’s books are people who reside at the top of the victimhood pyramid and who re-affirm to these poor, sensitive souls that they are all helpless victims of evil, white, capitalist males, with no autonomy to free themselves of such hegemony.

      • I am a real survivor of rape and find Morrison’s work horrific — she seems to delight in depicting depravity and ugliness. Metamorphoses, on the other hand, attempts to make sense of a painful world. I prefer the latter and plan to re-read it in Latin next year.

        • Mc

          I suspect that was the point made by the journalist, namely that Morrison’s book was chosen over Metamorphoses because it fits the SJW agenda, even though Morrison has no literary talent.

          • No talent but so prolific. Ah well…

          • Mc

            Yes, prolific about all the “right” topics. Every generation has them, and are soon forgotten by subsequent generations.

    • MrJones

      Makes perfect sense if the real aim is getting rid of all the white authors.

  • LarryInIowa

    While the left has foisted this nonsense upon us it is the responsibility of the rest of us to combat and destroy it. Every time one of these hyper sensitive snowflakes complains about a real or imagined slight we need to laugh at them. Ridicule is the best weapon against this type of fascism.

  • dickhut

    One of the secrets of a contented life is not to take oneself too seriously.
    Obvious, perhaps, but so many people seem to have forgotten this simple truth nowadays.

  • Nick

    I’m generally regarded as being thick skinned but I do have emotions and there are some things that upset me at times.But I control my emotions and sort the wheat from the chaff.

    But these idiots allow themselves to be stupified by other idiots and none of them really know what (it) is all about.

    And how is it possible for them to be so easily offended? How does that happen?

    • Penny

      I am not sure these people are personnally offended. They seem mostly to be offended on behalf of someone else. I know one or two and they behave like cause-seeking missiles: they’ve no real personal issues but are forever seeking out others who might – just might – be a target.

  • Rayne Leonard

    University student from America here. Students who think this way are in the vast minority, albeit a loud one. Social media has given them a platform and though the ‘news’ is picking up on it, no one is buying it. It’ll pass.

    • Trofim

      “in the vast minority” – now there’s a new one! I know what you mean, but isn’t the converse of a “vast majority” a “tiny minority”?

      • Kasperlos

        Ha ha, good catch. Written and unedited like a true ‘murkin university stewdunce (sic intended – or not). Heh heh heh. The western world is so done for with these XYZ generations.

  • premulticulti

    What is needed is a great big war to concentrate minds on serious issues and forget all the petty PC crap.
    It seems to me that one is on its way.

  • MrJones

    PC is a disguised anti-white racist ideology. The white liberals who were a big part of it in the past are being squeezed out now as they are no longer needed so they’re inventing oppression as a way of clinging to the in-group.

    It won’t last.

  • colchar

    The piece by Lukianoff and Haidt was very good.

    And if you want a laugh look up ‘Feminist jazz hands’. They’re a thing now. Seriously.

  • bfg

    The problem is gutless University administrators who are willing to do anything to avoid an issue. Since most of them don’t really care about what students learn as long as they pay exorbitant tuition and don’t make a seen, they will give in to any demand. Faculty haver no support when they try to teach something that a couple of students in their class find uncomfortable.

  • Makevet

    Seems that rather than acting as a cautionary tale, Orwell’s 1984 is serving as a blueprint for what has become, to all intents and purposes, Ingsoc.

    • Frank Marker

      How about this prophetic piece from W B Yeats Second Coming?
      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

  • Kasperlos

    Welcome to the not so brave new world of mindless Matrix bots. These ‘students’ are so full ot it with their faux Maoist cultural revolution acts. Like spaced-out groupies of a cult -indoctrinated courtesy of your local government approved public skewl (sic intended) -they show as much tolerance as Mao’s brainwashed Red Guard once did. Only the Western version isn’t maddeningly waving a little red book, but rather a red flag to call out fantasmal feelings of pain and grief from non-existent threats. False fear and phony pain that is at once confirmed and comforted by the at the ready grief counselor army. Thereby the aggrieved is sent a ‘positive’ feedback loop and the march towards madness is complete. A madness aimed at the world at large manifests itself in this sick exercise of fighting phantoms. This entire PC construct is a long-term project weened off the fruit (and nuts) of the Marxist bent Frankfurt School, which then exported their acolytes and tyrannical views to the United States. Well, it looks like its come full circle. Some very psychologically damaged young people are walking the streets and crusading for a victory against reality. Thanks to corrupt and twisted ‘professors’ and ‘administrators’ who peddle this garbage on behalf of those who profit from creating a populace afraid of reality and ready to swallow the blue pill. The Orwellian dystopian nightmare is upon us. At least the ‘new man’ is easy to spot: He’d be the one wearing baby pants, holding a comfort blanket, and sucking on a pacifer – at age 32.

