The National Health Service (NHS) has been forced to double back and remove from public view its draft “glossary of woke”, which had generated a torrent of backlash for ostensibly pushing "divisive" concepts on staff.
The NHS had earlier opted to define a list of “woke” terms for anyone in British healthcare struggling to comprehend them, entitled “Glossary A-Z” and covering a range of themes under the slogan of “equality, diversity and inclusion”.
The page was, accordingly, published on its website, and featured terms such as “Black Lives Matter Movement”, “Islamaphobia' (misspelt), and “misogynoir' (a recent term to embrace misogyny specifically aimed at black women).
Under “T”, the glossary included “taking the knee”, “tokenism”, “transgender”, “transgender man”, “transgender woman”, and “transphobia”.
Other entries were “white saviourism”, “white centering”, “white fragility”, and “white privilege”.
The entry for “white fragility” described the term as “a state in which even a minimum of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves by white people”. After it was published, the resource found itself on the receiving end of scorching criticism.
Tory MP Neil O’Brien went on Twitter to slam some of the concepts in the “alphabet of woke” as “highly divisive”, which “shouldn’t be officially pushed”.
A number of the concepts in this alphabet of woke are highly divisive - they shouldn't be being officially pushed like thishttps://t.co/qUa1aBLEzP— Neil O'Brien MP (@NeilDotObrien) June 5, 2021
“There’s a whole bunch of concepts in there: white fragility, or white supremacy – all these kind of different things that are extremely divisive concepts that should not be being pushed by HR managers in the NHS as a sort of gospel,” he was cited by The Daily Telegraph as saying.
Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, was also left reeling by the “chilling” glossary.
I assumed this was some kind of satire. It's not. It's frightening that this is considered suitable to be an NHS 'glossary'. https://t.co/jJ2ExxggQB— Stephen Pollard (@stephenpollard) June 5, 2021
“It’s a truly extraordinary document. And chilling in what it reveals about the mindset within an important part of the NHS,” said Pollard.
“Clearly the NHS are embarrassed that an internal document has been published by mistake. It's the mindset it reveals - it’s a glossary that accepts all the critical race theory and ideas - which are deeply controversial, ideological and divisive - as fact… It poses the question: what kind of other documents are circulating in the NHS that we don't get to see and which accepts all these arguments as a given?”
Netizens were also prompted to hit Twitter to denounce what they perceived as a “casual imposition of ideology”.
the govt needs to carry out an extensive audit of wokeness, the ideology, why it is aggressively expanding, the powers over speech & our lives it proposes, the cost in terms of spend on diversity consultants etc in institutions— Sol Invictus aka Billy (@SolarJones3000) June 5, 2021
Who is this guide meant to be for?— Shelagh Fogarty 💙 (@ShelaghFogarty) June 5, 2021
Wow. That isn't "inclusion" of trans people. That is erasure of same sex attraction. Unbelievably disgusting.— BrettG (@brettg1974) June 5, 2021
Times are not changing, this is the casual imposition of ideology.— TheWistfulCrow (@TheWistful) June 5, 2021
The writing is shockingly crap. As well as clearly copy, pasted from an American list.— Stephen Wigmore (@stephen_wigmore) June 5, 2021
Instead of taking the page down, the NHS’s digital team opted to password protect it.
“This draft document is not NHS guidance, was not intended for publication and has been removed,” the NHS stated in response.
The news comes as a recent study concluded that Britons were divided on whether ‘woke’ was a compliment or not, and were believed to be unaware of an “ongoing culture war”. UK public are as likely to think being ‘woke’ is a compliment (26 per cent) as they are to think it’s an insult (24 per cent), researchers found.
The Policy Institute at King’s College London and Ipsos MORI surveyed almost 3,000 adults to find a majority have hardly heard of the phrases “cancel culture” or “identity politics”, despite their appearance in the headlines in recent years.