Sunday, 6 August 2017

The National Trust's climbdown on gay badges is a temporary setback for the forces of Progressivism - which never rest, never sleep

'Dame' Helen Ghosh has been stymied in her attempt to punish National Trust volunteers who refuse to wear pro-Gay rainbow lanyards by forbidding them contact with the public. This is very good news. The former civil servant's tenure as director-general of the organisation is due to end soon in any case: she's due to take over as Master of Balliol College next March, where she will no doubt busy herself rooting out anything tainted by custom, tradition or common sense. After all, this is the woman who attempted to ban the word "Easter" from the the annual Cadbury's/National Trust Easter egg race. She can now tinker and busybody away to her heart's content overseeing a vital section of Britain's educational assembly-line, whose main purpose these days appears to be churning out yet more self-righteous fools to further swell the ranks of left-liberal elite social engineers determined to rewire our brains and our instincts...

While we celebrate 'Dame' Helen's humiliation, we must resist any sense of triumph. Overturning this sort of silly, virtue-signalling progressivist diktat requires an awful lot of work by any number of people - the volunteers themselves, the conservative press, the blogosphere, as well, no doubt, as quite a few sensible adults behind the scenes trying to persuade the silly woman that's she's bringing the organisation into disrepute, and that there is no earthly reason why (mainly elderly) people who give up their time in order to help preserve the historical architectural and artistic fabric of the country they love should be expected to "celebrate" Gay Pride, any more than they should be expected to bedeck themselves with symbols expressing enthusiasm for mass immigration, Islam, transgenderism, the EU, free school lunches, Cornish independence, mass euthanasia for the over-70s, or lowering the age of sexual consent to 10.

In order to resist the tide of "Progress", the effort required to overturn the rainbow lanyard silliness would have to be repeated thousands of times a day by millions of people across the country - because progressivists never rest, and, unlike conservatives, they are never, ever, satisfied. That's because their sense of meaning, of self-worth, depends on changing how things are. Changing things, "making a difference", makes them feel tremendously good about themselves. In fact, it makes them feel so good about themselves, they become addicted to messing us around in the name of social justice. When conservatives lose a battle, they tend to quit the field, shrug, and say "Oh, well - can't win 'em all!" When progressivists lose a battle, they turn into crack addicts denied a fix: they instantly regroup, choose a new or related issue or pet victim group to champion, and try to implement some other incredibly daft left-field scheme. While conservatives are barely half-way through their second celebratory gin-and-tonic following the last battle, and looking forward to returning to their normal lives, the progressivist army is already attacking on yet another front. As often as not, it's a front of whose existence conservatives were formerly unaware.

For all I know, Dame Helen is already planning to make all Trust volunteers wear pink tutus or T-shirts bearing the image of Jean-Claude Juncker - or niqabs. Maybe she'll insist that all volunteers must be black, or under 25, or homeless, or disabled. With any luck her "work" at the Trust is done, and she's already  dreaming up ways to make Balliol more vibrant, more inclusive, less cisgender, less academically judgmental, and more relevant to a socially just, compassionate, multicultural 21st Century Britain. Whatever she comes up with, it'll catch conservatives entirely by surprise, and resisting it will require a whole heap of effort. Progressivism doesn't advance by persuasion or consent - it wins by relentlessly wearing down its opponents, who, on the whole, would much rather be doing something else.


  1. Strange how serial collectors of high office often end up in some capacity at one of our two great universities. The flaccid and limp Rab Butler who held nearly every major political office became Master of Trinity College, Cambridge [perhaps in recognition of his great appeasement activities in 1938-39].

    Others include, for example, Roy Jenkins and Chris Patten [Chancellors of Oxford] and your redoubtable coeval Chris Smith, Master of Pembroke, Cantab. If I have my facts wrong it is because I did not want to google any of these people in case there was a photograph.

    So Dame Whatsherface [who is obviously seriously stupid] will be in good company although I don't know why Balliol College should suffer this indignity. It sounds like a very inappropriate appointment.

    I wonder if Dame Diane Abbott is eyeing up the mastership of Newnham College Cambrdidge down the line or given her love of private education perhaps she wants to become a governor of one of the great public schools?

  2. Her Daftness could turn her progressive eye on Dunkirk-the film not the refugee centre-in order to ensure no more horrendously white films about Englishmen saving Englishmen ever be made again.

  3. 'Dame' Helen's rise to notoriety took place in the years of the Blair Terror and that, coupled with her age (61 going on 18), gives us the clue to what is afoot here.

    I have developed the lazy habit of referring to Ghosh's type as 'entryists', mostly because I think Rudi Dutschke hit the nail on the head when he spoke of the 'long march through the institutions' and few have marched more devotedly than she. Lately though, I have come to the conclusion that this is not strictly accurate. An entryist needs to know what she or he is doing and understand why - not function as the unwitting host of a communicable disease: a sort of intellectual Typhoid Mary.

    Gosh would have wound up a senior civil servant, boss of the National Trust and master of Balliol (ha!) whatever her political beliefs. She was of the right class at the right time. Her much trumpeted first in history should have been some sort of sign that she was capable of original and questioning thought but it almost certainly means the exact opposite. Ghosh drank the Kool Aid and has spent her career enthusiastically endorsing the brand.

    The entryists aren't the Ghoshes of this world, who are simply the foot soldiers of Cultural Marxism. A little bit dim but knowing when to wear their pearls, which fork to use and as certain of their moral righteousness as Savanarola, they sail effortlessly through society spreading pathology, usually unconsciously because they are not quite bright enough to ask awkward questions, even if they do emerge from Oxford clutching vouchers for a share of the glittering prizes. Blair, surrounded by more of the same (Jonathan Powell and friends), was happy to oblige.

    So Ghosh and her kind didn't really 'enter' anything. At risk of sounding like a Marxist myself, she was born to rule and groomed to perfection by the real entryists - post-WWII Marxist defeatists who have been working away in the foundations and who, unlike their zombie legionnaires, knew perfectly well what they were doing.

    Still, you have to admit they did a good job. As a destroyer of the system, Ghosh has already achieved a great deal more than comrade Rudi managed and she still has a good few years left to cough and sneeze over future generations. Gesundheit!

  4. 12 days I've been in Italy and on my return there were 10 marvellous Gronmark blog posts.

    Dame Helen is the incarnation of Widmerpool, I can tell you, who attended a proper school, spent a lot of his over-promoted career exacting lethal revenge on the schoolmates who had mocked him and finally embraced the loopiest educational theories available.

  5. ... and finally embraced the loopiest educational theories available ...

    ... to exact his revenge on the institution itself.