X Close

Why is the Left calling me a fascist? Dare to suggest Labour combine socialist economics with the politics of place and they'll get the pitchforks out

The Modern Left now sees traditional —or conservative — values on social issues as an embarrassment. Credit: Leon Neal / Getty

The Modern Left now sees traditional —or conservative — values on social issues as an embarrassment. Credit: Leon Neal / Getty


November 27, 2020   4 mins

Imagine you wrote a book warning of the dangers of drugs, only to find yourself labelled a ‘junkie’. Or perhaps one in which you argued the case for women’s equality and were immediately denounced as a ‘misogynist’. Then imagine that your accusers, before casting these aspersions, hadn’t even read the thing.

Well, something along those lines happened to me this week. My book, Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Classanalyses the rupture between the British Left and working-class voters, and concludes that a contributory factor was the former’s increasing tendency towards authoritarianism and its habit of shutting down legitimate debate by dismissing opponents routinely as ‘fascists’, ‘xenophobes’, ‘racists’, and suchlike.

We see it all around us — this creeping despotism which seeks to engender an atmosphere in which any expression of unfashionable opinion is met with fierce condemnation. No longer, it seems, is the Left interested in winning hearts and minds or reconciling competing interests. Instead, every debate is viewed as a battle between good and evil, enlightened progressives versus reactionary bigots, tolerance against intolerance. It does leave one wondering why, if these people are so inherently right, they feel a constant need to wield pitchforks and hurl abuse at opponents rather than attempt to win them over through the power of argument.

Think kids are better off through being raised by two parents? Not terribly keen on Black Lives Matter? Support proper control of immigration? Don’t believe a man is a woman just because he says he is? Then, in the minds of many on today’s Left, you belong in the basket with all the other deplorables, and the debate should go no further. It is irrelevant that such views still hold currency across much of the land. Liberal-progressive types always know better.

But I digress. No sooner had the more fanatical among the Left got wind of Despised’s release than they were inveighing against it across social media. No matter that none of them had read so much as a single word of it yet; they apparently knew everything about it.

The Left shouldn’t touch the book with a barge pole, they warned. It was an apology for ‘fascism’, claimed some. Others portrayed it as a homage to Vichy France or a manifesto for a new style of ‘red-brown’ politics. All this because – horror of horrors – the synopsis contained a call for the Left to return to the “cultural politics of belonging, place and community”. That was enough for these people to know my secret and sinister motives in writing it.

That an entire chapter of the book is devoted to making the case for the Left to renounce its support for the soft totalitarianism we have seen emerge over recent years, and to renew its historical commitment to free expression and diversity of opinion — the very antithesis of fascism — mattered not a jot. I talk about all that ‘faith, family and flag’ stuff. So I am, by definition, a Blackshirt.

One prospective reviewer announced quite boldly that she couldn’t wait to get her hands on a copy – how kind – but as part of her preparation was swotting up on the far-right. That particular review will be a belter, I’m sure.

I’m not looking for any sympathy here. As a seasoned political activist, I’m unlikely to lose any sleep over the brickbats chucked by petulant student revolutionaries and latte-sipping bourgeois bohemians tapping furiously on their smartphones. You will not, I promise, hear of me being bullied off social media. In fact, I find the levels of hysteria mildly amusing.

But, to be serious for a moment. It is worth remarking on how extraordinary it is that a book written by someone rooted in the labour movement and making a straightforward call for the Left, as a means to winning back millions of lost working-class votes, to combine socialist economics with a much better focus on social solidarity and the politics of belonging, should provoke such fury among supposed political allies.

There was a time when Despised’s key arguments would have been considered mainstream on the Left. Not that long ago, in fact. But a Left that is these days far more concerned with personal autonomy, open borders and identity politics than it is community and class finds such views beyond the pale. And then it wonders why it experienced electoral annihilation.

This all serves to illustrate the mountain that is to be climbed if the Left is to again play any relevance in the lives of those working-class voters who no longer feel any affection for it. A schism occurred for good reason. A movement that once welcomed those who, on the one hand, wanted to see a fairer and more redistributive economy while, on the other, holding true to some traditional — dare it be said conservative — values on social issues now looks upon them as an embarrassment. It still wants their votes, of course. But it would sooner not be seen in public with them. And it thinks they really ought to keep their noxious opinions to themselves.

This modern Left inhabits a world of safe spaces, echo chambers and group-think. It doesn’t want arguments articulated or books written which challenge the new orthodoxy. And those who transgress – especially if they do so from within the movement – must be silenced or hounded.

It is a mindset that leads to the Kafkaesque situation where someone who rails against the new censorship and defends with every fibre the principles of democratic debate and pluralism can be demonised in all apparent sincerity as a ‘fascist’. It is unthinking, unreasoning twaddle.

Ultimately, there is no alternative to confronting and defeating these people. We need a united front across mainstream politics — and indeed wider society — to resist those who would see it as their mission to stifle open discussion and dissent as a means to securing ideological hegemony across our public life. They have enjoyed success so far only because they have too frequently been indulged. The only serious option now is to take them on.

Paul Embery’s book, Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class is published by Polity


Paul Embery is a firefighter, trade union activist, pro-Brexit campaigner and ‘Blue Labour’ thinker

PaulEmbery

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

356 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago

An excellent article. Myself and all my family were ‘Labour’ once upon a time. But the goalposts have moved so far I find myself on a different field. I get the impression that a lot of voices BTL on Unherd have similarly been made politically homeless by the intolerance of the ‘left’.

Tom Adams
Tom Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

With this mad ‘Conservative’ government in power, many of us on the right are also feeling politically homeless.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

It is a Conservative government (unfortunately) but of course there are people who are much further to the right.

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Conservative in name only.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Well there is nobody else at present. Certainly not Labour.

donald.couper
donald.couper
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Have you looked at the SDP? Not SDLP, but good old SDP, very sensible, just like Paul E.

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Well it could be worse we could have another Labour government . Look at the damage Blair did to Britain ? It’s now a prison state .
Freedom of speech and opinion is being curved and the Native British are branded Racist in their own land ‘ people are offended by the truth . The NHS is a joke . The Tories are just as bad and just as far left as labour

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

Sure thing. Just to clarify, I wouldn’t describe myself as being on the ‘left’ anymore; though not ‘right’ either. But like Paul Embery I would be called a ‘fascist’ within about 2 minutes of trying to discuss certain issues.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

Yes & Labour ARE still Anti-semitic which is ”Acceptable” to marxists,fascists &similar Extreme Left&Right organisations..

