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Why the nation state failed The electorate has been disregarded

Who is Britain for? Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Who is Britain for? Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


May 24, 2023   7 mins

I spent the run-up to Brexit waddling around my small town with a large baby bump, delivering Vote Leave campaign leaflets. As I explained to friends who wondered why I was campaigning for something so obviously daft, I did so because I felt that it was wrong that EU membership had removed key policy areas from electoral influence.

The result had been, I felt, leaders on autopilot, and a waning capacity for self-government. It might be too late to reverse this trajectory, but those of us who take civic nationalism and engaged democratic politics seriously ought to try.

This was the message condensed into the successful Vote Leave campaign message: “Take Back Control.” So there I was, doing my bit for an exercise in mass democratic engagement. We all know what happened next. Like my daughter, the Leave victory is now six years old. So how’s it going? Have we taken back control? Leaving aside Covid and the wrangling over how (or whether) to leave, there’s one clear measure where we can assess our leaders’ scorecard on returning democratic accountability to the British electorate: immigration.

If for me, supporting Leave was about democratic accountability, for many Brexit voters it was much more practical. Thanks to EU free movement rules, many felt the level of low-skilled immigration to the United Kingdom was too high, depressing wages. Many Leave voters sought to return immigration to British national control, in the hope that politicians would then use the powers they now possessed to lower immigration in line with the desires of voters.

On this metric, Brexit has spectacularly failed. ONS statistics this week are expected to show that net migration has in fact more than doubled from the pre-Brexit level of 336,000 to over 700,000 in 2022. Some are predicting net migration for a single year could top one million. In the wake of these revelations, just 9% of Brexiters believe Brexit has been a success.

Where, then, is the “control” the Brexit campaign promised could be taken back? In truth, the real question this raises goes deeper than whether or not political leaders have betrayed their voters since 2016. It’s a question that was raised, or at least gestured at, by many at last week’s National Conservatism conference in Westminster, to shrill horror from the self-appointed Virtuous People in the press. Namely: what even is a nation? What, and who, is it for?

If you’d asked me this question while I was waddling around small-town England in 2016 with a bag of “Take Back Control” leaflets, I’d have said something to the effect that nation states are the generally-accepted modern scale for the governance of a people in a particular place. That in modern times this governance usually (though not always) happens via some form of electoral democracy. I might have added that nations tend to map partly, though not exclusively, onto a culture, language, and history — and that over time they often have a reciprocal structuring effect on that people’s idea of themselves as a collective with common interests.

I might have said that the history of patriotic feeling that attends this marriage of language, culture, history, geography, and democratic citizenship is sometimes criticised for its propensity to spill over into chauvinism or hostility toward outsiders. But that we should set this against the fact that to work for its citizens, as a democracy, a self-governing nation must have a sense of who is and is not a citizen, and what if anything is due only to, or expected only of, those citizens. And, at the most concrete level, everyone there needs a good idea of where this applies: in other words, a nation needs clearly marked geographical boundaries.

Everything I did in 2016 was predicated on these things still being true and the proper way to govern a place. But though it gives me no pleasure to say so, and though I was a speaker at last week’s National Conservatism conference, I’m no longer sure this is the case. My worry is structural: that the nation-state form as such is now desired only by those at the bottom of the social scale, and no one with an iota of power cares what they think. Worse still, no one with an iota of power even cares who they are, or what nation they do or don’t in principle belong to.

The whole point of a democratic nation state is that we agree who The People are and what The Place is, and that we agree to abide by the electorate’s decisions (with some qualifications) on important matters concerning that people and place. But this week’s numbers reveal that the Tories, despite routinely making hostile noises about immigration, are not listening. They’re determinedly deaf to the majority view among Britons that immigration is too high: a view held by 57% of voters overall and 75% of Conservatives: so much so, that the Cabinet recently blocked all but one of Suella Braverman’s proposals for lowering it. And as pollster Matthew Goodwin set out last week, this is hardly the only policy area in which the Tories are obdurately cloth-eared.

Meanwhile, if the meaning of “listening” is ambiguous where the Tories are concerned, for Labour so too is the meaning of “electorate”. The week before NatCon, Keir Starmer floated a proposal to extend UK voting rights to tax-paying EU citizens living in the UK, as well as to sixth-form schoolchildren. In other words: citizenship doesn’t imply a bond of belonging or loyalty, but is instead more like a gym membership. Anyone who pays the subscription can join. And perhaps this doesn’t matter, because clearly the franchise doesn’t do much. Otherwise Starmer wouldn’t be proposing to extend it to children deemed too young to buy cigarettes.

In other words: if you ignore what our leaders say, and watch what they do, it’s clear that there is now very little elite support for the geographically- and politically-bounded, democratically-governed nation state that Brexit voters sought to defend. One party harrumphs about “boat people” while treating the UK’s physical borders as an obstacle to growing the economy. Meanwhile, the other party cheers this on, albeit purportedly for humanitarian reasons, and views the franchise as obsolete, too: little more consequential than a Strictly phone-in. But perhaps this is to be expected. We’re some distance beyond Britain’s industrial era now. And I’m not sure you can have democratic nation states in a post-industrial country: for the idea of mass democratic participation as such only came into being with the urbanisation and industrialisation of working people.

For most of 19th-century Europe, as A.J.P. Taylor shows in his classic 1941 history, for example, much of the land between Italy and Russia was governed by the Habsburg dynasty. In these territories, a dizzying array of languages, national cultures, and class interests interpenetrated. Under those circumstances, nation states simply weren’t a thing in the modern sense. With Habsburg rule as a kind of political emulsifier, shared linguistic or class interests sometimes weighed more heavily than geography. The Habsburg territory known as Bohemia, for example, is now part of the Czech Republic but also contained (among others) Poles, Hungarians and a great many German-speakers, a fact that Hitler used to justify its annexation in 1938.

It was industrialisation, and with it the bleeding of power from the ancient aristocracies, that drove the shift from these more porous polities toward nation states as we know them. Wealth bled from farming towards mercantile elites. Tractors replaced peasants, who flocked to the cities and demanded industrial work. And many of the disputes in this turbulent age turned on such contests of power, between the old, landed gentry and newer centres of power.

Critics of last week’s NatCon conference often treat liberalism and nationalism as antonyms — but this would have made no sense two centuries ago, when the liberals were the nationalists. When students took over Budapest in the 1848 revolution, for example, what they demanded was not a million miles from what most Brexiters wanted: a voice, in a defined nation bounded by geography and citizenship rather than elite privilege or nativism. That is, in A.J.P Taylor’s words, “a democratic constitution with universal suffrage [
] and equal rights for the nationalities”.

At this point in the story, such political possibilities were just emerging. Writing on Christopher Clark’s new history of 1848, Revolutionary Spring, Daniel Zamora Vargas shows how this period also saw the emergence of the public political sphere— and with it, of the kind of engaged mass polity without which you can’t really have a democracy in the sense Brexiteers sought to preserve. It was, Vargas suggests, the inception-point for “political parties capable of disciplining their members” and of “binding them to commonly agreed positions”. In the wake of this febrile time, he writes, “the emerging working class would progressively work through parties, unions and strikes rather than coups d’états and barricades”.

In his forthcoming book End Times, the political scientist Peter Turchin describes a similar — though less chaotic — process of electorate-formation in 19th-century Britain. As Turchin describes it, the mid-19th century in Britain saw a “messy” negotiation between the old landowning aristocracy, emerging mercantile elites, and working-class people, over what was due to whom. This culminated in the overturning of protectionist measures for British farming, reform to welfare provisions for the poorest, and in 1867 the Second Reform Act which granted all adult male property owners the vote. And it was in the course of that negotiation that the British polity became aware of itself as such: a trajectory that would culminate, in the early 20th century, in the universal franchise.

In other words, the age referenced by National Conservatism — the age of nation states — has its beginning point in the push first by the landless bourgeoisie and then by the industrial working class for a political voice within modernity. But we might also argue that it had its end point in two global conflicts between the resulting nation states accompanied by an orgy of industrial hyper-productivity, via total civilian mobilisation for munitions manufacturing.

Since then, we’ve been living in the ashes of the nation state order. Having read Taylor since 2016, I now understand a little better why the nations of Europe might respond to that catastrophe by seeking to replace the clearly somewhat combustible nation state format with the EU: a new emulsifier, with clear structural echoes of the Habsburg empire. Britain was never part of that empire, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that many in the British Isles should view this as an alien imposition. But it’s not as though we can return to the material conditions of the Habsburg age either, however wishfully the “post-liberals” may imagine doing so.

Our situation now is a troubling one: a Europe that is largely post-industrial and, at least as far as its elites are concerned, functionally post-national. And this means, in the terms that emerged during the industrial era, post-democratic. For if working people gained a voice by dint of being indispensable to manufacturing, events since Brexit demonstrate that they may safely be ignored now high finance has replaced making things, without the wheels coming off the state.

Thus emancipated from any meaningful working-class ability to hold their feet to the fire, it’s all too predictable that those in a position to do so should opt for what Turchin calls the “wealth pump”: that is, abandoning rule for the public good, in favour of pursuing their own narrow class interests. In this case, that means turbo-charging finance and property via mass immigration, while running social solidarity infrastructures into the ground, and looking to others of the same post-national class for political, cultural, and ideological solidarity as they do so.

It’s hard to say for sure what forms of large-scale governance will emerge from this febrile situation. A considerable amount of power is already vested in international governance and NGO networks, for example, while capital has been radically post-national for some time. Meanwhile, the masses who once found a voice in aggregate via electoral politics, in the bounded nation state, are on their way to being as radically disempowered as prior to the franchise.

