Politically Speaking with Andrea Jenkyns MP: Waging a winning war on woke
In 2020 and 2021, we saw British history come under attack like never before: statues defaced and toppled, the Empire criticised and freedom of speech under attack from cancel culture.
Andrea Jenkyns MP writes: 2022 must be different. It is time for the silent majority to take a stand against these divisive, unpopular and controversial views and make it clear that most people do not hold them.
I am firmly of the belief that the silent majority do not support woke views. During protests last year, my inbox regularly filled up with emails from both people living across Morley and Outwood and from every corner of the UK, who expressed their horror at the scenes they were witnessing on the TV.
Despite what a vocal minority might say, Churchill remains a hero, one of the greatest Britons and the man who stood against fascism to lead us through the war and to victory. To deface his statue was an insult to millions, and it is vital that the police take a stronger stand against such acts in the future.
However, police action should not just be taken against those who want to deface monuments to people who died years ago. In the past few years, we have seen Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain attempt to cause mass public disruption in the name of fringe beliefs. Yet their actions did not aid the environment, but rather stopped parents taking children to school, stopped elderly patients getting to hospitals, and stopped loved ones from visiting dying relatives. And yet their actions largely went unpunished.
Instead, it has been left to everyday people, the law-abiding majority, those who are just trying to get on with lives, to pay the price and deal with these protestors; risking personal injury and potential prosecution to drag them to the side of the road and let vehicles through. We need to see the police take a zero tolerance approach; we should not allow the likes of the Insulate Britain mob to glue themselves to our motorways and stopping people from going about their daily business.
Yet civil action is not the only time we have seen the horrible impact of wokeness.
Online, and in the print media, numerous public figures have been ‘cancelled’ - or hounded - for expressing their views on a range of topics; from daring to say that only biological women have cervixes to speaking out against sacrificing our nation’s heritage and history to the baying mob.
Part of living in a free society is the right to freedom of expression, and a hallmark of democracy is hearing things that you might not like, might not agree with, and might not wish to hear.
It is only through openly discussing the tough aspects our of history and our society, through asking questions and receiving answers, that we can have real conversations about some of the most important issues facing our society, and have the potential to see real democratic change for the better society that we all want for our families, communities, and for our great nation.
People across the UK will have made New Year’s Resolutions. It is my sincere hope that, at least for some, their resolution will be to stop being part of the silent majority, and to use their voice to speak out against the damaging and divisive forces of the cancel culture which once only dared to rear its ugly head on university campuses and student politics.