Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

‘Cancel culture is insidious!’ Andrew Neil erupts ahead of GB News launch this weekend

Andrew Neil comments on bringing Piers Morgan to GB News

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After announcing the rival news channel, the veteran broadcaster was hit by an online campaign from social media users urging sponsors to cancel their association with the channel. GB News – which will launch this weekend – will rival the likes of BBC and Sky News.

Twitter users objected to the “Foxification” of the British media, in reference to the partisan US news network.

Now, the former BBC broadcaster has lashed out at the “insidious” cancel culture and said it is not about social justice anymore.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Mr Neil said: “Cancel culture is insidious, it stands against everything we have stood for since the enlightenment onwards and that is why it is serious.

“The original meaning of woke was somebody who was aware of social justice issues and who can complain about that?

“But it is not about social justice anymore, it is about conformity of thinking and it exists in many of our elite institutions from NGOs to the National Trust and parts of our media.

“Of course it is making huge inroads into our places of higher education.

“It is not the view of the British people but if it is the view of all these elites in favour of it could become very powerful.”

He continued: “It is no longer enough that I should disagree with you or get to say the opposite, that’s been the traditional way since the enlightenment.

“Now it is the norm that if I disagree with you, you should be stigmatised, brought before the court of woke opinion, you should lose your job, you should certainly wear sackcloth and ashes and your name should be dragged through the social media sphere.

“You should be forced to apologise but we may not accept your apology.”

In September, the long-running BBC presenter announced his new gig as the flagship presenter and the chairman for the brand new TV network.

Last year, the veteran broadcaster saw his long-running Politics Live show axed by the BBC, which has come under fire in recent months over its woke agenda.

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Cancel culture is a term that has been growing in popularity in recent months, with public figures facing widespread criticism often termed as “being cancelled” across social media.

Last year, more than 150 public figures, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood, signed a letter calling for the end of cancel culture.

They said it creates an “intolerant climate” for free speech.

Emma Webb, from the Free Speech Union, told how losing free speech makes “society less resilient.

She said: “There are some who believe that it is acceptable to limit the speech of those with whom they disagree.

“As the road to hell is paved with good intentions, they justify hounding someone out of their livelihood for something they said on the grounds that it will lead to a better society if that view is suppressed.

“They are so puritanically certain, alternative positions are something to be silenced rather than engaged with, and they cast the words of their opponents as harmful, something that society needs to be protected from.

“In reality, the opposite is true.

“Losing free speech makes society less resilient – it is not a society any of us should wish to live in.”

GB News, launching on Sunday, will be an advertiser-financed channel and available as a Sky channel, on Freeview, Virgin and all digital platforms.

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