Beware the Bland Candidate


How interesting it was this week to see Keir Starmer stating that his approach is ‘pragmatic rather than ideological’.

Those who lack charisma often try to portray themselves as a safe pair of hands. Asserting that you are non ideological is a way of doing this. Yes, I may be boring and you may find yourself falling asleep as I talk to you, but I won’t do anything reckless or foolish. I’m safe.

Perhaps part of the reason that the world went mad on Covid is psychological. All of our politicians now emphasise safety. All of them aspire to be considered quietly efficient, driven by small, reasonable ambitions towards small, reasonable conclusions. They want to be considered managerial. What gets them ahead within their parties is an air of respectable professionalism (Boris Johnson was a great exception to this). So they would do an awful lot of stupid things simply by being told these were the safest things.

Charisma is ‘demagoguery’ and brings with it the madness of Hitler and Lenin. Bland conformity is the mark of the serious person. You get ahead by a passive acceptance of everything you are told. You don’t want to stand out. You want to be the best of the blandest.

Everything a senior politician does is about managed risk regarding their image. They are focus grouped to death, and their advisers have devised a cliché-ridden, jargonised language to manage risk. To be the least offensive candidate. The perfect political reply has no content. It merely conveys a vague air that this person has been briefed.

In every sense of course it is a lie. Firstly, because almost none of them are actually competent. Politics is the only profession apart from dog grooming where anyone can do it without qualification or knowledge of any kind. It is the profession where every single successful person in it is an amateur. There’s no dividing line between student politics and real politics. They started this process as students, and in most cases the real world never intervened. They went straight from university to regional and national politics. Even actors are more serious about learning the craft. Few go straight from student productions into prime time TV slots.

Obama for instance was mainly a ‘community organiser’ before just three years as a Senator. Then he was President. He had zero experience of actual politics (governing in a competent manner to the betterment of his fellow citizens). All his political experience was in the craft of networking for personal advancement. That’s what they mean by politics. That’s all they are actually trained in.

All the serious politics is ideological. Without an ideology, your politics is merely self advancement. There’s no reason for you in particular to have the job if the job is just managing decline without scaring anyone. If it’s just creeping your way forward to finally gasp your way over the line to the Premiership, like a creature dragging its way from primordial ooze to a promising shoreline, having survived because nobody noticed you enough to kill you before you won, that story is one of purposeless survival rather than meaningful achievement.

Every British Prime Minister since Thatcher has been merely managerial and professedly non-ideological. They have all claimed to be ‘safe’. And they have been a disastrous series of incompetent governors under whom the wackiest ideologies have become firmly established as the political consensus.

The greatest irony of all then is this: those who present themselves as safe are dangerous, those who say they are non-ideological are intensely ideological.

Starmer is so ideological he cannot tell you what a woman is. Starmer was so ideological he told police not to bother about poor white children being raped. You can’t get any MORE ideological than facilitating child abuse because you don’t want to harm ‘community relations’ and the ideology you support on multiculturalism. It’s just that their ideology is ridiculous and evil and they have to disguise it as much as they can.

When Hannah Arendt talked about the banality of evil, or when Trotsky called Stalin ‘the grey man in the middle’ both were referring to people who used blandness and managerial efficiency as a cover for raging sociopathic insanity. I don’t mean that Starmer would be a Stalin. I mean that our entire ruling class present themselves as the safe and sensible option as opposed to mad alternatives when they themselves are suffused with a whole series of insane ideological positions.

Our careful experts and respectable moderates have dropped more bombs in the last 30 years than fell during World War Two. Our personally hyper-cautious conformists in both politics and the general public unleashed the devastating twin assaults of the greatest transfer of wealth in history and the most reckless mass medical experiment ever witnessed. Fear of causing racial offence allowed mass child rape. Respectable opinion celebrated a lifelong violent criminal drug addicted thug as a sacred martyr. Bland corporate messaging now includes wild conspiratorial race obsession. Mainstream entertainment is an unending howl of racial hatred. Nobody ‘safe’ is prepared to admit that women are born with vaginas. There’s nothing moderate or safe about any of that.

The mainstream is extreme. There’s nothing you should fear more than a bland candidate.

Daniel Jupp is the author of A Gift for Treason: The Cultural Marxist Assault on Western Civilisation, which was published in 2019. He has had previous articles published by Spiked, The Spectator and Politicalite, and is a married father of two from Essex.