Friday, 11 February 2011

Is being left-wing a form of mental illness? Question Time would suggest it is

I caught five minutes of Question Time last night – something I’ve deliberately avoided doing for years, because the panel usually contains four blithering idiots and the audience is invariably packed with rent-a-crowd lefties who clap enthusiastically whenever a guest says something particularly deranged. 

The first question was whether MPs should have denied prisoners the right to vote (odd question, given that our MPs evidently have no more say in the matter than Question Time’s fruit-loop audience).

Jaqui Smith (I expect her husband was watching something on the other side) started off by saying she would probably have voted against the proposition as well. Frances Maude, the Tory moderniser whose incompetence helped ensure that his Party couldn’t manage a majority even against the worst government in British history, blethered on about wasn’t it awful that we didn’t rehabilitate prisoners better. A 123-year old man (who bore a slight resemblance to the former Liberal leader, Menzies Campbell) wittered on about how we must do whatever anyone in Europe tells us to do. Douglas Murray, sensibly, pointed out that the spec of human ordure who raised this issue with the European Court of Human Rats had been sent to prison for bludgeoning an old lady to death – a crime for which he has subsequently expressed no remorse.

Mehdi Hassan, the Political Editor of the New Statesman, said, “I am embarrassed that only 22 MPs voted not to give some prisoners the right to vote.” He went on to paint a harrowing picture of how horrible our prisons are (good), and how there were 24,000 self-harming incidents in prison last year (excellent!) and how the suicide rate is five times the non-prison average (better and better!). But evidently he thought these were bad things. Apparently, we should encourage these poor, blameless souls to emerge from prison as “active citizens” (by which he presumably meant that they should start back robbing and raping and killing as soon as possible).

Then some swivel-eyed socialist female in the audience claimed that the prisoners she worked with (I expect they pretend to be out when she calls) were in prison for no other reason than that, for their whole lives, they have felt completely disenfranchised by “our” society. (And there was I foolishly imagining they’d been sent to prison for committing a crime.)

At that point, realising we’d have to listen to these fools  - Douglas Murray excepted - talking balls about Egypt for at least 20 minutes, I switched over. But not before I’d found myself wondering – for perhaps the 10,000th time in my life -  whether a significant proportion of the Liberal Left isn’t suffering from a mental illness that results in them seeing a distorted version of the moral world which no ordinary human being – from the very Dawn of Man until the present - would even begin to recognise as bearing any relation to natural justice.

What has to be wrong with you which would lead you, when faced with choosing between the rights of a victim and a criminal, to favour the rights of the guilty over those of the innocent? What evidence – from any period of human history – would suggest that allowing a convicted thief or paedophile rapist the right to vote would mean they’d be less likely to re-offend following their (no doubt early) release from jail? 

Such an attitude is downright unnatural, weird, perverse and incomprehensible.  

Of course, the rights of prisoners isn’t the only issue which Liberals seem to view through a cracked, “reverse morality” lens. State schools are crap? It’s the fault of our excellent private schools. Rich people and those who got themselves into debt conspired to cause the Credit Crunch and the near-collapse of our economy? Let’s punish middle-income savers.  Human beings are born with very different temperaments and abilities? Let’s ensure the talented and hard-working don’t so any better than the talentless and lazy. Universities are centres of excellence? Let’s turn them into centres of mediocrity. America is the main guarantee of Freedom in our world? Let’s side with fascist countries run by terrorists and kleptocrats!

As Dr. Lyle Rossiter put it in his 2008 book, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness: "A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do. A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do."


Unless you’re stark, staring bonkers, how do you end up believing what liberals believe?


  1. It's not really surprising is it? After all, the lefties of our generation were required to justify the Berlin Wall by saying it was to stop refugees from capitalism from flooding in to experience the joys of E German state socialism and the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 by explaining that it was to protect the people from exploitation by bourgeois counter-revolutionaries. So it's not really such a big step to believe most of the other rubbish that goes with the mindset.

    Add to that the fact that prisoners in particular (to the left the noble savages of the 21st Century) bring out the credulous and gullible in well-meaning but deluded "people who care" and you have a pretty good reason why I, like you, hit the channel changer after the Question Time Panel has been introduced.
    Monday, February 14, 2011 - 04:01 PM

  2. I can’t tell you how nauseating it was listening to fellow-travelling BBC producers, who’d just spent a decade attacking Reagan and Thatcher for being consistently horrible and “unfair” to that monstrous tyranny, the USSR, leaping up and down and wetting their knickers with excitement and expressing delight when the Berlin Wall came down. I remember thinking, hang on – outside the Soviet Empire, it’s Reagan-supporting right-wingers like me who have a right to feel pleased, not morally insane lefties like you who tacitly supported this grotesque insult to the human spirit by opposing everything its enemies have done to bring about its destruction. It took these muddle-headed turds about five minutes to start denying it had anything to do with Reagan or Thatcher, and about another five to start blaming Western Cold Warriors for prolonging the agony of the Soviet people and their slaves in other parts of the Evil Empire! I agree with you entirely – if these fools could swallow that sort of rubbish, there’s nothing they can’ tbelieve.

