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The Left is paralysed by disgust If you hate your country, you cannot change it

Dismantling the West is not the answer. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Dismantling the West is not the answer. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images


December 29, 2020   5 mins

Decades ago, in a village in Burma, my companion told me of a fear she’d had in the night. “What if they all want to do that?” she asked.

“That” was move to Britain. We had been talking to a waiter who had learned good English and through some connection with previous tourists knew about the outside world in what we might call granular detail. He was particularly impressed with banks that gave out money via holes in the wall. He wanted to escape the repression and poverty of his country and get to London. We gently put him off the idea, which seemed too far-fetched to be realistic.

“It rains a lot,” we told him. “And it’s cold.”

“Wait till we all know about how you live,” he replied. “We could always wear coats. The problem is that you won’t want us to stay.”

“Nonsense,” we said.

“Come anytime,” we smiled, knowing that he would not, could not.

It’s one thing to predict events. Any fool with a Twitter account and modicum of luck can say “told you so.” The real sages are the predictors of the thinking that moulds events: people who can look ahead and see not the events themselves — who will win an election, whether he’ll start a war, and so on — but the context of them. Long before the internet and the connectivity of today, this man in Burma could see that if the world ever got smaller and more knowable for everyone, then mass migration would become a huge object of desire and cause of conflict. Both of those things happened.

Halfway across the globe, as we were talking in Burma, the philosopher Richard Rorty was thinking in Harvard and becoming less interested in the arcane stuff of academic philosophy and more interested in the field as it applied to politics. It was the 80s. Reagan in power, the American Left wondering what just happened.

Rorty predicted two things. The first is the more famous but the less important. He said something “would crack” in American politics and allow a strongman to become elected. The interests of the working class had been ignored in a globalising world and they would eventually notice and go elsewhere for satisfaction.

Not a bad shot at superforcasting.

But he made a wider set of predictions too, less celebrated but more important in the post-Trump world. What Rorty predicted, in a set of lectures that eventually became the book Achieving Our Country, published in 1998, was that the route back for the American Left was far trickier than it might appear. Sure, Bill Clinton won. So — after Rorty had died — did Obama. But a conflict on the Left would hobble them both, reducing their ability to be properly transformational presidents.

Rorty used the word “exhausted.”

He believed that the old social democratic American Left “collapsed during the late sixties under the burden of the conflagration surrounding the Vietnam War” and might be replaced by a Left that believed the only way forward was a “complete dismantling of the ‘system.’”

The consensus view on the Left risked becoming shaped by this epoch-making event and the reaction to it. The Vietnam War, in the view of the activists, “not only could never be forgiven, but had shown us to be a nation conceived in sin, and irredeemable.” Rorty predicted that “a spectatorial, disgusted, mocking Left” would only ever be able to understand America in a way that:

“leads them to step back from their country and, as they say, ‘theorise’ it. It leads them to 
 give cultural politics preference over real politics, and to mock the very idea that democratic institutions might once again be made to serve social justice.”

Rorty predicted the context — the descent into identity and away from class — and suggested that without a way back to the old broad appeal of the Democratic party of Roosevelt and Kennedy and LBJ, the game was up. Even the great author and civil rights icon James Baldwin, Rorty pointed out, had thought that America was redeemable — as revealed in the Baldwin passage that inspired the title of Rorty’s book:

“we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.”

It seems odd to suggest, at the start of a new Democratic presidency — with a Biden mandate provided by easily the biggest number of votes cast in a presidential election, and the President-elect himself so obviously cut from the social democratic cloth of his forebears — that this project is so badly damaged. But Rorty, just as keenly as the Burmese waiter, could see that if something came along to trip the switch, to force the issue, then everything would change. And in both cases the arrival of social media has been the enabler of the contextual shift. Suddenly in poorer parts of the world it is easy to see, on the screen of a phone, what the fancy world looks like. And suddenly in America it has become easy to go head-first down the rabbit-hole that worried Rorty.

He was not an enemy of identity. He could see why it might be time to become more sensitive to what he called the “humiliation which previous generations of Americans have inflicted on their fellow citizens.” He actually endorsed modern campus culture: “Encouraging students to be what mocking neoconservatives call ‘politically correct’ has made our country a far better place.” But there was a limit.

Baldwin drew a limit at being disgusted by America: be angry for sure, be horrified at the place, condemn its many failings and be sceptical of those who hold it up as a shining light without considering the darkness in which so many of its citizens live and have always lived. Do all of that. But do not condemn the whole project. Leave a chink of light, as Baldwin did, towards which people of good heart might still turn.

Rorty suggested that too many academic Left critics of the USA had already closed the door:

“To step into the intellectual world which some of these leftists inhabit is to move out of a world in which citizens of a democracy can join forces to resist sadism and selfishness into a Gothic world in which democratic politics has become a farce.”

So here we are in 2020. So much of that thinking now permeates the American Left. They see racism and misogyny literally everywhere in American life. They want to defund the police and open the borders. The former movement is the epitome of what Rorty feared because of the implication that policing in America cannot be reformed because America cannot be reformed and has to be burned down (sometimes literally) in order to be rebuilt. As the activist Vicky Osterweil put it “those who participate in rioting and looting tend to be the most politically informed and socially engaged in the neighborhood,” and that their actions should be understood “as essential tactics in fighting racial capitalism.”

Osterweil’s book In Defense of Looting caused exactly the fuss she hoped for last summer and there is a performative side to it, and to her, that leads many Democrats to view the threat from these people to them as unserious.

Well, perhaps. Maybe Joe Biden from Scranton will just carry on back in his centre-lane as if nothing has happened. Perhaps Kamala Harris — a former prosecutor — will take up the mantle of centrism too when her turn comes, as it surely will.

But the Rorty warning from history is that the Left will lose the plot and, to the intense frustration of all those around the world who breathed a sigh of relief on November 4th, cock it all up. Specifically, they will cause the Democratic presidency such grief that the party enters the mid-terms in 2022 in disarray and the presidential poll in 2024 in outright civil war.

Our pal in Burma never got to write his predictions down and I imagine never left the nation. But the power of his prophesy has stayed with me. Richard Rorty has also departed the scene — at least, though, he left us this fine book. Which, last year, was reprinted. The American Left cannot say, come 2024, that it wasn’t warned.


Justin Webb presents the Americast podcast and Today on Radio Four. His Panorama documentary “Trump the Sequel”, is available now on  Iplayer

JustinOnWeb

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Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago

We have to find a different word to denote these people.
As someone pointed out below, the “Left” are not really leftist in the way we view it (support for weaker economic classes, labour and trade unions, etc)
Just like they are not “progressive” or “Liberal”.

So, what is the so called Left?
Let us look at its characteristics
1.Projecting its political opponents as evil and immoral, unfit to exist (Republicans, Brexit supporters, white men)
In conjunction with control over media and academia and use of brute force tactics to crush dissent
2.A worldview based on “oppressors” (see the above) and oppressed (blacks communities with 80% missing father, religions with hilariously savage views on other fellow “oppressed”, private school educated daughters of wealthy parents, “Syrian” refugees)
Wherein its perfectly fine to abuse and discriminate against the oppressors (and any oppressed who refuse to toe the line) while there is no concept of responsibility, ambition or self-help on the part of the “oppressed”

So, it is effectively a gruesome, extremely dangerous combination of Fascism and race / gender based Marxism of the Stalin variety

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

I wouldn’t go as far as your last line, but there is certainly something wrong and increasingly juvenile with the modern left.

Something illiberal, something constrictive, using thoroughly debunked theories from the 1960s to implement their well-intentioned but utterly misguided social constructivist goals. Painting the world as though it is a struggle between oppressed and oppressor (read: good vs evil), and insulting the intelligence of secular classical Liberals like myself who have been brought up to regard race as entirely meaningless, advancement along socioeconomic class lines being the route to equality and ‘social justice’ (non-capitalised), and to be instinctively wary of any and all meta narratives involving a ‘good guy’ and a ‘villain’.

The worldview you describe is a lazy, resentful us vs them narrative and these are invariably toxic to their core. Speaking as a member of the political left (or ‘alt-right’ if I’m being attacked on CiF), I hope to see the back of this bollocks sooner rather than later so we can stop the navel gazing and resentment politics, and get on with actually changing things for the better.

Imran Khan
Imran Khan
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

I would agree that the traditional left has had it’s day and has been that way for some years and just a long time dying. We can still see the dinosaurs of the SWP and the other groups peddling their own versions of traditional Marxist/Trotskyist solutions with some environmentalism/racial oppression/white privilege tacked on. The most obvious example of this is Own Jones who can’t relinquish Marxism but is a part of the eco fascist generation as well.

The truth of the matter now is that where their would have been one or two very large organisations like the Communist parties or, in this country, the SWP and their many front groups the situation is now more fluid and many faceted. For convenience sake I will call the many groups on the left who are obsessed with race BLM although they are in competition with each other.

This tenancy has been around now for half a century starting with the Black Panthers in the shape of Darcus Howe who then moved to Race Today and graduated to the dozens of criminal groups funded by Ken Livingstone through Lee Jasper. The last man standing from all of that is Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote. He once told me that I was black because I was oppressed! I quickly disabused him. This generation however pay no heed to those antecedents and have a much more fluid agenda which changes by the day with more and more groups appearing from nowhere.

The same applies to the environmental lobby which spawns new groups once again on a seemingly daily basis with ever more bizarre demands and programmes that defy reality. The Green lobby is fringe and every time it has put itself before the electorate that sensible body of people have rejected it except in Brighton where it brought the city to a standstill when it ran the council and still has their only MP.

Where they all have been successful, even though they didn’t know it, has been in the ” march through the institutions” where careers are finished overnight by questioning the new orthodoxy. There is now as far as I can see a backlash against all of this which will keep Labour out of power for another generation. It is not realised that most people in this country are white and and are increasingly resentful of being told that they enjoy some kind of economic superiority because of that. There is now an “imagined community” that spans the red wall, the working classes of all parts of the country as well as the million or so Eastern Europeans who have now permanently settled here. Add to that people of Asian and other origins who have done well in the UK and there is an almost unsurmountable mountain for the multi culti black fascists and their eco fellow travelers to climb.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Imran Khan

Well said.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

James Lindsay has suggested “Critical Social Justice.” I tend to think of it as Wokery. As I liberal humanist I despise it, whatever it may be called.

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago

Good article but it missed Rorty’s most important point.

National pride is to countries what self-respect is to individuals. An individual without self-respect has no moral courage. Only countries with national pride ever embark on an ambitious project of reform. Without national pride we instead drift into the path of least resistance.

Nick Wright
Nick Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Cassian Young

Sure, but national pride, like pride in oneself, needs to be earned. Unearned pride is just contemptible self-puffery and gets you nowhere.

David Jory
David Jory
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

Unearned self-disgust is at least as bad. I think it’s a bit like arguing whether mania or depression is worse. At least with mania a person can feel better in the short term.

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

That statement makes sense, but keep in mind pride or self-respect is a virtuous cycle.

Ie if you possess this in the first place, that gives you the incentive and motivation to drive yourself to be better and improve yourself, which in turn forms a feedback cycle.

For instance, I had no idea whether I would be a good father – but I had enough self-respect to ensure that I would put in the time and effort to try (and hopefully become) a good parent to my daughter. And the response and affection I get from that little girl in turn feeds my self-belief and the standards I set for myself.

If I didn’t have that pride in myself to begin with, would I have put in the requisite effort? Very unlikely.

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Yes, this is exactly the point. Paradoxically, self-respect comes before action.

Rorty was pointing out that attacks on the nation state are self-harming, particularly for the left.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Cassian Young

Yes – nobody is suggesting America should be like one of those “full of themselves for no reason” individuals – but it does need sufficient self confidence to go forward.

