Brexiteers: No, Your Opinions Aren’t Just as Valid

  1. Economy = downgraded to that of a “developing” country.
  2. Society = ridden by fear and abuse.
  3. Our politics = seized by cynicism, opportunism and mutually assured destruction.
Et tu, Watson? The Blairite Revenge

This, all of it, our country chose.

We, those on the Remain side of the argument, seriously misjudged our neighbours and compatriots: many of them really are that stupid. And, no – they cannot be given the benefit of the doubt. Figures from the left, right and centre warned them, the economic institutions and trade unions warned them, the professors and cultural figures warned them, NATO, USA (Trump excluded), Norway’s PM warned them. Warned them what our country would become.

Gone are the As: Sterling plunges

And, nay again, they themselves cannot suddenly pretend that their political analysis is just as deep and deserving of respect as the above.

(In fact, the only figures of note which supported Brexit appeared to be Putin – a long and bitter hater of the EU – and ISIS. The latter has since praised Britain’s move.)

As much as I cannot abide the cult which has slivered up upon and about the grave of that vicious fat dog, Churchill’s words are playing on repeat in my inner ear,

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter

This may help you make sense of Michael Gove’s insight:

…People in this country have had enough of experts

You really have met a cultural incline when expert has become a dirty word, sewn into our porch alongside those other faux-pas (excuse my French) “‘ealth and safety” and “political correctness”.

Of course I’m being unfair: 52% is barely a majority of the voting population, and fairly meaningless of the whole. But it is demonstrative of that cultural strain, long nurtured by demagogues and flustered Cameroons, in this United Kingdom: anti-Brussels, anti-immigrant, anti-Other – becoming something more than a nuance. A new and dangerous voting block that Westminster has no idea of how to counter-act (and may soon not wish to).

A good number of those who put a cross next to Leave seem to have sincerely thought their choice meant, “send the Poles, Pakis and… uh, Polynesians home” (whatever that means). Taking “their” country back so they can set it back on course to backwaterdom, which Britain momentarily detoured from post-WWII. There in the swamp that results they can fester and congeal, filling the pungent air with their pungent thoughts.

Byron, Blake, Paine… are these the heroes of the Britain Firsters?

And it’s this demographic which knows the least about the history and culture of Britain. When they talk of defending its culture they are almost certainly referring to football hooliganism, shit larger and trash TV – and not the domains of Tolkien, verses of Auden, those skyscapes of Turner. Nor do they acknowledge the Levelers, Chartists and the heroes of the Enlightenment, without which their suffrage would be denied.

(I mean really, just take a look at Britain First’s take on the Peasant’s Revolt here)

Ezra Pound may have been writing of his country of birth, but there is something in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley which does apply here and now, in this Blighted realm where the 52ers reign:

No, hardly, but, seeing he had been born
In a half savage country, out of date;
Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn;
Capaneus; trout for factitious bait
 

Paddy

I’m x and Mad as Hell: A Brief Critique of Identity Politics

“Identity politics” has become an irritating fixture in the culture war, its most notable advocates being the moderate left. Liberals.

The belief that all members of said group share a common interest or political goal is, in most cases, bogus. (Don’t worry Marx fans, I’m not going near class interest, an economic partition with some grounding.) If asked to describe moi, some stoic soul may respond with “Irish” or “white male”. But the fact is, these labels say very little about me. I feel no particular affinity with those men and women who also own a green passport, or with my white brothers for that matter, or with the male half of the species in general. This may seem obvious – in which case you probably won’t vote Clinton.

Whether one accepts their club membership or not aside, categories of identity are frequently found to clash. Listen again to Morrissey’s song Irish Blood, English Heart. It highlights one such clash many occupying the island which gave the world Cromwell and TOWIE experience (present writer included). Simply put, the passions of a rebel combined with the deference of a subject. In identity political terms, how can one be expected to show admiration to a Queen whose head it’s presumed you would like to see atop a pike?

And that’s just a relatively straight-forward case of nation-hood – where does the overweight transgender black disabled Cherokee lesbian even begin?

I see little point in feeling common cause with millions of others who also happen to share the same accident of birth, and certainly no reason to derive my political stances from it (and even I did, which accident would I choose?). To do so seems is so obviously illogical and – importantly – illiberal.

Liberalism, as envisioned by its fathers, was quite different to what is bandied around today by the moderate Left. Individualism, free inquiry and universality in law, both moral and legalistic, were central to the arguments of John Locke, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Paine. In opposing the absolute rule of Kings and the stupidity of inherited rule, these figures sought to demolish the psychological barriers to progress: caste-thinking, institutionalised nepotism and, although, they themselves wouldn’t have put it this way, groupthink.

I would fully expect having to defend these truisms against conservatives but, more often than not, I am finding that I have to defend the principles of liberalism against those who claim to be its bearers. Black Lives Matter is just the most recent iteration of this. To think that uttering the line “all lives matter” could make one a target of scorn and abuse ought to make all leftists shudder. Internationalism and equality, I shouldn’t have to remind you, is what we’re about.  (“All mankind is my brethren.“)

And wasn’t Martin Luther King who said

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Not their melanin count, nor what they were, but what they thought and did.

Unsurprisingly to anyone who can see the sorry state of affairs identity politics has brought us, it was an invention of the Right. A tool employed in order to provide some sort of united front against the tide of revolutionary spirit consuming America.

The Cultural Revolution was a vast movement which carried the hopes, aspirations and antagonisms of the African Americans, the Native and Hispanic, the poor, women, the young – practically everyone who became known as “special interests” in the in the Lippman-esque Crisis of Democracy.

In order to have a fighting chance against this groundswell which was rapidly speaking for anyone not frequenting the wine bars of D.C. or treating hangovers in Manhattan’s boardrooms, the Right conjured up an identity anyone should have been proud of: the WASP. Although this concept has its origins in the so-called Nativist Movement of the 19th century (moccasins and protruding copper cheekbones were notably absent) it was only in the 1960s that it really took off. White Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, this pointed declaration needed brains to back it up. The not quite canine William F. Buckley saw to that, while Wall Street supplied the brawn. Ronald Reagan, quite a bit later, supplied the, um well, “charm“.

A powerful electoral force was established. White working Christians were led to believe that they were the last line of defense in an existential battle with the ungodly forces of socialist agitation. A pretext which convinced WASPs to excuse the very worst excesses of American force. The sponsoring of brutal, occasionally genocidal dictators abroad and political assassination and mass-surveillance at home. All, they lied, were in defense of all-American values.

The white working class were conned into thinking their interests aligned with the elite’s interest, and this block is now a permanent obstacle fixture of American politics. That’s the origin of identity politics as we know it: born in the deceit and the backwards thinking of conservatism, and that’s where it ought to stay.

Paddy