Clem Alford
Clem Alford
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Labour has done a deal with the Islamic group for vote banks as their demography has increased like anything. Hitler did it diring WW2 with the Grand Mufti of Jeusalem. Both hated the Brits and the Jews!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Clem Alford

“Labour has done a deal with the Islamic group for vote banks as their demography has increased like anything.”Any evidence for that, apart from far-right internet chatter?People vote how they like. Moslems would be well advised to vote Labour rather than Conservative given the depth of anti-Moslem racism in the Tory party. But whether they do is up to them. There are some Moslem Conservatives.David Cameron appointed Baroness Warsi as the Tory party’s first Moslem chairman. But since resigning over foreign policy, she has many times pointed to racism in the Tory party. So have other Moslem Conservatives.

Robin Banks
Robin Banks
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

The so-called Right Wing is nothing more than the imaginary adversary of Socialists. They can call you far-right for the crime of not being a Socialist.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Banks

You are denounced as ‘far-right’ if you dare to say one single solitary sensible remark.

That is the point.

The Destroyers want to get rid of such civilization as there is and see all humankind utterly degraded, everywhere.

For them a failed state is not a bug, it is a sublime feature; the Happy Hunting Ground of their dreams.

noahosborne1982
noahosborne1982
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Well said!

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Banks

These people are not Socialists. They are (mostly middle class) intolerant authoritarians masquerading as progressives. They care not one jot for traditional Socialist ideas. They are consumed with a religious fundamentalism ISIS would be proud of.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Banks

In the U.S. White Supremacist and other groups are a real threat. You might care to read my other statements here.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

I have been part of the “left” in the U.S. They aren’t antisemitic. Criticising Israeli policies isn’t antisemitism.
That being said, as a radical from my youth, I’m appalled and disgusted by the “cancel culture” and the looting both of which have destroyed lives.

Keith Robert
Keith Robert
3 years ago

Maybe it is time to walk away from the Democratic party and their violence ?

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

We have (maybe) reached the point at which the long pendulum swing of the 20th century away from duties and obligations that make any society and community, and toward individual rights and autonomy, might be about to start swinging back.

There are many expressions suddenly springing up of the new insurgency against the crazy universe of woke and the Jesuitical , Calvanistic (I know! it’s a bit mad to use the two but you get what I mean…they’re atheists but who manage to be religious nutters half the time) intolerance it has become.

Just adressing the book the trouble for the people who are the trouble within Labour is they just don’t like traditional working people and what they think, want and do.

They sneer about the *Traditional voter* as being a euphemism for *white, gammon and racist* , which it isn’t of course. Life and the ‘working class’ is far more variegated than the stupid soundbite labels these people try to pin on things.

The way you recognise facists these days isn’t shiny boots, and nifty Hugo Boss designed uniforms…it’s that they’re the ones always calling other people facsists

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

I would call You a fense sitter They are even worse

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

Speak for yourself. After Cameron and May.
I’m finally feeling comfortable being a Conservative again.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Taylor

But we still have people who represent Cameron and May policies. I am glad about the Brexit which Cameron and May didn’t want but there are other things that are not right with the Tories. At this very moment the Law Society is working on hate speech legislation for the Tories which looks very ominous to me and could severely curb freedom of speech.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Yep copied from European Court of Justice &SNP in Scotland..politicising judiciary, Police,BBC,Civil service need a thorough rinsing of politicos, ironically the mess by SARS2 might do that by default!

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Absolutely.
If the Law Society get their way, the tories might just as well hand Westminster over to krankie and the snp

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Is that Jimmy krankie ?

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Taylor

Now all you need is a party to vote for; the current lot certainly aren’t.

Frederick Parkinson
Frederick Parkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  J A Thompson

F Parkinson
UKIP is still active and is not the extreme right that the MSM say it is. Go on line and read its manifesto: many policies have been adopted by the right and left.

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago

Thanks

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Taylor

Labour and Tories are both as bad . They have both destroyed Britain . Wilson ‘ Blair ‘ Cameron ‘ may and Johnson for what good he is .
There was only Margaret Thatcher with a backbone in my lifetime

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

That is very true. They have been won over by Stonewall which is the sexual politics they represent. I very much believe in marriage but it is Stonewall who have vowed to end heterosexual marriage while the tories sit idly by and spout their policies. With the left dead maybe we will see some new parties coming forth.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

Understandable, but have the Conservative really been conservative in any real way since 1980?

The traditional political left and traditional conservatives have both been pretty politically homeless for 30 or 40 years.

Robin Banks
Robin Banks
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

Cameron and May were useless, but I didn’t have much choice regarding casting a vote.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Banks

Boris is mad though. He was so terrorized by his neat miss at death, and my guess is found out he totally lacks the nerve to face that, and that realization that he is fundamentally a coward broke him. Now he is a mere husk being led about by SAGE on one side and Carrie on the other. The man is proven to be the mere glib popinjay I always suspected him of being, and now a hollow one at that, a sock puppet.

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Banks

Like all the Torie supporters hey ? Vote for them or swap and Vote labour and that idiot Corbin ?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

What do you regard as ‘mad’ about them?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

The conservatives are not far right at all. They’re closer to Blairites. But of course any move to punish or deport criminals or terrorists, or to maintain borders or sovereignty, never before considered radical positions, gets you labelled a Nazi nowadays. Even Britain First get upset if you call them racist. The real far right exist but if Boris is a far right Nazi then then the real Nazis might need a new name.

Eddie Martyn
Eddie Martyn
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

I vote for nobody because honest people don’t go into politics

Last edited 3 years ago by Eddie Martyn
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

To conclude that, you have to focus on identity politics at the expense of everything else. Whether you (or your Father or granny) get an NHS hip replacement or struggles along in constant pain is less important than trans rights?? Whether you have rights at work or have them taken away by the bosses is less important than your mate at a match being allowed to throw a banana at a black player ‘as a prank’ without being prosecuted for racism?? And so on?

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Don’t tar me with your prejudices: ie ‘ your mate at a match being allowed to throw a banana at a black player’… I went to a few football matches as a kid but gave up because of the violence – that was in the 70s. I don’t have any ‘mates’ who would throw bananas at people.
My family will be more or less well served by the NHS whether Labour or the Tories are in power, though neither party represents my views.
I’m very happy for trans people to have rights, but would like to live in country where people can ask questions about huge numbers of young people undergoing extreme (and costly) medical treatments without being subjected to some howling hate-filled mob.
Your comments suggest a person with a very simple ‘us and them’ view of the world; I would suggest things are more complex.
And so on…

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

That take with the* banana throwing football fans* shade cast is actually an example of why for the time being Labour is where it is…it’s so stupid, simplistic and lazy.

Helen Barbara Doyle
Helen Barbara Doyle
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The whole kneeling to BLM thing is based on the view many have of football fans as racists who would enjoy throwing a banana at a black player.

Might have happened many years ago but not for two decades at least.

You need to get out more and stop being prejudiced against white people who in the main long ago stopped noticing skin colour, at least until BLM told them how evil they were.

