Monday, April 16, 2007

Proper Hitchens On the First Fruits of the Progressive Harvest

I try not to laugh at the pathetic story of our captured seapersons, who take iPods on active service and seem to think that having your neck flicked is torture.

I do not want to join the mocking chorus because millions of the people who now sneer at them are just like them.

Where did these round-eyed, helpless victims come from? They came from the schools everybody says are fine, they passed the exams that authority insists have not been diluted.

They watched our TV and learned that the highest and only virtue was celebrity, while a big-money prize was the only reward worth seeking. They knew nothing of the world and nothing of the past.

Theirs is the Britain that heaped up mountains of flowers for Diana Spencer. Theirs is the world that believes children should be neglected for most of the time by their parents, then sentimentally indulged.

Theirs is the world where discipline is condemned as abuse, tradition mocked as outdated, courage and stoicism impossible to understand and therefore impossible to perform.

Theirs is the world that says there is no difference between men and women, and tries to prove it by making men become like women.

And now we see these poor betrayed creatures stumbling up against real life, with no idea what to do when it bursts in upon them. They are us.

If we jeer at them, we jeer at ourselves, at the New Britain we have made, either deliberately or because we did not – and do not – care enough to do anything to stop it.

Not so funny, I think.

Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday, April 15th 2007)