Wednesday, March 04, 2009

You said it ...

At Harry's there's a debate on the good old days of youthful leftie activism, and memories are solicited.

Don't know who William Gazy is, but this is spot-on :

The day Blair won in ’97 I was at Victoria Station at dawn, having come off a night shift. I bought a newspaper. I was very happy.

It all went downhill after that. It took until well after 9/11 and the start of Iraq for me to really wake up to how dismal, hypocritical, utterly flawed and contradictory the Labour Government was/is. This did not send me back to the Tories, but I went back and did the thing that youthful lefties never seem to do: examine both sides of the argument properly and fully. How many Guardian readers really understand what a Polly Toynbee-run country would be like? Or do they just like to be ‘rebels’? The expression ‘rightwing’ is now like a leper’s bell which can be promptly rung and all debate is hushed thereafter.

The utopia of socialism had to be taken on trust, and when I saw the first vestiges of its consequences – the Human Rights Bill; the emasculation of the police force; the weakening of educational standards through dumbing down; the chaos and casual murder in the inner cities (what was the teen murder rate in London before McPherson, what is it now?); the cultural Marxism enforced in all public institutions, the high-handed, semi-criminality of the Blair/Campbell/Mandelson years; the hostility to British culture and the pandering to minorities; the obsession with impotent bureaucracy, poster campaigns and ‘crackdowns’ that were forgotten about in five minutes; the ‘we know best’ bullying on smoking (while the public consumption of skunk soared – as did psychiatric admissions) the parallel reality offered by the politicians, their press officers and their friends in the media; the fat cat hypocrisy; the ludicrous wars; ministerial perks and insider dealing (see for example Patricia Hewitt; Mandy etc); the irresponsible immigration (which punished the working classes’ wages); the insane attitude toward the armed forces (Geoff Hoon lecturing the SAS on gender equality at the time of Iraq); the sheer incompetence and arrogance of it all – I started to rebel. It wasn’t so much that I took the Daily Mail’s view on everything – I don’t, but it has been the only effective opposition to New Labour – but the dawning realisation that the abstractions of the middle class left were disastrous for law-abiding, decent people of all colours and classes and a clear threat to civilised life. I think Mandelson’s comments about xenophobia to the striking workers recently shows the full, grave, arrogant folly of new Labour thinking. Or look at Livingstone’s blasé attitude to teen killings in London, once it became obvious that the new, ‘social democratic’ approach to policing meant that you lost control of the streets.

Most people I knew moved further Left. The never-to-be-seen utopia. A moral high ground all about carping, looking good and never engaging with reality. But I couldn’t swallow that Mao-loving old fool Benn (youth never thinks of youth murdered in China and the USSR, they tend to concentrate on the students who revolted against Hitler and were murdered. See John Savage’s book ‘Teenage’ for a classic example of the one-eyed moral outrage of the juvenile left).

Yes, I moved rightward on many issues, stayed left on others; but I can never resolve my dislike of the Tory Party. The Lib Dems are quite without an empirical bone. So, I land somewhere roughly where Orwell was with the Lion and Unicorn: hating inequality of resource and opportunity; hating abuse of power; but recognizing that without decency, real education, tradition, authority and morality the ‘revolution’ isn’t worth it. Orwell’s great fear (that the ‘fruit juice drinkers’ – the England-hating, chattering class useful idiots ((a good description of our current Establishment)) would denude ordinary people of their moral codes and thus deliver us from liberty into license and totalitarianism) is slowly coming about, willed by a credulous and degraded pop culture and denigration of the universities for ‘social engineering’ purposes.

I see no party or political movement fit to the task of stopping this. All that can follow now is mass ignorance, a precipitous decline in standards across the board, balkanization (the socialist sacred cow of multiculturalism-as-state-policy – as opposed to a multi-racial society – was a recipe for this). In Whitehall, a new generation reared on pluralism, ecstasy, Jeff Buckley and Bill Hicks will preside – in a non-judgmental fashion – over the pigsty; and collect fat pensions paid for by the private sector they so despise. And that is how socialism will have ended up.


Shlomo said...

I enjoyed this too...there was a sequel:

“Brownie” said:

‘I’ve got news for you, pal; you *are* the (socially conservative) middle-class left.’

Wrong. The middle-class left have no idea of what is happening in working class areas. They still believe in Blairism. Blairism is not Daily Mailism.

