The Royal Society of Literature is the latest to fall prey to the modern phenomenon of ‘progressives’ versus the old guard. The new president, Booker-winner Bernardine Evaristo has insisted the society cannot take sides in controversies and must remain impartial when she was criticised for not supporting Salman Rushdie when he was nearly killed in 2022 at a literary festival. This prompted Rushdie to ask her on X/Twitter: “Just wondering if the Royal Society of Literature is ‘impartial’ about attempted murder? (Asking for a friend.)”
The “wokification” of organisations and hyper-sensitivity about causing offence to a few while in reality offending the great silent majority seems to be widespread. Forced diversity and inclusiveness appears to lead to an end result which supercedes the essential purpose of the society. The National Trust in recent years has got tangled up in controversies totally unrelated to historic buildings and land; The English Premier League banned a female football fan from matches over social media posts that were deemed transphobic. The Civil Service, Universities etc etc – all seem to be infected or invaded by activists punting their own particular obsession and grievance.
The Royal Society of Literature was founded 30 November 1820 in London with a stellium in knowledgeable, communicative Sagittarius which makes sense. The Sun and Mars Mercury are square Jupiter in Pisces; and Uranus Neptune in Sagittarius are square Pluto in Pisces and Saturn in Aries.
Their highly strung Uranus Neptune has been assaulted in recent times by the Solar Arc Sun in opposition and tr Neptune in square and conjunct the Pluto – all of which runs on for another year or two.
Trying to spot a trend I wonder whether it is the Uranus Neptune signature in general which is problematic. Bernardine Evaristo herself, 28 May 1959, a Sun Gemini square Pluto has a Uranus square Neptune. The younger thirty year old generation born in the 1990s has a Uranus Neptune conjunction. It can make for a wilful, nervy, opinionated temperament holding rigid attitudes and in certain cases can be confused, tending to cause turmoil.
The Royal Soc Lit is a niche organisation but its present problems are symptomatic of a bizarre social phenomenon which is becoming widespread of activists infiltrating organisations in an attempt to impose their world view on others. Almost fascist in certain cases – think as I do, speak as I do or I will silence you.
I never liked Rushdie but he should be robustly defended against fatwas and actual assassination attempts especially by writers.
Add On: The National Trust founded on 12 January 1895 has not surprisingly a traditional, conservative Capricorn Sun with the signature Neptune Pluto in Gemini of that time; and a harsh Saturn in Scorpio opposition Mars in Taurus square Venus in Aquarius opposition a Leo Moon which will put a veneer of charm over a less pleasant underside. Being a Fixed Grand Cross it will be endowed with endurance and the ability to last over time but won’t find change easy. The years from 2024 through till late this decade will be ones of massive and stressful change as tr Pluto wends its way round those Fixed planets.
The EPL, 27 May 1992, is a Gemini Sun Venus Mercury square Jupiter with a highly strung Mars in Aries square Uranus Neptune in Capricorn. It certainly has the wilful/confused, stubbornly opinionated Uranus Neptune traits of the above. It will be undergoing considerable changes as tr Pluto trines the Gemini planets and then tr Uranus is conjunct in the years after 2025. Plus the SA Uranus Neptune will be colliding with its unyielding Saturn square Pluto at the same time. Which will be pressures not connected to the above issue – but there will be huge organizational challenges and changes across a few august bodies.