Earlier this week I made the usual mistake of looking at Twitter and saw that ‘Turning Point’ was trending. This is unusual in Britain. Turning Point is a very successful organization set up in the US to counter the dominance of left-wing views on campus. It turned out to be trending because of the launch of Turning Point UK this week. In essence the response to the launch of Turning Point demonstrated the need to launch Turning Point in the UK.
After all, what we are talking about here is a student-oriented organization which wants to extol the virtues of free markets over socialism and individual liberty over identity politics. There is nothing in the group’s statements so far that should cause a flutter even among the precious mobs on social media. But the launch of Turning Point UK was covered in exactly the way you might expect. Varsity described the group as ‘far right linked’, Wired celebrated various self-described ‘anti-fascists’ who had apparently ‘ruined Turning Point UK’s big day’ by setting up mocking parody accounts on social media. If there are any actual fascists around anywhere they must be trembling in their boots that this generation of ‘anti-fascists’ is so willing to die for its principles that it will even set up parody Twitter accounts to bring about their downfall. Take that, Nazi scum.
The Guardian meanwhile went with ‘Tory MPs back youth group with apparent links to US far right’. I would assume that the Guardian’s legal team must be thanked for that ‘apparent’. And very important it is too. After all we might all say anything we like about anybody so long as we caveat serious accusations with such legal weasel get-out words. We might all say anything we like about the hacks at the Guardian for instance. Apparently.
Anyhow, that headline was prompted by some innocuous ‘good on you’ tweets about Turning Point’s UK launch from Jacob Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel and other Conservative MPs. In its hit piece, the Guardian claimed that Turning Point UK was linked to ‘far-right conspiracy theorists, and has in the US been accused of anti-Islam views and connections to racism.’ Once again, if you introduce any group or person on what someone somewhere might have accused them of then there isn’t a person or group on the planet that could not be portrayed in the most negative possible light. For instance one might say that a story has appeared in the Guardian, ‘A UK-based newspaper and website which has been accused of hosting KGB agents of influence among their senior editors and contributors’. Oh no, sorry, that would be the wrong analogy, because that one is just true. No ‘has been accused of’ would be needed in that case.
Among the Guardian’s accusations is that one of the heads of Turning Point UK, George Farmer, apparently once tweeted: ‘Can anyone explain to me why you need so much protection when you convert out of the religion of peace? Asking for a friend.’ Personally I am delighted that the Guardian has brought this outrageous viewpoint to wider public attention. If I weren’t already busy today I would be reporting it as a hate crime. Because everybody knows that Islam has only everywhere and always taken the most tolerant view imaginable of people leaving the religion. It has never been a problem for anyone and it isn’t now, and anybody who says otherwise is anti-Islam and clearly far-right and clearly committing a hate crime.
Then the newspaper points out that Farmer is engaged to Candace Owens who the papers describes as ‘a Trump-supporting US YouTube commentator and TV pundit. She has previously come to the defense of neo-Nazis and called the police killings of black men a trivial issue’. Which is a pretty twisted and deeply selective way to introduce Candace Owens to readers. And one can only suppose that it was simple lack of space that caused the author of this hit-piece (Peter Walker) to refrain from mentioning that Ms Owens is herself black? Not the most important aspect of a person’s existence for many of us, but potentially interesting and relevant if you are accusing said person of basically being a Nazi hack. I knew nothing of Mr Walker until reading his hit-piece. But I discover on looking him up that aside from being the author of a book on cycling he is a middle aged white male. So here we have the Guardian sending out a middle-aged white man to run a hit piece on a smart and successful young black woman, without mentioning that she is black (can’t deal with too much confusion) but strongly hinting that she is some sort of Nazi stooge. If anybody was interested in playing the victim card here I would say that this is a fairly straightforward example of racism and indeed a hate crime from the Guardian.
Finally David Lammy MP chose to respond to the news of Turning Point UK’s launch by saying ‘Sinister forces are taking hold of our country.’ Yes, the country would be so much safer if we just left all of its problems safely in the hands of David Lammy.
So the apparent far-left have had their fun. And they have certainly done their part to make sure that Turning Point UK’s launch has not gone unnoticed. But nothing could have better demonstrated the need for a group like Turning Point UK than the fact that so many people in Britain think that the best response to anyone who breaks their outgoing consensus is to level a set of accusations that become more unimpressive and meaningless with every outing.
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.