The fact that one side emits platitudes about “the most vulnerable in society”, and the other invokes the aesthetics of the nation state past, is neither here nor there. The nation is over. But the reaction is just beginning.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

Good old Mary H. She provided as fine a summary of our current disenfranchisement as I’ve read anywhere. There’s no end of books, filled with labored prose, that try to say in 200 pages what she managed in under 3000 words.
If I read her article correctly, she ended with a suggestion that some sort of pushback to our political disenfranchisement is underway. I don’t see it. Frustration, yes; organized (even semi-organized) resistance, no.
For me, the defining event of the past decade was not Brexit or Trump, but the passive way most ordinary people in the West accepted covid lockdown (after lockdown after lockdown) and other impositions on our liberty. We really were “sheeple”. You can bet the “elites” noticed.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

People complied with lockdowns for two reasons – they were not optional, and were also they right approach at the time. You’re right to mention covid however, because that was an unfortunate intervention that derailed the Johnson post Brexit government and the plans they had. That may or may not have been successful, but I’m certain the political landscape and nation state described above would be unrecognisable from what it is today, and that is a distopian wilderness across all parties.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The fact that lockdown were not optional is neither here nor there. If the people hadn’t complied, they wouldn’t even have started.
As to their necessity, well… What can I say. After the first scare at the very beginning, all they produced was partygate.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Spoken like a true rebel, yet you complied, along with J Bryant and indeed myself.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Only those who believed in the right of the state to act as a jailer complied. Like many I was forced . After that I lost permanently all respect for and interest in the state and the politics of the state. I went like many underground and there I still am. Life then becomes clear and confusion ends.
My loyalty is to the land itself and no more to those who rule it.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You would comply, you have the moral courage of a sheep.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Only those who believed in the right of the state to act as a jailer complied. Like many I was forced . After that I lost permanently all respect for and interest in the state and the politics of the state. I went like many underground and there I still am. Life then becomes clear and confusion ends.
My loyalty is to the land itself and no more to those who rule it.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You would comply, you have the moral courage of a sheep.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Spoken like a true rebel, yet you complied, along with J Bryant and indeed myself.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Lockdowns were not the right approach at the the time.
You cannot stop a virus, it is better to let everyone acquire natural immunity.
For most people the COOF was no worse than a nasty cold.
The lockdowns were driven by ego maniacs like Hancock who belongs in jail.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Good Lord, after all we’ve been through and here we actually have more than one person who thinks the natural immunity approach was the correct one. You crazy people, you.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I’m not crazy.
Natural immunity is a FACT.
You haven’t been keeping up.
Just about everyone now realises that the
government’s approach was seriously flawed and yet here we are with people like you STILL stuck in the past and ignoring reality.
What is wrong with you ?
People like you are dangerous, your stupidity and ignorance and blind acceptance of the government diktats puts EVERYONE in danger.

Try an act like a human being and not a sheep.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Er, methinks you’ve been asleep in this debate. Firstly Sweden never had a lockdown, and has had one of the better covid records. Peru did and one of the highest rates of mortality.

People would have responded by limiting contact anyway but this would not have been a blunt legal instrument incapable of dealing with individual circumstance.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I’m not crazy.
Natural immunity is a FACT.
You haven’t been keeping up.
Just about everyone now realises that the
government’s approach was seriously flawed and yet here we are with people like you STILL stuck in the past and ignoring reality.
What is wrong with you ?
People like you are dangerous, your stupidity and ignorance and blind acceptance of the government diktats puts EVERYONE in danger.

Try an act like a human being and not a sheep.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Er, methinks you’ve been asleep in this debate. Firstly Sweden never had a lockdown, and has had one of the better covid records. Peru did and one of the highest rates of mortality.

People would have responded by limiting contact anyway but this would not have been a blunt legal instrument incapable of dealing with individual circumstance.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Good Lord, after all we’ve been through and here we actually have more than one person who thinks the natural immunity approach was the correct one. You crazy people, you.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Just exactly what plans did Johnson’s administration have ?
To complete BREXIT, to stop the boats ?
Johnson was only in government for his own sake not the people of Britain.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The fact that lockdown were not optional is neither here nor there. If the people hadn’t complied, they wouldn’t even have started.
As to their necessity, well… What can I say. After the first scare at the very beginning, all they produced was partygate.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Lockdowns were not the right approach at the the time.
You cannot stop a virus, it is better to let everyone acquire natural immunity.
For most people the COOF was no worse than a nasty cold.
The lockdowns were driven by ego maniacs like Hancock who belongs in jail.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Just exactly what plans did Johnson’s administration have ?
To complete BREXIT, to stop the boats ?
Johnson was only in government for his own sake not the people of Britain.

michael harris
michael harris
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Read ‘Eugypius’ who reports the reaction of the German political elites to the acceptance of lockdowns, masking etc. Public opinion, they note, can – and should – easily be reformed by nudging and appeals to safety.
‘Climate’ of course is next on the menu.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes, and that was the point of the exercise. It was a compliance experiment, and those who imposed it got what they wanted. Now they can move in any direction they wish (and it won’t be a positive, healthy thing for society), because too many simply did what they were told, unquestioningly. Those who did ask questions were vilified, often by their very own families. Now that it’s obvious to even the most willing believers that the Covid response wasn’t really a response at all, but a test, it’s too late.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

Absolutely right.
But;
They won’t dare try it again

John Thorogood
John Thorogood
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

What makes you so sure they won’t?

John Thorogood
John Thorogood
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

What makes you so sure they won’t?

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Quite concerning really that I am sharing the same website with people who believe such utter garbage.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I agree but unless you’re quite new to UnHerd you must have encountered this here before, with much doubling and “tripling down” of late. The imperfectness and extremity of the anti-Covid response is treated by some as conclusive evidence of a sinister global conspiracy, while the massively higher death count among the unvaccinated is treated as no evidence at all. These views often come from otherwise sensible commenters, and going against the anti-vax herd will earn you reliable downvotes. Cheers.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Oh I’m fully aware of the herd that comes across from TCW with this stuff, it’s an echo chamber of extremities that has no place in a more intellectual arena.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Intellectual ?
Counts you right out then.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Awwwwwwww.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Awwwwwwww.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Of course The Conservative Woman is such an EXTREME site, isn’t ?
You dumb lefties.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Intellectual ?
Counts you right out then.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Of course The Conservative Woman is such an EXTREME site, isn’t ?
You dumb lefties.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

“while the massively higher death count among the unvaccinated is treated as no evidence at all. ”
THERE IS NOT A MASSIVELY HIGHER DEATH COUNT AMONG THE UNVACCINATED.
THAT IS A LIE AND THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE IS TRUE.
What is wrong with people like you ?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Why are you shouting in all caps as if that does anything but establish your head-on-fire intemperance about the whole issue, while revealing your deep emotional and ideological investment in being right against any and all evidence?
Not that it can make a dent in your zealotry, but there’s a link to detailed documentation below.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Why not use caps ?
Because some of the posters here are a bit dense and it might help them.
You have no evidence against what I say and neither does Roobie K.
Is the government Behaviour Insights Team paying you two stooges ?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

BECAUSE IT IS RUDE DUDE. And doesn’t help to make your case outside of the rabid anti-vax herd you clearly belong to. You can’t even glance at the data I spoon-fed you below. That pretty well proves your eyes and mind are not open and that attempting to use logic or data to persuade you is a waste of time. Perhaps your unhinged, far-right sources will eventually come around and provide you with backtracking evidence in a form you’re able to accept. Until then, good luck using ranting and raging as form of desperate psychological self-soothing.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

But just in case I’ve wrongly diagnosed you with an absence of fairmindedness on this issue, here’s the link again: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/united-states-rates-of-covid-19-deaths-by-vaccination-status?country=~80%2B

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

RUDE ?
Who cares?
Go on do tell me.
What is far right, you commie ?
You are the one ranting and RK started this by calling Allison’s post garbage.
Get off your high horse you prig.
Quoting a report or a set stats is not evidence.
It depends who authored it.

Andy Aitch
Andy Aitch
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Dear me – too many shouty-crackers posters being allowed into a formerly sensible forum. People shout because they are unwilling to listen: online, in the pub or anywhere else. A few months ago silly people like this who strayed into Unherd were simply ignored & took their megaphone ‘diplomacy’ elsewhere. If you engage with them you only encourage the nastiness. Let them stew with their own kind on cruder forums…

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

But just in case I’ve wrongly diagnosed you with an absence of fairmindedness on this issue, here’s the link again: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/united-states-rates-of-covid-19-deaths-by-vaccination-status?country=~80%2B

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

RUDE ?
Who cares?
Go on do tell me.
What is far right, you commie ?
You are the one ranting and RK started this by calling Allison’s post garbage.
Get off your high horse you prig.
Quoting a report or a set stats is not evidence.
It depends who authored it.

