Modern Day Witch Hunts

A Brief History Lesson

During the middle ages, as well as the Tudor and Stuart dynasties, there was a general conception that witchcraft was real. People genuinely thought  that witches were up to no good, influenced events and were responsible for things going wrong. Witches were blamed for milk going sour, illness, bad weather, etc, etc. Anyone could be a witch. However, it was much more likely that women would be accused. In fact, if I asked you to draw a witch, you would all come up with some common features. Try it at home with family and friends. You will get a woman, old, ugly, wearing rags, living alone, with a cat/frog/pet known as a ‘familiar’, a broom, a cauldron, and a pointy hat. We all know what a witch looks like, don’t we?

Why, you ask, is this so? Women in the middle ages were seen as far more likely to be wanton, and to give in to temptation from the devil. Unmarried women were seen as a threat, and needed to be married and under the control of a level-headed man. Unmarried sexually experienced women caused particular worry. Old women on their own were often poor, wearing ragged clothing, and seen as a drain on society. Quite often they would have a pet for company. This pet was seen as the devil or a demon in disguise. ‘Wise women’, who often provided medicine and home-made cures, may mix their remedies in a potion or bowl. Therefore, they were particular targets despite doing nothing wrong.

Why would some people accuse others of being a witch? Well, there was undoubtedly a strong belief in the supernatural. Witchcraft was mentioned (briefly) in the Bible. People wanted explanations when things went wrong, someone to blame. More insidious was the desire to do away with the poor, who were a drain during bad times. Also, if you fell out with your neighbours and desire revenge, you accused them of witchcraft. The accused were often dunked in a river tied to a ‘ducking stool.’ If the drowned, they were found innocent. If they survived, they were using their evil powers to stay alive and were then executed. What better way to do away with your enemies than accuse them of being a witch?

As well as a general worry about witches there were also witchcraft ‘crazes’. These were times when the number of witchcraft trials spiked. These were usual at a time of crisis, national upheaval, war, famine, etc. In the decade up to 1588 the number of witchcraft trials exploded. I won’t need to tell (most of) you that this coincided with Spanish Armada. It spiked again 1640-1659. Again, this coincides with the English civil war and interregnum period until the restoration. Guess who was being accused during this period? That’s right, Catholics who dared to believe differently. They were again seen as a threat. What better way to get rid of them than accuse them of being a witch? It was during this period that the number of men accused of witchcraft also rose.

Were all Catholics innocent? No, there were plots against Elizabeth I. One man was quoted as saying he would “shoote Elisabeth” and rode in to London with a pistol to do just that. He was apprehended before doing any damage. Most were completely innocent of any wrongdoing. Many were victims of a system that despised them. No one looked for the real reasons things were going wrong in the country, or why things like famine occurred, or would dare to blame the misrule of the authorities. The vast majority of Catholics remained loyal but wanted to carry on their beliefs in peace. They were persecuted for not believing the official religion.

During these times arose the figure of the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins. He and others made a living out of accusing witches, trying them, obtaining a confession and receiving a fee. Not cheaply either. In Ipswich a special tax was levied to pay for it. He of course had to find witches to try in order to get paid, despite no witches actually existing. Legend has it he died after being accused of witchcraft himself, tried and executed. This is now widely accepted as false.

The Here and Now

Flash forward to 2018. This couldn’t happen today, could it? Well, today we are again having the facts ignored. We recently had the EU referendum and voted to leave. Since then anything and everything has been blamed on Brexit, with the vast majority of these being false. “Interest rates are rising!” The fact they rose across Europe, inside and outside the EU, is ignored. Evidence such as record orders from the Purchasing Managers index are swept under the carpet. You cannot disagree with the perceived wisdom. It is set in stone that Brexit is bad, just as witchcraft is in the bible so it must be true. Many commented that the mainstream media, particularly the BBC, and establishment went in to overdrive to try and ensure orthodoxy was enforced.

The reasons for voting leave are subject to the same phenomena. Could it be that the EU has systematically failed, that it has created high unemployment and mass youth unemployment for the Southern European economies, that it props up French agriculture at the expense of others, that free movement has depressed wages and increased pressure on public services, and that the Schengen zone is a disaster that has failed to protect Europe from the ravages of a tidal wave of immigration and allowed terrorists to skip across borders with impunity? No, the superstition of EU prosperity must be maintained. So why was there a leave vote? Culprits must be found for these unexplainable events, much as witches were blamed in the past.

The new witches are the racists. And they are everywhere. You voted leave? Racist. Don’t like mass immigration? Racist. Object to paedophile gangs? Racist. Worried about acid attacks in London? Racist. Complain about no prosecutions for female genital mutilation, despite thousands of cases a year? Racist. Don’t believe in climate change science? Racist. (“Because the climate change crisis is a racist crisis.”) You like President Trump? Racist. Believe in British sovereignty? Racist. Think Islam has an issue with radicalisation and terror? Racist. The list of racist things is endless and growing by the day.

Who are these modern-day witches, accused of the racism? Just as we had a stereotype for what a witch looks like, so we have one for the racist leave voter. We all know what a racist looks like, don’t we? He is a white male, who is likely heterosexual (the horror!). Often poor, working class, older, with little “education.” A bigot who holds prejudice views, who doesn’t travel abroad, or mix in a ‘diverse’ community. They are now blamed for Brexit and everything else. Going Postal ‘favourite’ Owen Jones even wrote a book on it. One wonders how this went down with the Islington set when it turned out the same people voted leave.

