Hayes in the House – Political correctness
Much of the liberal left intelligentsia dislike a good deal of Britain’s past and so are happy to deride our national traditions.
Our society has been captured by a puritan paranoia – a new code of pronoun littered civility crafted by elites, who police the ever-narrowing boundaries of permissible thought, speech and action by smearing and isolating those that dare to dissent from ‘politically correct’ orthodoxies. The PC Praetorian Guard are spiteful and unforgiving.
Nowhere is this trend more disturbingly illustrated than in the concerted attempt to confuse and distort the most fundamental form of belonging –whether we are male or female. Speaking recently in the House of Commons, I backed the several NHS clinicians who have quit the Tavistock Centre - gender identity development service clinic - concerned that they were “under pressure to refer young people for life-altering treatment, even though they did not believe that it was in the individual’s best clinical interests”.
Of course, we should endeavour to respond with compassion towards those individuals who feel compelled to identify as the opposite sex, but we must also reaffirm the objective truth - gender has no meaning if divorced from biological facts. Kindness is what matters, not political posturing.
Meanwhile, the campuses of many British universities are in the vanguard of a sinister attempt to deny or denounce all our forefathers did. It is astonishing to see the University of Cambridge commission a two-year doctoral level academic study, complete with an eight-person strong panel, to consider how the university can acknowledge its links to colonialism. Trevor Phillips - the founding chairman of the Equalities Commission and the son of immigrants from the colonies - was right to call this ‘virtue signalling on steroids’.
We should recognise that certain periods of history did not exemplify the compassionate, Christian values which many endeavour to adhere to today. However, that does not mean trawling through the history books in an attempt to morally whitewash the past. Where will it end? With a full-scale Maoist cultural revolution?
In most areas of public policy, political correctness now forms the context within which it is made, making meaningful change almost impossible. It takes a strong minister with a firm grasp of detail to challenge the assumptions of the liberal establishment.
There is no better example of putting wrongs right than the much-needed educational reforms inspired and crafted by my friend and colleague Michael Gove, during his time as Education secretary.
Michael recognised the immense value in pride and place, cultivated by a rigorous understanding of wisdom that predates us. Thankfully, many children can now explore the traditions crafted by our nation’s heroes and heroines. Understanding how conflict, religion and identity have shaped the land we know today helps us to put modern challenges into perspective.
In more than 20 years in Parliament, there have been moments which have made my heart start. Among them, Michael Gove’s decision to send a copy of the King James Bible to every school in the UK was a powerful reminder that such a straightforward step can speak volumes. Our Christian heritage is for everyone. Rabbi Laura Jenner-Klausner agreed, describing the KJB as an ‘important part of British history and our literary heritage’.
History is replete with powerful men and women who, claiming an exclusive understanding of truth, have oppressed and cajoled those who dared to challenge them. Without freedom of expression, we are powerless to stand up to those determined to subjugate. As Winston Churchill said: ‘The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is’.