Pete the Other
Pete the Other
3 years ago

From an outsider’s point of view the modern left more or less is fascism. Its roots lie in Communism, yes, just as did Oswald Mosley’s iteration. (Interestingly, he had a stained-glass hammer-and-sickle window installed in his house, still there when a TV show went over it in the Nineties or thereabouts). As with the Nazis, it operates by infiltrating and taking over businesses and other institutions, rather than destroying the leadership and installing its own as the Bolsheviks did. It has even taken to fielding black-shirted paramilitaries …

Of course, it will deny this vehemently and with lots of ideological hairsplitting; but it also refuses to study what it denies, so does not even realise where it is going.

Being called a fascist by that lot is merely ironic.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete the Other

Exactly.

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete the Other

Indeed. Taking over business rather than destroying it was fascism 101. It was the only real distinction, in practice, between fascism and communism, and it was essentially a different means to the same end, rather than an end in itself. Ultimately, fascism is a thing of the left, one of the long list of sub-“isms” that communism spewed, like Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, etc.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  ard10027

People like Belloc said, a century ago, that communism and capitalism are two sides of the same coin – not both of the left, but that the left and right are mirrors or each other, accomplishing the same thing – the elite control the means of production which also gives them political control. So communism through the state controlling business directly, and capitalism by business taking over the state. You could easily add in fascism by the state indirectly taking over business. The point being that left and right in any of these is a distinction without a real difference, and a distraction.

Robin Banks
Robin Banks
3 years ago

I would go further and say that there is no Left or Right, but simply Socialists, (or whatever their name is this year: Marxists, Communists, Nazis, Progressives, Democrats, Fascists – add neo- to them as you please), and normal people; i.e. the majority of people who have no clue as regards the sinister intentions of the minority. They are easily fooled by names – ministry of truth, the people’s republic of , , ,

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete the Other

Antifa came from 1930s Germany where a Communist group were trying to take over the country with identical tactics as the Nazis. Their goal was a Marxist form of Fascism, and thus to differentiate themselves called them anti-Fascists. They exist today just as they were then!

From school decades ago: Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production (Land Labour, Capital)

Socialism the State control of the means of production.

Communism the State ownership of the means of production.

Socialism and fascism are two flavors of the same totalitarian state. The Nazis name came from ‘National Socialism’ shortened.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

“Socialism the State control of the means of production……Socialism and fascism are two flavors of the same totalitarian state. “

Interesting discussion, but since this is a discussion about UK politics in general and the UK Labour party’s ill-advised deference to woke ideology in particular, and most of the means of production are currently in the hands of capitalists and would remain so under a Labour Government, it’s not terribly relevant.

BTW, 65% of the UK public, including a large proportion of Tory voters commuting by train from Kent and Surrey into their jobs in the City of London, support taking the railways back into public ownership, I guess that must mean that even Tories support the socialism which you regard as creating a totalitarian state?!

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete the Other

The idea that political thought is a kind of line with left-centre-right is just not correct. It’s more like a circle where everybody from 20 to the hours( left wing) and twenty past (right wing) can differ but at least argue/debate sensibly.

From 20- past to 20-to that starts to get impossible and at half past it’s impossible to tell the difference between left crazies and right crazies.

Orwell knew this and put it in his book.

What he didn’t have to incorporate was Social Media which is way too disproportionately filled by people inhabiting the minute 30 seconds either side of half-past…indistinguishable in their nastiness, invective,political beliefs and basically, narcissism.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Paul, you’re great and I’ve watched all your interviews in recent years on Triggernometry and the New Culture Forum etc. The cover of your new book is a classic – you should send a framed version of the original to Emily Thornberry. However, as Daniel Goldstein says below:

‘Seriously, Paul, I love what you do, but the time has come for people like us to leave the Labour Party and embrace free speech.’

It’s time to move on, to either start a new party or to join Farage or Laurence Fox. They are both much closer to your belief system than the current Labour Party, which will never be anything but anti-British and anti-worker. (Well, anti private sector worker and non-managerial public sector worker).

As you have said in interviews, the Labour Party would not accept you as a prospective MP despite the fact that you’ve given your life to them, so why should you give them any more of your life or time?

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Thank you for quoting me! I like the sound of what Fox is doing. Of course, he’s hated by the mob too, which must be a good sign.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

How about the SDP?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

Who?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

Don’t mention the SDP to me. They would almost be worse than labour if that was possible. The ones I spoke to were obsessed by young boys. When I brought it up they said “Well the Arabs had their whipping boys”. These were SDP canvassers for the election would you believe.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

They blocked me for having a lighthearted pop at Galloway – so much for freedom of speech

Tobias Olds
Tobias Olds
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

When was this?
It was originally a Liberal Party, but is now quite different – more communitarian.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

And yet as a poor working class Englishman you want me to vote for them?
I have watched you being interviewed on YouTube on various channels and you have admitted the Labour Party would never have you as a politician and you are 25 years a member and were/are a trade union official.
Why should I ever vote for a party like that because I know in my heart of hearts they hate me and my friends and my family and my class?
Where’s our representation?
Where’s our diversity quota?
Your Labour Party is I hope is finished because in my life has turned its back on us, demeans us, insults us, belittles us and is the party of the middle classes.
In one interview you mention Steven kinnock, what a bad joke, the son of an mp, rich upper middle class not working class, a new prince for a new aristocracy!
Sir Keira starmer is my mp and he is just the new aristocracy as well.
New labour worse than the old labour, labour even worse than new labour and on and on and on ad nasuem

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Stephen Kinnock isn’t upper middle class. And he’s actually quite sympathetic to social conservatism.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago

Suppose his parents having rather more than a few bob in the bank and fat EU pensions may give him a leg up when they pass

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago

I don’t recall him campaigning for a People’s Vote, because he accepted the referendum result. Just because someone has prominent parents, doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening to.

Patrick Pending
Patrick Pending
3 years ago

but it does give him a platform, finance and routes through to privilege not available to the working class which wrongly legitimises him in the media and establishments’ eyes

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Since when has anyone on the right been opposed to finance and routes through to privilege?

Daniel is right, Stephen Kinnock talked sense over Brexit, unlike many.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It is perfectly reasonable to point out those on the left who denounce privilege but come from it

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

But apart from point-scoring, it doesn’t get you anywhere apart from indulging your hostility to anyone, from any background, who is on the left. Better to stick to the arguments, maybe? Which in this case are that Stephen Kinnock stuck to respecting the result of the Brexit referendum, Labour’s 2017 manifesto policy which got considerable support from the electors at the polls.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I did not know you were related to Stephen Kinnock. When I am lectured by a politician or public figure on privilege and I find that they owe their position and platform to privilege and wealth I am obviously going to call hypocrite. I am agnostic about privilege and wealth as such, it has always existed and always will. What I loath is those that are far more privileged and wealthy than me and the rest of the prols lecture us about our privilege

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The constant Kinnock-bashing is very tiresome. We need better arguments than rallying against Stephen’s parents.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

ChrisC’s tremendous chip on his shoulder is becoming very tiresome.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

I’m sure you find it awkward to reflect that – for example – the financial crisis was created by rich investment bankers and hedge funds, while the Tories have ensured that much of the impact has fallen on people at the bottom of the pile who have no responsibliity for it.