Andy Aitch
Andy Aitch
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Dear me – too many shouty-crackers posters being allowed into a formerly sensible forum. People shout because they are unwilling to listen: online, in the pub or anywhere else. A few months ago silly people like this who strayed into Unherd were simply ignored & took their megaphone ‘diplomacy’ elsewhere. If you engage with them you only encourage the nastiness. Let them stew with their own kind on cruder forums…

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

BECAUSE IT IS RUDE DUDE. And doesn’t help to make your case outside of the rabid anti-vax herd you clearly belong to. You can’t even glance at the data I spoon-fed you below. That pretty well proves your eyes and mind are not open and that attempting to use logic or data to persuade you is a waste of time. Perhaps your unhinged, far-right sources will eventually come around and provide you with backtracking evidence in a form you’re able to accept. Until then, good luck using ranting and raging as form of desperate psychological self-soothing.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I don’t have a “deep and emotional and idealogical investment in being right”.
I really don’t care what you or RK think.
There is no point in me arguing with fools
but I’d call you out anyway.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

You’re arrogant and ill-informed, which is a pretty bad combination dude.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I’m very well informed thank you, I do my research.
All you are doing is parroting what you hear in the MSM.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

I certainly venture outside the mainstream media, which should be evident by my presence here alone. But why make the opposite mistake of consuming an only MSM diet by crediting everything that floats inside your bubble? The lunatic fringe may provide an interesting counterweight to establishment tunnel-vision, but rabbit holes have unreliable perspectives too.
This has been a largely useless exchange and I’ll take a portion of the responsibility for that. We should all resist believing everything we think. Not every opinion is a gem, nor does even the most thorough and conscientious research reliably produce a complete truth.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

I certainly venture outside the mainstream media, which should be evident by my presence here alone. But why make the opposite mistake of consuming an only MSM diet by crediting everything that floats inside your bubble? The lunatic fringe may provide an interesting counterweight to establishment tunnel-vision, but rabbit holes have unreliable perspectives too.
This has been a largely useless exchange and I’ll take a portion of the responsibility for that. We should all resist believing everything we think. Not every opinion is a gem, nor does even the most thorough and conscientious research reliably produce a complete truth.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I’m very well informed thank you, I do my research.
All you are doing is parroting what you hear in the MSM.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

You’re arrogant and ill-informed, which is a pretty bad combination dude.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

‘MD’ in Private Eye has also been very informative in his coverage of the COVID situation Imo. He is also a working GP, which means he is a knowledgeable and experienced person, something I greatly appreciate, as it’s so very hard to find reliable information these days. It doesn’t of course mean he’s right about everything, but it does at least mean there is a greater likelihood of what he says being accurate and of value.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Thanks for this recommendation. I’ve found a YouTube video of Dr. Phil Hammond (anonymity gone) being interviewed by Simon Wessely for RSM. I think Hammond is almost unknown here in the States, though I can’t speak for the whole nation. I really appreciated his good humor and fairmindedness, exemplified by his willingness to admit error, such as leaving up a bad Covid-prediction tweet from January, 2020. I also admire his self-described guiding ethic: “intelligent kindness”, something he says has become more important to him as he’s gotten (this usage is considered correct on this continent) older. “Is it intelligent and is it kind? It’s that simple really”. Pretty close to that simple, I think–a good reminder for many, me included. I’ll look for his opinions and jokes from now on. Thanks, Mr. Butcher.
A zinger that Wessely quoted from Hammond’s writing: “The British thirst for freedom, individualism, and ignoring experts gives us great art and comedy but dreadful infection control”!
That applies just about as well to the US I’d say. After all, we did start out as a group of (mostly) English colonists raising their flag on an inhabited continent that was declared “unsettled”. Cheers.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Thanks for this recommendation. I’ve found a YouTube video of Dr. Phil Hammond (anonymity gone) being interviewed by Simon Wessely for RSM. I think Hammond is almost unknown here in the States, though I can’t speak for the whole nation. I really appreciated his good humor and fairmindedness, exemplified by his willingness to admit error, such as leaving up a bad Covid-prediction tweet from January, 2020. I also admire his self-described guiding ethic: “intelligent kindness”, something he says has become more important to him as he’s gotten (this usage is considered correct on this continent) older. “Is it intelligent and is it kind? It’s that simple really”. Pretty close to that simple, I think–a good reminder for many, me included. I’ll look for his opinions and jokes from now on. Thanks, Mr. Butcher.
A zinger that Wessely quoted from Hammond’s writing: “The British thirst for freedom, individualism, and ignoring experts gives us great art and comedy but dreadful infection control”!
That applies just about as well to the US I’d say. After all, we did start out as a group of (mostly) English colonists raising their flag on an inhabited continent that was declared “unsettled”. Cheers.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Why not use caps ?
Because some of the posters here are a bit dense and it might help them.
You have no evidence against what I say and neither does Roobie K.
Is the government Behaviour Insights Team paying you two stooges ?

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I don’t have a “deep and emotional and idealogical investment in being right”.
I really don’t care what you or RK think.
There is no point in me arguing with fools
but I’d call you out anyway.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

‘MD’ in Private Eye has also been very informative in his coverage of the COVID situation Imo. He is also a working GP, which means he is a knowledgeable and experienced person, something I greatly appreciate, as it’s so very hard to find reliable information these days. It doesn’t of course mean he’s right about everything, but it does at least mean there is a greater likelihood of what he says being accurate and of value.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Why are you shouting in all caps as if that does anything but establish your head-on-fire intemperance about the whole issue, while revealing your deep emotional and ideological investment in being right against any and all evidence?
Not that it can make a dent in your zealotry, but there’s a link to detailed documentation below.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

 the massively higher death count among the unvaccinated

Do you have any evidence of this. I haven’t seen any that’s convincing.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

He doesn’t because there is none. The reason being that the authorities refuse to release the data because they know full well it will blow the myth of higher deaths among the unvaccinated out of the water.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

There’s some pretty thorough data here: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/united-states-rates-of-covid-19-deaths-by-vaccination-status
If you have the time and inclination, check out the death differentials among older patients.
Nothing that is known or can be known will persuade an anti-vax fundamentalist or head-on-fire alarmist, nor establish a full defense of the government response to Covid, especially the duration of some measures. I think there were points of overreach in how the thing was handled, and multiple legitimate grievances (mostly around long-term, forced shutdowns and prohibitions on voluntary gathering).
But there is infinitely more evidence of worse outcomes for the unvaccinated (unless they would, in fact, “rather die” than get jabbed) than for any counterclaims of widespread, adverse effects from the jab, let alone the illuminati conspiracy lunacy that is commonly spouted here.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Not so.
The countries with the most people vaccinated had the worst outcomes.
We know that the vaccines are harming people though I suppose you would deny that.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Vaccination rates were higher in Europe than the US, which had worse per-capita and total mortality. Vaccines can harm people but it quite rare, and far, far less of a risk for most (with significant exception for certain patients) than being un-shielded against severe Covid, especially if you are old or very fat, or both.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

No, check out the yellow card adverse reactions supplied by the government.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

No, check out the yellow card adverse reactions supplied by the government.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Vaccination rates were higher in Europe than the US, which had worse per-capita and total mortality. Vaccines can harm people but it quite rare, and far, far less of a risk for most (with significant exception for certain patients) than being un-shielded against severe Covid, especially if you are old or very fat, or both.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Your last paragraph is just an out and out lie.
Stop it.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Not it isn’t. Your insistent and seemingly angry assertions don’t make anything true or untrue, however thoroughly you’ve convinced yourself that they do.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Stop projecting.
You are the emotional one, you cannot accept that you are so behind the curve that you don’t know what’s going on.
I’m not angry, I just like to point out when people wrong or lying.
.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Stop projecting.
You are the emotional one, you cannot accept that you are so behind the curve that you don’t know what’s going on.
I’m not angry, I just like to point out when people wrong or lying.
.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Not it isn’t. Your insistent and seemingly angry assertions don’t make anything true or untrue, however thoroughly you’ve convinced yourself that they do.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Not so.
The countries with the most people vaccinated had the worst outcomes.
We know that the vaccines are harming people though I suppose you would deny that.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Your last paragraph is just an out and out lie.
Stop it.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

He doesn’t because there is none. The reason being that the authorities refuse to release the data because they know full well it will blow the myth of higher deaths among the unvaccinated out of the water.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

There’s some pretty thorough data here: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/united-states-rates-of-covid-19-deaths-by-vaccination-status
If you have the time and inclination, check out the death differentials among older patients.
Nothing that is known or can be known will persuade an anti-vax fundamentalist or head-on-fire alarmist, nor establish a full defense of the government response to Covid, especially the duration of some measures. I think there were points of overreach in how the thing was handled, and multiple legitimate grievances (mostly around long-term, forced shutdowns and prohibitions on voluntary gathering).
But there is infinitely more evidence of worse outcomes for the unvaccinated (unless they would, in fact, “rather die” than get jabbed) than for any counterclaims of widespread, adverse effects from the jab, let alone the illuminati conspiracy lunacy that is commonly spouted here.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

So Bill Gates is not sinister ?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

I wouldn’t say he’s simply a villain but I do accept that he seems a bit sinister or untrustworthy–I wish he had fewer billions to himself, just as do with Musk and Bezos.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

I wouldn’t say he’s simply a villain but I do accept that he seems a bit sinister or untrustworthy–I wish he had fewer billions to himself, just as do with Musk and Bezos.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

It’s easy to reject the view that there are a few sinister and controlling individuals conspiring, less easy to reject the view that what people are sensing is an emergent phenomenon of structures of control which are insulated from influence by a wider public in the traditional democratic sense.
There are those on both sides who become irritated because they can only imagine such control as being reified and embodied in definable individuals. They miss the point.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

That seems true enough to me. And I’ll even accept your implication that I’m among those missing the point, in some measure. I’m just not sure what specific, less-structurally-insulated time you’d like to return to. The surveillance state and globalized mega-interests are a newish and ominous development indeed. But I think there’s an underlying, oft-hidden or insulated Us within every large-scale Us vs. Them formulation. In other words, “they” are not simply doing it to “us”. We are participating, tacitly consenting, and many of us deriving selfish benefits from the structures we deride.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

That seems true enough to me. And I’ll even accept your implication that I’m among those missing the point, in some measure. I’m just not sure what specific, less-structurally-insulated time you’d like to return to. The surveillance state and globalized mega-interests are a newish and ominous development indeed. But I think there’s an underlying, oft-hidden or insulated Us within every large-scale Us vs. Them formulation. In other words, “they” are not simply doing it to “us”. We are participating, tacitly consenting, and many of us deriving selfish benefits from the structures we deride.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Oh I’m fully aware of the herd that comes across from TCW with this stuff, it’s an echo chamber of extremities that has no place in a more intellectual arena.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

“while the massively higher death count among the unvaccinated is treated as no evidence at all. ”
THERE IS NOT A MASSIVELY HIGHER DEATH COUNT AMONG THE UNVACCINATED.
THAT IS A LIE AND THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE IS TRUE.
What is wrong with people like you ?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

 the massively higher death count among the unvaccinated

Do you have any evidence of this. I haven’t seen any that’s convincing.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

So Bill Gates is not sinister ?