And that means acknowledging the things it got wrong in the past, not wallowing in them, looking to the future, taking on positive criticism – and ignoring, or laughing at, those whose criticism is based on nothing but ill will.

Arild Brock
Arild Brock
3 years ago
Reply to  Blue Tev

Great example!

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Arild Brock

I don’t know.. reading it again, I realised I have turned into one of those obnoxious parents who insert their child into every conversation, no matter what the context!

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

I think, after two centuries, America has done enough to earn its pride. Put all the bad it’s done beside all the good: which pile is higher? By the way, no, I’m not an American.

Colm McGinn
Colm McGinn
3 years ago
Reply to  ard10027

You could be joking in that. ‘This wicked land shall not be cleansed, but by blood’.

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

True, but this bypasses the interesting point from Rorty.

If you have problems personally, you need to some basis for self-respect to fix them. A logic that dictates that people with problems should not have self-respect is self-defeating.

I strongly recommend reading the book.

Andy Nimmo
Andy Nimmo
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

It is like ‘respect’. There are far too many people nowadays who don’t realise that you don’t demand respect, you earn it.

Peter Kriens
Peter Kriens
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

No, pride prevents you from doing things that would make that pride a shallow lie.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

I always like to read Justin’s articles but often find them missing quite obvious points which are very uncomfortably for him. I suspect this article has avoid one of the biggest points because the implication for the left of British politics is chilling to the bone.

The line which I refer to is “mass migration would become a huge object of desire and cause of conflict”. This line could be used as a simple summary of a speech given on 20th April 1968 by Enoch Powell, a speech that has been used by the left of British politics to condemn even the mildest discussion of immigration as racist. The speech is now referred to as “the rivers of blood” speech but using Justin’s criteria it was a prediction that still has ramifications across the world 52 years later.

The implications are simple, discussion important issues (Immigration, Islamophobia, Trans rights, to name but a few) must not be curtailed by cancelling those who say uncomfortable things. The reality is the Burmese waiter if he had been a white, middle class, heterosexual male living in the UK would have been condemned for his words!

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

You’re certainly right in terms of the real and imminent need for us to have difficult discussions about these pressing issues without the thread of cancellation. However, I think one of the key problems with that speech was the rhetoric employed, not necessarily the message itself.

A similar problem is being experienced by SJWs across the West – ‘we didn’t mean defund the police, we meant…’ or ‘we meant black lives matter TOO’, or ‘we didn’t mean ‘kill all men’ we meant…’ etc. etc.

It’s bad copywriting and it’s emotionally-driven hyperbole. If the message you use to get your point across is badly or irresponsibly worded – doesn’t matter what the point is, or how valid it is – it’ll end up causing controversy and being soundbited, misunderstood, and therefore rejected by the majority. And that’s a principle that works both ways – use emotional rhetoric, expect an emotional response. If you want a rational discussion, be rational, use a measured tone and say what you MEAN.

This is Jordan Peterson’s great strength, in my opinion.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

You are correct when you say the rhetoric is as important as the message and I tried to keep away from the rhetoric of the speech but you also get the point I was making. The left has used this speech to close down debate and that is fundamentally wrong and leads us to were we are today on many issues. You only have to look at JK Rowling’s treatment on twitter to understand how the left have tried to capture political debate by preventing debate.

Debate is the only way to solve problems. The left have very few (if any answers) so they have decided to end debates rather than engage!

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

You’re 100% correct, David. Debate, i fear however, is a skill that is fast becoming endangered – many people, especially those of my generation on the far end of the modern left, seem to prefer inquisition over enquiry, building caricatures over building the common ground, and that makes me pretty damn ashamed truth be told.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

That is because they are Cicero’s ‘Enemy within the Gates’ and this is war to destroy the West, and we are letting the fifth column win because we are too afraid of being called names.

Andy Nimmo
Andy Nimmo
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

What does ‘left’ and ‘right’ actually mean. Can’t you be both.
When I read comments from the ‘right’ denouncing the ‘left’ and vice versa, I’m reminded of ‘the witch’ or ‘the belle’ illusion.

https://www.moillusions.com

I mean I could be classed as left wing because I believe in helping those to achieve their full potential. I loathe bullies and agree with the principles of the Labour movement to protect the ordinary working man from exploitation. That can’t be wrong surely. I abhor the greed is good principal but conversely I could be classed as ‘right wing’ because I hate the ‘something for nothing’ culture, am all for personal self advancement and having pride and self reliance.
Perhaps someone could form The Common Sense Party

Micheal Lucken
Micheal Lucken
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Nimmo

I suspect the majority in this country would agree with all of that. It is faced though with a movement that sees such concerns as secondary to their vision of Equality. It has crept up on us over several decades and now controls much of public discourse, dictating what should and should not be discussed and depicted in our media. Values that not long ago seemed common sense have been steamrollered. Their momentum has built virtually unimpeded and shows little sign of slowing. If you don’t like this direction of travel I would say the time for middle ground common sense is well past, its time to pick a side and start pushing back. They have been waging a culture war for some time and most haven’t noticed.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Harvey Johnson

No, the soundbites more often are lighter than their actual meaning. Most of the anti-Western rhetoric is under stated and hard to respond to. BLM, say, it cannot be argued without the response ‘So Black lives do not matter’? BLM, a nice statement of fact, yet means Destroy the West as they are evil racists to the organization leadership in actuality.

And NO YOU MAY NOT SAY what you mean. It is all in ‘you know what I mean’ dancing around a subject or the subject discussion is over and you are canceled.

And the writer above is just one of them anyway, with his assumed TDS in his readers with his gratuitous and un-grounded attacks on Trump.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

IMO, the rational, reasonable adult conversation and debate about important issues is exactly what the Far Left doesn’t want.
Why?
Because such talk invites consensus-building which takes time and invariably leads to compromise.
A proven attractive feature of liberal democracies but for revolutionaries in a hurry?
Not so much.
Just like the Bolsheviks, whose tactics they have updated and adopted, today’s revolutionaries can’t afford to abide a ‘hearts and minds’ approach.

Nina Smith
Nina Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

You’re correct. A decent future forcthe UK deoendsvon consensus building amongst those who want to see an end to this Little Englander swashbuckling government in 2024. Consensus and collaboration. Electoral pacts so that the strongest anti Tory ( Lab, LD or Green in Engkand) fights a constituency. The outdated purists on the left of Labour and, indeed in thevotherctwonparties, need to realise that the way forward on things that really matter, such as the climate and ecological emergencies, gross inequality, constitutional and electoral reform, returning to the heart of Europe, can only be achieved by togetherness and compromise.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Nina Smith

Surely your “little Englanders”, whoever they are, and whether in or out of government, must be unlikely “swashbucklers”? The two characteristics are simply not a good fit. In any event, a Little England outlook, insofar as it exists, is not one that is confined to a particular section of society or politics.

simon taylor
simon taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Nina Smith

I`m not sure you`ve grasped the concept of “consensus building”

Nina Smith
Nina Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  simon taylor

Please enlighten me!

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Good comment. On your point about rational, reasonable adult conversation, it won’t happen soon because the Left, as you say, doesn’t want it, but also because it is incapable of even engaging in such conversation. And just supposing it were able to do so – a big if – the Left would be exposed in all its manifold failings.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

The left as they are known in UK come from the Trotsky ‘Militant Tendencies’ which Foot crushed as he knew they would take over the party. They morphed into ‘Momentum’ later and using their favorite Marxist tactic of ‘Entryism’ got Corbyn in.

Entryism is simple. Get followers into organizations, get them to drive to positions of leadership and then pass on lower leadership to fellows, and finally by just being a small number they take the entire organization. That this word is hard to look up shows you the success of algorithms at keeping things alt-Liberal.

This is how thy took over the education industry. 5% of members who have total commitment, working together, can end up controlling the 95% who are not so passionate and disorganized. Entryisn is how Marxism has worked.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Entryism is also a factor in the rise of the SNP….which can be understood as an exhausted, ‘machine Labour’ on Clydeside being abandoned by it’s activists as a response to the Tony Blair New Labour project.

This 3% of hard core old SWP types and the younger acolytes are responsible for the very left wing rhetoric (not matched by actions in the SNP) which has emerged around Inde, and the idea that a small party and small country might be easier to enter and take over than a larger one…as the repeated failures within Labour and the UK show.

Colm McGinn
Colm McGinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Self indulgent and pretty marginal in analytic quality. Yes, I’m a lefty.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Colm McGinn

No your not, you are an old Irish Republican loser aren’t you?

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

There is such a thing as being ‘too clever by half’ and in many ways one could say that of Enoch Powell. He had a ferocious intellect and was a classical scholar, a term few people today even understand. Had he quoted the ‘rivers of blood’ bit in Latin, no one would have batted an eyelid. And while some of the way Powell expressed his message one today might regret, his basic thesis was as correct today as it was then. His view was very widely supported and one remembers London Dockers marching in support. But as per usual the Political Class was disconnected and wouldn’t listen nor take notice of what was said and the public reaction.

Mention is made of grooming gangs. Those of us who live in the areas concerned as I do don’t need to be told – we see it ourselves – and we understand that the Guardian reading classes don’t want to know, thinking the great unwashed are just a bunch of racists. Then they wonder why we get Brexit and Trump. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

The chilling part of the speech was about the transference of the ‘whip hand’ from white to black. That acknowledgment of the existing state of white supremacy, structural racism if you like, something apologists for Powell rarely mention. Justin Webb describes the desire for mass migration as the problem. Why not the desire for mass exclusion as the problem?

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I am not defending Powel but again the “whip hand” comment, although crude, raise some interesting questions today. Islamic terror groups and their supporters clearly want a position were they dictate what is and is not acceptable and if they don’t get it they will kill those responsible. Think Charlie Hebdo as an example of a western demand for free speech running headlong into an imported demand for total censorship.

As I said I like reading Webb’s article because they can be very though provoking, but they leave a lot of unanswered questions. Hence why so many comments on the tread!

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Charlie Hebdo is made to be a martyr of free speech, but they are as bad an example as Floyd is for BLM. Deeply flawed. They are a nasty, hateful, hard Left-Nihilistic group who were attacking Islam, not merely victims of free speech intolerance. They intentionally picked a war with all Islam by printing the most jeering and insulting anti-Mohammad cartoons, to be provocative, to show their hate for religion.

I think the terrorists need to be killed, but Charlie Hebdo are as twisted as them, as hateful, just too chicken to be violent, and thus they took a cartoon to a knife fight they started, and lost.

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Utter bllx. Charlie Hebdo satirised every institution, every belief system, any and everybody who invited satire. Their cartoons of Mohammed were pale shadows of the cartoons printed daily in the Islamic press vilifying Jews, many of those cartoons recycled from the Nazi magazine Der Sturmer. ‘Too chicken to be violent’; what a sick idea. But I guess to you gunning down helpless men, women, and children is ‘heroic’.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

You either support free speech for all, or you don’t support it for anyone. It is ok to be offended by something but not ok to murder people because you are offended. In French law, there are no sacred cows, and rightly so.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

I decide to pick that because picking a UK example was to emotive. Also I believe in the old childhood rime.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!”

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Get a grip 7882 fremic.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

“They are a nasty, hateful, hard Left-Nihilistic group”

No, not really. Charlie Hebdo is a hangover from the left of yesteryear. Go back a few decades and you would find the same mix of shock seeking and taboo busting everywhere on the left.

The big shock for those on the left who initially supported Charlie is that when they looked at its pages it did not fit the goody two shoes image they had of themselves.

