Heather du Plessis-Allan: The UK is fighting back at wokeness - will NZ follow?

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 15 Jun 2021, 6:42PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: The UK is fighting back at wokeness - will NZ follow?

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 15 Jun 2021, 6:42PM

This morning my husband asked me what the hell is wrong with the wokesters in this country. 

He’d just read the story about the kids who’ve disbanded the School Strikes 4 Climate Auckland branch because they’ve self-identified as racists and feel it’s wrong for Pākehā to lead the fight against climate change.  

I tell you what, there are quite a few other people reacting like my husband. But if you think it’s bad here, you need check out how bad it’s got in the UK at the moment.

It’s peak woke there.

Last week Oxford University students voted to take down a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in their common room because she represents “recent colonial history”.

And the Bank of England was busted two days ago, secretly removing the portraits of previous bank governors and directors who might have benefited from the slave trade back in the day.  

Never mind that the Queen cannot be cancelled because she’s the Queen. Never mind that some of those 17th century bankers also did good things for society in their time. 

 But the good news is tolerance of this kind of nonsense is wearing thin , and there is a real backlash to it developing. 

The guy who’s taken over as the top cop of Greater Manchester – Stephen Watson – reckons the public are fed up with officers’ virtue signalling.

He reckons public tolerance of ‘woke’ policing is at a ‘high water mark’ and needs to be sorted it.

He’s drawing the line at officers doing things like taking the knee because he thinks “officers could put themselves in a difficult place” if they’ve demonstrated they’re “not impartial” but then perhaps being asked to justify a controversial arrest they might’ve made as being done professionally.

There is also now a kind of anti-woke TV channel that launched last night in opposition to BBC News.

It’s run by veteran UK broadcaster Andrew Neil who is both the chairman of the outfit and the presenter of the prime time show.

In his opening monologue he promised to expose the growing promotion of cancel culture by media and politicians amongst others, and “will not come at every story with the conviction that Britain is always at fault”.

Their opening broadcast drew 2.5 times the BBC news audience that night 

Who knows if it’ll be successful?  It might not.  It might just be a temporary fascination before people drift off back to old habits.

But it’s telling that these guys think there is enough frustration in the UK at the handwringing and the self-hatred and the identity politics and the wokeness to warrant launching a new TV channel and for a top cop to tell his officers to call it off.

I suspect we haven’t hit peak woke yet in NZ, but I’ve got full confidence there are more of us with our heads screwed on properly who won’t brook this nonsense, than there are those trying to woke and cancel.