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The tyranny of Pride

It’s time for a fightback against rainbow authoritarianism.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Free Speech Identity Politics Politics Sport UK

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Imagine there was a political movement so powerful and so intolerant that you might be visited by the cops for making fun of it. A movement so dominant that desecrating its symbols came to be treated as a kind of blasphemy. A movement so fawned over by the elites that any town or village that refused to bow down to it – to wave its flag and shout its slogans – risked being written off as unsafe, and essentially as unclean. A movement so embedded in the ruling class that every wing of the establishment, from the political set to the military to the financial elite, was duty bound to display its insignia.

Well, such a movement exists, right here in 21st-century Britain. And it isn’t Toryism or ‘Brexshit’ or any of the other ideologies the liberal elite is constantly telling us to fear. It’s Pride.

We’re living under a tyranny of Pride. Its eyesore rainbow flag dominates every major highway during Pride month. Back in June London looked like a city under occupation, with vast boulevards like Regent Street festooned in this ugly new standard. Scores of them fluttered as far as the eye could see, in perfect and sinister militaristic formation. The capitalist class drapes itself in the Pride flag, too. Banks splash it across their windows, Morgan Stanley staff march behind it in the street. Even the armed wing of the state now comes in Pride colours. Cop cars have been repainted in the hues of this ideological rainbow. Top officers wear Pride-themed insignias and lanyards. The Ministry of Defence’s vast headquarters in London have been illuminated in the Pride colours. The Royal Air Force even did a flyover of the Pride march in London last year, with 10 fighter jets pumping out rainbow-coloured contrails to the whooping and cheering of the crowd below. How long before they start dropping Pride-painted bombs on their missions overseas?

And woe betide anyone who refuses to wave the Pride flag or – sin of sins – violates it in some fashion. Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish Council in Derbyshire was branded a sinful backwater when it refused to fly the flag last year. ‘Anger as Pride Month flag snubbed by Derbyshire council…’, reported a horrified BBC. As for profaning Pride and its sacred symbols – that is so serious it can become a police matter. A few weeks ago a man in Hampshire was visited by cops, and put in handcuffs, for the blasphemy of retweeting a meme showing four Pride flags arranged to look like a swastika. The literal speech police who knocked on his door accused him of ‘causing anxiety’.

Defiling Pride is to the 21st century what desecrating an image of Christ was to the 14th. Modern-day liberals puff themselves up as superior to little religious people, and yet they are far more rashly hostile to acts of iconoclasm. Most Christians let out a weary sigh when their beliefs or their book are mocked by the woke (who would never, of course, say an untoward word about Islam). It is the secular right-on who kick off when their holy symbols are befouled.

Or even just rejected. Remember the storm earlier this year when Idrissa Gueye, a Senegal-born footballer who plays for Paris Saint-German, dropped out of a game because he didn’t want to wear the newly Pride-emblazoned PSG top? Even supporting Gueye became a risky business. Watford winger Ismaïla Sarr expressed sympathy for Gueye on his Instagram page and Watford’s response was as swift as it was chilling – all its employees would be ‘offer[ed] further education’, it said. In short, re-education; the cleansing of sinful thoughts and their replacement with Pride-approved ideas. A similar threat was made to that man in Hampshire – he was told he might have to submit to a hate-crime awareness course. So you won’t be burnt at the stake for dissing Pride, but you will possibly have its dogmas burnt into your mind.

Some say the omnipresence of Pride only shows that gay rights are more widely accepted than ever before, so calm down. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the twisted ironies of the morphing of Pride from a gay-themed annual march into the new religion of the elites is that it has become actively hostile to gay rights along the way. Pride has completely imbibed the ideology of transgenderism, including the belief that to be attracted to people on the basis of sex, rather than gender identity, is a species of bigotry. So lesbians who refuse to have sex with ‘women with penises’ – ie, men – are looked upon as sexual racists. They are accused of enforcing a ‘cotton ceiling’. That is, in refusing to drop their pants (that’s what ‘cotton’ means there) for people with dicks, they are being oppressive. This deeply misogynistic idea is now central to the trans-infused Pride ideology. Anyone who doubts this should look at what happened to the lesbians of Get The L Out at Pride Cymru in Cardiff at the weekend.

Get The L Out is critical of the trans ideology. They say, quite rightly, that it is erasing lesbians, both by transing young lesbians and turning them into ‘men’ and by saying that anyone can be a lesbian, even if you have a penis. So they turned up at Pride Cymru with banners saying ‘Lesbians don’t like penises’ – yes, this apparently needs to be said in 2022 – and ‘The cotton ceiling is rape’. And what happened? They were ejected by police. By those Pride-enforcing cops of 21st-century Britain. This essentially means it has become a risky endeavour to publicly declare that you are same-sex attracted, that you are a homosexual. The idea of same-sex attraction runs counter to the post-sex, post-biology lunacy of the Pride religion, and so it is problematised, demonised, even censored. Gay rights? Pride is a threat to them, not the upholder of them.

Call me old-fashioned, but my view is that when a political movement becomes unquestionable, when the display of its symbols becomes virtually mandatory, and when every institution of power is flying its flag, then we should be worried. Very worried. Especially when that movement is openly hostile to women’s sex-based rights, for apparently excluding ‘transwomen’; and to homosexual rights, for apparently undermining the sanctity of gender identity; and to reason itself, for arrogantly claiming that sex is real and that men are men and women are women. The political class, the state and the army have been politicised into an entirely regressive, irrational and authoritarian way of thinking that goes by the name of ‘Pride’. It’s time for a fightback. Blasphemers, assemble.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Free Speech Identity Politics Politics Sport UK

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