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Taking sides in the culture war

Billy HC Kwok/Getty Images

Public discourse is heading back to the Dark Ages, says Janet Daley in the Telegraph. The nice thing about the Cold War was that people knew what they stood for. It was hell, but it was at least it was a “rational conflict” between Marxist and capitalist ideas, examined “on their merits”. Now warring sides simply try to “destroy, or prohibit, or totally suppress the other”. We know when we’ve seen all this before in the West. If you oppose belief with reason, you are hunted down or banished. Galileo must be turning in his grave.

I’m not sure the British culture war is more than a “mirage”, says Henry Mance in the FT. The government promises a “war on woke”, but a YouGov poll this week found 59% of Britons don’t even know what the word “woke” means. When you ask them, voters don’t talk about social conservatism – they care about being ignored. Labour doesn’t need to be anti-trans rights or less pro-Black Lives Matter. It just has to be “less metropolitan, less intellectually elitist”. For Keir Starmer, the third Labour leader on the trot to hail from north London, this is going to be a “challenge”.