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Virus crisis won’t save Lefties from terminal irrelevance

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WHEN the post-mortem on the coronavirus crisis is held, many questions will be asked, many reputations will be ruined and many heads will roll. 

Notwithstanding the grim fate that awaits many decision-makers, scientists, media commentators and suchlike, the fallout will not feature a reinvigorated liberal-Left.

As its intellectual bankruptcy becomes ever more apparent, many of its leading spokespeople are hoping that the Covid-19 pandemic will revitalise its message. 

By plying the same arguments under the cover of po-faced concern for people’s welfare, they seek to strike a chord with a public in fear of their lives and looking for someone to blame.

The rump of the Remain lobby has been particularly active, keen to use the crisis to resuscitate the anti-Brexit corpse. ‘How pointless the Brexit cause is’ in the grip of the pandemic, opines the Guardian’s Rafael Behr, a situation that can only be assuaged, his colleague Owen Jones claims, by a long extension of the transition period.

In the meantime, Lord Adonis insists it is Britain’s duty to contribute to the EU’s multi-billion Covid bailout fund. Once again, as during the ‘stop-Brexit’ hysteria, there is collusion between Britain’s Remain lobby and EU institutions.

According to one astute commentator, this is probably aimed at entangling Britain in a prolonged extension, leading to an ‘entrapment too complicated to escape’.

However, warnings of impending EU implosion amidst its abject failure to offer succour to its most afflicted members, and the rapidly diminishing support levels among hitherto staunch allies, render ludicrous any attempts to revisit the Brexit debate. 

As too are calls from globalist institutions for greater globalisation in the light of the recent introversion among nation-states and waves of border closures.

State collectivism has in general had a bad crisis, with centrally controlled, over-bureaucratised health services such as the NHS being overwhelmed on the most basic of requirements, such as protective clothing for staff and testing, in contrast to the market-oriented systems of Germany and South Korea.

Involved here is a broader ideological debate over control of post-crisis societies, with no shortage of wannabe dictators hankering after the kind of authoritarianism that is harboured by every Leftist radical. 

At stake is an opportunity radically to ‘re-imagine’ our societies rather than simply reopening them, as declared by New York State’s Democrat governor Andrew Cuomo, who took pride in announcing his intent to be more aggressive on enforcement of lockdown measures. 

More curious still is the fact that many of the virtue-signalling Leftists who profess concern for life above all else are among some of the most enthusiastic advocates of denying life to the most vulnerable at other times – illustrated, for instance, by Cuomo’s radical advocacy of both assisted suicide  and abortion, and by the insistence of Michigan Democrat governor and fellow Covid autocrat Gretchen Whitmer on ‘life sustaining’ access to abortion during the crisis, which sounded more like mockery than advice.

The longer the lockdown, the more political capital is sought. Just look at the ever more loopy Trump Derangement Syndrome, which accuses the President of Covid ‘sins’, to use Nancy Pelosi’s  term, while simultaneously pinning hopes on the crisis provoking economic oblivion as a pathway to remove him from office.

Concern here for the material and mental welfare of workers is subordinate to the ideological agenda. Or, to cite Lenin, ‘worse is better’. Where such tactics are deemed to have limited effect, as in the UK, other methods have been deployed to discredit conservative authorities, such as packing flagship documentaries and current affairs programmes with leftist activists hell-bent on discrediting the government’s response to the virus.

Particularly illustrative of a hidden agenda have been calls by Britain’s liberal-Left leaders to delay lockdown exits and by unions to sabotage them in the name of workers’ safety.

For luvvie celebrities who usually hog the limelight with their virtue-signalling mantras, Covid has been a blow. Desperate to stay relevant, some have offered idiotic exhibitions of themselves to entertain the dim-witted, others have ramped up their narcissistic barrack-room lawyer routines to foment as much fear and gloom as possible, except when interviewing former Labour prime ministers. Others still have allegedly caught the Covid infection, only to announce an all-clear shortly afterwards. 

At least the world has got a taste of what the new normal would be like under Greta Thunberg’s Green New Deal and hopefully it will not be so accommodating of Piers Morgan in the future. 

Having lost the confidence of the working classes with their sneering disapproval of their concerns, liberal-Leftists rely heavily on a constituency largely confined to cosmopolitan urban islands. These are not the paternalists of old, but rather despots who would not hesitate to compromise freedoms if they could, recently illustrated by the censorious response to Michael Gove’s inadvertent revelation of the content of his private library. Book-burning doubtless to follow. 

Covid-19 will not save the liberal-Left. Instead it will expose its irrelevance even more than its recent failures have done, and lead to further defeats of its agenda, initiated decades earlier in university lecture halls, sit-ins and anti-Vietnam protests that were supposed to usher in a red paradise on the ruins of capitalist turmoil. Ironically, notwithstanding the intellectual bankruptcy of Leftist dogma, it is this very tradition of defiance that is subverting the efforts of the modern-day comrades. Should California’s progressive Governor Gavin Newsom really be vexed by the non-compliance of so many residents with his lockdown given his long-standing disregard for the law, particularly over illegal immigration?

Emerging from the Covid crisis will be an attenuated liberal-Left. Though it wields disproportionate influence, it is bereft of any intellectual attributes, relying instead on weaponised PC rhetoric, a sure recipe to further deter right-thinking people from its repertoire of causes. 

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Dr Gregory Slysz
Dr Gregory Slysz
Dr Gregory Slysz writes and lectures on history and current affairs.

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