United Kingdom

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: It's time to save us from this plague of wokery, Boris

What is the point of the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury? When one of his clergy, school chaplain Bernard Randall, is severely mistreated simply for stating the Christian position in a reasoned and tolerant way, the most powerful and important figure in the Church of England has no comment to make.

No comment? It is strange enough that the Archbishop is on sabbatical leave – surely, having attained such a great and honoured position, most people would wish to exercise it to the full for every minute that was granted to them. It was striking that he also found time to respond to the Black Lives Matter campaign by announcing a review into the acceptability of hundreds of monuments and statues in Anglican churches, hardly a major preoccupation of most churchgoers.

Boris Johnson surely knows better, as do the growing number of Tory MPs elected by their party's new Red Wall supporters

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (above) was lambasted for not supporting a chaplain who was reported to an anti-terrorism programme for questioning his school's LGBT policies

But his mumbled evasion of an important Christian issue illustrates a greater problem with this country as a whole. A sweeping cultural revolution has taken possession of all the commanding heights of society, slowly, stealthily and without in any way seeking or wanting the approval of the great majority of the people.

Those in positions of authority either actively support it or are unwilling to stand up against it. And so it grows, to such an extent that a conductor on a railway train has been publicly disowned by his employers for calling passengers 'ladies and gentlemen', words which apparently offended a non-binary passenger. And, as we laugh, we also grasp that this is normal and that the conductor had better watch out in future.

For the whole weight of society's machinery now takes the side of such complainers. Unmoderated by humour or proportion, immune to mockery or reason, increasingly ready to punish dissent with discipline or dismissal, the great force of wokery has erupted into all our lives. And as we do not know how to stop it, millions of us find ourselves forced to put up with it or even give in to it even though we do not agree with it. This is why it has now become a matter for the Government. Unless freedom of thought and speech are defended by the highest in the land, and unless the gains of the cultural Left are reversed in schools, universities, broadcasting and elsewhere, the rule of wokery will just continue until nobody dare resist it at all.

Reverend Dr Bernard Randall, 48, (above) delivered a sermon in which he told pupils at Trent College near Nottingham they were allowed to disagree with the school's new LGBT policies

Yet wokery is not at all popular. There is no public demand for it. The Labour Party now suffers at the polls, at least partly because people (not wholly incorrectly) associate it with the ferocious intolerance of the new sexual and cultural revolutionaries. When Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner took the knee last year, they may well have ensured their recent defeat in Hartlepool.

The Tory Party has had its own problems with this. David Cameron, whose reputation sinks lower by the day, mistakenly thought that an identification with woke causes was the road to power. Boris Johnson surely knows better, as do the growing number of Tory MPs elected by their party's new Red Wall supporters.

So the Premier does not just have an opportunity to consolidate the support of millions of new voters, but a duty to the country. By declaring and waging a war on wokery, making sure that the freedom Justin Welby won't stand up for is upheld by the Government, and that common sense rules once more in our lives.

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