WALKING THE DOGMA

It was hardly a great shock that the candidate to make way for the final three in the Labour leadership race was Emily Thornberry. Nobody could really imagine Lady Nugee – the embodiment of the middle-class metropolitan champagne socialist looking down her nose at the proles – winning the contest, let alone presenting herself to the electorate as a potential Prime Minister. But it was interesting when she joined the other candidates on last week’s ‘Newsnight’ debate that she was the only one who expressed reservations over the latest diktat from the Momentum Politburo; regardless of her own political shortcomings or her failure to secure the endorsement of a leading union, it’s possible Thornberry ruled herself out of the race the moment she publicly doubted the unquestioning acceptance of what goes by the catchy name of ‘The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights’.

This proposal is the epitome of the dogmatic obsession with Identity Politics that helped deter great swathes of traditional Labour voters from sticking with tribal loyalties during the last General Election. It essentially declares the outlawing of debate around the transgender issue, demanding unswerving obedience to the 2+2=5 logic of the most intolerant Woke extremism when it comes to this particular topic. It gives the green light for another party purge should any member dare challenge the ‘trans-women are women’ mantra, promising expulsion of all bigots in the process – and be in no doubt that if you venture to question anything in the edict, you are a bigot. If you have the gall to raise concerns over men in drag invading women’s private spaces – such as toilets or changing-rooms – you are beneath contempt; if you argue that simply declaring one’s self female without actually possessing the necessary biological components is ridiculous, you will be exiled from both the party and polite society.

Emily Thornberry stated she was uncomfortable with the possible impact on women’s rights, and this Trans manifesto labels two campaigning organisations, the LGB Alliance and Woman’s Place UK, as beyond-the-pale ‘hate groups’. Both have what, until very recently, would have been regarded as not-unreasonable aims – putting forward the legitimate concerns of gay and female groups respectively as the establishment shuts down debate around an issue that places the interests of a tiny minority of unhinged activists over the majority of fairly liberal-minded people. Maybe Thornberry has belatedly realised that, as with all branches of Woke activism, surrendering to one demand is never enough. Those who ignore this fact do so at their peril.

Comedy writer Graham Linehan, for example; he was happy to line-up with the SJW stone-throwers and condemn ‘Nazi pug’ YouTuber Count Dankula as a fascist deserving of imprisonment, yet the moment the co-creator of ‘Father Ted’ raised doubts over extreme Trans ideology, he found himself on the receiving end of the kind of online abuse and career ‘blacklisting’ he was content to see inflicted upon Dankula. The Labour Party should take note of this, but it won’t.

That the party still posing as Her Majesty’s Opposition should draft a document that is an inflexible proclamation of intolerance towards anyone who feels groups Labour has traditionally been supportive of have been unfairly demonised in favour of one over-exposed and ring-fenced subculture shows the party has learnt even less from December’s devastating defeat than imagined. That the three candidates left in the leadership race have fallen over themselves to earn PC points by signing their names on the dotted line is akin to a three-way suicide pact re any hopes of recapturing office. No surprises about Rebecca ‘10/10’ Long-Bailey or Keir ‘Believe the Victim’ Starmer, but it was a bit disappointing Lisa Nandy succumbed so readily, as she’s so far been the sole promising contender. But needs – AKA careers – must.

The outspoken women’s campaigner who goes by the name of Posie Parker has felt the wrath of the powerful pro-Trans lobby by being banned from Twitter and declared a witch; yet, amidst her occasionally provocative-for-the-sake-of-it outbursts, she does make a valid point on the subject of oversensitivity within the Trans-extremist camp. She notes that women become accustomed to attracting and arousing the male eye from the moment they hit puberty and their physical attributes are suddenly visible; therefore, by the time a woman reaches her 30s, she has had ample time to get used to the kind of treatment she stands to receive from some members of the opposite sex and has developed means of dealing with it.

A man in his 30s, on the other hand, who suddenly declares himself a woman and believes simply dressing as a woman is all it takes to be accepted as one, is singularly unprepared for the fact that the rest of the world might not have come to the same conclusions as him. Cue abusive reactions on the street or in the workplace, leading to a narcissistic persecution complex and a belief that ‘coming out’ as a woman makes him/her the most discriminated-against individual in society. Yet, a discriminated-against individual whose cause has the support of politicians, academia, the media, the BBC, the chattering classes, Silicon Valley – and the police force. That’s pretty substantial support for a minority.

