While the left hungrily defends anything considered minority, they feel emboldened to attack what have hitherto been majority viewpoints in an increasingly fascistic manner. I don’t know what this new social religion is, nor do I really wish to sign up to it, but I fear it is building a congregation big enough to change the very fabric of our long-established culture.
By Alexandra Phillips and RJ Galliano l June 26, 2017
LONDON-The London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Famed for Kensington Palace, and leafy avenues of idyllic Edwardian mansions, the mind bogglingly ornate and grandiose National History Museum on Exhibition Lane and Leighton Hall, once home to decadent and debauched Pre-Raphaelite acolytes. The Borough is also called Le Petit France due its significant demographic of young French financiers enjoying picture perfect Pinterest brunches of smashed avocado on sourdough washed down with Mimosas. A constituency of fine dining, Ferraris and Fendi wearing fashionistas. A safe Conservative seat since time immemorial, protecting high profile cabinet ministers such as Rifkind and Portillo.
The average salary in Kensington remains £150,000 per annum, the country’s highest, a staggering 500% higher than the earnings of ‘Joe Bloggs’.
Yet, Kensington has found itself at the heart of a very Dickensian phenomenon of crudely caricaturing a class-ridden country. From being the most breath-taking Conservative loss in the recent, cringeworthy, snap election to the most devastating loss of life as the brutalist, utilitarian sixties built 24 storey social housing tower block providing cramped accommodation for hundreds of an unseen, unrecognised underclass – the overwhelming majority of whom came from minority communities – became a blazing inferno whose death toll is still not, and may never be, truly known, but is estimated to near three figures. A mindless, monstrous slaughter of a myriad genders, sexualities and nationalities from the rarely examined multicultural proletariat of 21st century global London.
The resultant outpouring of political vilification from the hard-left against the Tory-led government and the all-too-willing media to paint the story of brutal neglect in a Victorianesque class war, where wealthy land magnates unscrupulously exploit the vulnerability of their tenants, imposing squalid conditions in a race to the bottom, to protect the bottom line.
‘Blood on her hands!’ read placards poked into the air on Whitehall by the usual snaggle-toothed, bedraggled, bearded old hippies, flanked by foaming camo-clad choleric juveniles snarling that Theresa May deserves to be beheaded.
Little mention anywhere that Grenfell Tower had been constructed under a Labour Government, that current London Mayor Sadiq Khan had been Housing Minister in 2008 or the fact that the newly elected Labour MP Emma Coad sat on the board of the tenant management group that ignored repeated concerns from those living like sardines in the ill-fated concrete crematorium, that the cladding-fed frenzy of fire reduced hundreds of homes to ashes in but hours and is banned in America was chosen by former Labour leader and then Energy Minister Ed Miliband in the ardent commitment to the religion of Climate Change. Wash that down with King of the Class War, Jeremy Corbyn, calling on the forceful acquisition of privately owned vacant property in the area to make squats for those who otherwise could not afford even one day of rent, cheered on by Lady Emily Thornbury the champagne socialist and affordable housing champion with a personal property empire of four multi-million pound pads for let across the capital.
The utterly opportunistic opprobrium exploiting tragedy for political purposes is becoming all too common amongst the irrational left, a collective of self-indulgent all-too-comfortable protestors desperate to mine schadenfreude in the most abysmal of human horrors to create a class war deflecting away from their own lazily acquired affluence, inconveniently at polar opposites to the blue collar ignorami they purport to represent: Smug sofa and social media warriors, seeking to appease their crudely exhibited sense of moral rectitude disguising a guilty sense of privilege and purposelessness in the face of such inequality.
Return to two party politics
It is the same baseless yet heady hysteria of economic dichotomy framed via haves and have-nots, good versus evil, right versus left, that is multiplying exponentially online and has underpinned the UK’s dramatic return to two party politics. Yet, the demographics underpinning the right and left have dramatically shifted. Those supporting the right-wing are increasingly from poorer, working class, Brexit-backing communities, while Labour’s scalp from the constituency Kensington in the recent election exhibits the sweeping change to their base, of increasingly privileged Guardinistas who have the luxury of feigning benevolence. Backed by a staggering youth turnout of 72%, the constantly plugged moral superiority of those on the left enabled Corbyn’s crusaders to block what should have been an easy romp home for Theresa May on June 8th.