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

It’s easy to reject the view that there are a few sinister and controlling individuals conspiring, less easy to reject the view that what people are sensing is an emergent phenomenon of structures of control which are insulated from influence by a wider public in the traditional democratic sense.
There are those on both sides who become irritated because they can only imagine such control as being reified and embodied in definable individuals. They miss the point.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It’s quite concerning that you are so naĂŻve.
The poster is EXACTLY right.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Caps lock.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Brain lock too.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

(withdrawn)

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

(withdrawn)

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Brain lock too.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Caps lock.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Concerned? Are you afraid they might contaminate you in some way? Perhaps – just maybe – they’ve seen or understood something you haven’t or done so from a different perspective? We can do better than this.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You sheeple just don’t get it, do you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI3yU5Z2adI

Last edited 1 year ago by Rocky Martiano
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I agree but unless you’re quite new to UnHerd you must have encountered this here before, with much doubling and “tripling down” of late. The imperfectness and extremity of the anti-Covid response is treated by some as conclusive evidence of a sinister global conspiracy, while the massively higher death count among the unvaccinated is treated as no evidence at all. These views often come from otherwise sensible commenters, and going against the anti-vax herd will earn you reliable downvotes. Cheers.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It’s quite concerning that you are so naĂŻve.
The poster is EXACTLY right.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Concerned? Are you afraid they might contaminate you in some way? Perhaps – just maybe – they’ve seen or understood something you haven’t or done so from a different perspective? We can do better than this.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You sheeple just don’t get it, do you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI3yU5Z2adI

Last edited 1 year ago by Rocky Martiano
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I’m not sure they’ll get away with it twice though.. the might I suppose. It just depends on whether the sheeple are stupid or complete cretins? I’d say the jury’s out on that one. Perhaps the next one will be “go to your bunkers and bring lots of baked beans and dehydrated water!”

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

To be honest I think it was much more banal than that- the sun was shining, and a lot of people were glad to stay at home and not go to their soul destroying jobs. A street near me that’s usually crawling with cars was full of families bicycling in the sunshine – it was a beautiful thing, despite the madness going on elsewhere.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

To be honest I think it was much more banal than that- the sun was shining, and a lot of people were glad to stay at home and not go to their soul destroying jobs. A street near me that’s usually crawling with cars was full of families bicycling in the sunshine – it was a beautiful thing, despite the madness going on elsewhere.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago

Surely it was more than compliance experiment by the elite here. Historians will note that the Covid derangment began the very week that the new Brexit/Tory government began. Yes, it was (media induced) total panic by the Fool Boris that began the nightmare, an act of self destruction. But when you observe the full two years of the nightmare and the pro lockdown behaviour of the State’s public health blob, teachers unions, Labour and the constant hysterical fear induction and lies of the always NHS First BBC and mainstream media, there can be no doubt that lockdown was willed by them as as extension of the Brex derangment mania that was poisoning our society. Not all were conscious Leninists, but many many were. The fact that the progressives in the Blob were all actually profitting from the WFH, savings boosting lockdown makes their willingness to cripple the private sector and drown the State in impossible debt an act of criminal vandalism. By the time the Fool Johnson, who saw Covid as a way to behave in a Churchillian way and ride high in frit public opinion, was shaken awake, the damage was done. But we know who the pro lockdown forces were. And all were Remainiacs. A visceral hatred of Brex was a key factor in the Blob’s two year suffocation of the Brexit economy. They had vowed it would be a disaster. Here, on day one, was their chance to make it so.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago

Absolutely right.
But;
They won’t dare try it again

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Quite concerning really that I am sharing the same website with people who believe such utter garbage.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I’m not sure they’ll get away with it twice though.. the might I suppose. It just depends on whether the sheeple are stupid or complete cretins? I’d say the jury’s out on that one. Perhaps the next one will be “go to your bunkers and bring lots of baked beans and dehydrated water!”

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago

Surely it was more than compliance experiment by the elite here. Historians will note that the Covid derangment began the very week that the new Brexit/Tory government began. Yes, it was (media induced) total panic by the Fool Boris that began the nightmare, an act of self destruction. But when you observe the full two years of the nightmare and the pro lockdown behaviour of the State’s public health blob, teachers unions, Labour and the constant hysterical fear induction and lies of the always NHS First BBC and mainstream media, there can be no doubt that lockdown was willed by them as as extension of the Brex derangment mania that was poisoning our society. Not all were conscious Leninists, but many many were. The fact that the progressives in the Blob were all actually profitting from the WFH, savings boosting lockdown makes their willingness to cripple the private sector and drown the State in impossible debt an act of criminal vandalism. By the time the Fool Johnson, who saw Covid as a way to behave in a Churchillian way and ride high in frit public opinion, was shaken awake, the damage was done. But we know who the pro lockdown forces were. And all were Remainiacs. A visceral hatred of Brex was a key factor in the Blob’s two year suffocation of the Brexit economy. They had vowed it would be a disaster. Here, on day one, was their chance to make it so.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

‘Frustration, yes; organized (even semi-organized) resistance, no.’
I think we can draw some hope from the actions of the trade unions in recent times, the crucibles of the nation state, unmentioned but heavily implied here in MH’s definition of a nation state as formed through industrialistation. Who else could she mean when she talks about ‘meaningful working-class ability to hold [the elite’s] feet to the fire?’ These are the last serious institutions of resistance against the erosion of our living standards, our sense of having a collective voice and the ability to control our borders, all reasons why both Mick Lynch and Eddie Dempsey voted Leave. This power to withdraw our labour is pretty well all we have in the face of this disenfranchisement, and judging by the government’s attempts to enforce minimum service requirements that would make our anti-trade union laws worse or as bad as Russia’s, the unions must still considered a threat. In other words, by MH’s own analysis, unions helped give us a nation state; maybe they can bring it back.
PS They also helped bring down the Soviet Union and are an essential part of civil society, like Burke’s little battalions (before one of you brands me as a crazy commie)

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Trade unions can be neutered via mass immigration. Hence why the ruling class throughout the West is all-in on mass immigration.
The ones who will be the most shocked at their downfall will be the educated, professional managerial class (the laptop class in COVID terms). They’re about 30% of the population, and they think society exists for their needs mostly because their needs and the needs of the true elites have overlapped in recent years. They’re in for a rude awakening when the 1% finally kicks them to the curb.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

‘Trade unions can be neutered via mass immigration. Hence why the ruling class throughout the West is all-in on mass immigration.’
Yes that’s my suspicion also, despite the hopeful talk of some that workers from more unionised countries (i.e. any other country in Europe?) bring their solidarity with them..

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Whole Foods, a subsidiary of Amazon, believes that “Stores at higher risk of unionizing have lower diversity” but they’re clearly suffering from Russian disinformation from the alt-right pipeline. Diversity is their our strength.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Very interesting that they are that frank about it. If the article you’re quoting from is the one I found (below) then it does also seem important to acknowledge that other factors like ‘distance in miles between the store and the closest union’ matter as well. So alongside lower immigration, affordable housing which is near the workplace might also strengthen the dreaded ‘team member sentiment.’
There must be some instances were immigrants do contribute to workplace solidarity though that might only apply to those who have arrived on a long-term basis?
https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/20/21228324/amazon-whole-foods-unionization-heat-map-union

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Very interesting that they are that frank about it. If the article you’re quoting from is the one I found (below) then it does also seem important to acknowledge that other factors like ‘distance in miles between the store and the closest union’ matter as well. So alongside lower immigration, affordable housing which is near the workplace might also strengthen the dreaded ‘team member sentiment.’
There must be some instances were immigrants do contribute to workplace solidarity though that might only apply to those who have arrived on a long-term basis?
https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/20/21228324/amazon-whole-foods-unionization-heat-map-union

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Whole Foods, a subsidiary of Amazon, believes that “Stores at higher risk of unionizing have lower diversity” but they’re clearly suffering from Russian disinformation from the alt-right pipeline. Diversity is their our strength.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

‘Trade unions can be neutered via mass immigration. Hence why the ruling class throughout the West is all-in on mass immigration.’
Yes that’s my suspicion also, despite the hopeful talk of some that workers from more unionised countries (i.e. any other country in Europe?) bring their solidarity with them..

