Piers Morgan is a loudmouth that I have little time for. But he seems to understand the rise of populism. Here’s him in conversation with someone called Ben Shapiro:
44 minutes: “Populism is rising because people are fed up with the PC culture. They’re fed up with snowflakery. They’re fed up with everyone being offended by everything. And they’re gravitating towards forceful personalities who say.”This is all nonsense!” And by the way, it is, in most cases. So why are we surprised? I’m not surprised. It doesn’t mean to say that I agree with a lot of it. But it means that I can understand it, and I understand why the liberals – my side, if you like – are getting it so horribly wrong. They just want to tell people, not just how they must lead their lives, but if you don’t lead it the way I tell you to… It’s a kind of version of fascism… If you don’t lead the life the way I’m telling you to, I’m going to ruin your life. I’m going to scream abuse at you. I’m going to get you fired from your job. I’m going to get you hounded by your family and friends. I’m going to make you the most disgusting human being in the world – because you…”
That’s the experience of smokers. The antismokers in Tobacco Control have ruined their lives. They scream abuse at smokers in the insults they plaster over every tobacco product. They get them kicked out of pubs, fired from jobs, refused medical treatment. They get them hounded by family and friends. They’ve made disgusting, filthy pariahs of smokers – just because they smoke.
But Piers Morgan wasn’t actually talking about smokers, of course. Nobody ever does. For the passage above continues:
“- because you said a joke 10 years ago. And that’s the attitude we’re now operating in. And it takes forceful personalities to rise above it. Donald Trump rose up, and went like godzilla, “Okay. you want a fight? I’m here.” And guess what, millions of people in middle America went ‘That’s our guy. He’s the one who’s gonna help us.’ Same thing happening across Europe.”
So he’s actually talking about media personalities who told some joke ten years ago on TV, and have been attacked for it ever since. And he can empathise with media personalities, because he is one (or was one) himself.
But he has no sympathy for smokers. When asked 9 minutes later by Shapiro to give an example of the proper role of government, he replies:
53 minutes: “Take cigarette smoking, right. Most smokers knew it was bad for them. They know it’s bad, cigarette smoking. But they want the right to smoke. It’s not a constitutional right to smoke, but they want the right to smoke. It’s my life. Fine, okay, it’s your life, but actually what has happened in countries like Britain and America in the last 20 years is that you don’t now go into a bar and be full of smoke if you don’t want it to be. That to me seemed to be sensible government. Yes, you are impingeing on the right of a civilian to lead the life they want to lead, which is to walk into a bar and have a cigarette at the bar. But if most people in that bar don’t want to have a cigarette, why should they be subjected to unhealthy smoke from you in the way they were being. Now, is that nanny state by government to ban smoking from public places? I would think it was the right thing to do. I’m a non-smoker though I smoke the odd cigar. But most smokers I know actually shrug their shoulders and kind of accept it.”
So Piers Morgan is an antismoker who smokes the occasional cigar. He’s bought the full package. Not only is smoking “bad for you”, but it’s “unhealthy” for everyone else as well. I’m surprised he knows any smokers, because I wouldn’t want to know him.
He can perfectly well recognise PC fascism as it applies to a handful of TV personalities, because he is one of them, but he can’t see it as it applies to hundred of millions of smokers, not just in America and Britain, but pretty much everywhere else in the world as well. He’s oblivious to what’s being done to them, even though he walks past them every day. In fact, he approves of what’s being done to them.
So to hell with Piers Morgan. I never thought much of him anyway. And now I think even less of him.
Before I forget, something else I came across yesterday:
Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system
In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.
Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.
In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government…
My emphasis added, of course.