    The description of the prisoner as the ‘noble savage” of the 21st Century for leftists is brilliant – wish I’d thought of it!
    Monday, February 14, 2011 - 04:02 PM

  3. I don't know wether it is worth commenting further on the sacking of Dr Hans Christian Raabe from the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs because he published a controversial view about the link between homosexuality and paedophilia in 2005. His view reflected that of the Home Office which in 1998 stated that 20-33% of child sex abuse is homosexual in nature]. This follows Dr David Nutt's firing from his post as Drugs Czar for being "soft" on cannabis. The whole issue is well covered by Rod Liddle in the week's Spectator and by various other social commentators [ Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday].
    It's all sad, but predictable. You ask wether liberalism is a form of mental illness? Liddle thinks it is a form of intellectual fascism. If you offend the great liberal concensus you are castigated as " a bigot, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe" and are out the door before you can say Peter Tatchell. I can't remember if it was Dr Dalrymple [there are lots of doctors about] who coined the phrase "articulate incompetents", but that sums it up for me; Lenny Bruce on liberals "A person who understands everything but the people who don't understand him". Liberals seem to have three unpleasant tendencies: they are ideologues and are therefore always right; they are brutish and are therefore quick to turn nasty and they are incredibly smug and supercilious [which leads to an uncontrollable urge to smash their faces to a pulp which results in incarceration and a stiff fine]. Best stay off the subject and go skipping about like fotherington-tomas.
    You have problems with "Question Time". I was caught the other day by "Any Questions" when I was eating my lunch. One of the guests was the original "Gina Hard-Faced Bitch from Liberal Hell" - Polly Toynbee. I don't know why they are invited on to these programmes because you know excactly what they are going to say before they respond. Toynbee requires three tea-spoons of Gaviscon, but Simon Hughes leads to the whole bottle. See "supercilious" remark above.
    Monday, February 14, 2011 - 04:04 PM

  4. SDG, someone once accused modern liberals of practicing “malign compassion”, which seems a perfect description of their default attitude: identify a victim, show how lovely you are for appreciating their terrible suffering, then find someone to blame and call them a heartless fascist. (I can’t remember who invented it.) It’s a brilliant tactic: “I’m far more loving and sensitive than you, you Nazi, and I hope you die of cancer”. Polly Toynbee is a prime exponent of this ploy. As the sainted Jonah Goldberg pointed out in his superb “Liberal Fascism”, liberals are the Nazis these days, and, like Fascists everywhere, there’s nothing they like better, when faced with facts that don’t fit their world-view (i.e. most facts), to impugn in the most intemperate fashion the character of the almost invariably blameless messenger, and to deny the fact itself by dismissing the evidence – no matter how impeccable the source.

    It’s all summed up brilliantly in this YouTube video – How Liberals Argue:
    Monday, February 14, 2011 - 06:14 PM

  5. Writing in 1943, Orwell notes a recent report on the terrible way blacks in the US are discriminated against. And yet they're all starting to vote Republican, giving their support to "Big Business".

    He notes also that although the English "working-man" is exploited and poor, he's nothing like as poor as an Indian "coolie", he probably spends more on cigarettes each year than an Indian earns in total. And yet, you know what? Indian Congressmen prefer "their own capitalists to the British Labour Party"!

    What's the matter with them for God's sake, Orwell asks, his foot about to stamp, his lip trembling with frustration, why can't they see that socialism is all for their own good?

    Faced with this obtuseness among US blacks and Indians, what does Orwell propose by way of a solution? How can the Labour Party express its fraternal solidarity? Answer, change the vocabulary of discourse*, stop calling Chinamen "Chinese", stop calling Negroes "negroes" with a lower case n and stop calling Moslems "Mahomedans".

    Daft as a brush. Then and now.


    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 12:01 AM

  6. In May, every year between 2006 and 2010, there was an election of some sort here in the UK, local elections, European elections, mayoral elections and, finally, a general election. And every year, the same syndrome was observable in the political comment pages of the Guardian -- the commentators went to pieces, their articles made no sense, there was nothing the subs could do to rescue them, the writers were raving.

    These people could normally turn in a decent enough piece of elegant writing built round a barbed anti-conservative argument. But with ignominy facing them at the polls, their nerve failed and they became hysterical.

    I suspect that Jackie Ashley and John Harris and Jonathan Freedland and Seumas Milne were all very competent at A-level English. They could turn in a neat and elegant piece of writing with a bit of an argument in it, and they transferred that skill to the Guardian.

    I suspect that they had a vague and unexamined preference for left-wing ideology and a need for the approval of the other people who were good at A-level English.

    I suspect that it was the hermetically sealed warmth of that groupthink that allowed them to continue to support Labour even as Labour took us into an illegal war in Iraq and hundreds of thousands of people died in the cause. At the 2005 election, Polly Toynbee wrote that everyone had to vote Labour even if they needed a clothes peg over their nose as they did so.

