Oh dear, and it was all going so well. Last weekend there was Polly Tonybee on Marr, united in standing against dreadful Murdochian behaviour with Max Hastings. And for much of this year, we’ve had the excellent journalism of the Guardian’s Nick Davies. Even Charles Moore – in an outstanding piece in yesterday’s Telegraph, wondered if perhaps the Left might have a point after all: that capitalism is actually a pretty nasty economic system. (Although he should’ve asked himself about the people running this version of it, rather than the system as an idea).
But now I realise it was all just a dream. Because today we have Matthew Goodwin dragging Big G quite willingly back into Robot la-la land. I can just about live with the Telegraph’s Matthew D’Ancona saying that David Cameron’s hiring of Andy Coulson shows his natural decency, and in the same paper bloody Tim Montgomerie trying to persuade me that the BBC is far more dishonest than James Murdoch. But when one incident in a Scandinavian country is hailed by Goodwin as the advance guard for the approaching Nazi hordes, I realise that The Guardian’s ability to discern the real nature of anything is still on a par with Mahmoud Ahmadinnejhad. Nothing has changed: the Left’s only thinking daily newspaper is the same rogue State it always was.
Matthew Goodwin has a book to plug. He is the author of a new fear-tract on the BNP, ‘New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party’. I knew I was in for some Guardiaprop from the headline, ‘Norway attacks: We can no longer ignore the far-right threat’. It was, after all, pure Peter Hain. Pure Anti-Nazi League, and Under-Fives against Fascism, and all the rest of the tired Moscow syntax of those who speak only in cliches, and think only in the same place, without ever moving on.
As Peter Cook would’ve said, all the telltale signs were there – the main one as always being the grand assertion followed by a deficiency of evidence: ‘wider evidence of a more violent and confrontational mood that was emerging within European Far Right Circles’ was first out of the blocks, with a link on those last four appalling words. The link in fact led to another Guardian place full of further feverish Guardianistas seeing fascists under the feather duvet. One such was a piece about Marine Le Pen, a very badly informed junk article about a woman who, like her Dad, is barking…but attracting more votes, Matthew. More votes ducky, not violence. She’s getting more votes because the French are sick of their Muslims refusing to integrate, and turning nasty when (in an atheist State) the wearing of religious icons is forbidden. I don’t agree with that or the Front Nationale, but the FN hasn’t espoused violence for decades.
What we’re seeing in parts of Eastern and Northern Europe, in truth, is increasing electoral support for the Far Right. It simply doesn’t occur to Goodwin that his mob of metropolitan fluffies might have something to do with it. But here’s another cracker from the link that you thought was about rising Tsunamis of violence: ‘Neo-Nazis have been paying annual visits to the grave of Adolf Hitler’s deputy in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel’.
Gerraway: they haven’t? Um, any evidence that this is on the increase? Any spike in the desecration of Jewish graves and memorials? Er, no: but I’ll tell you what – ‘the US department of homeland security warned of the way in which the wider economic climate and election of the first African-American president could result in confrontations between rightwing extremists and government authorities “similar to those in the past”.’ Except that it hasn’t. Not even a little bit. And ‘similar to THOSE in the past’ is something of a grammatical error: one bomb in Oklahoma. That’s it.
I’m not belittling in any way the awful tragedies in Oklahoma and Norway: only yesterday I posted about the numbers of very disturbed people out there. But my main point was that the very rigid, blinkered polemical approach to life typified by Goodwin is what tips these people over the edge: they get that feeling – don’t we all? – that the buggers just don’t want to listen. The Guardian opposed (and still opposes) limits on immigration into the UK, long after social anthropologists of every hue have argued powerfully against it: when two years ago 78% of all ethnicities in Britain were against it, the Guardian and the Labour mainstream avidly promoted it. People (especially bonkers people) cannot bear being ignored in what’s supposed to be a democracy. It’s a reality the Establishment Left will never grasp.
Anyway, here’s an object – even abject – lesson in how to contradict yourself in one brief paragraph:
‘The events over the weekend directly challenged the idea that rightwing extremism is only a minor security threat. According to Norwegian police, the perpetrator – 32 year-old Anders Behring Breivik – has confirmed that he worked alone on planning and carrying out the two attacks.’
Well there you are then. S’proof, innit? Stands to reason, squire: one man acting alone is The Coming Peril. I could start now, and within ninety minutes come up with a piece evidenced to the hilt about the terrifying growth of violent Islamism across the world. Matthew Goodwin’s offering is one headcase in Norway.