  • polistra24

    The youngsters aren’t the problem. Privileged college kids have always been ferocious censors. The current problem is that college admins and teachers are AMPLIFYING the tendency instead of COUNTERING it.

  • AverageGuyInTheStreet

    all this crap will soon be gone, along with the made-up notion of “racism”.

  • Liberanos

    It really is astonishing that despite all the PC lunacy, the wearing of the uniform of subordination by women is not regarded as it surely should be…an essential metaphor of disgraceful muslim misogyny in a land of sexual equality..

  • Kittie Creighton

    Thank you for a most amusing read. I was particularly taken by the many complaints of how the Left won’t let you do this or that. I might have been asleep for the past 5 years but haven’t the Tories been in power? Certainly not Labour! So this Left that is ruling you must be in your minds! The rest was a pleasing melange of cod psychology and contradictory statements which was a joy to read. Thank you to all who contributed.

    • Pioneer

      The left is PC.

  • Marcussmod

    The absurdity of PC would made great comedy for the Carry on Gang and Monty Python.

  • David Webb

    This echoes many points made in my article at .

  • Alex Moss

    I guess we’ll all be conversing in newspeak soon enough.

  • magi83

    The problem is overstated. Most young people don’t think this way. In fact their biggest crime is collective apathy.

    That’s the real problem. The sane majority are so confused by the madness around them they just try to keep their heads down. It leaves positions of authority open to neurotics.

    • Frank Marker

      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.
      Opening stanza of WB Yeat’s ‘Second Coming’

  • Adam Ramo

    A good war will teach these retards what “offend” and “violate” really mean when their arm is hanging off, or their whole family lay in a pool of blood. Its coming.

  • I was appalled to read yesterday of ‘offence’ having been caused by the installation of water sprays at the Auschwitz visitors centre meant to make people more comfortable in hot, summer weather. Apparently, they were redolent of the showers in the nazi gas chambers…… Idiots. They were misting sprays to assist people in very hot weather.

  • doctorseraphicus

    This is all so potty I can’t help thinking it is made up. Please tell me it’s made up.

  • Old Fox

    Dear Mary – there seems to be some PC gremlin blocking this comment of mine on another thread, so I thought I’d post it here. I concerns migration, but contains nothing libellous or defamatory or obscene.
    There’s a lot of sound sense in this article. It needs to be brought out firstly that many of the people batteringon Europe’s doorways are migrants, not refugees and secondly that many who are refugees have places of safety in Syria’s immediate vicinity.
    The Beeb is so oblivious to these points that it actually followed an unusually photogenicyoung woman across Europe to Sweden – quietly cheering her on – having told us that her family remained in Turkey! Turkey? Well why the hell couldn’t she – eh?
    And when will the bleeding hearts get it into their softening heads that
    behind the photogenic Syrian lady, a horde of migrants is poised which would
    make the current crisis – fearful enough – look like very small beer? And that
    doesn’t even touch on the risk from terrorists. Isabel Hardman, in an article
    above, suggests that the public will be affected by the Beeb’s propaganda. No
    we won’t; we are inured to it. We are well aware of the manipulations and
    sleights of hand which appear in its reportage. ITV tonight at least carried
    the warning of a government spokesman from Hungary – that his country is
    attempting, in Europe’s name, to stem a massive flow of migration which could
    sink us. None of that from the BBC, of course, but even the ITV reporter had to
    chip in with some “corrective” information of his own. Our media
    class is in the grip of a truly malign and self-destructive ideology. But
    Germany? Germany is as blind in its ideological anti-nationalism as it was once
    blind the other way. That country NEVER gets it right.

  • Hamburger

    Strangely enough even the most innocent of events can produce a trigger, which makes the whole exercise pointless. Just think of our old friend Proust, although his trigger’s result was benign, if long winded.

  • Hashid Al

    Islam is not a race its a religion of piece if Islam was a race then why do non Arab people convert to islam you cant convert to a #race