THE right has been having a bit of a chuckle these last few days over a new book called Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. The book, by comedian Andrew Doyle writing under the pen-name Titania McGrath, mercilessly satirises the Left’s online umbrage brigade, the permanently offended, those who have taken on the role of policing thoughts and words to the point of absurdity.

As a liberal-leftie, I’ve been laughing too, as these people need mocked. They are an impediment to everyone who actually cares about tackling sexism, racism and homophobia. These people make good causes look ridiculous, they alienate when they should be persuading, and they turn liberalism – which I hold dear – into something stupid.

Woke, of course, means someone is “awake” to discrimination, that they see what the rest of us narcoleptics cannot. Not only is the word “woke” utterly toe-curling, it’s also the height of arrogance. Those who call themselves “woke” have taken two very important words, “social justice”, and ruined them. Social justice should be something to celebrate, but the Woke have made a mockery of the idea in their pursuit of ideological purity.

So I’ve enjoyed lines in Woke like: “Being woke is actually much easier than people think. Anyone can be an activist. By simply adding a rainbow flag to your Facebook profile, or calling out an elderly person who doesn’t understand what non-binary means, you can change the world for the better. Indeed social media has now made it possible to show how virtuous you are without having to do anything at all.”

The book does not set out to mock victims of discrimination – ethnic minorities, the LGBT community, women, the disabled – it mocks the self-appointed arbiters of morality, who often come from positions of privilege themselves. As Titania says in Woke: “I learnt early on that my private education and frequent family holidays to Montenegro and the Maldives were merely a ruse by which my parents could distract me from my oppression.”

There is a silent majority of liberals who have been working their entire lives to make the world a better place when it comes to sexism, racism and homophobia. They do not need to be lectured on what it means to be a progressive by someone whose idea of activism is a hashtag.

Read more: Why the courts must now have their say on Bloody Sunday

There have been some egregious examples of Wokeness – each one undermining the idea that social justice is a good thing, through absurdity and puritanism. Jamie Oliver was accused of “cultural appropriation” by Labour’s Dawn Butler MP for making “jerk rice”.

“Your jerk rice is not ok,” she tweeted (of course it was on Twitter). “This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.” In a country where racism scars the lives of countless people, this is what a public figure saw as one of the big issues of the day.

Steve Martin, the comedian, was publicly shamed after the death of Carrie Fisher when he wrote: “When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well.” There was outrage at his slightly clumsy, but loving, tribute. It was irrelevant that the pair had been friends for decades.

During the early stages of the MeToo movement, Matt Damon was attacked for saying “there’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation. Both those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”

Just a few days ago, the gay Tory MP Nick Boles was subjected to a woke Twitter storm when he shared a tweet about an interview Labour MP Jess Phillips had given. Boles wrote: “There is something about @jessphillips that I find irresistible. I would walk over hot coals for her. And yes she would be a great Prime Minister.”

The Woke deemed him a creepy predator. Ms Phillips had to come to his defence saying she couldn’t believe how “awful people are being” over two MPs from different parties being “nice to each other”. Mr Boles responded to the attacks saying that he was “wondering how I’m going to explain this to my husband”.

I could go on with this list and fill the entire paper. This selection is simply examples which have stuck in my mind – there are many less egregious and many much more egregious. And, of course, you could accuse me of cherry-picking, but let me assure you that there are plenty of cherries to pick.

I’ve spent much of my life laughing at the excesses of the right-wing, and justifiably so. From Tory MPs lecturing Britain about morality in the 1990s caught in some sex scandal, to the pompous privileged idiocy of George Osborne telling Britain to tighten its belt while he tries to take the silver spoon out of his mouth, the right needs mocked. The Alt-right is absurdity made flesh, and Brexit is literally a sick joke – so point and laugh.

Equally, the tyranny of the Left’s thought police needs mocked too. I don’t mean that “political correctness” needs mocked – like “social justice”, the words”politically correct”have been debased by ideological purists who have no idea what liberalism means; who damage the causes they seek to further. Political correctness just means “try to be nice, try to act decently” – that’s a good thing. It doesn’t mean staging a witch-hunt over nothing in order to show how superior you are.

The Woke suffer from an intellectual deadness which runs through society today – they lack nuance, they cannot compromise, and their narcissism makes them zealots. Just as it doesn’t make you an anti-Semite to criticise the policies of the Israeli government, it doesn’t make you a monster if you cook jerk rice. Do we really need to explain these issues in 2019?

While I celebrate Woke for bringing satire back into public life, I think Andrew Doyle should now create a new avatar – a man from the Alt-right. With their “cucks” and “libtards”, tiki torch parades and claims of white genocide, the Alt-right is even more ripe for mockery than the left’s ideological purists. Both need laughed at until they shut up, so the rest of us can get a sensible word in edgeways.