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Reading this story from Express about the “cancelling” and pile on of the creator of Father Ted, for simply liking a tweet, reminded me of a podcast recently and a comment by journalist/author, Bill O’Reilly when talking about his most recent in the “Killing” series, from Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing the Mob etc.

The particular book, his most recent is Killing The Witches.

O’Reilly’s comment was along the lines that in 2023 cancel culture and the cancelling of people in America and England is effectively the same as the witch-hunts and the witch trials of North America in the 17th century.

People are metaphorically, being dunked, drowned and burnt at the stake, or otherwise ostracised from polite company and having their careers trashed for either holding or in the case of Graham Linehan and JK Rowling liking or retweeting a post or otherwise speaking out or holding heterodox views that run counter to the approved and authorised narrative.

You’ll often hear Trump talk about the endless pursuit of him via law-fare as a witch hunt. That is the tactic of pursuing the man in search of a crime instead of pursuing a crime in search of the man.

It’s the kind of stuff you’d expect of the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, The CCP, Lenin, Stalin or in North Korea. But like so many other things the practice has been cloaked in the euphemistic term “cancel culture” and become just a casual throw away line.

As a side bar topic, cancel culture does have its origins on the campus of America in the mid 60’s at UC Berkeley. It came from one of the Marxists of the Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse and was called Repressive Tolerance. It meant simply that other views were not to be tolerated.

𝐀 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐦 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚 𝐢𝐧 𝟏𝟔𝟗𝟐 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐡𝐚𝐦 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐧

“..On March 23, 1692, a warrant was issued for the arrest of four-year-old Dorothy Good of Salem Village on “suspition of acts of Witchcraft.” 

She was taken into custody the next day and jailed with her mother, Sarah, who had been accused of the same capital crime three weeks earlier. 

Since witches were often shackled in jail, something like shackles must have been adapted to fit little Dorothy, the youngest person in Salem accused of practicing the devil’s magic. 

Over the next year, more than 150 women, men, and children from Salem Village (present-day Danvers) and neighboring communities were formally accused of practicing witchcraft. 

A third of those arrested confessed but were not necessarily given lighter sentences. In all, 19 were hanged, one pressed to death, and five others died in jail…”