I was sent a piece from Counterpunch today. It is a sign of our times that I do occasionally read this somewhat card-carrying magazine: these days I often go to all sorts of places I would’ve almost sub-consciously screened out ten years ago. But the truth is this: whether I share their generally Left-leaning politics or not, the opposite set of beleeeevers are churning out such infantile rubbish, the Left sometimes today seems almost right about stuff. This alone explains why Syriza has gone from 5.4% electoral support to 63.8% in three years flat.
We ought to have a word for the mendacity of the Right, and it ought to be ‘shapping. It’s the word I use, and so by definition it must be better than anyone else’s. For those of you not steeped in (or perhaps I should say stained by) British politics, Grant Shapps is the Chairman of the Conservative Party. Grant is a serial liar and online con-trickster who made his money pretending to be a US millionaire investor, and inventing utterly counterfeit ‘satisfied’ users of his crappy software which, he claimed, could earn his tumescent readers “oodles of cash by Christmas”. There’s no problem in me writing this because it is all on the record and a matter of publicly revealed fact: Shapps is a fraudster who seamlessly blends in with the other greedy liars around the world rationalising the importance of them becoming disgustingly rich with absolutely no socially beneficial side-effects whatsoever.
The evidence concerning Mr Shapps suggests that, when people point out the red blood all over his hands, he lies his head off, gets away with it….and then issues a press release saying how he has emerged “without a blemish on my character”. Ergo, his surname – in the tradition of today’s tortured corporate “English” – should be verbed into an OED entry along these lines:
‘To shapp (vt) lie persistently in the face of otherwise established facts in a manner plausible only to those who would buy any old cobblers’.
Anyway, shapping is what the Right does now. It requires little more than a bare face, a brass neck, and a bum fashioned from elephant-hide. You can spot shappers by noting how awkward their stance and movements are in public – which is hardly surprising if you’re the owner of a naked visage, a metal neck, and an arse insensitive to even the bite of a famished tiger. Look at shots of Osborne standing outside Number Eleven: he looks like the new boy pitching up for his first day at Big School, but far too shy to ask where the lavatories are.
Anyway, back at the point, the only way the minority of us able to cut the shapp can get a word in these days is via the internet. This is obvious, if only because Lord Leveson began an enquiry two years ago trying to plumb the foul depths of Newscorp criminality, and ended up concluding that every anti-Establishment blogger should be crucified. So it is that an interesting crop of hard-Left sites have set up shop online, and – in the interests of engaging others now and then – have decided to include writers not entirely dazzled by the obligatory Trot tendency to say three Hail Dialectical Materialisms before going to sleep at night.
The piece at Counterpunch was written by Binoy Kampmark, at one time or another a luminary inside Juilan Assange’s Wikileaks organisation. I must declare an interest here by observing that I think Mr Assange to be an altogether badly parked egomaniac so obviously delusionally self-absorbed, he is up there making the pace with Grant Shapps….the only difference being that, if nothing else, Assange has revealed the Dorian Gray of geopolitics pulsating horribly in the State Department’s attic.
Mr Kampmark is a libertarian, and he master-minded the Julian Assange Australian senatorial campaign of 2013 with such skill that Jules received 0.66% of the vote. Like many reinvented libertarians, Binoy can’t quite shake off his past. This is demonstrated by the insistence on his Twitter profile that he is an ‘Implacable correctionist’. I used to be in an anarchist commune myself, but I left because I was fed up of nobody obeying the rules.
The other thing giving away the Leninspart DNA is Kampmark’s tendency to use terminology that frames his enemies as people who will never change because they are dialectically doomed. In his his case, it’s “the usual”: ‘This is the usual Blairite nonsense made so popular by New Labour’, ‘The usual blue-collar flirtations are also a must’, ‘the usual, unimaginative push for surpluses through savaging public expenditure’, ‘The usual stock-in-trade mendacity about Britain’s troubled relationship with Europe’. One is forced to observe that, very probably, this is the usual tosh served up by libertarians and Marxists. Yanis Varoufakis describes himself as a libertarian Marxist, and I must confess to having, from time to time, suspicions that I might be a Jewish Nazi. But at the moment, it’s too early to tell.
Kampmark’s piece (by the way) was about the upcoming British ‘election’, and covered the ground well from the viewpoint of a guy who helped garner 66 votes in every 10,000 last time out in Australia. But on the whole, it reminded me very much (in its assertion of Party strategies) of hundreds of client brand plans I had to read while in advertising: the voice from inside the bubble always assumes that strategic positioning shifts by one degree will immediately be picked up and become the dominant topic of conversation down at the Tweet & Facebook pub once the marketing campaign breaks.
The one thing right on the money in the article is the use of ‘Fractured Britain’ in the headline. The Kingdom has a Queen, it is not united, and its model is broken. But then, we all knew that anyway.
Tomorrow is Good Friday. It is not Bad Bank, Black Friday, Red Letter Day, Blue Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Sheffield Wednesday or even Super Sunday. The weather forecast across Europe is pretty good. May your common sense go with you. Sleep tight.