wwiiA story appeared in the Mail last week that, on the surface, reiterated the regular ‘it’s political correctness gone mad’ narrative so familiar to Alan Partridge’s favourite Fleet Street rag, but contained within it a grain of what worries so many who wouldn’t ordinarily fork out for Mr Dacre’s flag-waving cancer-watch daily. It concerned a retired railway enthusiast whose voluntary duties included the twice-weekly winding-up of the iconic clock used in Noel Coward’s legendary 1945 weepie, ‘Brief Encounter’, restored to the platform of Carnforth Station in Lancashire 13 years ago. Since its restoration, a Mr Jim Walker has had the official role of keeping the clock in working order – though no longer. Mr Walker has been relieved of his duties on account of a busybody overhearing him having a private conversation.

Mr Walker is now ‘banned’ from entering certain areas of the station he has been an unpaid worker at for more than a decade because a visitor eavesdropped upon his comments during a private conversation (yes, I’ll say that once again), comments stating he regarded the migrants from Calais as unworthy of comparison with the Jewish child refugees who arrived in the UK before the Second World War. Hardly an opinion nobody else has expressed of late, but so grossly offensive that it warranted reporting, with the upshot being that the Carnforth Station Trust has now taken action.

According to a solicitor’s letter Mr Walker received, there was a ‘serious complaint’ made by a family at the station in regards to ‘loud, offensive remarks’ that consisted of ‘inflammatory and highly abusive language’; in the words of the Carnforth Station Trust, this was categorised as ‘a very serious incident which could have involved the police.’ For the third time, I’ll just remind you this was a private conversation Mr Walker was engaged in with another individual; he wasn’t adopting the guise of a town-crier on the station platform and broadcasting his own personal opinion on the subject of immigration to everyone present. Nevertheless, expressing free speech in a private conversation (one last time) is now seemingly a criminal offence, as long as there are people at whom it isn’t directed who are prepared to go crying to the authorities. UK or GDR? You decide.

I guess we all have our run-ins with those who seek to impose their self-righteousness on the rest of us; just today I returned home to discover I’d been sold the wrong brand of cigarettes on account of them all looking identical since it was decided hiding them behind a cupboard and placing photos of gammy feet on the front would dissuade smokers. I wonder why chocolate bars don’t feature images of the obese on their wrappers or alcohol doesn’t come with a photograph of a wino in the gutter stuck to the bottle? Perhaps the prohibitionist lobby isn’t quite as fanatical where other unhealthy stimulants are concerned.

Anyway, I digress; back to Mr Martin. His personal point of view on a contentious subject (if, indeed, it was as innocuous as the Mail declared), not to mention the response to it, is one that seems certain to enflame passions on both sides. The Government’s decision to reduce the number of Syrian refugee children from entering the country on one hand seems like basic meanness and a pandering to the post-Brexit consensus of the Leave camp that often appears to legitimise the worst kind of ‘England for the English’ throwback; on the other hand, the bumfluff profiles of the ‘children’ apparently benefitting from the scheme that were plastered across the likes of the Mail suggests they’re not all as cute as the little boy whose washed-up corpse provoked a swift turnaround in Murdoch and Dacre-Land a couple of years ago.

Both points of view can no longer be expressed without vociferous reactions from its opposing opinion – bleeding-heart liberal Vs xenophobic racist etc. – neither of which helps the issue when it comes to addressing it; and yet the methods by which one side enforces its opinion have become increasingly worrisome, especially in terms of free speech and fair play.

Another development which could be viewed as an extension of the busybody shit-stirrer into private discourse is the instigation of Northumberland’s horrific ‘Crime Commissioner’, the newly-ennobled Vera Baird. Bemoaning the lack of rapes reported to police, Dame Vera once proclaimed this wasn’t good enough and more or less ordered every woman to get themselves down to their nearest police station and report a sexual assault, something that sounded akin to a virtual call-to-arms to ambulance-chasing law firms and female barristers with an axe to grind where the male of the species is concerned.

Fun-loving party animal Dame Vera has now taken this tactic a step further when it comes to rape trials; at her behest, an ongoing experiment in Newcastle has seen the addition of a dozen observers to the courtroom landscape. For the past two years, a committee of professional do-gooders who seem to spend their days sitting on panels that decide the futures of people they’ll never meet (the usual Star Chamber suspects of social workers, counsellors and academics) has been present at such events and has issued recommendations to senior judges presiding over them, something that must fill the accused in the dock with confidence.

On one of my four failed driving tests in the 80s, I remember there was an observer present on the backseat, taking notes on the performance of the examiner; any minor error I made was hardly likely to be overlooked by the man testing me when he himself was being tested, so the odds were pretty much stacked against my achieving a pass. Similarly, how anyone accused of rape can expect a fair trial when confronted by a coven of self-appointed experts with an evident agenda putting pressure on the judge is questionable.

