SINCE Alastair Campbell’s Frankensteinian creation, Tony Blair, it has been a given that real people in politics are a liability. As a result we have been presented with plausible, Teflon-coated holograms by spin doctors, such as the Maybot and the personality-bypassed Jeremy Hunt. The progressive liberal mind has created a cultural minefield so densely criss-crossed by intersectional laser beams that any real person is guaranteed to blunder into them and awaken the barking offence accusers.
Unfortunately we live in a time when decisive action is required of our leaders and in a moral sphere where moral dramas have to be played out even though the players are always flawed. The resolution of this conundrum has resulted in the drawing up of battle lines between those disposed to two very different responses to it. There are those such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson who kick over the traces and thumb their noses at the ensuing moral condemnation (for example by creating an alternative narrative on Twitter) and those who try to double down on control of the ‘optics’ by which they are so hag-ridden.
On March 12 this year Theresa May’s government lost a hugely significant battle in this war over the control of the Order Paper which allows governments to direct Parliamentary business, and the same battle may be fought by Boris Jonson’s administration in September. What is going on here is in effect a battle to see who is the real executive – the bullying, progressive liberal mindset as embodied in the hostile media ranged against Johnson, the Remain MPs and their willing stooge, Speaker Bercow, or, well, the Executive. This is a fight to the death which should be won by the real Executive, with the result that properly empowered leaders of the Third Estate put the overweening Fourth Estate back in their place.
I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19
In the same way that Christ gave such powers to St Peter, the progressive liberal press in the guise of the BBC and Channel 4 News have, to all intents and purposes, arrogated to themselves the right to be the executive in the sense that it is they who determine the limits of what is considered licit or illicit in the world of action. Like salesmen who know that repetition reinforces perception, they attempt, rather than simply commenting on it, to make the political weather by verbal fiat. If they repeat the phrases ‘crashing out’ or ‘going off a cliff edge’ enough times they know that the power of suggestion will cause everyone to believe that No Deal amounts to these things and that they will, consequently, spurn it. This is the considerable power that they wield.
Why do they prefer stasis, inaction and therefore Remaining to the action of Leaving and the active assumption of responsibility, autonomy and self-determination? I believe it is because they have discerned that descent into the world of action (in other words being human and subject to the human condition), in a world where appearance matters above everything, always risks exposure to criticism. As a result, instead of being brave enough to enter the arena and be known by their fruits, they sit on the safe hoard of an assumed moral capital and wait for their enemies to put a foot wrong in the minefield. This is a mean strategy and, ironically, a ‘conservative’ one in the worst sense. They dictate the cowardice of maintaining the status quo and dare the actors to step down into the Colosseum. In the case of the supine Mrs May, this self-appointed executive won. Michel Barnier reported that, in spite of her suggestion that she was playing hard-ball with him, she never once raised the possibility of No Deal.
And this is, essentially, the nature of the progressive liberals. They are censorious dogs in the manger who are too scared of condemnation to shift for themselves. Knowing the power of the moral in the human sphere, they prefer to condemn those who dare to shift and to hamstring them from action with the threat of moral vilification. Their fear of responsibility may explain why they are so keen to keep our autonomous powers farmed out to anonymous others in Europe.
Unfortunately for them, they have human nature against them. The timid, paralysed and self-righteous ethos they have imposed goes against nature and against our natural condition. We have to breathe, act and live. Few people embody the irrepressible and exuberant vitality of life more than Boris Johnson. We can only hope his natural animal spirits overwhelm the naysayers and deniers, and return us to the world of action by restoring proper de facto executive powers and reconnecting democratically expressed words and actions by delivering Brexit. The liberal press will fight to the death to sustain their power by spoken diktat as they know in their bones that the only real capital they have is that of intellectual and moral credibility. Everything is at stake.