So, to complete the picture, who should chime in at the Spectator but…Douglas Murray himself. And what do you know, he gets it all wrong too. But of course he gets it wrong from the opposite direction.
He starts by quoting someone unknown who announced that ‘The left doesn’t really matter’. Hooray, he says.
If there is anyone who thinks that a shame they should just look at the contortions ‘the left’ is going through now over the issue of gender segregation. This is the process – which has been occurring on certain university campuses for some time and which a number of people, including colleagues of mine, have long highlighted – that consists of separating audiences according to gender. This segregation occurs because of the demands of some immoderate Muslims.
Anyhow – having been around as an issue for some time, the process has finally been picked up on more widely with such a head of steam that Channel 4 News has repeatedly focussed on the matter, there has been a public demonstration against such segregation, and now the Prime Minister himself has come out opposing it.
See? Got it wrong. The demonstration came first, and then Channel 4 News focused on it, first by reporting the demonstration. The demonstration caused the Channel 4 focus; we can tell this because the focus began with the demonstration. And who organized that demonstration? Why, the left. Not the whole of the left, certainly, but the big chunk of it that cares about rights even for female members of minority “communities.”
Which led me to spend some of the last hour reading the contorted posts and messages which self-described ‘leftists’ have been exchanging about all this and I think it is fair to say that there are several divides. A small number recognise that separating men from women in publicly funded institutions is a concerning and backward trend. Others disagree with that and (Muslim and non-Muslim) agree with that large number of people globally who believe that religion trumps women’s rights. Most interesting, though, are those who see that there is a problem with gender segregation but are fearful of saying so. The particular reason – and this really is a fascinating window into their minds – is that if they do oppose gender segregation they will put themselves in the same camp as certain ‘right-wing’ or ‘conservative’ people. Worse they will risk putting themselves on the same side of the argument as ‘right-wing’, ‘conservative’ people who are also male and possibly even have white skin. I discover that David Cameron and I are often cited as examples of where all this horror can lead.
He’s taken Gopal’s lead, and diminished and minimized the part played by the anti-Islamist left, although he doesn’t disappear it entirely the way she did. “A small number,” he says, then proceeds to drop that large chunk of the left which negates everything he so breezily says about the left. He’s not interested in us, he’s interested in the Gopal variety, so interested that it blots out all the others.
A plague on both their keyboards.