Tobias Langdon — Occidental Observer July 2, 2016
One of the most memorable stories in Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1791) is about Johnson “passing by a fishmonger who was skinning an eel alive.” Johnson heard the fishmonger “curse it, because it would not lie still.” Boswell said the story was a “striking instance of human insensibility and inconsideration.” Those traits are still flourishing. If you think of the eel as ordinary White Britons and the fishmonger as Britain’s liberal elite, the elite are horrified and indignant that the lower orders won’t “lie still” as their country is invaded, their incomes slashed and their futures destroyed. The victory for Brexit in the EU referendum has been greeted by a howl of liberal rage. The lower orders did not vote as their ethical and intellectual superiors wanted them to.
“What nobler vision?”
Worse still, the lower orders refused to be swayed by the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox, despite being clearly told that she was one of the saintliest women ever to draw breath. A Guardian editorial described the murder as both an “exceptionally heinous villainy” and, “in a very real sense, an attack on democracy.” The editorial went on:
Jo Cox, however, was not just any MP doing her duty. She was also an MP who was driven by an ideal. The former charity worker explained what that ideal was as eloquently as anyone could in her maiden speech last year. “Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration,” she insisted, “be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
What nobler vision can there be than that of a society where people can be comfortable in their difference? And what more fundamental tenet of decency is there than to put first and to cherish all that makes us human, as opposed to what divides one group from another? These are ideals that are often maligned when they are described as multiculturalism, but they are precious nonetheless. They are the ideals which led Ms Cox to campaign tirelessly for the brutalised and displaced people of Syria, and — the most painful thought — ideals for which she may now have died. (The Guardian view on Jo Cox: an attack on humanity, idealism and democracy, The Guardian, 16th June 2016)
Pass a sickbag, please. Elsewhere, Jo Cox’s family said that “she was a human being and she was perfect.” She was described by her local vicar as “a 21st-century Good Samaritan” and as “someone with whom Jesus would have been so pleased.” There was a schmaltzy memorial service at Parliament led by Rose Hudson Wilson, the Black female chaplain of the House of Commons. The Labour MP Emily Thornberry, notorious for her contempt for White working-class men, recited from “a poem by Kurdish writer Zeki Majid called Mother’s Day.”
And liberals were in no doubt what lay behind the murder. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “She was taken from us in an act of hatred. … It is the well of hatred that killed her.” The new London mayor Sadiq Khan condemned “the climate of hatred, of poison, of negativity, of cynicism” and the Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, son of the former Labour leader Neil “Windbag” Kinnock, demanded an end to “the hatred that killed Jo, the poison that has seeped into our politics in recent years, with increasing venom in the past weeks and months.”
The humanitarian-industrial complex
This festival of ostentatious public grief was strongly reminiscent of the hysteria that followed the death of Princess Diana. But there was a very important difference. In 1997 no-one pretended that Diana had been a saint. In 2016 the liberal elite were united in proclaiming the sanctity of Jo Cox. She had a noble vision of a Rainbow Britain. She was an eloquent champion of diversity, a tireless campaigner for “the brutalised and displaced people of Syria,” as the Guardian phrased it. And she used an informal version of her first name, just like Tony Blair. What greater proof of her sincerity and humility could there be?
I’m afraid I wasn’t convinced. To me, the grief festival proved nothing about Jo Cox, but did prove two things about the liberal elite: first, their remarkably exalted opinion of themselves; second, their utter intellectual bankruptcy. By heaping fulsome praise on Jo Cox for her idealism and compassion, they were celebrating themselves as much as her. After all, it was the liberal elite that had recognized her worthiness and put her in Parliament. After a degree in Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge, she spent years toiling in the humanitarian-industrial complex, building the contacts she needed to become an MP. She worked for Oxfam, campaigning for the Third World, and acted as an adviser to Glenys Kinnock, a European Member of Parliament whose husband Neil had been the verbose and ineffectual Labour leader during Margaret Thatcher’s time in Downing Street.
After she had thoroughly proved her goodthinkfulness, she was put on the all-female shortlist for a safe Labour seat in Yorkshire, won the nomination to stand at the 2015 General Election, and entered Parliament to sing the praises of diversity and campaign for lots more Muslims to enter Britain. But few people would have known her name when news reports of her murder were first broadcast. According to “Page Information” at Wikipedia, there were only twenty-eight visits to her biography there on 14th June 2016. She was murdered two days later and visits shot up to more than half-a-million. That demonstrates the power of the media — and of a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign.
But the propaganda was intellectually bankrupt. As I pointed out in “Hearts of Darkness,” modern liberals pride themselves on their sophistication and discernment. In fact, their grasp of psychology and epistemology is crude in the extreme. While proclaiming their expertise in diagnosing the hatred, poison and negativity of their opponents, they demand that the purity of their own motives go unquestioned. Unlike the lower orders and the haters, they have attained perfect self-knowledge and can be sure that their noble motives have not a tincture of narcissism, insincerity or self-interest.
But even if their motives were truly selfless — and Tony Blair’s enormous wealth proves otherwise — their attitudes would still be intellectually bankrupt. It’s a truism of moral philosophy that the purity of a motive is no guarantee of the correctness of an action. It’s ludicrous to think that “caring” and feeling “compassion” gives one some special insight into how to heal the world’s suffering. Even if it did, do our liberal elite believe themselves exempt from the law of unintended consequences? Well, I think they don’t care about unintended consequences, so long as they can signal their virtue and feed their narcissism. Among her other noble work for the Third World, Jo Cox campaigned to “prevent deaths in pregnancy and childbirth.” In other words, she helped to increase the already soaring populations of very poor and badly governed nations in Africa.
“Her heart was so full of love…”
Is that a good thing? A pious liberal would gasp in horror to hear such a question. Only a hater could ask it. Jo Cox cared about “deaths in pregnancy and childbirth.” She was passionate about preventing them. Her motives were pure, her emotions politically correct, her behaviour approved by other liberals — what more does a humanitarian need?
As a hater, I would reply: A lot more. One should know something about the world before setting out to improve it. But do you think Jo Cox knew anything about psychometrics, human genetics or concepts like Smart Fraction Theory? She had a degree in Social and Political Sciences, but she didn’t enjoy her time at Cambridge. She said it was because she didn’t like the atmosphere of privilege there. I suspect she was like Michelle Obama and out of her intellectual depth, despite the softness and fatuity of her subject.
Either way, she certainly absorbed the Central Dogma of Liberalism: “There is only one race — the Human Race.” That’s why she didn’t question the value of helping populations with low average IQs to grow even faster. She also wanted to open Britain’s borders to Syrian refugees. Again, who but a hater could question the wisdom of allowing more inbred and clannish Muslims to enter Britain? As Stephen Kinnock wrote in the Guardian:
I can only imagine the outrage she would have felt if she had seen the poster that Nigel Farage unveiled just hours before her death, demonising hundreds of desperate refugees, including hungry, terrified children, fleeing from the terror of Islamic State, under the slogan “Breaking Point”. A poster Brendan, her husband, described as “vile” just hours before Jo’s assassination.
She had many other causes too, recently working with Sarah Brown and others right across the political spectrum on what she called the “epidemic of loneliness” in our society. She deplored the toxic environment that was enveloping our politics. The spreading of fear and the pandering to prejudice. Her heart was so full of love that the politics of hate was alien to her. (Those saying we must ‘take our country back’ need to realise the consequences, The Guardian, 20th June 2016)