The media like to call it the rise of Populism or more dramatically the rise of the Far Right in connection with any opinion that differs from that of their editorial directive. This regarding any number of subjects including Trump, Brexit and of course the Tommy Robinson’s case at the Old Bailey. This form of classic sound-biting has proved very effective in the past in closing down any debate regarding these subjects, especially when used in association with words like racism, hate speech and white privilege and a number of other monosyllabic references that bypass the actual thinking process of adult conversation.
But things are changing, the Brexit vote proved if nothing else that the usually docile status quo are waking up and beginning to ask question of their government and in return, the government responded with project fear during the run up to the referendum and has all but ignored them since in the hope 17.4 million people will change their minds. Perhaps this disconnection with the ordinary people of this country is the problem and the campaign slogan in the last Conservative election campaign, that “the old will have to pay their way”does little to disprove that, a slogan that still resonates with the vast percentage of people, who are incidentally the group with the largest disposable income,who have seen historically low-interest on their savings and increased tax on pensions after paying income tax all their working lives. But there are many who believe that the PM deliberately alienated the very people who voted for Brexit in order to reduce her majority and even to lose the election rather than leave the EU, even MPs in her own party question not only her timing of the election but her insane campaign tactics.
The Remain protest in Whitehall a few weeks ago showed a British media cock-a-hoop at the 700,000 turn out, but again missed the point, the Brexit voters do not protest a democratic vote, they vote and 17.4 million of them voted to leave the EU. This is how democracy works, if you want democracy, but many who want to remain in the EU don’t and there is the problem, if you don’t want democracy what system do you want and that in itself begs another question, should the Brexit voters not get the Brexit they voted for what then. With the present trends around the world when a large percentage of voters are ignored and feel unrepresented in the fragile process of democracy they look to extremes as we have seen in the US with Trump and now Brazil with Jair Bolsonaro, in fact the greatest danger to neoliberalism is neoliberalism itself.
Eight weeks ago Tommy Robinson was rotting in a prison cell, today he is planning a reported one million dollar lecture tour of the US and Australia and should he get the much expected acquittal in this pantomime farce of a court case, it will leave the reputation of British justice system in tatters and leave a lot of unanswered question regarding the treatment he has received. The fact is if he was in any other ethnic group other than a white Englishman there would be a mob of civil rights organisations banging at the door of the minister of justice and again would he have been treated the same had he not been working class. but this only highlights another problem felt by many in this country, that the law is nothing more than an abstract that can be interpreted by political influence and used as a weapon against anyone seen as a threat to their program of enforced political correctness. We have witnessed the way this scenario pans out in other countries around the world and it never ends well. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a Far Right organisation in this country, discounting a few racists in pubs and football grounds, we are a moderate people, but when a vast amount of citizens feel disenfranchised in the voting process they turn to extremes and this country along with many other countries around the world is probably in the most dangerous period of political discontent since the period between the first and second world wars. History has shown us that a question that goes unanswered will eventually answers itself .
Words/pictures David Coomber TheFitz