BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
A solicitor friend once showed me a website you did not need to sign up to into which you simply typed your postcode. With a mouse click you could see within your chosen radius which of your neighbours were offering kinky massages or sexual favours. One of the most astonishing things I have ever seen.
Overnight, people-watching in local pubs and cafes, and even supermarket shopping, became fascinating. Not so much to see which poor souls needed to resort to such antics to top up their income, but to spot the hypocrites. Surely that snobby woman over there whining to the shop attendant about dishwasher tablets is Vixen Victoria? That haughty bloke on the wicker stall in Taunton looks awfully like Furrie Unicorn Pete. Dungeon Dominatrix could be the church-going postmistress or perhaps even the snooty wife of the vicar? Sleepy villages that seemed relatively unchanged since the 1720’s were suddenly with one click exposed as loci of depravity – as pervert havens for moral relativists; as decadent as the Liberal Democrats or the BBC.
The Internet can open one’s eyes to the actual goings on of so-called ordinary people, some of whom – it is true – are as ordinary as can be. While others who seem very ordinary by day are Spandexman by night or know local lay-bys as more than places for emergency pennies or puncture repairs.
The opsec of the characters on that website tended to be amateurish. When they offered oily massages under a pseudonym, their profile photograph often gave away the stonework of their cottage or snapped their spaniel sleeping on the sofa, maybe showing their car parked outside a window. If someone were so inclined, they could quite easily hunt them down and expose them for their naughtiness. Teachers earning extra income offering sexual favours could be prime blackmail targets for miscreant pupils. Civil servants doubling as spankers would be opened up to kompromat – or be marked out as rising stars, perhaps. Sado masochistic vicars may well get called in front of the bishop – or behind for a demo, given the recent sorry record of many cassock-sporters.
Lies on the Web are of course ubiquitous. Just the other day I was discussing the blatant dishonesty of the Web with a colleague who frequents dating sites. He informed me that on such sites truth is negotiable. 40ish means 49. Wants soul mate means stalker. Athletic means no breasts. Feminist means fat, voluptuous very fat while large frame means hugely fat. I hear that emotionally secure translates as on medication. Not wishing to sound sexist, VVWE no doubt means hamsteresque. (So there are benefits after all to the dull routine of getting married to one woman and taking up a hobby – swiping for mistresses is clearly far more troublesome than fly fishing or French polishing.)
So it is with the recent spate of cancellers – frauds the lot of them. Many of them are dishonest oiks hiding behind anonymous monikers.
Those who look to target people who have spoken outside the boundaries of woke – losing them advertisers or jobs or associates – are all of them like the hypocritical perverts in Britain’s towns and villages. Amateurs. Muppets who claim to be righteous in public but who in private no doubt enjoy a good knicker sniff. Hope Not Hate cadres have been exposed as far left loons. CAGE are Al Qaeda in mufti. Stop the War are shady Britain-haters. Extinction Rebellion activists drive to protests and, despite their watermelon communism, gorge themselves on Big Macs. Black Lives Matter are anti-capitalist racists. The Cadwalladr crowd are ridiculous tinfoilers who must surely sniff glue. If anyone thinks these echo chambers of witch burners should have the power to cancel anything in the real world they are desperately confused. Their judgment couldn’t be worse calibrated. Better, is it not, to have newspapers like the News of the World back to professionally expose the hell out of them – and other crooks and perverts – than allow social media the power to self-appoint judges from these attic-dwelling crusties?
The Achilles heel to these self-proclaimed “scholars” and google “researchers” is to question their education in any way. Unfortunately, this often puts them in a death spiral of ignorance because the only knowledge they will consider to be legitimate are those “sources” that confirm their own destructive bias; further expelling them into the darkness of their own paranoid imaginations.
Just the other day this very magazine was repeatedly requested by a Twitter equality activist, who happened to be trans, to sack one of our writers who publicly declared that he found trans people “creepy”. I discussed this with the troops. Should we sack this writer, who has suffered throughout his life from serious mental illness and whose articles he and we treasure? Should we give him a slap on the wrist for his tweets which he openly admits – depending on where he’s at with his treatment – are quite often bonkers?
We love him. And he loves us. That’s just how it is. To hell with the cancellers.
What right does our magazine have to tell our writers how to comport themselves anyway? We’re not the Government nor a prep school.
Bloody ridiculous. Why should we kowtow to these anoraks?
The trans people we have worked with on the magazine happen to have been erudite and brilliant. The fact is that it is not woke to say that trans people are creepy. So damn what if one thinks they are? Clowns are creepy, so are Communists – should we stop our writers from calling anyone creepy? If a trans person spends their life on Twitter trying to wreck people’s careers in the name of equality they must have a very low opinion of their position in life and that is their private tragedy – certainly not a licence to cancel.
In the end we did not reply to the canceller. As far as the magazine is concerned, our experience of working with trans people is they are not creepy but we’ll not be drawn down the rabbit hole of identity politics and intersectional nonsense by those wielding woke cancel culture as if they possess halos when clearly they do not.
The point is that we are all human. None of us are perfect. Even saints had impure thoughts. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, not some spotty campaigner dweeb on Twatter or Facebook reliant on GoFundMe to maintain their supply of microwave meals and baby oil.
Dominic Wightman is Editor of Country Squire Magazine.