Friday, 7 July 2017

The nice, pleasant, decent left is valorising violence with its silence and excuses

I know it's not all of you but "The Left" as it likes to call itself really does have something of a problem with being extremely unpleasant. And this problem is getting worse not better.

It may not be the biggest of big deals but this rather illustrates the problem:

"The government has blocked a giant statue of Margaret Thatcher in Parliament Square over fears it will be vandalised..."
 So it's just a statue of Britain's first woman prime minister - something definitely worth marking in Parliament Square (where, in case you haven't noticed, there aren't many statues of women). But because of that unpleasant faction on "The Left" it isn't going to happen.

The bigger problem with all this is that so many of those nice, pleasant, decent folk who hold left-wing opinions are prepared to make excuses for the sort of people who indulge in this sort of vandalism and worse. You only need to read the story of the attack on Sarah Wollaston's office, listen to Sheryll Murray describing the appalling vandalism and personal attacks in her election campaign, or to run down the Tweets of the Liberal Democrat campaigner in Manchester targeted at four in the morning for the heinous crime of putting up some posters.

Yet every time the response is to swat it away - "every party has these people" - to draw a false parallel between policy disagreements and vandalism or personal attacks ("look at these political campaign posters I don't like") or whataboutery - "here's something nasty that a Tory said fifteen years ago, what about that then". When the extreme left target a Liverpool MP for the terrible crime of being critical of Jeremy Corbyn, targeting that includes appalling anti-semitism and misogyny, those nice, pleasant, decent folk with left-wing views do nothing and say nothing. Every time.

It's true that every party has its share of unpleasant folk but it's also true that only "The Left" valorises vandalism, personal insults, threatening behaviour, intimidation and bullying as campaign methods. And because those nice, pleasant, decent folk with left-wing views don't deal with it - even having the almighty gall to talk about some sort of "kinder" politics - this sort of campaigning continues.

I've said for a long while that our political culture celebrates the bully - you only need watch "The Thick of It" to appreciate this - but we now are in the position where a faction on "The Left" has lifted this unpleasantness and transferred it to the political campaign itself. In forty years as an active political campaigner, I've never known a time when so much unpleasant, personal and downright nasty campaigning has been directed at the good people who hold different political opinions from "The Left".

I know you consider yourself different. You're not part of that left, oh no. But so long as you tolerate, excuse, deflect or explain away violent campaigning, you are little different from the left wing men who are doing the vandalising, performing the intimidation and ganging up on those most exposed and especially women and ethnic minorities.



Trofim said...

I don't know how many times I've cited this over the several years since Roger Scruton said it: "On politics 'Leftwing people find it very hard to get on with rightwing people, because they believe that they are evil. Whereas I have no problem getting on with leftwing people, because I simply believe that they are mistaken.' It has never seemed more pertinent. At this moment many such lefties will be salivating over the pictures from Hamburg, learning lessons and feeling emboldened by them.

Juliet 1946 said...

The police can not, or will not, protect ordinary, hard-working tax paying people. They can not, or will not, prevent or arrest anyone demonstrating or protesting against any symbol of our traditional values.

Easier by far for them to prohibit what could be seen as a "provocation".

I fear for the future.

Radical Rodent said...

There is an alarming parallel in another ideology. Are you likely to (quite rightly) condemn that, too.