It’s really just an example of something that has died out in the Anglosphere, but not in France.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

The whole thing needs to he read in context though. And there is a lot of context.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

How about if that Burmese waiter had been listening to Bangladeshi patrons extolling unlimited immigration of Bangladeshis to Burma? (see Rohinga). My guess is he would have become a raving closed border advocate.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Absolutely!

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Looks like the Bangladeshi waiter is a raving closed border advocate.

Bangladesh moves more Rohingya refugees to isolated island.

Colin Reeves
Colin Reeves
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Something missing from most discussion of that speech (which I guess less than 1% of those deploring it have ever read) is the way in which Powell forsook his “ferocious intellect” and based his argument on the ‘lived experience’ of his constituents. It was an appeal to emotions. The irony today is that it is now the Left that bases everything on such an appeal, e.g., the critical race theorist’s ‘river of the black experience.’ Blairism has successfully reduced politics to emotion, so Starmer ‘takes the knee.’ Are there any sensible Labour MPs willing to remain standing?

Rational discourse has been banished from the public square, and I don’t see it returning. Mr Webb’s assumption that Biden is in a “centre lane” shows that he doesn’t understand how far down (and across) the road what was the mainstream American left has travelled. Are there any old-school Democrats left standing? (Tulsi Gabbard, perhaps?) The Age of America is dead. Having done it once, what is to stop the corruption of the vote in 2022? No doubt there were Germans in 1932 who thought Hitler was a temporary blip.

There are a few encouraging signs in the UK from some Tory MPs (many of them ‘non-white’) but I fear BoJo himself is a lost cause. His ‘green’ ideas are dystopian. Prepare to meet your doom.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Reeves

I was saying to my OH just yesterday that i think Enoch will one day be exonerated from the charges of racism laid against him (though maybe not in my lifetime).

I grew up in Wolves and am cross that he has been “cancelled” – one if the first victims?

It may be that after mature debate and discussion we may agree that he was an irredeemable “racist” – but to my knowledge that debate has never been had.

I once listened to a BBC4 programme on Mr P – it must have been just over 10 years ago now – and i thought the programme was very good. I doubt they would repeat the programme now, given how much further the BBC has lurched to the left in the last 10 years (to the extent I don’t listen much and never watch).

Andy Nimmo
Andy Nimmo
3 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

Like a great many other people I presume, I went along with the groundswell of opinion that Powell was a racist. It was only when I downloaded the full contents of his speech that I realised it was mainly anecdotal – i.e. voicing the concerns/fears of some of his constituents. I am unashamedly ‘left leaning’ (although I hate that term) but I detest the ‘victim culture’ and ‘diving to win a penalty’ that is going on today.
I could give so many examples but I really don’t want to suffer the same fate as old Enoch.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

So says the man from the BBC
An organisation that has done more in the last decade to rip this country in half because you play these identity games every day and we are not on the correct side for you. Bbc shill.
Cancel your tv licence
Free your mind
Spread the word

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

It’s a shame that so many BBC employees seem to only develop spines once they have taken the cash and moved on.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Yes, John Humphrys for instance. BBC stalwart and a favorite with other journalists who loved to tell readers what a tough and determined interrogator Humphrys was ““ hoping we wouldn’t notice that this toughness was most often deployed when holding conservatives to account.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

The radical left deploy eerily similar rhetoric.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

eerily?

Nina Smith
Nina Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I thought Humphries was toughest on Remainers.

Moya Russ
Moya Russ
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

I remember John Humphries giving Labour Government politicians a really good grilling. Whenever he interviewed John Prescott he let rip.
It is important that those in GOVERNMENT are held to account. There’s little to be gained by grilling the Opposition – they can’t do anything.
Good journalists need to hold those in power to account

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Moya Russ

HMG loyal opposition hold Govt to account.

BBC interviewers should be interviewing, to report on facts.

Which the BBC seems to have forgotten.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Done that already ages ago. Netflix isn’t bad.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Or Amazon Prime. Or Talk Radio. Or Spiked Online. Or UnHerd, of course. Even Times Radio can be passably good. And two new broadcast TV channels are nearing launch. The BBC will have to change and adapt or perish. Much the same goes for ITV and C4 although at least they do not depend for their funding on a compulsory (if increasingly avoidable) poll tax.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Absolutely. I quite often listen to LBC, a commercial station that actually has to earn its own living through advertising. They have a very broad political spectrum of people on, from leftists like James O’Brien and Sheila Foggerty through to conservatives like Ian Dale and Nick Ferrari, I listen to them all though disagreeing with practically everything some of them (O’Brien) have to say, but the point is they represent all types of views.
The BBC, essentially tax payer funded (perhaps that’s partly why, they don’t need to be representative) offers only a wall to wall left liberal, bourgeoise, metropolitan mono-culture. What they do well they do very well indeed but I just can’t stand their insufferable condescension and I’m damned if I’m going to pay for the privilege of being insulted and irritated by them on a daily basis.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Netflix and their Bridgerton is their new face, with Markel and a herd of their ilk are the new BBC. Netflix used to just specialize in the sick, degenerate, and Evil as entertainment, now they are putting woke at the top of this list. Prime is more evil based in its ‘entertainment’ shows, but seems to not quite be so woke, but I have spent little time with them as they blasted me with satanist shows clips every time I logged in so had to drop them.

I wonder why shows have to have so much horror and satan in them. I like shows like Narcos, Breaking Bad, and such, well done shows on raw topics, but they want Teenage vampires, the devil, demons, sadistic killings and all with gratuitous graphic scenes. I just do not understand horror. I guess I have seen too much real suffering and cannot find shows based on sadism to be entertainment.

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago

A particularly egregious example of leftist self loathing is provided by the grooming gang review whitewash published recently, an extraordinary exercise in denial – the paper whilst admitting the data they had was of “poor quality” nevertheless deuced that group CSE was mostly committed by whites, even though there is no track record of trials an convictions to back this. It was extraordinarily deceitful. CSE survivor Dr Ella Hill who has had conversations with Home Office officials has said that their main priority appeared to be not to give aid and comfort to Tommy Robinson. The Home Office’s go to academic on this matter is Dr Ella Cockbain, University College of London – who has given interviews to Socialist Worker, which seems to say a lot for her ideological preferences, her twitter feed is most instructive. She has a sidekick one Waqas Tufail, who according to Harry’s Place has “close links to far left and Islamic extremists”. There is a nasty alliance here of course between the far left and Islamic extremists.

London particularly is a nest of malignants, replete with far leftists an their allies, Islamic funding which pours into the City, the universities, the housing market is vital in terms of keeping the s/show on the road. And if uncounted thousands of young girls are sacrificed on this evil altar of ideology and expediency well, most of them are white, so that’s all right

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

I do note almost all Liberal productions always couple white women with Black males in advertising, stock photos, movies, drama, comedy, well in excess of demographics. The Left have some really strong agenda about mixed race male/female issues. They very rarely do it with white males and Black women though.

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

You’re talking absolute nonsense. This is definitely one of the more deranged, race-baiting conspiracy theories I’ve come across around these parts.

By all means, go ahead and search ‘white couple stock photos’, and you’ll find millions. Then search ‘mixed couple stock photos’ and you’ll find a pretty much 50/50 split in terms of the white/black partner being male/female.

Then, if you can, name me some of the numerous popular examples of mixed couples (featuring specifically a black male and white female) in movies, drama, comedy, and advertising.

You’re talking out your behind.

David Lawrence
David Lawrence
3 years ago

Interesting to see the reference to the left seeing misogyny everywhere. For many feminists it is now the left that is at the heart of misogyny, with an agenda to dismantle women’s rights.

jerrywhitcroft
jerrywhitcroft
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawrence

Evidence on dismantling of womens rights please.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  jerrywhitcroft

From the left, the best example is the trans crowd which seems bent on moving past women’s rights and destroying womanhood itself. When being a woman is treated as a social construct instead of a biological reality, that’s not advancing the cause.

npchapman
npchapman
3 years ago

The main thing to take away here is that the so called left is dead. We simply don’t have a reason for them to continue. The political position is so archaic, we might as well run around shouting, ‘Millwall’ ‘Millwall.’ The political situation has changed. The issues now is how to maintain democratic status. How to tax for a future that is fair to all but allows growth and fiscal security. There isn’t a problem half as big as the left would like. Politics needs to change and realise that we live in centre left countries already. Pretty balanced. Now we have to work out how to safe guard. The dangers are certainly out there, but the threats aren’t racists or underpaid employees, or even the super rich. The real problems come from those who threaten our way of life. The left don’t seem to get it, they aren’t helping. Worse. They are part of the problem.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  npchapman

Your so called Left, and I assume you mean the militant left, are mere tools of the Neo Liberals, and they are in no way dead, they are growing every year, Soros and his Global elite, MSM, and Silicon Valley see to that. The USA Democrat Party and the Tech/social Media Tzars, and Wall Street, are all in the same bed, and these are their fifth column to keep the Right at a disadvantage and the country dis-unified..

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
3 years ago

The grooming gang review whitewash published recently was without doubt one of the most appalling acts of betrayal of thousands of predominantly white girls ever seen and not a word of outrage from anybody. Women’s groups across the range, nothing. The police, the NSPCC, child protection groups, safeguarding authorities, nothing. How must the victims feel seeing the establishment create a a nothing document, that represents a perfect woke, identity centric document that conveniently and purposefully blames white men for the majority of the abuse! You couldn’t make it up… oh hang on a minute you can. The government through fear of a woke backlash and having to deal with the difficult prospect of calling out a faith that has a history of abuse and misogyny took the decision to blame white men when quite frankly, and most importantly statistically, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Absolutely disgusting on every level.

J J
J J
3 years ago

Forgive my crude political analysis, but I often interpret the younger generations propensity to ‘hate the history of their own country’ as analogous with a child hating it’s parents, or rebelling against them. They hold their parents responsible for everything they perceive as unfair in their lives, for every ounce of pain and injustice they feel.

What better way to rebel against your parents than to tell them you hate everything about them, their tastes, beliefs and customs. The way they dress, talk and behave. You even hate and have contempt for their history, their childhood and their ‘generation’.

Eventually most children get over their hatred and contempt for their parents, as they grow up and experience the complexities of life for themselves. Indeed they then begin to respect and admire them.

Essentially the Left’s hatred of it’s own country is a form of infantilism or immaturity. And yes, many of those on the Left are no longer children, but they are still immature. And perhaps that is the underlying cause of the problem. Many children do not grow up now until they reach their 40s and 50s.

We have infalitilised a generation by providing them with universal welfare, free universal education, free universal healthcare, unparalleled disposable incomes, extensive social and legal rights, unlimited access to knowledge and almost magical levels of technology and entertainment. And until the age of 21 this is all provided for free (either by the State or by their Parents). It’s hardly surprising they rebel when we suddenly ask them to now ‘work’ for things they are already getting for free.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

No. The Left hates us because we didn’t (and continue to refuse to) buy their nonsense extreme ideology. The ridiculous supposed sexism/racism/homophobia everywhere is actually ‘projection’. The ultimate basis is that Leftism is concealment of own status-striving behind a feint of egalitarianism. Ordinary people well recognise ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’, and the Left respond with the worst excess of ‘throwing the toys out of the pram’ in history.

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

My kids both consider I am a Racist, Homophobic Bigot so why should I disabuse them of their view?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

The problem is that the leftists remain infantile for most or all of their lives.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That certainly explains those who work at the BBC, where funding is provided “free” by people who want to watch any live broadcasts (whether they “consume” BBC content of not) and other grants e.g. from our friends in the EU.

