Robert Henderson, Living in a Madhouse, August 20, 2012
Something odd has been happening during the London Olympics : after decades of chanting the mantra “competitive sports are a social evil” most of the liberal left in Britain have either embraced them or at least ceased pumping out the anti-competition propaganda. Happily for nostalgia lovers, the ineffable Polly Toynbee refused to turn her ideological coat as she responded to David Cameron’s call for more competitive sports in schools with ‘“What of most children who never make a school team, humiliated by never being picked, begging their mums for “off games” notes? Modern PE has something for everyone: Indian dancing could become a lifelong fitness habit.’ (https://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/13/coalition-olympic-cheer-will-subside). Where would we be without her? An unflickering ideological beacon in a windswept political world.
Left Foot Forward is a self-described “political blog for progressives” which has as one of its aims “ A Britain we all call home, where citizens of every background continue to build a shared country.” (https://www.leftfootforward.org/about/). Its take on the Olympics gives a good flavour of the new leftist attitude towards sport. In a piece entitled Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reaction: Team GB has brought the UK together Left Foot Forward enthused
“What a sublime riposte to the haters, the racists, the bigots, to the Griffins, Mails and Burleys of the world, British athletics’s finest hour, a golden night to end the perfect day for Team GB – a night that not in our wildest dreams could we have imagined when awarded the Games seven years ago.
An evening, a day, to bring the country together, showing once the more the power of sport to unite, the power of the Olympics to showcase the best we’ve got to offer – with the prospect of more to come today, from Ed Clancy, Lewis Smith, Christine Ohuruogu, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Andrew Simpson, Laura Robson and Andy Murray.
Alex Gregory, Pete Reed, Tom James, Andrew Triggs Hodge, Katherine Copeland, Sophie Hosking, Dani King, Laura Trott, Jo Rowsell, Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah, we salute you all…” (https://www.leftfootforward.org/2012/08/london-2012-olympic-gamesscotland-wales-and-northern-ireland-reaction-team-gb-has-brought-the-uk-together/).
Why the change? It’s the political correctness stupid. From the late 1980s onwards British liberals gradually came to the realisation that globalism could be the most effective of engines for the dissolution of nations and the promotion of internationalism. Globalism meant the destruction of the national self-sufficiency of the developed world as large swathes of its manufacturing capacity, extractive industries , agriculture and eventually service industries were either destroyed or offshored to the third world. At the same time as control of trade and industry was being placed in a supranational context, political control was being ceded to bodies beyond national control, most notably by the development of the EU and the ever expanding reach of UN agencies. Most excitingly for liberals, globalism provided the excuse for continued and increasing mass immigration. All this allowed the ruling elite in Britain to remove themselves from the democratic control of their native population as the major political parties all converged on the liberal internationalist ideology. .
When challenged on the loss of employment or diminution of national sovereignty, liberals relentlessly recited the mantra that nation states were obsolete and globalism, as a natural and irreversible evolution of the world social order, should be gratefully embraced and in any case the process was “unstoppable”. The mentality of these people was recently baldly displayed by the Irishman Peter Sutherland, the UN’s special representative for migration:
“The United States, or Australia and New Zealand, are migrant societies and therefore they accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others.
“And that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine.” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18519395) .
But there is a gigantic problem for modern liberals: the profound disengagement between the world they seek and reality. What they consider to be the outmoded and barbarous ways of nation states, with their sense of national identity and patriotic feeling, have proven to be stubbornly resistant to the cleansing embrace of globalism. Of course, liberals believe, or at least pretend to believe, that the present still largely unreconstructed state of affairs is just a transitional period between national groupings and the happy-clappy-one- world- living- in- perfect- harmony fantasy they imagine the world will eventually come to in much the same way that Marxists believe that the proletarian revolution is simply a sociologically necessary part of the process on the transition to eventual communist nirvana.
To reach the liberal internationalist promised land the more intelligent amongst the British liberal left have realised that tribal feeling and its concomitant patriotism cannot be swept away in a generation or two and consequently must be pandered to, but only in a way which allows these emotions to be controlled by the politically correct. Just as Stalin resorted to patriotic appeals after Hitler invaded Russia in 1941, so the liberal left have decided to pretend to be patriotic now. Stalin of course had no intention of promoting national feeling long-term , merely to use it to overcome immediate and pressing danger. The modern British liberal uses patriotic feelings equally cynically. He does this by redefining patriotism to pervert it from being a tribal matter to an over-arching ideological construct which provides an umbrella under which any population, no matter how disparate, can shelter .
