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Tired old nags and the hacks of correctness.

YOU CAN ALWAYS rely on a Marxist to get things wrong. When it comes to those odd creatures who live outside the Westminster-media circles, otherwise known as the people, Marxists are always doubleplus wrong.

Take Paul Mason, for instance, Economics Editor on Channel 4’s News programme. Mr Mason writes about how the public’s increasing disillusion with conventional politics is leading to an implosion of the system. This in itself doesn’t require any brilliance of insight – even Russell Brand knows it. One area of disquiet relates to the economy, the other to more visceral issues. This, says Mason, “often revolves around the linked issues of immigration, EU membership and Islam.” He’s quite correct, but then goes into reverse, “I don’t think it is ultimately about these issues. The deeper issue is identified in special adviser speak as: ‘People who feel they’ve lost out from globalisation.’”

Mr Mason is being far too clever here and misses the point. Let me present it to him the way it really is, in words he’ll understand: “Though the conversation often gets reduced to the issue of globalisation, I don’t think it is ultimately about this. The deeper issues are identified in plain language as immigration, EU membership and Islam.”

As a media insider, it is difficult for Paul Mason to accept that the people understand what’s going on and can express themselves clearly. They don’t need “special adviser speak” because they know that’s a euphemism for bull. They don’t need some media smart alec, even if he is from up north, explaining to them they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ve had enough of that and it’s one of the reasons they’re turning away from the established parties and supporting Ukip. And Mr Mason’s article is nothing if not another establishment tilt at Ukip.

The truth is that these issues – immigration, the EU and Islam – are topics the political class wish to avoid confronting at all costs. If you’re of a Marxist bent, as Paul Mason is, you’ll want to shift the argument to economics so you can blame capitalism for everything. You don’t even have to be a soft socialist on this one, either, because even Conservatives prefer to move the debate to economics to avoid confronting what it is people really dislike about mass immigration and the growing Islamic presence, ie, the effect it has on their culture and sense of home. One of the aims of the mass immigration policy of the last Labour government was to change the culture of Britain. They’ve partly succeeded, but the results may blow up in their faces. As long as politicians and the media can carry on waffling about the economic benefits without acknowledging that many people now feel like strangers in their own country, the bigger the gap will grow between them and the electorate. Mason typically misreads the situation because his political credo compels him to. He may think he’s part of the solution but in truth he’s part of the problem.

He’s not alone in misjudging the minds of the populace, of course. Jonathan Jones does the same when writing about  “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Blood” , the commemorative artwork by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, which is attracting thousands of visitors at the Tower of London. It turns out that the ordinary folk of Britain are misguided not just about the EU and Islam. They’re wrong about art as well, especially when it relates to the Great War (which they’re also wrong about – obviously). The piece has provoked Jones into penning some boilerplate leftism. The artwork is aestheticised, prettified, toothless; it’s a lie, it’s nobility is fake and the public have been taken for suckers. It’s just a big nationalistic con. But worst of all is its “inward-looking mood that lets Ukip thrive”. Goodness, how Ukip strike fear into the heart of the establishment!

There’s nothing about these tired old nags of anti-patriotism and national self-loathing dragged from the stables of predictable correctness that we haven’t seen before but Mr Jones may be somewhat surprised at the less than complimentary reactions he’s been getting.

Just like Mason, Jones from his citadel of progressive high-mindedness looks down with scorn on the brainwashed peasants below, desperately in need of re-education. He knows better than they do what’s going on. But do they listen? What a pity they persist in taking no notice and thinking for themselves.

Michael Blackburn.


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