Sunday, 12 October 2014

WE THE PEOPLE: FEAR IN THE WESTMINSTER WORLD



The ‘Right-wing’ of the political spectrum… has for approximately eighty years

been the subject of disparaging and biased analysis.

Kerry Bolton, The Psychotic Left

 

Your picture of yourself is a media myth.

Underneath this floor we’re on the edge of a cliff.

Ultravox, Fear in the Western World

 

 

Pity the poor spin doctor working for any one of the three nominally main UK political parties. There she is, juggling mobile ‘phones, eating lunch on the hoof, taking her frustration out on her children’s Latvian (and very reasonably priced) nanny, assuring and reassuring her bosses at Westminster that the progress of UKIP can be contained and neutralised with the usual combination of soft-totalitarian propaganda, smear, and plain distortion of fact that is her area of professional expertise. It is not, of course, UKIP or even Nigel Farage that is her latest nemesis; it is the people.

It was Dick Tuck, the American spin doctor, or ‘campaign manager’, a man who rode in the ambulance with the dying JFK, who reportedly said in response to his own political defeat; “The people have spoken, the bastards.” But it is a phrase that must be finding its Old Etonian cognate in the muddled mind of David Cameron. It is scarcely news that the people are the fly in the ointment for our anti-democratic elites, particularly the rogues’ gallery of Maoists who run the EU, but this time the people have really gone and done it.

It is a little unfair to Douglas Carswell to maintain that the ‘UKIP factor’ was behind his victory in the Clacton by-election. I haven’t seen (which doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist) any MSM analysis of whether, just possibly, an informed and concerned Clacton electorate found him competent and intelligent, and decided to re-elect him in recognition of his achievements for the area. These traits are becoming secondary in modern politics; careerist queue-bargers are now the norm. The only barging Carswell looks like he might do is as a tasty second row in a scrum.

The Clacton voters may, of course, all have read Matthew Parris’s rather nasty piece about Clacton. Mr Parris had the following to say concerning the sea-side town;

“This is Britain on crutches. This is tracksuit-and-trainers Britain, tattoo-parlour Britain, all-our-yesterdays Britain. So of course UKIP will do well in the by-election… I'm not arguing that we should be careless of the needs of struggling people and places such as Clacton. But I am arguing - if I am honest - that we should be careless of their opinions. [Italics added].

Mr Parris is, of course, a loyal courtier at the new Versailles of Westminster, fawning and curtseying and averting his eyes from the Emperor’s nakedness. His opposition to UKIP, and the people who voted for them in bold contravention of the expectations and demands of the journalistic class, is visceral and reflexive. Also, in this age of mega-journalism and its resultant crowded marketplace, Mr Parris will be aware of the need occasionally to say something slightly contentious in order to stand out from the bland produce that fills the other barrows and stalls. For our purposes, however, Mr. Parris has made an excellent point, although it is not the one he thinks he’s making.

The people, the real people, the ones who do not use the delicatessens and cafés I suspect Mr. Parris frequents, are still the people with the mandate to elect Members of Parliament. One suspects that Mr. Parris, and many like him, actually believe that things would be far better if voting was left to lobby members and other journalists, along with perhaps their girlfriends, or boyfriends, and squash partners.                                                          

What the MSM seems to shy away from like an unblinkered race-horse spooked by its shadow on the rail is the possibility that the electorate might be broadly conservative. For the MSM, that can only mean one thing. At the first sign of an immigrant or gypsy or homosexual, the voting public – a sort of demonic love-child of Enoch Powell and Margaret Thatcher – will suddenly don sheets and cone heads and hurtle into the townships on horseback, pausing only to light their crosses. For the electorate, however, more aware of the notion of conservatism at a local level, far away from the dashas of the media apparatchiks, the notion stays true to its semantic roots; the wish to conserve.

This does not mean that the old ways are the best in and of themselves. But it does mean that every self-evolved social and cultural technique should not be aborted in the name of progress simply to achieve progress. If conservatism simply means wholesale retention of previously existing social practices, ISIS would have put up a candidate at Clacton to oust Carswell on the conservative ticket.

Perhaps real people are tired of progressivists. To progress is not a good thing per se; I don’t believe Darwin equates evolution, for example, with progress. If anything, Guillaume Faye’s concept of archeofuturism may sum up the properly conservative seam of opinion and aspiration which UKIP appears to be mining. Faye writes,

“Against modernism, futurism. Against attachment to the past, archaism. Modernity has failed, it is crumbling, and its followers are the real reactionaries.”

Look at those modish ‘word-clouds’ that spring up like field mushrooms after any political speech. The words ‘progress’, ‘modernise’, ‘new’, ‘fresh’, and other hip leavenings of what should be an adult expression of political possibilities give the impression that the political class think that concepts and ideas are like iPhones; there should be a new, improved version at regular intervals. There should not; unless the tried and trusted has been seen to need replacing, keep it. The old engineering saw comes to mind; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sadly, the more seasoned engineer will speak from experience – and sum up our technocratic rulers - when he wryly observes; if it ain’t broke, fix it till it is.

As for unpleasant journalists, perhaps Humphrey Bogart was right in Casablanca;

“We’ll always have Parris.”