But then I’m forgetting, we’re all “supposed” to be focussing on attacking the very people who critique the banksters, and celebrating that members of the parliamentary wing of the City of London have seized some traditionally Labour constituencies. The Independent did a useful job a couple of weeks ago by examining the backgrounds of those MPs; they are actually more privileged than the average MP, which is saying something in the age of Boris Johnson.

Hilariously, the Independent pointed out that one of the (non-Northern- Wall) Tory MPs who belongs to the “working class Conservatives” parliamentary group tells people that he went from being a lorry driver to Parliament. What he doesn’t mention is that the lorry driver job was during the gap year between Winchester College (fees £43,000 pa) and attending the same Cambridge college which his grandfather and father also attended, before heading into the City of London. All on merit, of course.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The 2008 – 2009 Bankers collapse was totally engineered to harvest the accumulated money of the productive people. That is how the elites do it, recession! See, they plant their little potatoes out to get the economy growing, nurture it, and then in season harvest the crop by the means of recession (too much to explain here)

Covid lockdowns are merely the same device. The 2009 one the elites harvested as much as 100 trillion globally, this one will be fatter! Note how the MSM IS where all policy is set. Every story is included or omitted to make the sheep do as desired. The rogue government exists by the ‘DONOR’ class who fund their lackeys so decode who can afford to win political campaigns. And when they fund your campaign they own your soul as surely as the devil owns one sold to him.

That no one went to prison (almost no one) for the 2009 thing is proof how corrupt the world is. That none will go to prison (or better the block) for this lockdown mess is terrible.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

This is conspiracy theory where there are more straightforward explanations which don’t involve conspiracies.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Labours demise in 2019 was due to keir starmers Missive ”Reverse Brexit” he is more concerned with getting Jihadi brides into UK, They like Tories-Greens-Lib-dims-Snp-plaid ARE irrelevant especially North of M25

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

Or come to it.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago

The issue surely is that the working class need greater representation, and not Stephen’s fault for attempting to represent them.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

Anyone who professes to be on the left and then campaigns to remain in the EU is no friend of the working class

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

I’m not sure that anyone on the left who campaigns for Brexit is acting in the best interests of the working class. As I see it, the whole Remain/Leave shtick was a battle between two different factions of the ruling class – one that believes they can get richer and have more status via protectionism and nationalism – and the other that believes globalism and open borders offers the best prospects.
The working classes are just their useful idiots, to be marched on stage as and when they need them. It’s not a fight that we really have any stake in.

I voted Remain in the referendum but if there had been a second referendum I would have abstained.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

Not always you are right, but it will take an effort if you have parents like that.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

He never once accepted the referendum result. With others, he tried for over 3 years in Parliament to block and delay its implementation.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Your dogmatic statements don’t bear much relationship to fact.

Try https://www.stephenkinnock…. which includes the statement “We need to leave….”.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

Not much better than bribery against the interests of Britain. Blair went the same way I believe. I am not sure if they got to Cameron but I wouldn’t be surprised. Money seems to talk. So much for the good of our country.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago

His parents are both career EU politicians who are almost certainly millionaires, he has followed their hereditary vocation and is married to a former EU Prime Minister.
You couldn’t get more upper-middle class than that nowadays.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Yeah his parents joined the undemocratic EU Eurocrat gravy train and were bought against the interests of our country.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

A member of the political establishment, sure (which possibly gives him a unique insight into politics). However, by the standard definitions, they are not upper-middle-class. David Cameron and Boris Johnson and UMC. Kinnock’s family are solidly (middle) middle-class. Also, didn’t miners do the same job as their parents? Nepotism does exist, for sure, but it isn’t exclusive to the UMC. Not everyone who speaks well is upper-middle-class, a fact lost on many people. Neil Kinnock was a product of social mobility, as far as I can tell. He has working-class roots, his children don’t.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

I nwouldn’t say Stephen Kinnock, or any of his family are “upper middle class” In fact, I think they have no class at all. They are just slobs who have managed to get rich by one means or another.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

You’re obsessed by class…come up for air!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

He should be, his parents hold a “royal flush” of state pensions between them, a truly massive reward for abject failure.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

One day someone will write a book about the EU gravy train and the high privelege they bestow on those who back them using the member countries contributions.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

“They” can’t help it. They suckle corruption from their mothers teats, as they have done for centuries immemorial.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

Not like his Eurocrat dad then.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I disagree with my dad on some things too.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

And a staunch gravy train Remainer

Jonny Nottsville
Jonny Nottsville
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Just out of interest, how do you define what Class you`re in?

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Stop being rude you will be allocated the definition of your working class status when Mr. Kinnock or Mr. Hannan require your political services.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Starmer seems very in with Corbyn from the pictures. Why is he now wanting to distance himself. Did he bring anything up whilst he was so close to Corbyn?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

There’s an unhealthy obsession with identity politics on this thread, which matches the unhealthy obsession with identity politics in some parts of the left.

Most of politics is about whether you have decent public services or whether you run them down. I know people on the right who favour the latter because “everyone who matters” goes private – though they won’t be telling the voters that when they canvass for the Tory party, of which they are active members, they only express those views to me across a dinner table.

It’s also about what rights you have at work, if you are an employee. Those on the right want ‘a poor working class Englishman’ loike you to have fewer rights. And if you join a trade union, they will really have it in for you. After all, people like you (and me) are supposed to have the freedom only to obey, while they have the freedom to do what they like in the economic sphere. Sick pay, holiday pay, pensions?…….. that’s sooooo socialist! They’ll cut those for people like you while the executives award themselves a 50% rise.

As for economic justice, their view is that if you end up on a zero hours contract, like an ever-increasing number, then that’s fine by them. Meanwhile, they want the taxes paid by millionaire bankers cut because it’s “unjust” that millionaires should pay 45% income tax while you pay 20%.

These are the realities while identity politics obsessives distract themselves with controversies over trans rights.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

All is identity politics. That is the reason for the greatest movement of people in history, to divide the Western peoples so they cannot self rule to their group benefit as it is all sub groups and ‘communities’ and Nationalism has been made a dirty word. Like Rome when the tribes moved onto their empire’s lands. First it seemed like an economic boon, but not so much as we know.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

If you work on “All is identity politics” then you end up with a distorted view. It’s as bad as “all is Return on Average Capital Employed”, “All is struggle against capitalism”, “all is the environment”. They all produce unbalanced viewpoints (VERY roughly, company managements of my acquaintance, far left groups, and the Green party).

