In his new book, PIERS MORGAN launches a passionate wake-up call against the illiberal mob that’s hell-bent on silencing free speech and all dissent.
Written in the form of a diary of this year, this is the last part of our exclusive serialisation.
FRIDAY, APRIL 17
For the past few years, feminist writer queen Caitlin Moran has repeatedly, and with great relish, ridiculed me in her weekly column in The Times. This week, to my astonishment, I appeared under the headline: ‘Piers Morgan uses his powers for good instead of evil.’
She wrote: ‘Since coronavirus hit, Morgan seems to have furloughed his beef with vegans, and Madonna’s bum, and has become one of the few presenters on TV trying to hold others to account for their tactics during the pandemic.
‘He has been mauling the Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey for saying she had “no idea” how many care workers have died from Covid-19; shouted “How dare you!” at Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s claim that the British strategy hadn’t changed; and called out Boris Johnson’s “failure of leadership”, even when Johnson was in hospital.
‘It seems that now Morgan has something he can genuinely get his teeth into, he has no fear at all.’
Ms Moran may be on to something. I probably have been waiting for something meatier than a vegan sausage roll to sink my fangs into.
Feminist writer Caitlin Moran (pictured) wrote about Piers Morgan in her weekly column in The Times under the headline: ‘Piers Morgan uses his powers for good instead of evil’
MONDAY, APRIL 20
Meghan and Harry have resurfaced. We were told they wanted a ‘quieter, more private life’, especially for their young son Archie.
So naturally, they’ve now washed up in Beverly Hills, the paparazzi epicentre of the world, where they’re living in a palatial home owned by TV star Tyler Perry.
Last night, in a statement of breathtakingly haughty arrogance, the Sussexes announced they were banning four British newspapers from their lives.
Even more disgracefully, Harry accused the British media of exaggerating the scale of this coronavirus crisis. How the hell does he know how bad it is, from his Hollywood hideaway?
But then like the Beckhams, who announced plans to furlough staff at Victoria’s failing VB Fashion company, at a cost to the taxpayer of £75,000 a month, it is, sadly, pathetically clear that all the Sussexes care about, like so many self-obsessed privileged wokies, is themselves.
When their grandkids sit on their knees and ask, ‘Granny, Grandpa, what did YOU do in the Great Coronavirus War?’ the Beckhams [who later did a U-turn on the furlough plan after a public outcry] will be forced to reply, ‘We wanted to spend taxpayers’ money that should have gone to nurses,’ and the Sussexes will be forced to reply, ‘We moaned about our own beastly media coverage.’
Meanwhile, 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore quietly got on with pounding his garden and raising tens of millions of pounds for those on the front line. He is what we should all aspire to be. They are what we should all aspire not to be.
The Beckhams announced plans to furlough staff at Victoria’s failing VB Fashion company, at a cost to the taxpayer of £75,000 a month but later did a U-turn on the furlough plan after a public outcry
THURSDAY, APRIL 30
Far from being ‘the great equaliser’, as Madonna claimed from her rose-petalled bath, Covid-19 has turned out to be the great divider.
It predominantly attacks the poorest, oldest, sickest and therefore most vulnerable.
And it has shone a grim light on the selfishness of many younger, fitter and less vulnerable people that it spares from its deadly wrath, who don’t want to accept they need to make sacrifices for others.
MONDAY, MAY 4
I’ve been experiencing a weird breathlessness sensation for a few days, and after two poor nights’ sleep, partly from the symptoms and partly from worry, I paced around all day waiting for the result of my Covid test.
Eventually, my doctor rang and uttered one word: ‘Negative.’ I like a man who gets straight to the point. I tweeted the development: ‘UPDATE: My Covid-19 test was negative. I’ll be back on Good Morning Britain as soon as my doctor advises I’m OK to return.’
To which a young woman named Chloe replied: ‘Personally, I was hoping for death, so this is a shame to read.’
THURSDAY, MAY 7
Adele has unveiled a new photo of herself on Instagram looking slim, fit, tanned, healthy and happy, to celebrate her 32nd birthday.
