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LOUIS DE BERNIERES: All bow to the High Priests of cancel culture... who are so powerful I was warned NOT to write this article condemning them
Earlier this year, Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, one of our greatest writers, expressed anxiety that young authors were being forced into self-censorship out of fear of being trolled by the anonymous lynch mobs of the politically correct.
Even though I was warned not to write this article by a well-meaning friend, I decided to go ahead because my partner insisted that I must. She is full of the dread of what will become of us if there is no resistance.
My own fears have roots in the past. My parents are both dead now, but they were proud of having struggled through World War II because our freedom of speech and thought were thereby set in stone.
In fact, we didn’t become truly free until the Lady Chatterley trial, when Penguin was found not guilty of obscenity after publishing D. H. Lawrence’s sexually explicit novel about a love affair between an aristocratic woman and her gamekeeper.
Ever since then, we have steadily been losing ground. I think I might have lived at the best time in our cultural history, set up for freedom by my parents’ generation, and dying just in time not to see us spiral back down again into a stultifying intellectual and moral captivity.
All bow to the High Priests of cancel culture...