Friday, 2 November 2018

Europe's liberal establishments will perish unless they face ugly home truths

This morning I stumbled upon this speech on Brexit by AfD leader Alice Weidel in the German parliament. It's entirely reasoned with an intellectual foundation and most eurosceptics would not find much to disagree with. Remainers of the remain and reform ilk would also see value in it.

But then come the shrieks that AfD is "far right". And now it would seem various censorious groups have managed to derail an Oxford Union debate Weidel was due to speak at. My general feeling is that they're afraid of her because she has coherent arguments with an intellectual foundation and they are seriously worried that her arguments will carve through their piss-weak metropolitan liberalism like a hot knife through butter. That's why they don't want her to speak.

As it happens I am not especially familiar with AfD's wider manifesto, or whether it especially qualifies as far right. It certainly appears that it stand in support of some pretty unpleasant views. That's the impression I get from reading this BBC piece, but if it's anything like BBC Reality Check pieces, it has been quite deliberately robbed of context and nuance.

In some respects we in the UK are not able to fairly judge. Ugly circumstances produce ugly politics and we have the luxury of avoiding border debates to the same extent in that we have no land borders with the mainland. 

In answer to the question "Is AfD far right" the BBC is unequivocal. "Yes. Leading AfD figures made extremist statements before and during the 2017 election campaign. Since the vote, Alexander Gauland has talked of fighting an "invasion of foreigners" and their campaign openly focused on Islam and migration. AfD sees Islam as alien to German society. Some of their rhetoric has been tinged with Nazi overtones".

Nazi overtones there may be but then Germany must ask why AfD is attracting the support it does and no doubt letting in nearly a million Syrians probably has something to do with it - which "may" have contributed to an upsurge in violent crime. I doubt there is any "may" about it. There is certainly a debate to be had there. 

There is then the question as to whether Islam is alien to German society. It stands to reason that it is since German society is alien to pretty much everyone. Joking aside though, pictured above is a funeral in Bradford. More than 10,000 "mourners" turned out to pay their respects at the joint funeral of four friends killed when their BMW skidded out of control after overtaking two police cars. Their car crashed into a tree as they were being followed by a unmarked police car at 5.30am. Reports do not say why the police were in pursuit.

Whether they were joyriding miscreants or drug dealers is not apparent but it seems genuinely strange to me that it would bring out ten thousands people. This is clearly something to do with tribalism and that I know of it does not happen in British culture. This is Pakistani culture, it is alien, it isn't normal, it's not integration and I see nothing praiseworthy about the dead.

Here we have to say a little something about Pakistani culture given that following the news that Christian, Aisa Bibi has been released from prison for blasphemy offences, amidst mass protests, there are now moves to prevent her from leaving the country which some have described as a death sentence. Primitive. Disgusting.

Then earlier this year came the news that hundreds of dead newborn girls were found dumped in garbage piles in Pakistan amid a cultural preference for boys. A total of 345 babies have been found dead in refuse heaps in Karachi, Pakistan's most populous city, since the beginning of 2017 with 99 per cent of them found to be girls, according to local reports. In one horrifying case, a four-day-old was found dead with her throat slit. Another newborn was left on the steps of a mosque only to be stoned to death when a cleric assumed it was an 'illegitimate baby', a charity reported.

That is alien to British culture. I will not accept any equivocation on this. So here we have a barbaric savage alien culture living in Britain, not integrating, and perversely we are expected to believe by forelock-tugging liberals that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the ethnicity of the child sex abusers in Rotherham, Telford and Oxford and elsewhere. The epidemic is entirely coincidental.

With German politics there are plenty of traps for the unwary so I do not presume to judge but here in the UK, multi-ethnic London sneers at us "racists" in from the regions who think that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't be admitting men from Pakistan because it's a disgusting country with a perverse and backward culture - and worse still, it's regressing. Being also that they tend to be foaming antisemites, areas controlled politically by Pakistanis are increasingly less safe for Jew - and what they bring to local politics is spillover tribalism and corruption.  

Here there is a debate to be had as to whether that is Pakistani culture or Islam itself. That is one for the scholars but working class people whose daughters are being brutally raped and passed around scores of men are naturally less discerning. 

Germany, however, is spooked by its own shadow and its own denial of sensitive problems are haunted by its own past. Anything racially sensitive naturally invokes the Holocaust. the immediate point I would make is that Jews were scapegoated when in fact they were integral to German and wider European culture, whereas here we do have a problem with an alien culture in our midst, and one intimately related to terrorist atrocities, sex attacks and violent crime. 

In liberal fantasy land these issues are all downplayed and there is that ever crass trope that diversity enriches us - and that these poor souls are escaping persecution and we should invite more of them because they are our future doctors, nurses and lawyers etc. They've been able to hold the line with this shtick for a while now but it's wearing thin. Denial is a poor substitute for debate.