The singer has reportedly lost seven stone in an intensive training regime after splitting from her husband. But in addition to more than a million ‘likes’, her new look has generated utter rage.
Apparently, by losing so much weight, she has betrayed all fat women. This is not the Adele people had come to know and love – the hard-partying, overweight one who joked about having ‘three bums’.
What kind of world do we live in where someone like Adele is not allowed to stop being fat and unhealthy? In an effort to broaden ‘inclusivity’, the favoured cause of all wokies, it seems that everything must be celebrated, even when it’s detrimental to someone’s health.
I feel exactly the same about the glorification of size-zero models. In our modern technological age, the vast majority of young girls suffer from very real body-image and self-esteem issues that are made immeasurably worse by the likes of Kim Kardashian and model Emily Ratajkowski, who cynically promote unattainably ‘perfect’ body images.
These girls also look up to people such as Victoria Beckham, and with the emaciated models she uses to sell her fashion lines, she is giving them entirely the wrong guidance.
‘In our modern technological age, the vast majority of young girls suffer from very real body-image and self-esteem issues that are made immeasurably worse by the likes of Kim Kardashian’ (pictured) who cynically promotes an unattainably ‘perfect’ body image.
As the father of an eight-year-old girl, the same age as Victoria’s daughter Harper, I don’t want her growing up thinking this is the body image she should aspire to.
Nor do I want her looking at magazine covers and craving to look like the heavily airbrushed female stars beaming out of them: thighs trimmed, butts toned, the vaguest suggestion of bingo wings eliminated.
FRIDAY, MAY 8
I don’t really blame the snowflake generation – by which I mean millennials and younger – for their hypersensitivity to everything, their crippling self-doubt and anxiety. I blame the environment they’ve grown up in.
Rather than prepare kids properly for the real world, warts and all, we’ve been smothering them in cotton wool at home and at school, ensuring they are protected from any of the tough stuff they’re going to face when they’re released into reality.
We’re teaching them that there is no such thing as losing, when, in fact, they will lose quite regularly. They’ll lose jobs, homes, friends and family.
I have regularly enjoyed the twin arrows of outrageous fortune and misfortune throughout a chequered and varied career and life – and I can honestly say I’ve learned more from failing than from succeeding.
SATURDAY, MAY 30
Actress Daisy Edgar-Jones, a very talented star of the new hit TV drama Normal People, has spoken about her ‘battle with hypochondria’.
The 22-year-old also revealed she would often ‘spiral into doubts’ over ‘missing out’ on university after taking a gap-year to prioritise her acting career.
Actress Daisy Edgar-Jones, 22, star of the new hit TV drama Normal People, spoke about her ‘battle with hypochondria’ revealing that she would often ‘spiral into doubts’
What’s extraordinary is that there’s no alarm bell inside Ms Edgar-Jones that tells her this may not be the best time to be talking about such a ‘struggle’.
Especially as it’s just been revealed Britain has officially the worst reported coronavirus death rate in the world.
TUESDAY, JUNE 9
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has launched an extraordinary attack on J. K. Rowling, who faces calls for her ‘cancellation’ for once again rattling the transgender activist cage.
‘Transgender women are women,’ Radcliffe wrote in a statement. ‘To all the people who now feel their experience of the [Harry Potter] books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.’
Wow. Talk about torching the hand that fed you. What’s fascinating about this is that Radcliffe is preaching tolerance and acceptance while refusing to be either tolerant or accepting of Rowling’s right to a different opinion.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe (pictured) launched an attack on J. K. Rowling, who faces calls for her ‘cancellation’ for rattling the transgender activist cage. ‘Transgender women are women,’ Radcliffe wrote in a statement
He doesn’t think he’s right – he knows he’s right. And the woman who made him a superstar must now be destroyed for daring to disagree.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1
Twitter has announced changes to allow more ‘inclusive’ terminology. Racism sensitivities will apparently be addressed by changing words such as ‘blacklist’ to ‘denylist’; gender issues will be dealt with by changing ‘guys’ to ‘folks’ and so on.
It’s great to see Twitter finally getting to grips with the appalling cesspit of vile, threatening, abusive crap that is pumped over its platform all day every day – by focusing on such comparatively trivial virtue-signalling nonsense.
