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Could never happen here?
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userCurtainRaiser
Posted: 12 January 2021 1:32 PM
Subject: Could never happen here?
 
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"I've been seeing a lot of unbelievably smug and complacent liberal capitalist takes that nothing like the violent Trumpist insurrection could ever happen in Britain.

In the last few years we've had:

The Labour MP Jo Cox literally murdered in the street by an extreme-right terrorist.

Another extreme-right terrorist plotted to murder Jeremy Corbyn, then he rammed a van into a random group of Muslims when his assassination plot fell through, which was then followed by a right-wing group using social media to raise funds as a reward for the perpetrator.

We've had gangs of extreme-right thugs attacking left-wing journalists, and left-wing politicians.

We've had members of the banned extreme-right terror group National Action infiltrate the army and the police.

We've had the editor of Britain's biggest tabloid newspaper (The S*n) publish a hitlist of left-wingers drawn up by a bunch of neo-nazis, and citing extreme-right and antisemitic websites like Aryan Action as their 'sources', and he kept his job!

We've had an extreme-right activist jailed for plotting to kidnap and kill the Labour MP Rosie Duffield.

We've seen Tory ministers like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Suella Braveman actively promoting the US extreme-right propaganda outfit Turning Point, who put on 80 busses to take people to the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol.

We've had right-wing figures like Nigel Farage threaten to take up arms against the British government if he doesn't get his way.

We saw the Daily Mail print an obscene front page whipping up hate against judges, because they did their job and made the government follow the law, then saw the Prime Minister Theresa May go out and hire the author of that vile "Enemies of the People" hatchet job as her official spokesperson.

We've had a government minister (Priti Patel) whipping up so much hate against lawyers that she inspired a violent knife attack on a London lawyers' office, then instead of apologising, she doubled down by spewing even more anti-lawyer hate-mongering rhetoric in the aftermath!

We've got literally dozens of Tory MPs publicly endorsing grotesquely antisemitic extreme-right conspiracies like "The Great Replacement" and the Nazi-derived conspiracy of "Cultural Marxism".

We've seen a narcissistic far-right ideologue straight out of the Donald Trump mould assume control of the party of government, illegally suspend parliament, conduct a brutal ideological purge of all the liberal Tories, then cheat his way to election victory with an unprecedented barrage of lies.

Anyone who thinks right-wing violence, intimidation, anti-democratic plotting, and contempt for the rule of law are things that could never happen in Britain, has simply not been paying any attention at all, have they?

Not only have we had all of those things, they're likely to get far more extreme if the right ever feel that there's a chance of them losing their grip on political power, like the Trumpists in the United States just have."
userStuartO
Posted: 12 January 2021 1:41 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 


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Is this supposed to be a balanced account of what's been happening and where our vulnerabilities lie?

I'm afraid it looks to me to be simply a list of a left winger's grievences.

Edited by StuartO 2021-01-12 1:41 PM
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 12 January 2021 3:12 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 


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StuartO - 2021-01-12 1:41 PM I'm afraid it looks to me to be simply a list of a left winger's grievences.

It is all in parenthesis, so I assume it is an uncredited quotation.

It is plainly from a somewhat extreme left wing point of view, and it is also very hyperbolic, but does overstatement totally invalidate, as opposed to devaluing, it? Smoke and fire? I think "read and discuss" is the point, rather than dismiss because it is from a left wing perspective. There are grains of truth underpinning it. Surely they should at least be acknowledged?
userjumpstart
Posted: 12 January 2021 3:16 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 
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VICE UK: The MAGA Insurrection Will Inspire Imitators for Years to Come, German Experts Warn.
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/y3g5j5/the-maga-insurrection-will-inspire-imitators-for-years-to-come-german-experts-warn
userjumpstart
Posted: 12 January 2021 3:26 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 
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Al Jazeera English: Pakistani police officer escorting polio vaccine team shot dead.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/12/pakistani-police-officer-escorting-polio-vaccine-team-shot-dead

Count ourselves lucky we don't get this here.
userCurtainRaiser
Posted: 12 January 2021 5:25 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 
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StuartO - 2021-01-12 1:41 PM

Is this supposed to be a balanced account of what's been happening and where our vulnerabilities lie?

I'm afraid it looks to me to be simply a list of a left winger's grievences.


Ok, take the first four in the list and tell me if they happened or not? Then tell me why there isn't as much media outrage as when there is a jihadi attack?
userCurtainRaiser
Posted: 14 January 2021 4:37 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 
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From that bastion of marxism, the FT

"In politics, as in life, the things we value are more at risk from the rot we allow to set in than through any freak event. 

In the days since the storming of the US Congress a number of UK pundits have rushed to stress that UK prime minister Boris Johnson is no President Donald Trump. But this happy and correct conclusion also highlights the fact that such reassurance is needed.

It is not that similar scenes are suddenly likely in the UK — one benefit of a parliamentary system is that it is easier to remove a rogue leader. It’s more that Britain has let some of the same rot set in. And while Mr Johnson’s attraction to unconventional means, albeit in pursuit of often mainstream goals, deserves much of the blame, the malaise runs deeper than one leader or party.

Consider some warning signs: deviation from key principles of democracy; opportunistic assaults on institutions; threats to breach an international treaty; the undermining of accepted truths; the incitement of polarisation; and a toxic blend of zealotry and complicity. All are stretching the elastic of British democracy.

This is not about the policy of Brexit. However mistaken that cause, it was a legitimate belief pursued through democratic means. For all of its distortions, the campaign was built on a central truth about the loss of sovereignty. 

But the referendum’s aftermath saw both sides deviating from agreed norms. The actions of Brexiters were worse but did not take place in a vacuum. Pro-Europeans withdrew losers’ consent, seeking to overturn the outcome with a second referendum. Meanwhile, after legal setbacks, Leavers turned on the judges, their media supporters denouncing them as “enemies of the people”. Mr Johnson unlawfully suspended parliament and his attorney-general labelled it illegitimate as a prelude to a people vs politicians election. This dalliance with demagoguery powered an outlook in which ends justified means. What was once unthinkable became imaginable. 

Mr Johnson’s team did not plan to upend the institutions of democracy. But the desire to win made them careless of the consequences. While some Conservatives approved, many mainstream MPs were horrified. And yet (like Senate Republicans) they saw that resistance offered demotion, deselection and defeat — so played along. 

But complicity goes beyond Brexit. It is particularly a function of an electoral system that punishes smaller or breakaway parties. The easiest path to power for hardliners is to capture one of the two great parties, leaving moderates forced to leave or comply.

After the hard-left capture of their party, Labour moderates had to choose between the political suicide of splitting or staying to fight. But even for the resisters, the price of remaining was participating in the campaign to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister. His defeat and replacement by the more mainstream Keir Starmer means the gamble paid off. But what if he had won? 

These are extreme scenarios, but the culture of complicity is deeply rooted. Mainstream politicians of all sides have learnt to “play the game”. A close friend of George Osborne’s cites the former chancellor’s first rule of politics: “Identify the next Tory leader and stick to them like glue” — advice clearly followed by his protégé Matt Hancock, the health secretary.

What follows is the knowing perpetuation of falsehoods, though this is hardly unique to the UK. Clearly, the line between political hyperbole and untruths is blurred — but there ought to be a line. Contrary to Labour’s routine protestations, in no modern election have voters had “24 hours to save the NHS”. Equally, no honest Tory should be parroting the prime minister’s claim that his Brexit deal contains no non-tariff barriers to trade and no regulatory border in the Irish Sea. 

Another parallel is the sanctioned assault on the media, the BBC especially. There is much wrong with the national broadcaster, but it still aims for honest coverage. Thus it finds itself in the crosshairs of Brexiters and Remainers, Scottish nationalists and Corbynites, always for the same crime of insufficient commitment to their truth.

The looming arrival of partisan news channels, notably a Rupert Murdoch station modelled on Fox News and with a commercial stake in polarisation, is a further step towards undermining shared truths and entrenching the intolerance of opponents — which is then used to justify unconventional actions. Mr Trump’s excesses were made possible by media forces happy to play up betrayal myths against Democrats and indulge his lies about a stolen election.

The warning for the UK is that complicity with often casual breaches of convention can place you on a dangerous trajectory. Newly partisan broadcasters are a combustible addition once you have signalled it is OK to dispute electoral outcomes, suspend parliament and denounce judges. 

It is not that British democracy is suddenly in peril but that stability is being taken for granted. We are further down the US path of polarisation than we might wish — which is why a commitment to the rule book is so vital. 

The lesson is that the UK needs to step back from the “whatever it takes” carelessness with the constitution and towards the shared restatement of the core principles and institutions of its democracy. The US has offered a vision of a future for countries that lose sight of those values."

robert.shrimsley@ft.com
userjumpstart
Posted: 15 January 2021 7:23 AM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 
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Metro.co.uk: Terrorism expert warns ‘toxic mix’ of people are exploiting Trump chaos.
https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/14/terrorism-expert-warns-toxic-mix-of-groups-are-exploiting-us-chaos-13905896/

It's not just America with the ptoblems.
userBarryd999
Posted: 15 January 2021 1:25 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 


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The Genie is well and truly out of the bottle in both the US and the UK. Brexit, Trump and Johnson. Right wing Populism. Two countries in turmoil. Thats what it does.
userBirdbrain
Posted: 15 January 2021 5:27 PM
Subject: RE: Could never happen here?
 


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Agreed
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