    Of course, in 2005, they won. And so the well-turned articles carried on. Even as statistics showed that social mobility had stopped, or even gone into reverse, under a long Labour administration. Even as Gordon Brown abolished the 10p tax band and announced that there would be no losers. Even as Labour went into byelections talking about British jobs for British people (anathema to the Guardian). Even as Labour went into byelections poking fun at Conservative candidates who'd been to public school (Lord Snooty).

    These Guardian writers clearly thought they were operating in the entertainments industry. It was just as safe to support Labour as it was to denigrate some poor unfotunate playwright of the past for being a cipher of the social structures of his time.


  7. But then suddenly it wasn't. It wasn't safe. Labour was losing hundreds of local council seats. And dozens of European Parliament seats. Our intrepid English A-level writers -- to their credit -- started to get nervous and to write nonsense. They at last realised that this isn't the entertainments industry, it's, OMG, reality and, maybe, they started to feel some guilt, they started to acknowledge some responsibility.

    Seumas Milne wrote about Ken Livingstone's defeat by Boris that he had at least lost by less of a margin than most Labour councillors, there was, he said, a "Progressive Premium". Nonsense. I suggested to him that he keep taking the ProPrem if that was the only way he could get through the day for now but at some point he was going to have to face reality unassisted.

    In even numbered years, Jonathan Freedland was always packed off to the US to recover. Having demonstrated his masterly understanding of UK politics, and his considerable influence of course, his skills were lent to a grateful US Democratic Party, where the groupthink finally worked its magic and he came home again, calm, confident and wrong.

    Those incomprehensible pre-election articles were evidence of the lack of reality central to Guardian liberalism -- "madness", if you like. Rejection by the public could occasionally have an effect but, soon enough, the ProPrem kicks in and the commentators go back into their self-satisfied cocoon, from where the easiest thing in the world is to turn out another A-level essay.

    And now, of course, their madness is rampant. Blair and Brown out of the picture. A pliable leader of the Labour party. Ed Balls. Yvette Cooper. A wobbly coalition with no PR skills. A recession. Cuts. Militant unions and industrial action.

    They're on fire, this is the inspiration they have been missing, they have years of mania to look forward to. You think mental illness is an affliction? Think again. These guys need it and love it.
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 10:33 AM

  8. Re Orwell, DM, I’ve always been perplexed by the Left’s outrage when certain races and classes fail to think and behave in the ways expected of them. I bet Polly Toynbee and Jonathan Freedland are jolly annoyed that India has confounded expectations by turning into a semi-Thatcherite capitalistic democracy after eventually realising that there’s no future in being a resentful, Third World socialist basket-case, “victim” country. I suspect they feel the same when immigrants refuse to be victims and start businesses or just become tax-paying private sector employees: they’ve wandered from the script. As for the success of Orientals wherever they settle, that must really piss them off. Don’t these coolies realise how disadvantaged they are?

    Another thing that perplexes me is what sort of life they envisage for people in this country. When, thanks to the implementation of a Socialist utopia, all the their imaginary “victims” have been de-victimised, and everyone, apart from the liberal politico-media elite is earning the same money and paying 80% of it in tax and private schools and private medicine have been abolished, the whole country’s peppered with wind-farms, we’re all driving Priuses, we’re directly ruled by enlightened Europeans from Brussells and the monarchy has been sent into exile and Michelle Obama has become US President for Life and Sharia law has been implemented in large parts of the UK and Anglicanism has been outlawed and nobody’s allowed to do anything dangerous and children are all removed to state institutions at the age of two and all businesses have been nationalised and Israel has been nuked by Iran and no one is sent to prison – will they be happy? Or will they still be whining and bitching and hunting down the last vestiges of traditional thinking or excellence or non-state directed private endeavour to sneer at and ban? I just can’t envisage what sort of society would afford these miserable fantasists a sufficient degree of inner peace to make them leave us bloody well alone.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 - 06:49 PM

  9. Orwell considered the question what the putative end point is of socialist campaigning in Why Socialists Don't Believe In Fun*. Writers can describe temporary happiness, he says, but:

    All efforts to describe permanent happiness, on the other hand, have been failures. Utopias (incidentally the coined word Utopia doesn't mean ‘a good place’, it means merely a ‘non-existent place’) have been common in literature of the past three or four hundred years but the ‘favourable’ ones are invariably unappetising, and usually lacking in vitality as well ... All ‘favourable’ Utopias seem to be alike in postulating perfection while being unable to suggest happiness ... Swift has shown where man's folly and scoundrelism lead him: but take away the folly and scoundrelism, and all you are left with, apparently, is a tepid sort of existence, hardly worth leading ...

    Which may or may not explain why the lucky recipients of their sympathy always ignore the Guardianistas', leaving them baffled and impotent and frustrated.

    Remember Derek Hatton, the sometime silver-tongued firebrand of the Militant Tendency, now a successful property developer.

    Which leaves the Guardian where?

    Always complaining. Moaning. Whingeing. Whatever is, is wrong. Nagging. Never happy. Never satisfied ...


    Sunday, February 20, 2011 - 10:42 AM