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All bow to the High Priests of cancel culture... who are so powerful I was warned NOT to write this

Earlier this year, Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, one of our greatest writers, expressed anxiety that young authors were being forced into self-censorship out of fear of being trolled by the anonymous lynch mobs of the politically correct.

He said that he felt safe himself, because he was already well-established: ‘It may be an illusion, but I think I am protected.’

Ish may be more protected than I am by the fact that he is not white. I, too, am established and we are the same age but, for years now, I have felt that I have had to self-censor.

This is mainly out of consideration for my editors, who display mild panic at every sign of political incorrectness.

I don’t know whether or not they actually are ‘wokesters’ — I rather doubt it — but I think they might be terrified of those who are.

Everyone dreads being trolled by the Pharisees who pray in public, our social-justice and identity warriors.

I refer to the kind of people who force students to take unconscious bias exams in which you have to admit to things of which you are not guilty because otherwise you don’t pass; to those who have ‘cancelled’ or ‘no-platformed’ both our most influential modern feminist (Germaine Greer) and our most popular storyteller (JK Rowling) in order not to be ‘triggered’, and to be ‘safe’.

Even Lionel Shriver, who has been an outspoken critic of political correctness, admitted last week that she had agreed to remove dialogue from her forthcoming book after being told it was ‘othering’ — something one academic has defined as ‘treating people from another group as less human than one’s own group’.

I have had my own laughably insignificant experience of being cancelled. Some time ago, thanks to the success of my novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I was made patron of The British Banjo, Mandolin And Guitar Federation but, after I wrote a letter to The Times about the attitudes of Scottish nationalists in January, some snowflakes from north of the border complained and I was promptly fired.

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LOUIS DE BERNIERES - All bow to the High
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