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

No. Trade Unions today ARE a part of the Blairite progressive UK State, not a threat to it! The miners and shipbuilders are all gone long ago. The heart of the modern trade unionist movement is within the vast white collar public sector. They are on the streets now because they want to remove the hated Tories and to destroy baby Brexit. But if Labour gains power, trade unions will fall into line. The restoration of the nation state is not on their agenda. They embrace the internationalist pro EU Blairite New Order which still is deeply embedded in the UK State.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Firstly, they’re not all white collar or pro-EU. Look at the RMT (whose leaders campaigned for Brexit) and look at the GMB, Usdaw, TSSA, NUM, FBU etc are all blue collar and whose members may well want the downfall of the Tory government because who wouldn’t want the removal of a government which has presided over the collapse of their living standards while giving them a high immigration low wage Brexit of more untrammelled globalisation which they never voted for? Perhaps you don’t think Starmer is any likelier to stop it, but at least there are people in the Labour party (unfortunately some of which have been sidelined since Corbyn left) who are serious about reindustralising this country and making it work for the people here. Where have the Tories been doing that? Not really ever would be my answer – all they’ve done is sold off our housing, industry and public sectors (bit by bit) to foreign capital.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Firstly, they’re not all white collar or pro-EU. Look at the RMT (whose leaders campaigned for Brexit) and look at the GMB, Usdaw, TSSA, NUM, FBU etc are all blue collar and whose members may well want the downfall of the Tory government because who wouldn’t want the removal of a government which has presided over the collapse of their living standards while giving them a high immigration low wage Brexit of more untrammelled globalisation which they never voted for? Perhaps you don’t think Starmer is any likelier to stop it, but at least there are people in the Labour party (unfortunately some of which have been sidelined since Corbyn left) who are serious about reindustralising this country and making it work for the people here. Where have the Tories been doing that? Not really ever would be my answer – all they’ve done is sold off our housing, industry and public sectors (bit by bit) to foreign capital.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Trade unions can be neutered via mass immigration. Hence why the ruling class throughout the West is all-in on mass immigration.
The ones who will be the most shocked at their downfall will be the educated, professional managerial class (the laptop class in COVID terms). They’re about 30% of the population, and they think society exists for their needs mostly because their needs and the needs of the true elites have overlapped in recent years. They’re in for a rude awakening when the 1% finally kicks them to the curb.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

No. Trade Unions today ARE a part of the Blairite progressive UK State, not a threat to it! The miners and shipbuilders are all gone long ago. The heart of the modern trade unionist movement is within the vast white collar public sector. They are on the streets now because they want to remove the hated Tories and to destroy baby Brexit. But if Labour gains power, trade unions will fall into line. The restoration of the nation state is not on their agenda. They embrace the internationalist pro EU Blairite New Order which still is deeply embedded in the UK State.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Noticed? They planned it.

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

and benefited greatly. In Australia big business and banks got lots of $ from the government.

Janet G
Janet G
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

and benefited greatly. In Australia big business and banks got lots of $ from the government.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Everything I read today is depressing. There was a good article yesterday – I can’t remember where – pointing out that the entire G7 is headed up by leaders loathed or disliked by the majority of the population. Trudeau won two elections with less of the popular vote than the conservatives – like 32% of the voters. The rest of the leaders have similar numbers. And of course Ursula von whatever isn’t elected (she really looks like a Disney villain!). Yet somehow they rule over us. I would love an Unherd series on steps to fix democracies. For example I used to be opposed to proportional representation – but now I think it might be a solution to the urban / rural divide that is ailing most democracies.

Mike Patterson
Mike Patterson
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Note that Trudeau’s minority rule (the real fringe minority?) is even slimmer than that as voter turnout was so apathetically and historically low. Essentially, he used scare tactics and the clean/unclean wedge of experimental transfections to coerce 32% of the laptop population of a few big Canadian cities to return his blackguard, blackface government. Like PJ, I was an inveterate defender of FPTP but now think PR or perhaps an electoral college is required to put some demos back in our captured democracies.

Mike Patterson
Mike Patterson
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Note that Trudeau’s minority rule (the real fringe minority?) is even slimmer than that as voter turnout was so apathetically and historically low. Essentially, he used scare tactics and the clean/unclean wedge of experimental transfections to coerce 32% of the laptop population of a few big Canadian cities to return his blackguard, blackface government. Like PJ, I was an inveterate defender of FPTP but now think PR or perhaps an electoral college is required to put some demos back in our captured democracies.

George Wells
George Wells
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Compare Denmark. In Denmark there is a category of holiday houses ‘summer houses’ which foreigners (EU or not) are not allowed to buy (mainly to stop Germans). They are in beautiful areas near the coast and enable Danes to enjoy the Danish summer. Imagine that here!
Tight immigration controls have supported high wages for workers of all sorts (except perhaps bankers, who are heavily taxed!) and a relatively less disfunctional society.
I forgot the Danish author wrote ‘We are not a nation, we are a tribe’ – and there is the difference.
Divided we fall. Mary is right. Britain is being pillaged. (Not by the Danes, this time).

Last edited 1 year ago by George Wells
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  George Wells

I have Danish neighbours in London.
They paint very different picture of Denmark (especially immigration).
However, they say that Danish society is much more cohesive than UK.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  George Wells

I have Danish neighbours in London.
They paint very different picture of Denmark (especially immigration).
However, they say that Danish society is much more cohesive than UK.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

…noticed? …noticed? ..sure they made billions out of it and you didn’t see it, as the nation’s wealth got scooped up by the 0.1%. At least Kuasi Kwarteng was open about it!

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Speak for yourself, some of us held the bridge.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

How it is possible to write so lucidly and well about the shattering of the nation state, its governance and laws and even culture, without referring to the events which triggered this seismic revolution BY DESIGN!! Its like writing about communist Russia without mentioning Lenin & 1917. Our nation state as was was completely demolished & dismantled by the progressive Blairite State after 1997. It in turn was serving the interests of the post Mastricht EU which demanded and got an NMI New Order; the eviseration of the power and accountability of national parliaments to bolster the federal centre. Look at their works. Supreme Court. Devolution. The creation of a vast unelected permanent Technocracy to sieze the reins of power from Ministers (hence Bank of England and interest rates, the NHS & Public Health – the dark army of wfh regulators, all committed to the EU precautionary principle.) Vast chunks of quasi public sector created too, notably the ponzi university scam in its drive for mass female employment. This was the New Order we still fail to recognise, as Mary just illustrated. There was more of course; the secondary wave of deliberate anti national policies, from EU legal supremacy and human rights; undeclared mass migration via free movement and onto the EU driven insanity of Net Zero Pol Potism which thrwtebs us with blackouts and degrowth. Why even write about Brexit so much? It was a just a people driven thing. Even the shabby Tories like May were majority Pro EU. It was not their fight. So we then watched on in horror as the pro EU Order of Remainiacs trashed and debased any notion of democractic respect/,accountability with their crude Parliamentary and legal coup. Brexit never even began! The Blob/Technocracy post Covid has just sat on its hands. Brex will be seen to be rather like a minor 1950s miner protest in some far flung corner of the Soviet Union. A Peasants Revolt that got chopped up as they always do. The EU/Blairite State Revolution had 30 years to embed itself and it is crazy to imagine that the Brexit Vote could overturn that New Order. To write as if the collapse of the nation state is some accident of history is all wrong. The very nature of power was redistributed to serve the wider EU agenda. That is the sorry State we have lived in for 30 years; and it is not broken. That progressive revolution still rules us. And you wonder why nothing changes? Why Tories are not Tories? Here is your answer.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It’s a two fold attack on government by the consent of the governed. First, the governered are too stupid and ignorant to give informed consent. We need a government of regulatory “experts” instead. Second, we don’t like the existing electorate, so we import a new one with untrammelled immigration of a new, more biddable, electorate. In both ways the elite get to do whatever they want. The old hoy paloi get nothing.

This is happening in both the UK and the US. Efforts to change direction are labeled “threats to our democracy” in the US. Durham’s Report is labeled nothing new, or partisan, because vilification of Republicans is required to carry off the plot. In the UK, even the Tories are getting with the program. You guys are screwed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Douglas Proudfoot
tim richardson
tim richardson
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You have nowhere to go.

100 years ago if you disagreed with taxes, military conscription or forced labor you could vacate the city, leave the country or run for the hills.

The border, for most countries, was seldom more than a few hundred kilometers away.

The distance of transporting food stuffs by animal power couldn’t be more than the animal would consume over that distance. That defined the radius of most borders. Mountains, swamps and deserts defined the rest.

Now, you only have three options:
1) Go to sea in your boat.
2) Wait for Elon Musk to finish his rocket ship and you can go to Mars
3) Become homeless.

There are no more non-State options.

Every square inch of land has been mapped, claimed, titled and photographed.

Even if you don’t want to jockey for political status in the hierarchy of your current state, you can no longer opt out.

Last edited 1 year ago by tim richardson
Walter Egon
Walter Egon
1 year ago
Reply to  tim richardson

Boat for me, then.

Walter Egon
Walter Egon
1 year ago
Reply to  tim richardson

Boat for me, then.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

People complied with lockdowns for two reasons – they were not optional, and were also they right approach at the time. You’re right to mention covid however, because that was an unfortunate intervention that derailed the Johnson post Brexit government and the plans they had. That may or may not have been successful, but I’m certain the political landscape and nation state described above would be unrecognisable from what it is today, and that is a distopian wilderness across all parties.

michael harris
michael harris
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Read ‘Eugypius’ who reports the reaction of the German political elites to the acceptance of lockdowns, masking etc. Public opinion, they note, can – and should – easily be reformed by nudging and appeals to safety.
‘Climate’ of course is next on the menu.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes, and that was the point of the exercise. It was a compliance experiment, and those who imposed it got what they wanted. Now they can move in any direction they wish (and it won’t be a positive, healthy thing for society), because too many simply did what they were told, unquestioningly. Those who did ask questions were vilified, often by their very own families. Now that it’s obvious to even the most willing believers that the Covid response wasn’t really a response at all, but a test, it’s too late.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

‘Frustration, yes; organized (even semi-organized) resistance, no.’
I think we can draw some hope from the actions of the trade unions in recent times, the crucibles of the nation state, unmentioned but heavily implied here in MH’s definition of a nation state as formed through industrialistation. Who else could she mean when she talks about ‘meaningful working-class ability to hold [the elite’s] feet to the fire?’ These are the last serious institutions of resistance against the erosion of our living standards, our sense of having a collective voice and the ability to control our borders, all reasons why both Mick Lynch and Eddie Dempsey voted Leave. This power to withdraw our labour is pretty well all we have in the face of this disenfranchisement, and judging by the government’s attempts to enforce minimum service requirements that would make our anti-trade union laws worse or as bad as Russia’s, the unions must still considered a threat. In other words, by MH’s own analysis, unions helped give us a nation state; maybe they can bring it back.
PS They also helped bring down the Soviet Union and are an essential part of civil society, like Burke’s little battalions (before one of you brands me as a crazy commie)

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Noticed? They planned it.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Everything I read today is depressing. There was a good article yesterday – I can’t remember where – pointing out that the entire G7 is headed up by leaders loathed or disliked by the majority of the population. Trudeau won two elections with less of the popular vote than the conservatives – like 32% of the voters. The rest of the leaders have similar numbers. And of course Ursula von whatever isn’t elected (she really looks like a Disney villain!). Yet somehow they rule over us. I would love an Unherd series on steps to fix democracies. For example I used to be opposed to proportional representation – but now I think it might be a solution to the urban / rural divide that is ailing most democracies.

