The anti-refugee legislation proposed by the UK government is dangerous, and the suspension of Gary Lineker by the BBC for speaking out is ridiculous.
Sunset on an Empire: Left, Right, Capital, and the Fash
I was on holiday last week. I’d intended to make an episode before I left, but ran out of time. It’s all written and edited, I just need to record it. Rather than knock it out today, I’ve saved it as emergency content.
My holiday was great. I read a bunch of books, drank a lot of negroni and sat in the sun. The best bit was zero social media. The last time we went away the whole slow motion fall of Liz Truss as prime minister unfolded. This time, the new prime minister stood in front of a lectern with ‘Stop the Boats’ on it and announced a fascist piece of anti-refugee legislation.
That’s not hyperbole on my part unlike so many other deployments of that word. Removing human rights and peoples protections under modern day slavery laws is straight up fascism. The announcement was designed to appeal to about 100,000 demented old people who are drifting towards Nigel Farage’s new Reform Party – because they don’t think the current Conservative Party is racist enough.
I don’t talk about politics very often on 301. Not because I don’t care, but because I only have so much political energy. And believe it best spent elsewhere – on other activities. Plus I did the whole screaming and shouting about stuff on social media for many years. In fact, much to my chagrin, that behaviour made me a complicit partner to the creation of the socio-techno-media environment we now inhabit.
As I record this however, headlines across all the major newspapers in the UK aren’t about the refugee legislation at all. They aren’t about the UN’s Commissioner for refugees expressing her concern about the policies. Nor are they about the lives and stories of the Refugees themselves. Instead they are about the UK’s highest paid Television presenter and ex-footballer Gary Lineker. He criticised the government’s policy on Twitter.
The resultant outcry from bigots on social media, and people who run the right wing newspapers was so fierce that Linker was suspended by the BBC. For breaking impartiality rules he isn’t even subject to.
His crime in the eyes of the demented mob? Not being enough of a cunt about refugees.
The shitstorm has of course been seen through the lens of culture war.
But this hides more serious events. By suspending Liniker the BBC has exposed itself not as a Public Broadcast insitution but a State Broadcaster. The BBC has been Cucked. Its chairman organised a 800k personal loan for Boris Johnson whilst he was PM. And its director general once ran as a conservative politician and has donated 400k to the Tory Party.
Before I drift away into a larger point I want to say, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, that I support of human rights. The rights of trans people, the rights of refugees fleeing war, the rights of everyone. It’s not just refugees arriving to our shores after a perilous journey that this government wants to take rights away from – but everyone. Their intention to scrap the human rights act was in their last manifesto yet millions of people voted for it. So we are all all in this together.
After the 2019 general election I said on 301 that “we now have to act and feel in a world where the country is run by the racist hard right”. The reality I’ve been in since then may or may not have been the same one as yours.
The thing about this shitshow is that everything going on in the UK, and further afield, war in Europe, American sabre rattling etc is that we are living though the End of Empires.
For the UK, the Suez Crisis of 1956 though the transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was a long sunset on an Empire that never considered the prospect of night. The British cultural psyche has never processed it. We have neither been honest with ourselves nor the rest of the world. The Empire ended, the Queen’s dead, yet all the same people are still in charge.
Many members of Britan’s elite have spent every single day of their lives – from public school to parliament – amid the decaying ruins of a former Empire. As a result of haunting this empty idea, they are delusional.
This country has seen nearly 1000 years of the same ruling class. Most of whom now reduced to squabbling over the last of their ancestors silver. This is the main cause of the degenerate state of our society. Brexit was a symptom.
Another kind of elite are the post war boomer bourgeoisie who closed ranks in the future years ago. They bought houses in the 80’s and cheered on Austerity in the 2010s. They stood by as words lost all meaning. Ed miliband was branded a marxist. Jerrmy Corbyn – a man whose first act upon being elected as leader of the opposition was to attend a refugees welcome rally in Westminster – was recast as a racist. The last set of elite are the billionaires and the bankers.
Culture war is a bad name for a real phenomenon. Below the trothing, swivel eyed bleating of social media and the narrative fantasies of mainstream media a reconfiguration is occurring.
Left and right no longer has any meaning:
Pick one, pick two, there is no centre ground.
The script above is the original script I wrote for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in the episode in the edit.
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