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Thursday, August 18, 2022
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Betrayed right, left and centre

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THE political brand of globalism is centrism. This is the idea, in elections, that you speak to the greatest possible number of people in canvassing, only to follow the same agenda as before once in power. To the self-identified ‘centrist’ this position is the epitome of wisdom: balanced, not too far in either bogeyman direction.

To us in Britain, centrism is Blairism. This is pursued by leaders brimming with self-belief – sometimes messianic – with a sense of entitlement to lead the population into outcomes for which it did not vote and for which it will bear the cost in obligatory silence.

This centrism – the attempt to capture the maximum votes by the broadest appeal – presents itself according to the moment when seeking power, but pursues a perpetual agenda once that power is secured. The moment for Blair himself was the malaise around the Major government, when ‘Things can only get better’. Cameron’s Conservatives went Green. Recently, for Boris, it was to Get Brexit Done.

What did get done? Did things only get better? New Labour, itself an advertising slogan, had great branding. What it set in motion was the kind of politics for which Emmanuel Macron is now the global figurehead: open borders, mass immigration, the destruction of the traditional way of life.

It offered a ‘stakeholder society’ to replace the real one. Obviously, people whose ancestors built the country had a stake in the nation, in the institutions and customs and other Christian habits of their forebears. This was supplanted by the idea that people are as replaceable as the parts in a lawnmower – abstract people from anywhere, believing anything or nothing – to make a nowhere of the somewhere we used to call home. It is as if the whole country had been demolished to make way for a disused shopping mall.

The green industry and its convenient message of levelling down for the masses is also a feature, especially of Boris Johnson’s tenure. To this are added the deeply illiberal and outrageous policies surrounding Covid. Garlanded in sentimental and heroic propaganda, every party in the house voted for them, which demonstrates the amoral and craven nature of the centrist. Unprincipled, opportunistic and unworthy of the trust implicit in our votes. Their self-important emptiness craves significance and grandeur. There is nothing more to them than this performance.

When understood by the impact of liberalisation – the removal of all norms – centrism has been a great misnomer. What was done in its name is nothing short of extremism. In a generation the countries it has dominated have become unrecognisable demographically, culturally, politically. Our customs and culture have been eroded by centrism and its virtue-by-arithmetic to amusing relics to be mocked at a distance.

Centrism, as the expression of managerialism in political terms, has encouraged a concentration of power in national and supra-national bureaucracies which act in their own interests. The EU and Nato are attempting to provoke escalation in Ukraine to preserve their relevance. The WHO is attempting to supplant national sovereignty in its claim to lead future pandemic responses. This is the typical mission of the bureaucracy: to seek greater power, a process of perpetual self-aggrandisement.

The NHS has become a vaccine delivery service whilst prohibiting the sale and prescription of ivermectin, which works and is safe.

The Civil Service (or permanent bureaucracy) is beholden to unconscious bias training, diversity promotion and the rainbow agenda. These are minority obsessions whose large-scale adoption by the corporations have made them a condition of employment. No one voted for this.

For these reasons I argue that centrism, far from being some sensible middle path between the Scylla of Socialism and the Charybdis of conservatism, is an extreme ideology whose power nests in government, institutions and corporations.

It is the politics of the managerial society – we are managed, not led – where the decisions of the management are non-negotiable. Centrism guarantees that people with genuine convictions of the Left and Right are kicked off the red’n’blue roundabout, their traditional voter base abandoned. This is the law of the excluding middle: that principle is poison and tradition toxic – to the party machines. Machines which exists to gain and retain power, nothing more.

These powers and the institutions which wield them used to belong to us. The strange orthodoxies of managerial bureaucracy are supplanting the customs and traditions which made us who we are. It is a curious feature of the identitarian craze that it results in the elision of identity in groups, and its abolition in nations. Factionalism makes tropes of people, which is the result of the grievance taxonomies into which centrism manages its convulsing populations.

Centrism marginalises ordinary voters, eclipsing their views with gesture politics which play well to a media geared to this type of empty spectacle. It concerns itself with grand international narratives and feverish crazes, glossing over the decline at home with quixotic initiatives promising the world, but delivering disenchantment. It is a promise of betrayal which is always kept.

The shambles of Johnson’s government indicates a paucity of ideas and of the capacity to have them. He has survived only because there is no telegenic replacement, substance and moral integrity being irrelevant.

The Regime is weak, spooked, out of ideas. The only play they have left is a Blairite classic – that war is an instrument of civilisation. They are keen to escape domestic chaos, embracing a man with $350million who has imprisoned (and assassinated) his critics, and criminalised political opposition.

To these middle managers, war is a glamorous stage set. Death is a lifeline to them. Johnson’s Kiev appearance saw him heroically hide from his own party whilst acting as Churchill. Such is the venality of remaining-in-office politics.

Desperate to appear statesmanlike, the only remaining management flourish is World War Three. Peace is unthinkable to them, as it means another grand plan has flopped in public. Defeat in Ukraine, which is inevitable without full-scale Nato involvement, means they will have nowhere to go. They know this, and will sacrifice any number of other people’s lives to avoid losing the face that is their fortune. For this reason Johnson announces the war must go on. There is no limit to the price we must pay for the survival of these middling managers.

I think we can rely on the management’s unblemished track record of failure to preserve us from their plans. They have great production values, but no product. 

The centre cannot hold what it has – and all it has, it has taken from us. If you think it is bad now, imagine a world in which they get what they want. Everything you treasure would be gone.

People are beginning to realise this, which is the basis of the politics of the future, and of the appeal to the broadest number of voters. It is not an appeal being made on television, but by the real-life consequences in the lives of the managed.

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Frank Wright
Frank Wright
Frank Wright is a writer and full time dad who lives in London with his wife and children. You can read more of his reality reviews at https://frankwright.substack.com/ and @frankwrighter /

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