BY SAM WHITE
Brexiteers have copped a lot of abuse over the past few months for allegedly being swayed by emotion and ignorant of the facts. I no longer care about this palpably incorrect nonsense. The Brexiteers I know are sometimes almost obsessively well-informed about the EU, in many cases far more so than the bovine whingers who plumped for Remain because the establishment told them to. (I know, I know, there are plenty of intelligent, democracy respecting Remainers too.)
So when it comes to the topics of radical Islam, and immigration, I have to note the glaring self-contradictions being belched out by slippery liberals. Slipperals.
When it suits their agenda, their instructions will suddenly be inverted. As in, stop looking at the facts and figures you heartless fascist, we must be tolerant, open our hearts, and #HopeNotHate.
As in, when it comes to immigration, we must make decisions based on compassion. Yes, some of the child refugees coming in to the UK earlier this year weren’t really children, but only someone with antifreeze for blood would care about that. Have you no heart, no emotions?
When it comes to self-contradiction and double standards, the so-called progressives are shameless. The truth is that they don’t really care whether you vote with your head or your heart, as long as you vote with them, and they’ll cynically reverse their opinions, without conscience (or perhaps without self-awareness) as and when it suits them.
Which brings us to the ways that some commentators are overlooking Islamist terror in favour of taking swipes at the right wing. I wrote about Owen Jones’ response to the Berlin and Ankara attacks previously, but in his new article he’s gone even further.
He writes about the terror attacks for just one paragraph, and spends much of the rest of the piece lashing out at political commentators he happens not to like. James Delingpole, Raheem Kassam and Arron Banks are, with the aid of some cherry picked tweets, designated histrionically to be:
“a political cesspit. They are almost farcically unpleasant comic book villains”
Got that? When Delingpole tweets (in the context of Cox’s attack on Farage) “When are we allowed to say that Brendan Cox is a total arse?” it’s double plus ungood. But when Jones writes “These individuals are a political cesspit”, it’s acceptable. I know, I don’t get it either.
We are then let in on some abuse that Jones has been given by online harassers. While this is vile and should be confronted, I’m absolutely certain that Jones isn’t alone in receiving such unwanted attention, and it’s most definitely not limited to liberal activists.
For the article’s grand finale, these terrifying strands are woven together, and we are presented with the ghastly truth–it’s nothing less than the rise of shit-your-pants, apocalyptic, full-blown evil:
“We face a great danger, and not even those who will suffer because of it have realised just how grave it is. Intolerance and hatred have been legitimised across the western world. Dissent is becoming treason. That is bad enough. But there are other violent extremists who are being both radicalised and legitimised across the west. If we don’t take a stand now, new dark chapters are soon to arrive.”
To which the only response can be… what? Does he genuinely not know what everyone else is concerned about right now, and why? Strangely, nobody thinks that famous Guardian columnists with Twitter followings over half a million are unable to speak their minds (“dissent is treason”!)
And the “violent extremists” and “dark chapters” which most people care about are those associated with radical Islamism. By the end of his column, Jones seems to have forgotten the awful tragedy which occurred in Germany, when twelve people lost their lives and many more were injured, in horrific circumstances, because of terrorism. It’s simply incredible that Jones chooses to overlook this.
In the Independent, Mark Steel generates an effort of pure distraction, which has literally just one line alluding to the terror attacks in Germany. Seriously, one line. After that briefest of brief mentions, he launches vitriol at some of the same right-of-centre voices Jones has in his wobbly sights, primarily Farage, and makes a big issue about not hurting the feelings of recent widower Brendan Cox.
“this week Brendan Cox suggested it was dangerous to blame politicians who helped immigrants for outrages such as the one in Berlin. A couple of years ago we’d have respected the opinion of a man whose immigrant-helping wife had recently been murdered. Not anymore.”
What does it mean to respect his opinions? Am I allowed to say that I think Steel is misinterpreting his words, and that he appeared to imply that Farage bore responsibility for a murder? Here’s his tweet:
Cox is involved in a divisive, crucial debate around issues of national security, in which all must be free to voice an opinion.
But again we have this weird shifting of priorities, where protecting selected people’s feelings is considered more important than actually discussing the profoundly serious issues at hand.
As always, when it suits the left, emotions are of primary importance, but when it comes to, let’s say, voting on EU membership, feelings are to be disregarded. Well, which is it? Why don’t they make up their minds?
Steel also talks about campaign group Hope Not Hate, which Brendan Cox supports, being “completely opposed to fascism”. Can we just get a handle on this? How many fascists do any readers here know? How many neo-Nazis? I’d hazard a guess at precisely ZERO. Because fascism just is not a pressing issue in the UK in 2016.
Islamist extremism, on the other hand, is fascistic, and is an issue, and is dangerous. If Hope Not Hate truly want to battle extremism, then why don’t they get in touch with the Quilliam Foundation and take an interest in Islamic reform? How can they possibly justify going after Ukip rather than stopping Muslim hate preachers? It’s incomprehensible, until you understand that they are driven primarily by far-leftism, rather than anti-fascism.
If, on the other hand, Mark Steel is implying that Nigel Farage, Ukip, or the party’s supporters are fascists, then he is obscenely irresponsible.
I’m not a Ukip supporter, but I can see quite clearly that many of those who find themselves aligning with Ukip are perfectly decent people who feel that no other party currently represents their concerns. But we now have the sight of the left wing slinging mud at people who (in some cases) might once have voted for the Labour party. You know—the voters gormless Corbyn and his unpleasant cheerleaders are currently trying to woo back. By calling them fascists.
If Jones, Steel and their allies are serious about taking on Ukip, Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, and others like them, then, well, take them on. That means you don’t launch ad hominem attacks on them or their supporters. You don’t slur them with insinuations of fascism. You don’t search for victimhood because they tweet more cavalierly than you.
Here, let’s make it easy, this is Farage’s original tweet, the one that kicked everything off:
Farage is saying, obviously, that unchecked immigration has increased the likelihood of terror attacks. It’s not an uncommon opinion.
So, Mark Steele, Owen Jones, and those who admire them, why don’t you address that? Do you agree wholeheartedly? If so, what should be done? Or do you disagree? Why is that? What are your suggestions with regard to preventing Islamist terror attacks? What, broadly, is the left’s position on these issues? Are you willing to shift with popular opinion, or would you prefer popular opinion to shift with you? Do you accept that your open borders worldview is out of touch with the current mood, and that you might, just conceivably, have called this one wrong?
We know you hate Nigel Farage, but that’s irrelevant. Just for once on this issue, try talking about policies, not personalities, and let’s not get distracted by emotion. There is much more at stake now.
Sam White is a writer for Country Squire Magazine and has written for The Spectator & Metropolis. Other Sam White articles can be found by using the search box below (just type in Sam White) and also by looking here.