"The return of censorship, speech codes and taboos suggests society returning to normal," writes Ed West in UnHerd.
Gareth Southgate is the sort of man you’d want your daughter to marry. He’s reliable, conventional, high in conscientiousness. Of the big five personality traits, conscientiousness is the one that correlates with political conservatism, and conscientious people historically vote for conservative parties.
Southgate is the sort of footballer who, in team photos from the early Seventies, would have been the last one to sport a short, back and sides when everyone else was looking like Charlie George. A haircut to set your watch to, as Grampa Simpson put it.
That someone like Southgate would support England players taking the knee, the gesture associated with Black Lives Matter, is telling, then, about how far social attitudes have changed in the last few decades. Although Southgate felt the need to write an elegant defence, it’s perhaps more surprising how little opposition taking the knee faced, and how even most critics proclaimed to support BLM’s aims, if not methods. Indeed, it’s arguable that there has never been so little doubt in public life about what is morally wrong and right, at least in our lifetimes.