Covid-19,  The Left,  Woke

You cannot love your neighbour if you hate your country

After a petition went up to call for a statue of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore,  the centenarian veteran whose heroic last efforts united the nation, I confess I quipped cynically to a friend that while I was enthusiastic and supportive of the idea of a statue, I had a chilling fear. I made the following prediction:

“London, July, 2071: Students from Hugo Chavez University in Oxford led protestors as they tore down a statue of a Captain Sir Tom Moore chanting “No More Moore Memorials to War Mongers!” The Captain is thought to have been an officer in one of Britain’s ‘World Wars’ in the 20th Century. It is well-known that these officers were the ‘donkey’s who sent working-class ‘lions’ to their deaths. Fifty years ago a movement – also led by students – tore down statues of the notorious war leader, Winston Churchill, who was responsible for genocide.”

I am a pessimist by nature and am under no illusion that the ‘woke’ insanity that started with statues of alleged evil-doers but soon moved on to Abraham Lincoln, Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill will end in 2021 No, just as new forms of music had to be contrived to shock parents who grew up with The Sex Pistols – as MAD Magazine once observed – so I suspect the youth in half-a-century will need new ideological windmills to tilt at. And, as the grasp of history diminishes and the primacy of ‘narrative’ over facts grows ever stronger, not much would surprise me were I able to travel into the future.

Nevertheless, I was shocked and surprised that it took not decades, but only hours before it started shortly after media speculation that it might actually happen.  The ‘woke’ started tearing the man down before a statue even went up.

Exhibit A:

It is a disgraceful tweet and I am glad to see this odious vicar has taken his Twitter account down.

Quite how this turbulent priest thought his intervention might further the cause of racial harmony only he can explain, because to the rational observer, all it could do is sow division and resentment. One might even conclude that this was the aim. If there is anything the woke Left hate more than anything it is symbols of unity.

Take for example, their reaction to Keir Starmer’s sensible directive to celebrate the Union Flag.

Sir Keir has been including it in his photographic backdrops lately, but this has elicited a sneering response from the Corbynite loyalists… this sort of thing:

In an article in today’s edition of The Times, David Aaronovich argues that: “British patriotism isn’t the preserve of Nigel Farage or the Tory right — it’s embraced by all ages, classes and ethnicities.” This is absolutely correct, but he goes on to say that:

When my phone vibrated earlier with a message that the prime minister had “announced a national clap”, several unworthy thoughts raced through my brain. I am prepared to clap nationally but not at the suggestion of Mr Johnson. Frankly that takes someone like the Queen or Marcus Rashford.

This is really quite childish and unworthy of a senior journalist. Indeed, it is only slightly less unhinged than the tweet by Rev Robinson-Brown. It is symptomatic of the polarisation that is derailing society. It is ill-judged. But he has even worse judgment when it comes to diagnosing the cause of our polarised society.

He believes that the Left avoids patriotic symbols because they think these have been “contaminated” by the Right. He does not conclude that it might really just mean they actually despise their own country. A few minutes surfing far-left “news” sites and social media pages will convince you that this is the far more likely cause. Liberals are always trying to make excuses for the far-Left. In the same way they make excuses for criminals. “They’re not really bad people, there’s a psychological explanation for their behaviour. It isn’t their fault, it’s society’s…”.

But we have to accept that there are people who simply hate the West in general, America and the United Kingdom in particular, and indeed liberal democracy itself. Liberals – and I count myself as one – do ourselves no favours by enabling the far-Left and making excuses for them. As I argued recently, it is hard to condemn the recent lunacy that unfolded on Capitol Hill if rioters and wannabe revolutionaries have been excused and even cheered on by good people.

The racist far-Right insist that ethnic minorities are “not really British”. But then the far-Left object to Labour embracing symbols of Britishness as “alienating BAME voters”. If you imagine BAME voters are turned off by the national symbols of the United Kingdom, isn’t that just a ‘woke’ formulation of the same right-wing trope that they are “not really British”?

Keir Starmer may be on to a winning formula if he sticks to what unites us as a country rather than what many see as the petty opportunism and contrarianism he has followed so far. Anyone can be seen to be ‘robustly critical’ of a government, but what wins elections is better ideas. What makes a great statesman (or woman) is a clear vision for the society that you hope to lead.

Personally, I look forward to a time when I can feel like voting for Labour again doesn’t feel like I’m voting against my country.