One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

.

THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Daniel Frampton: The Left still seeks to destroy the nation state

According to The Guardian, it seems that Brexiteers are permanently stranded in the 1940s. One would think that this would garner a poor Brexiteer such as myself some sympathy. Clearly, I suffer from a chronic form of age dysphoria. I’m a 90-year-old Englishman trapped in the godlike body of a 28-year-old. Actually, this is sort of true. I’m not Adonis, or Aphrodite for that matter, but I do identify with Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter. Celia Johnson is probably my perfect woman. Isabel Oakeshott does come a close second though. I am terribly confused. In my dreams, I share a fraught cup of tea with Isabel at Costa Coffee in Victoria Station. I do love you, so very much, Isabel.

It isn’t easy being one of the 52 per cent. In fact, it is a very debilitating condition. As we have seen, it brought down a nation. However, I have chosen to confront this disorder head on. For example, I have now reconciled myself to the fact that I will never be a Spitfire pilot, probably. I have gone from being exceedingly bitter about this to be being just vaguely annoyed by it. I’ve also come to recognise that the flower of English womanhood has moved on somewhat since the days when women were, for the most part, happy in the home and not reliant on copious quantities of antidepressants. Well done, feminism.

Nevertheless, I’d like to think that I am not completely mad. And I cannot help thinking that the leftist implication that Brexiteers are forever living in a wartime costume drama says much more about the Left’s own prejudices than it does about mine. So, this brings me to the curious reaction of the Left to Christopher Nolan’s recently released epic Dunkirk. Much has already been written about the film itself. It is a visceral masterpiece, for sure. That being said, I’d like to cast an eye over the subsequent, entirely manufactured, controversies surrounding the film, as well as the commentaries, which so perfectly sum up the Left right now.

Zoe Williams, writing in The Guardian, argues that Dunkirk recalls ‘the immediate legacy of war: that self-reliance is revealed as not just a myth but a peculiarly unattractive one, thin and tasteless against the richness of fellowship’.

There is nothing axiomatically superior and delightful about what Williams terms ‘the richness of fellowship’ – she means EU membership, of course. Now it is, I admit, true that France was our ally in 1940. It is also a matter of fact, however, that the murderous Soviet Union was also Britain’s partner later on in the war. Evelyn Waugh’s magnificent Sword of Honour trilogy recalls how, in 1941, the ‘country was led blundering into dishonour’. Although an alliance with Stalin was certainly practical, and indeed wholly necessary, it was by no means righteous or ‘attractive’. And it is also worth remembering that the Soviet army at Stalingrad defeated a multinational army of Germans, Italians, Romanians, and Bulgarians. We should not forget either that the Greeks famously thwarted a multicultural navy of Persian serfs at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. Unions do sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the moral divide.

It should also be noted that the notion that the abolition of borders invariably leads to peace simply does not stand up to historical reality. The British would never have been in France in 1940 had the German peoples not been brought into communion with the larger entity of a unified Germany in the nineteenth century. This is not to say that ‘fellowship’ is innately wicked. Rather, we should assess every unity – past, present and proposed – on its own merits, independent of the sentimental conception, emotionally and intellectually lazy, which views unions of any sort as fundamentally good and desirable. This is simply not true.

Also evident in much of the leftist commentary on Dunkirk was an inherent meanness, cynicism and lack of charity. I am not talking about the ire directed towards Nigel Farage, which is to be expected. Instead, there was also a considerable pooh-poohing of the myth of Dunkirk as it has generally been conceived since the event. Accordingly, The Guardian columnist Rafael Behr  compares Dunkirk with the ‘humiliation’ – felt by the common Brexiteer, prior to 2016 – of seeing Britain as part of the EU, claiming that Brexit was ‘born of a neurotic urge to expiate an imaginary guilt: the sin of having been obliged to join the enterprise in the first place’. In actual fact, Behr comes closest in recognising the connection between Europe and the idea of national disgrace. However, he makes the mistake of attributing that humiliation to Britain.

Britain’s tenuous relationship with the EU has, it may be reasonably argued, been a result of it being the only major European nation not to be humiliated in the Second World War. It goes without saying that Germany and Italy were morally compromised by the war. Britain, on the other hand, survived it, even though it was an industrial wreck. Then there was France, which did not survive, rhetorically at least, the shame of occupation and Vichy. Behr is, of course, right when he writes that ‘humiliation corrodes the soul of nations’. Ironically, he is incapable of extending that logic beyond the shores of Britain itself. Moreover, when he appears to disparage such ‘collective pride’ in 1940, which has made ‘all the ensuing hours feel a bit drab’, might it simply be the case that what he is really lamenting here is that it is exactly this ‘moral authority’ that made Brexit possible?

A nation is an idea, not merely a GDP and area of economic organisation. In other words, Britain is also a matter of spiritual loyalty. We know this instinctively. Is Britain simply a postcode – Airstrip One, essentially – or is it a romance? Although the theme of immigration was obviously a major issue in 2016, Brexit was also a matter of these two competing loyalties. In this sense, 2016 was really a re-run of 1914, when the workers elected to fight for their own respective nations rather than for equality and a classless society. One wonders whether the intellectuals ever really forgave them for that supposed betrayal of Marx. It seems that they might not forgive them for 2016 either.

