The sharp trident of change that is going to blow away our institutionalised thinking
For too long – on an ideological spectrum that covers economic, political, social and geopolitical issues – our various Western Establishments have been allowed to run away from reality. Increasingly addicted to life in Room 101, their Utopian dreams look likely to produce dystopian nightmares. If we the Unaligned do nothing, the citizen backlash could turn very nasty indeed.
“Everything is open to interpretation,” somebody said to me yesterday. It certainly is – except these days, it seems to be a permanent open season for fanciful interpretation. Some examples:
An MP in the Irish Dail – who has never met Donald Trump, and is talking of a man not yet in the Oval Office – refers to him as “an unimaginable monster”. The Leftlib community is asked to condemn the remarks as Hate Crime. Their response? To reply “I agree with every word [the MP] said”. The response gets 53 approving retweets.
George Clooney regrets “the amount of free advertising the US media gave to Donald Trump”. Analyses of the media show Trump got 27% of the airtime, Clinton 70%, Others 3%. Qualitative analysis of the coverage by a trade paper shows 85+% of the Trump coverage was negative. Clooney refuses to withdraw the comment. (He laughed for 18 solid months at “the very idea” of Trump winning, so he’s obviously spot on the ball here).
The New York Times runs a piece declaring Hillary Clinton “yet another victim of the misogynist glass ceiling”. It is challenged by several organisations – including Breitbart – but the NYT declines to comment, and retaliates with a post calling Breitbart “a Far Right website”. It’s not my cup of tea at times, but it is not Far Right either. Meanwhile, nobody in Leftlibland is able to come up with a single soundbite in the election calling Clinton into question on the basis of her gender.
The US media declares that Hillary won the popular vote by over a million votes. Right wing organisations run a piece showing that 3 million votes were based on false immigration registration, so Trump actually won on both counts. Nobody knows who to believe.
30% of Trump demonstrators turn out to be people who didn’t vote, say police. 50%, it is claimed by the Deep State conspiracists, were paid. The following day, the FBI says 70% of them didn’t vote and all of them are Far Left activists. Claim follows counterclaim. Nobody knows who to believe.
A woman who is not British (but has lived in the UK most of her life) brings a High Court case demanding that the final Brexit deal be subject to a Parliamentary debate. A Hedge Fund billionaire and renowned liberal causes campaigner, the lady is widely criticised for refusal to accept a democratic outcome. The Leftlib ranks condemn the criticism as “racist, sexist and unconstitutional”. She wins, and three right wing press titles condemn the judges’ decision as ignoring the rules set out for all to see before the vote took place. The Leftlibbers condemn this critique as “the beginnings of Nazism”. Nobody mentions the issues of democracy and free speech.
I tweet asking a Labour Left remainer where the Left was while Greece was being raped by an unelected, fascist EC Troika of Schäuble, Dijesslbleom and Draghi. Not a single response. Greece is clearly an Unevent. I tweet asking the same person whether his view will change if Italy’s banks collapse and Renzi loses the referendum there. There is silence. I am now blocked.
A largely Leftlib consortium vows to end ‘fake news’, but offers only examples of nutjob Right Wing ‘fake news’. The Guardian’s fake news about UK Jewish applications to become German isn’t mentioned. Nor is the Independent’s fake news about an increase in ‘tens of thousands’ of “vile hate crime attacks” on migrants to Britain. The ONS shows that migrant applications to the UK have increased by 15% since the referendum. I tweet asking the fake news lads, Guardian and Independent to comment. Zero.
And finally, I try to comment at two press title sites to point out that the average age of Calais migrants is now estimated by HMRC to have been ’18 to 25′. In addition, the proportion of families there is described as ‘miniscule’, and the gender bias 5.5 to 1 in favour of men. My posts use links to Leftlib publicity about Calais – all featuring small infants with parents. Neither post appears. Already the French press is unveiling the chaos and violence associated with what they describe as “largely African Ethiopians” in Paris and other urban centres. The British press blanks the news….as it blanked the events in Calais for ten months before finally bowing to internet pressure on the subject.
These two events – the election of Donald Trump and the electorate’s decision to quit the EU – have been the defining elements of the last eighteen months. My use of the above examples to show ridiculous interpretations and glaring media bias are not designed to say, in the style of Animal Farm, “Left Bad, Right Good”. I remain unaligned, in that I think both Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump were and are historical inevitabilities…but I’d greatly prefer it if other more selfless and tolerant people were doing their jobs.
For example, the FBI now looks culpable in the last-minute Comey affair – as indeed did the Justice Department in the Clinton Foundation cover-up. It’s obvious that Boris Johnson both inflated and misused his Brexit statistics about more money for the NHS; and an equally obvious tax-rise scare tactic from George Osborne was pure fantasy.
