Saturday, 24 November 2012

Rotherham's bonkers UKIP stance isn’t an aberration – it’s typical of the Left’s irrational hatred of the Right

It was reported in this morning’s papers that the decision to remove three children from the care of experienced foster parents resulted from the local safeguarding children team receiving "an anonymous tip-off that they were members of UKIP.

An anonymous tip-off that they were members of a mainstream political party? What next? An anonymous tip-off that they use the local library? Or shop at Sainsbury’s. Or that they don’t watch Strictly Come Dancing? Own a Peugeot? Don’t like cats?

What the x@&! Is going on up there in the Socialist Republic of Rotherham? 

Well, the same thing that goes on amongst leftists everywhere, actually.

The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, is married to a German. They have two children. If they lived in Labour-controlled Rotherham, the kids would probably have been removed from their care in an SAS-style intervention organised by the left-wing gauleiters working for the council. The idea that libertarian right-wingers – in fact, any right-wingers – are by definition mad and bad has always been a popular view on the Left: but since the Thatcher junta’s reign of terror, it seems to have become Holy Writ amongst the Guardian-reading classes.

Here’s something that annoyed me from The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life by William Nicholson:
Stupid of her to think she could sell a happy pet story. The Mail doesn’t do happiness, it does anger. That’s what they teach their subs to find, to shape, to sharpen: stories that goad their readers into outrage.
I’d been enjoying William Nicholson’s 2010 novel immensely until I reached the section where a kindly old vicar loses his job when the Mail on Sunday – by “distorting” a freelance journalist’s story about the cleric performing a funeral service for a parishioner’s dog - reveals that the old chap doesn’t believe in God. Despite losing his faith many years before, the vicar had decided to stay on in order to bring comfort to his flock by telling them what they wanted to hear.

Lovely vicar! Nasty newspaper! (My own view is that when a clergyman has lost all vestige of faith and realises he’s never going to rediscover it, he or she should be honest and hand in their dog-collar. I’ve no objection to someone telling people what they want to hear, but I see no earthly reason why the Church of England should fund their activities.)

Our left-liberal culture has chosen the Mail as a symbol of everything that is hateful about right-wingers. Whenever two or more BBC comedians are gathered together for the purpose of celebrating the great mysteries of the socialist faith, the heart of their secular service consists of ritually sneering at the Mail – for leftists the newspaper is the devil and its readers are the Great Beast’s demonic acolytes.

To be honest, I don’t read the Mail very often – for someone with my political views, it’s a bit like mainlining heroin – and I’m sure I would dislike many of its readers intensely were I to meet them. But to consider all Mail readers and journalists as hate-filled Nazis – as the Left routinely does – strikes me as deeply irrational. I despise the Guardian and loathe many of its contributors, but I have many Guardian-reading friends. Similarly, I despise many Labour politicians and many of the party’s supporters – but I’ve had plenty of Labour-supporting friends over the years. I thoroughly enjoying condemning the views of socialists in this blog – especially their habit of spouting nonsense just because it makes them feel morally superior – but I would voluntarily book myself into a psychiatric clinic if I woke up one morning believing that all socialists were crazed, heartless, evil monsters acting from the basest of motives.

And yet that appears to be the attitude of many leftists towards conservatives and right-wingers. To voice doubts about multiculturalism, or mass immigration, or the EU, or the Big State is to reveal yourself as a dangerous psychopath whose odious views are an affront to humanity.

I was reminded of this by an excellent article from Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times last week sent to me by fellow-blogger David Moss (I can’t link to it, because it’s hidden behind a vicious right-wing pay-wall):
Perhaps Conservatives are more able to separate the personal from the political. Can it really be “standard” that  grown-up men and women, rather than just undergraduates working off adolescent  rage, believe there is no moral distinction between, say, John Major and Adolf  Hitler? Apparently it can: another friend, who used to be more closely aligned to the left herself (and is still no Tory), tells me that when she revealed to  some of her old mates that she had friends who voted Conservative, “they  recoiled with shock; it really was as if I had said that I enjoyed the company  of child molesters”. 
Her analysis of this phenomenon is that many people on the left “are principally  concerned to feel good about themselves; the more wicked they can paint their  ideological enemies, the better they themselves must be. Perhaps it’s even based on a psychological terror of their own dark side.” It’s  dangerous to generalise — although enormous fun — but I don’t believe it’s  standard among the right-of-centre in Britain to regard those on the left as  depraved merely on account of their political opinions. We may think of them as misguided, but definitely not moral misfits. 
To illustrate his case, Lawson mentions the views Martin Plaut, until last month BBC World Service Africa editor – a nice chap I worked with briefly many years ago. Plaut recently did a Q&A for the daily online news magazine, the Kentishtowner. Here are two of his answers:
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Never underestimate the power of love. 
Who or what do you hate and why?
Tories. As Aneurin Bevan said: ‘No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.’
Well, it’s always heartening to see the power of love in action!

How very, very sad – and how very, very typical of a worldview which proudly traces its roots back to the Enlightenment, but which is utterly, corrosively irrational.

No wonder Newsnight lost its marbles over McAlpine and that Rotheram Social Services consider UKIP supporters unfit to bring up children.


  1. Doesn't it suit the Cameroons to have UKIP painted as racist? They hedge their bets on the issue. They have a choice: rubbish UKIP as extremists to try and negate their impact at the next election; or move towards them to stop Farage splitting the right wing vote. They've clearly gone with the first one. Typically of the present Conservative Party, it's tactically dumb, it won't work and they'll have to undergo a policy-based narrative refocusing (not in any way a U-turn, guys) in a few months.

  2. Agreed, in spades - especically now that UKIP have announced they'll fight every seat, no matter whether the Tory candidate is anti-EU or not. As someone pointed out earlier this week, the problem for Cameron, Osborne and Maude isn't just that UKIP stands for eveything the Tories used to - it's that Farage and his supporters are such frightful oiks. I fear the class barrier may prove insurmountable, and that, therefore, the Tories don't have a hope of winning in 2015, and they might as well get ready for Michael Gove as leader - at least he'd be prepared to deal with people who actually bought their own furniture.