Oh dear, the wearisome whingeing of the ‘unwoke’

COMMENT: The whole ‘no right to not be offended’ shtick has become so tired and brain-sappingly hackneyed to the majority

Thursday, 16th June

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre_credit Zslap_CC BY-SA 4.0

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre [Zslap_CC BY-SA 4.0]

IT may feel like an unusual step by the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre to publicly warn critics against “insensitive” language. But perhaps it’s time the dinosaurs got the message.

Wonderfully impish he may be with his words, dear old Quentin Letts. But can he really justify moaning on about the casting of “fuller-bodied, non-binary actors”, which he felt turned “the whole thing into a relentlessly zingy assertion of minority pride”.

Even he must be beginning to realise the whole ‘no right to not be offended’ shtick has become so tired and brain-sappingly hackneyed to the majority.

It is possible to be pointed and funny without wearisomely resorting to being a prize bampot. There’s nothing wrong with being woke, if woke means being generally understanding of the world around you.

Its original connotation was simply another way to say “conscious” – having awareness of injustice, racism and alert to oppression. That has all got lost somewhere along the way in a world where people are told to choose a side.

The Right wing of the political divide have been remarkably effective at creating a language through which to convey their agenda.

Meanwhile, the language of the Left can often end up alienating progressives from their own causes. This does need to be addressed, as society moves on regardless.

The traditional order of things is changing. It is natural this will upset some old establishment types on The Sunday Times. Why else would one of the old guard find itself reviewing a musical like Legally Blonde?

The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is one of the niche wonders of our little patch of north London. It should be supported when they take a stand against the old orthodoxy.

RIP Bruce Kent

Our long-standing friend of the paper Bruce Kent will be sorely missed.

He had an enormous wealth of experience and knowledge but he never spent time looking to the past.

The message of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, of which he was a life president, will be needed more than ever with the future looking so bleak.

Bruce Kent speaks at a Hiroshima Day event in Tavistock Square

The risk of such weapons being used is at its greatest in decades with the world’s nuclear arsenal expected to increase in the coming years for the first time since the end of the Cold War.

The debate about nuclear weapons is nearly always pitched with concerns about China’s expansion, or that a dictator in Iran, Russia or North Korea might get up to no good. Concerning that may be, but it is almost as if we are not complicit ourselves.

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