Isla C
Isla C
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

But JJ I didn’t think you were retired…. Guffaws. 😉

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

The left, by and large, do not hate their country and never have. Even during WW1 most radical socialists supported the war effort and men of the left died in their droves just like everyone else. Aside from fringe extremes in Britain, when a national crisis has pushed us to the edge, left and right have joined together.

Disagreements about what values we should champion and what society we want to be does not imply hatred. It’s a disagreement and should be recognised as such. Your rhetoric feeds the polarisation of politics.

I would say that most on the left want a stronger civic patriotism that is based on shared values because the ‘old style’ nationalism they fear is associated with white grievance and ethnic supremacy.

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

You are referencing a very old type of Leftism that no longer exists. The Left marched in their millions on Downing Street to protest the Iraq war. It’s inconceivable the modern Left would support any contemporary national struggle, military or otherwise. Brexit being a case in point. They were overjoyed to point out the UK is inferior to the EU and could not exist as a independent country due to our small size and relevance in the world. And I say this as someone who voted remain. It was the Left’s reaction to Brexit that made me support the Conservatives.

And the notion that ‘they just want a stronger civic patriotism based on shared values’ is also for the fairies. The modern left literally detest the majority of the centre and centre right, which includes most of the working class as evidenced by the voting research and polling.

As a democrat, I am happy to acknowledge we have many left leaning voters in the country and we need to make concessions to them for the sake of national unity. I will not however embrace a narrative or policies which deem the UK and it’s history as inherently evil, along with entire demographic segments such as white men. I refuse to do this because it’s untrue.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

The right is struggling to adapt in the face of globalisation super charging movements of people and capital. The digital revolution is adding fuel to the fire.

Your failure to adapt to a changing world has led you to create enemies. The battle against the evil empire with Brexit and the comparisons with D-Day are laughable. Frankly, they’re an insult to my ancestors who fought in WW1 and WW2. People who knew what a real life or death struggle was.

No, we won’t champion your faux struggles. You can barely conceal the fact that you are the one who hates what the UK has evolved into. You hate contemporary Britain.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

The remainers cheering the UK’s demise were a tiny minority, in my opinion. I heard people merely stating economic facts and hitting a brick wall of denial. The UK’s share of global GDP shrinks every year and our population is relatively small compared to the rising giants. We are powerful and a leader in many sectors. Our military prowess and nuclear deterrent make us a great power. However, we no longer dictate terms to the world. Ultimately, the UK must bandwagon with more powerful states. Traditionally, we have pitched ourselves as a bridge between the USA and the EU. In a world where America is retreating from defending the international order and where authoritarian regimes are in the ascendency we must do more to defend multilateralism and work with our partners. Brexit leaves us more exposed to influence from malign forces. Brexiteers just keep shouting about sovereignty and taking back control without any mention of the economic, ecological and social factors that would temper sovereignty for any nation.

I think that you over state the threat from the left. Most Brits are still in the middle and not overly enthusiastic about the hard right or left. If you choose to believe that the mainstream left hate the UK and white men. Well, I think that’s demonstrably incorrect but also dangerous because you are sowing discord. One of my criticisms of the left is that they are quick to condemn someone as transphobic or racist, or whatever ism, rather than seek to find common ground and understand. Your comment reminds me of this.

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

You can hardly claim I am creating discord by arguing against the Left who claim our nation is inherently racist, unjust and for all intents and purposes evil. I am doing the opposite, I am trying to fight for unity.

I don’t disagree the centre do not hate the country, that was the point of the article ‘why the Left’s hatred of its own country will aways to fail win at the ballot box’.

The Left is larger than you think. 40% of those who voted in 2017 were prepared to vote for a hard left Socialist (in the context of UK) who definitely believes the history of the country is racist and evil. I accept many of that 40% were probably New Labour types who were against Corbyn. So I would put it nearer to 20%. That is a big chunk of the voting public to be hard left and who want to dismantle their own country. We need to stand up to them (unclear if you are one of them)

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

The section of the left that hate Britain are a tiny minority. Electoral Calculus estimate that the hard-left are 4% of Britain’s entire population. I trust the polling expert behind the blog. Have a read over the key political tribes in Britain that he describes. It’s very interesting.

The point is that our electoral system forces people to vote for the lesser of two evils. Millions of people who voted Conservative and Labour did so because they wanted to block another party. I voted Labour but had serious reservations about Corbyn. I just believed that a reactionary Tory Brexit rooted in white grievance was far more dangerous for my family and my business.

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

I am a long term Labour voter. But abandoned them when Corbyn took over. The Labour party is now radicalised by mainly a hard left woke membership. I would consider anyone who personally supported Corbyn to be hard left. According to the polling that was consistently at about 20% of the population. I accept the remaining 20% were less radical but still prepared to support the hard left, which is scary.

I consider Labour to be the party of grievance and victimhood. I consider the Conservatives to be the Party of traditional classical liberal British values. To suggest Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, Mat Hancock, Preti Petal are any type of ‘white supremacists’ is silly and you know it. And to suggest Corbyn was going to support your Family or business is even more silly.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

The Labour Party membership are not synonymous with their voters in General Elections. The rank and file Tory member is similary much further to the right than their voters. I have attended many party conferences while working as lobbyist. Amazing what you hear when Tory members think you are one of them. I am sorry to say that that the data does not support you. Many people that personally approved of Corbyn were also sceptical of many of his hard-left economic policies. A huge chunk of Britain is simply not a hard-left socialist. On issues of culture and identity, perhaps. But, this is relatively new territory and we are in the middle of left and right realigning as a result of the culture war. You are a prime example of someone moving to the right as a result of identity politics.

The Conservative Party are the party of white grievance and British exceptionalism. Yet, I know there are moderate voices in the party. I have worked with them. It’s just that they’re currently controlled by idealogues.

I was sceptical that Corbyn would have actually been able to implement most of his policies. His government would have likely been a coalition with the SNP. At any rate, it would have been far more sensible than Boris and his Brexit fanatics.

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

I accept a political Party’s membership rarely reflects the people who vote for that Party in an election. I also said I do not believe most of the electorate is hard left, it’s probably 20% maximum.

I do not accept that the people who supported Jeremy Corbyn are not hard left in the contemporary sense of the term. Corbyn is an International Socialist in the 1970’s sense. He is the real thing. If you support him, you support traditional international socialism.

I did not move to the right. I stayed where I was. Labour moved to the Left. When I was part of Labour, Brown and Blair both supported and understood the necessity of a market economy. They also actively chased the hard left out of the Party. Both however made the mistake of supporting the genesis of what is now wokism, but both have since spoken out against identity politics.

The Conservative Party, unlike the Labour Party, has not been captured by it’s ideologues. It’s still largely run by centerists. Boris Johnson is a centrist, as are all of his cabinet, and most of his MP’s.

You do not appear to understand Corbyn and need to do more reading. He would of destroyed the UK as we know it. He would of used COVID as an excuse for a full socialist platform from which we would never of recovered.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
3 years ago

For left of centre thinkers, it used to be the Monarchy that was despised. Now, it appears that national sovereignty is unacceptable and hated.
I wonder if there is a confusion between sovereignty and the Sovereign.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

Sovereignty for the right appears to be a theoretical pursuit. It is totally divorced from the practicalities of this world. No nation exists in a purely sovereign state. Other actors, nations, militaries and economic forces have always tempered sovereignty. It is as if the Brexiteer right believe the British Empire still exists and that the UK is in a position to dictate terms to the rest of the world.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

oh no, not still gibbering that old rubbish …

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

It’s all he has left the British electorate rejected Verhofstadt depraved vision of an EU Empire!

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Actually Verhofstadt is merely repeating the vision of the original founders of the EEC who envisioned, long-term, a new European Empire created ‘in the spirit of Charlemagne’ (a quote from Valéry Giscard-D’Estaing). It was of course meant to be a Holy Roman Empire (that is Roman Catholic). That’s why the founding Treaty was signed in …Rome.

And that’s why De Gaulle vetoed British entry for so long. Britain is Protestant by Constitution.

Go to the London Review of Books website, select Glen Newey as a a ‘Writer’ and look up his blog post ‘The Spirit of Charlemagne’ which gives a rundown on the religious background to the original Treaty.

In case you’re wondering why Germany should have been signatory (one thinks of Germany as ‘Protestant’ for some reason, but it has a lot of Roman Catholics) the German involved in the creation of the original treaty was Adenauer, a fervent Roman Catholic, at the time the German Leader.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

I will have a read at it, thanks

Frank Leigh-Sceptical
Frank Leigh-Sceptical
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Fascinating Arnold, thank you. One wonders what the original founders would have made of the current theological demographics of the EU states.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

An interesting read. Thanks for the pointer.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Although, to be fair, as Voltaire famously pointed out the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire.

jerrywhitcroft
jerrywhitcroft
3 years ago

The right does not own patriotism.
It is possible to be on the left and patriotic .For all Thatchers rhetoric against Michael Foot she considered him a patriot.
You show no understanding of history, mr Thornton’s post is accurate

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  jerrywhitcroft

Would you consider the mobs, currently encompassed in the broad-brush term ‘the Left’, to be patriotic today? And all the undemocratic players who, by hook and indeed by crook, endorsed the insulting and obscene ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ (meaning, of course, bollocks to all those voting to leave the EU) to try and thwart the will of the people – are they patriots in your world?

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago
Reply to  jerrywhitcroft

No it’s not, it’s completely made up.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

Have we met before?

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Not sure, but I’ve met about 1,000 apparent clones.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

Lucky you.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

“It is as if the Brexiteer right believe the British Empire still exists” – An interesting statement which has become so totemic of remainers they just can leave it down even though no leaver every mentioned it. The only person to serious demand an empire was Guy Verhofstadt in his speech to the Lib Dem conference in 2019, but he want’s a European Empire based around the EU. An very unpleasant historical request considering the blood shed caused by the rise and fall of European empires throughout history!

So please stop talking about the “British Empire” we don’t want it back, we just to trade with the Commenwealth and start worrying about what a figure like Verhofstadt could do if his mad Eu Empire ever came to horrific reality!

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Excellent riposte to Thornton’s absurd and wild assertions.

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Still fighting straw men. Remain never did bother to actually listen to Leave, preferring to make stuff up instead.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Jamie Smith

Well, Jamie, you and Zach seem intent on tilting at those pesky imperial straw men, with their KD shorts, pith helmets and G&Ts at sundown in the bush. Fact: Empire’s last post was sounded over half a century ago.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jamie Smith

I get very similar comments from friends that voted remain. Their start and finishing point seems to be that there were no good or sensible arguments for leaving the EU and so everyone who voted leave is a stupid, dishonest xenophobe racist who was conned by the despicable charlatans and criminals behind the leave campaign. They are unhesitatingly vocal about this notwithstanding fact that they know I voted leave. Yet when pressed the know b*gg*r all about the EU and are unable to make a coherent argument for remain beyond trotting out the usual slogans.

I think much of this has to do with high/low status ideas. I am likely selling this short, but the theory goes that large sections of the population, including a very high percentage of those educated to university level, are not sufficiently intelligent to be able to evaluate complex ideas or arguments. They are however highly attuned to what is perceived as high status and low status and are by inclination desperate to avoid association with what are deemed low status opinions or views.

The establishment has long recognised and taken advantage of this effect to discredit or undermine opposition. So Brexit supporters were constantly identified as old, racist, disillusion and uneducated. Similarly anyone challenging the climate change orthodoxy is a ‘denier’. And anyone questioning how the government can, having for the longest time denied that the provided any protection whatsoever, suddenly decide that masks should be compulsory, is tagged a conspiracy theorist.