George Wells
George Wells
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Compare Denmark. In Denmark there is a category of holiday houses ‘summer houses’ which foreigners (EU or not) are not allowed to buy (mainly to stop Germans). They are in beautiful areas near the coast and enable Danes to enjoy the Danish summer. Imagine that here!
Tight immigration controls have supported high wages for workers of all sorts (except perhaps bankers, who are heavily taxed!) and a relatively less disfunctional society.
I forgot the Danish author wrote ‘We are not a nation, we are a tribe’ – and there is the difference.
Divided we fall. Mary is right. Britain is being pillaged. (Not by the Danes, this time).

Last edited 1 year ago by George Wells
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

…noticed? …noticed? ..sure they made billions out of it and you didn’t see it, as the nation’s wealth got scooped up by the 0.1%. At least Kuasi Kwarteng was open about it!

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Speak for yourself, some of us held the bridge.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

How it is possible to write so lucidly and well about the shattering of the nation state, its governance and laws and even culture, without referring to the events which triggered this seismic revolution BY DESIGN!! Its like writing about communist Russia without mentioning Lenin & 1917. Our nation state as was was completely demolished & dismantled by the progressive Blairite State after 1997. It in turn was serving the interests of the post Mastricht EU which demanded and got an NMI New Order; the eviseration of the power and accountability of national parliaments to bolster the federal centre. Look at their works. Supreme Court. Devolution. The creation of a vast unelected permanent Technocracy to sieze the reins of power from Ministers (hence Bank of England and interest rates, the NHS & Public Health – the dark army of wfh regulators, all committed to the EU precautionary principle.) Vast chunks of quasi public sector created too, notably the ponzi university scam in its drive for mass female employment. This was the New Order we still fail to recognise, as Mary just illustrated. There was more of course; the secondary wave of deliberate anti national policies, from EU legal supremacy and human rights; undeclared mass migration via free movement and onto the EU driven insanity of Net Zero Pol Potism which thrwtebs us with blackouts and degrowth. Why even write about Brexit so much? It was a just a people driven thing. Even the shabby Tories like May were majority Pro EU. It was not their fight. So we then watched on in horror as the pro EU Order of Remainiacs trashed and debased any notion of democractic respect/,accountability with their crude Parliamentary and legal coup. Brexit never even began! The Blob/Technocracy post Covid has just sat on its hands. Brex will be seen to be rather like a minor 1950s miner protest in some far flung corner of the Soviet Union. A Peasants Revolt that got chopped up as they always do. The EU/Blairite State Revolution had 30 years to embed itself and it is crazy to imagine that the Brexit Vote could overturn that New Order. To write as if the collapse of the nation state is some accident of history is all wrong. The very nature of power was redistributed to serve the wider EU agenda. That is the sorry State we have lived in for 30 years; and it is not broken. That progressive revolution still rules us. And you wonder why nothing changes? Why Tories are not Tories? Here is your answer.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It’s a two fold attack on government by the consent of the governed. First, the governered are too stupid and ignorant to give informed consent. We need a government of regulatory “experts” instead. Second, we don’t like the existing electorate, so we import a new one with untrammelled immigration of a new, more biddable, electorate. In both ways the elite get to do whatever they want. The old hoy paloi get nothing.

This is happening in both the UK and the US. Efforts to change direction are labeled “threats to our democracy” in the US. Durham’s Report is labeled nothing new, or partisan, because vilification of Republicans is required to carry off the plot. In the UK, even the Tories are getting with the program. You guys are screwed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Douglas Proudfoot
tim richardson
tim richardson
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You have nowhere to go.

100 years ago if you disagreed with taxes, military conscription or forced labor you could vacate the city, leave the country or run for the hills.

The border, for most countries, was seldom more than a few hundred kilometers away.

The distance of transporting food stuffs by animal power couldn’t be more than the animal would consume over that distance. That defined the radius of most borders. Mountains, swamps and deserts defined the rest.

Now, you only have three options:
1) Go to sea in your boat.
2) Wait for Elon Musk to finish his rocket ship and you can go to Mars
3) Become homeless.

There are no more non-State options.

Every square inch of land has been mapped, claimed, titled and photographed.

Even if you don’t want to jockey for political status in the hierarchy of your current state, you can no longer opt out.

Last edited 1 year ago by tim richardson
J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

Good old Mary H. She provided as fine a summary of our current disenfranchisement as I’ve read anywhere. There’s no end of books, filled with labored prose, that try to say in 200 pages what she managed in under 3000 words.
If I read her article correctly, she ended with a suggestion that some sort of pushback to our political disenfranchisement is underway. I don’t see it. Frustration, yes; organized (even semi-organized) resistance, no.
For me, the defining event of the past decade was not Brexit or Trump, but the passive way most ordinary people in the West accepted covid lockdown (after lockdown after lockdown) and other impositions on our liberty. We really were “sheeple”. You can bet the “elites” noticed.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

It’s quite obvious that the people running this country at all levels despise ordinary citizens who fund their salaries and lifestyles. Why on Earth for example, should British workers at the lower and medium ends of the earning spectrum be expected to compete with the rest of the world to earn a living or develop their careers due to the salary threshold for a visa being £21k per year? Should be at least triple that.

Not to mention yesterday’s incident on Blackfriars Bridge where the Met are happy for Just Stop Oil criminals to prevent people paid by the hour or self-employed from earning a living, but will arrest anyone who takes issue with them doing so. Had people been using similar tactics against large scale migration or the cost of living, I doubt they’d be met with such generosity by the Met.

Granville Stout
Granville Stout
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

or indeed protests against lockdowns, which the media were also complicit in their silence.

Last edited 1 year ago by Granville Stout
John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

Even when they do report it, they go to a loon like Piers Corbyn and effectively appoint him as the figurehead of the whole movement in order to discredit it.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

Even when they do report it, they go to a loon like Piers Corbyn and effectively appoint him as the figurehead of the whole movement in order to discredit it.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Had they even been stood on the cliffs of Dover silently praying for deliverance from immigration they would no doubt have been arrested and charged

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

If you triple salaries that means the cost of our exports must increase to pay for them and who will buy British if they can buy cheaper. It will also push up costs within the UK and so there will be others demanding pay increases. It is not the answer. Britain cannot survive without imports and therefore exports must pay for imports.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I said the visa threshold should be tripled. ÂŁ21k is pitifully low and has a disproportionately negative effect on our poorest and most vulnerable.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I said the visa threshold should be tripled. ÂŁ21k is pitifully low and has a disproportionately negative effect on our poorest and most vulnerable.

Granville Stout
Granville Stout
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

or indeed protests against lockdowns, which the media were also complicit in their silence.

Last edited 1 year ago by Granville Stout
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Had they even been stood on the cliffs of Dover silently praying for deliverance from immigration they would no doubt have been arrested and charged

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

If you triple salaries that means the cost of our exports must increase to pay for them and who will buy British if they can buy cheaper. It will also push up costs within the UK and so there will be others demanding pay increases. It is not the answer. Britain cannot survive without imports and therefore exports must pay for imports.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

It’s quite obvious that the people running this country at all levels despise ordinary citizens who fund their salaries and lifestyles. Why on Earth for example, should British workers at the lower and medium ends of the earning spectrum be expected to compete with the rest of the world to earn a living or develop their careers due to the salary threshold for a visa being £21k per year? Should be at least triple that.

Not to mention yesterday’s incident on Blackfriars Bridge where the Met are happy for Just Stop Oil criminals to prevent people paid by the hour or self-employed from earning a living, but will arrest anyone who takes issue with them doing so. Had people been using similar tactics against large scale migration or the cost of living, I doubt they’d be met with such generosity by the Met.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago

Interesting piece, Mary, but none of it really matters if you do set aside the context of what you refer to as “Covid” but others would refer to as psychological warfare. In March 2020, less than two months since “Brexit Day”, virtually every nation in the world fell, lockstep, into imposing the most horrific attack on the rights and freedoms on people that the modern world has ever known. Even in wartime, people were not forced to close their businesses for months on end. They were not terrorised into staying indoors for two years. Schools did not close. People were not bullied into walking around with their mouths and noses covered with a piece of cloth. Hospitals did not make sudden, radical changes to how people were treated resulting in millions of deaths. People were not told they could kill someone simply by walking in a park. All this was imposed at the same time by almost every government in the world, proving that they are (at best) in collusion with each other and (at worse) controlled by some other undefined entity. So we now know that modern democracy is a sham, a theatrical performance. This very week, the “World Health Assembly” is meeting in Geneva to give itself powers to restrict the movement and rights of all people of WHO member states whenever it decides there’s a “public health emergency of international concern”, when we now know such a thing cannot even exist. In the future, our “governments” will say, “it’s not us mandating these medical interventions, it’s the WHO.” Anyone who remotely cares about bodily sovereignty – let alone national sovereignty – should be screaming from the rooftops about this. Yet the mainstream media is silent. No one I speak to even knows it is happening. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a power grab, happening in plain sight. Please research it and write about it. It’s the most dangerous elephant in the room right now. David Bell has written about it, eloquently and passionately – search for his piece on the “Brownstone Institute” website. On a more positive note, though, I do not believe the “nation state” can ever truly be over. It can be attacked and suppressed and overruled, but it will always exist in some form as a natural order in which societies organise and boundary themselves. It will just be reordered and redefined once we get past this fascistic period we’re going through.

