Class Struggle

This tweet provides an interesting insight into the mindset of Britain’s ruling classes and those who support them:

To Britain’s Metropolitan professional classes, this shows how beyond the pale Trump is. To me, it shows how catastrophically authoritarian Britain has become. I don’t know what Americans think about it, but I suspect they’re rather glad they’re an independent nation with a constitution which prevents citizens being prosecuted for unapproved speech. In fact, reading this tweet is probably the only thing which would make Americans glad they have the lawyers they do. That’s some achievement.

This story is not unrelated:

Scotland Yard performed a climbdown on Saturday following accusations it had attempted to use the furore over the leaking of comments by the British ambassador about President Trump to silence the British media.

As criticism mounted steadily over the Met’s warning to editors that they faced prosecution if they published leaked government documents, assistant commissioner Neil Basu issued a statement clarifying that the force did not want to stop the press from publishing stories.

His reassurance appeared to represent a U-turn from a statement Basu had issued less than 24 hours earlier in which he warned the “media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty’s government”.

The reason the Met performed a U-turn is because it generated howls of outrage from the press, for example:

But you’ll notice that when ordinary people were being prosecuted for off-colour jokes, posting rap lyrics, and mean tweets the press was utterly silent. There’s a reason for this. The ruling classes, for which the mainstream media is simply a propaganda machine, believe they are harbingers of truth whose duty is to inform the plebs on what they must say, do, and think and as such their freedom of speech must not be curtailed. But the plebs are plebs, and who knows what harm they may cause if they’re allowed to go around saying what they like? Therefore, we need rules on allowable speech to keep them in line.

The truth is, free speech is dead in Britain, assuming it was ever alive. What we have here is a fight between different sets of the ruling classes and those who hope to join them over who gets to control the language, while both agreeing that the oiks should be chucked in jail for saying the wrong things.


25 thoughts on “Class Struggle

  1. The odd thing about that Met Police threat is that I haven’t seen anyone point out that the police don’t prosecute, that’s the job of the CPS. Police gather evidence and make a case, but if the CPS don’t agree then its out.

    I’m surprised the CPS has been silent as well, you’d think that a bureaucracy they’d have been all over the MSM defending their fiefdom.

  2. “The truth is, free speech is dead in Britain, assuming it was ever alive. ”

    It wasn’t. We’ve always had censorship like the BBFC and before them, censorship of theatre and blasphemy laws. We have things like the Public Order Act which is so vague in what counts as a crime that almost anything you do can be classed as such.

    Sadly, the British people don’t give a shite. They’re more than happy for speech to be censored, as long as it’s speech they don’t approve of.

  3. So the mainstream media is a propaganda machine for the ruling classes.

    Those would be the same ruling classes as the ruling classes threatening to prosecute the mainstream media (their propaganda machine) for leaking ruling class documents with mainstream media (ruling class propaganda machine) pushing back against the ruling classes?

  4. BiG,

    Precisely so: it’s an internal ruling class dispute. As soon as the common enemy, i.e. the oiks raise their heads they’ll close ranks sharpish.

  5. The BBC seems to have taken their interpretation of Trump’s tweets directly from Democrat talking points. They even had Jesse Jackson on R4’s Today programme this morning.

    Their coverage only bolsters my theory that anything they say about either Trump or Brexit can, a priori, be assumed to wrong until proven otherwise.

    The BBC says the tweets refer to four congresswomen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar. But that’s no more than an assumption. It’s more likely he referring to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – one an immigrant from Somalia and the other a daughter of immigrants from Palestine – from “countries who governments are a complete total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world”.

    But it’s also a mistake to take what Trump is saying here at face value. He is, after all, the greatest social media troll in the history of ever. What he’s rather brilliantly done is to push Pelosi into a difficult corner. There has recently been something of a spat between her and the congresswoman. Now she either refuses to come to their defense and so appears to side with Trump, or she defends the women and so appears to climb down from her recent criticism of them. It’s really a rather good strategic move on Trump’s part.

  6. Is there anything in his tweet that is factually wrong? I suspect there is a vast silent mass of people who agree with him.

  7. I thought that Trump was referring to Ilhan Omar (the one who it is alleged married her brother) and Rashida Tlaib.

    I’m on the left (just, still a member of the Labour Party, stood for local council in unwinnable seats, unrepentant Blairite – like quite a few in the City), but I thought that Trump had a point, particularly in respect of Omar, who seems very anti-American. I suspect of lot of voters, here and in the US, thought Trump had a point, albeit expressed in an uncouth way.

    Not very couth, is Mr Trump, but look what the Democrats did to very nice, respectable, couth Mitt Romney, so couthness is, sadly, not very important in politics these days.

    And his tweets have forced Pelosi to choose sides. Naturally, she had to choose the Gang of 4 (because Pressley and AOC are also part of the 4 Horsewomen -am I allowed to call them women, or is that objectifying them, or presuming on their gender identity?- of the Apocalypse), which is a bad place to be. Apparently these 4 do very badly among real people, or voters, as they’re called in the States.
    Maybe Mr Trump is better at politics than many of his critics. Maybe that is why he was elected President.

  8. Bardon and others may like a wankpiffin site
    Free speech and argument fully allowed.
    TN and others would fit right in. It is not for the fainthearted but there are articles beyond politics on there.

  9. Nothing in Trump’s tweets was racist.
    It’s so tiresome how they keep bleating that word…

  10. Re the US thing — what we are seeing is an “Effective Tyranny of the Minority”. Minority in the political sense.

    It has been obvious for years that there is a group within the Democrat Party who are strongly anti-American … probably a hang-over from the days when the old Soviet Union was manipulating susceptible individuals in the US. I know reasonable Democrats who are quite embarrassed about the strident anti-American views of some of their fellow Party members. The problem is that this loud minority within the Democrats are a big slice of the active members — the ones who fill Party positions and vote in Primary elections.

