Liberalism is collapsing under the weight of its own hypocritical intolerance

From ruling gangs to awake campuses, the double standards of the liberal left are clear to everyone

Mall liberals seem totally baffled by the crises that have enveloped their beliefs for over a decade or more. However, last week’s events provide them with conclusive evidence that their problem is not – as they often like to tell themselves – Tory’s lies or media bias, but they are much closer to home, in their beliefs and behaviors.

On Tuesday, the country learned of yet another grooming gang scandal. After similar and heartbreaking tales of Oxford, Rochdale, Rotherham and other English cities, we can now add Manchester to the list of places where the authorities have watched for years mainly Asian men systematically abusing vulnerable white working-class girls and doing nothing.

It is already clear that these new scary abuse stories will fall on deaf ears. Few want to tackle the problem that everyone knows is most pertinent: the abusers were, once again, mainly Muslim men from South Asia. Eighteen months ago, Sajid Javid, then internal secretary, commissioned research into the characteristics of governing gangs to understand what role cultural factors could play in the abuse.

  • Read Nick Timothy’s latest column on telegraph.co.uk every Sunday evening from 9.30pm

But last week, after a long battle with the BBC, Home Office officials confirmed that they would not publish the report. They provided the standard lines – they wanted to avoid disclosing personal information or interrupt ongoing investigations – but the real reasons were obvious. As a senior Rotherham abuse police officer said, “with [the perpetrators] being Asian, we cannot allow this to come out. “

With the Ministry of the Interior silent, we must instead turn to the search for one of its agencies. Child sexual abuse has no disproportionate likelihood of belonging to any racial or religious group, but according to the Center for Child Exploitation and Online Protection, for gangs targeting underage girls because of their vulnerability to exploitation – rather than because of sexual interest in children – 75% of the authors are Asian.

Yet this knowledge does not make the authorities more attentive to the danger: it seems to make them more nervous in facing it. The investigation into the Rotherham scandal concluded that most of the perpetrators were of Pakistani origin, but the authorities were “inhibited by the fear of compromising relations with the community”. A social worker from Rotherham said: “If we mentioned Asian taxi drivers, they would have told us that we were racist … the young people were seen [by the authorities] as prostitutes. ” And so liberal decision makers – presumably believers in universal rights and responsibilities – end up with moral relativists, expecting fewer citizens and ensuring less protection for others.

Two days after Manchester’s story, Equity, the union of actors, invited its members to “unequivocally denounce” Laurence Fox. Among other things, the actor had bred grooming bands during a BBC appearance. His crime was to deny that criticisms of Meghan Markle were racist and to argue that fear of racism charges was a determining factor in gang care cases. Given the evidence accumulated so far in the abuse investigation, he was clearly right. Yet the reaction of the liberal left was to shout at him, attack his character and insult his “white privilege”.

This example of illiberal liberalism is not a one-off. On Tuesday, Sheffield University confirmed that it plans to pay students for police behavior on campus, defying perceived “micro-attacks” considered offensive. Examples of micro-aggression provided by the university included students who argued that too many problems were “transformed into race problems”. Limiting free speech, apparently, is not enough: university policy prevents discussion even on the parameters of acceptable speech.

Subsequently, Rebecca Long-Bailey was attacked for her position on abortion. A Roman Catholic trainee, the candidate for the Labor leadership had wondered if women should have had an abortion late on the basis that their children were disabled. By denying any legitimacy to his argument and ignoring that abortion has always been a problem of conscience in Parliament, which means that MPs are not whipped to vote in any particular way, Long-Bailey’s beliefs have been attacked as “absolutely toxic “, and critics have suggested that its policies would be” dictated by the Vatican “. Of course, the liberal left would never have dreamed of using such a language on other faiths, but the logic of their position is that Catholics should never hold positions.

But why is this happening? Why is liberalism – especially on the left – becoming so illiberal and intolerant?

There has always been a division between liberals between those who appreciate pluralism as a means by which we manage difference in complex societies, and those who appreciate difference only as a means of truth, and with it an increasingly perfect society. These tensions go back to liberal thinkers like John Stuart Mill, but they are becoming more pronounced as left-wing liberals become more assertive.

If difference is only a means to truth and reason is what leads us to truth, then those with whom liberals differ must be irrational. They represent institutions, norms, traditions and opinions – “prejudice!” – which must be overcome. Just think about how they talk about anyone who disagrees with their positions on almost everything, from immigration to transgender rights.

And if identity politics is what matters most – and for left-wing liberals the old liberal dream of equal political rights is no longer enough – then immutable characteristics, such as race and sex, can be attacked, but only if they attack white men to compensate for their privilege.

This is how liberalism has become so confused and contradictory. This is how it has become increasingly illiberal, intolerant and – strangely for an apparently universal theory – morally relativistic. For left-wing liberals, the systematic sexual abuse of white girls of the working class by Asian men must be swept away, the Catholic beliefs of politicians must be suppressed and the language of students must be monitored and limited. Sure, it’s liberalism, but not as we once knew it.

  • Read Nick Timothy’s latest column on telegraph.co.uk every Sunday evening from 9.30pm

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1 Comment

  1. As long as you keep getting muslim men from pakistan and other muslim countries, such heinous molestation and abuse will keep on continuing! !!!!!
    You take it or live it!

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