The British liberal left realised that the Olympics provide a potent delivery system for their bogus internationalist patriotic propaganda. This happened long before the holding of the 2012 Olympics. The London Olympics was conceived as an internationalist propaganda vehicle. Here is the leader of the bid, Seb Coe, in Singapore making the final plea for the games:
“… we’re serious about inspiring young people. Each of them comes from east London, from the communities who will be touched most directly by our Games.
And thanks to London’s multi-cultural mix of 200 nations, they also represent the youth of the world. Their families have come from every continent. They practice every religion and every faith. What unites them is London. “ (https://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/aboutus/General/01/22/85/87/singapore-presentation-speeches.pdf).
The official London Olympics website makes no bones about its mission either:
“It is our aim to make diversity and inclusion a key differentiator of our Games, celebrating the many differences among the cultures and communities of the United Kingdom.
It’s not simply about recruiting a diverse workforce. It’s about the suppliers, the competitors, the officials and the spectators – in fact, everyone connected with the Games, from the security guards to the bus drivers. Diversity and inclusion influence every detail of our Games-time planning, from accessible transport to our Food Vision.” (https://www.london2012.com/about-us/diversity-and-inclusion/
The long established liberal left magazine the New Statesman flagged its interest in the Olympics unambiguously with the cover page on its first issue after the 2012 Olympics entitled The New Patriotism and a story which included the claim that the Olympics showed ‘a soft and benign patriotism, quite different from the hard, defensive patriotism of the Eurosceptic right or any number of Little Englanders, or some Scottish nationalists’. Mo Farah, from Somalia, winning the 10,000 metres and wearing the Union flag, is the multicultural pin-up for the new Britain.” (https://www.leftfootforward.org/2012/08/london-2012-olympic-gamesscotland-wales-and-northern-ireland-reaction-team-gb-has-brought-the-uk-together/).
The “Conservatives “
The supposedly conservative politicians and media have been just as enthusiastic in their promotion of the multicultural, politically correct message. Here are a few choice examples:
“Cameron hails London, the ‘most diverse’ city in world” (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/ news/politics/9457212/Cameron- hails-London-the-most-diverse- city-in-world.html
“What a pleasure to see patriotism in its broadest and most benevolent form. The British crowd cheered its own, of course, but did not withhold warm applause from rivals. Patriotism does not imply looking down on anyone else’s country; on the contrary, a genuine patriot cheers all friendly nations.
6. There is, while we’re on the subject, such a thing as British patriotism. (Daniel Hannan MEP https://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100176517/being-british-means-something/
“And the pride didn’t come only from the medals.
Look at it this way. Mo Farah is an immigrant. Jessica Ennis is mixed race. Most of our gold-winning rowers are women. Clare Balding, the BBC’s best and most popular Olympics presenter, is gay. In other words: these Games are a triumph not simply for Britain; they’re a triumph for modern Britain. It’s a privilege to watch them.” (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/ culture/tvandradio/9455966/Olympics-on-TV-High-drama- plus-irresistible-emotion-and- thats-just-the-commentators.html).
The attempt to rescue Britishness
Why are the liberal left so keen on Britishness? There are crude political reasons why the leadership of all major British political parties wish to reinvigorate the idea of Britishness. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats fear a Scottish breakaway from the UK because much of their electoral strength outside of England in the Celtic Fringe. The Tories have no such fears, indeed a UK minus Scotland would be much to their electoral advantage because they have next to no electoral traction there. But they are tied to Britishness by their commitment to the United Kingdom remaining united as a matter of policy based on sentiment and long-established usage – the Tory Party have been the unionist party for well over a century – rather than party advantage.
Next there is the internationalist dimension. All three parties are, at least at the level of their leadership, irrevocably committed to remaining in the supranational organisations, especially the EU, which have removed democratic control from the British elector. They desperately do not want a divided Britain because a Britain sundered through independence of any of its parts would be potentially a loose political cannon and offer immense opportunities for breaking the straitjacket of supranational control with the political balance within a rump UK and whatever part of the UK was newly independent radically altered.