In any event to understand all is to forgive all. You can see that Zach only alludes to “the Brexiteer right believe the British Empire still exists” because he has been told to say it. He does not have the wit or intelligence to question the efficacy of the statement or how ridiculous it sounds and he is oh so desperate to maintain his image of himself as a high (or at least not a low) status person.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

I see that you have a very high opinion of yourself. The British Empire is long gone but the British psyche is still influenced by our past glories. We dominated the world and in essence laid the foundations for the world that we have today. We stood alone in WW2 and helped end totalitarianism in Europe. Unfortunately, many of the stories that we have told ourselves are myths. For example, Britain alone in WW2, rather than Britain backed by its massive Empire, its peoples and resources. These myths have promoted our very own British exceptionalism and it oozes out of of rhetoric propagated by Brexiteers. These illusions are partly responsible for British people’s often misplaced sense of our place in the world. We Brexit, trade with the commonwealth, secure excellent free trade deals and become a successful merchant nation once more. It’s divorced from the reality of our world and in return we may or may not receive a few trinkets.

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
3 years ago

And because the ideas they cling too are so high status, they can’t possibly be wrong so there’s no need to even consider an opposing view. Works for me. Thank you.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago

Whatever people lack in ‘education’ they generally make up for with life experience and common sense.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jamie Smith

I perfectly understand the reasons that led many people to vote leave. I empathise with many of them. I want Britian to be a strong and sovereign nation too. I just do not see how leaving the EU will deliver the results that Brexiteers desire. I have always felt that myths and British exceptionalism are the real driving forces behind Brexit underneath all the rhetoric and economic arguments.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Please explain how your sentence “I perfectly understand the reasons that led many people to vote leave. I empathise with many of them.” is consistent with the following statement in your previous post which looks to more closely reflect the contempt for those that voted leave.

“It is as if the Brexiteer right believe the British Empire still exists and that the UK is in a position to dictate terms to the rest of the world.”

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

I understand why people are concerned about the effects of globalisation, immigration and a lack of democratic accountability. The criticisms levelled at the EU are real causes for concern. I worry about these things too and their effect on society. I can have empathy for others but also recognise that a particular brand of rhetoric on Brexiteer side is rooted in British exceptionalism.

Why are you finding this so hard to grasp? Do you normally struggle to understand two sides of an argument? I have always found that the worst zealots are those that are completely unable to comprehend the motivations of the other side.

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Your feeling that myths and British exceptionalism are the real driving forces behind Brexit demonstrates that your understanding of the matter is far from perfect.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jamie Smith

The stories we tell ourselves are powerful. Read the headlines and see the constant comparisons with WW2. Britain alone against the evil empire (EU). It’s been a pretty consistent theme. MP Mark Francois and his analogy with D-Day and not being forced to speak German while being interviewed by the BBC. I could cite hundreds of examples highlighting this type of rhetoric.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I don’t believe that Brexiteers want a return of the British Empire. However, they do believe in British exceptionalism. They believe we possess the power to easily secure free trade deals across the world on even better terms than the EU. Our past glories and myths have led many British people to have a misplaced sense of our place in the world. This naivety is partly to blame for why we voted for Brexit.

It is abundantly clear that the cause célÚbre of Brexiteers will not deliver decisive results. We will take back control from the EU only to be left open to influence of more malign actors that we have zero recourse to. Britain is a nation with a shrinking share of global GDP. Brexiteers just do not get it and it’s because our myths have such a sway over them.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

“I don’t believe that Brexiteers want a return of the British Empire” – then why did you say it? It appears that your sole purpose is to spread your own prejudices and misinformation because reality does not justify your position and the rest of your post continues in that vain.

“This naivety is partly to blame for why we voted for Brexit.” – again misinformation and prejudice. Lets look at the realities .

“shrinking share of global GDP” – In 1973 the 9 member EEC accounted for c33% of the world economy. Today the 27 member EU accounts for c17% of the world economy. By 2030 it is projected to be around 10%. The Eu is a slow growth, over regulated part of the world economy. The Eu has an over exaugurated opinion of it’s own importance and your EU centric view prevents you from seeing the reality!

“They believe we possess the power to easily secure free trade deals” – this is an old argument dating back to 2016 but are you aware that the UK has signed 61 FTA’s around the world. Most of these deals are not just roll overs but have been adjusted to improve UK access. The biggest example is the Japan deal which even level headed remainers accept is better for the UK than the EU deal.

“We will take back control from the EU only to be left open to influence of more malign actors” – again we see your inability to see past the 2016 prejudice of an unreconstructed remainer. What has been proven over the last 4 years is how malign the Eu is. How the EU changed it’s mind over the deal on offer, how it played games with the NI border and how it meddled in UK politics to get it’s way. At the end of the day the EU wanted to cherry pick and thankfully have been rebuffed!

And finally we arrive at the vaccine. Remainers told us how not being in the EU would restrict our access to Covid vaccines. Remainers called the governments decision not to join the EU scheme “politically motivated”. Yet here we are today with the UK well ahead of the game. The EU wanted us to stop phase 3 trials of the Oxford vaccine (probably to favour the French vaccine) yet the French vaccine isn’t even in phase 3 trials while next week the Oxford will be given to people next week!

The reality is the Eu is a political organisation that is fixated on it’s own objectives and happily ignores the wishes of it’s citizens!

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Being influenced by myths that have their origins in our imperial past is different to literally wishing for the return of empire. You misrepresented my comment.

The divorce between the UK and the EU was always going to be messy. Divorces mostly are. There was ill will and mischievousness on both sides.

In terms of geopolitics, the likes of China and Russia are cheering on the fragmentation of Europe. If you can’t see why or actually believe the EU is the greater threat than authoritarian regimes that actively seek to subvert democracy in Europe then you cannot be reasoned with. Your hatred of the EU blinds you so you cannot see our real enemies right in front of you.

Brexit will bring positives and negatives. I don’t believe it will be disaster. I think that on balance it leaves the UK in a more precarious position internationally. The benefits have probably already been outweighed by the acrimonious divorce. It’s an ideological project driven by British exceptionalism.

The UK is in Europe and our economy and national well-being will continue to be defined by what happens in Europe. This was true in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It will continue to be the case. Trading with the rest of the world is not a given in a world of trade wars with a global superpower reticent to defend the international order as vigrously as before.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

“Being influenced by myths that have their origins in our imperial past” – but only hard core remainers and federalist nutters talk about empire. Everyone else has moved on. You need to step out of your fantasy and start to accept BRexit is about trade and extracting ourselves from a political organisation with ambitions of empire not recreating one!

BRexit wasn’t a divorce. There was no house, children of possessions. It was the termination of membership of a political organisation. It was made messy by the Eu’s old fashioned desire to build spheres of influence.

The Eu is an authoritarian regime with ambitions of exerting influence beyond its borders (see Norway & Switzerland complaints about the expansion of power in the EEA). It is as dangerous as Russia and China as it creates friction at its borders to expand that influence. If the Eu is not careful it will cause the next European war!

The benefits of leaving the EU can only be unlocked by being outside the over regulated and innovation stifling single market and removing the trade barriers to the rest of the world erected by the customs Union. TTP and commonwealth FTA’s offer massive benefits and open markets which dwarf the EU.

We need to clarify your definition of Europe. If you mean the geographical continent of Europe you are correct. We will be affect by events in Turkey, Ukraine and the “stans”. We will also be affect by events in the Eu such as the crash of the Euro leading to debt defaults by governments and the collapse of Italian and German banks. On the other hand political decisions take by the EU commission will have limited to zero impact on us.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

This isn’t the first time I have posted a response along these lines … but in all the hundreds of conversations I have had over the years with Brexit-supporters, I have never once heard anyone mention the British Empire, let alone wish for it to return.

If you want to look for those who lust for empire – exercise of power over many countries, without democratic consent of those ruled – take a look at the EU.

I mean, who voted for Mrs von der Leyen?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

In a recent survey, the number of Dutch people who were proud of their country’s empire significantly exceeded the number of British people who were proud of their country’s empire.

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

A link to this survey would be very useful, please.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It is perfectly possible to be, in general, proud of our Imperial past whilst being alive to its flaws and without wishing to re-create it. This is a million miles from the deranged national self-loathing exhibited by elements of the left.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Land of Hope and Glory – no empirical reference? I’ve seen many Brexiter banners referencing Britons never being slaves.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

‘Empirical’? Has nothing to do with ’empire’. Suggest you peek into a dictionary. Quoting the lyrics of old songs that are part of a sentimental tradition is not at all the same as wishing to revive the empire in any political or practical sense.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

The Brexit slogan was ‘take back control’ with their arguments pushing sovereignty as the main reason to leave the EU. I was always left with the distinct impression that sovereignty had become an ideological pursuit. It seemed that Brexiteers believed Britain could simply leave the EU and forge its own path in the world. This naivety has its roots in our imperial past and the myths we tell ourselves about World War Two. Our own British exceptionalism. This mentality was summed up by Gavin Williamson very recently when he said that UK scientists were better than their French counterparts. An over inflated sense of our place in the world.

Britain will have to bow to more powerful nations outside of the EU whether it is America or China. This is the cold hard reality of our world. Large multinationals and other regional blocs will all hold sway over us. At least within the EU we were able to influence the political process. We have no such control over China or America.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

It is not the right and/or Brexiteers who are obsessed with the half century-departed British Empire, but the left, and particularly the Woke left, to whom it appears to be a looming, dominant presence. It’s gone, Zach. Get over it. Move on.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

It’s fun to impute it to others, and watch them get all huffy. But you’re right, it’s long, long gone.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

A misrepresentation of my argument. The British Empire, WW2 and the Cold War have influenced our national myths. I am not obssessed with the British Empire, well maybe a little as I love reading about our rich history. Nonetheless, it’s clear that Brexiteers are often beguiled by our myths.

Nina Smith
Nina Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

As a probably left.of centre thinker ( depends where the centre is!), I have always thought a constitutional monarchy has more pluses than minuses. But national soveriegnty.is a myth. We live in a connected world. We have to consider what others do and want. With regard to Brexit, we are a European country. An island 22 miles from the mainland which geographically separeated 10k years ago. We have so much more in common than divides We used to have considerably influence in Europe. We were respected. Now the UK, or at least the.Government in London, is a laughing stock, a byword for incompetence, bluster and illusional

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

Well, sovereignty I’d say is a fundamental of the nation state concept. Many (some left wing, some unbridled capitalists) think the nation state as a useful way of organising societies and economies has become less relevant. Hence the concept of sovereignty, or even belief in your country, as a real existing fact let alone a force for good, becomes less relevant.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