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

Never kissed a Tory emblazoned on her one size fits all sweatshop produced garment. You are safe my dear, I have never kissed a pig. You can dress a pig in Armani but its always going to grunt and fart at the table.
In my youth there were rag days. The uni students handed out the rag week mag which consisted of adverts for local businesses and contained some some cracking jokes. Their “protest” (I dont even think they regarded it as such) that Summer when Hendrix and the summer of love were making way for the 70’s. Their wizard prank involved a statue of Queen Victoria. A pair of huge slippered feet, left and right, were covered in white emulsion paint and the footsteps from the plinth in the square on which Victoria had cast her beady eye over the decades she had been there were clearly marked to the local all night public convenience with the return set of feet leading back to her plinth. To top it off some wag had fashioned a toilet seat big enough and in scale to the size of her head and placed it around her neck with a speech bubble declaring “One had needed that for years”. That weekend it raised plenty of attention and on Monday morning, unusual for students they had cleaned the emulsion paint up from everywhere, not leaving a spec of paint. Even Vic herself got a wash and towel dried. That was about the extent of the Uni’s prank. No loud marchers taking a knee or beatifying some known American drug user who was killed more by his habit than the cops. No forcibly demanding that bystanders should repeat their chants and choruses. Not a sniff of violence, no arrests, no stand off. The students were raising money for their rag week, not protesting and disrupting the lives and travels of their host City. It was the same until the 80’s when a dark element of the Militant movement were used like flying pickets, causing violence and mayhem wherever they turned up.
Now I am no longer a white, middle class, responsible, heterosexual, husband, employee and Father. I am a white supremacist, privileged racist, Christian, BLM and ANTIFA hater. They wont entertain debate or peaceful robust exchange of views. They prefer to have the latest trainers and designer wear, all removed when the shops are closed. Then punch you in the face for daring to make them see reason. At last, several of we indigenous old(er) men have joined together – should our City ever be subjected to the travelling looters who tag onto Uni “protesters” there will be opposition and equal force used to repel the troublemakers. A sympathetic whistle blower gives us the heads up about upcoming or planned events. This bandwagon needs derailing – the sooner the better. Time the streets were taken back,

Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Thank you, Paul, for daring to speak up for the more mature, and dare I say sane, among us.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

“…..beatifying some known American drug user who was killed more by his habit than the cops”

George Floyd died because the cops knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and he suffocated.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

He died because he robbed a shop and resisted arrest while high on fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

And killing him in the street by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes was absolutely the only way to subdue him? They couldn’t handcuff him for example?

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Why are we arguing about this? America is a foreign country. Americans have to sort it out.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Maybe but it did affect our country.

Peter Griffiths
Peter Griffiths
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I think you will find that the autopsy found no evidence of suffication. He had heart disease, hypertension and sickle cell trait. In addition to fentanyl and methamphetamine, the toxicology report from the autopsy showed that Floyd also had cannabinoids in his system when he died. So probably not the angel depicted in the murals.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Again, this sounds to me like myth-making to avoid confronting reality. But Arnold below has a good point.

Tom Adams
Tom Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You seem very clear on the cause of death. Consider, he was saying he couldn’t breath – a symptom of heart failure – while he was still on his feet.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

We all agree it was wrong and that he was no saint. As you say maybe he could have been handcuffed. We don’t know of any scuffles that happened before this.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

“killing him in the street by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes was absolutely the only way to subdue him?”

That is not what happened.

Have you watched the collected footage of all the bodycams of all the cops involved? I have. It is not a pleasant experience. But, it makes utterly clear that the few minutes of video that sparked the explosion of protest, looting and violence was not representative at all. He was not suffocated by being knelt on. It was much, much more nuanced than that.

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Sorry, but are you suggesting that there was no bad policing at play here at all and that George Floyd and other like him simply deserve their extrajudicial death sentences and we should just accept that?

Because that would be a pretty ludicrous assertion. Sam Harris’ tipping point podcast goes through this in depth – it may certainly not be institutionalised racism at play, but George Floyd and others like Tony Timpa did not deserve to die. They did not bring their own deaths on themselves. That was woefully inadequate police training.

Policing in America requires serious reform and training must improve, for the universal benefit of the overworked and maligned officers themselves on the ground, and for those they are meant to police. This, I think, is something many of us can agree on.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

For sure there was terrible policing. Kneeling on anybody’s neck for 8 minutes while passers-by are begging them to stop.
But George Floyd was no Emmett Till. He was – in the words of a black American academic I read – a nasty violent man who me a nasty violent death.

Tony Timpa was a much worse case from what I have read – he wasn’t a violent criminal high on drugs when the police suffocated him. I can’t help thinking BLM chose the wrong poster boy.

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

On that, I think, we agree. George Floyd was certainly no saint by any definition of the word, and there does seem to be a rather understandable human urge to canonise those who met tragic ends however little they seem to have helped themselves in life.

What’s important, however, is that the root causes of these issues – bad policing, bad community outreach, bad role models amongst those living in these communities, bad incentives to escape their conditions, and a corrosive, self-perpetuating, and – above all – false white supremacy narrative – are seriously tackled over the next decade so regardless.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

Yes we can agree on that but I would also say that the police have to protect themselves from drug crazy criminals with weapons and cannot afford to be sitting ducks.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

Policing in America certainly does require serious reform.Currently it has more in common with the lynch mob than with a credible law enforcing agency.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Firebird, you are a sheep/parrot with no idea. I am from London many decades ago, moved to America after leaving home and know both sides of the Atlantic. USA cops are dedicated. They hold their badge to serve and protect very seriously. USA is a tough place, if policed by the PC gone mad, gently, gently, Bobbies the streets would be impossible!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

The streets ARE “impossible” if you are murdered by a policeman who, having got you on the ground, could simply have handcuffed you and put you in a cell to simmer down. Or a policeman who shoots an unarmed person, in another case.

anddean
anddean
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

No – he died of a heart attack and was saying he couldn’t breathe before he left his car.
The following are some signs of a fentanyl overdose:

Loss of consciousness
Unresponsive to outside stimulus
Awake, but unable to talk
Breathing is very slow and shallow, erratic, or has stopped

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  anddean

Just a coincidence that a cop was kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes then?

I think you are trying to avoid facing up to reality. It would be a lot more realistic to say that yes there are some racist cops in America but it’s not a good reason for UK companies to be anxiously trying to appoint people to fill diversity quotas rather than appointing on ability.

Steve G
Steve G
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

While most people, I’m sure, would be appalled by this, I saw no evidence of racism here? I watched the video and did not hear the police saying anything racist.

Agreed, the restraint appeared appalling, but what makes you think it was racist?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve G

Fair question, but it seems to happen a lot to black people over there.

Tom Adams
Tom Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Follow the data, not what ‘seems’ to be the case. Death by cop is proportionally almost equal between white/black.
And when Chauvin says he was applying minimal (if any) force to the neck, who can prove otherwise?

