Don’t Feed the Mob! | Edward Anderson
Your ‘What about X?’ isn’t helping, so pack it in.
This is a quick one, mainly because Jake gave me the nudge and I want to go to the bar. Recently, we have seen way too many people respond to a mob and it’s attempt to dominate the public agenda by stating why haven’t they asked for x person to go or what about y’s statue. This is incredibly stupid and depressing.
I am sure I have done it myself previously (although not this time) but it is stupid because when you start doing this, however well-intentioned you think it is, you are merely feeding the fire by pouring gas onto it. I am sure we can all create a list of what we want to tear down but by mentioning it now you are contributing to something that no serious democratic society can tolerate and survive. Since when was it a good idea to allow the mob to decide the political agenda of the country? Never, the answer is never.
It’s also stupid because in our twenty four hour cycle of incredibly important story today and completely irrelevant in a week there is even less reason for you to feed it. The only thing politicians should be discussing is how the millions of people out of work are going to be helped and how we are going to use this to hopefully build something better.
But no, instead, let’s listen to the mob and have Anthony Joshua (the same Anthony Joshua who made an ocean of cash allowing himself to be a future CTE subject for the murderous Saudi regime) lecture us. Brilliant.
The only sensible response, although it is too late for this now, is to say the mob doesn’t decide the agenda in a democratic society and all those statues will go back up. If you don’t like them, you can take your case to your local council, sit through the tedious minutes on a Thursday morning and do it properly. This ‘what about x?’ is just as cringeworthy as when people nowadays defend free speech by saying “of course, I don’t agree with x but he should be allowed to speak”. You don’t sound like Evelyn Beatrice Hall, you sound like a bottleless git. Likewise, nor does your opinion on the merits of a statue have anything to do with whether we think mobs should be allowed to attack the public space.
However, it is more depressing because we can all see how this story ends. It ends with lots of cost -free statements from organisations (The University of Liverpool renaming a hall whilst doping itself for years on students from the dictatorship of China being just the latest example of the cancerous case of twativism). Then in twenty years, we are smuggling USB sticks round as if it were North Korea so people can watch Blazing Saddles.
On a serious note, if I was being cynical (I am) I would just ask you why are so many rich people and businesses supporting this? A recent study showed that ‘educating’ people about white privilege didn’t actually increase empathy for non-whites but merely reduces empathy for poor white people. It should be pretty clear why the wealthiest people and companies are so keen to push this agenda because identity politics is a wet dream for rich people who don’t want to make public contributions. Which is why they are so happy to see the Americanisation of politics and try to infect countries around the world, especially countries such as Denmark where they have a more labour focussed politics, much to the annoyance of rich foreign businesses.
It also makes it even more impossible for working class people to get into politics. If we are heresy hunting and can ‘cancel’ statues, it doesn’t stop there. It will simply mean that unless you are rich enough to buy silence for your actions or so inbred that you were groomed for politics since you were in the womb, you will have done something that can bury you. I would rather have a group of working-class MP’s who have a long list of screw-ups then the ‘beautiful ones’ we have now.
Which is how we get to the modern Labour Party: an institution that thinks that a kid of a council estate in Shropshire must be the beneficiary of some mythical white privilege but that Tulip Siddiq, a women whose dripping with political connections and privilege that has clearly helped her (her Aunt is the PM of Bangladesh where political disappearances have been frequent and the security advisor to the PM was… Tulip’s own Uncle) is a voice for the voiceless. Let’s not forget some Labour MP’s saying that Priti Patel is the wrong kind of brown or whatever identity politics b*llocks they are peddling now.
This is how real politics dies folks. So I am asking you, please, the next time the mob tries to control the political agenda (it won’t be long) you take a deep breath and do not feed the mob. That’s it, I’m going to the bar before they cancel it.
Photo by Keir Gravil on Flickr.