Defending free speech in modern Britain is like defending the Crystal Palace, or King Arthur’s Round Table, or Narnia. We know what all those things are, but they don’t exist. Free speech has not existed in the UK and much of Europe for some time now, its decline concomitant with the rise of Islam.
What is ‘offence’? We will turn briefly to the dictionary, although in these post-modern, cultural Marxists days it is only a rough guide to meaning, and the meanings of words are like a train timetable for the Left; subject to change.
Of course, the dual meaning of ‘offence’ is of interest, particularly to the Cheshire Police and other forces, or ‘services’ as many of them are now termed, presumably to avoid giving offence. For them, offence is an offence. But the word has an interesting etymology in light of the way the Liberal-Left now utilise language.
It is a feature of etymology that words denoting abstractions often go back to classical verbs or nouns denoting physical things or actions. The Latin offensa, as well as meaning ‘affront’, ‘injury’, or ‘crime’, also means ‘the act of striking against’. It has been noted recently that the Liberal-Left have a tendency to treat language as action. If a threat is made online, for example, or even a statement of disapproval of a protected victim class, the Leftist reacts as though a physical act has taken place. Perhaps the Liberal-Left are simply first-class philologists.
As for the modern meaning, it is hopelessly tangled. An offence can be ‘that which displeases’, bringing it close to Islamic libel law, under which something is libelous simply if one party doesn’t like what is said about them. ‘Resentment’ is one of the synonyms. ‘Displeasure at a perceived slight’. (Italics added). The whole slant of the contemporary definition of ‘offence’ is that its measure is subjective. Which brings us back to Cheshire police, and their warning that ‘other people may take offence’.
Years ago, I remember reading that Michael Jackson had a team of lawyers whose brief was to listen to the radio all day on the lookout for someone ripping off one of Wacko Jacko’s ditties.
And anyone who knows about New Order being sued by John Denver for the alleged similarity between the Manchester band’s Run 2 and Denver’s song Leaving on a Jet Plane – made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary – will know how likely one song is to sound at least a little like at least one other. I’m a musician and, even if you are one of the polyphonic Pauls – Simon and McCartney – there are only so many places you can go. So, these lawyers are listening to the radio, all day and all night, to look for the merest possibility of litigation. There you have a perfect analogy for the perpetually offended.
There are people who quite literally patrol social media sites looking to be offended. Universities are full of students who are not there to learn, but simply to draw up an inventory of micro-aggressions, white privilege, racist incidents – usually hoaxes – and be offended by them. Muslims have been offended by Piglet mugs, nativity scenes, even the top of an ice-cream carton, whose swirl looked a bit like the Arabic word for ‘Allah’. The whole notion of ‘offence’ has created a cottage industry whose staff can enjoy the twin delights of being a victim and virtue-signalling about it. And, of course, it has given Muslims the toolkit they need to silence criticism once and for all.
They had to learn offence, mind you. They received excellent tuition from black people, who in turn learned it from the Jews. In fact, blacks are a bit miffed currently – see Trevor Phillips’s gloomy denunciations of multiculturalism – because the Mohammedans have muscled in on their grievance postcode. It would all be funny if it weren’t so sick.
I’ve tried to be offended. I don’t know how you would go about it. Let’s say that I’m with my mum, and a stranger comes up and says he’s seen some ugly women, but she puts the tin hat on all of them. I will be angry. If feasible, I’ll knock him or her down. But offended? What does it feel like? Can anyone explain the physical or mental symptoms to me? No. Because there are none. Offence is anger in fancy dress.
I can’t stomach Stephen Fry, apart from his performances as Jeeves and various appearances in the Blackadder series. Far more amusing is Julie Burchill’s observation that Fry is a stupid person’s idea of what an intelligent person is like. But the quote at the top of this piece encapsulates perfectly the world of the offended. As I have endeavoured to point out here, offended people are not experiencing the ‘hurt ‘and ‘pain ‘and ‘hate’ they claim to be. They are using what has become a currency universally accepted in the West’s rapidly evolving, cultural Marxist police state. Offence is the legal tender of which anger and irritation are the reserve currency
As long as there are people such as Cheshire police, there will be offence. The police love it. They can count it as a hate crime, which means they can count it as a crime, which means they can solve it, which means they can inflate their detection rates without having to fight bad guys with guns and knives. More than that, they can please their new political-class masters by sticking it to whitey. Because be in no doubt about this. ‘Offence’ and the apparatus which supports its existence even though it is a fiction, is a part of the vast machinery of white subjugation. If you are a Muslim, and you hold up a banner demanding that people’s heads be cut off for insulting Islam, you are free and clear. If you are a white man who notices that sign and flags it up on social media, tread fucking carefully, my friend. You are the enemy now. For the victim groups, the best defence is offence.