Thursday, 5 November 2009

"then they should go and live there" reclaimed

"Then they should go and live there" is an infamous argument for good reason. I am not seeking to defend the way trade unionists abused their power in the 1970s and gave the Thatcherites all the excuse they needed (and I fear those in the Post Office are doing the exact same thing now) but the old rational-argument-destroyer "they should go and live in Russia" was as infuriating as it was primarily because it wasn't true: those smeared as such frequently had an immense feeling for British history and culture, merely a different interpretation of it from that cherished by Tories (Dorset as birthplace of trade unionism rather than as land of feudal lost content, etc.) and knew little, by comparison, about Russian ways.

But I would say the same argument could now apply far more legitimately if reversed and applied to all NuTory supporters, X-Factor watchers, trick-or-treaters and so on, people who - unlike the trade unionists whose knowledge of British culture and history was far greater than you will ever see among the New Etonians - really do owe their cultural, social and (let's not pretend anymore) political loyalties entirely to a foreign power. It is time we responded to these people by saying, quite simply, "if they think the US is so wonderful then they should go and live there". If they are that unable to come to terms with who they are and where they are then it is time we asked them whether they should even live here at all - at least while they remain dishonest about their true aims, for whose achievement Cameron is even now secretly hoping for Scotland to break away.

Never before now have we had so many cultural, social and political fifth columnists, and yet nobody - least of all those who invented the Soviet bedtime bogeyman and tried so hard to do the same to Islam this dying decade - is prepared to acknowledge or admit the fact. The unspeakable truth is that nobody in England really knows their own history and culture anymore. If they did, the phrase "then they should go and live there" would be common parlance - and, unlike in the 1970s, it would actually be justified. It is time we made it so. The alternative is isolation and a living hell ending in the smiling face of occupation from another continent. You can no more watch The X-Factor and condemn neoliberalism and NuToryism than you could read Der Stuermer and condemn Nazism.


  1. Tremendous post :)

  2. Many thanks.

    The last line here is designed to make people think, and think *hard*, and I'm glad some people have. You can't read it without thinking. I hope that's the case with everything I write. Too many people around me - in person, not on the net thankfully - seem to think that any mention of Nazism equates to a moral comparison with the evils of Nazism itself. It doesn't - anyone who isn't governed by Sunthink (which is hypocritical anyway in this context) knows that things are much more subtle and layered than that.

  3. Oh, and the other thing that "everyone" forgets: many key figures in rock music over the years have been a million times more NuTory - often before NuToryism even existed - than e.g. Elgar or Vaughan Williams, both of whom would be very definitely on the broad Left if reincarnated now, *ever* were Old Tory. Rock music actually stands a much stronger political analysis as a coded form of support for the latterday Right than English classical music does as something similar for the older Right.