As so often, it fell to Ricky Gervais to ask the obvious question. ‘Why isn’t this in Braille?’ he tweeted.
THURSDAY, JULY 16
I’ve announced the publication of this book and, as I predicted when I started writing it, the instant hysterical reaction perfectly exemplifies why I needed to write it.
‘Yay, just what the world wanted, more angry Right-wing white man books about how their privilege has been taken away because they’re ever so slightly put out…’ replied a musician with the Twitter name @BungleSharkfart.
Ultimately, though, it was someone else who posed the most interesting question about the book.
‘So, is this aimed at your pre-Covid Brexit Right-wing Boris fans that you lost during Covid, or the Left-leaning fans that backed your stance taking the Government to task? Not sure there will be much centre ground in your fanbase for sales on this.’
There lies the problem. Nowadays, it seems there cannot be any centre ground. Everything has to be tribal, based on partisan politics and a shocking erosion of free speech.
I started this year full of angst-ridden exasperation at the way the world seemed to be going completely nuts.
The brutal tribal wars being waged over Brexit and the Trump presidency, combined with the often absurdly trivial but equally viciously fought culture war over political correctness, had turned us into a snarling beast of a society that preferred screaming abuse at each other to actually resolving our differences.
Driving all this was wokery, the ferociously illiberal liberalism fuelled by social media that aims to shame, vilify, cancel and silence anyone who dares voice contrary opinions to the tightly controlled, narrow, woke world view.
‘Cancel culture has to be cancelled’: In his new book to be released on October 15, Piers Morgan launches a passionate wake-up call against the illiberal mob that’s hell-bent on silencing free speech and all dissent
This was not liberalism as I knew it, or anything like it. It was a new form of fascism.
Then came Covid-19, and for a few brief weeks it seemed to give us all the short, sharp shock we perhaps needed to develop a proper perspective on life.
Locked down in our homes like prisoners, we fell back on family, friends and local communities – and shunned spoilt, rich celebrities at the same speed we seemed to abandon the pointless culture wars.
But then it all went horribly wrong. I don’t know when exactly, or why. Perhaps lockdown sent us all slightly mad, or perhaps the killing of George Floyd in America at the knee of a cop sent many of us into a blind fury.
By the time summer arrived, the world seemed to regress into an even worse state of tribalism and nasty, intransigent partisanship. The new, kinder, more caring and united atmosphere was replaced by anger and division again.
And wokery returned, too, only more absurd and even more self-righteous than before, smashing down problematic statues, cancelling movies and TV shows, launching witch-hunts and igniting ridiculous debates such as ‘Is chess racist?’ It’s been so depressing.
I’m lucky in that although there have been repeated attempts to ‘cancel’ me, including petitions to have me sacked, I’ve survived because I have strong-minded employers who refuse to bow to the mob, and I have a powerful TV, newspaper column and social-media platform to fight fire with fire.
But I’ve seen so many others go down with a whimper, trampled by furious wokies intent on destroying their careers and lives for having objectionable opinions.
This has to stop. Cancel culture has to be cancelled.
It’s not tolerant or liberal.
It’s intolerant and illiberal.
It’s also poisonous. People must be free to express honestly held opinions without the fear of losing everything, or democracy will die.
Freedom of speech is a vital cornerstone of any strong democracy. But to protect it, liberals have to go back to being liberals, and that means listening to alternative voices and views, and respecting others’ right to have a different opinion.
As George Orwell said: ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’
We also have to understand that the world can emerge from this crisis in a far better state if we WAKE UP and realise where we’ve been going so wrong.
Coronavirus should have changed the world but it didn’t. Not yet, anyway. But it’s not too late.
Unity is the biggest casualty of the wokery epidemic. We’ve forgotten how to argue without rancour, to reach compromise, and to forgive. Liberals need to go back to being liberals again. Then people really might wake up.
© Piers Morgan, 2020
Abridged extract from Wake Up, by Piers Morgan, published by HarperCollins on October 15 at £20. To order a copy for £17, with free delivery, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193 before Thursday.