owenblacker + lyntoncrosby   4

Shocked by the rise of the right? Then you weren’t paying attention
This is not some new virus; it’s a susceptibility to a chronic illness that has crippled us for years. Ethnic and racial plurality and migration as a lived experience are older than any nation state, but equality is a relatively new idea, and some don’t like it. People forget how recently African Americans couldn’t vote, and that Winston Churchill told his cabinet “Keep England White” was a good campaign slogan.

Racism was the wedge the enemies of cosmopolitanism and plurality used to prise open a broader cleavage that is dividing us all.

It’s not clear this lesson has been learned. Most, but by no means all, remain devotees I have encountered are far more fluent in the language of race accusation (pointing out the bigotry of the Brexiters) than in the anti-racist activism that would put a racially diverse and plural Britain at the heart of their worldview. Some would be happy if we went back to the way we were before we voted to leave. But that would mean returning to a place where two-thirds of ethnic minority people faced racial abuse. No wonder these second referendum marches are so white.

These rivers run deep – winding through empire, imperialism, caste, settlement, colonialism, white supremacy and beyond. That’s not all these countries are. Wherever there is bigotry you will find an impressive tradition opposing it and a potential audience willing to be weaned off it.

Attempts to triangulate with weasel words about the “legitimate concerns” of “traditional voters” are dishonest. Concerns about high class sizes and over-stretched welfare services are obviously legitimate; blaming ethnic minorities for them is obviously not. Facilitating a conflation of the two and hoping no one will notice is spineless. It also doesn’t work. Those who dedicate their lives to racism are better at it, and will never be satisfied. Pandering does not steal their thunder – it gives them legitimacy.

There is precious little value in pointing out, once every four or five years, that racism is a problem if you are not advocating an agenda in the intervening time that posits anti-racism as a solution. In the words of the great white hope of Conservative electoral strategy, Australian Lynton Crosby: “You can’t fatten the pig on market day.” You can’t go around producing anti-immigration mugs, pathologising Muslims and demonising asylum seekers for a decade and then expect a warm a reception for open borders in the few months before a referendum.
by:GaryYounge  from:CommentIsFree  Brexit  NigelFarage  BorisJohnson  DonaldTrump  Narendra  Modi  immigration  racism  nationalism  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Europe  geo:India  LyntonCrosby  islamophobia  xenophobia  fascism 
11 weeks ago by owenblacker
Theresa May rejected the Tory detoxification project. That’s what’s behind this mess
Detoxifying the Tory party would prove to be as painful as detoxifying your gut. And like any other cleanse, a short-cut could only ever be self-defeating. Before he moved on to literal detoxes, Gove was one of the few who grasped this instinctively: in 2001 he co-edited an essay collection, A Blue Tomorrow, that addressed the Tories’ enthusiasm gap in depth. In one essay, the pollster Andrew Cooper lamented the “remarkably large number of people who can’t, or won’t, accept the truth of how we are seen by others, or the reality that this means the party must change fundamentally or die”. These included the “Millwall tendency” (“Nobody likes us and we don’t care”); the “flat-earthers” (“people who deny, in the face of all empirical evidence, that the Conservative party is at crisis point”) and “the face-lift faction” (those who advocate cosmetic change). All were standing in the way of detoxification.

Sixteen years and four prime ministers later, Cooper’s three toxic tribes have all left their mark on the Conservative party. Gove may have been the great moderniser hope, but his move to the Department of Education and his obvious delight in antagonising the teaching profession soon transformed him into the Millwall-Tory-in-chief (“the blob don’t like me and I don’t care”). David Cameron, of course, was the “face-lift faction” personified: giving his party a new eco-green logo but still surrounding himself with Old Etonians. As for the flat-earth faction: they are everywhere.
by:KateMaltby  from:CommentIsFree  Conservatives  TheresaMay  DavidCameron  MichaelGove  LyntonCrosby  DavidDavis  PritiPatel  DominicRaab  ZacGoldsmith  detoxification  GeneralElection2017 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Kim Jong-May awkward and incredulous as journalist asks question | John Crace | Politics | The Guardian
“There are complex reasons why people go to foodbanks,” the Supreme Leader said tetchily. And what people had to remember was that many nurses were just plain greedy and chose to scrounge off foodbanks when they had spent all their money on super-sized meals at McDonald’s.

Sensing she might be straying slightly off message, Kim Jong-May returned to her default settings. Strong and stable leadership. Strong economy. Strength through being strong. Security through being secure. No, she didn’t feel it would be a failure if inequality rose under her Supreme Leadership. And yes, she did want to reduce taxes, but the best way of ensuring she could do that would be to give herself the leeway to increase some of them. The power of dialectics. Stability through fragility. Integrity through deceit.
by:JohnCrace  from:TheGuardian  TheresaMay  RobertPeston  AndrewMarr  LyntonCrosby  GeneralElection2017 
may 2017 by owenblacker
The coming British bloodbath: Theresa May’s “snap election” will be an epic disaster for the left. But why?
The Labour Party has gone horribly wrong in the way that a great deal of parties full of well-meaning progressives go horribly wrong. You know the parties I mean. You’ve been there for half an hour and the unspoken personal drama is thick in the air and everyone is drinking way too much to forget about it, and everyone has a different plan for what to do with the evening, and the hosts are making a series of increasingly terrible decisions and you can’t leave because you’ve given them your keys and part of your heart.

You watch the whole thing get messier and messier because everyone deeply believes in the idea of the party and wants to make it work, and you have the vague impression that people are doing horrible things to one another in the back bedroom and you don’t want to hear about it because that might make you complicit. People stoned on bad theory and romantic resentment are arguing over the soundtrack, shuffling between the power playlist and the principles playlist and ending up with a jarring mashup that nobody can dance to. Fights break out over whose job it is to go to the store for more booze and snacks. Nobody is actually having a good time, but if we just see it through to the end, if we just keep believing, we might have one eventually, and by the time it starts getting light it’s way too late to see off the hangover or the crawling understanding that some people are just determined to sabotage themselves, and belief is not enough by itself to keep your friends alive. I don’t want to go to that party again.

But the only other option is May’s Conservative Party, which is the sort of party Milton Friedman might have thrown if he’d ever seen Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” — a slimy shindig full of rich white people wearing expensive human masks, where if you’re not on the guest list you’ll end up serving the drinks while the rest of them smash up what’s left of the furniture, and you just know that by the end of the night you’ll end up getting ineptly screwed by some hedge-fund manager who can’t stop crying and calling you mother. I don’t want to go to that party either. Please don’t make me.

The major party animals are prowling for another round, but the rest of us just want to go home. We’re exhausted, we’re sick of parties, and we want to go home. That’s more or less what everyone voted for in the Brexit referendum last June, but unfortunately a lot of people imagined “home” as a fantasy village in the 1970s where everyone has a well-paid factory job, the health care system works, there are no immigrants living next door, women know their place, pork pies grow in every front garden and all the woodland creatures sing the national anthem in harmony, including the verse about slaughtering Scotsmen. Nobody wants this election, but it’s happening anyway, because nobody has the energy to complain anymore. Seven years of Tory austerity saw to that.
by:LauriePenny  from:Salon.com  Brexit  GeneralElection2017  labour  JeremyCorbyn  TheresaMay  austerity  DavidCameron  LyntonCrosby  Conservatives 
april 2017 by owenblacker

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