But there is another more fundamental reason which unites the main British parties. All of them are committed, either by belief or expediency, to the politically correct view of the world. At the centre of political correctness lies race. British politicians know in their heart of hearts that the permitting of mass immigration since 1945 has turned a marvellously homogeneous society into one severely fractured by the importation of those who cannot or will not become fully assimilated into British society. This has produced a situation of frightening toxicity, as the imports, encouraged and abetted by the native elite’s promotion of multiculturalism, have created their own ghettos and sought privilege for their own group over others whilst breeding great anger and resentment amongst native Britons.
The British elite have since the 1960s, with the passing of the first Race Relations Act (RRA) in 1965, attempted to suppress this natural resentment and anger of native Britons in ever more ideological and authoritarian ways. They have enshrined political correctness on race and immigration within the British political system to the point where to speak honestly about race and immigration is to invite the ruination of a career; public service now has a legal obligation under the Race Relations Amendment Act (2000) to prove that there is no racial discrimination within any taxpayer funded body, whether that be directly publicly controlled or private bodies in receipt of government contracts; British schools ceaselessly pump out “anti-racist” propaganda; the mainstream media , including the formally conservative newspapers and magazines, at least pay lip service to the joy of diversity and people in general , whether public figures or not, have developed a fear that any statement judged to be non-pc on race and immigration is likely to lead to the loss of a job and, increasingly, to an appearance in court on criminal charges, for example, see the case of Emma West (https://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/emma-west-has-her-trial-delayed-yet-again/).
But the liberal left have decided to back the wrong horse with British patriotism. British was always an artificial construct, although it did acquire some of the emotional colouring of a true nation over the centuries. But the post-war immigration destroyed the idea of Britishness as being a unifying denomination simply of the four home nations, the English, Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. The immigrants began to refer to themselves as British not English, Welsh, Scots or Irish. Worse, they were not simply British but described themselves as hyphenated British such as black-British and British-Asian. British became to mean not a native of the UK (with the special exception of Northern Ireland Protestants) but someone who was from an racial or ethnic minority who happens to live in Britain.
To this redefinition of British was added the devolution of powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland complete with their own national assemblies. This prompted the Scots and Welsh to classify themselves as Scots and Welsh not British. This prompted the English, denied a parliament of their own, to became much more likely to call themselves English rather than British as it was clear that whatever British had meant it no longer had substance.
Today Britishness is shot. The fact that the native British waved their Union Flags and sang the national anthem with great enthusiasm during the Olympics means because British is no longer what they feel themselves to be. Give it six months and the fervour will have evaporated because the reality is the patriotism of native Britons is attached to the true nations of England, Scotland and Wales. (Northern Ireland have two true tribal groups in the Catholics and Protestants, the former thinking themselves Irish and the latter forlornly and now pointlessly identifying themselves as British. ) The Olympics has been bread and circuses not the starting gun for a new British consciousness.
The native British population’s response
Why have the native British been so enthusiastic in their union flag waving and generally patriotic response to the Olympics? Sport is deeply stitched into the British and especially the English social DNA, but the public support for the British team in particular has been extraordinary. Something far beyond the normal tribal response of sports fans has occurred. Moreover, it is not only sports fans who are cheering and waving flag, but the populace at large. Nor was the response limited to the actual Olympics. Amazing crowds came out in often foul weather to watch the Olympic torch being carried around Britain.
What is happening? Human beings are tribal and have a deep-rooted desire to express their sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. The problem for the native British in general and the English in particular is that they have been denied the normal opportunities to express their tribalism. The English have not only been denied opportunities by their omission from public life but have been subject to active abuse by their political leaders and the mainstream media whenever the someone English manages to celebrate some aspect of England and the English publicly. Here is the leading Labour politician Jack Straw when Home Secretary in the Blair Government :
“The English are potentially very aggressive, very violent. We have used this propensity to violence to subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Then we used it in Europe and with our empire, so I think what you have within the UK is three small nations…who’ve been over the centuries under the cosh of the English. Those small nations have inevitably sought expression by a very explicit idea of nationhood. You have this very dominant other nation, England, 10 times bigger than the others, which is self-confident and therefore has not needed to be so explicit about its expression. I think as we move into this new century, people’s sense of Englishness will become more articulated and that’s partly because of the mirror that devolution provides us with and because we are becoming more European at the same” (BBC Radio Four’s Brits 10 January 2000https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/596703.stm)
When denied legitimate opportunities to express patriotic feelings people will fall prey to illegitimate ones. Offered the chance to express their natural tribal instincts as English men and women, many will take Britishness as their badge of identity for want of anything else. That is what has been happening with the Olympics.
