A few days ago my wife and I were walking across the local supermarket car park when we met one of our teammates from our bowls club. After a few minutes conversation about the new season, and complaining about the dilatory manner in which the local council is dealing with the renewal of the club's lease, we went to the shops, while he strode off towards the club. Nothing remarkable about any of that, except that just over 77 years ago, on 6th June 1944, he was landing on the D-Day beaches, and is now over 100 years old.
I reflected how heroic were the men and women of his generation, and also how modest. He refuses to say much about his wartime experiences, as they bring back too many memories of fallen comrades. One of our other fellow bowlers, who sadly recently died at the age of 96, spent the Second War in submarines, even being depth charged, while my parents, living in south east London were bombed in two wars, losing their house in 1940.
What a contrast we see as we contemplate the current scene, where pusillanimous weaklings abound, particularly in our so called universities. The fragile snowflakes who now infest these institutions are unable to endure ideas which conflict with their own, demanding trigger warnings, no platforming and safe spaces in case their sensibilities are offended. I suppose they burst into tears if anyone tells them that they might be wrong about something!
Of course this absurd state of affairs would not exist if it were not for the politically motivated, frequently Marxist, lecturers and university administrators who, instead of telling the students that they are there to learn, not impose ridiculous, and neurotic, ideas, actively encourage them.
As I write St Andrews University is reported as enforcing diversity modules before students are accepted on courses, involving the acceptance of being obliged to accept 'personal guilt' and only pass by giving acceptable answers to compulsory questions on sustainability, consent and good academic practice, as determined by the fascists setting the tests.
The applicants are told that acknowledging personal guilt is a starting point in overcoming unconscious bias, and, if the latter disagree, they are told that they are incorrect, and are forced to redo the course if they get too many wrong in the opinion of the arrogant dictators setting the questions. Students are told that equality does not mean treating everyone the same but that in fact 'equality may mean treating people differently and in a way that is appropriate to their needs so that they have fair outcomes and equal opportunity'. Obviously how you determine such parameters is at the behest of the 'woke'.
Some students, obvious insufficiently brainwashed by the Marxists at the secondary schools, have rightly objected, pointing out that this process is contrary to academic freedom and freedom of thought, but this is not the first university to move towards these courses, with Kent also making students complete bizarre induction training. Emeritus professor of sociology Frank Furedi, said it was 'a corrosive form of indoctrination', while Professor of Education at Derby University Dennis Hayes said such courses are 'reducing universities to training institutions in woke ideology'.
How, and why, starting with a nation of heroes, have we reached this point, where so many of the younger generation seem frightened of their own shadow, and have no appreciation of free speech and democracy?
As far as the how is concerned one can hardly offer a better answer than that given, in that excellent film 'The Lion in Winter', by Henry II, when asked by his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, "How, from where we started, did we reach this?" answered "Step by step, step by step".
The why is also clear, although vigorously denied by those who are seeking to undermine our society, and that is the burrowing away by the termites of Marxism, as they prosecute their 'long march through the institutions', corrupting everything, but in particular the education system. They know that the ordinary, sensible electorates of the West will never let them win at the ballot box, so they have sought a different method of achieving their ends. To brainwash the young, both at the level of at secondary, and tertiary education, has been their aim, and in this they have succeeded, convincing many that the West, and Britain in particular, has been the source of most of the wickedness in the world.
Marxists, despite many of them being apparently intelligent, are for the most part, morons, who refuse to recognize that, wherever Marxism has been tried, it has been a disaster, resulting in economic collapse, and dictatorship by monsters such as Stalin and Mao. Of course they always claim that this result is due to the fact that it was not implemented properly, but the millions who have died thanks to this insane philosophy would, if they could, attest to its fundamental evil.
Much more sinister are those who are aware only too well of the reality of Marxism, but are using it to try to achieve power for themselves. I was astounded to learn that there are Marxists, or their fellow travellers among imbecilic 'woke', who are now claiming that 2 plus 2 does not necessarily equal 4. This is of course the claim made by O'Brien of Orwell's Inner Party in 1984, when he says "Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party". To use the Labour Party approved vocabulary Marxists are scum.
So what can be done about it? A full return to selective education, with competitive exams providing the means by which those suitable for university can be identified, should be reinstated, while the ludicrous changes to the university system implemented by Blair must be reversed, with only a minority being sent to a much reduced number of institutions, with the whole system of fee paying and student loans abolished. The latter is unfair to the youngsters, and wasteful of taxpayer funded resources. It has also led to the ridiculous idea that policemen and nurses must have degrees, thus excluding those who have a genuine vocation, but lack formal qualifications in often irrelevant subjects. The scientific side of university education should be retained, but the vast bulk of the humanity courses, resulting in Mickey Mouse degrees in absurd subjects, should be abolished. The Marxist teachers and lecturers should be sacked, and told to do something more useful than corrupting young minds, like digging roads, while being excluded from any further involvement with education.
What will actually be done? I can say it in one word: Nothing. The chattering classes, and the majority of politicians are graduates, and clearly believe that if you do not have a degree it is surprising that you can walk and chew gum at the same time. The destruction of our society will continue, until a nation which is not in hock to these lunatics takes over. A nation of heroes will have been replaced by a population of snowflakes, who will be so surprised when they find that their fantasy world will not survive contact with reality.