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Great comment… All other issues have been dwarfed by the successful roll out of the authoritarian Covid hoax. Given that the pseudo science of it all is being, depressingly, accepted as unquestioned history, it can only be a matter of time before, the WHO facilitated, Round 2.

Quite likely 2025, I think, when Moderna’s lab in Oxfordshire will be up and running, ready to coercively inject billions more ‘vaccines ‘. It’s also the time predicted by Bill Gates/John Hopkins Institute in October 2022 from their Catastrophic Contagion’ jolly, the follow up to their ‘Event 201’ in October 2019, which curiously anticipated Covid months later. All there, in plain sight, on respective websites.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Gold star for doing your homework, Adam. General apathy will be the death of most of us.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Yes good comment about Moderna’s lab. They have just produced an mRNA flu vaccine for which our UK Government has paid them over ÂŁ1 Billion for a product that hasn’t even been tested yet. Wait!! they are testing it on 50 volunteers??? Something isn’t quite right here. What Government in any state of mind would pay upfront for a product that has not been rigidly tested.
Incidentally the Factory that Moderna are using is the relatively new Vaccine, Manufacturing, and Innovation Centre at Harwell that was built as a state of the art facility for future pandemics and as expected sold out by the Tories to the Americans as they are with most of our Tech Companies.. Sovereignty, Nation State? Pah!

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

It was when I understood the implications of moderna’s name (MODE RNA) and read their investment opportunity brochures that I really woke up to the game plan. There is a vast difference between medicine to improve our health and genetic tinkering. The eugenicists don’t want to make us well, they want to experiment on us to achieve their dream of artificially creating human life.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

It was when I understood the implications of moderna’s name (MODE RNA) and read their investment opportunity brochures that I really woke up to the game plan. There is a vast difference between medicine to improve our health and genetic tinkering. The eugenicists don’t want to make us well, they want to experiment on us to achieve their dream of artificially creating human life.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Gold star for doing your homework, Adam. General apathy will be the death of most of us.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Yes good comment about Moderna’s lab. They have just produced an mRNA flu vaccine for which our UK Government has paid them over ÂŁ1 Billion for a product that hasn’t even been tested yet. Wait!! they are testing it on 50 volunteers??? Something isn’t quite right here. What Government in any state of mind would pay upfront for a product that has not been rigidly tested.
Incidentally the Factory that Moderna are using is the relatively new Vaccine, Manufacturing, and Innovation Centre at Harwell that was built as a state of the art facility for future pandemics and as expected sold out by the Tories to the Americans as they are with most of our Tech Companies.. Sovereignty, Nation State? Pah!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

‘This fascistic period we are going through’ – where did this come from? The intolerance of outliers is astonishing and even frightening. We live in a world of Karen’s.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Or even Karens.
“We live in a world of Karen’s.”

Er, Karen’s what ?

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Or even Karens.
“We live in a world of Karen’s.”

Er, Karen’s what ?

Jane H
Jane H
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Excellent comment Amy thank you

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

How very apposite that it should be Geneva, a city infamous for the burning witches*in the 16th century.
In 1515 it is estimated that 500 or so were incinerated, 80% of whom are thought to have been women.

In 1571 there was another burst of excitement but only 29 were burnt**on this occasion .Frankly the city should be as infamous as Auschwitz, but somehow has avoided criticism.
Perhaps the machinations of the wretched WHO will change this?

(* A very popular spectator ‘sport’, for obvious reasons.)

(** lack of fire lighters or fuel?)

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
1 year ago

Ah Geneva! The most depressing city I have ever visited in Western Europe – nothing but money and extreme Protestantism.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
1 year ago

Ah Geneva! The most depressing city I have ever visited in Western Europe – nothing but money and extreme Protestantism.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Governments of the western democracies were surprised, but delighted, by the rapid compliance of their populations to the imposition of severe lockdown measures and the accompanying removal of so many freedoms and rights in such a short time. The ruling Woking Class elites, already abhorring ‘nation state’ concept in favour of the ‘global village’ paradigm, found it easy to continue the onslaught on freedom of speech and other freedoms by precipitating and consolidating the Woke Era to suppress and control us in a manner never before encountered in democratic societies. Covid lockdown in 2020 boosted their confidence that they could accelerate this change agenda. Such oppression is/was of course familiar to people to lived/live under dictatorship and tyrannical systems of governance – e.g. Stalinist Russia, North Korea, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Hitler’s Germany, East Germany, etc. We have arrived! We are global!

jim peden
jim peden
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Well said! It’s totalitarianism and it’s coming to a location near you. Substack has many well-written and well-researched articles on this and I recommend Mattias Desmet’s book, the Psychology of Totalitarianism.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

You are right about the threat to our liberties, but wrong about the collusion in any organised way. It is simply the “me-too” way of thinking that is so common in politics, journalism, media. Independent thinking is discouraged by a force of social.pressure brought largely by social.media

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Many good points, but how do you explain different covid policies of Sweden?

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Who knows. Either Anders Tegnall had some tennis balls, or someone had him BY the tennis balls. They were big jab pushers though. Look up their “rolled-up sleeve” campaign. Quite chilling! (Can’t fool the auto censor by inserting the word “tennis”. Very clever!)

Last edited 1 year ago by Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Who knows. Either Anders Tegnall had some tennis balls, or someone had him BY the tennis balls. They were big jab pushers though. Look up their “rolled-up sleeve” campaign. Quite chilling! (Can’t fool the auto censor by inserting the word “tennis”. Very clever!)

Last edited 1 year ago by Amy Horseman
Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Great comment… All other issues have been dwarfed by the successful roll out of the authoritarian Covid hoax. Given that the pseudo science of it all is being, depressingly, accepted as unquestioned history, it can only be a matter of time before, the WHO facilitated, Round 2.

Quite likely 2025, I think, when Moderna’s lab in Oxfordshire will be up and running, ready to coercively inject billions more ‘vaccines ‘. It’s also the time predicted by Bill Gates/John Hopkins Institute in October 2022 from their Catastrophic Contagion’ jolly, the follow up to their ‘Event 201’ in October 2019, which curiously anticipated Covid months later. All there, in plain sight, on respective websites.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

‘This fascistic period we are going through’ – where did this come from? The intolerance of outliers is astonishing and even frightening. We live in a world of Karen’s.

Jane H
Jane H
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Excellent comment Amy thank you

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

How very apposite that it should be Geneva, a city infamous for the burning witches*in the 16th century.
In 1515 it is estimated that 500 or so were incinerated, 80% of whom are thought to have been women.

In 1571 there was another burst of excitement but only 29 were burnt**on this occasion .Frankly the city should be as infamous as Auschwitz, but somehow has avoided criticism.
Perhaps the machinations of the wretched WHO will change this?

(* A very popular spectator ‘sport’, for obvious reasons.)

(** lack of fire lighters or fuel?)

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Governments of the western democracies were surprised, but delighted, by the rapid compliance of their populations to the imposition of severe lockdown measures and the accompanying removal of so many freedoms and rights in such a short time. The ruling Woking Class elites, already abhorring ‘nation state’ concept in favour of the ‘global village’ paradigm, found it easy to continue the onslaught on freedom of speech and other freedoms by precipitating and consolidating the Woke Era to suppress and control us in a manner never before encountered in democratic societies. Covid lockdown in 2020 boosted their confidence that they could accelerate this change agenda. Such oppression is/was of course familiar to people to lived/live under dictatorship and tyrannical systems of governance – e.g. Stalinist Russia, North Korea, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Hitler’s Germany, East Germany, etc. We have arrived! We are global!

jim peden
jim peden
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Well said! It’s totalitarianism and it’s coming to a location near you. Substack has many well-written and well-researched articles on this and I recommend Mattias Desmet’s book, the Psychology of Totalitarianism.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

You are right about the threat to our liberties, but wrong about the collusion in any organised way. It is simply the “me-too” way of thinking that is so common in politics, journalism, media. Independent thinking is discouraged by a force of social.pressure brought largely by social.media

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Horseman

Many good points, but how do you explain different covid policies of Sweden?

