Paul Embery writes:
As a socialist and trade unionist, I despair of the modern Left and its propensity to do everything in its power to alienate the very people for whom it purports to speak. So wrong is its stance on so many social and moral questions, that you wonder whether it even wants the votes of traditional left-wing voters anymore. Perhaps it would be happier as a self-indulgent protest lobby, its ranks of middle-class, city-dwelling, bohemian types smoking their weed and listening to Bob Dylan tracks.
There is a definite divide between the old working class and urban liberals.
These people preach peace and harmony, while reciting the mantra of ‘Live and let live’ and speaking of the need for ‘tolerance’, ‘diversity’ and ‘respect’ – all the usual buzzwords. Except that in practice they do the precise opposite of these things, openly frowning upon the lifestyle choices of working-class folk, while displaying a sneering intolerance towards their opinions and demanding rigid conformity of political thought.
Hence why Trump won some blue collar states.
For example, try discussing with these people – the self-appointed guardians of enlightened society – the idea that immigration levels are too high and should be reduced. You’re a xenophobe. Try saying that kids are better served being raised by two parents, one of each sex. You’re a homophobic bigot. Don’t believe someone with the anatomy of a man can suddenly become a woman just because he says he is? Transphobe.
Transphobia is my favourite.
Believe multiculturalism, the active promotion of separation and difference, has been a monumental failure? Racist. (A bizarre one this, since one can of course be a committed multiracialist while disavowing multiculturalism.)
A key point. Race and culture is not the same thing. They can be linked but it can be quite appropriate to consider certain cultural practices in a negative light (such as a 41 year old man marrying an 11 year old girl).
It wasn’t always thus. In fact, the extent to which those who comprise the modern Left understand so little of the traditions of socialist politics is remarkable. They fail to realise that their dogmatic authoritarianism is, in fact, inimical to the best traditions of the labour movement, which understood from its early days that open discussion and debate around competing views and ideas was fundamental to building democracy and unity throughout its ranks.
Debate should be welcomed.
In the end, these zealots threaten the freedom of all of us. And that’s why they must be faced down remorselessly. To hell with their dictatorial assaults on free speech, with their echo chambers, safe spaces and phoney outrage. No more the craven apologies for having expressed a genuinely-held view. Make your case, stand your ground and be prepared to take the brickbats. If people are offended, tough. It’s time to hit back against the group-thinkers and no-platformers.
The modern Left, with its hectoring, screeching intolerance, must be confronted. It doesn’t speak for me, nor for millions of fellow working-class people. And it never will.
Paul Embery is a trade union official and firefighter in London.