Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Labour's Anti-Semitism

One of the first things I learned as an undergrad was that historians of the hard left tend to have a completely different approach to facts to almost anyone else practicing the discipline. 

For them, prior to recruitment, facts have to be interrogated for ideological soundness. Indeed facts are never viewed as primary material, more like the fuel for existing theoretical models and worldviews, which are always in charge of centrally-planning the argument and weeding out any interfering, 'free thinking' information. 

You can witness this approach in its peak form by reading any Marxist account of the French Revolution, where blame for the Terror - aka the bad bit that needs to be explained away or at least contained - is usually pinned on reactionary forces within France and beyond, especially somehow on us Brits. 

Hard-Leftists go through a phase of fact-resistant ‘ideological ‘enchantment’ where they lose track of the absurdity of some of the maneuvers they come up with to dispose of uncomfortable realities. Only later when ‘ideological disenchantment’ has started to take its toll, does honesty in historiography start to re-assert itself. 

Corbyn’s Labour party is now very much in the former phase when it comes to its anti-semitism problem. And so we hear of Blairite conspiracies and all kinds of ad hominem attacks on anyone who might dare to point the finger. 

In fact, just about anything except a conscientious, unfeigned confrontation with the facts.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

When getting somewhere can mean going nowhere...

Brexit is a very complicated matter, which is why many Britons find it altogether easier to adhere to an essentially uninformed position: either hard leave or hard remain. That is, after all, the choice that they were mistakenly offered in 2016. 

It seems that almost everyone in the general public outside the media or Parliament wants one or the other, but Parliament as a whole wants neither. So it has fallen to our compromised PM to try and hack together a compromised version of the process that will somehow acknowledge and address the complexities of Britain leaving the EU, while the country looks on, confused, many still hoping that this bothersome elite project will fail so that their own emotionally / ideologically-pure version of Brexit or No-Brexit will ultimately prevail. 

This was always more of an emotional matter than one in which facts could make any real headway, but Theresa May has been almost absurdly slow to communicate more widely the facts that informed her Chequers fudge. Consequently, the majority still seem to view her hard-worked set of compromises in the same way they view her compromised premiership - as doomed.