WE'VE all been hearing a lot about "cancel culture" recently – apparently, right-wing commentators are finding it impossible to have their voices heard.

The claim is that they've been rendered mute by a prevailing intolerance, now widespread on college campuses and elsewhere.

The victims, more often than not, tend to moan at great length about being silenced either in their three-hour radio shows or over double-page spreads in their Daily Mail columns. Silenced? Really?

It all rather echoes the tabloid hysteria a few decades back when we were warned that a plague of political correctness was upon us.

The tabloids screamed warnings about council commissars descending on every toy shop in the land to rip much-loved playthings from the hands of babes, simply because the toys mocked minorities with racial epithets. Black bins bags were to go. No more blackboards. And the nation's youth was to be encouraged to adopt homosexuality immediately.

It was all nonsense, of course. Much of it made up in the editorial offices of The Sun newspaper. But, for a while, it produced a kind of frenzy.

Folk who'd never heard the phrase, suddenly found themselves tut-tutting about "political correctness gone mad".

And yet, society now finds itself in agreement that people with physical and mental disabilities should be respected not mocked.

It's a good thing to have diversity in the workplace. We have discovered that equal marriage doesn't undermine the foundations of society. And we've realised, too, that black bin bags are still around.

Back to "cancel culture" – the prime minister has decided that there should be a "free speech champion" to investigate any attempts to impose a collective view on campuses (as if there's ever been a collective view about anything on college campuses).

But wait! Just as he's calling for more free speech, he also wants to prevent anyone "rewriting history".

Now, I worry when people say we can't rewrite history. As Churchill (and many others) have said: "It's the victor who writes the first draft. It's the duty, surely, of further generations to interpret."

When the Museum of the Home in London recently conducted a survey to decide whether patrons thought its slave-trading founder Robert Geffrye should continue to be honoured with a statue on its front facade, the answer came back: "No, put him inside with a plaque explaining how he acquired his wealth".

It seemed a thoughtful and considered response to the question asked by the museum directors, but the culture secretary was having none of it.

The views of the museum and its visitors were to be ignored. He ordered that the statue stay put.

And he went further, summoning twenty-five of the UK's biggest heritage bodies to a summit to tell them "to defend our culture from... activists constantly trying to do Britain down."

I'm sure Mr Geffrye would have been pleased that, three hundred years on, no one in government is trying to "cancel" his legacy.