BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
There are certain words and phrases that should stand out as obvious red flags. People who talk in a paranoid fashion about “they” all the time, or warn you to “not use Google and use DuckDuckGo instead”. Those who bring up the “fifth plane” whenever 9/11 is mentioned. Or those whose default position for government spending strategy is “the magic money tree” or “because Paul Krugman said so”. If you want to spend your life in a world of Gab paranoia getting your ears blasted by Alex Jones, or worshipping circus freaks like that other Jones, Owen, while reading The Skwawkbox, then you are free to do so – perhaps just don’t get so squealy when you get served up as fruitcake.
Classifying fringe eccentrics for peculiar, conspiratorial politics is one thing. But thoughtlessly and arrogantly dismissing any winning democratic group because they hold contrary opinions is another. Thus one red flag for me is the phrase “just don’t get it”. That condescending and disdainful phrase used by globalist and “progressive” (stolen meaning) drones when referring to Brexiteers or anti-globalists. Increasingly I hear this refrain – it is as jarring as ever, especially after sound referendum and election wins by these majorities.
I first heard it as jarring a few years ago from a Corbynista at a social function. She was talking about some lads in Torquay who bought Ebola suits to celebrate Halloween in fancy dress with their mates (as if people are not free to celebrate Halloween in private with their mates however the hell they want). She looked down her nose at them – they “just didn’t get it”.
I heard the phrase a couple of days ago on The Westminster Hour from presenter Carolyn Quinn while interviewing Remainer Caroline Spelman. Remoaners often use this annoying phrase to explain away why Brexiteers dared vote in the way they did (as do some Brexiteers when trying to explain they did not vote for mere economic reasons).
Bully Bercow used the phrase recently as a threat towards the Westminster protesters and how they’re “thugs who must be taught how to behave … if they *don’t* get it- they’ll have to be *made* to get it.”
A cultural reference springs to mind:
I’m not calling all people who use this snobby phrase drones of a “same ideological mindset” – nor Doctor Evils. I’m just saying that the phrase is a good red flag to inspire you to ask yourself whether the person is using the phrase, or in fact their ideology is speaking for them. Probe the user further – are they able to tell you something that someone of the same ideological mindset couldn’t have told you? Are they just an arrogant plonker? Or will you have to share a load of beer with them to get behind the brainwashing to find the real person behind the phrase (or are they so interpersonally exploitative, like Bercow, they are simply not worth wasting your breath on)?
Maybe a no deal Brexit is what Britain needs. A shake-up that doses out some humility. Maybe what many of today’s arrogant fools require is some economic pain, for soft government jobs to dry up – to earn some grit and character in the real world, where survival is earned. Let us have that happy dream where the licence fee gives way to the democracy of a free and discerning market and Gary Lineker joins Sputnik.
By using this phrase against you, a person has decided to believe that they are somehow superior to you, when in truth, we are all equal human beings with differences that are no more or less valuable – and that’s what I really hate about “just don’t get it”. It’s a religion of arrogance – of false, unmeritocratic and freedom-hating gods.
How you respond or react to these people when you encounter them can affect your peace of mind. One’s response to an arrogant person can build your constitution. In an age when freedom is threatened, “just don’t get it” is the phrase of gaolers not of freedom fighters. And I for one refuse to roll over for these fatheads. I refuse to ever “just get it”.
“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.”
Dom Wightman is the humble Editor of Country Squire Magazine.