Back in 2001, Britain's political parties signed a fantastic pledge. They agreed to say nothing to "stir up racial or religious hatred, or lead to prejudice on grounds of race, nationality or religion."
This gag order did more than keep the parties polite. Vital issues -- from massive immigration and multiculturalism to their eradicating effects on British civilization -- were officially banned. Thus, such concerns became impermissible thoughts. Not that such issues weren't already thoughtcrime, as George Orwell would have put it. But this unprecedented pledge turned "violators" into political lepers.
I thought of that elite code of cowardice this week when a London judge sentenced a 42-year-old British secretary named Jacqueline Woodhouse to 21 weeks in jail. Her crime? An expletive-laden rant about immigration, multiculturalism and the disappearance of British civilization. Not in so many words. But that was the unmistakable gist of Woodhouse's commentary one January night on the London Underground.
This same week, another London judge ordered two black girls, 18 and 19, to perform community service after a savage physical attack on two white legal secretaries. "I am satisfied what you both did, you did that night because you were fueled by alcohol," Judge Stephen Kramer said, as though tut-tutting a child's unknowing apple theft.
A few months ago, another London judge freed four Somali Muslim women who set upon a white couple, yelling, "Kill the white slag," and other anti-white slurs. The gang beat the woman to the ground and ripped out a patch of her hair. Judge Robert Brown was lenient because, he ruled, as Muslims, the women were not used to being drunk.
Jacqueline Woodhouse was drunk, too, but that was no mitigating factor in her case. She harmed no one, but that was no mitigating factor, either. Judge Michael Snow invoked the "deep sense of shame" Woodhouse's display elicited, because "our citizens ... may, as a consequence, believe that it secretly represents the views of other white people."
"Thoughtcrime is death," as Orwell wrote in "1984."
And, thanks to YouTube, it becomes continuous spectacle. Woodhouse's court-deemed "victim," Galbant Singh Juttla, recorded and uploaded her display. After the six-minute clip went viral, Woodhouse turned herself in to police.
But what might she have confessed to?
I did it, mates. I said: "I used to live in England. Now I live in the United Nations."
That'll be 21 weeks in the clink?
Woodhouse said a lot of other things as she surveyed her fellow passengers, her squawky voice weirdly reminiscent of an Eliza Doolittle grown old without having met her Henry Higgins. "All bleeping foreign bleeping bleeps," she says. "Where do you come from? Where do you come from? Where do you come from?" She estimated that 30 percent of the train's passengers were in the country illegally.
Off with her head.
Expletives fly regarding England ("this bleeping country is a bleeping joke"), Pakistanis, illegals, pigs.
"I wouldn't mind if you loved our country," she said, lucid, to a Pakistani beside her.
"Long live Pakistan," he said twice in Urdu, later leading a chorus of the Pakistani national anthem.
Woodhouse then notices her "victim" recording her. "Oh, look, he's filming," she says. "Hello, government." She leans into the camera.
"Why don't you tell us your name, as well?" Juttla the "victim" says.
"Why don't you tell me where you're from?" she says.
"I'm British, I'm British, yeah? I'm British," he tells her.
"Right. OK," she says.
"So, what's your problem?" he says.
"Oh, what's your problem?" she says.
"Yeah, you should watch what you say."
"Watch what I say?"
"I used to live in England. Now I live in the United Nations."
"So keep your mouth shut then."
"Why should I?"
Twenty-one weeks in jail, folks.
Why, Woodhouse quite rationally asks, "am I not allowed to express my opinions?"
"We don't want to hear your opinions," Juttla replies.
This tears it. "Why is it all right for you but not all right for me?" She's shrieking now, her voice cutting the air like a ragged-edged razor.
There is background laughter, but nothing is funny. For a few, farcical minutes, a nation's tragedy, its unmarked passing, has taken the spotlight, the lead role played by a drunken secretary because there is no one else.
"Just keep your mouth shut," Juttla says for the umpteenth time.
"Why should you open your gob and I can't open mine?"
"Because you questioned me first," he says, which isn't true. Juttla questioned Woodhouse first, asking for her name. Surely, Big Brother would want to know.
"I'm sorry," she says. "Not one rule for you and one rule for me."
Oh, yes, Jacqueline. One rule for indigenous islanders.
One rule for everyone else.