Justin Webb is a media insider (inside just about the worst: the b**b) who is only starting to wake up and still doesn’t get what happened: he hasn’t read the well-documented history. The Left didn’t merely “lose the plot”.
THE ORIGIN OF ‘IDENTITY POLITICS’ & ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’: Not Consideration for Minorities but Hatred Towards the Mass of Ordinary People; Specifically ‘the Workers’ ” Tracing the Roots of Why and How it Arose and Developed Reveals the Greatest Political Fraud in History.
SUMMARY
‘Identity politics’ (often or even usually dubbed ‘political correctness’) is the result of a political-Left major backlash against the mass of ordinary people (in Europe and ‘the West’), beginning in the 1920s/30s, in the wake of the persistent failure of Marxist theory to be realised in European ‘revolution’ or any real change through democracy. In shifting the blame away from Marxist theory and its adherents, and on to those the theory had prescribed and predicted would have been the beneficiaries ” the workers ” if only they had responded accordingly; then the cognitive-dissonance within the political-left mindset caused by this crisis to an extent was salved.
The intellectual rationalisation was first by invoking Freud’s now comprehensively discredited notion of ‘repression’ to attempt to explain a supposed impact on ‘the workers’ of ‘capitalism’ acting within the context of the family. With most workers (the group considered the principal ‘agents of social change’ in a ‘revolution’) being male, then the theoreticians had in mind the male as ‘head’ of the family. It was a simple extension in political-Left imagination for ‘the worker’ to change from being the putative conduit of the impact of ‘capitalism’ to its embodiment, leaving women to be deemed a replacement supposed ‘oppressed’ and ‘disadvantaged’ ‘group’.
This implausible and unfalsifiable non-scientific nonsense mainly festered within academia until the co-option after 1968 by the political-Left of a movement which appeared to be akin to the revolutionary activity predicted by Marxism: the US ‘civil rights’ movement. This added to the ‘new oppressed’ the category ‘non-white’, which like that of women could be envisaged as an inversion of a retrospective stereotype of ‘the worker’. In the wake of the similarly seeming revolutionary Stonewall riots of 1969, the ‘gay rights’ lobby was also co-opted to further add to the abstract demonised aspects of ‘the worker’, thereafter retrospectively stereotyped as male plus ‘white’ plus heterosexual.
The strands of the ‘new oppressed’ combined in a new (neo-Marxist) conceptualisation to account for these political shifts after the fact, which came to be termed ‘identity politics’ (or more pejoratively but accurately, ‘cultural Marxism’, and latterly dubbed ‘modernising’ [sic] in political parties). The deemed ‘groups’ replacing ‘the workers’ ““ subsequently expanded to embrace the disabled, the elderly, trans-sexuals and the obese ““ are abstractions rather than groups per se, and in any case far too heterogeneous to be in reality ‘oppressed’ or ‘disadvantaged’; providing a window on the sophistry and origin of this politics as other than it purports.
This absurd situation arose through the political-Left’s forcing of specific conflicts to be considered as emblematic of Marxist struggle, rendering them as generalisable, with their participants abstractions. US Afro-Americans became generic ‘ethnic minorities’, and ‘gays’ became ‘homosexuals’. The history of feminism ” not just of the ‘third wave’ ” is of upper-class or upper-middle-class women demanding to somehow to be the same as their very high-status husbands and males within their rarefied social milieu; which even if it could make any sense given profound sex difference, hardly was a basis of anything comparable for the great majority of either women or men. The upshot is that ‘identity politics’ is a ‘gravy train’ for the already privileged. Worse, it is an instrument of oppression against the very ‘group’ perennially disadvantaged and the victim of prejudice, which formerly had been identified as worthy of the liberation Marxism promised: the vast majority of (necessarily lower-status) men.
The pretence to egalitarianism is perfect cover for what ‘identity politics’ actually is: the very perennial and ubiquitous elitist-separatism the political-Left ethos attacks and denies; rendered a quasi-religion, being an ideology in the wake of the Christian notion of ‘the promised land’ in the utopia/dystopia of equality-of-outcome.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

Identity politics (as expressed in notions such as ‘indigenous Britons’ and ethnocentric definitions of nationality) was a reaction to left wing thought that considered class as more important than nationality. The right invented identity politics- own it!

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Complete nonsense, Mark. ‘Identity politics’ (aka — though confused with — political correctness) is a wholly political-Left phenomenon almost a century in development. It has a well-documented history. It’s the biggest political fraud in history. I’m not surprised you don’t want to ‘own it’.

John Brown
John Brown
3 years ago

A friend of mine with good contacts in Thailand spent her holiday on a secluded island with a local family. They lived in a nice house not far from a wonderful beach with palm trees, white sand and clean blue water. My friend described it as being like “paradise on earth”.

Once a week the married couple and their children would gather around their tv set, watch Baywatch and dream of moving to their “paradise”,..Miami.

The grass is always greener etc.

simon taylor
simon taylor
3 years ago

I have a “woke” step-daughter, she is a kind and considerate person who is not only not amenable to debate (she wanted to censor our Christmas game of Words against Humanity in case she was triggered), but also appears to have lost any sense of humour. I, of course being the white male, bread winning patriarch am the devil incarnate. I find this very sad, for my self but also for her, as she will grow up and realise that she has wasted time and alienated loved ones. When one has(carefully curated) discussions with her she shows intelligence and perspicacity, but these leave the building when politics race or gender are discussed.

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  simon taylor

Don’t despair-Its guerrilla warfare with my woke youngest daughter (19) who subscribes to a peculiar form of speech censorship with her free speech advocating father-apparently we are not allowed to say anything that might possibly causeoffence to anybody-however I think I’m wearing her down!!!!!

Isla C
Isla C
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

Wtf is going on here, please forgive my obvious intrusion but your daughter is, by my guessing, brought up in a house of rigourous debate and open minded questioning.. so why are our teenage children all behaving in such a woke and snowflake manner…

Andy Nimmo
Andy Nimmo
3 years ago
Reply to  Isla C

It’s sort of a reverse of the mild mannered accountant attending a football match and caught up with the emotion turns into a macho ‘hate machine’ only to revert to type next day at the office.
i think you’ll find that your daughter is caught up in the Twitter Madhouse and going along with the horde.

Isla C
Isla C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Nimmo

Thank you Andy, I am now going to try and take her smart phone off her…. Wish me luck…

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Isla C

Excellent point. I suspect the starting point would be to identify precisely who is influencing these children, because no matter how well a parent tries to set a good example, an outside influence will be seductive -and of course will not have to endure the arguments over the dinner table.

Personally I suspect that a lot of the ‘wokeness’ can be traced back to the schools and to some right-on teachers. I cannot now recall how, when my own children were that age, we resisted such outside influences, but I know that the pressures on children were less great then.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Isla C

I urge you to watch a YouTube video ‘How I left the social justice cult’- Keri Smith. I’ve heard many a tale of young women breaking down in tears during ‘at home’ discussions. If one can’t verbalise a rational reply, cry.

Isla C
Isla C
3 years ago
Reply to  simon taylor

Omg I feel your pain, my teenage child actually cried at the dinner table when we discussed transgender issues and feminism…

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

The totalitarians – the ‘meritocratic ‘ globalists – have taken over, completely, in the USA.
Talk about left-wing alternatives of perception and policy are now irrelevant.

Ralph Hanke
Ralph Hanke
3 years ago

So I have a bone to pick. Webb says Biden won withe most votes ever. So what. Trump lost with second most votes ever. The problem persists. Americans do not and”I would argue”cannot be served by a two party system. Forced choice does not tell us what Americans want/need from their politicians. Even Canada”with three parties”ain’t doing so great. Anyway, just a thought.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Hanke

Also worth noting that Trump also secured an increased (If still minority) share of black and, particularly, Hispanic votes compared with 2016.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Hanke

Trump lost with second most votes ever.

Have noticed that one sided weighing of the Biden votes in a lot of articles. Back in the day the victor was duty bound to be magnanimous and represent all factions, I think it was called democracy.

Anne-Marie Mazur
Anne-Marie Mazur
3 years ago

Isn’t Vicky Osterweil a male pretending to be a woman? Why in the hell are all these articles calling these trans identified males “she”? No mention he’s a male anywhere, unless it was somewhere my eyes were glazed over…..

Isla C
Isla C
3 years ago

Thank you Anne-Marie for bringing that to my attention. And yes it does really matter!!!

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
3 years ago

“”those who participate in rioting and looting tend to be the most politically informed and socially engaged in the neighborhood,””

*Looks at Guardian articles about Burmese bronzes*

I thought the left were against looting?

Warren Richman
Warren Richman
3 years ago

Oh, the left are dead against looting. Unless it’s blacks robbing white-owned businesses. That’s fine.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Warren Richman

To be accurate, the looting was indiscriminate, as it nearly always is. It was not limited to white-owned businesses.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago

It is at best disingenuous to describe looting as a political act. It is theft, motivated by greed.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

This is not the only piece out there that muses about the future direction of Biden and the Democrats – how far Left will he go? Will he make real changes or take the middle road?
Those questions were answered when the DNC chose Biden.
Biden means ‘business as usual’.
If the DNC was actually considering a game-changing shift to the left they would have given the job to Sanders.
So The Left, as in the ‘America needs a complete makeover’ Left, will have to be content with some token vanity projects, friendly PR and photo ops because that’s all they’ll get from the Biden Whitehouse.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Biden and company at home will be pretty conservative. That’s the plutocratic factions’ turf. Abroad, going by their mentors’ examples, we can expect more endless wars. The present experiments with the suppression of free speech through corporations will continue to expand. No one is changing any games.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

I categorise all countries into those that people flee to and those they flee from. I’m not aware of any period in Britain’s history when significant numbers of people fled it. That’s not true of many other countries.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Ever noticed that so many people in Canada, Australia and the US claim to have British or Irish heritage? Ever wondered why English is the first language of so many countries that are not England? The people who left Britain and Ireland were fleeing poverty and persecution. Millions of them.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago

But how many, really, were persecuted? Persecution is a strong word.

Many may have gone abroad in search of opportunities, or the chance to do things their own way, but that’s not the same as fleeing.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Leave or starve is pretty much akin to persecution.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Ireland had a bigger population in 1840 than it has today. The Irish didn’t leave in their millions because they wanted to do a bit of line dancing. They left because of hunger and religious discrimination.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Simple as that categorisation may be, it is telling.

In the times of the Iron Curtain, who wanted to ‘escape’ from the West to the East? Who would shoot you in the back as you ran, the West German guards or the East German?

And if, say, the UK or the US are so dreadful, how come so many people want to go there?

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Because as horrible as they are, they are at least not Third World hellholes?

I mean, if you want to make that your point of pride, go ahead. “America – Not Actually A Third World Hellhole.” It’s entirely accurate, and worth taking note of so that you don’t entirely lose your perspective. But somehow I don’t see it making it into tourist brochures anytime soon.

You could stand to aim a little bit higher, is what I’m trying to say. Especially since most Third World hellholes became so bad at least partly because countries like the UK and the US spent decades hoovering up their natural resources and smashing their cultures into rubble. That doesn’t make them any nicer to live in, but it does give them an excuse for sucking that the UK and the US entirely lack.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Ireland in the 1840s, Scotland 18th and 19th Centuries, Jews when Richard 1st kicked them out, German and Italian Nationals beginning of WW2 (maybe deportation rather than fleeing on that occasion). Just off the top of my head.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

There is no debate or discussion that can be had with this incarnation of the left, leaving just one option. No one wants to consider it, but it’s a lot closer than most Americans want to believe.

rbotelho
rbotelho
3 years ago

The title is a great example of leftism with sweeping stereotypes that invites right-ism with counteracting stereotypes. The right is mobilized by a cult of blind loyalty: its national pride blinds itself to its pseudo-patriotism. And so the dysfunctional political polarizations of the duolopy carry on with more stereotypical responses and populist divisiveness that keeps the plutocratic elites running the show against we, the people. This article reminds me of this quote by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the game. I am, at the Fed level, libertarian; at the state level, Republican; at the local level, Democrat; and at the family and friends level, a socialist. If that saying doesn’t convince you of the silliness of left vs. right labels, nothing will.” But the silliness of dichotomous thinking will live on and never die. But it does not need to be on center stage.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago
Reply to  rbotelho

Not so. The Left resolutely hates the people, in an ideological backlash almost a century in the making. Opposition to this obscenity is simply a reaction to being virulently hated.

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Moxon

I’m reading Vassily Grossman “Everything Flows” currently. Antisemitism was a real thing in the Soviet Union, in fact following on from the “Killer doctors plot” it seemed that the Jews would be deported to Siberia in the same manner as a number of other minorities had been – a fate only spared through the death of Stalin.

Rather reminiscent of Labour Party ant-Zionism which slips all too easily into anti-semitism, all it takes is the flick of a switch as in the Soviet Union.

