In 2013, I flushed my TV licence down the toilet. Growing up in India, I had clung to my infantile illusion that the BBC was second in sanctity only to the sacred cows squatting on the thoroughfares of Indian megalopolises. If cow dung was holy sh*t to most Hindus, the punditry of the BBC was an infallible papal pronouncement to the majority of Indians.
One day, Auntie converted to a new religion. She was baptised in the unholy waters of Leftism, multiculturalism and political correctness. Auntie turned into a whore. Like the false prophets from the period of the prophet Jeremiah, the BBC peddled its Band-Aid therapy to the people of Britain, repeating the mantra ‘Peace, peace’ when there was none.
But then, in the bleak media wilderness, along came YouTube. This was akin to the advent of John the Baptist with his sushi diet of locusts, his designer suit of camel’s hair and his politically incorrect fulminations against the alligators of the establishment swamp. In the twinkling of an eye, a host of articulate, intelligent and suave conservative stars mushroomed on YouTube, creating the world’s greatest democratic platform for a Niagara Falls of free speech that was both free (unrestricted content) and free (no licence fee).
Canadian professor and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson is the best known of these celebrities. His audience has burgeoned exponentially. Across the pond, the Jewish trinity of American talk-show hosts Dennis Prager, Ben Shapiro and Mark Levin provide three hours of daily infotainment. If you want a pretty face and a soprano voice search for Ann Coulter, Lauren Southern or Laura Ingram. If you dying to hear a British accent, Katie Hopkins, Paul Joseph Watson and Tommy Robinson pop up with videos ranging from five to 55 minutes.
A host of articulate, intelligent and suave conservative stars have mushroomed on YouTube.
The new rhetoricians of the digital world vary considerably in style and intellectual rigour, but they all rail against open borders, unbridled immigration, Islamofasicm, climate change hysteria, transgender lunacy, government tyranny, political correctness, socialism and cultural Marxism.
Stephen Crowder on Louder with Crowder showcases debates that are not rigged like the BBC’s bland and predictable Question Time and discusses abortion, gun-ownership, transgenderism, feminism, and immigration from a conservative philosophical perspective. ‘I’m Pro-Life: Change my Mind’ screams Crowder’s banner. Anyone can drop in and have a robust argument and you can watch the unedited version on YouTube.
Tommy Robinson and Ann Coulter are even invited to the prestigious podium of the Oxford Union, while Katie Hopkins, a regular on Fox News, is invited to speak at the Cambridge Union.
That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news. The online colosseum of verbal gladiators is attracting a frenzied attack from the Left-wing anti-free speech Jacobin mob. Suddenly the terra firma beneath the Left, long supported by the BBC, has melted like lava. How do you destroy the new alternative media? You call Pest Control to come with the poison gas of post-truth and exterminate the vermin.
The online colosseum of verbal gladiators is attracting a frenzied attack from the anti-free speech Jacobin mob.
Pest Control is an organisation called Hope not Hate, a dumbed-down British version of the notorious American Left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center. Hope not Hate have published a report called State of Hate 2018: Far Right Terrorism on the Rise. The report is a masterpiece in semantic obfuscation. Terms like ‘hate’, ‘far Right’ and ‘alt Right’ are promiscuously over-used but deliberately left undefined.
The report scrapes the bottom of the barrel to furnish evidence that ‘far Right terrorism and violent extremism is on the rise’. It slyly labels the phenomenon a ‘paradox’ and sheepishly admits that ‘organisationally, the British far Right is crumbling’ and ‘the British National Party, Britain First and the English Defence League are mere shadows of their former selves’.
To resolve the ‘paradox’, it pulls two rabbits out of a hat. First, like the boy who cried ‘wolf’ in Aesop’s fable, it trumpets the tale of ‘28 far-Right sympathisers arrested and/or convicted of terrorist offences or violent offences during 2017’. When you look closely at the 28 mini-Hitlers, four are lone wolf ‘Nazi sympathisers’ and Darren Osborne, who rammed his van into bollards outside the Finsbury Park mosque, has well-documented mental health problems.
Marek Zakrocki is Polish and a ‘further 15 people are awaiting trial for membership of National Action, with two on specific charges relating to a plot to murder a Labour MP and a policewoman’. The report desperately draws on ‘pro-Ukrainian extremists’ and ‘mounting numbers and influence of Polish extremists in the UK’ who are, no doubt, turning Kabanosy sausages into stick grenades.
In a country of around 60million and with more than twice as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the British armed forces, this figure is a joke. But the report is as silent as the grave on Islamic hate or terror, never mind Ofsted reports on inflammatory books in Islamic schools spewing hatred like broken sewage pipes. The report never mentions Antifa or anti-Semitic hatred on university campuses, but points to anti-Antifa/Left groups in Spain!
Terms like ‘hate’, ‘far Right’ and ‘alt Right’ are promiscuously over-used but deliberately left undefined.
The second fatter and juicier rabbit out of the hat is ‘online far Right hate’ which ‘is growing’, claims the report. Evidence? ‘Three of the five far Right activists with the largest online reach in the world are British, all with over a million followers on social media.’ An audience of five million is sure to p*ss off most Lefties. My wife and I have spent hours watching the videos of every single ‘extremist’ named in the report. Our antennas as immigrants and my nose as a former news reporter would hopefully be sensitive enough to detect signs of racist or anti-immigrant hate. So why don’t we hear jackboots kicking on our doors?
On the contrary, we are informed, entertained and intellectually stimulated by the likes of Paul Joseph Watson, who is described as ‘the London-based editor of the US conspiracy website InfoWars’. Take a look at Watson’s video on the Islamic takeover of Sweden and you’ll see why the Left is freaking out.
But what do we know? ‘Today’s key activists . . . have little of the obvious “Nazi” baggage of their predecessors’, says the report’s get-out clause because it can’t prove that the conservative and libertarians of the new alternative media are Nazis.
The really dirty trick that the report plays is to conflate and put all its eggs in one basket. It conflates and makes an omelette by conflating Nigel Farage with Nick Griffin, UKIP with the National Front, Islam with Muslim, conservative and libertarian with so-called far Right and alt Right. By the time you get to page 15 of the report, you are led to believe that Raheem Kassam, the British-Asian ex-Muslim and editor of Breitbart London is a neo-Nazi and Katie Hopkins is Eva Braun.
The report caricatures Jacob Rees-Mogg as an ‘eccentric Tory backbencher’ who ‘has developed a following among dyspeptic sections of the Tory grassroots’ and deride him as an ‘almost a cartoon depiction of the “establishment”, an Eton educated, pseudo-aristocratic millionaire running around in a top hat’ who ‘also holds reactionary views on immigration, welfare benefits, same- sex marriage and abortion.’
In his book Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, Oxford scholar Timothy Garton Ash notes that when the government asked British schools to keep a log of all racist incidents among their pupils, the question arose: who decides what is racist? One head teacher had a simple answer: ‘If the child feels the incident is racist, it is.’ The five-year-old should decide.
Has State of Hate 2018 been written by five-year-old snowflakes who cannot bear to hear the sound of people flushing TV licences down their toilets?