Son of the actor James Fox, nephew of Edward Fox the man who played the would-be assassin of De Gaulle in “The day of the Jackal”, Laurence Fox was previously best known (to me at least), as an actor. Of late, however, he’s become better-known for his stance regarding the phenomenon of liberal ‘woke’ attitudes encroaching on common sense and free speech.
Appearing on the panel of the BBC’s political debate programme Question Time, he became embroiled in a number of not arguments as such, but several spats with members of the audience and members of the panel. He was accused of benefitting from white privilege when he disagreed with the opinion of an audience member regarding the treatment of Meghan Markle, wife of the Duke of Sussex, son of Prince Charles, grandson of the Queen, Prince Harry.
Laurence’s responses on the BBC’s show revealed his opposition to the encroachment of the new word: ‘woke’. This odd word, created from God knows what, evolved from black American usage, and means, if the dictionary is to be trusted:
“alert to injustice in society, especially racism”
Of course, as we can all see, it’s expanded exponentially to cover most topics that we can find in a dictionary. When we read about hospitals in the UK telling midwives to refer to breastmilk as chestmilk, in order to avoid hurting the feelings of men who had themselves surgically altered to look like something they think looks like a woman, then rest assured that this is a telling example of ‘woke’ behaviour. If something seems to be stupidly ignoring the laws of nature, forcing the untrue idea that biological men can breastfeed, then ‘laws of woke’ can’t be far away.
Laurence has had enough of the extreme stupidity which a minority of people in modern society think has to be forced on everyone, simply so that nobody can be offended by anyone else. In essence, the idea of woke is like political correctness on some serious steroids.
One reason that influenced Laurence Fox’s decision to set up a political party was the treatment he received following his appearance on Question time. As a British actor, Laurence is a member of the actors’ union, Equity. Having witnessed his responses on Question Time, the Equity Minority Ethnic Members Committee (since renamed the Race Equality Committee) tweeted that he was “a disgrace to our industry”. This was all due to Fox stating that it was racist to call him (as an audience member did) a “white, privileged male”. Upset that Fox complained about the use of the racism card which he said was becoming ‘boring’, Equity representatives of minority actors accused him of wanting to “berate and buy women of colour attempting to discuss issues of race and gender discrimination”.
It seems odd that Equity should so willingly jump into the fray regarding this spat. One person stated that something was racist. Another person disagreed. The first person then stated that sort of thing could be expected given the second person’s skin colour, family, upbringing, and education. The second person then pointed out that the first person was being racist.
Of course, it didn’t end there. Fox received death threats as a result of the spat on the TV programme, motivating him to abandon Twitter for a while. Fox also took Equity to court. The parties agreed a settlement out of court, and Equity issued an apology stating that it was a “mistake for Equity as an organisation to criticise him in this way”. Further, “Nothing ... was intended as a slur on his character or views, or to suggest that he should be denied the ability to work”. Crikey. So, say the wrong thing, and your own union, the very people who take money off you to represent you, will potentially go out of their way to recommend that you don’t work again. This seems very reminiscent of the treatment of Gina Carano by Disney, who made it clear that she supports the Republicans. Carano drew a parallel with what happened with the Nazis and what seems to be starting regarding Republicans in the USA. The response was quick and severe: she was fired.
Equity’s apology didn’t please everyone. The man whose tweets started the whole scuffle, Daniel York Loh,
former chair of the race equality committee of Equity resigned with all of his colleagues in protest at their employer apologising in their name:
“Equity and Laurence Fox can issue as many joint statements and apologies as they like. It’s nothing to do with me and I apologise for nothing #NotInMyName.”
Typically, the stench of double standards can’t be removed from the whole affair. When a British actress, Maxine Peake, told a journalist that the Israeli secret services had taught the American police the tactic that led to the death of George Floyd, and thus sparked a summer of rioting, destruction, and death, not a peep was heard from the actors’ union, Equity. When Miriam Margoyles, a British actress most known for appearances in the Harry Potter films, told TV viewers that she wanted Boris Johnson to die when he was struck down by coronavirus, Equity kept mum.
The more it stays the same, the less it changes, eh?
It appears that Mr Fox has got his finger on the pulse of the nation. Ignoring the ‘woker’ elements of British society, who can always be relied upon to say the politically correct thing, Reclaim, Laurence Fox’s new political party commissioned a survey of attitudes.
The results were disturbing. A quarter of people think that freedom of speech in the UK is not in any danger. Half of people think, however, that it is ‘under threat’. Only 12% believe that there is greater freedom of speech that there was 5 years ago. 49% believe the opposite. 43% are afraid to speak their minds on immigration matters. 42% are afraid to speak openly on transgender rights. In a less-than-surprising statistic, we learn that 56% feel happier speaking their minds at home, 45% in pubs and restaurants with friends, and only 24% in the office.
Of course, this is all slightly bemusing for us in Hungary. This is, after all, a country where we’re used to free speech, irrespective of what the Leftwaffe habitually claim. This is a country where someone can walk the streets with a sign declaring that the prime minister is a ‘cunt’. For reasons connected to good manners, I heartily decry the idiots who do such things, but I think we’d rather have idiots in the minority behaving tastelessly than be required to create political parties to scrape away the layers of stupidity under which ‘woke’ warriors have buried common sense.