IT was too easy to laugh at the video of Boris Johnson shoveling a supper of fish into his wide mouth. It matched the way his opponents like to portray him: messy, chaotic, shameless. Still, there was very little about his lens that was chaotic. It was Johnson as a man of the people.
When this man wears a suit, all the tailors and fabric makers die inside. Johnson is where the right clothes die. That tells his supporters – especially those you wouldn’t consider traditional conservative voters – that he doesn’t really belong to the political elites; that he plays by his own rules, and that we should not judge a person by their appearance.
When we deride his pantomime horse routine, we are simply reinforcing the carefully cultivated message behind it: it is in fact the liberal left-wing Twitter folks who are detached from ordinary people. Yet as the party’s conference season wears on, you can be sure of one thing: Johnson’s Eating Fish Supper will tell voters in those Red Wall ridings more than the stifling and bombastic treaty of. Sir Keir Starmer on Labor Values.
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Johnson knows that by creating the illusion of Norman Wisdom-style friendly British eccentricity, he has a better chance of sustaining the greatest pipe dream of all: that the Tories stand for unshakeable decency. In truth, they are the party of extremism.
They are not looking to “level up”, but to raise the bar to the lowest minimum before it threatens the influence and wealth of the 5% they really represent. What they mean by rebuilding better is restoring the pre-Covid standard of quartered greed.
What word – other than extremist – would you choose to describe how many UK government ministers have exploited the deadly Covid-19 crisis to enrich family members and Tory donors? To have done so knowing that he was risking public health during a fatal contagion is quite extreme.
Subsequently, increasing national insurance contributions (effectively taxing ordinary people with low to middle incomes) to meet the economic cost of the pandemic is not the behavior of an administration characterized by unwavering decency. Imposing a windfall tax on the super rich operators of global food chains and energy suppliers would have been the decent thing to do. Spare them that – while forcing it on those who will pay the price of the post-Covid-19 apocalypse is extremist.
Refusing to extend the weekly universal credit increase of £ 20 when MPs from your own party tell you it will push many low-income families into poverty and destitution is not the behavior of any government that likes to be considered decent or moral. This is the politics of extremism.
When your Home Secretary rewrites the old codes of charity and compassion that govern the world’s response to those threatened by the sea, you are embracing inhumanity. There is nothing decent about sending desperately poor and needy people back in search of shelter in the storm.
It is extremism and it is made even more so by the implication that these miserable pieces of humanity threaten the comfort and well-being of British citizens. Under Priti Patel, the UK’s response has shifted from an extreme form of inhumanity to outright wickedness.
The last part of Pandora Papers showed how the super-rich deploy extraordinarily complex means to evade their financial obligations to the state and its services, allowing them to realize their profits. Many of those who behave in this extremist manner are funding the Conservatives. They do so knowing that this party that presents itself as decent and steadfast will protect them. This is a model of extremist behavior. There is nothing in it that can be considered reasonable or decent.
To make sure this brief runs smoothly, the Conservatives must have the backing of the working class: there is simply not enough of their political and cultural genre to do it themselves. To achieve this, a complex network of parts must move with constant precision with each other.
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Computers help, of course, when you can count on 90% of the big, male-owned print publishers who destroyed the storefronts with you at the Bullingdon Club, or whose influence is best fostered by your policies. Or that the BBC can be trusted to never deviate from the message.
Of course, every now and then their investigative reporters shine a light on conservative extremism. But their editors, who walk well-established career paths between the Conservative central bureau and the broadcast house, are there to ensure that in the final analysis, the Conservatives’ worldview will never be threatened.
This is never more evident than when they regularly refer to socialists within the Labor Party as belonging to the “far left” and therefore extremists. This is also evident in the millions the BBC spends each year to revere the Royal Family and celebrate the UK’s military heritage.
All of these constituent parts move smoothly within each other to engender a sense of duty and patriotic pride; that we are all in the same boat and below one and the same – ie British, and therefore beholden to higher values and considering all other lower ethnic and national groups.
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It is not – by any interpretation of the terms – decent, normal or reasonable. It is an extremist agenda motivated solely by the need to keep power, money and influence in the hands of as few people as possible. This is why Jeremy Corbyn had to be destroyed and why “reasonable” Labor types like millionaires Tony Blair and Sir Keir Starmer had to be preserved to maintain the fiction of the Democratic opposition. Blair and Starmer only play the designated roles given to them.
And that is why the prospect of Scottish independence must not only be fought, but crushed. It is not because, as they always say, that they particularly like Scotland. They can’t love Scotland. Not enough of us are like them or are fooled by them.
An independent Scotland is bad communication for the extremist sect that now rules Britain. After telling the world that you have regained control after Brexit, it cannot be seen that you have lost a quarter of your kingdom. And especially not when its waters provide useful bases for these weapons of mass destruction that you are constantly marketing to convey the myth of geopolitical power. And neither if it provides future shelter for those poor people whom you consider worthless and inferior.