‘One look at your list of objections confirms this. The “human rights bill”?’

A disaster. Or are you glad that jihadis who hate everything about Britain routinely exploit this law to avoid the torture and serfdom of their idealised Islamic world? Do you think it just that all murder suspects are, unless ‘clearly psychopathic’ granted instant bail? That particular Tony-and-Cherie-ism has cost quite a few lives - you know, the chav-kicks-father’s-head-like-football-in-front-of-daughter stuff. But, hey, Brownie, that’s just all made up by ‘rightwingers’, isn’t it?

‘ The “hostility to British culture and the pandering to minorities”? The smoking ban? Daily Mail regurgitated’

The problem you have is that when you identify empirical reservations to socialist abstractions you have, like the rest of the left, got into the habit of shouting “Daily Mail!”, which, as I noted in my previous post, is a leper’s bell: you don’t have to think anymore once you shouted it. The Right do this when they yell: “Guardian!” and it is lazy and antithetical to clear debate; though I accept we all do it. The problem with it is that your ingenoius rhetorical flourish of “Daily Mail!”, would lead you, Brownie, to have yelled “Daily Mail!” at Confucious, at Hegel, at Dostoyevski, at Van Gogh, at Shakespeare himself. That should demonstrate why it is a bad habit for Lefties to shout “Daily Mail!” and think they’ve been clever.

And yes, the Left panders to minorities. ‘Gratify and indulge’ - Oxford Concise Dictionary. When I think of the Left’s - and not just left, but witness MI5’s attitude to radical Islamism in the 80s and 90s - attitude to minorities, going back to the 1980s and beyond, the only two words appropriate are gratify and indulge. The best thing the Left ever did was to attack racist and racist attitudes. However, the revolution never stops and before long, having made great inroads into white racism and bad behaviour, the Left was licensing brown racism and bad behaviour. See the Guardianpendant, Ken Llivingstone when mayor, BBC etc.

‘, dangerously provocative bullshit like “the irresponsible immigration (which punished the working classes’ wages)”?’

Ah, here’s the rub. The truth is provocative, Browny. It is a demonstrable fact that immigration on the New Labour scale (bear in mind we’re talking about scale, not objection to immigration in fact) impacts on the working class (the Left’s purported demographic) and drives down wages. There is simply no getting around this. The middle class left knows so very little of working class life (apart from what they learned at university - and, further to your first remark, I am not middle class and have not been to university) that they never considered what impact massive immigration would have, beyond providing them with au pairs and cheap plumbers. I could go about the roots of the middle class left’s (the Labour Party) antipathy to the white working class, but that’s for another day.

‘People in the real world (but perhaps without broadband) are more concerned about the money in their pockets,’

Yes, there’s less of it when the population is driven up through the socialist abstraction of mass immigration and also when a Labour Government has encouraged a debt boom (something they criticised the Tories for) and simulteanously splurged on public spending (cultural policy co-ordinators in Walsall on 67,000 pa) Go back to supply and demand. You would have thought the Labour Party would have tried to create an empolyees’ market; no, they did the reverse, because their abstraction was first and foremost to remodel British society and with the Left, abstraction always trumps empiricism.

‘feeling confident that they can get access to free health treatment if they fall seriously ill without having to wait a year’

If only there were no waiting lists! What planet are you on? I wait longer for a doctor’s appointment now that I ever did under the Tories. There seems plenty of money for Somalian translators, thought. Again, socialism in action is so far removed from the dream of socialism - which is what this thread’s about.

‘, and knowing that their kids are going to schools that aren’t falling down around the pupils’ ears…shit like that.’

Schools that now have policemen posted outside every day and where the kids where stabproof vests? The consequences of the wanky left on children’s behaviour are the best example of the folly of the left. New school building; stabbings and skunk in the streets. As a journalist I have seen on more than one occasion headteachers denying their schools have social problems, even when the local police are confiscating knives and drugs from her pupils on a daily basis. That is what I mean by ‘the official, parallel reality.’
That is quite without the manifest plummeting of educational standards under new Labour. Want me to tell you why that happened? And why it will continue to happen?

Again, I ask: ‘What was the black teen murder victim rate when Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993 and what is it now?

‘I know a minimum wage’

. . .which was designed to offset the obvious consequence of new Labour’s Big Idea of mass immigration. I welcomed it but it dawned on me that had a sensible migration policy prevailed, demand would have driven up wages far beyond miminum wage. I see the miminum wage as a cynical, Marie Antionette ploy on the working class, quite frankly.