Posie Parker was photographed last week standing beside a man whose sinister investigation by Humberside Police demonstrates just how far the sentiments laid out in the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights have infiltrated our public bodies and institutions. Harry Miller, a former policeman himself, had challenged Trans ‘wisdom’ on Twitter and received a phone-call and visit from a graduate of the Trans-awareness school of policing for his troubles. Whilst informed he had committed no crime, Miller was nevertheless logged as someone who was guilty of a ‘non-crime hate incident’, as an offended individual had contacted the police over his tweets; the Humberside Police therefore needed to ‘check his thinking’. Scary, eh?

Outraged over this Orwellian interpretation of crime (or non-crime), Miller wouldn’t let it lie and decided to take the thought-police to court. Mercifully, he won. Mr Justice Knowles, the judge at the High Court, delivered a necessary indictment of this abuse of the law in his summing-up. ‘In this country,’ he said, ‘we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi.’ He added ‘I find the combination of the police visiting the claimant’s place of work, and their subsequent statements in relation to the possibility of prosecution, were a disproportionate interference with the claimant’s right to freedom of expression because of their potential chilling effect…the claimant’s tweets were lawful and there was not the slightest risk that he would commit a criminal offence by continuing to tweet.’

The ruling on Miller’s harassment by Humberside Police simply because he expressed an opinion online that one person was ‘offended’ by is undoubtedly a much-needed victory for free speech at a time when free speech is under its most relentless assault in living memory. The likes of the moral-crusading Festival of Light had a few powerful friends in the 70s, but could never claim the clout today’s opponents of freedom of expression can command. If the increasingly-ludicrous demands of Woke culture go unchallenged, more and more open-minded people who have always regarded themselves as reasonable and liberal risk being edged further to the right because the left has become a refuge for every cult crackpot who views everything through an ism prism. And they won’t vote Labour again.

© The Editor

A WOODEN SPOONFUL

Emily Thornberry looks like somebody drew a face on a thumb. Okay, got the childish insult based on physical appearance out of the way first – just in case it might appear my objection to Lady Nugee was solely down to not liking the look of her. Mind you, the look of a politician does make a difference, whether we like it or not; how they carry themselves in public and come across on TV can undoubtedly have an impact on the electorate. With or without bacon sandwich, Ed Miliband just never convinced as a potential PM – and neither did Jeremy Corbyn. Nevertheless, the former was clearly desperate to move into No.10 – hell, yeah! – whereas the latter has always given the impression he was fairly ambivalent on the subject. And now a fresh crop of contenders are vying to step into shoes sorely in need of a trip to the cobblers.

The most honest post-Election obituaries to have emanated from the Labour camp have been aired by those who either lost their seats or are long past leadership ambitions. A small handful of hopefuls intending to inherit the poisoned chalice have tentatively issued gentle criticisms of the Corbyn regime, but they’re too mindful of the grip Momentum has on the party to fully let rip; they realise any overt critique of Corbynism and actually saying out loud what a catastrophic effect it had at the ballot box could curtail a leadership campaign. No, anyone hoping to become Labour leader cannot publicly declare what everyone outside of the party knows to be fact. This means, of course, that all bar one or two expected to throw their hats into the ring are already doomed to lead the party to a fifth successive General Election defeat in 2024. Labour’s problem right now is that any ‘period of reflection’ is in denial from the off and thus further detaches it from the electorate that comprehensively rejected it a couple of weeks ago.

At the time of writing, only Thornberry and Clive Lewis have officially announced their intention to run, with Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy (and possibly Jess Phillips) expected to follow shortly. Thornberry embodies the London-centric mafia that have dominated the Shadow Cabinet during Jezza’s tenure – sneering, snooty Champagne Socialism of the worst order, contemptuously dismissing the traditional provincial Labour plebs in favour of chasing the middle-class, big city university graduates. But her enthusiastic embrace of the Second Referendum agenda should hopefully prevent her from being installed as the next Prime Minister-that-never-was; this arrogant misjudgement of the public mood typifies the insular narcissism of Lady Nugee and her clique, making her the last person capable of winning back hardcore Labour voters who switched to the Tories.

