Culture warriors are wasting our time, but if we ignore them they’ll win

‘The culture war may well be a distraction from the important issues of the day’

Andrew Doyle Published sunday 22 August 2021 – 19:07 Last updated sunday 22 August 2021 – 21:07

The one thing that all culture warriors have in common is that they are wasting our time. While they’re busy waging their war against social liberalism and free speech, trying to divide us all up according to group identity and inadvertently undoing all the achievements we’ve made since the civil rights movements of the 1960s, there are actual problems in the world.

We have a crisis of homelessness in the UK, we have unjustifiable levels of economic inequality, we have an education system that is failing our young, and all of this is getting worse thanks to this new religion of identity politics. And anyone who points this out, who takes a critical stance against culture warriors, is accused of stoking a culture war. Which is a bit like a sniper blaming his target for the loss of his bullet.

The problem is that if we just ignore the culture warriors, they won’t just disappear. They’ll win. And then all those other things we care about: equality, education, art, the media, liberal values – all of these will crumble. The culture war, in other words, is a distraction, but we can’t afford to be complacent about what it will do to our society if we don’t take a stand.

A lot of it does seem silly though, doesn’t it? This week, for instance, a fish and chip shop owner in London was subject to online protests from activists because of the shop’s name.

Jack the Chipper. Recep Turhan opened his first chip shop in Whitechapel, which as we know is the location of the Jack the Ripper murders, but when he opened a second one in Greenwich, activists were furious. Why? Because they claim that Turhan is glorifying a Victorian serial killer.

Look, Jack the Ripper was a long time ago. 1888 to be precise. If comedy is tragedy plus time we really don’t need to worry about this, do we? It’s not like he called the shop “Harold Chipman”, which I admit would be in poor taste. Jack the Ripper, whoever he was, was obviously a vile human being and the deaths of his victims was utterly tragic, but calling a chip shop Jack the Chipper isn’t endorsing his actions. I can’t even believe I’m saying this.

But this is precisely what I’m talking about. It doesn’t really matter that some activists are up in arms over a chip shop. They WOULD know about chips, of course, having such massive ones on their shoulders. … Continue reading >>>

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