I agree that a lone nutter loaded up with fertilizer bombs is a major security threat: but he or she is not evidence of a major growth in far-Right violence. It’s just the bourgeois Left’s usual Orwellian manipulation of language in order to create an impression of something that is in fact an illusion – a complete fabrication. We used to call them Pilgerisms when I were a nipper: perhaps these days we should call them Hariasts. Or even Harriets. Goodwinkles?
Unfortunately, the Freudian direction of Mr Goodwin’s thought patterns – and continuing self-contradictions – not only get worse: their innately fascist nature is revealed for all to cringe at in this paragraph on the subject of a bloke about which he has only second-hand, Day One information. Thus, on the subject of Anders Behring Breivik, he informs us that
‘He was far from what we might term a traditional rightwing extremist. While he was profoundly concerned about the effects of immigration, multiculturalism, Islam and the growth of settled Muslim communities, he was also dismissive of crude racial supremacist and neo-Nazi ideas…..This distinction between traditional race-based forms of rightwing extremism (such as those of the BNP) and a new anti-Muslim narrative reflects a broader change within the European far right. Rather than oppose immigration and Islam on racial grounds (an argument that would attract little support), the emphasis shifts on to the more socially acceptable issue of culture: Muslims are not biologically inferior, but they are culturally incompatible, so the argument goes. The aim is to open modern far right groups up to a wider audience…’
This site is supposed to be about bollocks deconstruction. And I like to think it does exactly what it says on the tin. But when it comes to the lines above, where to start?
So: the acts perpetrated by this obviously deranged individual do not represent ‘crude racial supremacism’. This suggests Matthew thinks there might be a lite version, like maybe refined racial supremacism……of the sort one found among far-Right English aristocrats during the 1930s. But there isn’t any more you know, Matthew old love: the only refined racism these days is the kind your lot have against anything Israeli. Oh – and the Foreign Office view of Jews per se.
But no, says our correspondent: this is all about the evil marketing of hate. This one Viking madman is the tip of an enormous iceberg so mad, it thinks Muslims are culturally incompatible with Westernised Christians. My God – whichever God you are – how could anyone even think such a thing?
I have news for you, Mr Goodwin: the research evidence – especially among UK Muslims under 35 – suggests that, in their current state of mind, Islamists and their fellow-travellers are totally incompatible with the British way of broadly tolerant, libertarian life. The way most of us would like to solve this problem, chummy, is by getting the Islamic minority – a tiny minority – to learn to lighten up a bit. Not to make this country illiberal by the use of Thought Crime legislation of the sort the Left so obviously has in mind.
This isn’t the politics of hate; it is the politics of giving peace a chance. Multiculturalism’s track record is so poor, and so riddled with genocidal civil war, the idea of adopting it as a model for our society is almost (but not quite) as insane as the Labour Party’s high-ups still talking the class war of that time way back when there were pro-Nazi elements of disturbing influence among the British aristocracy. Ed Balls is the personification of this petrified socio-philosophical outlook: that, Matthew Goodwin, is the politics of hate.
Am I a culturalist? Yes, I am – and happy to be classified as such. Goodwin and his ilk would have us all believe that such a view is a sign of mental ill-health. Bollocks. It is merely a devastatingly effective counter-argument to those who neither study history nor read empirical research studies of great contemporary interest. Do I think a socio-religious culture favouring men, treating woman as chattels, advocating the mutilation of pudenda, forcing young girls into marriage, aborting female foetuses and condemning liberal democracy is worse than the one we already have? You bet your sweet bippy I do. And I would like someone – anyone – on the pc Guardianista axis of muddle to explain to me why my view on that is off-message when it comes to so many of their revered beliefs – for example, gender equality, or taking the side of the socially downtrodden? Er, yes – I would. Only, nobody ever does. I wonder why?
The argument Matthew Goodwin tries to make in this piece is where the intolerant European Left is heading: that anyone with views more radical and realist than theirs must ergo sum be deranged. It is a cancerous Stalinism that demands obedience, and against which Orwell’s novel Animal Farm argued with supreme lucidity seventy years ago.
But the Left is, as I’ve argued before, as static and denialist a philosophy as that of Friedmanite globalist free-marketism. It would be so reassuring to dismiss this Guardian piece as crap, but it’s a lot worse than that. It is the adoption of an entirely false air of authority in the absence of hard facts. The name for that is (and always has been) authoritarian propaganda.