I read on Twitter today that the Stockton-on-Tees Labour Council has organised an anti-Islamophobia Day, which they now fear is going to be disrupted by an apparently very vocal group called Gays Against Sharia, or GAS for short. No comment whatsoever on my part accompanies the abbreviation.
Not surprisingly, the Council has declared GAS to be Far Right. But the Council would be very odd if it didn’t have some women on board, and even odder if they weren’t feminists. It must be something of a trial to be a Hard Left Feminist about to have a punch-up in favour of Islamic mysognism with Far Right Gays whom, only the week before, were their comrades in arms during a Queer Pride march.
In closing on Twitter, the People’s Front for the Liberation of Stockton from Sanity (PEFLOSS) said that Stockton was #NoPlaceforHate. I’d have to agree with them on that, as living in Stockton would probably remove any of the will to live that is so vital to the furtherance of hate.
The British Left, by and large, opposes UK Tory austerity, but turns a blind eye to EC austerity that has collapsed the ClubMed economies. It screams for the security blanket of the EU, but is led by a man who until very recently had bitterly opposed the EU for (in my view) all the right reasons. That same man calls for more democracy, but insists that First Past the Post is the best form of it, while his followers are unable to grasp that the EU is based on the directives of unelected bureaucrats which are then rubber-stamped by less than diligent MEPS.
In turn, the British Left created a mountain out of the Windrush molehill, but is only rarely interested in the embezzlement of 3.65 million 1950s women’s State pensions. It organises demos against Donald Trump, but has nothing to say on the crushing of the Socialist Greek government….and didn’t turn up to make a fuss about Saudi visits to Ten Downing Street. It calls the thrice elected Viktor Orban of Hungary “a dictator” but is silent on the subject of Recep Erdogan’s consistent power grabs and edicts that imprison the Turkish Opposition.
Now most of us know that the term for such a consistent ability to hold two directly opposing ideas at the same time is Cognitive Dissonance. But the current Labour Party suffers from something that is more like cognitive disappearance: the trendy cause that gets the headlines is examined in extreme close up, but the Big Issues that are “old hat” are edited out.
This syndrome is occasionally found in those who, on recovering from a cerebral haemorrhage, can see an object (and recognise its function) but insist on calling it something else. They will, for example, see a carrot and call it a hat. They have no desire at all to use the carrot as headgear, nor indeed to eat their hats, it’s just that the synapses in the brain are out of sync in some way.
So the hypothesis I’ve come to is that UK Left adherents have probably been born with disjointed synapses. They see bearded north Africans roaming in gangs on the French coast, and think ‘unaccompanied children’. They see Islamic women dressed in Burkhas and think “feminists”. They hear comments by reporters during news coverage of a fundamentalist march, and think ‘Islamophobic’. They read the ranting Jihadist anti-Semitism of Islamist websites and think ‘knitting patterns’.
When I was young, we were less enlightened than today: in the way back of then, we used to call the condition “bonkers idiocy” or “a slate short on the roof” and “looney”. But in 2018, we recognise it as a tragic illness.
Now one can argue that Tory neoliberals see fat wads gushing upwards and think ‘trickle-down wealth’, or read an article about bombing Syrian airfields and think ‘chemical weapons’. But I would contend that, in such cases, they show no other signs of synaptic damage at all. No, I think those who cleave to neoliberal economics and neocon foreign policy are just greedy, mendacious and overly respectful….so long as the munnneeeee keeps coming in every month.
So there you have it: when the next General Election comes along, you can vote Bonkers or Bastards. There is no alternative. You know it makes sense.