So, is there any truth in the stereotype? Well, if he is poor, lower wages due to immigration will affect him. If he is less educated, the mass influx of unskilled and semi-skilled workers will mean he will have an awful lot more competition for jobs from migrants, many of whom will undercut him or be willing to work below the minimum wage. If he is older, he may remember Britain before we joined the EU, and think we previously had a better deal. He will certainly remember before the Blair years, when the deficit was non-existent and before Blair and his government by his own admission scoured the world for immigrants to bring in. He may no longer recognise the Britain of his childhood. If he is poor he quite likely lives in an area where many of the new migrants are housed, and experiences the problems that ensue. He probably also struggles to afford a mortgage and rent, and resents being forced out of his home area. So just like your 16th Century witch, he had done nothing wrong but is a convenient scapegoat, and is now an undesirable as he doesn’t follow the narrative.

But what about the others who voted leave? Well, remember those Catholics who were persecuted, who were often well educated and well off? Bingo. Another parallel. Guess what spiked in the wake of the Brexit vote? Reported hate crime. Similar to the number of witchcraft trials during the Armada and Civil War. Some doubt the accuracy of the figures. What better way to rid yourself of your enemies than call them a racist. Like Catholics any heretics who don’t believe in the holy trinity of diversity, multiculturalism and immigration are hounded. Just like the ducking stool, those accused of racism cannot win. If proved racist, they are socially ostracised forever. Even if not guilty, their reputation is destroyed, mud sticks and there are always questions and reminders usually from the media. It matters not what defence is offered. Black friends? Oh, that old chestnut. Married to a black person? Simply a cover for your racism. Milo is married to a black man. Still racist.

You cannot escape. It has become the ultimate social weapon. No one dares argue, for fear of being called racist themselves. Those leaving highly diverse areas that are filling with migrants are most likely to say diversity is a good thing. They say this while fleeing diversity, for fear of being called racists. Just as no one would question the witch trials for fear of being accused. Many is the tale of someone being told “I won’t share a dinner table with anyone who voted for Brexit.’ Friendships broken, people unfriended and unfollowed on social media. Authors not invited to conventions for supporting Brexit. This weapon was also successfully deployed against UKIP voters, and Tommy Robinson and the EDL. Unsurprisingly, they shared a lot of the same demographic. White, working class men who are patriotic.

Who enforces the orthodoxy of racism today? Why, we have our very own witch finders, our own versions of the Spanish inquisition. The left, Antifa, social justice warriors, and increasingly it seems the police. As Douglas Murray said in his excellent “The Strange Death of Europe” the problem with the anti-fascists is they have run out of fascists to fight. Just like Matthew Hopkins, they have to invent their own witches in order to justify their existence. Therefore, everyone who opposes them is a Nazi, and “Literally Hitler.” Social justice warriors find new ways people are being racists, for example gay men cannot have a preferred race they are attracted to. “Check your privilege!” is the SJW rallying cry. (See Vox Day on this.)

Even those on the left are not safe and must virtue signal constantly to avoid accusations. For example, Richard Dawkins was recently accused of racism after daring to criticise Islam. You can bash Jesus all you want, but don’t dare criticise the religion of peace. Like the legend of Hopkins demise the tables were turned. The left will always eat itself. In a newer phenomenon, the police appear to many to be ever more politicised. Again, instead of looking for the real causes of problems, it seems they are going after anyone who questions the orthodoxy or holds different beliefs. Scapegoats are being found. Police now seem to patrol Twitter more than they walk the beat. This is in case they say nasty things or are “racist.” In the wake of the more recent terror attacks, Katie Hopkins was reported for an offensive tweet. Police appeared to many to take this more seriously than worrying about the causes and prevention of the terror attacks themselves. Statements online can be potentially dangerous as the court case of Count Dankula shows. He is accused of an alleged hate crime that could end with a prison sentence. Want to bring Sharia to the U.K and murder people, you are fined.

Are there actual racists and Nazis? Of course. One only has to look at Richard Spencer of the “Alt-Reich” who wants to bring back National Socialism. As with all socialism, it is doomed to fail and kill people in the process. Luckily there are only a handful of such people. Closer to home is the Labour party, with members who regularly make alleged anti-Semitic comments. More worrying is the number of Corbyn supporters who seemed to have agreed with them and defended them. Many commentators have said it appears there is grass roots anti-Semitism from labour activists. The party had to have an inquiry in to it. An example is the apparent derogatory chants of “Jew, Jew, Jew!” at a Labour hustings. Hate preachers regularly call for the death of Jews. A lot of people have said it seems these are not investigated as much as they don’t fit the narrative of who the racists are supposed to be.

But the vast majority of ordinary folk accused of being racists are anything but. They are guilty of questioning the narrative and holding to their own beliefs and refusing to be brainwashed. There are no plots against the government from these people. The BNP are a spent force, never had mass support or an M.P. The EDL have fallen by the wayside, and it is questionable if they were ever far right. Certainly, Tommy Robinson maintains he kept the Nazi types out. Britain First only ever had a handful of people at rallies and events, and their leaders are banned from social media. The left mock the poor turnout but then tell us they are a “terrible threat.” The phantom Nazis people are fighting are largely in their own minds. However, as we speak the thought police are continuing the modern-day witch hunt for racists. We have many self appointed with hunters such as Resisting Hate, Antifa and others. Often they raise large sums of money, just like Matthew Hopkins. And guess what? They find racism everywhere. Will they also suffer the legendary fate of Matthew Hopkins? Meanwhile, Jews are moving out of their traditional areas in their droves. Can’t think why. They must be racist.

© Jonathon Davies 2018

(Pictures obtained under the Creative Commons licences)