First They Came for the Bigots… Picnic Dreams

I started writing, then I stopped. This is just a confusion of sentences, not an argument, and if it is one, don’t expect sense. 

First, they came for the bigots, and I said nothing, because I didn’t believe I was a bigot, then…it was really nice, it turned out it was the bigots who’d been the main issue. We just all went out and had a lovely picnic together. 

Now, as a possible liberal, blind to my own prejudice, I have to say that I am aware that I am a bigot too. Who isn’t? We are all blind or at least myopic to our biases and shortcomings. That’s one of the problems of being a sort of liberal, you have to cover yourself for as many eventualities and point out the motes in your own eye, and sometimes the freckles on your ears too. It is a labyrinth which prevents you from reaching the target of being cocksure. 

Doubt, the enemy of politics and press. 

The moment you hold any position, from vegan to feminist, someone is eager to notice a leather shoelace or the the act of scribbling Groucho Marx glasses and moustache on an Alice B Toklas photograph, to point out that you have failed. 

Start campaigning on an issue or going on a march, and someone will declare, “you’re not living in the real world”, as if there was just one real world that physicists and philosophers had scrutinised and declared the official version. 

I have heard more knavish talk of that foul canker “liberal bias”.

Ah, the fine language of the mass media as it peers at the mass media. 

John Humphreys, the growling wind of Radio 4, has told the pamphleteers of the Radio Times that the BBC has had “for perfectly understandable reasons”, a greater number of liberals than conservatives. 

What is a liberal bias? 

On the positive side, is it the acceptance of those who do fit exactly into the cookie cutter shape of the accepted social norm? On the negative side, does it curb speech that is worryingly contentious dealing with matters of sex, race and ideology? Does it create a level of doubt that means people remain mute rather than risk overstep a mark that are not sure exists?  If so, has it really stopped people saying things? There seem to many voices loudly saying that they can’t say what they want under a regime of liberalism, then not noticing that they are saying it anyway, publicly and freely. The illusion of oppression is a useful tool to maintain dominance whilst playing the crushed minority. 

See Fox News.

In my blurry version of the real world, I think that statistics and evidence can lead to a liberal viewpoint, but then I would think that wouldn’t I? 

As the left have been redefined as the extreme left without actually moving further in any direction, now liberalism must be labeled as some “failing experiment” that is only of interest to those with a wine cellar, a Portugese maid and second home in Fowey. 

Any “real people” can sniff out that acceptance is a failed Utopian dream. We must battle the Chrysalids in their myraid forms whether their demands are equal pay, equal rights, or the horror of human rights for all humans. 

I think people are more sophisticated than the mass media and politicians wish them to be, which is why it is important to feed them as little factual evidence as possible. There is such a mass of information available, it is so easy to get lost, to believe that you can’t do anything because it is all too complex. Just believe in the archetypes and grotesques we show you, then back to iplayer. Thinking gets hard when there are so many thoughts to get through, is switching off the only comfortable alternative? I am gasping for air and soaked in opinions. Damn, if I could just open myself up to a seven point dogma, I would have a shortcut to conclusions. 

When offered the facts, when presented with proper statistics, rather than those picked or fashioned by the Gollum hands politicians and pundits, I often find people are prepared to see another viewpoint they weren’t expecting to toy with or even accept. The sparse number of alternative, evidence based voices given daily, full page outlets makes it hard to forge new opinions. For all the presumption of the burden of left wing bias, did we see a balanced coverage on the anti war movement, the radical changes to the NHS or privatisation of the Post Office. Vast swathes of people, left and right, were against these things and yet, even the supposed liberal media has been coy on coverage. 

Are these all examples of “May polls”, phantom statistics collated via spiked opinion. This is in memory of Theresa May’s justification of legislation for health tourism, an idea propounded based on what people “feel” is happening. Most of the people I meet, despite living in a Radio 4 bubble made from lathered Imperial Leather I do try to get out a bit, are far more liberal than political gamers and newspaper editors imagine. We are all more comfortable with stereotypes. I know some blustering old Tories who don’t care a jot about same sex marriage, BBC liberalism or bread that declares it is Halal on its list of properties. 

I think I am a sort of liberal or an attempted utilitarian, but I am uncertain if I have defined it to myself. 

The constant manufacture of bogeymen hinder our rational questioning, keep all those beneath you squabbling amongst themselves over who deserves the grain and then they’ll never look up at you in your ivory hat and mink moccasins. 

I am on tour, sometimes making more sense, sometimes less. Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Salford and many more. Details HERE

Next London Dirty Book Club is HERE

Next Northampton show HERE



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One Response to First They Came for the Bigots… Picnic Dreams

  1. To categorize oneself is to limit oneself. To demonize another is to marginalize oneself. Oversimplification is a form of deception. Needless complication is confusion. Manufacturing strawmen diverts attention from the real issues. Nobody knows the good guys from the bad guys anymore. They’re all good. No, they’re all evil. Yeah, I think I understand (or not).

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