By Dr Phil Edwards-BBC Radio 4 are currently featuring the work of George Orwell (“Discover the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell” starting January 26th) including readings from “Animal Farm”.
Orwell (born in 1903 in India, though by no means an Indian) wrote in the introduction to “Animal Farm” (1945):
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas of which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question”.
In Britain 2013, prevailing orthodoxies are: equality, diversity, multiculturalism, pro-homosexual rights, anti-discrimination, pro-globalisation, pro-feminism, anti racism – the list of the politically correct goes on.
By contrast, decent, healthy traditions like nationalism, patriotism, family values – marriage, fidelity and paternalism – the social glue binding our society - are out.
Orwell’s quote goes on:
“It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is "not done" to say it... Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.
A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the high-brow periodicals".
Take David Bellamy, the once popular broadcaster, botanist and environmental campaigner who now claims his television career was cut short by the BBC after he dismissed (“denied” in current speech) man made global warming back in 2004.
“From that moment, I really wasn’t welcome at the BBC. They froze me out because I don’t believe in global warming. My career dried up. I was thrown out of my own conservation groups and I got spat at in London.
I was due to start another series with the BBC but that didn’t go anywhere and the other side [ITV] didn’t want to know. I was shunned. They didn’t want to hear the other side” he said.
Back in 2007 there was the extraordinary affair involving Nobel Prize winning chemist James Watson, one of the discoverers of the helical structure of DNA – he said during a visit to London that black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that "equal powers of reason" were shared across racial groups was a delusion.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission had the cheek to say it was studying Dr Watson's remarks "in full".
Dr Watson told The Sunday Times that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really".
He said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".
The fact that Dr Watson is a distinguished scientist and well able to read the copious amount of published research to back up his view didn’t save him from vilification from quacks and amateurs (Red Ken Livingston amongst them) – he was sent packing back to America where he later resigned his post as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory on Long Island.
Losing a job or a broadcasting career is one thing, but going to prison for questioning the prevailing orthodox view of history is quite another.
People who live in Coventry or London might well take offence if someone “denied” that their cities were bombed during the war. They might consider the holder of such views to be mad or deluded, but I doubt they would seek to have him consigned to prison for holding such a view.
But in many parts of continental Europe (and now in the UK, thanks to the European arrest warrant) questioning the details of Germany’s treatment of European Jewry from 1933 to 1945 will result in not just vilification, job loss or financial ruin, but also a lengthy jail sentence!
Leftists have invented a specific offence around this topic – they call it “Holocaust Denial”.
Such is the importance of regular reinforcement of this particular orthodoxy, stressing its vital importance to sustaining multiracial Britain and eliminating any opposition to it, that those events in Eastern Europe 80 years ago are seldom out of the news.
For example, Teesside University has established a dedicated centre – “The Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies” - to study “the extremist far right, with a particular focus on the increase in violent anti-Islamic sentiment and the possibility of a lone, Anders Behring Breivik style attack”.
The centre will be formally launched on National Holocaust Memorial Day (January 27th), accompanied by speeches and lectures about the Holocaust, including 'The Holocaust on Film', 'Writing Holocaust Memoirs' and 'Political Religion and the Holocaust'.
Significantly, Professor Nigel Copsey, of the unit, specifically linked “the far right” with “the Holocaust”, saying, with reference to commemorating the Holocaust: “It will be a great experience for students, both from the university and from our partner colleges as well as the public and staff to reflect on this catastrophic period in history that resulted from far-right extremism".
Note: "far right extremism".
Now, the important question is just how are the “prevailing orthodoxies” which Orwell described created, and once created how are they promulgated, sustained and propagated?
Answer: by the mass media.
Another important question refers to the double standards which surround these prevailing orthodoxies – take for example the current controversy around a "conspiracy to blacklist" 3,300 people from working on Britain's major building projects.
Workers allege that a consultancy company, funded by around 20 major names in the construction industry, ran a database of names for the industry for more than 30 years.
It was seized more than three years ago, but the extraordinary nature of the information held only fully emerged following an employment tribunal against a construction firm last year for one of the victims, an engineer who had a 36-page file against his name and was victimised for highlighting safety hazards on sites.
The information contained within the database related to the trade union activity of various workers in the construction industry, allegedly including detail on industrial action, political views and affiliation, and membership of unions.
The files regularly included recommendations as to whether an individual should be employed.
Typical entries were in terms such as 'Do not employ and 'Above not recommended by Amicus”.
Quite rightly, there’s a big fuss being made of this abuse, with high court action on behalf of some of the workers now underway, but contrast this with the treatment of BNP members, denied work or even sacked for their political views.
No high court action or even sympathy for BNP members when the entire membership list was published on WikiLeaks.
No reluctance on the part of the media to publish details from this illegal source, no media criticism of ACPO (Association of Chief Police officers – a politically motivated private limited company for chief constables) for banning BNP members from becoming police officers or the TUC and their “no platform policy”.
In "Writers and Leviathan" Orwell is even more explicit: “[A]t any given moment there is a dominant orthodoxy, to offend against which needs a thick skin and sometimes means cutting one’s income in half for years on end.”
We must grow thick skins whilst we celebrate the weaknesses and double standards of our enemies and detractors.