THE SUNDAY ESSAY: when everything is degraded by unearned privilege, the ideologues have won

DSCN0256 Never stop questioning the rights of the privileged minority. They may be Brussels carpetbaggers, self-styled Tory élites, thinly disguised Communists, black activists, ‘peaceful’ Muslims, City slickers or rabid feminists. But their end goal is always the same: to turn personal beliefs into Absolute Truths. With the police and judiciary on their side, they are all that’s required to consign tolerant democracy to history.


I am indebted to Slogger Caratacus for pointing out a “small news” item here last night. This is an extract:


My debt lies in the fact that I was searching for a phrase or term to describe the cultural blur now apparent throughout the Anglophone West. And the example KC offered plonked it into my head.

In the drug-addled 1960s, when many rock bands started singing that they could fly, walk on water and hear the grass grow across the Universe, a seed was planted in the minds of what Tariq Ali called “the counterculture”, and these days I call fluffies. The seed was a completely inaccurate and hugely fanciful idea of what Buddhism is about, and the result of this was lots of silly well to do hobos going off to find themselves in Tibet, where as often as not they were told to piss off and get clean.

But the seed didn’t all fall on stoney ground. Life has never been quite the same again, because the half-baked smattering of Lord Buddha’s ideas on the subject of human fulfilment, personal responsibility and the nature of Time was enough to give the fluffy tendency permission to believe. Anything could be done by the power of the mind – be it levitating the Albert Hall, stopping the Soviet Union with Peace Camps, heating food with recycled farts, and saving the planet by knitting Brillo pads.

Focus for a second if you will on Peace Camps. Late in life, I have become a pacifist myself. I did so in the end because a lifetime of experience taught me that war never solves anything, there are no winners except banks and arms dealers, and the people who call for war are never the ones getting their heads shot off. OK so far? Fine: now think of it this way….I do not believe Islam is the religion of Peace, because the K’ran, Mohammed’s teachings, the structure of its misogony, its brutal legal codes and the fanatical acts of Jihadists all show without one iota of doubt that it is a recruitive, violent and demanding creed that abhors personal liberty and does not tolerate unbelievers. If you like, it’s a bit like being a member of the Liberal Democrats: it most decidedly does not do what is says on the tin.

But we have reached a stage now in the First World where one can put anything on the tin, and people will believe that’s what it contains – even if they open it and see a wriggling mass of worms tumbling out.

And what’s starting to happen now – disturbingly quickly – is that the degree of empirical-impossible blur is starting to infect all those elements of the culture that we rightly expect to be socially and scientifically objective.


The spectrum up to around thirty years ago was a reality >> politically correct >> ideology >> belief blur.

Today, we see the beginnings of a reality >> ideology >> settled science >> belief >> media censorship >> police actions >> legal rulings blur.

In 2014 came the ridiculous idea of ‘non-violent extremism’. In 2015, cops knocking on doors accusing broadcasters of homophobia. In 2016 came ‘only bad or stupid people voted Leave’. In 2017 came Momentum and the reversal of non-violence. In 2018 Leave means Leave, ‘the Far Right is growing and must be smashed’ and Honouring the Referendum result. In 2019, imprisoning Tommy Robinson for telling the truth, a Supreme Court reaching a politically anti-Brexit judgement (unanimously), a High Court reaching a politically anti-WASPI decision….and now, this latest ruling at an Unfair Dismissal Tribunal.

Allow me please to deconstruct that last piece of Soviet mental hospital insanity. What right does any Court of Law have to offer, as the justication of a legal ruling, that

  • if a six foot bearded man wants to self-identify as a woman, it should be illegal to call him Sir
  • the DWP has every right to sack a person who calls a man a man
  • using such personal nomenclature represents a bigoted ‘biblical’ belief
  • such beliefs “have no place in our society”?

To answer my own rhetorical question, none. None whatsoever in a culture that thinks of itself as based on primary senses, tolerance, scientific discipline and above all the total separation of Judicial decisions from political and ideological mores.