The loathsome Keir Starmer would be another disaster, though he has been sly and clever in a Mandelson manner to keep his seat on the Opposition frontbench throughout a period in which the wide divide between Corbynistas and the rest has dispatched so many into exile. Starmer’s chameleon-like ability to quietly blend into the Shadow Cabinet almost unnoticed is a by-product of his unnerving absence of personality as well as a blatant pointer to his leadership ambitions. As was noted in relation to Tom Watson – whose name would have been top of the contenders’ list had he not bailed out as soon as the General Election was called – the fact that Starmer can be regarded as a moderate voice of reason when he was so eager to thwart a democratic mandate delivered by such a large percentage of Labour voters speaks volumes as to the state of the party. And, lest we forget, this is a man responsible for overturning one of the foundation stones of British Law during his toxic stint at the CPS helm; for that alone, the man shouldn’t have been let anywhere near public office ever again.

Clive Lewis is perhaps the most anonymous of the names put forward – best known for being caught on camera using the word ‘bitch’ in a toe-curling, ironic ‘Gangsta’ fashion during a fringe event at the 2017 Labour Party Conference before being forced into the standard apology when it went viral. He is a close Corbyn ally and Remainer, both of which instantly alienate him from those Labour needs to win back to even stand a chance of being the largest party in a Hung Parliament – which, with such a severely depleted seat tally, is the best Labour can hope for next time round. But in a party so driven by Identity Politics, the colour of his skin may be the one thing he has going for him. If the new leader can’t be a woman, surely a black man would be the right box-ticking move?

Jezza’s anointed heir is Rebecca Long-Bailey, the double-barrelled northerner whose accent is about the only aspect that distinguishes her from the inner-M25 crowd she’s embedded in. She reminds me of an imagined Caroline Aherne character from ‘The Fast Show’ – if there’d been a ‘crap politician’ one. With Corbynism such a tainted brand in the mind of the electorate, changing the leader whilst sticking with the brand makes changing the leader a pointless exercise; and that’s precisely what will happen if Long-Bailey is elected as the chosen one of Corbyn, McDonnell, Momentum and McCluskey. Angela Rayner was initially touted as a prospective contender, being seen as ‘soft left’ and not as closely allied to the Corbyn master-plan as Long-Bailey; Rayner also has a back-story that serves as a refreshing alternative to the usual private school/Oxbridge/SPAD conveyor belt. However, it now appears she and Long-Bailey may engage in a pseudo-Blair/Brown pact, offering voters Continuity Corbyn and Corbyn-Lite in a bid to claim that record-breaking fifth-in-a-row defeat.

Lisa Nandy is mainly known through her appearances as one of a rotating group of Labour MPs sharing a sofa with Michael Portillo on ‘This Week’. Her Brexit stance, which was opposed to the People’s Vote smokescreen, may make her a more attractive prospect to Labour deserters; ditto representing one of the old industrial towns (Wigan) that the Corbyn crowd so casually disregarded; and the fact that she left the Shadow Cabinet in 2016, receiving abuse for supporting Owen Smith’s leadership challenge, makes her the only realistic candidate genuinely distanced from Corbynism. She’d also be more likely to attract Labour centrist voters than Second Referendum cheerleader and New Labour leftover Yvette Cooper. Whether or not Nandy is a strong enough personality in terms of taking on Boris Johnson at the dispatch-box is another matter, however.

Strong personality is one thing Jess Phillips certainly couldn’t be accused of lacking. In some respects, the MP for Birmingham Yardley is the nearest thing Labour has to the PM in terms of energetic bluster and putting her foot in it. A gobby long-time critic of Corbyn, Phillips often falls back on playing the ‘working-class woman’ card in the same way outside bet David Lammy constantly resorts to the race card; and she would need to up her game considerably to be regarded as a serious candidate. She’d also have to overcome the dominance of the pro-Corbyn membership to get anywhere near the leadership. If the party wasn’t so determined to carry on along the suicidal path that has made it unelectable, it might well decide to push Phillips forward as Labour’s Boris, just as the Tories pushed Cameron forward as their Blair. If that’s what it takes to get back into government, they could try it; but I suspect they won’t. Nobody in a position to alter the direction of the Labour Party appears capable of tearing up a bad script and giving this country what it so desperately needs – a strong, viable and believable opposition that can take the Tories to the cleaners.

© The Editor

PS Sincere apologies for the unintentionally altered appearance of the text. Afraid the ‘justify’ option for the preferred text allignment has inexplicably disappeared from the editing process (one of those unasked-for ‘upgrades’ that always contradict the old ‘if it ain’t broke’ maxim); unfortunately, from now on every post will look nowhere near as nice ‘n’ neat as it used to do. Nothing I can do about it, alas. The march of progress, eh?

