Thursday, 18 January 2018
The politics of "it's not fair" - welcome to the New Toddlers
I'm angry, rage-filled, cross. The little tic above my left eye is twitching, the axe in the shed sings its siren song. I'm close to having had enough. All this has been prompted by an appointment - something I might write about later. Put simply, however, it is time for those of us who like free speech, free markets, free enterprise and a free society to stop putting up with the sort of world where a TV anchor who went to one of Britain's poshest school and then to Oxford can, in all seriousness, say to an academic that he 'doesn't have the right to offend'.
Indeed, as many have already pointed out, the entirety of Cathy Newman's interview with Jordan Peterson consisted of straw men, non sequiturs, misrepresentations and the repeated use of the words 'fair' and 'unfair'. These two words are now the most abused words in the English language - from "it's not fair" being the exclusive cry of the toddler in mid-tantrum, it has now become the mantra for an entire political movement. OK, so some folk like to point at Corbyn's politics and say it's 'Marxist' but frankly this is a bit of an insult to Karl who at least tried to construct a coherent set of theories about history, society and economics. The New Toddlers don't do this, they just scream "it's not fair" ever more loudly. Sometimes, as in the case of former broadcast journalists, they scream "it's not fair" and misquote Gramsci.
These New Toddlers are joined in their screeches by the likes of Cathy Newman who refuse to let sensible things like actual research evidence get in the way of them shouting "it's not fair". Everything from Jessica's uni fees through to Grandma having to cash in some of her three-quarters of a million of housing asset is not "fair". Don't have a job - or better still the precise job (very well paid, of course) you think you deserve - scream "it's not fair" and, as if by magic, some left wing politician or right-on news reporter will appear with the soothing words "something must be done" followed by dragging one of the few remaining grown ups in and accusing them of not being "fair".
The New Toddlers have been weaned on the idea that everything is somebody else's fault - often a strange and nebulous thing called 'neoliberalism'. You're fat and you drink too much? It not fair is it but rest assured something will be done - the bad people who made you fat and forced you to drink a bottle of white wine every second day will be punished. Maybe you've moved to London because that's where all the action is and you can get a great job in a new media design start up or, better still, in some NGO, QUANGO or think-tank. But it's not fair that you can barely afford the rent, let alone buy a house (something the thickoes you left behind in Ormskirk seem able to do from their crappy little warehouse or call centre jobs) - never mind, those politicians and pundits will be there echoing your cries: "it's not fair, it's not right, something must be done, give me more money, stop them charging me so much, tax fat cats more, what about those big companies, we'll have their money, it's not fair."
Hardly a day passes without another screechy, evidence-free campaign: windfall taxes on this, give free things to this group, stop that group, nationalise this, take over that, regulate, intervene, manage, control, fuss, bother...it's not fair, it's not fair. Twitter memes are fired off, clickbait articles written, petitions launched - anyone daring to oppose is ridiculed, abused, piled onto while any, even mild, kickback results in more screams of "it's not fair, stop the nasty abusers". Every women, every disabled person, every gay man, every minority, folk with mental health problems, fat people, drunks, drug users - everyone except smokers - is a victim. It's not fair.
This ever more infantilised society - the world of these New Toddlers - is exploited by those, whether they call themselves Marxists, Fabians or 'social justice campaigners' who want to exercise power by seeming to be kind and caring. These exploiters don't really give a stuff about whether anything is fair (so long as they're running it and getting well paid), what they really hate is that, out there, there are still people who think it's not a bad idea to take responsibility for your own life, who think we should be allowed to say stuff even if some people think it's not fair and get all offended. We're the problem you see because we don't think we need great and good people on public boards and bodies to make life fair. Mostly this is because, unlike Arthur Dent, we listened to what our Mother said all those years ago when we had that toddler tantrum and screamed, "it's not fair".
"Life's not fair. Get used to it."