Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Mary Whitehouse Experience

The "Bastards" who see the British membership of the European Union as the central question of politics are not only petty-minded nationalists. They are also mostly small-minded, authoritarian christian bigots. They aren't just coming for free movement, they're against gay marriage too. They're against most of the modern world. It's true, I do agree with them on the economic questions of the 20th century, but that no longer matters, the economic liberals' victory is pretty comprehensive.


Leadsom represents the conservatism of Mary Whitehouse, not Margaret Thatcher. This is why Leadsom has such enthusiastic support from UKIP. She is the culture war, as well as the brexit candidate. This isn't about Europe. It's not about economics. It's not left and right. It's open vs closed society. 

They don't just want to reverse the European Union, but roll back the "permissive society" of the 1960s. These are the purse-lipped miserablists who write into local papers complaining about "filth" on TV or "hooligans" in the street, who in reality are just boys playing football. This is the racist aunt, who now feels confident to say she doesn't like Mrs Patel in no.34 because she smells funny. This is the Daily Mail (Paper, not website) made flesh, obsessed by what other people do in the bedroom, and absolutely terrified someone, somewhere might be having fun.

This is where we are, when Theresa May is the standard bearer for the liberal cause. What a time to be alive.



8 comments:

Shiney said...

[Disclosure... I voted out]

I'm not sure the EU represented economic liberalism. Corporatism, yes, but liberalism?.... hmmm, no.

However, I do buy the rest of your argument.... which is why I am deeply dismayed.

I hope that, in the medium term, the Liberal Democrats become more Liberal and less Social Democrat but I'm afraid my hope will be dashed. There is certainly a Maybe there is a need for a classically Liberal (Libertarian?) party of the 'centre right' - whatever the left-right axis means now.

Jackart said...

Look, I know you hated the EU, but your hate at the EU was much like the HATE of 1930s Germans for the Jews: habit, based on lies and libels and based on a stereotype that doesn't match reality. This "undemocratic" "over-bearing" EU that "imposes" itself with "imperial" ambitions, I simply don't recognise. It's a club of democracies, with a parliament, that spends less than 1% of GDP, writes trade law, builds infrastructure mainly in the east and builds democratic institutions. There were people that wanted EU armies and police forces, but they were mostly laughed at by the people, executive heads of (democratic) governments with the power. So. No good will come of Brexit. You've been sold a pup. Sorry.

Shiney said...

Look - I don't 'hate' anything.... and I wasn't 'sold' anything.

As I said - I'm socially liberal and economically on the free market side of most arguments. Kind of towards the bottom right on the political compass. From my POV that didn't seem to square with EU membership. Lies and stereotypes didn't come into it.

From your posts here I also understand you to be a social liberal with similar instincts regarding the economy to myself... but you take a different view on the EU. Fair enough. We all voted as we saw fit and we're on our way out. So now we have to just get on with making the case for the fair and open society we both believe in.... I wouldn't dare to accuse you of being a lefty for wanting in, so comparing people like me with Nazis probably isn't the way to go.

TTFN

startledcod said...

Bollocks, almost, total bollocks. I am a keen follower of your blog and accept your claim to 'moderate opinions, immoderately put' but, in this post you have abandoned your raison d'etre. This is not a moderate opinion: 'The "Bastards" who see the British membership of the European Union as the central question of politics are not only petty-minded nationalists. They are also mostly small-minded, authoritarian christian bigots. They aren't just coming for free movement, they're against gay marriage too. They're against most of the modern world. It's true, I do agree with them on the economic questions of the 20th century, but that no longer matters, the economic liberals' victory is pretty comprehensive' it is a rant of an immoderate opinion and, let's be clear the invective of someone unhappy about the result of the referendum and keen to ascribe their own choice of motives on those that voted 'Leave'.

Jackart said...

Startledcod, The "Bastards" is John Major's description who will sacrifice almost anything to leave the EU. They're monomaniacs. And the Leadsodomites are the Turnip Taliban who think they can get their creature, a distilation of Daily Mail editorial into human form, to Number 10. I hate them.

And this goes to Shiney too, There are no upsides to leaving the EU. It's a catastrophe. This isn't a matter of opinion. I'm right, and if you still think leaving the EU is the right thing to do, you're wrong. There are *no* upsides. None.

Charles said...

Jackart

I voted out, for the very simple reason that - while I personally benefit from immigration (and as I work in the City will likely suffer from the loss of passporting) millions of our fellow countrymen and women lose out from uncontrolled unskilled immigration.

The Fourth Freedom - free movement of labour - worked very well up until Masstricht (and if it was taken back to what it was originally intended to be: i.e. you can move with a job offer, but without the need for a work permit) then that would be fantastic. Where it is a problem is where unskilled people can move to the UK prospectively, and by providing management with effectively an unlimited pool of labout allow them to underinvest in capital/productivity-enhancement and to compress wage growth.

That's not a fair balance, and I'm not surprised that those less well off than you voted against it (I'll personally be fine, whatever happens).

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