Perhaps what exhibits most sharply the faux-friendliness of left-wing politics was the recent resignation of the Leader of the lily-livered Liberal Democrats, who stepped down after the election, opining that as a committed Christian he could no longer reconcile his personal faith with the utterly inflexible binary ethics of the so-called liberal left who chastise anyone who fails to unflinchingly laud the new social religions of sexual tolerance and condemnation of Judeo-Christian conservatism. Where is there any liberty in the constant haranguing of just one world religion and its advocates, without any similar scrutiny of minority practises whose anti-democratic and at times brutal, medieval beliefs are in direct combat with long established Western social mores?
The lurch back to two party politics should come as no surprise.
In an increasingly digitised, algorithm driven two-dimensional meme swamp, polarity has dominated recent politics, whether we look at the recent re-run of the Presidency of Austria between a Green and a Ultra-Right candidate, or France where young, entryist teacher-seducing Macron vanquished the unapologetically nationalist (yet, I should point out here, also socialist) Marine Le Pen. The almost religious battle of right and wrong has come to dominate and obscure reality in politics.
Theresa May, once an amorphous, indefinable entity onto which we could all project our hopes and ideals, called an electoral battle in which she was exposed as an amorphous, indefinable entity onto which we needed to project any dreamt of hopes and ideals. Yet, while the Conservative campaign head-banged over and over and over again for the tedious slogan strong and stable like some sort of tepid mindfulness mantra, wrapping the Prime Minister in a cotton wool mess of beige spin, withdrawing her from leaders’ debates and furnishing the public’s curiosity with overly choreographed appearances of the ‘Maybot’ that left an underwhelming insincere residue for anyone who hoped she would embody the next Margaret Thatcher, those who wished to demonise May were left with a blank canvas upon which to project all social injustices like a hologram, personifying her as a gurning, cold elitist responsible for everything from the recent terror attacks and the tragic tower block inferno to falsely perceived gasping austerity. As much as I remain a resolute fan of Mrs May, the campaign was simply ghastly.
Yet, the Conservatives actually increased their vote share – from 37 to 49 per cent. The entire premise of holding a snap election hinged on the decimation of the opposition who had been languishing 20 points behind in the polls. However sizeable defeats in the form of two lost national elections and inconvenient and unwelcome public support for Brexit meant that the left were at last ready to consolidate. Tactical voting was promoted unashamedly online by celebrities, not about to offer their privately moored yacht in St Maws to Syrian refugees nor Penthouses in Lavender Hill for possession-less victims of the Grenfell disaster, yet able to convince droves of young people in particular to turn out to vote under the misconception that their crusade was against demonic, demagogic right-wingery responsible for every societal ill in the country. People who haven’t sought mortgages, or tried to find school places for their children, who don’t have to budget for the family food bill but instead are more concerned with attending exorbitantly priced hives of hipster hedonism at multitudinous summer festivals, nauseatingly attended by welly-wearing left-wing politicians proselytising their false dichotomies to an army of drugged up clueless child soldiers, are now lecturing their parents and grandparents on ethical bankruptcy and ignorance. I tuned in to live election night reportage on Sky News from the Isle of Wight festival to witness a bunch of drooling inarticulate, stoned droners opine with an irritating upwards inflexion about ‘inequality innit’ and realised that these are the doomed future architects of the country.
Three million new voters joined the rolls by election day, one million of which were under 25 years of age. By early May, applications to vote had begun to spike significantly. BBC reported, “In total, there were 622,000 applications in the 24 hours before the 2017 registration deadline at 23:59 BST Monday.”