So this then all begs the question as to whether the AfD has a point? I guess we are not going to find out from the cowardly Oxford Union. They don't want contentious debate of any kind especially when there's a good chance their intellectually bankrupt PC addled children might actually lose. But then of course these ideas do manage to find an audience eventually among a public who have grown weary of politicians and academia refusing to engage in the issues, very often willing accomplices to the conspiracy of silence.

Politicians then wonder why they are facing populist backlashes unable to counter what they now term as "fake news". They are not wrong that there's a lot of nasty propaganda out there but it's actually nothing new. The reason it has legs is because repeatedly the state broadcaster and tightly regulated local and national media has shown it cannot be trusted. As much as what they produce omits key details, the metropolitan skewed values of their reporters often clouds the story. Channel 4 seeks to remedy this by moving its HQ to Leeds but I have a feeling a media bubble is immune to external inputs wherever it is located.

We are told that liberalism is collapsing in Europe. I am not sure that it is. The old parties certainly are because they failed to observe the basic rule of politics that if they fail to uphold and defend the values of the majority then they will look to fascists in the hope that they will. Here the old establishment has to confront some of its own internal contradictions. If you want a society where women, Jews and gays are free to walk unharassed in the streets and without fear after dark then you can't be importing savages from the back hills of Kashmir. If police won't act swiftly on CSE then you will see vigilantes who will.

By now there are enough signals for the politicians to have learned something but they haven't because they never do. I expect that Germany's politics is even more hamstrung than our own, but as the shadow of the holocaust fades new generations of Germans feel less inclined to be held hostage to it. Like the UK its era of political competence and relative stability will come to an end. If not immediately after Merkel then after Germany has its own Gordon Brown. That's when things get interesting. 

One of the more ridiculous facets of the Brexit debate is liberals telling me that they feel more European and have a European identity. What we see there is pure virtue signalling narcissism from staggeringly inward looking people.They appear not to have noticed Bulgaria's mafiocracy, Poland's socially conservative retrenchment and the authoritarian drift in Hungary. And let's be honest here, this is about immigration. Those who have opened their borders are regretting it and those who haven't are wondering why they should allow the EU to bully them into it. 

Brexit is only partially about immigration but there is no way freedom of movement can be ignored. Brtions are not nearly as hostile to freedom of movement as we have been told (mostly by remainers) but the EU restated the the single market comes with the four freedoms. Though there are ways around this, the essential ultimatum on the table is trade and freedom of movement or face massive restrictions on trade. You have have trade or democracy but not both. Their tone deafness is absolute.

This is a point made by Alice Weidel of the AfD, and she warns that the authoritarian strand of the EU seeking to impose its tin-eared ideology on Europe, and in so doing destroying commercial and social links with Britain, the EU is very much signing its own death warrant. Instead of meeting the arguments head on, the spin machine goes into overdrive to delegitimise her and in so doing close down the best early warning signal they could ever have.

Britain doesn't have an AfD but it still has Tommy Robinson and the rotting corpse of Ukip. Brexit, to a point, appears to have lanced the boil for a while. I do not, though, think we have seen the last of the immigration issue not have we seen the back of anti-Muslim sentiment. There are plenty of ways that it could get ugly and I fully expect that it will. Locking up Tommy Robinson isn't going to help if there is another CSE scandal of recent magnitude.

There is only really one way to avert a larger populist backlash and that is for the Establishments of Europe to unequivocally admit to those uncomfortable truths they would rather bury and take robust and convincing countermeasures. Every loophole must be closed and we can no longer allow human rights law to serve as a cynical back door around our immigration policy or we will see the end of the ECHR. More crucially, the UK especially must stand up to the shrill politically correct activist minority - and not just on immigration, lest there be a full blown culture war. 

When it comes to idiotic PC fads, whatever lunacy infects the USA inevitably arrives at our shores and then travels through to Brussels. Trans-activism appears to be the latest in which Julian Vigo remarks that "There is perhaps no other area of human behaviour where ideologically motivated actors have been so successful in creating what are in effect no-go zones for academics, and even for facts themselves". He could just as easily be speaking about Islam and immigration.

The issue is not that there are demented trans-activists. They are entitled to live in whatever reality they create for themselves. What should concern us is the weakness and cowardice of our institutions who readily cave into activists of any passing fad - and the unwillingness of our most prestigious academic centres of excellence refusing to defend enlightenment values. Central to the collapse of Western liberalism is an outbreak of moral midgetry.

Modern progressive views proliferate not because they are right but because they are socially convenient. They are well suited to the politically lazy and those who never want to debate anything contentious. Glib, empty, hollow sentiment is generally accepted in media circles as being wholesome and socially aware. It is the politics of the apolitical. 

It is perhaps inevitable that they would prevail in situations where politics creates unwelcome disagreement, but when politics adopts the politics of the apolitical, erasing any disagreement, there is only dangerous groupthink that ignores the problems it exists to resolve. From there on voting makes no difference, nothing gets resolved and politics gradually becomes alien to those it notionally represents. We cannot be surprised, therefore, if those who disagree seek out the disagreeable. 

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