Steve G
Steve G
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

So no evidence that this was a racist incident then? Of course, it might have been, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest it was.

andrea bertolini
andrea bertolini
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You sound like a broken record

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Look at the statistics – proportionally more unarmed white than black killed by the police. Look at all the other statistics re violence – it is the white who are more at risk, plus, many of the perpetrators are themselves black policemen and the subsequent investigations are often by black officials. Too many people see justice in these cases as the outcome they want rather than a true appraisal of the events and scream foul if they do not get their way.
Bad policing is bad, but so is the use to which this death is being put, said use being nothing whatsoever to do with the value or otherwise of black, or any other, lives.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  J A Thompson

That is what I read as well. Whites are in greater danger than blacks because of the perception of the media about blacks.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Happens to lots of white and Hispanic people too

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Black people in the US are caught in a trap. The right demonizes them and the left infantilizes them.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Agree.

anddean
anddean
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Kneeling on the back of someone’s neck does not cause asphyxiation. I’ve spent much time in the States and there is, undeniably, a lot of racism, both white and black.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Exactly.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Or 8 out of 9 ads where the protagonist is black or mixed race when the black population is less than 4% in the UK – it’s no more than woke capitalism

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

George Floyd died because he was involved in an act of theft. Was out of his mind on illegal drugs and resisted arrest. When it goes to court this will be the judgement.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Taylor

Get real. He died because a cop knelt on his neck for 8 minutes while he begged to be allowed to breathe.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

One cop to be precise which was very wrong but I sense the marxists got in and made it something else.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

True, but play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Iain Scott Shore
Iain Scott Shore
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Well said, Paul.

Pierre Brute
Pierre Brute
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Bravo. Great post.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Wonderful that they cleaned it up afterwards.

emma.southby
emma.southby
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

“You are safe my dear, I have never kissed a pig. You can dress a pig in Armani but its always going to grunt and fart at the table.”
Oh yes Paul – “Bravo. Great post. Well said. How mature!”
Not words I would use to describe misogynistic, body shaming, and name calling.

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

“Never kissed a Tory emblazoned on her one size fits all sweatshop produced garment. You are safe my dear.”
Not so sure about that, checked shirt beside her looks ready to do more than kiss her

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

And why on earth would any Tory want to kiss either of those two?

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Ha ha. Maybe a Tory very, very heavily into S&M perhaps?

Gerard Havercroft
Gerard Havercroft
3 years ago

Or deeply disappointed with himself

Pierre Brute
Pierre Brute
3 years ago

Just the ‘M’ part.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

Or a tory who had lost his white stick and guide dog.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Just because you’re mean – doesn’t mean you’re wrong 😉

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Quite! My first thought on seeing that picture was “Lucky old Tories!”

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Why do anything? For the experience, to be the first. I would kiss her, and be proud to.

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago

It does leave one wondering why, if these people are so inherently right, they feel a constant need to wield pitchforks and hurl abuse at opponents rather than attempt to win them over through the power of argument.

I can answer that one, though it’s not a happy answer. It goes like this:

1) The arguments for progressive positions are widely available and scientifically and ethically indisputable.

2) It is the moral duty of people to inform themselves of those arguments. Any good person will do so without needing to be prompted.

3) Therefore, if you do not already know that progressives are right, you have either made the choice of not seeking out the truth or made the choice of rejecting the truth when you saw it. In either case, the only possible reason you might have done so is because the truth was inconvenient to you and you lack the moral integrity to accept inconvenient truths.

4) Therefore, anyone who does not already agree with progressive positions is someone who is impossible to persuade and it’s a waste of effort to try.

Or to put it more succinctly: they genuinely believe that anyone who disagrees with them is impervious to reason and morals. Given that, they see the torches and pitchforks as their only option.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago

“Scientifically and ethically indisputable”, “moral duty”, “…any good person…”. What utter manipulative drivel. Trollspeak through and through. But I guess you know that ““ you are here to stir up a fight not to engage in a discussion.

In Björkmanland there is no discussion to be had ““ “indusputable”(?!). Don’t you think the readers here know a calculated provocation when they see it?

kildare54
kildare54
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Hasn’t Bjork put words into mouths ?

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  kildare54

only into those that had nothing in them previously

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Wow, that one really went over your head, didn’t it?

Mr Bjorkman isn’t saying this is what he believes, he is describing what those on the left believe; describing the internal logic which drives them to be so intolerant of dissent. And he has pretty much nailed it.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Funny that we are being accused as being intolerant by the intolerant.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Gosh! Do you mean it was a load of old irony?

Bill Eaton
Bill Eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I think you have completely misunderstood the point that Daniel is making. He is not trolling.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Calm down, Bjorkman’s describing not moralising.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I gather he is not an admirer of the comments section of UnHerd ““ although a frequent, often bombastic, user.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I agree, but also think his commentary is reasonable in the present instance.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

Or put it anther way, if you don’t agree with them you are a “deplorable”

Iain Scott Shore
Iain Scott Shore
3 years ago

Very good, and nicely put. So reminiscent of true fascism/communism in its naked form.

Andy Redman
Andy Redman
3 years ago

So they’re a morally absolute cult, too certain of their own correctness? Yep, about right – they should have “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” wrote large on their party documentation

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

Insightful psychology.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
3 years ago

I have a very different answer to this. This is about power, not about ‘being inherently right (or any other sort of right)’. There is no point in ‘winning people over through the power of argument’ because sincere argument might leave you discovering that the good arguments are on the other side, and changing your position, which would make this about truth and not power. That’s not what is happening here. This is about being able to express your own power, force people to profess faith in things they most certainly do not believe, whether or not your side is the side with the truth. Your side is the side with the power, and that is all that matters. Usually mob rule burns itself out after the mob has to go home, sleep, eat and do other things. With twitter, mob rule is a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year proposition, and those would-be-demagogues who thought they could really make a difference if only they could have a permanent mob surrounding them are going to get a chance to try.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago

Sabrina Huck and her ilk really are something else. Beyond a joke. Seriously, Paul, I love what you do, but the time has come for people like us to leave the Labour Party and embrace free speech. It’s no wonder that Huckster has “Labour for Free Movement” on her Twitter profile banner. Yep, let’s just open the doors to the world. As Douglas Murray suggests, these people will struggle to answer the question of “how many is too many?” The hard left really need to be crushed, but in the meantime I just hope they become irrelevant. This Huck woman is even complaining about Christmas being a white Christian celebration or some such nonsense. Beyond parody. A pseudo academic in her little ivory tower. Patriotism really does disturb their pathetic world view.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

Better than a Voodoo celebration.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I think the woke left prefer Eid nowadays, although they wouldn’t be interested in Hannukah.