THE SPECIAL ONES

Whatever the reasons behind the recent revelations concerning the contents of Damian Green’s office computer a decade ago – and the scramble for the moral high-ground between accuser and accused is an unedifying spectacle that speaks volumes about both – the fact the current First Secretary of State had such material on his hard-drive in the first place might appear somewhat careless. That the apparently ‘extreme’ nature of the pornography discovered was present a mere matter of weeks before it was outlawed only adds to the stupidity of Green in not deleting it. However, perhaps it was not so much stupidity as arrogance, the kind of ‘breed apart’ arrogance characteristic of either the old school tie or amongst those breathing the rarefied air of elevated social status.

I suspect Green wasn’t unduly concerned with having extreme pornography on his PC at work simply because he regarded himself as untouchable; he could afford to be lax when it came to such things because, unlike anyone in an ‘ordinary’ workplace – where the discovery of hardcore porn on an office computer would result in instant dismissal – he was in possession of the arrogance and sense of entitlement that comes with high office as well as being a by-product of certain seats of learning and the professions these seats subsequently lead to. Why should he have to worry about being caught out? His privileged position exempted him from the likelihood.

Politicians are particularly guilty of exhibiting this arrogance, and we notice it more with them because they’re always on our bloody TV screens flaunting it. Of course, there are the prep-school/public-school/Oxbridge conveyor-belt Honourable Members, whose conviction they were born to rule is bred into them from the off; yet there are also those who maybe didn’t have their inherited advantages but have acquired the same arrogance through mixing in the same circles. The instinctive craving to need someone to look down on is satisfied with promotion to Westminster if an MP emanates from humble origins, and a socialist can progress from cider to champagne with remarkable ease.

The Abbott’s and Thornberry’s of this world as just as arrogant in their own way as Dave and Gideon; that both are profoundly thick is evident whenever they open their mouths, yet what makes them so hilarious is that they’re not aware of how stupid they are. They speak with the confidence of the intelligent and appear to genuinely believe they’re a cut above the plebs; the Tweet that earned Lady Nugee her expulsion from Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet in 2015 was as clear an indication of just how ‘clever’ she thinks she is next to the majority of the electorate. But to single out politicians as especially unique in this field would be to unfairly exclude many other professions that encourage the same Us and The Rest mindset.

Emily Thornberry could easily be the head of a social care department; she has the same ‘bossy fat woman’ demeanour that would complement a Birt-speak job title, enabling her to look down her nose at the distraught parents confronting her across the table like Oliver Twist asking for more. She could equally be running your local Job Centre (taking great delight in informing claimants their benefits have been suspended); she could be a school headmistress and could be a barrister.

Indeed, I have it on good authority from a member of the latter profession (one who mercifully lacks its least appealing traits) that the arrogance so in abundance when it comes to the legal game is practically a qualification for entering it. Law students are amongst the most pompous, smug, conceited, up-their-own-arses set of elite peacocks one could ever have the misfortune of being locked in a lift with, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by their detachment from the real world once they make it to the Bar, one that is blatantly obvious with some via their self-indulgent Tweets.

A friend recently selected (yet utterly unsuited) for jury service was able to eventually be excluded on medical grounds, yet it was hard work getting there; at one point, she contacted a solicitor for advice on how to go about it. The solicitor’s response, which was obviously intended as consolation, inadvertently exposed the arrogance of which I’ve been speaking. The solicitor (a lady) explained she herself also once had to do jury service, despite her exalted status. ‘Even I’, she declared. The phrase ‘Even I’ is imbued with everything employed by those who regard themselves as superior when conversing with their perceived inferiors. Yes, even I – someone who would never have a kitchen containing a washing-machine – had to do jury service! Can you imagine what a sacrifice that was for someone of my standing?! ‘Even I’ has now become an in-joke between my friend and me when in need of a simple description for a certain type of professional individual. ‘She was most definitely an Even I.’ Say no more.

It goes without saying that social snobbery stretches beyond the workplace; it’s there in those who feel the need to employ a cleaner when they can’t really afford one, but gain Brownie points from their peers for doing so; it’s there in those who measure their worth as human beings by how many recommended status symbols they can boast; and it’s there in those MPs who never imagined their own clumsy flirting rituals could drop them in the same hot water as the plebs hung out to dry by changes to the law governing sexual conduct that Westminster endorsed in the belief it wouldn’t be affected by them. Ironically, when it comes to some things, we are all in it together.

© The Editor

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Yesterday-Johnny-Monroe/dp/154995718X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510941083&sr=1-1