Nick Cohen

Political Correctness (Not Nearly Mad Enough)

Political Correctness (Not Nearly Mad Enough)
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The decision of the United Nations last week to exclude gays from a special resolution condemning extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions did not receive the attention it deserved.

The United Nations is still the object of wistful and on occasion Utopian hopes from those who do not realise that it can never be a moral force because it is a club without membership rules that allows any tyranny to join.  Its best – some would say only – good purpose is to reveal how apparently rival dictatorial ideologies – African Nationalist, Islamist, Communist, post-communist and crony capitalist – will sink their differences and unite in opposition to liberalism.   

Among the lackeys of despots who said it was all right to kill queers were the representatives of Iran Algeria, China, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, North Korea, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Not one African country voted in favour of protecting homosexuals from extra-judicial murder, including Nelson Mandela’s South Africa, which still gets far too easy a ride in the Western press in my view. At the UN the supporters of dictatorship and dictatorial ideas reminded us once again that what unites them is more important than one what divides them, and that lesson is always worth remembering.

Thor Halvorssen, President of the Human Rights Foundation, tells an anecdote that is as revealing in its own way.

He describes how Kasha Jacqueline, a brave campaigner against the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda, risked reprisals by speaking out publicly at the Oslo Freedom Foundation.

She spoke well.


Thor goes on to describes how:

'Upon arriving in Norway, she was approached by several members of one of Oslo's gay and lesbian organizations who urged her not to speak at the Oslo Freedom Forum because they disagreed with our inclusion of several speakers who were outspoken critics of left-wing dictatorships. Sadly, some people in Oslo believe that only those on the left call themselves human rights defenders [but] their double standard usually will manifest itself when they ignore the crimes of the governments they favour.'

Don’t think that those on the receiving end of liberal double standards don’t notice what is being done to them. Right wingers accuse the left of “political correctness”. But when it comes to the oppression of people with brown skins by people with brown skins, the Left is nowhere near politically correct enough.

The best and bravest people I have spoken to are on the move. They are rejecting the establishment left with a contempt, which is justifiable in the circumstances. Many are turning towards the democratic Right seeing it as the best protection against neo-Nazism on one hand and Islamism on the other - not that there is much of a difference between the two.I am not sure the Right is ready to receive their support.

As Thor notes:

'Just days later, the inclusion of Kasha Jacqueline in the program of the Oslo Freedom Forum was one of the subjects of public condemnation by an American pro-life activist. The irony was excruciating. Here was a man who devotes his life to what he describes as stopping the mass killings of babies chastising an event for including someone in our program who wants to stop the mass killings of gays and lesbians.

Thus the Left, dear reader, thus the Right. They deserve each other.'

Written byNick Cohen

Nick Cohen is a columnist for the Observer and author of What's Left and You Can't Read This Book.

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