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Eton College’s Thought Police Have Won — For Now

Pupils watch as Prince Charles visits to open the Bekynton Field Development building at Eton College, Windsor, England, June 9, 2015. (Steve Parsons/Reuters Pool)

Earlier this month I wrote about a scandal that had broken out at England’s most illustrious private school, Eton College. A teacher named Will Knowland had been fired for “questioning radical feminist orthodoxy” during a lesson set aside for discussing controversial topics.

As I outlined in the piece, the whole affair reeks of totalitarianism, right down to the moving of goalposts with a view to jury-rigging disciplinary processes.

These “processes” have now concluded, and Mr. Knowland’s dismissal has been upheld. He declared himself “disappointed, but not surprised” when asked about the foreordained result of his appeal by the British press yesterday. The truth is that he never stood a chance at getting a fair hearing within the disciplinary infrastructure of the school. The woke inquisitors were already inside the walls and ensconced.

This incident has been a case study of how the woke tidal wave washing over the modern world goes about destroying the lives of individuals: Obvious caricatures of evil are avoided so as to slip past the moral sensibilities of the public. There are no Kalashnikovs or bombing raids; nothing that would allow for an unmediated perception of iniquity on the part of the average citizen.

I’ve reached for this quotation from C. S. Lewis before, but I can’t resist quoting it again (as President Reagan was fond of doing) given how perfectly it encapsulates the present trajectory of the West:

The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint . . . it is conceived and ordered; moved, seconded, carried and minuted in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.

Will Knowland still has options open to him for seeking legal redress. I hope he avails himself of them all. But in the meantime, it looks as if this new ideology of intersectional grievance has claimed the livelihood of another good and humane person.

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