The points I’m making are twofold: first, that Leftlib interpretation of events and toleraration of others have become respectively more delusional and Stalinist; and second, that a deadly combo of antisocial media ownership and spin doctoring are making it impossible for the genuinely investigative, objective commentator to get anywhere near the Truth behind creeping corporatism.
Forever and a day – at least, since the days when Peter Hain was a self-appointed Nazi hunter – the Leftlib tendency has used the fascist bogeyman to lay intolerance, injustice and bad behaviour at the door of the Right. In this essay, I am deliberately using Stalinism to counter that propaganda….but as a form of reality, not fancy:
There are no real ‘Nazis’ in Britain now, save for a few lunatics at the fringe. One of these allegedly murdered Labour MP Jo Cox during the Referendum campaign. The Leftlib’s response was to pin the blame firmly on Nigel Farage and UKIP. They have never retracted this fallacy: it was and remains a digracefully opportunistic smear with absolutely no basis in reality.
But there are Stalinists in our midst. Or (as I choose to call them these days) ideologists. Both the US liberal and UK Left movements display the same fact-twisting tendencies as Moscow’s bumboys did in the 50s and 60s – and Scargill did in the 70s and 80s. Their commonality is a flat refusal to accept that anything they think – or their leaders do – is wrong.
Corporatists, meanwhile, are every bit as bad. The neocon wing of the Conservative Party lives in a bubble made from, if anything, even thicker and more frosted material. It too is driven by past, discredited glories: ‘no turning back….even if we’re heading over a cliff’. Time after time we see private sector animals ripping off the State and mistreating “clients”, but the likes of Hunt, Fallon and Johnson will apologise for their behaviour. They watch as all the tenets of Friedmanite Thatcherism are disproven – that wealth doesn’t trickle down and markets often don’t make the right decision – but still they insist fine tuning is all their religion needs. They observe the bubbles in assets and derivatives being created by pointless austerity, low rates and banking malpractice….and then defend the absence of jail sentences or tangible results. Over and over, they demand an end to ‘banker bashing’ – but go quiet when the next calumny is revealed.
The bottom line from the point of view of a civilised society is this: hate, division, uncertainty, and a disenfranchised majority.
Just how large a percentage of the population do the wonks represent? A telling US statistic came out last Monday, barely six days after the Election result: 86% of Americans, an NBC poll showed, now accepted Donald Trump as their President. So that leaves 14% who don’t; or put into old-fashioned plain English, hold treasonable views.
This means that almost exactly six out of seven Americans accept the election result. Some of those will be to the Right of Trump (yes, it’s true) but around 90% are to his Left – and of those, taking into acount the Democratic Primary rallies, it’s roughly fair to say that two thirds are to the Left of Hillary – Bernie Sanders supporters and all points West via Occupy. That leaves us with 9.8% of liberal Americans at the very most who feel seditious towards a Trump Presidency.
Now given the general behaviour of Bernie fans – archetypally young idealistic college kids – it is certainly true that Western campuses today are more illiberal than even in my time of sit-ins and happenings. But the evidence of violent Bernie fans is zero. Most of those children will graduate and, ten years and three million dollars later, be voting for Republicans. It’s probably far more likely that the Leftlib Wild Bunch are no bigger than 5%.
Given the very few US citizens truly to the ‘Right’ of Trump (about 1.4%) and a further dribble of committed libertarians alongside God-fearers who respectively deplore (a) reflation and (b) pussy-grabbing, that leaves only the banking-to-US global hegemony freaks who distrust Trump, and whose numbers are at near-homoaepathic levels. At the very generous most, in total the Rightist Gunghos add 2.5%.
That gives us a grand total of wonk activists in all the sizes and colours at 7.5%.
Therefore, under one in ten Americans are dictating the political agenda….and being featured in the media – because they’re good copy, and that means more sales plus bigger hits. And while it’s good to see that nine of out ten Americans ignored them, it does mean for certain that large swathes of the population are today feeling disenfranchised because they didn’t want either Hillary or Donald in the final playoff. These are perfectly nice, respectable Main Street Americans who don’t sign up to glass gender ceilings or Glass Steagall repeal or male rape obssession or Hate Crime or White Supremacy or Post-Truth bollocks – or indeed any of the angels on the pinhead of an up-itself Political Class.
I’ll tell you what these people are: they’re people who believe in democracy, and applaud the social mobility allegedly available to those who live in a republic. Like the vast majority of Homo sapiens, they’re not ‘political’. In recent years, however, they have come to doubt whether Washington really works for them: they observe gender radicals, banker greed, global stock markets and big corporations. And they ask themselves just what the hell any of this means for them and their loved ones.
In short, they wonder – in all this systemic ideology – what happened to natural human emotions and solid community kindness.