The traditionally hard, immovable line between civil policing and the Rule of Law on the one hand, and the comings and goings of socio-political fashions and fancies on the other, must remain immutable. In contemporary Britain, it is being brushed, bleached and kicked away with more ferocity every week.

The Supreme Court’s anti-prorogue decision is an outstanding example. Ten out of the eleven ‘judges’ voted Remain in 2016 – the Chair of the Court has since brazenly demonstrated her anti-Brexit bias – and their ruling showed an at best flimsy grip on the constitutional precedents. But worse still, the Court found that Boris Johnson had misled the Queen: how on Earth could they possibly know such a thing – what did they do, cross-examine the Monarch? Had they obtained a tape of the interview? 

Once again, the forces of ideological rigidity and fancy are seen to invade what should be the nobility of the Law with their imaginings, projections and personal assumptions. Such mindreading has no place at all in blind Justice. The British State – and the US isn’t far behind – is turning into the midwife of intolerant Groupthink belief. The judiciary are now clearly infected, and the police see their role as the unthinking defence of political correctness – however off with the fairies it might be.


Brexit is not a be all and end all, it is a symptom of the triumph of wishful thinking over the reality of good liberal democratic governance. The aim of the State should be the maximisation of citizen fulfilment; if not, then why on Earth is it there?

Back in the UK for a few weeks last Spring, I was once more brought to the point of despair by the widespread ignorance of even highly intelligent people on the subject of what really happened to Greece, why it was beaten to death to save Franco-German banks that had invested without any wisdom, how Cypriots were also sacrificed to the Great God Euro, why Verhofstadt spending EU funds to smear Hungary is unacceptable, and just how extraordinarily bad for Britain these last 44 years in the EU have been.

But the ferocious persistence of the media in creating a Remain narrative was everywhere apparent. One woman I have known for decades said, “Well, you can understand the EU’s point of view….they want their money back for all the inconvenience Britain has caused by backing out of its commitments”. God save us all from the Guardindependent spectrum of risible ignorance.

In particular, what has disappeared almost completely from Blighty debates is the concept of a promise is a promise.

The political Executive gave temporary absolute power to the 2016 Referendum result. They promised to effect a departure from the EU if we voted Leave. 80% of MPs voted to confirm that. They broke their promise. Forget all the guff about “the People didn’t know what they were voting for”: yet again that is suppositional mind-reading of no constitutional consequence whatsoever, and disgracefully patronising to boot.

In 1947, the Labour Government made a solemn promise to provide all British female citizens – in return for National Insurance contributions – with a State pension at the age of sixty. Thirteen separate administrations after that gave not a single sign that they would reverse that, or that such an outcome was even in doubt. So for those now penalised for having been born in 1954, that political Executive undertaking was 41 years into the policy before first Tory and then Labour welchers conspired with equally unfunded Whitehall pensioners to renege on a Civil Right. They broke their promise. Forget all the guff about “the NI contributions were not in any way commercially viable”. We pay our taxes to ensure that politicians and bureaucrats take such things into account: their pensions are considerably less commercially viable. I see no signals suggesting that Jess Phillips, Boris Johnson or Diane Abbott are about to wait for their State sector, unfunded pensions.

The case made by the State in both these instances was not based on reasons, but rather on post-rationalised excuses. Excuses, that is, for rank amateur night incompetence.

All this is more than bad enough: it should be enough to get hundreds of thousands off the sofa and surrounding Parliament with pitchforks. But it won’t. More disturbingly, the blatantly self-interested police and judicial support for brainless can-kicking won’t evoke that response either.


Once there are enough institutions in a given culture that the citizens can’t trust, it is Game Over for civilisation, and the victory of unearned privilege is assured.

A malodorous mélange of money, ego, ignorance, media agenda and inability to grasp consequences has allowed the cancer of ideology to persuade otherwise decent people that First World democracy is safe.

But if the interpretation of the Law and the social weal continues to be perverted by over-promoted banality, liberal democracy is in the hospice from which there is no return.