‘a social chapter’

Explain the benefits of this nebulous term?

‘nursery school places for all 3-year olds, etc
. mean nothing if you can’t light up whenever and wherever you feel like it, but you can’t please all of the petite bourgeoisie all of the time, etc..

Sarcasm - the lifeblood of leftist argument. . .

Anonymous said...

A beautifully written account of the profound disillusionment the last twenty odds years have produced in many people but, and it is a very big but, why has no serious opposition arisen to oppose Blair and the mad free marketeers?

The answer, I believe, is twofold: we have allowed 'anti-racist' politics to shut down nearly all attempts to question continual immigration and any consequent cultural practices that may on the surface appear barbaric.

When we shatter this politics it will mean the end of Democracy, as we know it. My local Council, Tower Hamlets is dominated by Bengalis. They are an openly nationalist, religious , racial, power bloc. They do not represent me or anyone like me, or Somalis or Chinese.

We are, as the Chinese say, living in 'interesting times'.


Anonymous said...

Seems a bit harsh to drag poor old Jeff Buckley in! AFAIK he kept whatever views he had to himself and just stuck to the music - which wasn't very obviously anti-establishment either.

Anonymous said...

William Gazy's piece was kinda great, wasn't it. He appears to have a blog, though it's infrequently updated. Hope he does more.

Anonymous said...

The warm wallow of nostalgia, and fond memories of their days as committed lefties, is a recurring feature at Harry's Place.
As the shrink said to Fawlty-'there's enough material there for an entire conference'.

Anonymous said...

Bleep! that should be 'about Fawlty' of course !

Anonymous said...

That, is a magnificent post.

Although, like yaffle I don't get what is objectionable about Jeff Buckley.

I don't look at Harry's Place much. They seem to obsess too much over Israel and Muslims for my liking. Not that I don't have opinions regarding these topics, but I am suspicious of people who can't seem to think about much else.

I am more of a Brussels Journal kinda guy than a little Green Footballs feller.

My ancestors came to this country thousands of years ago. That doesn't make me a fascist or a Nazi. It just means I am not quite as interested in Israel/Muslims as some others appear to be.

Still, I might take a look again if thats the kind of quality that is turning up.

Anonymous said...

How I loved reading this post and especially Shlomo's sequel."Brownie" at Harry's Place is a pompous prig when it comes to discussing mass immigration and it's effects on the British working class. Like many left wing, middle class pundits "Brownie" lives in the countryside away from the multicultural, inner city hellholes that NULab's immigration open door policy has created. Safely shielded from bleak reality, "Brownie" spews his self righteous "anti-racist" venom on any who dare to question what immigration has done to our country.So nice to see his facile arguments ripped to pieces in such an effective manner !!

Anonymous said...

I find Harry's Place and LGF to be shit (sorry Laban) frankly.

HP is full of supposed realist lefties, their realism largely consisting of worrying about the Muslim menace, and worrying about Jews and Israel - and then doing it some more. I dont want to understate the problems with Islam but its only one of the ethnic/cultural problems we face. Problems which the Harryistas are woefully ill-equipped to deal with. They are obsessed with Israel, anti-semitism, with the 'nazis' & 'fascists' of the BNP. Most of threads consist of trumpeting the obvious failings of BNP voters and activists and their obviously failed project, while somehow repeatedly failing to note that the BNP vote keeps rising.

Extra points of course for shouting "Daily Mail!" every few moments like a sort of leftist Tourettes - or Mornington Crescent. (Still, Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy have made a solid living out of that for years.)

They are mostly modified Guardianistas - just as useless as the normal version.

LGF is vile, a right wing version of Harry's. Absolutely obsessed with Israel, Jews, Nazis, anti-semitism and Muslims. Really why are so many white, english speaking Republicans and conservatives so fired up about these things? When they've got so many other existential threats to ponder. Mention any of those on LGF and they scream you down (and delete).

And whats the stupidest thing about LGF? Well its the fact that apparently 80% of Jews in America vote Democrat and of course bankroll the party. Yet in LGF world Democrats are the Israel haters. Only the Republicans can be trusted with Israel's security. Does the moronic chorus of LGF, seemingly white and non-Jewish on the whole, not wonder why its their job to shout for Israel, while American Jews feel happy to vote Democrat, the supposed anti-Israel party?