The infantilisation of women at a Rape Crisis centre in the city unfortunate enough to be under Dame Vera’s regime is emphasised by the addition of children’s toys which the female visitors are encouraged to use as an aid to ‘recovering’ the memory of dim and distant sexual encounters, part of the drive to increase rape convictions at all costs. If guilty men are finally sentenced, fair enough; but the false allegation industry doesn’t seem to care about wrongful convictions as long as the statistics look good on the spreadsheet at the end of each year.

Vera Baird and her storm-troopers are of the same mindset as whoever conspired to deprive a pensioner of his harmless hobby at Carnforth Station – acting as unofficial moral watchdogs and exploiting a climate whereby deviations from the accepted consensus are greeted with fear and hysteria. If the US Government could paint Colonel Gaddafi as the Blofeld-figure he never was, it’s hardly surprising that Jimmy Savile could be posthumously rebranded the Most Wicked Man Ever or Ordinary Joe can be hung out to dry by Nosy Parkers whose sinister mantra is seeping into everyday life with unchecked stealth and is aided by the complicity of those to whom questions are a burden. Watch what you say – you never know who might be listening.

© The Editor

6 thoughts on “WALLS HAVE EARS

  1. And when the PC brigade succeeds in preventing Ordinary Joe from expressing his views long enough, you end up with President Trump. Go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s exactly right. A couple of the defining characteristics of Trump are that he has a nasty, unseemly side and – crucially, seems to have the hide of a rhino that has been kitted out with Kevlar body armour. Also, he chimes with a lot of what “ordinary”, non metropolitan USA (and England) mutters over its coffee or tea. But these are things which the masses are “not allowed” to say, and anyone who says them gets derided and quite viciously attacked – look at the really vicious stuff that has been unleashed against Piers Morgan for simply saying that Trump is not, literally, Hitler. And here we come back to my constant theme (a theme so constant that I should write a book on it) – the progressive Left’s desire to control language and thought – quite literally, the Orwellian concept of “thought crime” in action.
        The result? Reasonable and sane people shy away from speaking out, you get a candidate like Trump, who “Les Miserables” vote in to rub the elite’s noses in it, and kick back on their behalf.
        As for Baird, I have no doubt that she would endorse a doctrine of the presumption of rape, in any case, whether or not an actual event occurred, provided in in subjective view of the “victim” and event had occurred – a is not actually the definition of “hate crime”..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. On Vera Baird I cannot but applaud you. Women are perfectly capable of making their own cases without her encouragement. She should be told to enforce the law, not subvert it.

    But in your first case may I be contrary and say “Caveat Emptor”? This is the Mail we are talking about and I would beware of buying hook, line AND sinker.

    Recently I read a story that would normally have sent my liberal leftish heart racing to email the link to all and sundry. It concerned the denial of benefit to a young lady said to be in intensive care. When she did not attend an assessment interview, the story went that the firm carrying out this review called the ICU to talk to the young lady.

    My sceptical brain took over. The company said to have called the ICU no longer carries out assessments for that particular benefit. And if you don’t attend an interview on time/at all, you are marked as a no-show and your benefit stopped.

    In this case of the railways clockwinder, surely as it is true “bad” people can do good things, so is the reverse that “good” people can do bad? His opinions cannot have been as privately expressed as you seem to believe if they could be overheard by someone else. Private opinions are muttered, not broadcast (I know ftom commenting on the ghastly attire of some of my fellow travellers!). It maybe that they were done so to embarrass someone who may have looked as if they were immigrant (skin colous. dress, language etc). It may be that a 3rd party reported the incident as they were embarrassed by a fellow Englishman’s behaviour – I have been embarrassed by English people’s behaviours abroad when addressing foreigners (actually natives at the time as it was abroad).

    So all I’m saying is we don’t have the full facts of the case and we should beware of anything we read anywhere unless we can verify, or we can use our own experience to fact check. This may be fake news?… exaggeration?…. misunderstanding?

    The real villains, if you ask me, are:
    a) the newspapers who spread this shit to pursue their own agendas
    b) the public who believe it because they want to believe it
    c) the government, who collect our phone calls and e-mails and have decided by diktat that privacy is no longer a concept that the public can have bestowed upon them – it is only for themselves, their dodgy contracting and their personal tax affairs.

    Rant over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have to admit it being the Mail, part of me wondered how reportage of events had been bent to appeal to a mouth-frothing moment. I think it’s just the thought of any private opinion being reported or filed or recorded that wound me up and set me off, with (as you say) the legitimised spying by the powers-that-be being the most extreme example of this worrying trend at the moment.


Comments are closed.