The Labour Party hates English people particularly, that’s been blatantly obvious from their sacrifice of uncounted thousands of grooming gang victims on their sacred altar of diversity and vote bank politics.

With the demographic change tide running in strongly and the grip of the left on the institutions seemingly almost unassailable New Kulak status awaits much of the native population

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Jewish pogroms in USSR, anti-semitism in Labour, native Brits, grooming gangs – remind me who is obsessed with identity politics?

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

If you know a bit of history then you can read the runes. A lot of us do take the grooming scandal rather seriously, for never before in the history of this country have we seen racist atrocities like this committed. I could have selected a number of examples, but they woul have failed the bot which does the moderation here. I’ll try this – extract of a speech to the House of Lords by Baroness Cox

“Noble Lords may be aware of the case of Sarah”not her real name”which has been reported as one of the worst sex grooming cases on record. She describes how she was kidnapped aged 15, imprisoned in a house, forced to learn the K ran and beaten when she made mistakes. She was held as a sex slave for 12 years and was repeatedly raped by different members of the grooming gang. She had three forced Sharia marriages, eight forced abortions and two live births. Her abusers referred to her as “wxxxx trash”. They forced her to wear Islamic dress and permitted her to speak only Urdu and Punjabi. She has not received the help she needs from social services and is frequently suicidal.”

The Left are Quislings, not to put too fine a point on it

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

A superficial and misleading analysis. My guess is that Justin Webb spent too much time at cocktail parties in Washington and too little time outside the Beltway.

No mention of the American politician who ran explicitly on an identity platform. The man whose aim was to ‘Make America Great Again’. Why not? Because Trump is a man who believes in identity politics. The likes of Biden and Harris just use identity politics for their own ends: winning power and making money. Most of the people rioting after the Floyd killing were white. They were rioting ‘on behalf’ of another racial group. The cities with the most persistent rioting, Seattle and Portland, have few black residents. In Minneapolis, the rioters were destroying the areas of the town where black businesses were concentrated. The rioters have been indulged by Democrats because they largely kept out of the neighbourhoods in which champagne socialists live and because the social disruption was to be used to attack Trump ahead of the election. Several Black Americans are killed every year by cops without due justification. The violence erupted this year. It last erupted in 2016. It will erupt again in 2024. Why? The answer is obvious: the Democrats want to get disillusioned Black Americans to vote for whatever lame politician they put up for the Presidency instead of staying at home. Even the identity of the next lame candidate is already known. Harris was so unpopular with Democrat voters of all races that she withdrew from the race for the nomination before the first primary and before she was humiliated in her own state.

It’s true that there is a ‘hard left’ element who wish to raze the country so that it can literally be rebuilt. They also want to repeal the US Constitution so that US citizens can be deprived of their rights and forced to live under a totalitarian dictatorship. For this reason, the blatant bias of most of the US media and ultimately the censorship of details of the Bidens’ personal lives and financial affairs were accepted without question. There is another bigger group that is using identity politics (both in the US and UK). University graduates want to be rewarded for studying whatever useless degree takes their fancy. Their aim is to create a class that is privileged in terms of pay and conditions relative to those who don’t have a degree. They cannot admit though to fighting class warfare from above. So they dress up their desire for privilege as a battle against privilege. To this end, the white working class has to be vilified and their sense of identity in these terms has to be denied.

Both of these groups are being used by the Democrats to fight off a much larger group with the potential to change US policies, those advocating for Medicare to be extended to all Americans and for the increased expenditure to be financed by a reduction in military expenditure. This group is literally being excluded from political debate currently as the Democrat establishment get their poodles on the Left to argue that a pandemic is not the time for a vote in Congress on extending healthcare to all. Battle lines are clearly drawn. A political class where Republicans and Democrats are indistinguishable on economic issues using identity politics in the hope of dividing a class-based, cross-racial movement whose effective leadership is now up for grabs given Sanders poor showing in 2020.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago

Utterly false claim.
* There is no ‘white’ ‘identity politics’: ‘identity politics’ is Left backlash extreme ideology of ‘projection’ of the Left’s hatred towards the masses on to the masses.
* There is no ‘white’ movement, just reaction to the Left’s hated towards ordinary people.
* There is no excess deaths of ‘blacks’ at the hands of the police — try reading up the stats.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Because Trump is a man who believes in identity politics
that requires a citation. Trump did not run on race or sex or ethnicity or any of that. By contrast, his opponent selected a running mate explicitly due to demographic factors, and yes, it was the woman whom Dems themselves summarily rejected.

Several Black Americans are killed every year by cops without due justification.
So are white Americans and in greater numbers, yet there is never rioting or looting over it.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Nationalism is a form of identity. It is simply not a form that is recognised by the Left.

Seb Bassleer
Seb Bassleer
3 years ago

@unherdlimited-3ea1ba5f4298a347a6cd81c0bb4f9f0d:disqus

indeed it’s always the game of the pot calling the kettle black. both Right and Left are guilty of that, so it makes no sense in singling out each side and highlighting its characteristics time and time again. Yet the media (and even the free media and readers at Unherd) are
relentless at that and widening this gap.

Calling out people or institutions as racist / supremacist when based on valid claims, becomes a No No and Republicans closing ranks as order of the day. I find it gripping why such things can not be dealt with properly within the Republican party as it only increases the public opinion on white elites. I’m sure that in the Democratic party you can also encounter some instances of racist/supremacist ideals of a white elite and a non-white elite, yet those have not become the norm in the public opinion, with far less controversies spilling into the public opinion.

Also the ever present referral of Communism / Marxism / Stalinism goes way beyond the point, since a big majority of leftist voters would not stand for any oppressive apparatshik, despite what fearmongers spread or would like you to believe. A system like that would never work in Europe and even less so in US.

But why not talk / complain about such false tag tactics used by the Right, day after day without end, even upheld by presidents? You divide more than you keep together.

That’s actually why Trump lost, why Bolsonaro will lose and likely to tip other sketchy political figures on wobbly legs.

People are not sheeple and in general will look for the common balance for the greater good. in the end most people vote for social democracy, whether spiced with some right wing, centralist of left wing ingredients.

Diarmid Weir
Diarmid Weir
3 years ago

‘Maybe Joe Biden from Scranton will just carry on back in his centre-lane as if nothing has happened.’

With stagnant incomes, inadequate healthcare for millions, the climate crisis and a Republican party thumbing its nose at democracy – this would be a good thing?

It was not ‘conflict on the left’ that hobbled recent Democratic presidencies, but blatant obstructionism by Republicans to whom victory is represented by maintaining the worst aspects of the status quo. When this behaviour is enabled no wonder some find it difficult to believe America can be reformed. Even James Baldwin saw ‘the fire next time’.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
3 years ago

The bigger question is: what do we do about a secular religious movement whose faith is that politics can create heaven on Earth.

Politics is division; government is force. Yet humans are social animals, that eschew force and division with trust and earned hierarchy.

Trust? Hierarchy? The left thinks that these human practices are fantasy. The only reality for the left is oppression and resistance.

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago

No mention of the range and scale of the abuse of Young white and non Muslim kids and no mention of the engineered silence of the Political class and its propagandists.
In excess of 8599 white victims and 200 Sikh victims spread across 53 English town and cities. All sacrificed on the altar of the illiberal lefts infatuation with Multiculturalism ,data culled from local press court reports.

Andrew Hall
Andrew Hall
3 years ago

Webb’s closing remark, ‘… the Left will… cause the Democratic presidency such grief that the party enters the mid-terms in 2022 in disarray and the presidential poll in 2024 in outright civil war.’ is to me a foregone conclusion.
Even if Trump were to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat the same holds true for the Dems.
The DNP cooked their goose in a CCP-style abuse of democratic institutions during the Obama years, running seamlessly into 2020 electoral frauds sprung on a quiescent Republican party. The Dems have shot their bolt, intersectional activism will bypass their political machinery leaving exercise of naked state power the only outcome. It will likely be a spectacular civic breakdown into which Webb’s Burmese waiter would not wish to migrate – the future pattern may likely prove to be outward migration of the wealthy and ambitious.

Colm McGinn
Colm McGinn
3 years ago

One good thing about Justin Webb’s piece here, is that he outs his politics. This used be ‘not a done thing’ for BBC personnel, great to see this new glasnost.
As regards his piece, it is clear it fuels the prejudices of most readers here (‘un-herd’; ho-ho-ho) in that they dislike or hate leftist ideas, having convinced themselves that ‘they’ know otherwise, and hence they just love the idea(s) that
(1) leftists are or have become identitarians, mainly.
(2) that leftists have only disgust for the working class of their nations.
(3) that leftists are plagued by self-loathing.

I’ll stop there, though that could be continued. The serious trend within leftist thought recognises economics as fundamental, that class is an economic and political construct, and that the wealthy worldwide are always in alliance. Other aspects of individual human identity (e.g. gender, nation, sexual preference) are real, are present, but when you get to the bottom, are not as fundamental as your place on the pecking order, which is in human society, of access to wealth. The many, many prejudiced readers on here are self-deluded and self-indulgent.
Any man / woman who doesn’t have awareness of him / herself as at least sometimes a fool and occasionally to be self-condemned, is knave or fool. (I’d say most here are knaves) Your self-belief (patriotism really is the last refuge) is not supported by the ideas you (plural) have expressed.

The peach of “The problem is that you won’t want us to stay”, within which is a conscious racism where Western (British?) people are allowed to migrate, but brown skinned others, not so much, well, it’s startling in its open-ness, but far from pretty in its scared exclusivity.

Is there ANYONE reading this Unherd who is not as classed above?

dealosteo
dealosteo
3 years ago

You set up the argument well. I agree identity politics has become a problematic area for the left around the world, in that social progress is hard and identity politics is not carrying the majority of the population with it. Therefore the left, by seen to support it are seen as woke liberals.
However to then throw in the idea that ‘the left want to defund the police and open borders is nonsense. People can see the police have become an uncontrolled law unto themselves and are in need of reform and educating and borders are required in sovereign states, but we can in the developed world show compassion to asylum seekers and recognise the importance of workers from poor countries propping up health, care and agriculture.
Compassion is what is required and this is the stumbling block of the right into the future, who, through populism around the world have chosen easy targets and very simple messages that carry little intellectual weight as to how to allow society to develop. I think as we lose a generation of conservative elderly right wingers, the right is the party that will have greater existential questions as it wrestles with fear versus pragmatism.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  dealosteo

“People can see the police have become an uncontrolled law unto themselves and are in need of reform and educating”

What? You clearly have no idea what the police used to be, in the US or anywhere else. You really need to educate yourself about history.

The deaths that have galvanized the US seem to have come out of a health and safety culture. Shoot first, sit on suspects, be absolutely sure that officers come to no harm, regardless of the danger to the public. That should be reformed, and probably will be, hopefully soon.

The police have consistently gotten better in the US and UK over the last 50 years, and this was done via access to lawyers, who hold the worst tendencies of the worst officers in check. This in turn encourages the best type of officer, gradually reforming the system.

You have to acknowledge real progress and where it has come from, not perpetuate myths about the current direction of police reform.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago

The obvious problem of mass migration…and nobody can, or does , really blame anyone in Burma, Nigeria, Somalia or whereever for heading Wrest and North, I probably would if I was them….isn’t the principles but the actual numbers.

I have never heard anyone quantify what acceptable limits would exist or should exist. Angela Merkel famously let in 1,000,000…which she then force-shared on other EU members as well, but why stop at 1,000,000 and not 20,000,000 or 50,000,000 , or 0 ,and not as a total but an annual limit?

