petej + multiculturalism   74

The Tories have lost their ideology. Now they are merely the party of resentment | William Davies | Opinion | The Guardian
No explanation of Brexit – and hence of the worst political crisis in living memory – can escape the truth that it was born, nurtured and released into society from the Conservative backbenches. The party has done for British democracy what derivatives did to the financial sector – and it has so far survived the carnage it produced. Instead, blame for the chaos has been sprayed in all directions: on to Europeans, Labour, remainers and “the elites”, thanks to the symbiotic relationship between party and press.

Johnson could win a workable majority in the next few months. And yet there’s a marked absence of triumphalism in the party. The current poll lead feels precarious; 59% of Tory members have already voted for the Brexit party once (in the European parliament elections), and many could well do so in future. The Conservatives are now to the Brexit party what cocaine is to crack: more acceptable in polite company, but ultimately made of the same stuff.

Rage and resentment are powerful political forces, but dangerously unpredictable. Unlike a newspaper columnist, a prime minister takes far more flak than he dishes out, and Johnson now appears harried and uncomfortable. Lacking any positive vision of the economy or society, he and Cummings are entirely reliant on channelling resentment towards various foes, from supreme court justices to Jeremy Corbyn. The newspapers will do their bit by escalating the attacks.

But these nemeses cannot soak up all that anger indefinitely. The forces behind Brexit will need new scapegoats soon – and Johnson, Cummings and the Conservative party could be next in line.
UK  politics  ToryParty  conservatism  values  Brexit  trade  business  JohnsonBoris  CummingsDominic  ideology  opportunism  power  finance  deregulation  financialisation  resentment  multiculturalism  immigration  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
6 weeks ago by petej
From Trump to Boris Johnson: how the wealthy tell us what ‘real folk’ want | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
With that conceded and, hopefully, addressed, the left is in a far more solid place to expose and challenge the disingenuousness, hypocrisy and inadequacy of the culture-warriors on three main counts. First, their prescriptions don’t work. Britain does not feel like a stronger, more confident place since it voted to leave the European Union, but more divided, lost and lonely than anyone can remember. It didn’t put the great back into Great Britain but the little into Little England. In short, it has proved an inadequate balm for the post-imperial melancholy so many were apparently experiencing. Denying Muslims and migrants their civil rights or women their reproductive rights doesn’t give other groups more rights. When terrorists kill fewer people than toddlers with guns and are more likely to be white and American than brown and foreign, the threat to your “way of life” is the way you are living it.

Second, there are far more powerful and plausible national stories we can tell, that are inclusive and optimistic and they occasionally break through. Obama’s first election, when a multiracial, multigenerational, economically diverse coalition came together to embrace a message of hope and change from a black American, was a case in point. It is always worth remembering that roughly one in eight of Trump’s voters backed Obama in 2012.

Similarly, in Britain, the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 or the, albeit belated, revulsion at the treatment of the Windrush generation this year showed that there was a more inclusive story to be told about what really is great about this country.

Finally, all too often the rightwing cheerleaders for these “ordinary folk” are more embedded in the elites than those they attack can ever be. When George W Bush, who is teetotal, is the man you’d most like to have a drink with, an Old Etonian Bullingdon boy like Boris Johnson is able to get away with posing as a man of the people, and Trump can get the modern equivalent of $140m from his dad and still claim he is a self-made man, something is seriously wrong.

