Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Little Englanders, smaller minds

Yesterday, the backwoods Tory Party revealed its inner idiocy with precision-tooled stupidity.  To watch the real and aspiring inbred knights of the shires dribbling xenophobic ignorance (admittedly aided and abetted by a number of Labour troglodytes who would find the concept of evolution difficult to grasp, let alone spell) is a salutory reminder of the depths of detritus that need to be shifted before political engagement can be elevated out of the sewers.  No wonder Cameron was keen for the Liberals to be assimilated into his coalition - many of his own people are so barking that they should be left in hot cars on sunny days as a piece of Darwinist experimentation.

Given the state of the European economy, and the deficiencies of the policy response from both Osborne and the Euro-zone, an opportunity for racist ranting was purely cathartic.  The need at present is to get a grip on the fundamental problems caused by the collapse of the financial cargo cult rather than to redefine constitutional niceties - which is the very crime the Tory right believes is committed whenever the issue of dragging the British governmental system into the latter half of the 19th century is raised.  The Poujadist tendency also have the capability to believe in the munificence of big business while proclaiming that "small is comprehensible" with respect to "repatriating" powers to Westminster and skewering the limited devolution ushered in by the last Labour government.  The doublethink continues to astound.

Nobody in their right minds claims that the European Union is perfect, or even perfectible.  However it does provide a major market for British goods and services, it does provide some modicum of protection for the individual and the citizen and it has presided over a lengthy period of relative peace and stability - despite challenges that in earlier periods of history would almost certainly have spilled over into a general conflagration.  It is bureaucratic, slow and frustrating, but it is all that there is.  This is what the Tories fear - as it makes it clear that their capricious populism is restricted within a framework of rights that can be upheld - whereas the cretins wish to return to an era of noblesse oblige and forelock-tugging, where rights are denied and latitude is given only to those with the economic clout or the social and cultural conformity to allow them to be trusted by the state apparatus.  Human rights are fine as a stick to beat ideological opponents abroad (even to the extent of supporting their extermination in sewer pipes) but denied at home as in some way un-British, denying a national moral fibre - this may be folk memories of the dreadful warnings of the debilitating effects of masturbation.  The Tories themselves are probably the best exemplars of the latter.

What is fascinating is to watch Osborne calling for fiscal union within the Euro, while wanting to keep Britain on the sidelines.  The cant and hypocrisy of Europhobic Ministers is continuously astounding, and in some ways more offensive than the knuckle-dragging, ignorant blathering of the backbenches.  The first rule of the playground is that you cannot influence something that you're not part of, and Sarkozy telling Cameron to shut up and let the big boys sort it out was a much-deserved rebuke.  Whatever the deficiencies of Eurozone policy-making the UK has no right to interfere or criticise.

The Tories are still in thrall to Murdoch and the Atlanticist delusion - which is hardly news or suprising, but useful to keep in mind.  The scale of stupidity that they demonstrate (as well as the racist demagoguery beloved of the Mail and Telegraph) is dangerous as they could still bring the British economy down in a competitive protectionist spiral if the EU closed its borders.  They lie about the potential for a free-trade zone; this is a stupid, evil delusion peddled by people whose superficial plausibility is now increasingly modelled on the PR approach of the BNP that would throw millions out of work and destroy the remaining economic base of the country.  They are frightened that the social and political protections of the EU will protect people from their excesses, and water down the chimera of neo-con "reforms".

The issue tore apart the Tories in the 1990s,and hopefully will do again.  What we need now is for the mainstream of politics to coalesce around the need for realism and the positive case for Europe - and if this needs realignment then that may be no bad things.  By the time of the next election we will be forced into a choice between the Tory vision of a British supremacism and a more sober, realistic recognition that the British destiny is part of the wider world.  What was a myth in Victorian times is dangerous nonsense today, and it is vital that we keep this in mind while judging the performance of MPs and their cheer-leading guttersnipe inadequates.

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