The Left knows intuitively that the myth of the nation stands in the way of their own, decidedly material, drive toward paradise. This goes some way to explaining their reaction to Dunkirk. It made uncomfortable viewing, since it appeared to affirm the idea of British national identity. As Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Marxist, was forced to conclude in 1916: ‘man is above all else mind, consciousness… That is, he is a product of history, not of nature. There is no other way of explaining why socialism has not come into existence already.’

The leftist desire to torpedo such pride may, in some sense, account for Sunny Singh’s article, also featured in The Guardian, condemning Nolan’s film as a ‘thinly veiled Brexiteer fantasy’, chillingly – yes, ‘chillingly’ – designed to ‘expunge’ non-whites from the history of Dunkirk. Singh’s piece has been one of a number of articles accusing the film of attempting to ‘whitewash’ the past. Firstly, this is quite an accusation. Personally, I do not believe that Nolan had hatred in his heart when it came to the casting process. Indeed, I think it highly probable that he was so racially colour-blind that it simply did not cross his mind. Secondly, does this unfounded indictment of Nolan not in fact reflect rather badly on Singh herself?

Singh asks ‘why is it psychologically necessary that the heroic British troops be rescued only by white sailors?’ I could quite as easily ask Singh why it is ‘psychologically necessary’ that they should be non-white? The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the British Expeditionary Force was made up of white soldiers. The French army was also predominately white. Nolan cannot be expected to attend to every single detail in history.

I would certainly like to see a film that focused on the contribution of Commonwealth troops to the war effort. I like such stories. Such productions are also a modest form of recompense for the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to preserve our freedoms. And although Singh appears to come perilously close to suggesting that the British Empire might not have been an entirely bad thing for the world, I suggest that she make efforts of her own to bring such a project to fruition. However, I can foresee what the Left would then say of that film.

It seems to me that Singh’s article is itself a repudiation her own multicultural ideal. Accusing Nolan of whitewashing the past only serves to make society even more self-conscious and uptight about issues of race, religion and culture. There is, indeed, a significant proportion of social, cultural and political commentators, well-represented at The Guardian, whose primary purpose is to seek out and destroy an essentially imaginary caucus of bigots. In other words, those such as Singh are in the business of manufacturing resentment and a culture of fear, otherwise known as political correctness. This is neither prudent nor liberal. If we are to live together in contentment, the Left must stop such race baiting and give up their, seemingly absolute, fixation on race.

Nolan’s story is really about the most inclusive of minorities, which is the minority of one: the individual. In this sense, Dunkirk is truly progressive. It is the complete opposite of the collectivist impulse of the Left to group individuals into categories of race, gender and sexuality. What Nolan does, instead, is to drop the audience member right into the action. You are the main character, subject to the noise and horror of dive-bombing and sinking ships. In doing so, he also pays tribute to such individuals who soared up into the blue abyss in their gleaming flying machines, tenacious in the will and effort not to disgrace themselves at the apogee of their ordeal; not forgetting the heroism of the civilians in the little boats who also faced up to Armageddon in their own modest way.

(Image: Raphaël Chekroun)

Daniel Frampton

  • Uusikaupunki

    If there is/was any “sin of having been obliged to join the enterprise in the first place’, it was a sin perpertrated by traitors.To undertake a treason of such magnitude to the people of this country that the only decent expiation in war-time would be the firing squad. Utter Quislings.

    • Angry of SE1

      just a co-incidence but I posted the below about a week ago on another site in response to others hoping to eradicate the nation state:-

      ‘I’m wondering if you have yet seen the film “Dunkirk” – you’d hate it.

      350,000 or so Brits desperate to leave Europe, an aim supported by a clear majority of them (although this is of course irrelevant and carries no moral weight as majorities don’t matter to remainiac Europhiles – who hate democracy) .

      Among the reasons they want to return to the UK, is to help prevent the permanent establishment of a German dominated European super-state – but to you and EXTA and other remainiacs they are traitors. Can’t they see that the Germans make better planes, tanks and guns and that it would be better for business if the whole war thing just stopped -so that trade with Europe (and indeed with the rest of the world) is not disrupted? Just surrender to Germany and the U-boats stop. Business interests, after all, trump all other interests and, most important of all, particularly out dated concepts like national sovereignty. Can’t these troops on the beach see that they are not educated enough to make these decisions? People like Halifax and Butler, are, but have been side- lined by that little-Englander Churchill who seems hell bent on isolating Britain from the benefits of a European super-state at any price- just because surrender means an end to British sovereignty. Furthermore the Brits on the beach seem to think Brits should be allowed off before the French, This is unbelievably selfish when you think that only a million British and Commonwealth people gave their lives to defend France last time! Britain should pay a large fee if it is going to leave – after all the British Expeditionary force have spent months in France providing no benefit whatsoever and enjoying access to French cooking and wine.

      And then the final appalling event- Help arrives (only the EU saves people and guarantees peace – don’t these people know!) and appears to be in the form of a lot of small boats, most have white hulls ( so clearly racist) and independent sovereign Britain lives to fight another day – An outcome to send EUphiles into an endless fury .

      Remainiacs this is NOT the film for you – perhaps “Captain Underpants” is a better film for you

      If continuing, as previous generations have done, to do our utmost to protect our independence and sovereignty is treason – then clearly UK history up to today has been pointless. I don’t think that’s true but who am I to argue with a fifth-column propagandist for a foreign entity.’

    • gunnerbear

      Nobody obliged the UK to go into Europe and vote to stay in Europe in ’75. All the treaties signed by HMG post ’75 were freely and willingly agreed to be HMG. It is a fantasy to pretend that the voters didn’t know in ’75 that sovereignty would be lost if the vote was to stay in….. ….campaigners like Powell and Benn had made that clear as had a hefty chunk o’ the Labour Party even before ’75… http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classic-podium-the-end-of-1000-years-of-history-1190761.html …and at least one commentator has pointed out something similar…. http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/08/there-was-no-excuse-for-thinking-the-common-market-was-just-a-free-trade-group-in-1975.html ….the author of the OP makes the mistake, in my opinion, of looking at Brexit through the prism of ‘Left and Right’ when in fact Brexit and Remain are positions that cross tribal party lines………which is why, in my opinion, the Big Two are still struggling to keep their tribes following ‘party messages’ on Brexit…..

  • Bik Byro

    Isabel Oakeshott is quite close to my perfect woman too.

    • Quite acceptable in my mind, although I do prefer Suzannah Lipscomb (although likely not her politics!)

  • Ralph_Baldwin

    Incredible article. Thank you.

  • burntshed

    I think this article just about hit the nail on the head! If they could, the left would remove Dunkirk from our collective history.

    • Along with a few other things, say the Armada (today is the anniversary of the start of the battle) along with Malplaquet, Quebec, Waterloo, Trafalgar, Crecy, Agincourt, and Normandy for starters. Also, I saw that the last survivor of the 9th Para at Merville just died. Ain’t gonna happen though, even if they forced it there, we will remember, all of us throughout the world who benefited from the various Empires.

  • Frank

    It gets tedious to repeat it, but Britain does have an establishment swamp to drain. Our “elite” is in fact a nepotistic parasitic vampire squid spread across the face of Britain. We clearly failed to drain the swamp in the last century and the need is now overwhelming (it is very hard to see any of these Guardian journalists on the Dunkirk beaches – no moral fibre visible at all)!

    • martianonlooker

      “it is very hard to see any of these Guardian journalists on the Dunkirk beaches”.
      Maybe that is where the problem lies, we have snowflakes taking offence and seeing isms everywhere. Had they suffered the way that soldiers have always suffered, then maybe their isms would be filling snowflakes’s underwear and not filling the media/academia and the public sector.

      • Frank

        I have to say that I have no idea how we drain our swamp, it seems so deep embedded. Since Dunkirk, our entire establishment structure has been taken over, including our political establishment, our media, our educational system and our civil service and foreign office.

      • gunnerbear

        Or equally, there would’ve been plenty of them on the beach because the nation was a war – you’re trying to impose a wartime footing on a nation at peace.

    • MrVeryAngry

      Get out from under one extractive ‘elite’ after another is the struggle of the common man throughout history.

  • Muttley

    The Left are having to produce more and more contorted and fantastical narratives to keep their world view alive. Their attack on Dunkirk – the event and the film – owes much to every fascist regime in history when it comes to re-writing the past to suit their purposes. Unfortunately, this country has pursued the Leftist vision for over half a century, and it is beginning to occur to people that things are getting worse, not better. Time for change.

  • Derek

    It’s important to realise that reason plays no part in decision making once political belief is involved . TV interviews such as with Corbyn about Venezuela wrongly assume that a rational discussion is taking place.
    See “Emory study lights up the political brain” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060131092225.htm
    …Once partisans had come to completely biased conclusions — essentially
    finding ways to ignore information that could not be rationally
    discounted — not only did circuits that mediate negative emotions like
    sadness and disgust turn off, but subjects got a blast of activation in
    circuits involved in reward…None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly
    engaged,” says Westen. “Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl
    the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and
    then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of
    negative emotional states and activation of positive ones.

    There is a mountain of confirmation bias between the calcified far left political brain and the real world. This isolates their brain from their actions which is very dangerous to the rest of us.

    In the 20th century communism kills many tens of millions. See Communism: See “The Leading Ideological Cause of Death in the 20th Century” http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2212529-communism-the-leading-ideological-cause-of-death-in-the-20th-century/

    • gunnerbear

      “Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones….there is a mountain of confirmation bias between the calcified…political brain and the real world. This isolates their brain from their actions which is very dangerous to the rest of us. Their excuses never pass critical analysis because they are not based on reason.” Which is why the parties have tribal voters that come what may will always vote Blue or Red and those voters simply do not accept that their party or leader has ever made a mistake or put forward a bad policy. Remember the uproar from Blue Tribals during reviews of Mrs. T’s premiership when she passed on…the Blue Tribalists could not accept that perhaps not every single facet of Mrs. T’s policies had been successful in the long term whereas in reality, every single PM has moments of brilliance but also brings in things that are utterly garbage….

      • Derek

        Tribal voters suffer in exactly the same way as their party’s elite because they too are believers rather than rationalists.
        It’s only non-believers (moderates) who can use reason than than ‘twirling the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want.’

  • MrVeryAngry

    If the egregious Singh needs something racially inclusive to read she should try Slim’s Defeat into Victory. The 14th Army was predominantly a Commonwealth army.

    • Martianonlooker

      Doesn’t work that way. Her article on Slim’s Commonwealth army would probably be along the lines of “White British Raj force native Indians to fight Japanese”. Who was that leader??? Chandra Bose? Singh? Mmmm.

      • MrVeryAngry

        Yeah. You’re right. I didn’t think like a ‘progressive’.

      • Nigel S

        My father was 5th Indian Division Signals (Indian Army) during the ‘Victory’ part. He said that the officers had to protect captured ‘Jiffs’ (INA) from the Indian soldiers who weren’t impressed that their fellow countrymen were fighting for the Japanese.

        • John P Hughes

          Now that is interesting. Little has been written about what happened to the INA soldiers who were under Japanese command and in 1945 surrendered or were captured both during Slim’s advance through Burma, and then when the British forces returned to Malaya after the Japanese surrender.

  • amoorhouse

    Maybe he should have made a film about Tobruk instead. That would have had Australians, Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Poles and Czechs among other nations. I’m sure there were women nurses there as well. All those different peoples fighting and dying together against fascists and genocidal xenophobes,

    Somehow I think the Guardian journalists would still have found something to complain about.

    • I’d very much like to see a movie about Slim’s campaigns in the CBI (as we call it). I wrote about it once, and found almost nothing. That would surely tick all the boxes.

  • GUBU

    Tell us something we don’t know.

    I don’t know what surprises me more; the fact that, in 2017, a major feature film can present an historical event in a way that essentially maintains the traditional ‘patriotic’ narrative, or the fact that, in 2017, the best that ‘progressives’ can muster by way of criticism is to demand tokenism.

  • K Broad

    the problem with being part of the establishment swamp is that if you don’t have the “correct” opinions in a number of cases you simply won’t have a job. You will get pushed out! I work in a university I keep my mouth shut as much as possible. You can get into so much trouble so easily.
    The problem is the left have had 30-40 years advance on you, it will take 30-40 years to get back to anywhere near a sensible state.

  • Robert

    It will always be the case that socialists-cum-communists
    view the world from a particular ontological perspective.
    They view everything through the prism of class
    warfare between collective groups in the capitalist system. It is the way they
    can implicitly approve – explicitly approve in the case of
    some! – terrible acts by individuals against others if it is deemed to be
    just the surface manifestation of this class struggle.
    Of course, in the communist utopia there are no classes, there is no struggle,
    and all the problems of individuals carrying out awful
    crimes against others do not exist.

    ….’tho only through the socialist-cum-communist
    prism of idealists who believe collectivism will somehow conquer what they see
    as the evil selfishness of individuals.

    I am reminded of another film from a few years back
    called ‘Citizen X’. It was about the attempts of the authorities in Russia to
    capture a serial killer. They were hampered by the insistence of
    many that such terrible crimes were a product of Western Capitalism and could
    not happen under Communism. In addition, it didn’t help that the
    perpetrator was a member of the Communist Party and so, though suspected, was
    not rigorously investigated. It couldn’t possibly be him –
    “he’s a Member, one of us”! The truth is, of course, that individuals
    and collective groups have the capacity for good and bad regardless of the political
    system they inhabit but to ignore fundamental individual human instincts,
    hopes, fears and desires built up over centuries by generation after generation in an effort
    to impose some bureaucratically engineered ‘richness of fellowship’ is not a
    good idea. Dictators can do as they wish but there is not much a democratically elected government can do except create the conditions to bring out the best, the good and
    optimistic human spirit of individuals and groups.

    As Margaret Thatcher observed:

    “My political philosophy in domestic affairs is founded on a deep scepticism about the
    ability of politicians to change the fundamentals of the economy or society:
    the best they can do is create a framework in which people’s talents and virtues are mobilized not crushed.” (‘The Downing Street Years’ p.486)

  • realarthurdent

    I think it would be more accurate to say that The Establishment loathes the nation state, and seems hellbent on some kind of “world government”. This includes a large proportion of “Conservatives”. You just need to watch how policies like the latest on transgenderism are introduced almost simultaneously across many Western countries to know that nation state governments, and more specifically the people who elect them, are no longer in charge.

    • Chez

      and also how they all push for more immigration – they want to dilute any sense of nationhood for the future

      • realarthurdent

        Yep. The vote for Brexit will soon be seen as merely a minor bump in the road en route to World Government, I fear.

    • gunnerbear

      “I think it would be more accurate to say that The Establishment loathes the nation state, and seems hellbent on some kind of “world government”. This includes a large proportion of “Conservatives”.” Yup….

  • Tethys

    And yet Churchill favoured ‘a kind of United States of Europe’

    • hugh_g_reaction

      “Where do we stand? We are not members of the European Defence Community, nor do we intend to be merged in a Federal European system. We feel we have a special relation to both. This can be expressed by prepositions, by the preposition “with” but not “of”—we are with them, but not of them. We have our own Commonwealth and Empire.” [Churchill, 11 May 1953]

      • gunnerbear

        But Churchill as LoHMLO had also said that the Conservatives were also, “prepared to consider, and if convinced to accept, the abrogation of national sovereignty, provided that we are satisfied with the conditions and the safeguards”. http://theconversation.com/what-churchill-really-thought-about-britains-place-in-europe-36613 I think, and WSC was clever politician, that on Europe, WSC was prepared to trim is speeches to suit the time and the audience he was speaking to…..and of course WSC was not the first, nor the last to have done so.

    • realarthurdent

      Someone who worked closely with Churchill said something like “he had ten new ideas every day, but only one of them was any good, and he didn’t know which one”.

      I’m guessing the USE was one of the other nine.

    • Snoffle Gronch

      So?

    • Davidsb

      In fairness, the last line of the speech in which Churchill proposed the formation of a “United States of Europe” reads:-

      Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America, and I trust Soviet Russia – for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.

      So – Great Britain as a friend and sponsor of the United States of Europe, but crucially NOT a component part.

      Full speech here:-

      http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/astonish.html

    • Rintintin

      Correct, but he did not envisage one in which Britain was a member.

  • EnglandLaments

    We are facing a contemporary Dunkirk. Support this group – we need to stop the invasion:

    http://defendeurope.net/f-a-q/

  • nanumaga

    It’s worth noting that, following the establishment of the French Government in Vichy and the Armistice, France was effectively at war with Britain as the French Air Force bombing raids on Gibraltar and the British/Free French raid on Dakar in 1940 demonstrate.

    • Owen_Morgan

      More French fought on Germany’s side than on ours. Plus ça change…

  • Snoffle Gronch

    The British Left has a pathological hatred of one nation state in particular – our own.

    The reason is rather curious. Britain was quite simply the most successful, innovative and civilizing force in the world, and so natural an antagonist of the collectivist, socially rigid, intellectually monolithic societies that socialists idealize. If one looks at intellectual, scientific and technological advance that it’s a plain fact that the rest of the world combined scarcely measures up to us. We invented the modern world, and most of the things in it. It is for that reason that the Left has been at such pains to subvert our schools, and populate our universities with ignorant fantasists whining about colonial guilt, rather than colonial achievement.

    To be born English remains to have come first in the race of life, and there is no nation, tribe or empire that can come close to rival us.

    • Dodgy Geezer

      Actually, the reason is simpler. They just happen to be in Britain, and it’s more convenient to hate someone who’s nearer…

    • realfish

      From George Orwell’s 1941 essay, the Lion and the Unicorn.

      ‘…England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during “God save the King” than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British…’

      This observation was made during our ‘darkest hours’. Nothing changes apart form the fact that in 2017, the self anointed intelligentsia are even more determinted

      • GUBU

        ‘The mere words ‘socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with
        magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer,
        sex-maniac, Quaker, “Nature Cure” quack, pacifist, and feminist in
        England.’

      • UKCitizen

        Some say they would go back in time and kill Hitler. Personally I think going back and killing Marx would have saved a lot more lives!

      • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        From Orwell’s essay Raffles And Miss Blandish, 1944:

        “…The truth is, of course, that the countless English intellectuals who kiss the [backside] of Stalin are not different from the minority who give their allegiance to Hitler or Mussolini…All of them are worshipping power and successful cruelty. It is important to notice that the cult of power tends to be mixed up with a love of cruelty and wickedness for their own sakes. A tyrant is all the more admired if he happens to be a bloodstained crook as well, and ‘the end justifies the means’ often becomes, in effect, ‘the means justify themselves provided they are dirty enough’. This idea colours the outlook of all sympathizers with totalitarianism…”

        Come now, George, let’s not shilly-shally– tell us how you REALLY feel about the English intelligentsia!

    • Nockian

      You have no claim to the achievements of your ancestors. It is ideas, not geographical borders, not society, not state, nor God that defines the progress of men towards civilisation. Those things exist despite civilisation.

      It was the efficacy of reason and the application of reason that allowed men to obtain knowledge about the world through the application of reason based science. It was man seen as an end in himself, his right to his own life to pursue rational values individually that led to all the innovation and wealth. Britain embraced these ideas more fully when it departed from the Roman church.

  • geo

    I’ve always felt that socialism is all about an unhealthy level of dependency. the more you are unable to function as an independent entity, the more socialism appeals.
    a stand on our own two feet UK would be a relentless affront to the left as it would show we are still a force to be reckoned with in the world … they would rather we were sniveling basketcase in the corner of europe being told what to do.

    • John Birch

      Just because I am useless and worthless doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect me.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    ..The Left still seeks to destroy the nation state….

    Unless it’s Venezuela. They can’t get enough of Venezuela. Or China. Or Cuba….

  • UKCitizen

    So I would assume that the luvvies would be perfectly happy with a remake of roots where the slaves were a mixture of races including whites given that slaves were taken by lots of different groups from lots of different ethnicities?

  • Little Black Censored

    Your taste in women is irreproachable.
    (Zoe Williams and her ghastly colleagues are at the opposite end of the scale.)

  • Nockian

    The right want to preserve nation in the sense of faith, family and tradition. The right are as dogmatic as the left and the left knows it. To the right, these three values are the foundation of western civilisation, to the left these are all the things that are causing conflict and inequality.

    The right wants equality of opportunity and the left wants equality of outcome. There is little to choose between them. One wishes to preserve things as they believe represents the good from which society benefits through equality of opportunity; the other wishes to break down the very same barriers that the right erects because they see them as antithetic to equality of outcome.

    Both sides never stop to ask what the root of western civilisation is, neither do the consider if it should be defended. The left is correct to question the notion of geographical boundaries, just as the right is correct in wanting to preserve them. Neither can offer a philosophic argument which doesn’t contain elements of dogmatic faith from which no truth can ever be reaped.

    If the right cannot give up its mysticism and dogma, it will leave the left as the clear winners in every argument. The right need to walk a mile in the lefts shoes to grasp the similarity to their own belief system and realise why socialism/end of nation state, represent a realistic alternative in that sense. If all the right can offer is dogma then the left are quite right to offer their own dogma in reply.

    Time after time I argue that faith, tradition and family are values which have no meaning in terms of the rise of western civilisation, but the right cling to these ideas unwaveringly and hence they fail to proved a congnisant argument to socialism and hence cannot defend western civilisation.

    • Little Black Censored

      Gosh, you’ve got it all summed up.

      • Nockian

        Let me pose a question to you. Why isn’t it acceptable to let anyone come to our country if they wish to make a life here ? -let’s set aside the present issue we have with Islamists who are intent on instituting a Islamic caliphate.

        • Fubar2

          OK, I’ll bite. I’d say that the issue isnt that people come to make a life here full stop. The problem is that when it is unregulated, when it is not in response to a critical personnel or skill shortage that it becomes an excuse to stifle any kind of wage inflation, it makes business lazy when it comes to developing and training its own resources or taking risks when it knows that it can hire from abroad where someone else has already trained these resources with impunity and with no consequence to themselves.

          This, as we’ve seen has a detrimental effect not only on the professions, but also on those who are recently graduated, recently left education and training or those that do not have a profession and who are vocational workers. All of which end up driving up costs to the state to keep them from being in penury or it drives them abroad.

          Aside from those who’se life values and aims are incompatible with the industrialised west – those who flee a repressive, autocratic, theological regime and then end up confining themselves to ghetto areas where they end up demanding the same repressive, theology-based conditions that they allegedly fled from in the first place – its not migration itself that riled people so much over the last 2 decades. Britain has had generation after generation, post-war, post-empire where migration has been successful.

          The problem has been with unrestricted migration that has at its root, the objective of (as the writer correctly states) eroding the nation state and its values to the point where the conservatism the left hates is nothing more than an ageing, powerless rump that can be easily suppressed and has no value.

          Interestingly, had such an aim been from the right – old style colonialism for isntance – they’d have been all over it like a cheap suit, shouting about cultural appropriation, hence the strong presence in the left in the nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales. But, the thing is thats OK to rail against that kind of appropriation, that kind of erasing of the host culture, because its a case of railing against the British state and by extension, its a case of railing against the English and as Blair described it, “the forces of conservatism” – by which he meant not only the conventional political right, but also the marxists and traditionalists of his own party. Thats what the left and liberal progressivism in particular are all about.

          All the left does is leverage hate and resentment. Nothing else.

          • Nockian

            OK. Here you offer an economic protectionist argument mixed with with one of tradition. Indeed the left have made the protectionist argument many times, yet why is this a concern to the right ? You are effectively saying that it costs equality of opportunity and benefits ‘exploitative’ employers (I know you didn’t use that emotional hyperbole, but you did use ‘lazy’). This sounds awfully like an argument from Marxism doesn’t it ?

            This is exactly the problem as I outlined in my last reply. The right are enablers of socialism because they preach lassez faire capitalism and free markets, but they don’t support them.

          • hobspawn

            “Get off my land!”
            “Why?”
            “Because it’s mine!”
            “Who gave it to you?”
            “My father!”
            “Who gave it to him?”
            “His father!”
            “Who gave it to him?”
            “His father!”
            “Who gave it to him?”
            “His father!”
            “Who gave it to him?”
            “His father!”
            “Who gave it to him?”
            “His father!”
            “Who gave it to him?”
            “His father!”
            “Who gave it to him?”
            “He fought for it!”
            “Then I’ll fight you for it.”

            Giving up your land without a fight leads to extinction. See evolution.

          • Nockian

            The land you own, your property. The country is not your property.

        • And why isn’t it acceptable for me, as an East European, to move into your house and take over one of your rooms? After all, your wealth and assets arise mainly from your luck in being born in a western country. You earn, say, a £30,000 salary, and that is ten times what a Ukrainian would get for doing the same job. Nothing entitles you to this massive premium except a fluke of birthplace. So, in the name of equality, why shouldn’t I just take my due from you?

          See where this argument leads ultimately?

          • Nockian

            I don’t think you have understood my argument. Where did I say someone was entitled to that which they did not earn ? I’m making the opposite argument that it is morally wrong to do so.

        • hobspawn

          “Why isn’t it acceptable to let anyone come to our country if they wish to make a life here?”

          Because all of our resources are overcrowded to breaking point. Next.

          • Nockian

            Which resources ?

    • Fubar2

      Interesting perspective, Nockian. By the same token, shouldnt the left walk a mile in the right’s shoes as well? Why should it be the right that always turns the other cheek, if I may borrow such a phrase?

      • Nockian

        Because Equality of outcome trumps equality of opportunity. People will prefer to vote themselves a share of the unearned directly over that of opportunity. The right plays into this ideology by accepting the premise of altruism, even whilst it places altruism prior to outcome.

        I don’t suggest the right ‘turn the other cheek’. Instead they should decide if they should really support an altruistic philosophy. It is the rights support of altruistic philosophy that allows socialism to flourish.

        The right have always struggled to defend laissez faire capitalism, because, despite the rhetoric of both right and left, the right doesn’t really support individualism anymore than the socialists. Collectivism manifests in both ideologies, it’s just not as overt on the right-unless you happen to be a socialist who can sniff faith based dogmatic nationalism a million miles away. The right are effectively unconscious enablers of socialism-and isn’t it now true that the church itself supports a socialist agenda ?

        If the right should do anything it is to question their assertions by relating their beliefs directly to reality as it is. In other words capitalism as individual freedom and not as a collective good towards a ‘growing economy’.

        • gunnerbear

          “The right have always struggled to defend laissez faire capitalism, because, despite the rhetoric of both right and left, the right doesn’t really support individualism anymore than the socialists.” Yup….political parties can’t support utterly rampant capitalism otherwise they don’t get elected…..and that means Blue and Red HMGs are more than capable of ‘adjusting’ the system to suit their respective tribes.

          • Nockian

            Which is why they should be abandoned.

        • PAD

          John Major said one thing in his whole life that was useful..
          “We need less ‘understanding’ and more ‘judgement’

          • Nockian

            Idiotic sentence that could have been delivered by any tyrant throughout history.

        • hobspawn

          “Because Equality of outcome trumps equality of opportunity.”

          Only to a two-year-old. Anybody with the beginnings of intelligence can see that equality of outcome is deeply unfair, and means everybody gets a sh​itty deal. Every time marxism is tried, it achieves the same result, however you pull the levers.

          Sadly it looks as though the ‘educated’ millennials are going to have to learn the hard way what Thatcher spelled out so clearly: “what the honorable gentleman is saying is that he would be happy for the poor to be poorer, so long as the rich are less rich”.

          Equality of outcome only trumps equality of opportunity if your fundamental reaction to the world is the sin called envy.

          • Nockian

            You miss my point. Conservatives believe in equality of opportunity. It’s the same thing, so isn’t it inevitable that some fraction of the population will shift that equality to that of outcome ? Listen to the way conservatives talk about immigration ‘if they come here to contribute to our economy’. That’s collectivism, the same as the left, but they transpose it to diversity.

    • “Time after time I argue that faith, tradition and family are values which have no meaning in terms of the rise of western civilisation.” So Bach just knocked out the St Matthew Passion because it was a wet Sunday, and Milton thought writing Paradise Lost was more fun than going down the pub. The cathedrals of England, France and Germany were just council construction projects with no particular connection to religion or tradition. That’s what you are saying, if I am reading this right.
      If you really believe what you have written, you have no understanding whatsoever of the west, or of any civilization, or of what motivates men.

      • Nockian

        That’s an pure non-sequitur. Bach and Milton aren’t the source of western civilisation.

    • PAD

      Was the thinking in Social Services&police in Rotherham the result of right or left myth-making?

      • Nockian

        It was a failure of moral courage on all sides.

        • PAD

          Not to mention the postal vote.

    • James Skinner

      “Time after time I argue that faith, tradition and family are values which have no meaning in terms of the rise of western civilisation,”

      It was a unified collective faith that once provided instruction on how we could all live together in society, tradition that carried forward knowledge and skills acquired over time, while “family” provides yet another mechanism for ensuring continuity. Continuity that is undewritten by blood which, dare I risk sounding dogmatic, is still a lot thicker than water.

      • Nockian

        Atilla the Hun also provided instructions on how to live together. The Muslim faith under Sharia law provides the same instruction as does communism. Philosophies of one kind or another have been providing instructions on how to live throughout the history of man-it’s the choosing of the most consistent philosophy which is difficult.

        • James Skinner

          Correct, but apples, oranges and whataboutery.

          It isn’t ancient European or Middle Eastern society that is up for discussion.

          The subject matter, as far as I recall, is our own collective journey as a people and society – which took place alongside all of the other jazz.

          Nonetheless, we seem to have agreed on the “meaning” of and roles played by the above values in the rise of their respective societies.

          • Nockian

            The discussion should be ‘what is western civilisation’.

            I don’t see it as a collective journey by a ‘people’, but a set of ideas that people agree with. Those ideas arose during the enlightenment when Europeans discovered the Greek philosophers, in particular Aristotle’s work on reason/logic. The church embraced Aristotle through Aquinus who attempted to apply rational argument to the existence of God. Many of Aristotle’s ideas were wrong on other subjects, but the church condemned anyone who dared to suggest otherwise-Gallieo being the obvious example. Once reason ‘got out’ beyond faith, then science, art, law and culture accelerated at a rapid pace. It had a short intense burst that eventually fizzled out until the industrial revolution occurred as a second enlightenment.

            Faith, family and tradition had nothing to do with the enlightenment. Indeed it was quite the opposite, those values have always resisted progress and today find their expression in conservatism. If Conservatives embraced reason and abandoned those old values, then the left would collapse. Individualism leaves collectivists with no where to go. As long as Conservatives remain collectivists they are enabling the left. It has become a tug of war between two factions that essentially agree on collectivism, but not the method. One favours Christianity and the other ‘the common good of the people’. Conservatives see every problem as one to be solved by Christianity and the left by ‘society/state’. In the end they will both drag us into the unenlightened dark ages and destroy western civilisation.

    • Snoffle Gronch

      You appear to want to replace conservatism with something derived from the unhinged maunderings of Ayn Rand.

      • Nockian

        In a heart beat.

  • Coniston

    It would be an excellent thing if as many left-wingers, and the snowflake generation, as possible could be made to see the 1969 film ‘Battle of Britain’. It would reduce some of them to gibbering hysterics, but might be the salvation of others.

    • EasyStreet

      Susannah York in her undies… enough to make anyone gibber.

    • gunnerbear

      Battle o’ Britain is a great film, mind you so is Zulu.

      • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Well, Zulu had a great bass section, but no top tenors, that’s for sure..

        • gunnerbear

          That is top notch! 🙂

  • Adam Smith

    It isn’t the nation state that the left fear and loathe so much as the idea of small or – worse still – accountable government.

    Karl Marx assumed that the proletariat would inherit power from the bourgeoisie just as the bourgeosie had inherited power from the landed classes. He failed to anticipate that the expansion of the state would give rise to a new class: a new bourgeosie that would derive its wealth and power entirely from the state. This class consists not just of state employees, the apparat, if you like, but of the academy, the legal and medical professions, journalism and the corporate bureaucracies who, rather than invent a better mousetrap, devote their energies to seeking government protection from upstarts and innovators. The EU is their utopia, one in which the state can continue to expand forever, showering ever greater largesse upon its employees and clients, until there is no life left outside it.

    The problem, of course, is that as this tax-eater class expands inexorably, so the taxpayer class shrinks, which is ultimately why, without exception, the economies of the West are drowning in debt. Trump and Brexit are just the first eddies presaging the inevitable replacement of the monolitihc states of the twentieth century with new forms of social organisation based on local and global networking enabled by digital communications. Interesting times – and scary for Guardianistas. Hence their intemperate response.

    • Fubar2

      Did he though? Did he really fail to anticipate it or was it by design? I’m more inclined to think that it was by design, although I have to readily admit to not reading his works.

      • Adam Smith

        I think Marx genuinely believed that the state would ‘wither away’ after his revolution and genuinely didn’t foresee that it would become the new oppressor.. He was more than a little deluded.

    • PAD

      Very well said..and spot on!

  • Fubar2

    “Behr is, of course, right when he writes that ‘humiliation corrodes the soul of nations’. Ironically, he is incapable of extending that logic beyond the shores of Britain itself. ”

    Thats the whole point. His whole point is to denigrate the soul of Britain so that it no longer has one. By humiliation and shame. That is the standard MO of the left.

    “If we are to live together in contentment, the Left must stop such race baiting and give up their, seemingly absolute, fixation on race.”

    True. But we know they never will. Your contentment, our contentment as a whole, as a nation, as a people, is of no consequence to the left. The only contentment that they care about is their own. Anyone else can go whistle.

  • John P Hughes

    An interesting summary of the nonsense pervaded by certain Guardian columnists about the new Dunkirk film.
    The next stage should be to find out why the Guardian editor Katherine Viner commissioned or authorised these articles, which are so absurd in almost every way. One does wonder how this sort of ‘line’ about the film was agreed at the weekly ‘editorial conference’ that the Guardian must still have. Or perhaps KV doesn’t hold any? The Guardian opinion pages are increasingly bizarre, as these quotes from the recent columns in the paper on ‘Dunkirk’ demonstrate.

  • Blowmedown

    I recommend to Sunny Singh that she reads some of the books by John Masters about the contribution made by the Indian Army and Gurkha regiments throughout the first half of the 20th Century. The courage and bravery of those men and the service they gave in support of the British Empire are readily acknowledged by John Masters and are without compare.
    But of course, I forgot; the left don’t do history.

    • Hampsteadpinko

      John Masters – uptick for you!

      • Blowmedown

        Thanks.

  • Hampsteadpinko

    Is Zoe Williams especially ugly?
    She does seem to be a rancid sort.

  • English Advocate

    It’s worth noting that the business right, and particularly large corporations, are not overly fond of the nation state either. They like international structures such as the EU, or the TTIP agreement which would give them recourse to secretive tribunals. Nation states have a pesky habit of wanting to raise taxes and implement their own regulations. It’s far better, from their point of view, to have a big pyramidal structure: then you only have to bother about controlling the top of the pyramid.

  • evad666

    The Left still seeks to destroy the nation state:-

    Not every nation state just ours.

  • Magnolia