I’ve said several times that we now seem to need charities to protect the vulnerable from Manx charities.
Similarly, I’m starting to wonder if we will soon need a civil rights group to protect us from the witterings of alleged liberals who want to silence anyone who provokes open discussion of difficult issues.
There are any number of UK examples of what Julie Burchill christened “cry-bullying”. For example, the suppression of reputable feminists such as Julie Bindel or Suzanne Moore who criticise the new trans activists or Islamo-fascist speakers on university campuses. To my mind this (see http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/consternation-over-stu-peters-autism-comments-on-facebook-1-8078870) is something similar.
I like Stu Peters, even when I don’t agree with him. On his radio show he does his job well, which is to stir up public debate. He isn’t a cuddly PC knee-jerker, but he does have principles and a willingness to get to the heart of an issue. When really awkward issues come up on the island, and someone in the press needs to help you speak out, I know from personal experience he is the only one who does not back down in the face of management or advertisers (including government).
Like at least two others I can think of, his newspaper opinion column was pulled for expressing opinions which did not have MOR readers nodding like so many toy dogs in car rear windows. Also (full exposure here), when I wound up a few plastic patriots myself over Tynwald Day a few years ago Stu (who at the time I’d never met) not only defended me but admitted I’d pretty much beat him to all the opinions he was planning to express in his next column.
The thing is, nothing said by his detractors helps the autistic individual supposedly at the centre of this. The only benefit is to the self-image of yet more virtue-signalling twonks. And the rights of the autistic person or the carer do not trump those of other diners. Neither do the other diners get priority by sheer majority.
Rights is not a zero sum game. It’s more complicated than that, and that is what Stu, albeit in his blunt and blokey way, is trying to get at. What you have to create is a social contract whereby we agree our way through such dilemmas. Stu usefully starts a conversation – in his private, not workplace, space – that could lead to that, while his airhead detractors do nothing but pump up their inflated egos and the usual “it’s all human rights gone mad” rent-a-gobs spew their usual hate under the pretence of “defending free speech”.
All a bit sad, really. Or just a normal day in Trumpton-on-sea.
So, out of sheer disinterest in engaging with such buffoons properly, what I’m proposing is a spoof civil rights group. A few years ago I and a sprightly 90 year old (now sadly no longer with us) formed The League Against Cruel Schmaltz to get Manx Radio’s awful music playlist replaced with something a bit more wide ranging and challenging. No, it didn’t work, but the fun we had winding up people instead of passively listening to the radio was enough for us.
So, what to call it? The Anti-Naggers League, perhaps? And what would be the aims and objectives, other than to wind up the righteous and anally retentive until they explode?
I’m all fired up now, and off to write a manifesto. Petty detail can wait.