    So extremists like the Gang of Four get chosen for election by a tiny minority of the population in the Primary Election, and then win in the General Election through a combination of lazy voters always voting for the same Party their parents voted for, and gerrymandering, and (in the case of the Democrats) reliable votes from the Army of the Dead. We end up with elected “Representatives” who are entirely unrepresentative.

    It is just another one of the fatal flaws in universal suffrage.

  11. Michael Stone – I beg to differ. His tweets were racist – in that they pointed out that certain races bring with them their cultures of corruption. I think the important point is that they were also right. The lefties are having a cow. The normals just nod. And Pelosi is forced to suck up a bit to the loonies in her party. Tolkein above is right. Trump’s good at politics – he doesn’t play by anyone else’s rules and he’s not afraid of the opponents.

  12. “It’s so tiresome how they keep bleating that word…”

    No, its excellent. It removes the power of the word. People will look at what DT said, and when he is called a racist will draw the logical conclusion – Well I must be a racist too then, because I agree with him. And when you’ve called 60/70/80% of the electorate racists, its hard to get them to vote for you down the line. The word slowly becomes meaningless.

  13. Just on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Somalia comes dead last: as far as Omar is concerned, Trump was bang on. Palestine for Tlaib isn’t rated as it’s not officially a country, but I hear it’s not *quite* as incorrupt as Israel (#34). Similarly, Puerto Ricans appear to have a less than rosy view of their government’s integrity according to recent news.

  14. I had to the opportunity to live and work in the UK for a couple of years in the second half of the 1980s, for which I shall always be grateful. But when I see what a train wreck the UK has become, and under Conservative governments for a majority of that time, I’m very glad to be an American citizen, despite how much my nation has declined from the republic that my parents bequeathed to me.

  15. For what it’s worth, I have a pretty strong distaste, generally, of anyone telling second-generation immigrants to “go back where you came from” – their roots may be elsewhere, but they came from here (insert relevant country). There might be edge cases where it makes more sense, someone who identifies more strongly as “Thereian” than “Hereian” by basis of ancestry, family ties, language, culture etc perhaps, but most of the time it’s not just rude, it’s stupid. Whether it should be prosecutable offence is a separate matter, mind.

  16. Tim,

    The US is only a few years behind the UK when it comes to things like prosecuting people for wrongthink. Persecuting them is already in place but official state action against violators of PC-doctrine will follow soon enough.

  17. monoi :
    Is there anything in his tweet that is factually wrong?

    Truth is no longer an acceptable excuse when the mob comes for you.

  18. If the “Democrat Congresswomen” group includes Ayanna Pressley, Trump’s tweet can’t be factually correct. In all likelihood, Pressley’s family is of much longer American vintage than Trump’s. The president is a second- and third–generation American on his mother’s and father’s side respectively. His mother got naturalized in 1942; his paternal grandfather, the fist of his ancestors to become American, became a citizen in 1892 (he tried to return to Bavaria for good in 1905 but was expelled). Most or all of Pressley’s ancestors probably lived in the US before the Civil War or even before the 1808 ban on slave imports.

    Obviously, AOC’s background is different since she is of Puerto Rican heritage. Still, Puerto Rico has been an American possession since 1898 and, since 1917, everyone born there under American rule has been recognized as a US citizen. This means that AOC’s mom, unlike Trump’s, was born a US citizen. More importantly, AOC is a genuine New Yorker just like Trump – her father was born and grew up in the Bronx. They both come from the same place, although from different communities.

    Factually incorrect and racist doesn’t mean politically wrong, though – if these tweets help Trump get reelected, they can’t have been wrong, politically speaking. To win, he needs to energize his base and keep Democratic turnout low. Sowing discord and mistrust is a time-tested way to drive your opponents into apathy. Teaming up with Omar wasn’t a very wise move for Pressley and AOC in the first place but after Trump’s painting them with the same brush as the Somali-born interloper, chances are the Squad’s days are numbered. In case the four stick together, Trump has publicly taken Pelosi’s side against them. Well played so far.

  19. “But it’s also a mistake to take what Trump is saying here at face value. He is, after all, the greatest social media troll in the history of ever. What he’s rather brilliantly done is to push Pelosi into a difficult corner. ”

    That may have been his intention but what has done has far greater significance. He has just made the unsayable sayable. With a single tweet he has shifted the Overton window from “we need sensible border control” to “go home, you’re not welcome here”.

    Is anyone still talking about “the wall”?

  20. “Trump’s good at politics”

    Too bloody right. Although what’s actually remarkable about that observation is the fact the current crop of UK politicians, what with their shiny degrees an’ all, are completely shit at politics, aka, dealing with the concerns of voters. They might be reasonably competent at dealing with the concerns of their ever decreasing memberships, or the even smaller group of activists, but I’m not willing to bet on that.

    Tim’s basically right – “internal ruling class dispute”, although substitute “ruling class” with what used to be called “the Establishment” and it might make more sense. There’s an awful lot of battles being fought in various theatres between various players, and at least one of the objectives is about who gets to be the gatekeeper or control the interface between the plebs and the powerful, as the politicians have completely abandoned that role. What’s vaguely amusing about the whole thing, is that Trump’s tweeting (and pretty much everyone else’s as well) demonstrates that there’s huge element of re-arranging the deckchairs about this.

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