Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Nigel Farage and the "racism" furore - Tory politicians and journalists band together to deny reality

You would have thought that our politico-media elite might have learned some lessons from the brouhaha caused by Gordon Brown’s description of Rochdale Labour supporter Gillian Duffy as a “bigoted woman” when she expressed concerns about East European immigrant numbers during the 2010 general election campaign. Apparently not, given the hysterical accusations of racism that have engulfed Nigel Farage and his party since he told a lefty radio presenter last week that we’d prefer to have Germans rather than Romanians move in next door.

One would expect Labour and Lib Dem politicians to clamber aboard their moral high horses and denounce the slightest suggestion of racial partiality as tantamount to a desire to set up death camps - but you’d hope conservative commentators would shrug and point out that, statistically, immigrants from some countries are less criminal, better educated, harder-working and less likely to end up on benefits than immigrants from other countries. But there’s an election in two days’ time and the Tories are in trouble, so tribal instincts have kicked in and the Tory press is stuffed with the sort of pompous, sententious, race-huckstering rubbish that helps make The Guardian and the New Statesman so utterly unreadable.

As far as traditional Toryism stands for anything, it’s a preference for basing policy on experience rather than ideology. Yes, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could take an equally positive view of al all immigrant groups (or their descendants) in the UK. Now, if you’re an egalitarian, the wish has to be father of the thought – because you would like all immigrant groups to be equally trustworthy/responsible/well-behaved etc., you simply convince yourself that they are. When this turns out not to be the case - because it so bloody, screamingly obviously isn’t, as a quick glance at any number of statistics will tell you – you quell your inner doubts, your cognitive dissonance, by screaming the word “racism” over and over again and passing laws banning the expression of some demonstrable truths and generally behaving like a hysterical toddler until truth has been silenced and you can once more maintain the illusion that the world is just as you’d like it to be.

But Tories aren’t egalitarians (because real life isn’t egalitarian and Tories pride themselves on their grasp of reality), so they know in their heart of hearts that while, say, this or that individual Romanian or Somali might indeed be a more upstanding  member of British society than this or that individual German or Dane, when judged as groups there are significant disparities in achievement and behaviour. Of course we, as individuals, can choose to ignore these disparities, and suffer the consequences. But when the Conservative Prime Minister and the government he leads choose to pretend that these disparities don’t exist and, as a result, fail to implement sensible policies which take account of reality, we all suffer the consequences.

This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been sickened by the Tory Party and its supporters in the press (the Ted Heath era springs to mind), but it’s the first time I’ve actually wanted to see it humiliated in an election.  

7 comments:

  1. Even if I had been going to vote Conservative, the collusion between the Tories, Labour, the LibDems and their lickspittle media has been so pronounced that I shall never vote Conservative again - not even if Cameron was publicly defenestrated and Norman Tebbit reinstated in his place.

    This campaign has proved beyond doubt the truth of the much scoffed-at 'conspiracy theory' that there really is an establishment and it is actively conspiring to suppress mainstream opinions.and subvert the democratic process.

    May they rot in hell.

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  2. So what you're saying is, there's something to be said for all of them. Or have I got that wrong?
    Osborne's quoted in the papers this morning claiming that UKIP will wreck Britain's free market economy. Today, Jeremy Hunt will probably claim that voting UKIP gives you cancer.

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    1. I was sorry to see Matthew Parris joining in with the concerted monstering of UKIP. On 3 May 2014, in Fight Ukip. Fight their lies. Fight them now, he came up with:

      hate-mongers ... dangerous populism ... wrongheadedness ... danger ... the sly nastiness skulking beneath the covers ... a case study for psychiatrists ... a bad smell ... lies ... menace ... a little posse of youths with purple badges and pound-sign stickers ... nasty, hypocritical nonsense ... simply, unambiguously bad

      That was in the Times. In a slightly more measured piece in the Spectator, same day, Ukip isn’t a national party. It’s a Tory sickness, he contented himself with calling UKIP and by implication its supporters a "viral infection".

      So the other parties are all safe, are they, whereas UKIP is dangerous?

      The Telegraph reports today that the Interest bill on UK's £1.27 trillion debt to hit £1bn a week:

      Britain's huge debt interest bill remains on course to hit £1bn a week this year, after official data showed the Goverment borrowed £3bn more in April than forecast by analysts ...

      "This coming year, interest on central government debt will pass the £1bn a week milestone ...


      Practically doubling the national debt in four years flat – dangerous populism?

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    2. Matthew Parris clarifies the position in the Times this morning:

      When I attacked Ukip on this page a few weeks ago some 900 online comment posters returned the compliment. They kept telling me I didn’t “get it”, that they were angry and they were numerous. Oh yes, I do. I get it completely. Angry, numerous — and wrong.

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    3. Sad that a man who, while working for Mrs Thatcher, wrote to a moaning council house tenant that she should be bloody grateful that taxpayers were willing to subsidise her so generously should wind up as a sort of cartoon version of a soft-left/centrist pantywaist liberal. Thank God there are members of the conservative elite who absolutely get it - notably Charles Moore: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/local-elections/10852204/Local-elections-The-capital-fails-to-see-the-heartache-and-pain-beyond.html

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  3. Oh, there's something to be said for all of them. I just wouldn't like to lumber your blog with the words I'd choose to say it.

    Under 24 hours to go. What price a 'Nigel Farage is Rolf Harris's lovechild, shock horror!' headline, sometime before midnight?

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    1. Turns out they were so pleased with themselves at having come up with the "racist" line of attack that they'd forgotten to devise a Plan B. Tomorrow (Sunday - Euro election results) should be fun!

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