The situation in the UK is very different, and yet curiously similar. The Corbyn wing of the Labour Party boasts that Party membership has never been higher…..that there are 180,000 more members than there were before Corbyn rose from nowhere to capture the leadership. But this is yet another example of the Leftlib’s inability to put statistics into a relevant context. Members are, by definition, semi or committed activists. At the 2015 UK general election, some 9.4 million Brits voted Labour – that’s to say, 52 times more than the Party membership. Even more mind-concentrating for the Left, around 1.4 million defected to UKIP – roughly 8 times more than new activists.
This is no longer the Labour Party of the British working class: it is a bourgeois, college-educated and élite-dominated Party of feminists, the politically correct, international- orientated socialists and radicals rebranded as ecologists. It is the Party of Harriet Harman, Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper – basically modern-day Mensheviks – who have been the victim of a hijack by ageing Bolsheviks like John McDonnell and Diane Abbott.
Even the revisionist crypto-Tory Party of Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Hilary Benn and Peter Mandelson has been marginalised. Also refusing to serve under Corbyn are those too Left for Tony and too Right for Jeremy. Only a smattering of honest Old Labour like Dennis Skinner and Kate Hoey survive…and they are light years away from power.
Although one can argue that this is how the Conservative Thatcherites started, the comparison doesn’t wash: Thatcher’s Tory populism of low taxes and owning your own property had immediate material appeal to a mass audience; those among the ‘Wets’ in the Party quickly turned coat and ran towards the monetarist camp.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership is far to the Left of centre, and way out of the mainstream of British politics. UK Labour voters are emphatically not internationalist, and these days barely unionised. In 2015, Labour heartlands deserted en masse to UKIP. Nobody of any importance in the Labour movement thinks this is a dangerous alienation: the Corbynistas in particular ignore it with silly statistics and talk of “a mass radicalised poor”. The poor are anything but: they are decent, disabled people, cheated State pensioners, people too busy making ends meet to take any interest in syntax-riddled ideological onanism, and the utterly disillusioned people deserted by first New and then Metro Labour.
As the British forgotten vulnerable went to UKip or abstained, so too in the States did blue collar and agrarian Democrats go Republican or – in the case of black urban dwellers let down by Uncle Tombama – go to the movies instead.
The central insight here is that the trend is above Party politics: in the General elections of both countries – and the EU referendum in Britain – the forgotten poor kicked the Leftlib Establishments where they’d badly needed it for over forty years.
In both America and the United Kingdom, Leftlibland has done precisely the same thing in terms of its response: blamestorming. Blaming everyone but themselves. It was mysogyny, it was the Electoral College, it was the FBI, it was ‘uneducated bigots’, it was Little Englanders, it was the Hard Right frightening people, it was the other side lying about everything, it was racist populism, it was First Past the Post. Where once there was an Irish-driven common man’s Democratic Party and the newly educated working man’s Labour Party, there are now two institutions so out of touch with their original loyalists as to be irrelevant.
But the problem is Establishmentarian. On both sides of the Pond, the Right lucked into unique circumstances: an unfancied unpolitical winner in the US, and the emergence of an anti-EU force in the UK. The Republicans are now in the White House and the Tories in Downing Street because of the remarkable rise of one person not of their number.
The bad news here is that this has allowed both Parties to pretend that there is nothing wrong with their electoral offer and policies. In that sense, they are just as delusional as the Leftlibs. The GOP is solidly behind the neocon globalist narrative, whereas one suspects Trump himself sees financialised capitalism for exactly what it is: a gigantic con. The Tory Party makes exactly the same assumptions as the GOP, but has not yet been kicked by the poor Right. Thus it continues to pursue unjust policies on taxation, benefits and State pensions – polices about which very probably a clear majority of the British electorate now has doubts based on both efficacy and fundamental social decency.
The big difference, of course, is that in the US, the one radical at large is now in power – but I repeat my earlier stated view in these columns that Trump is not a natural Republican: in reality, he is an Independent. He may well at some point face a Congress united against some of his more challenging views; if so, he will most certainly lose.
Short to medium term developments aside, however, two hugely influential and close allies are going through qualitative change that can’t be described as “political”. It is a change of Zeitgeist thinking that may well (and should) lead to Constitutional reforms.
It’s time to pull all these observations together. We face a decade or more during which three uniquely dangerous factors will be in play:
I have been trying in recent months to shift the emphasis of The Slog away from “news” (whatever that means any more) to an examination of the step-change in social organisation, sovereignty and economic motives that is already unfolding. That will inevitably mean a drop in popularity, because breaking stuff pulls readers in.
But I can’t cover news in any honest sense any more. First, the former army of contacts I had is either retired or dead; second, it takes so long today to prove or disprove the provenance of a story, by the time one feels confident about it, the news element has faded; and finally, I think the vast majority of it is a distraction from the massively threatened survival of citizen liberties and informed electorates.
Thank you for persevering with the length of this piece. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.