It might be thought that the Northern Irish , Welsh and Scots would be greatly advantaged over the English because they have their own assemblies and considerable devolved powers, but all devolution has done in the case of the Welsh and Scots is transfer them from a bogus Britishness to a bogus Welshness of Scottishness, national identities which are simply versions of the politically correct multicultural version of Britishness which England is burdened with decked out in the various Celtic colours. Northern Ireland is different in that it has a live sectarian divide and a continuing low-grade insurgency, but is still taking on more and more of the trappings of political correctness.
It is arguable that political correctness is even more complete in Scotland and Wales than it is in England, because the opportunity for inflicting political correctness is greatly enhanced where a small assembly and political class exists because these can be much more readily controlled than larger bodies such as the Westminster Parliament – the Scottish parliament has 129 members, the Welsh assembly 60 and the Northern Irish assembly 108. In addition, the powers reserved to Westminster mean that in those policy areas the political correctness flows into the devolved regions.
The political correctness attached to the Olympics was not all about race and ethnicity. There was also a good deal of feminist puffing of female competitors simply because they were female. Shamefully, much of it by men. My prize for the most inane offering goes to the London Evening Standard which screamed“‘Women triumphed at Olympics, now let them deliver in boardroom’”(https://www.standard.co.uk/olympics/olympic-news/women-triumphed-at-olympics-now-let-them-deliver-in-boardroom-8062977.html)
Women’s boxing is a particularly interesting case. The same class of people who would erupt with rage and horror at the idea of violent pornography involving women, have been positively ecstatic at the idea that women had achieved equality in the business of being beaten in public. The woman who won the first boxing gold, Nicola Adams, is black and the media commentators were in danger of rupturing themselves with excitement as she registered twice on the pc approval metre as female and black. The BBC was particularly over-excited: “While Nicola Adams was dancing like Sugar Ray into the history books….” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19202678).
The black and Asian contribution to the British medal count
The British media did its usual when reporting on any British sporting team: beating the multicultural drum hard with unceasing puffing of the black and Asian medal winners out of all proportion to their actual contribution which was
Mo Farah(athletics) 2 golds, Jessica Ennis (athletics) , I gold, Anthony Joshua 1 (boxing ) gold, Nicola Adams (boxing) 1 gold, Louis Smith 1 silver (and one bronze in gymnastics team event, the other members of which team were all white), Christine Ohuruogu (athletics) 1 silver, Anthony Agogo (boxing) 1 bronze,
Lutalo Muhammad (taekwondo) 1 bronze
Total of individual medals 9 – 5 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze – plus one bronze as part of a team.
This constitutes a black or Asian hand in just ten out of 65 medals, the ten medals being won by eight competitors. .
Had none of these competitors existed the British medal tally would have been 55 medals, the highest number since 1908 and seven higher than the grand total in 2008. In short, the non-white component of the British team had little effect on the overall standing and perception of the British performance.
There were 43 competitors (in individual and team events) who won the 29 Great Britain gold medals . Four of those were non-white.
It is easy to see how the legion of the politically correct see things unfolding: the population at large will become so indoctrinated with the ceaseless and ever more ruthlessly enforced idea that only heterogeneous society is legitimate. The liberal left hope they can permanently control the natural tribal and patriotic urge through their bogus politically correct British patriotism until the natural instincts of human beings have been eradicated and everyone becomes an obedient robot in the politically correct interest. It is
It is a forlorn hope. The old Adam of tribal feeling is not something which can be eradicated. There can be no politically correct new man any more than Soviet man could be manufactured by the USSR. Tribal feeling may be suppressed; it may be perverted but it is always there, just waiting for propitious circumstances to allow it a natural and healthy expression. Where it is not allowed natural expression it may be wrenched sufficiently out of shape to result in violence as native populations act aggressively because their political circumstances offer no other means of combatting the suppression of their natural instincts and interests. The liberal left gentry should reflect on that.