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago

Interesting piece, Mary, but none of it really matters if you do set aside the context of what you refer to as “Covid” but others would refer to as psychological warfare. In March 2020, less than two months since “Brexit Day”, virtually every nation in the world fell, lockstep, into imposing the most horrific attack on the rights and freedoms on people that the modern world has ever known. Even in wartime, people were not forced to close their businesses for months on end. They were not terrorised into staying indoors for two years. Schools did not close. People were not bullied into walking around with their mouths and noses covered with a piece of cloth. Hospitals did not make sudden, radical changes to how people were treated resulting in millions of deaths. People were not told they could kill someone simply by walking in a park. All this was imposed at the same time by almost every government in the world, proving that they are (at best) in collusion with each other and (at worse) controlled by some other undefined entity. So we now know that modern democracy is a sham, a theatrical performance. This very week, the “World Health Assembly” is meeting in Geneva to give itself powers to restrict the movement and rights of all people of WHO member states whenever it decides there’s a “public health emergency of international concern”, when we now know such a thing cannot even exist. In the future, our “governments” will say, “it’s not us mandating these medical interventions, it’s the WHO.” Anyone who remotely cares about bodily sovereignty – let alone national sovereignty – should be screaming from the rooftops about this. Yet the mainstream media is silent. No one I speak to even knows it is happening. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a power grab, happening in plain sight. Please research it and write about it. It’s the most dangerous elephant in the room right now. David Bell has written about it, eloquently and passionately – search for his piece on the “Brownstone Institute” website. On a more positive note, though, I do not believe the “nation state” can ever truly be over. It can be attacked and suppressed and overruled, but it will always exist in some form as a natural order in which societies organise and boundary themselves. It will just be reordered and redefined once we get past this fascistic period we’re going through.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

Two very gloomy predictions follow from this excellent analysis. The first is that our national sense of who we are is being discernibly eroded by the volume of immigrants and the attemps by the media and other opinion leaders to deal with it. Just have a look at ourselves as reflected by the BBC, for example. The worse it gets, the worse it is going to get.

Second, the justified complaints of those who think Brexit has failed will be used in a concerted attempt to reverse the process. Sir Keir is doubtless putting together a plan to save us from our past “mistakes”.

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Yes I think you’re right. “Has Brexit been a success?” is not the same as “Should we have stayed in the EU?”

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

…if only. Keir Starmer is Tory light.. a tiny bit more tax and tiny bit more social services. Corbyn was GB’s last chance to remake itself just like Sanders was America’s last chance.. it’s all downhill from here (to the cliff edge)..

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The great thing about Corbyn and Sanders is that they so love the sounds of their own voices that they would walk over the cliff without noticing. Then we could go back to trying to be a free society

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The great thing about Corbyn and Sanders is that they so love the sounds of their own voices that they would walk over the cliff without noticing. Then we could go back to trying to be a free society

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Yes I think you’re right. “Has Brexit been a success?” is not the same as “Should we have stayed in the EU?”

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

…if only. Keir Starmer is Tory light.. a tiny bit more tax and tiny bit more social services. Corbyn was GB’s last chance to remake itself just like Sanders was America’s last chance.. it’s all downhill from here (to the cliff edge)..

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

Two very gloomy predictions follow from this excellent analysis. The first is that our national sense of who we are is being discernibly eroded by the volume of immigrants and the attemps by the media and other opinion leaders to deal with it. Just have a look at ourselves as reflected by the BBC, for example. The worse it gets, the worse it is going to get.

Second, the justified complaints of those who think Brexit has failed will be used in a concerted attempt to reverse the process. Sir Keir is doubtless putting together a plan to save us from our past “mistakes”.

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
1 year ago

Bit of a laugh thinking that you could take back control when you had none in the first place. Everything is decided around you and you are then propagandised into thinking that you had some sort of say in the matter.
The Nation is falling away because the people that run it have deigned that the welfare of the Nations citizens is of no interest to them. A large number of the population are not aware that this is the case and still cling to the idea that their Nation is for them, but they are slowly realising the ugly truth.
The Nation has been stolen by a caste that uses power and connections for their own personal enrichment and could not give a fig for anyone else.
The fact that Britain is declining and unable or more likely unwilling to ensure the welfare of its people yet has billions to spare promoting war all over the planet is further evidence of the ethical bankruptcy of the Nation.
I think that the Nation is important and it will be revived but it will require a group interested in running it equitably to make it work. How you get them in and remove the current bunch of parasites is another question that will not be easily solved . Hopefully it won’t be the French solution but I think that is a distinct possibility.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Well said! And I think a great number of people are now very cognisant of this.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

The French solution ushered in the pathological society of individuals and liberalism shorn of the Imago dei – the kind of Gnostic materialism which has produced the society that Mary so eloquently describes….unless you mean the Frankish solution…Perhaps we need a Charlemagne

John Stevens
John Stevens
1 year ago

We need Christendom, the Carolingian creation..

John Stevens
John Stevens
1 year ago

We need Christendom, the Carolingian creation..

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

I used to accept the standard depiction of Stalin as some kind of irrational master.
He did however get one thing right. If you want to get rid of an lite lass you also have to deal with their families

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Minor quibble with para 2 Chris.
Compared to say, 1990, “Welfare” (in strict monetary terms, of course) has soared, financed to a great extent by massive relative reductions in defence and debt payments, and the Banking boom of the mid-Blair years.
Banks are going bust, interest rates are now rising and defence commitments will also uptick in the wake of Ukraine/Russia. But welfare is practically a fixed cost, and only guaranteed to get bigger year on year.
Any attempt to manage down welfare/immigration and of course health in line with the nation’s ability to pay will be met with major organised rebellion on the street. The police force – diminished, demoralised and largely leaderless – will be unable to meet that threat. That I concede is really the extent of Conservative interest.
Labour have more skin in the game in terms of Welfare as a means of vote harvesting, across unemployed, the religiously conservative and public sector. In fact welfare successfully welds all these Labour interest groups permanently together in such a way that it might even guarantee them natural largest party status in a short space of time.
Way to go, Conservatives! But how long can this gravity-defying stunt continue?
My concern is this; outsiders Bank, WEF etc seem prepared to lend us the money to commit national suicide until the job is done. MSM journalists are their propagandists, and the civil service – Blairite it seems to a man and woman – seem determined to become the power within. The way the three work in concert has been shown to good effect in the unprecedented swift downfall of Truss/Kwarteng (challenging the current financial orthodoxy), and the endless hobbling of “Brexiteers” Johnson, Braverman and Raab.
“Pour dĂ©courager les autres”, indeed. Take control? They were having a laugh…

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Well said! And I think a great number of people are now very cognisant of this.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

The French solution ushered in the pathological society of individuals and liberalism shorn of the Imago dei – the kind of Gnostic materialism which has produced the society that Mary so eloquently describes….unless you mean the Frankish solution…Perhaps we need a Charlemagne

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

I used to accept the standard depiction of Stalin as some kind of irrational master.
He did however get one thing right. If you want to get rid of an lite lass you also have to deal with their families

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Minor quibble with para 2 Chris.
Compared to say, 1990, “Welfare” (in strict monetary terms, of course) has soared, financed to a great extent by massive relative reductions in defence and debt payments, and the Banking boom of the mid-Blair years.
Banks are going bust, interest rates are now rising and defence commitments will also uptick in the wake of Ukraine/Russia. But welfare is practically a fixed cost, and only guaranteed to get bigger year on year.
Any attempt to manage down welfare/immigration and of course health in line with the nation’s ability to pay will be met with major organised rebellion on the street. The police force – diminished, demoralised and largely leaderless – will be unable to meet that threat. That I concede is really the extent of Conservative interest.
Labour have more skin in the game in terms of Welfare as a means of vote harvesting, across unemployed, the religiously conservative and public sector. In fact welfare successfully welds all these Labour interest groups permanently together in such a way that it might even guarantee them natural largest party status in a short space of time.
Way to go, Conservatives! But how long can this gravity-defying stunt continue?
My concern is this; outsiders Bank, WEF etc seem prepared to lend us the money to commit national suicide until the job is done. MSM journalists are their propagandists, and the civil service – Blairite it seems to a man and woman – seem determined to become the power within. The way the three work in concert has been shown to good effect in the unprecedented swift downfall of Truss/Kwarteng (challenging the current financial orthodoxy), and the endless hobbling of “Brexiteers” Johnson, Braverman and Raab.
“Pour dĂ©courager les autres”, indeed. Take control? They were having a laugh…

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
1 year ago

Bit of a laugh thinking that you could take back control when you had none in the first place. Everything is decided around you and you are then propagandised into thinking that you had some sort of say in the matter.
The Nation is falling away because the people that run it have deigned that the welfare of the Nations citizens is of no interest to them. A large number of the population are not aware that this is the case and still cling to the idea that their Nation is for them, but they are slowly realising the ugly truth.
The Nation has been stolen by a caste that uses power and connections for their own personal enrichment and could not give a fig for anyone else.
The fact that Britain is declining and unable or more likely unwilling to ensure the welfare of its people yet has billions to spare promoting war all over the planet is further evidence of the ethical bankruptcy of the Nation.
I think that the Nation is important and it will be revived but it will require a group interested in running it equitably to make it work. How you get them in and remove the current bunch of parasites is another question that will not be easily solved . Hopefully it won’t be the French solution but I think that is a distinct possibility.

Paul Ten
Paul Ten
1 year ago

A fascinating account and, as ever, a great read from this author. I perhaps take issue with a couple of things. Firstly, the story on immigration doesn’t mean Brexit has failed. It might mean our government of the day has failed, or is unwilling to engage with all the issues to deal with the problem. But at least Brexit means we know where the accountability lies.

Secondly, the ‘softening’ of the nation state seems like a very Euro-centric view of the world. The USA, China and Japan, to name a few, don’t seem to have much need of cross-national emulsifiers. There is still a strong case to say that the EU is a vehicle for advancement of national interest. And people look to nation states for support, help, furlough money when things go wrong. The idea may have some more life in it yet.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Ten

Though the US government is currently encouraging mass immigration to a degree that makes our lot seem positively xenophobic by comparison.

Venerabledom
Venerabledom
1 year ago

Except Florida which is trying it’s own mini-version of Brexit and as a consequence, like us, has investment leaving the state and field full of unpicked fruit and veg.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

Would love to see a reference for that. FL is probably the most successfully run state in the nation at this point.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Venerabledom

Would love to see a reference for that. FL is probably the most successfully run state in the nation at this point.