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Is 'wokism' creating an army of alt-Right teens? If so, the results will be terrifying

A new generation has had enough of the politically correct dogma they are fed at school - and at home by overly liberal parents

Former Miss Hitler beauty pageant contestant Alice Cutter was jailed for three years
Former Miss Hitler beauty pageant contestant Alice Cutter was jailed for three years Credit: PA

The British Hand has one deeply ineloquent goal: “To get rid of Islam and those little BLM f---ers.”

Using Instagram and Telegram, a multi-platform messaging service where “secret chats” are protected by end-to-end encryption and self-destruct timers, the neo-Nazi group has been able to spread their message and make threats, like a recent plan, shared with its more than 1,000 followers, to “attack… the Dover coast where every Muslim and refugee has been given safety”.

Their poster boys are Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011, and Brenton Tarrant, who last year massacred 51 worshippers at mosques in New Zealand. One member has even named his pet hamster after Tarrant.

Because the leader of the British Hand, I should have said, is 15 years old.

Instagram may have shut down this Derby schoolboy’s account at the weekend, but the British Hand’s official account has been shut down before, only to pop up again in different guises.

There’s a growing appetite for online neo-Nazi hate, you see, and - according to a new report by anti-fascism campaigners, Hope Not Hate - many of those being groomed for the white supremacist cause are as young as 12. The report’s revelations are shocking, but not surprising. Why is that? Is it because over the past year, we’ve seen a growing number of similar cases in the news?

The 17-year-old boy jailed back in January after being found guilty of planning a neo-Nazi terrorist attack in Durham; 23-year-old Alice Cutter, from West Yorkshire, jailed in June after posing for a Miss Hitler competition run by the banned group, National Action; the 13-year-old who casually told another Telegram group that he wanted “gays to kill themselves”.

After all, we know that these neo-Nazi groups overlap with similar online organisations using the same secret language to promote hate against the LGBT community and women.

We know that hate breeds hate. Or is it because many parents have secretly glimpsed a watered-down version of that hate and intolerance in their own children?

Because of the generation of “baby Breitbarts” - named after the online alt-Right news network that helped propel co-founder Steve Bannon into Donald Trump’s White House - that is rising up against a censorship they feel has been imposed upon them at school, college and university, where PC dogma now often threatens to eclipse traditional subjects; at home, with their ferociously liberal parents; and in a mainstream media that seems to want them to admit their ‘unconscious bias’ and atone for the sin of being born white and privileged by self-flagellating ad infinitum?

Clamp your hand over someone’s mouth every time they speak, and what finally emerges is a howl of rage. I’ve been privy to some of those whispered conversations among parents, and heard mothers and fathers express their horror at the casual racisms and sexisms that are suddenly deemed acceptable both in verbal and online chats among the young.

“Pick them up on it, and you’re branded an ‘SJW’ (social justice warrior),” says one mother. “Because that, for them, is now an insult.”

Through her work discussing gender equality, sexual violence and consent in British schools, the feminist author Laura Bates says she has “started to experience fierce and angry resistance” over the past two years from boys. “Especially white ones,” she wrote earlier this month; they claimed they “were the real victims in society”, refusing to believe accusations of rape from women, “repeating false statistics”, and refusing to accept the facts. “They already knew,” she points out, “that ‘feminazis are out to destroy men’.”

These vicious baby Breitbart ideologies aren’t excusable, but they are explainable, and as a knee-jerk reaction to the illiberal liberalism the young as well as the old have felt increasingly imprisoned by, this is all depressingly predictable.

For years, I have derided “woke” culture in this column and with friends, because the idea that Baby, It’s Cold Outside promotes date rape, that non-Chinese people shouldn’t be allowed to cook Chinese food and that being obese is healthy was laughable to me. But over the past few months the laughter has stopped. The readers who write to me don’t see any humour in the word “women” being banned and replaced by “people who menstruate”.

None of my friends were amused by news reports earlier this month that a cheese shop in Paris was vandalised by militant vegan activists, who spray-painted the words “farmers = rapists” across its window. These extreme, intolerant stances aren’t funny, but dangerous.

They’re the reason Trump is not only in office but, at a rally in Nevada on Saturday, assured his supporters that he would “negotiate” a third term in the White House in 2024 – because he’s “entitled” to it. They’re the reason extreme Right-wing hate is springing up like poisonous weeds online, and young people are seeing value in that poison.

They’re also the reason Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay’s brilliant new book, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender and Identity… and Why This Harms Everybody, became an immediate bestseller when it was published in the US last month.

Because by arguing that bad ideas cannot “be defeated by being repressed”, but instead “need to be engaged and defeated within the marketplace of ideas, so that they may die a natural death and be rightly recognised as defunct”, the authors have summed up everything that’s wrong with extreme wokery. It’s just another brand of hate.

Read Celia Walden every Monday at telegraph.co.uk, from 7pm