Or as George Clooney put it about Trump: “I grew up in Kentucky. I sold insurance door to door. I sold ladies’ shoes. I worked at an all-night liquor store. I would buy suits that were too big and too long and cut the bottom of the pants off to make ties so I’d have a tie to go on job interviews. The idea that I’m somehow the ‘Hollywood elite’ and this guy who takes a shit in a gold toilet is somehow the man of the people is laughable.”
USA  TrumpDonald  politics  populism  TheLeft  TheRight  elites  wealth  oligarchy  culture  nativism  immigration  multiculturalism  liberalism  paternalism  dctagged  dc:creator=YoungeGary 
november 2018 by petej
Tommy Robinson and the far right’s new playbook | World news | The Guardian
The real challenge posed by the far right is its success at spreading anti-Muslim and xenophobic attitudes in society at large. The best defence is a political movement that has anti-racism at its core and seeks to give people greater democratic control over the way their society is organised and run. But this is about more than politics as a professional occupation: it involves all of us, and it is a matter of culture and institutions as much as elections or parliamentary debates. The leading far-right activists understand this, and the campaign around Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is just one symptom of a bigger problem – which must be challenged, locally and internationally, before it starts to do serious damage.
UK  politics  farRight  extremism  Islamophobia  RobinsonTommy  racism  xenophobia  EDL  contemptOfCourt  freedomOfSpeech  immigration  multiculturalism  BannonStephen  Breitbart  Internet  RebelMedia  FLA  DFLA  BNP  FrontNational  culture  9/11  warOnTerror  victimhood  media  publicity  authenticity  class  identity  austerity  exclusion  deindustrialisation  decline  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
october 2018 by petej
The white working class is another form of identity politics
Focussing solely on the white working class in the wake of Brexit and Trump will not redress society’s problems; it will not even try to sort out poverty among white people. The fetishisation of the white working class helps reaffirm the racial hierarchy and stamp out forms of dissent voiced by people of colour, LGBTQ communities and other minorities. We should not pretend that it is anything else.
UK  USA  Brexit  TrumpDonald  race  class  workingClass  identityPolitics  KinnockStephen  racism  xenophobia  multiculturalism  dctagged  dc:creator=GoodfellowMaya 
august 2017 by petej
Can Labour win back its heartlands? Not by turning blue | Jeremy Gilbert | Opinion | The Guardian
Cosmopolitan culture is not a bad idea. It implies a liberal, tolerant, non-exclusive attitude. Historically, this is a mindset typical of merchants, financiers, artists and intellectuals. But cosmopolitanism has also been embraced by radical workers, infused with the internationalist spirit of communism, and by the urban poor in places where multiculturalism has been a fact of daily life for generations.

I think cosmopolitanism was a key reason why the New Labour coalition held together for as long as it did. There were always Labour voters in cities, in the more militant unions, in university towns and in the public sector, who would have preferred a more radical programme. But we knew from the bitter experience of the 1980s that there were not enough of us to win an election, at least in a country whose media was so skewed to the right. And after 18 years of Tory rule, we were relieved to have a government that at least encouraged an open, tolerant, sexually liberal and multi-ethnic culture to thrive.

At the same time, as much as we resented the Iraq war and the private finance initiative, many of us were being offered a lifestyle that even our parents couldn’t have dreamed of. So we were acquiescent, even if never quite reconciled, to the New Labour agenda.

The leave-voting heartlands would certainly not vote for Blair’s brand of Europhile neoliberalism
But there were others, in the north and the Midlands, in small towns and post-industrial regions, who had a very different experience. They too belonged to social groups who had traditionally voted Labour. But the third way did not offer them the consolations that it offered those of us in the cities and professional classes. Instead it offered them an experience of permanent decline. Accepting globalisation as a fact of life, New Labour made no effort to bring back industrial jobs. When migrants came from eastern Europe, looking for work, many citizens of the post-industrial towns experienced this as a threat to their already precarious livelihoods, rather than as an opportunity for cultural enrichment.
UK  LabourParty  ge2017  generalElection  politics  socialDemocracy  Blairism  BlairTony  ClintonBill  cosmopolitanism  multiculturalism  internationalism  deindustrialisation  post-industrialism  migration  inequality  fear  conservatism  BlueLabour  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=GilbertJeremy 
may 2017 by petej
Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy | Moira Weigel | US news | The Guardian
This willingness to be more outrageous than any previous candidate ensured non-stop media coverage, which in turn helped Trump attract supporters who agreed with what he was saying. We should not underestimate how many Trump supporters held views that were sexist, racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic, and were thrilled to feel that he had given them permission to say so. It’s an old trick: the powerful encourage the less powerful to vent their rage against those who might have been their allies, and to delude themselves into thinking that they have been liberated. It costs the powerful nothing; it pays frightful dividends.
politicalCorrectness  TrumpDonald  multiculturalism  diversity  identityPolitics  racism  misogyny  xenophobia  authoritarianism  politics 
november 2016 by petej

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