Woke ideology is 'now everywhere' - Tory chair says West risks 'collapse in resolve' as Russia and China threat grows

Oliver Dowden told the Heritage Foundation that woke ideology was now dominant in universities, schools, government bodies and corporations

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Conservative minister Oliver Dowden today addressed the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC and warned that woke ideology is "now everywhere" in the UK and US.

The MP for Hertsmere, who is also the co-Chair of the Conservative Party, told the foundation that "conservatives themselves must find the confidence to mount a vigorous defence of the values of a free society."

Mr Dowden said the rise of cancel culture and wokeism was a "pernicious new ideology... sweeping our society."

The minister without portfolio told the foundation, woke ideas are now dominant "in our universities, but also in our schools.

"In government bodies, but also in corporations.

"In social science faculties, but also in the hard sciences."

He went on: "it is a dangerous form of decadence."

"It really does threaten to sap our societies of their own self confidence.

"In their analysis, free speech is not a fundamental right necessary to the pursuit of truth."

Mr Dowden spoke about the importance of the strength of the western alliance in facing up to foreign policy challenges today, and in the future.

"While the US and the UK meet their obligations to Nato, others fail to do so.

"The world watches the relationship between America and its allies.

"We must be seen to stand together.

"Rogue states are seeking to challenge the international order."

He stressed that the US, UK and its allies mustn't succumb to the "demoralisation and despair" caused by acceptance of the idea that western powers "always at fault."

Mr Dowden said, in the face of "introspection" about the histories of western powers, conservative thought-leaders must "remake the case for the West."

He emphasised that failure to do this would be of strategic benefit to the Russia, China and other global actors western democracies perceive as threats.