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‘Fascism Rules UK’

History is screaming at us, yet few want to listen because they won’t believe such things could happen today.

It’s painful to realise that your creative imagination is just not up to the same calibre as that of, ‘The Tory’. When you believe that things can’t possibly get any worse by a significant step, and mere refinements to their ideological excess seem likely, they push that boundary ever further towards political madness – or as it’s generally known, ‘fascism’.

Diogenes: ‘First they came for the illegals, and I did not speak out because I wasn’t (yet) illegal’, March 2023.

This all began with a meme I sent around that summarised a famous prose poem about fascism, saying, ‘First they came for the illegals, and I did not speak out because I wasn’t (yet) illegal’. This was laid over a picture of a British concentration camp in Kenya in the 1950s, with armed British troops stood over detained local people.

As the Government proposes to set-up ‘special centres’ in Britain today to house migrants, and then ship them to Africa, it seemed a very fitting meme to share. To my surprise, though, I had to explain the provenance of that phrase to the curious as so many people seemed not to know about it.

‘First they came...’

(attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1946)

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

For me, that so many people have forgotten such comparatively recent history (it’s author died in 1984) says so much about why this country is slowly sliding towards the ‘hard right’ – otherwise described as, and given recent events certainly within the Cambridge on-line dictionary’s definition of, ‘fascism’.

I made myself listen to the news discussing the crack-down on ‘small boats’, but this analysis of the excesses of this Government isn’t just about that:

  • We’ve had government reviews that willing ignore available evidence to excuse systematic racism and far-right hate speech, and redirect the state’s gaze towards other groups such as ‘the left’ or ‘Moslems’;
  • We’ve had not only crack-downs on the rights to protest in public, but also, when cases come to court, people are being convicted of ‘contempt’ for stating the motivations for that protest to the court in their defence;
  • We’ve had yet more restrictions on unions, while in parallel taking regulations off corporations; and, at the root of all,
  • From perpetuating public sector strikes to appointing “30p Lee” as Tory Vice-Chair, the government is forcing through policies which demonise those in poverty and immiserate many ordinary people across the nation.
Title frame for Ramblinactvist’s Video 2023/9S.
Watch the short video based on this post

As I listened to Suella Braverman’s litany of unfactual and exaggerated hate, I was reminded of Emma Goldman’s speech on ‘patriotism’: It’s a charged word; one which Billy Bragg has long since tried to salvage with his call for ‘progressive patriotism’...

I think we’re past being ‘progressive’ now; our only hope is ‘radical patriotism’ – a direct opposition to all that this ‘fascist’ Government stands for.

However, before Keir Starmer’s little munchkins start excitedly jumping up and down, electing Labour won’t solve this problem either! As the openly groomed heir-apparent to the alleged ‘war criminal’ Tony Bliar, Keir Starmer has not distinguished himself through his demonstrable capacity for deception, and to victimise those who would stall his agenda to push the Party to the centre-right.

‘Rishi Sunak: No more fucks to give’, March 2023.

For forty years we’ve had a ‘political ratchet’ operating in Britain that has progressive crushed our democratic values:

  • Successive Tory government drive law and policy ever further to the ideological right, and economically neoliberal;
  • When the Tories get so unruly that it’s ‘bad for business’, media tycoons give their backing to Labour in the full knowledge that they will not significantly roll-back on these policies – and so preserve the underlying economic agenda that is favourable to the maintenance of economic inequality and Western exceptionalism;
  • Then the Tories get elected again and drive the country yet further to the down the sewer of neoliberal ideology – of which the most spectacular example of late is, of course, Liz Truss.

For me personally, the ‘small boats’ issues is part of this ratchet process; it is a deliberate strategy within the greater game being played by the hard-right of the Tories:

It’s being used as a stalking horse, not on the issue of immigration, but on the more general legal and social umbrella of ‘human rights’. Cancelling the Human Rights Act is no good on its own; that would just return the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) – the body every good blue-blooded Tory loves to hate – as the ‘court of final appeal’ in human rights cases.

‘¡No pasarán!’, March 2023.

Instead, by failing to enact the measures against small boats when it is inevitably over-ruled by the ECHR – as the Government acknowledged in its presentation – then the Government will have an excuse to withdraw from the ECHR in order to ‘get the job done’ (whereupon we would join with those two other bastions of democracy who have withdrawn from the ECHR recently, Russia and Belarus).

There’s an old activist’s joke: The reason the Tories so whole-heartedly backed ‘fracking’ was that they believed it could release Margaret Thatcher’s soul from hell. I think that’s wrong.

It’s not Thatcher’s spectre which haunts the Tories today; it’s Enoch Powell’s.

From the Northern Ireland Protocol, to immigration, to gender and sexuality, ‘Powellism’, in a far more virulent form than originated under its eponymous founder in the 1950s, has taken-over the Tory Party. Unless you see it as that, as being akin to the tenets of British colonial fascism – short of the uniforms and camps – then you can’t really understand how the Party has moved so far to the right; and how, in that process, all ‘moderate’ influences over policy have been driven-out.

‘The Second Coming’

(W.B. Yeats, 1919)

“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

This is why the British concentration camp meme is so relevant – because that’s what we’re staring-down again today.

Silence is complicity: As Martin Niemöller set-out almost eighty years ago, we have to ‘speak out’; likewise, it almost seems that Yeats’ pandemic-inspired poem is coming to pass: With innocence ‘drowned’ in The Channel; and, ‘the worst... full of passionate intensity’, now holding the highest offices of state.

I’m not sure what, or how, but every facet of the Government’s current agenda must be opposed; and by some reasonable means, this irrational political class – to which I include Keir Starmer’s equally duplicitous Labour Party – must be removed from power; and in their stead, a far more representative and ‘honest’ set of people must be found. Whatever you feel you can do to help towards this goal, no matter how hard or costly it might seem, I urge everyone to join this struggle now! ¡No pasarán!