JohnW
JohnW
3 years ago

I was a pretty active member of the Labour party in London through the 1980s/90s, coming from a working class Merseyside family via grammar school and ‘plate glass’ university. The two most unpleasant, snobbish groups of people I have ever met in my life were the ‘Blair Babes’ of the Labour Party and senior trades union officials. If you look at the biogs of some of the Blair Babes, it’s not surprising:
Patricia Hewitt is the daughter of Sir Lenox Hewitt, Secretary of the Australian Prime Minister’s Department, and later chairman of Qantas, and Lady (Hope) Hewitt.
Margaret Hodge attended Oxford High School as a boarder.
Tessa Jowell was educated at the independent St Margaret’s School for Girls.
Harriet Harman was privately educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School. Her paternal aunt was Countess of Longford and her cousins include Lady Antonia Fraser.
etc.
And if they despised those of us who got into grammar schools (which they absolutely did), imagine what they thought of people who couldn’t even manage that.

ruari53
ruari53
3 years ago
Reply to  JohnW

I wouldn’t describe any of those veteran ladies as ‘Blair Babes’.

JohnW
JohnW
3 years ago
Reply to  ruari53

So who would you describe as “Blair babes”?

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  JohnW

The term was used for the younger 1997 intake of female Labour MPs.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

Yep, they mingled pleasingly with the Union Jacks in Downing Street when he took office. Not bad for a British hating sell-out internationlaist bourgeois capitalist ‘leftist’ Europeanist, eh?

Politicans selected for TV. as vacuous as one could get. I listened to one recently admitted ‘babe’ on ‘Today’ at the time. She had only one thing to say, and repeated it, practically word-for-word in response to every question. Pre-programmed in advance of course.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

So entirely unlike a right-wing Tory on ‘Today’ then?

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

There are no current ‘right-wing’ Tories. Like the term left ‘right’ refers to different in some ways contradictory things. But the modern Tory Party is communitarian and Liberal, in a way that formerly was not the case prior to Thatcher. Johnson makes noises but the Party has caved in to every fashionable leftist cause since Thatcher brought in the wets in the 80s.

Just to clarify. I am an not a Tory, have never either supported or voted for them (in fact I haven’t voted on anything, including Brexit, since about 1983 – a choice between 3 liberal, pro-European, parties is no choice at all). I used to be Scottish Old Labour Unionist (i.e. moderately socially conservative, while open to some left economic ideas) but that party is now dead. I, unfortunately, am still alive.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Of course there are “current ‘right-wing’ Tories”. Daniel Hannan (former MEP, no doubt he will get a constituency to select him for Parliament soon) described the existence of the NHS as “a sixty year mistake” in 2008. Dominic Raab is in the Cabinet a supporter of the IEA whose nostrums include slashing tax for the richest, abolishing the NHS, abolishing the minimum wage, and abolishing workers’ rights to redundancy payments. Right-wing enough for you?

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Hannan’s comment about the NHS being a 60 year mistake, is correct. If indeed it was his comment.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

So presumably he was not born in an nhs hospital, otherwise he would be a product of that 60 year mistake. 🙂

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

Dunno, but most of those people ensure they have as little to do with the great mass of the British people as possible. Remember the Tory MP who said that he’d rather die in a gutter than send his child to a state school?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Feel free to explain your hard-right support for abolishing the NHS to the northern wall ex-Labour conservative voters who feature so largely in this discussion. That should guarantee that Labour wins most of those seats back next time. That and Dominic Cummings breaking the lockdown by driving to Barnard Castle ‘to test his eyesight’, and Tory MPs for those northern wall constituencies voting against giving holiday-time food vouchers to parents of free-school-meals children whose family incomes have been cut by covid restrictions. Both of those issues are reported to have really cut through to newbie Tory voters, but supporting the abolition of the NHS should really nail it home.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Are they not just CINO abolitionists that virtue signal their neo-liberal destruction to their RINO neo-liberal friends across the pond.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

I think you have put the “unfortunately” in the wrong place.
Would it not be better to write:
“…but that party, unfortunately, is now dead. I am still alive”

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  ruari53

They might have been then.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  JohnW

Seems to confirm my above point

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  JohnW

So you’d better let the Tories run the country instead. Sending your kids to a state school? How downmarket, you’re clearly not what those people call “People like Us”, the spending on your child will have fallen 8% in real terms, unlike the education of their own children. Relying on the NHS? – how eccentric, ‘everyone who matters’ can afford to pay for private treatment. Expecting to have rights at work? – rights are for the boardroom, not the workers.

Oh, but they’ll indulge in culture wars (enthusiastically assisted by idiots on the left) in order to throw you some crumbs while they look after themselves and their own kind.

That’s the reality, not the obsession with wokeness which is shared between some on the right and some on the left.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I do agree wokeness is on both sides of the divide. Unfortunately although on balance the tories have a few extra sensible people than the left have.

Liz Wills
Liz Wills
3 years ago
Reply to  JohnW

Why focus on the women? People can transcend their background. I worked with many of those people as well and wouldn’t lump them into one like this. There wasn’t a whiff of the snobbery you’ve suggested for this comp educated woman, just a focus on equality and getting things done.

frances heywood
frances heywood
3 years ago
Reply to  JohnW

re Margaret Hodge; in 2007, she commented on the severe shortage of public housing in her constituency, Barking and Dagenham –
‘we should look at policies where the legitimate sense of entitlement felt by the indigenous family overrides the legitimate need demonstrated by the new migrants’

for this remark, opprobium was heaped upon her and she was called a racist by Labour supporters and MPs.

Paul Embery knows B and D very well, and has commented on the bewilderment felt by many working class residents – it was a very settled commmunity – at the speed with which their neighbourhood changed as a result of mass immigration. They had no say in this.
A few years ago I was waiting for a council officer, in the foyer of the B and D housing department. It was utter chaos – individuals and families with suitcases, just arrived from the airport. I felt sorry for the over worked officers who had to deal with it all. And the indigenous families who were waiting, even longer, on the housing list.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Some discrepancy here.

JohnW implies that because of her education, Margaret Hodge is one of those who despises ordinary folk.

Frances Heywood records that Margaret Hodge bravely pointed out that indigenous folk were having their noses put out of joint by the demands created by new migrants. That would seem to disprove JohnW’s claim.

frances heywood
frances heywood
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

no need for the snide reply. I agreed with Margaret Hodge’s comment – whether or not she can be described as a Blair Babe. And it’s not a question of the indigenous folk ‘having their noses put out of joint’ – which suggests you think they should shut up and not complain – housing is a serious issue. Residents who have been on the waiting list for years and who have history in a locality and feel they have legitimate entitlement, are bound to feel angry when incomers claiming ‘need’ are given priority.
I happen to know Barking and Dagenham quite well, and as a former Labour voter, I am interested and impressed with much of what Paul Embery has to say.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Since you agree with Margaret Hodge (as do I), JohnW was clearly incorrect to state that because of her education Margaret Hodge is one of those who despises ordinary folk. That was my comment. It was not a “snide reply”.

acarterno34
acarterno34
3 years ago

Why is the left calling you a fascist?