(Extreme numbers to illustrate the issue, they’re not * proposals*—apologies for the (should be ) unnecessary disclaimer there but …you know?….social media….)

Many left wingers seem to simply ignore the commonsense practical issues and stick entirely to arguing in principles…the principles, of helping people in trouble and all that, are never really at issue it is always the practical basic questions that never get asked by self-certified progressive types, let alone addressed and answered.

The older I get the more I am convinced that Wittgenstein’s idea (if I have got it even half right) that most arguments arise because of a failure to correctly define the terms before even starting on a discussion, is right.

When so many in the media/poltical/punditry class seem to ignore this sort of analysis you reach a point when you can’t keep believing they just don’t don’t get it, and start wondering what reasons they fell theyhave to keep pretending they just don’t get it.

Jonathan Barker
Jonathan Barker
3 years ago

There is of course a deep unconscious antipathy towards anything to do with left sided cultural manifestations.
For example the Latin word for left is sinister.
Much cruel effort was and probably still is put in to “curing” left handers of their “disease” in Western countries.
Do a search on the topic cultural prejudice against left handers. One essay that comes up is titled Two-Thirds of the World Still Hates Lefties.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

No need to attack the left here in the UK. It’s done itself so much self-harm that’s it’s virtually disappeared.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Yes indeed, the walls of Quislington are about to be breached.

It will make Alaric the Visigoth’s sack of Rome “look like Noddy”.

Colm McGinn
Colm McGinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Are you offering the thought that you and friends will ‘off’ us lefties?
No you won’t, dopey

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Colm McGinn

Try not to be so vulgar! I know it is difficult, given your ‘nome de guerre’ but do try.
Otherwise you only demean yourself, and your tribe.
QED?

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago

One of the few things known about the Indo-European culture is that they equated north, left and bad. This is thought to relate to looking towards the rising sun in the morning when left is north.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Cassian Young

The old English term ‘widdershins’ (usually ascribed to witches) referred to circling in the opposite direction of the sun’s course, from right to left. Interestingly the n*zi swastika, as designed by AH, also appears to move widdershins, unlike the Hindu symbol.

Why on earth someone has downvoted your factual comment I cannot fathom.

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Very interesting.

Left-hand Liberation Front at work I think.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Cassian Young

Or possibly AH deliberately reversed his swastika to the ‘evil’ direction. He was influenced by esoteric philosophies and believed he had been given a few years to achieve his objectives by a higher power. That higher power wasn’t the Judeo-Christian God.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

It seems to me both of them move rightward from the point of view of the observer. In any case a major difference between the Asian and Hitlerian swastikas is that the former rests on the ground, whereas AH tilted it so that it looks like marching boots or a threshing machine, which of course is what he wanted to represent.

Gwynneth Coan
Gwynneth Coan
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Sometimes, particularly on a smartphone, it is clicked on in error – the fat finger syndrome. I’m guilty of having done so and wish there was a way to retract.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Re: “…allow a strongman to be elected…”. There is a real difference between a “strongman” and a strong man.

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

There certainly is. And only someone thoroughly blinkered would consider notoriously thin-skinned man-baby Donald Trump to be the latter. He mostly failed at being the former, too, not for lack of trying… but that’s another story.

james62
james62
3 years ago

Christopher Lasch was earlier than Rorty, and less identitarian than him – or Justin…

As a lowly forecaster myself,

“Not a bad shot at superforcasting.”

…. needs a bit of, uh, course correction!

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

Are not all these considerations a sideshow?
What won the U.S. General Election this year was not the Democratic Party alternatives (whether Moderate or Far Left) to ‘racial’ or other ‘capitalism’.
It was the finally achieved complete stranglehold and ownership of the USA by the globalising Establishment which across the western world has more and more been in the saddle ruling everything this past third of a century.
It is a portentous cultural victory and as complete as that of Nazism in Germany in 1933.
Proof of this has already been furnished.
The presidential part of the election was stolen by massive electoral fraud of various kinds.
Except for Fox News and a few conservative outriders in the media, the line trumpeted by ALL journalists is that President Trump and his supporters are uttering ‘baseless allegations’ and ‘providing no proofs/evidence’ of such a contention. This they all parrot night and day.
Among the “No Proofs” are affidavits sworn (under penalty of perjury-punishment) by 2,500 election officials and election watchers (some of them Democrat in affiliation); the statistical Extreme Unlikelihood of whole districts in which many thousands of persons ‘voted’ for Joe Biden and not one individual for President Trump; the very large number of dead people who have sent in absentee ballots [e.g. Mr Jason Lemoyne Daniel in Michigan, who was born in 1850 and is but the oldest of a huge raft of centenarians who have voted from their homes in Detroit]; the limp, lacklustre, entirely unenthusiastic campaign (if you could even call it that) of Mr Biden’s supporters and the mass rallies, spontaneous, revved up, all over the USA – often without any celebrity speaker in attendance – by 40 and 30 and 20 and 10 thousand voters at a time for the sitting president; and so on.
If the ‘meritocratic’ Establishment’s Control of the Public Discourse were not now nearly absolute, lively journalists would at least be looking into these phenomena. But no. They are discounted before anyone can start.
The judges refuse to look at the mounds and heaps of evidence, NOT on the grounds of their lacking substance, but on procedural grounds (i.e. the judges are scared).
Twitter, Facebook now effectually ban or pooh-pooh all such allegations.
The Dept of Justice, the FBI, the CIA (and the IRS) have all demonstrated these past 4 years that they are corrupt. It is one of Mr Trump’s undeliberate achievements that he has switched on this light in the cockroach-infested cellar.
From now on the USA will more and more resemble a sort of mixture of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. At any rate the totalitarians have taken over.
So questions about Left-wing Alternatives to the status quo in that country are irrelevant. There was no rich seam of thought and dialogue for the Left to mine in the Berlin of 1933-45.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

“If you hate your country, you cannot change it.” Yes…you can…

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago

Left v Right is a distraction and is nonsense. There are two dimensions to which you can map political thought.
1) laise-faire V central control
one side believes in extreme individual freedom eg neo-liberals + anarchists
the other side believes that people are fundamentally evil and must be controlled eg Fascists and communists
the other dimension is
2) Equality V Elitism
One side thinks all humans are essentially the same, the other believes that one gender, colour, nation, class is superior.
Socialists are equality driven, Racist of various flavours are elitist.

Nazi are both Elitist & Central Control
Communists are Egalitarian & Central control fans.
Anarchists are laisse-faire & egalitarian
There is no tenable position at Laisse-faire & central control, but populists often pop up there.

The extremes of both dimensions are unreasonable. the Left and Right show up at all the extremes.
A middle ground is the only reasonable position.

jaqsarti46
jaqsarti46
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

…….beautifully written ! I add for more clarity : the Left Wing and the Right Wing belong to the SAME Bird !

Graham Evans
Graham Evans
3 years ago

The national newspapers in the UK overwhelmingly push a right wing, socially conservative agenda, which the broadcast media allow to pass with little challenge. Yet it seems that the overwhelming majority of comments on unHerd articles come from those who live in a parallel universe where their way of life is under constant threat from social liberals who allegedly dominate the social and political discourse.

I come to unHerd looking for balanced discussion. Unfortunately what I too often get is bleating from those who yearn to return to a better yesterday.

Chris Chris
Chris Chris
3 years ago
Reply to  Graham Evans

Yes the Guardian
, observer, independent and Mirror are all right wing along with the BBC, Channel 4, & Sky news are all right wing supportive of Brexit and other current Conservative government agendas.

I suspect you where expecting the Guardian and got something that provides both sides of the fence instead.

Steve Moxon
Steve Moxon
3 years ago
Reply to  Graham Evans

Just what different galaxy do you live in?!
The Left’s mad backlash ‘Identity politics’ is now an all-pervasive deep-seated totalitarianism the like of which has never been seen.

Nigel H
Nigel H
3 years ago
Reply to  Graham Evans

” those who yearn to return to a better yesterday.”
If yesterday was better, then why not yearn for its return?

Chris Chris
Chris Chris
3 years ago

Interesting how at the first opportunity this author took to dissuade a foreigner from seeking a better future for themselves.

Is that behaviour inbred or genetic or something?

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Chris

The residents of the South of England only hate one group more than poor foreigners, those are their poor northern fellow countrymen.

David Otness
David Otness
3 years ago

There is so much wrong with this (suppositions, but most importantly exclusions,) especially not factoring the overarching influence of tech and especially AI and the parts already being covertly played by that ungoverned and amoral sector. Where “the rubber meets the road” in our present reality is where you will find the nexus of Big Tech and the surveillance state. And together they are doing much, much more than just surveilling.

Nick Wright
Nick Wright
3 years ago

What a strange idea it is that Clinton and Obama were hobbled by “a conflict on the Left”. Clinton was hobbled by a cooked-up scandal about his sex life. Obama was hobbled by political opposition from Republicans who had sworn to prevent him achieving anything at all, even if they agreed with it, and some Democrats living in fear of their reactionary voters.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

The only reason that Clinton was elected was that there was a 3rd party candidate (Ross Perot) that split the vote. Cooked up scandal? I suggest that you would have felt differently about it had the young, cigar penetrated woman been your daughter…

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wright

And both of them have been and are utterly corrupt.

Jon Blair
Jon Blair
3 years ago

Justin,
I am afraid your argument appears to me to be fundamentally flawed. As we now fully understand, or at least we should given our experience of Trump and McConnell’s 4 years of conservative triumphalism, unless a President has a majority with him (or her) in both houses of Congress any chance of enacting legislation bringing about fundamental change is as close to zero as makes no difference. You only have to read today’s interview in the Guardian with Newt Gingrich to get this from the horse’s mouth. So neither Clinton nor Obama had a chance in hell of being anything except totally centrist presidents in terms of the wider policies they could introduce and since there is every chance that the Senate will remain Republican under Biden, and as great a chance that the slender Dem majority in the House will disappear in the mid terms in 2 years time, conservatives of whatever ilk can sleep easy in your beds and dispatch your fears of the terrible leftists who “hate their country” to the dustbin where your flawed arguments deserve to be dumped.

jmskennedy9
jmskennedy9
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Blair

Didn’t Obama have the House and Senate for the first two years? In the past, it was conceivable to get things done with split government, because there was still a sense of country being more important. Compromise was possible.

Jon Blair
Jon Blair
3 years ago
Reply to  jmskennedy9

Compromise went out the window with Gingrich and the Tea Party who laid the groundwork for Trump’s fire and brimstone nationalist rhetoric. It wasn’t the so called left or even centrist Democrats who threw out compromise, it was the right.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Blair

As I recall, Bill Clinton worked with Newt on welfare reform, among other things. it appears your assumption mostly highlights the folly of assuming things. And I seem to recall this guy whose sage advice to skeptics was “win some elections.”

Jonathan Barker
Jonathan Barker
3 years ago

Who or what is this amorphous entity called “the left”?
In dreadfully sane right-wing American anything even remotely promoted as left-wing is considered to be blasphemous, beyond the pale.
How many TRULY left-wing and influential mass media outlets are there? Is there really any truly left-wing comparison to the Murdoch lies-all-the-way-down Fox propaganda machine as described by David Brock in his book The Republican Noise Machine, The Fox Effect, and other books. Or the Sinclair network, or the vast right-wing Christian TV and radio networks?

And of course much/most/all of the applied politics proposed and practiced by those on the right side of the culture wars is irreducibly disgusting. A farrago of destructive lies. Lies all the way down which will potentially lead to the collapse of the biosphere or the life-support-system which humankind is totally entangled, and totally dependent.

Meanwhile my favorite truth-telling genuinely left wing website is Counterpunch.