At the End of the Day

The corrosive violence of neoliberal and Hard Left acid-throwers

The site Left Foot Forward tells me that ‘Shabina Begum is a Lawyer, Churchill Fellow and Gender Based Violence Advocate’.

Please don’t misjudge me here: I think culturally approved acid violence against women is a truly disgraceful thing that any bloke who has graduated to long trousers should oppose unreservedly. Killing people is wrong, and maiming comes under the exact same heading. But I have two objections to the way LFF is presenting this.

First up, the linguistic strangulation of this pc English bollocks is not only an example of tedious process jargon, it actually reverses the meaning of what LFF is trying to say. It suggests that Shabina Begum is in favour of ‘gender based’ violence, and/or that she herself is of a gender advocating violence.

Why is it not possible for these robotic apparatchiks to say ”Shabina Begum is a Lawyer and Churchill Fellow who specialises in acting for women who have suffered from male violence’? That’s actually a rhetorical question, because the simple answer is that these superficially educated idiots are desperate to look and sound technically above the people they secretly despise.

Secondly – coming as it does from the Left – the author of the piece is duty-bound to obfuscate the cultural and religious motivations behind most acid violence….a red-hot topic at The Guardian these days. This is especially obvious in the way that the LFF website chooses the tragic case of an attack upon white model Katie Piper – an incredibly rare example of the syndrome that is of almost homoaeopathic statistical significance compared to the mainstream of acid attacks upon women. 

The reality is that around 65-70% of acid attacks on women take place in India. And, as it happens, 1,500 acid attacks are recorded every year around the world. So globally, we are talking about something which, for every woman, represents a 5 million to one chance against it ever happening to her.

Now as it happens, that’s the almost exact same chance against anyone contracting AIDS from fully heterosexual sex. But in the case of that 1980s scare too, it was politically incorrect to call AIDs a gay plague, and so I (and the ad agency of which I was the Managing Director at the time) had to target the advertising based on pc rather than reality.

As a Slog threader so pointedly wrote earlier this year, ‘Political correctness is the triumph of fancy over fact’. It is  indeed: and equally, it helps create the appalling syndrome known as Bad Science. From this same source come the madcap, discredited gender theories of Harriet Harman, the deranged products launched by so-called ‘quants’ in Investment Banking, the neoliberal ideas of Barmy Handbag Margaret Thatcher, the dialectical theories of Hegel and Marx, and – to be honest – pretty much all of the socio-economic and political theories under which many of us have suffered for the last 300 years.

The Right emphatically denies all the flaws involved in Friedmanite economics. The Left emphatically denies all the flaws involved in socially liberal views. And so both sides must hide behind pseudo-science which – under examination by experienced social anthropologists – is so unable to hold water, it might as well be written off as irreversibly incontinent.

There is no bigger opponent than I of blind faith in science. But willful ignorance of mathematical, behavioural, cognitive and psychiatric data is something which should not be tolerated. The Left going on about a largely foreign cultural violence syndrome with an incidence of 1 in 5 million is just as cuckoo as the Right talking cobblers about how it is vital that 1 in 5 million get obscenely rich in order for the rest of us to prosper.

We need to get a healthy dose of pragmatic honesty and inflexible decency back into Western politics. Failure to do this – and very soon – will lead to the kind of anarchic battle between syndicalism and capitalism I don’t like to think about for longer than three seconds.

We do not need a battle about the past. We desperately require a vision for the future.

Earlier at The Slog – and closely connected to this post: nobody expects the Neoliberal Inquisition