Friday, 13 April 2018
The Enemy Within
What’s in a word? Common, commonality, communion, communal, communist... Common Purpose. Outwardly CP looks a little like a secular version of the church’s Alpha Course which seeks to softly indoctrinate those vulnerable to Christianity into a deeper belief. Take a bunch of people predisposed to believe and feed that predisposition. Good for the church, I guess, which needs all the faith it can marshal. But at least the Alphas don’t – as far as we know – seek to control society. Common Purpose very much does.
‘Leading Across Boundaries’ sounds an all very laudable and suitably harmless, new-age, happy-clappy evangelical mission. They say they seek to banish prejudice, break down barriers and allow people with shared values to work together. What’s not to like? After all isn’t this just the same as a commercial company’s ethos of branding and identification? But who has never found the gurning, excitable, badge bedecked indoctrinees waiting at table at TGI Fridays more than a little unnerving?
CP aims to create ‘Future Leaders of Society’ and those it calls its graduates are instructed on how to pull the levers of power in order to ‘lead outside authority’. Leading outside authority effectively means circumventing the obstacles which prevent we mere mortals from having our concerns heard. Of course, if you have a secret-handshake direct line to those who handle those levers, yours are the only voices heard. This is exactly what they are after.
The burglar and serial swindler of pensioners, Henry Vincent, was a low-life from the ironically named ‘traveller' community. His death is not something those he sought to defraud would wish to mourn, so the shrine erected in his memory in the area he tried to rob is an affront to common decency. Not so, say the police – widely reputed to be ‘riddled’ with Common Purpose graduates – it is a dignified remembrance of a loved one deceased. Once again the authorities, it seems, are taking sides.
Whether Common Purpose is as effective as it has been billed is open to debate but it is undeniable that the levers of power rarely seem to work the machinery to the benefit of the wider public, rather concentrating on the rights of those whose purpose is decidedly uncommon, at variance to the purpose of a harmonious world. How often are complainants warned that their objections are mere bigotry, injurious to the common good?
Hardly the Illuminati, Common Purpose does not seek to hide; it operates in plain sight, safe in the knowledge that until people are directly affected they will do little to oppose them. But the sense of being ruled by a shadowy elite persists and this, of course, is one of their bushiest beards. They are a registered charity. Yes, they do select and train future leaders, but for the good of us all; what could be sinister about that, they will say? Of course they are everywhere, they seek to reach out across divides; what could be less sinister?
As a serial eschewer of conspiracy theories, Common Purpose is a good one. They are the good guys, surely? If you imagine they are otherwise maybe that’s just your fevered mind working overtime. Take a chill pill, calm down; nobody wants to hurt you. But is this bluff, double-bluff, or what? What is plain, however, is that there is a new orthodoxy abroad and those who act counter to the politically correct doctrine are readily pilloried and marginalised by authority. How much easier is that for them to do, if they do, indeed, have something in common?