Dave Miliband is offering a basic Marxist analysis of anti-Islamism - or what he will see as the ‘racism’ which results from ‘austerity’. It’s a classic Marxist analysis. And yet this man is New Labour. This didn’t stop him from being a far leftist when a student or stop him from being born into a Marxist family.
It seems conspiratorial to say that a New Labour analysis is effectively a Marxist analysis. But what is being said is in fact basic Marxist materialism. That is, one’s political views are simply the result of the socioeconomic ‘substructure’. Anti-Islamism, or ‘racism’, is simply an epiphenomenon of ‘austerity’, or unemployment, or house prices, or even the price of bread! More correctly, all political views are determined by economic material realities – but only in the case of EDL supporters. The views of Dave Miliband, New Labour, the Guardian, etc. are, of course, the result of reasoning, debate, evidence, facts and deliberation. Only the plebs, the EDL and indeed even militant Muslims, respond blindly to economic forces. Miliband, rather than respond blindly to austerity or whatever, instead cognises that other people, not him, are responding to austerity in these ways.
That is the hypocrisy of Marxist determinism. It ain’t real determinism at all because the Left, the Dave Milibands of this world, never see themselves as determined by anything, let alone by austerity or other economic realities.]
Compared to some other European countries, we in the UK can consider ourselves relatively lucky in our experience of extremist politics. There have been hard-fought battles. But serious extremist parties have not got a grip. [Perhaps they never will. And that’s precisely why the EDL is far more popular than the BNP and even the NATIONAL front of yesterday. People have quickly realised that the EDL is not like the BNP or National Front. It is not extremist at all. It is not racist. It is not fascist. It is not totalitarian. It believes in parliamentary democracy – even though many EDL members believe that our system is pretty fucked up, it is the least fucked up of all the terrible alternatives (as Churchill once put it).]
However, research published today on behalf of the Searchlight Educational Trust shows how people can become lured towards more aggressive forms of identity politics. It shows we can't complacently assume we are exceptional in the European context. We are not. [David Miliband is speaking out against the ‘far right’, yet he quotes from the Searchlight organisation. Searchlight is a Communist organisation. Then again, though Communists kill en masse, just like fascists, ‘their hearts are still in the right place’. That truly is what many Labourites and Liberals think of the far left. They are all part of the same ‘broad church’ which is ‘fighting for Justice’.]
Searchlight has been at the forefront of beating back the National Front and the BNP since the 1970s. But if the emotional extremism of the far right we have so far seen blends into something more calculating and more credible, then this run of marginalised extremism may become more difficult to sustain. [What happens when the far right disappears or is no longer a real threat? Simple. Searchlight makes up its far-right enemies, as it has done with the EDL. After all, Nick Lowles and his Communist friends have made a nice living from ‘fighting’ extremists – that is, from fighting far-right extremists (not from fighting far-left or Islamist extremists).]
Groups like the BNP, the English Defence League and Islam4UK are only ever likely to appeal to a small minority: their violent rhetoric, aggression and warped politics provide the source of their downfall. But we should not understate their impact locally in creating a climate of division, fear and hatred. [How dare Dave Miliband compare Islam4UK with the EDL? For a start, Islam4UK is truly a minority group. It attracts only a handful of young nutcases to its protests. At the Luton EDL demo, there were 4,000 or more EDL supporters.
Nice trick! One only just utilised by Nick Lowles of Searchlight and Hope Not Hate. It’s called ‘plague on both your houses’. Lowles realised that many people thought he was a hypocrite for never criticising extreme Islamists - thus he was losing even left-wing support. Then all of sudden, a couple of months ago, he started slagging off Islam4UK and Anjem Choudary. That way he could be seen as fair and un-hypocritical. But why did it take him so long to recognise the obvious Islamist extremism in the UK? Why did he remain silent for so long? Because this new found policy is a gimmick aimed at hoodwinking those who had previously been critical of his twofaced stance against extremism. Islamic extremism good. EDL extremism bad.
And what about far-leftist extremism? Do we expect a change on this too from Lowles? I doubt it because Searchlight is itself extreme left – that is, Communist.]
We have seen this in Leicester, Bradford, Barking and Dagenham, and Luton; areas where the pride and security of the industrial age has been replaced by a casualised economics of the rapidly shifting global age, and which have had high levels of immigration. That is why we need to build the resilience of local communities to reject the politics of hatred. [The ‘politics of hatred’ is in fact the politics of survival. The Islamists and their far leftist enablers, such as Searchlight itself, are ultimately out to destroy the shape of our country, if not actually kill us.] A common life forged between different cultures with the same anxieties, hopes and pride is the most effective backstop against extremism.
We need a demanding pluralism with a common core of shared values. And what's more, people believe that such local community building is an effective bulwark against discord. [‘Shared values’? That’s what the EDL wants too. Or can these Labourites and Leftists only see racism and fascism when any political ideas come from a mainly working-class organisation? As Ratna Lachman, of JUST West Yorkshire recently put it:
The Searchlight research has broken down attitudes to race, identity, immigration and nation into six groups. On the left are "confident multiculturals" and "mainstream liberals", comprising 24% of the population. On the far right sit "latent hostiles" and "active enmity" (totalling 23%), who share antagonistic attitudes to others and differ only in the degree of their antipathy and tolerance of extremism.
The centre of British politics are the "identity ambivalents" and "cultural integrationists". [F*** the academic jargon which hides ideological biases.] Cultural integrationists accept diversity as long as there is an integrated national culture, the rule of law, and respect for authority. This is the group to which David Cameron's call for a "muscular liberalism" is targeted. They are a quarter of the population. But the real swing voters are identity ambivalents (28%): economically insecure, worried about their local community, feeling threatened but open-minded and accepting of diversity – as long as their security is not threatened. So they feel more wage and job pressure from immigration, are anxious about their family's financial future, but are, for example, much less likely to think "Muslims create problems in the UK" than cultural integrationists.
Labour's vote is more weighted towards this group than any other. More black and ethnic minority voters are to be found here, and almost half of people who don't identify with a party are also identity ambivalent. [Again, what would you expect from a New Labour MP? Here he’s simply selling New Labour.] And this is why the economics of austerity and fiscal consolidation is so dangerous. A long period of low wages, casualisation of work, unemployment, higher prices, fiscal cuts (many are receiving tax credits), and VAT and fuel duty increases will refract into greater identity anxiety. [Yes, but these economic factors do not in themselves make people - the white working class! – single out Muslims. The EDL may as well single out Sikhs, or Kurds, or all ethnic groups! But the EDL doesn’t.]
Cameron's "muscular liberalism" has little to offer in giving identity ambivalents the greater sense of security they crave. The risk is that significant numbers in this group leapfrog to latent hostility or active enmity. [More party-political points with no real content.]
If Conservative rhetoric and coalition economics are an insufficient response, then what of Labour? This group is vital territory for Labour. Identity and economics are bound tightly together. A convincing economic response is necessary but not sufficient. An authentic sense of identity is just as important. Labour's politics must be suffused with both cultural understanding and meaning and a pragmatic economic mission. [This man is saying almost nothing here. But that’s party politics for you!]
Otherwise, the as yet unformed and unidentified party of English or British nationalism could begin to fill the space. The political mainstream needs more convincing responses – and fast. [Yes! And to get ‘more convincing responses’, as well as a better government and society, all you need to do is vote New Labour and make Ed (or Dave) Miliband Prime Minister. That should solve all our problems with Muslim grooming, Muslim self-ghettoisation, the Global Jihad, enforced halal, etc. Oh yes!]