I’d have thought the answer to that is obvious.

They don’t agree with some of your opinions and they call every dissenter a fascist.

This is what they consider to be mature and coherent political debate.

Iain Scott Shore
Iain Scott Shore
3 years ago
Reply to  acarterno34

Absolutely!!!

jcowston
jcowston
3 years ago
Reply to  acarterno34

They think anyone slightly to the right of the hard left is a fascist, the reality is they are worse than fascists

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  acarterno34

Agree.

Though not unique to the Left. When Ed Miliband called for energy bills to be capped, David Cameron called him a Marxist.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Miliband wanted energy bills to be capped while wanted to inflict yet more super-expensive’green energy’ on us. You can’t do both.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes indeed.
“This year we’ll cap them at this level.”
“Next year we’ll cap them at a higher level”

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Given that the Tories adopted the idea, was it nonsense for them to call it “Marxist” when Ed Miliband suggested it, or do you believe that the Tory party turned Marxist?

Caroline Milne
Caroline Milne
3 years ago

I hate to say it but this is what happens when the exam factory enables students to gain a ‘C’ or above in English Literature having only read one chapter of the set text, watched every movie ever made of it and studied some key notes. Few have the stamina for reading an essay, let alone a book. This is why debate has departed the political arena and we are left with soundbites. This is how the media can manipulate public opinion with a misleading headline. Welcome to the age of Twitter.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
3 years ago

Hi Paul. You should not be surprised that as a Conservative I agree with all you say. Not because it is ‘anti Labour’, and A point us scored. No, not at all, but because I actually miss the quality of debate that a modicum of tolerance once usually engendered.

Maybe we should join the Free Speech Union? As you say in your conclusion a broad front committed to free thinking and speech is sorely needed today.

Iain Scott Shore
Iain Scott Shore
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Jones

Precisely. Where is the measured debate and discussion?

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

On this thread and in the unherd articles … it will leak out into the real world … but how to capture it for political movement is another story … 🙂

Pierre Brute
Pierre Brute
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Jones

Spot on.

Clara B
Clara B
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Jones

Good point. We need an active and effective opposition (surely any political system does) whether you agree with them or not.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

There is a quote that does the rounds on Twitter. I think it was made up on Twitter but many people wrongly attributed it to Churchill. Regardless it is very apt in these circumstances. The quote it

“The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”

The current strain of left wing activists in the UK (and USA) call themselves anti fascists while using the tactics use by fascists to stifle and silence any opposition to their own ideas.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I grew up in South Africa in the apartheid years and find the emphasis on race & identity shockingly familiar.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Yes, we spent years getting rid of racism by getting people to look beneath the colour of the skin and seeing what is underneath. Now the left only look at the colour of the skin and make sweeping generalisations. That is exactly what apartheid did!

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Douglas Murray’s article has just reminded me that there was a strong victim narrative in the arguments for apartheid. “Everyone was so cruel to us Afrikaners, that the only solution is a system where we control everything”. This came through most strongly in the school History curriculum.
But it didn’t have the intended effect – all it has given me is a knee-jerk reaction against domination that is justified by claims of that person’s group having suffered in the past.
I suspect the same will be true of our kids who are being fed politicised lessons – the kids know who the “political” teachers are (because they try to stifle dissent from the kids) and quietly reject the politics _because_of_ the overbearing messenger.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Why are you commenting on an article by Douglas Murray under an article by Paul Embery? Good comment otherwise.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago

Laziness, I guess! But mainly because the comment is also a follow-up to David’s reply.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I think it might have been Reagan who said, perhaps in the 1970s, something like:

‘When fascism comes to America it will come in the guise of liberalism’

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That quote sums it up better than mine.

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Ronnie always had a great turn of phrase

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

Yes, it was he who said, watching a bunch of hippies waving banners reading ‘Make Love, Not War’:

“Most of them look as though they couldn’t do either”.

To be fair, they were quite rationally protesting the Vietnam War.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Fascism almost came to America this month in the guise of a President defeated in an election using Republican-controlled state legislatures to appoint Trump-supporting representatives to the Electoral College even though their States were won by Joe Biden. Only the final circuit-breaker – the refusal of State legislators to play along – prevented a Fascist coup against democracy.

L Paw
L Paw
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

In that case fascism had already been in power in the US under President Trump for 4 years?
Remember that Hilary Clinton called for Biden under no circumstances to concede defeat to Trump before the recent election.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  L Paw

She was talking about the period before all the postal votes were counted. So your comment is misleading. Trump has waited three weeks, and checked out whether he could get Republican state legislatures to send Trump representatives to the Electoral College even though Biden won the vote in their States, before (half-) conceding now that his attempt at a coup has failed.

Rybo Adders
Rybo Adders
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Rubbish. There were legitimate concerns about voting irregularities which which have been addressed through legal channels. Whatever the outcome I am sure you would agree these needed to be addressed to remove any stigma of voter fraud. Perhaps the Republicans should now simply copy the Democrats inversion of democracy with smear and impeachment for the next 4 years?

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Hmm, a communitarian, socially conservative party that has long advocated leaving the EU, recognises the sanctity of national sovereignty and importance of border and immigration control, roundly rejects the hugely damaging and distracting obsession with identity politics and seriously questions the stated aims of the BLM….?

Sounds to me like you’re pushing against a door nailed firmly shut when you’re desperately trying to appeal to your spiritual home, Labour, Paul, a lost cause now I fear, so if you’re looking for a not so new political home that shares pretty much all your values, from what I can tell, you could do a lot worse than look at the minute but growing SDP and put your undeniable talents and relatively high profile to good work there.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

I remember being a founder member of the Williams/Jenkins version.

Time to finish the job.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

We need proportional representation before any such party is a viable concept.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

“Why is the Left calling me a fascist?”

Because you’re not a fascist.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Same reason that the Democratic Republic of Congo calls themselves Democratic

Stu White
Stu White
3 years ago

I started my working life aged 16 at Cortonwood Colliery. I don’t think any of my ex-workmates would recognise the Labour Party now.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Stu White

I think they would recognise the Labour party campaigning for children on free school meals to be fed during the holidays, while the Tories are keener on tax cuts for bankers.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes, an entire ‘society’ can be summed up in two phrases.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Were Labour campaigning on the issue before Marcus Rushford? I don’t think so.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

I’d be pretty sure they were. Certainly in favour of it, because it’s a socialist kind of principle, while hysterical Tories from privileged backgrounds denounced it.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

If so, it doesn’t say much for their campaigning skills that Marcus Rashford had so much more success getting changes in six months than they have in however long.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

The issue has only been around for 6 months – it’s about special arrangements during Covid, not a blanket policy of forever providing food vouchers to free-school-meals recipients during school holidays.<