Tony Benn was wrong on most things, but he was a great Parliamentarian and he had five questions that may be asked of anyone with power:
- What Power Have You Got?
- Where Did You Get It From?
- In Whose Interests Do You Exercise It?
- To Whom Are You Accountable?
- How Can We Get Rid Of You?
To the Social Justice Warriors, the wokearchy, call them what you will, those questions are addressed. Their formal power is limited, but they infest the governments of Canada and the United States, and influence many others. Elections make little difference ,and that is the issue for Tony Benn’s five questions.
There is point denying that ‘social justice warriors’ have power. It may not be formal, legal power, except when exercised by those who have inserted themselves into the structure of government, and there is no ‘deep state’, but it is real power with real-world consequences. Each time someone is sacked from a position of authority for denying a doctrine of the New Left; a Christian actress is denied work; a book is withdrawn from sale; a speaker turned away, or banned from a social media platforms for calling a man ‘he’; an academic is demoted; an honest man in public life reviled, mocked and forced to recant some commonplace observation, this is real power, hurting real people. When the police intimidate and record the names of those who transgress social-justice rules that are not laws, this is real power. The examples are well known and innumerable.
It is not just for the ‘new ochlocracy’ to answer these questions, because they will not address them with any honesty. These are matters which need to be considered by those who are meant to have constitutional power, and who are meant to use it to protect British subjects. If they are not doing that basic job, then the Five Questions are addressed to them.
1 What power have you got?
There is power to wreck careers and beggar ones victims, to wreck lives and families, without appeal or redress.
Power is not just exercised by the ochlocracy nor just by those who believe in the woke doctrine: those who sack and decommission may be those who are simply afraid of criticism or worried that they will be next, like those who turned their neighbours in to the KGB for a quiet life.
2 Where did you get it from?
There is formal power which in Britain is authorised by the Equality Act 2010, a lever piece of social justice warfare from the lamentable Harriet Harman. Its honeyed terms start with the principle that no state body nor employer should treat each person fairly without regard to characteristics irrelevant to their job, and that every member of the public should be able to have access to services sold to the public, but it has been a Trojan horse, as many have found to their cost in the Tribunals. The Act is an excuse used far beyond what it actually says.
In the last few years, formal power has been eclipsed by mob power; the ‘cancel culture’. This is power not granted but taken. It arises by neglect by everyone else; fear; activists pushing themselves forward where no one else can be bothered to make such an effort; blackmail; lying to cowards about the rules and about who is watching them; developing a cadre of useful idiots.
3 In whose interests do you exercise it?
The activists’ own interests and amusements; no more.
4 To whom are you accountable?
Accountability is to none. There is no appeal nor mitigation. There is no referral to any accepted law. Even a mugger in the street may listen to a plea or a bargain, but a woke mob will not.
5 How can we get rid of you?
To those with formal positions; your jobs can be terminated, just as you terminated others’ jobs. To those who attack your fellow workers; your Equality Act condemns bullying and intimidation, so watch your own backs. Employers may realise how many valuable staff they are losing and can adopt anti-bullying policies which catch you – and that is a forthcoming article.
For the mob – you have power because cowards permit it to you. That can be withdrawn at any moment. You have taught the rest of the world what are effective tactics for taking down those you do not like, and it may be that at any moment those weapons will be turned upon you.
- The Long March: conspiracy or accident?
- We are better than this
- The Noble Savage, Caliban, and Hobbes
- Quarrel of a dying empire poisoning modernity
- Of the natural Condition of Mankind as concerning their Felicity and Misery
- In fear of Jahannam
- By Ben Shapiro:
- By Anthony Ngo:
- By Thomas Hobbes:
- By Jordan Peterson:
- By Anthony Burgess:
- By H G Wells:
- By Aldous Huxley:
- By George Orwell: