APPARENTLY there was a serious setback for women’s rights in the UK a few days ago. All those feminist birds were tweeting furiously about a women’s right to choose, although whether this included women with penises wasn’t entirely clear.
The overturning of Roe v Wade by the United States Supreme Court was a calamity that somehow severely threatened Britain’s women with a Handmaid’s Tale-type future, even though it occurred in a foreign jurisdiction.
It was nonetheless a moral outrage, apparently, that rights to legislate on such matters are now returned to individual American states, even though this is exactly where the matter has always resided in Britain.
Meanwhile, a genuinely extremely serious threat against British women’s rights and safety once again reared its ugly head, but here sisterly solidarity from Britain’s fembot army seemed sadly lacking.
Reports on the failures to protect vulnerable young women and girls in Rochdale and Oldham show an almost unimaginable list of horrors, with one survivor alleging that these practices had been going for 50 years.
Of course, the facts were glossed over, the reports made reference to the perpetrators as merely ‘evil men’. There was no mention of the deeply uncomfortable truth: That the wickedness of these men is firmly rooted in the evil subcultures we have imported en masse from fundamentalist and uneducated parts of the Islamic world during the past few decades – the misogyny, the sectarian (not just racial, as is often alleged) hatred, and, of course, the homophobia.
Talking of which, you may have noticed that June has been Pride month (I don’t blame you if you’ve missed it – it’s a very low-profile thing). However, there have been no calls for a serious debate on the hideous slaying of three gay people in Reading.
Perhaps merely being killed for being gay is judged to be no big deal these days – after all, two gay men in County Sligo in the Irish Republic were recently found ‘severely mutilated’, to put it politely (i.e. beheaded).
The case has not yet come to trial, so I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks. As demography rapidly shifts throughout Britain and indeed all of Western Europe, the unmentionable truth is that the envelope of freedom, especially if you are a woman or gay, is slowly closing.
Our politics is very badly failing. Clearly we do not live in anything approaching a functioning democracy. Although the weakness, depravity or amorality of our politicians is often blamed, I think this is as much symptom as it is cause.
The weird, through-the-looking-glass world that our elites inhabit is due to systemic and permanent changes in the structure of society that have made all our institutions utterly dysfunctional.
Firstly, decades of prosperity have naturally led to a level of decadence both within the elites and society generally. As this blog has often discussed, another factor is the rise of rich and deep information networks with constant and intense communication that has led, as Robert Tombs put it nicely in the Telegraph, to horizontal government between the elites at the expense of the ‘vertical’ relationships between government and the people.
Thus, democracy has become enfeebled, with Parliament reduced at best to a kind of Potemkin village of the perverted, at worst to an elitist institution viciously hostile to democracy.
The power of those elite networks is not only making extracting us from the iniquitous Northern Ireland Protocol or fixing the cross-Channel migrant crisis extremely difficult, it is slowly but inexorably drawing us back towards the clutches of the EU, with unreconciled Remainers now talking openly of Britain rejoining the single market and customs union.
All this is bad enough, but it still doesn’t really explain the elite’s descent into what can only be called a collective madness. Our Establishment has become utterly detached from the real world, not only refusing to debate urgent issues such as immigration and the rise of Islam, but indulging in the fantasy economics of Net Zero, the outright lunacy of the trans debate, or of wokery generally.
Much has been made of the successful march of the Left through the institutions, but it does not quite explain the sheer scale of the modern-day triumph of crackpot theories over empiricism. This is, I think, another consequence of the information age – the removal of physicality from the lived experience, particularly amongst the elites.
Historically, our political traditions were rooted in the physical world. The Labour Party was born out of the toiling industrial working classes, whereas the high Tory gentry were rooted in the land. Nowadays however, the elites spend their lives managing data.
But when governing a country, data can only become information (ie, data with value) if its impact on the real, physical world can be efficiently measured and communicated through the now relatively atrophied ‘vertical’ channels between the people and the elites.
The reason our political culture is so very sick, with its delusions, lies and generally poor moral conduct, is that the physical world is so distant that it no longer seems real – actions no longer seem to have consequences; intention is confused with implementation.
Thus, a decision made by an elite institution thousands of miles away appears more real and worthy of comment to the British elites than the gruesome – and all too physically real – sexual exploitation of girls or the murder of gay people here at home.
It follows that our travails require much more radical action than simply leaving a few international agreements or institutions like the European Court of Human Rights.
The purely representative model of democracy has had its day, its five-yearly cycles of accountability being far too weak a transmission mechanism between the governors and the governed.
What is needed is a Swiss-style Direct Democracy, for the people to be empowered to drive the political conversations. It is we who should be able to petition for referendums on issues we find important, to call general elections and to the sack politicians.
Power should flow vertically upwards, rather than downwards or side-to-side amongst the elites. Until that day arrives, the madness and dysfunction will surely continue.