As the polling landscape spiralled into a frenzy ahead of polling day, one in particular set the print media on fire. Lesser-known pollster Survation (used heavily by UKIP during their glory days as a more fleet of foot and less politically laden outfit than the established pollsters of ICM, YouGov and Ipsos Mori) released to the media the prediction that just one point would separate the Tories and Labour. Their calculations had been based upon a formula that anticipated 82% youth turn-out. Never, I thought. Youth turnout had always been compressed in the twenties and thirties and Survation must have, understandably, employed such a methodology to create a sensationalist headline to compete in the jostling marketplace of increasingly disputed projections. But they were almost right. They had seen the social change, torn up the tomes on elections past, and warned us all that a major shift is occurring in politics.
Snap election aftermath
Since the calamity of the bungled, and in hindsight utterly suicidal, snap election, where Conservatives lost 13 seats in Parliament and failed to hold the required 326 for a necessary majority that resulted in a hung Parliament representing 650 total constituencies. Those lost seats were picked up across the country by Labour and the Lib Dems.
Consequently, various heads have rolled. The two main advisors to the PM, who had kept an irritatingly protectionist force field around their master to the chagrin of many civil servants and ministers, were quickly driven out by their own. The usual vultures were visibly circling as the likelihood of a Conservative leadership race was championed by a greedy media, increasingly intoxicated on the fumes of the mad bubbling cauldron of politics. Once rather sober and bespectacled commentators found themselves in recent months, due to the rollercoaster of British politics, under clouds of anti-shine and hairspray beamed to audiences around the nation. The desire to maintain the levels of frisson fit for 24-hour TV news has started to feed the increasing bipolarity of Western politics.
With a bulls-eye right on the forehead, Theresa May had zero choice other than to approach the cousin party of the DUP in Northern Ireland to shore up support on big parliamentary issues via a supply and delivery agreement. The left were delighted. Easily chided as anti-abortion nutty creationists from the backwards, sectarian island across the Irish Sea, the DUP also adhere to maligned abhorrence printed within leather-bound bibles! Gasp! They may not be purporting FGM or beheading non-believers, but they will refuse to bake you a wedding cake with two grooms and rainbow icing! Heathens.
Never before have I seen such bullying bile, such vicious intolerance and swivel eyed vitriol against an established and legitimate political party elected by the majority popular by our fellow countrymen in Ulster. The fact that the DUP is being crucified for its well-established ties with the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and divergent views to drug-addled banshees at Glastonbury coughing up £250 to slide around in vomit and faecal matter while drinking themselves into paralysis on £12 pints and lining the pockets of multi-millionaire synthetic offense patriarchs like tax-dodging Bono, makes me want to cry.
The uncomfortable truth about democracy is that it is people power. It must accommodate every viewpoint and represent every last person, ensuring nobody feels disenfranchised from adding their voice to the chorus of mutual responsibility. But while the left hungrily defends anything considered minority, they feel emboldened to attack what have hitherto been majority viewpoints in an increasingly fascistic manner.
The Church of St Mary Abbots is famed for having the tallest spire in London. The original religious house was consecrated in 1262 by a Norman Knight after the conquest one millennium ago that laid the foundations for what was later to unite Vikings, Saxons, Angles, Celts and Normans to become Britain. It was the focus of national mourning after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and has hosted among its flock notable parishioners such as Sir Isaac Newton and former PM David Cameron. That proud spire is now dwarfed by the multi-storeys of the secular world with glittering glass towers of commerce and monasteries of mass housing, overshadowing the once cloud-piercing steeple of Kensington’s historic famous landmark. Today, they are both tragically eclipsed by the gutted and fire-brutalised iron skeleton of Grenfell Tower.
I don’t know what this new social religion is, nor do I really wish to sign up to it, but I fear it is building a congregation big enough to change the very fabric of our long-established culture.
Alexandra Phillips is former Head of Media for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), the political party in Britain that successfully campaigned to leave the EU and was aide to its charismatic leader Nigel Farage. She left UKIP after the referendum victory and joined the Conservative Party in order to ensure other big political ambitions are met in the U.K. She is a political advisor and communications consultant in London. Ms. Phillips is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis, of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research. RJ Galliano is a director at SFPPR and editor of SFPPR News & Analysis.