Monday, 28 November 2016

The problem for the West's left-wing leaders praising Castro is that we now have a public forum to mock them

THE NAT ONAL (its logo would suggest that's its name), is a Scottish daily newspaper which supports independence for Scotland...

...From the evidence provided by the two comment pieces it has published since Fidel Castro's death - SNP MP George Kerwan's We can learn from how Castro linked national identity to a socialist project and former Scottish Socialist Party MSP Carolyn Leckie's Fidel Castro's Cuba still offers us lessons for the future - it would appear that Scottish nationalists would like Scotland to be governed along the same lines as Cuba. Given Police Scotland's obsession with internet hate speech (i.e. any slightly right-of-centre comment), it would appear to be well advanced along the road to becoming an oppressive Socialist republic, with roll-ups instead of Havana cigars, Old McSporran's Electric Juice instead of Rum, and rain in place of sunshine. 

The NAT ONAL's two commenters are fairly typical of all the democracy-haters here in the West who've crawled out of the woodwork since the brutal old murderer's death. That's fine: it's great to have confirmation that caring, compassionate left-wing politicians, journalists, academics and the heads of publicly-funded international organisations around the globe are cool with leaders who impoverish their people, outlaw free speech, turn their countries into vast prisons, and sanction the torture, murder and rape of countrymen who stand in the way of their mad utopian dreams. As for high literacy rates and a great health service - do we actually have any independent verification of these claims? As only one percent of the Cuban population - all, no doubt, members or direct beneficiaries of the regime - have access to the internet, how the hell would we get to hear dissenting opinions? Not on the BBC, obviously. Or Sky News. Or ABC News or NBC or CNN. Even at Fox News, the ghastly old brute's death seems to have sent at least one employee hurtling in the direction of Planet Bonkers:
You mean Elvis was a mass murderer who starved his employees and shot anybody trying to leave Graceland? Why haven't we heard about this before?

Look, there's no way of being "nuanced" about Castro. He was a violent, narcissistic, power-crazed thug. Yes, he deposed a thoroughly unpleasant, corrupt leader - but he was a thoroughly unpleasant, corrupt leader, funded by Moscow gold rather than the Yankee dollar. It's hard to see how he improved the lot of the Cuban people: here comes the new boss, same as the old boss, only even worse. To concede that Castro made "mistakes" - as many left-wing Western brown-nosers have done in recent days - before adding a shedload of "buts" simply won't do.  If what Castro instigated in Cuba was "a progressive socialist project", then Kim Jong Il and Pol Pot were guilty of no more than running "progressive socialist projects". You don't have to applaud America's Cuba policy or laud the Battista regime in order to conclude that Fidel Castro was A VERY BAD MAN who did MANY BAD THINGS. And KEPT ON DOING THEM. There are no excuses. End of. 

How strange - how extraordinarily odd - that the one world leader (well, soon-to-be world leader) to have told the truth about the Cuban tyrant is Donald Trump (he described Castro, accurately, as "a brutal dictator" whose  "legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights" ). What does it say about the quality of Western leaders that they ended up being morally trumped by Donald Trump? Well, what it says is that, unlike The Donald, they still haven't grasped the immense, transformative power of the internet. 

In the old days, when a vile dictator popped their own clogs rather than everyone else's, and some fool of a creepy, mealy-mouthed Western politician said something nice about them, there might be a dissenting article or two in the Telegraph, some jokes in Private Eye,  and a thunderous denouncement in The Spectator - there might even have been a brief disapproving mention of it on Have I Got News for You, before they got back to attacking Mrs. Thatcher and the Tories. But dissenters would generally be made to feel like the members of a small, eccentric group of wrong-thinkers determined to be angry over nothing - after all, if the president of the EU, the head of the UN, a slew of presidents and prime ministers, and the left-liberal media didn't think too badly of the dead tyrant in question, who were we ignorant pygmies to question accepted wisdom?

It's now all very different. Thanks to the internet, we have a plethora of news sources to choose from, and, thanks to social media, we dissenters discover that we're not a tiny, malcontented minority - there are, in fact, one hell of a lot of like-minded people. The achingly PC Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, described the Cuban dictator in the following terms: 
"Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation...While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro's supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for 'el Comandante'." 
Thirty or forty years ago, Trudeau would probably have got away with this mind-numbingly insensitive, morally deranged pig-swilll. Not now. The internet simply exploded with righteous mockery:
So what? I hear you ask. It's just a bunch of (mainly) non-leftists venting their spleen and having a laugh at their betters online. But it's more significant than that: the hashtag #trudeaueulogies is being reported everywhere today (except in Cuba, obvs). It's probably too late for unelected idiots like Jean-Claude Druncker and Ban Ki-moon to learn the lesson, and it's doubtful if unreconstructed Marxists such as the Scottish pipsqueaks I referred to at the start of this post, or utter fucking fools like Jeremy Corbyn, will be deflected from their dream of spreading poverty and oppression in their homelands - but the next time a mass-murdering left-wing tyrant dies, younger Western politicians might just think twice before leaping to defend evil.

The internet - for all its myriad faults - got Trump elected president, secured the Brexit vote, might (who knows?) produce some very unexpected election results in Europe next year,  and might yet succeed in shaming goofballs like Justin Trudeau into keeping their traps shut in future.

I'll leave you with an extremely heartening message from Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University:
My favourite short story title (and, coincidentally, one of my favourite short stories) was Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream". Well, the internet has given us mouths. True, many of those mouths belong to extremely unpleasant people with truly revolting views. But while I'm very keen on legally restraining anyone who breaks the law online (child pornography, incitement to violence, libel etc.),  I'm against most other forms of online censorship. People can be as unpleasant and stupid as they like - as long as it's in the right context and on the right platform. I'm sure many people would find what I write stupid and unpleasant (some of it probably is) - but if we seek to outlaw the expression of opinions we don't like, we'd end up with Castro's Cuba, And nobody's a fan of that (apart from Justin Trudeau and Jean-Claude Juncker and Ban Ki-moon and George Kerwan and Jeremy Corbyn and...)


  1. For what it is worth I think this post is quite exceptional. It is one of the best things you have written. The eight internet quotes are classics.

    1. Gosh - thank you, SDG.I was worried I'd tried to stuff too much into it.