Thursday 26 October 2017

The Daily Mail always was a rabid dog, but Brexit has let it off the leash

Gleichschaltung was the term used in the 1930s to describe the process of Nazification, where non-Nazi organisations like trade unions and rival political parties were eradicated, and the law courts and education system was purged of Jews, socialists and anyone even remotely critical of the government.

Rigging the judiciary with sympathisers, and purging schools and universities of alternative thought in order to create incubators for compliance and conformity were absolutely fundamental to the spread of Nazism (and to other totalitarian political ideologies too).

In the UK the Daily Mail was absolutely delighted with the progress of Gleichschaltung. During the 1930s they published editorial after editorial extolling the virtues of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, and imploring their readers to join Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists.

Meanwhile the anti-fascist Winston Churchill cut a lonely ostracised figure in a ruling Conservative party where Tory MPs were queuing up to embrace the fascist ideologyby joining the pro-Nazi Anglo-German Link and the anti-Semitic right Club in their droves.

Thankfully fascism was a very much less appealing prospect to ordinary British people than it was to the Daily Mail and the British ruling establishment class, and on 4th October 1936 the English working class, left-wingers, Jewish and Irish immigrants came together in solidarity at Cable Street to prevent Oswald Mosley and his fascists from marching through the east end of London.

After beating down the rise of fascism in the streets of Britain, the British people endured the horrors of the Blitz, the sacrifice of 450,000 lives, and the privations of rationing in order to fight and defeat Nazism. 

However, despite Britain's prominent role in defeating Nazism, plenty of fascist ideals and tactics have remained popular with British right-wingers, and especially at the Daily Mail.

For decades the Daily Mail had to keep a lid on their craving for extreme-right tyranny, and their desire for enforced ideological conformity, but in their delirium at conning the British public into voting for Brexit, they've completely forgotten about the need to hide their craving for fascism.

In November 2016 the Daily Mail attacked three High Court judges as "enemies of the people" because they had the temerity to rule that Theresa May couldn't conduct Brexit as an autocrat who makes it up as she goes along to suit her own purposes, and that she would have to seek democratic approval in parliament before triggering Article 50.

In October 2017 the Daily Mail began a sinister anti-intellectual witch hunt of any university staff who had ever been critical of Brexit. And there's no mistaking that it's a politically motivated witch hunt because any remotely impartial inquiry into bias at universities would ask for examples of pro- and anti- Brexit bias, not just examples that are intended to publicly attack any university staff who have ever criticised or critiqued Brexit.

Ever since the EU referendum the Daily Mail have also repeatedly sided with Theresa May's autocratic vision of Brexit, where parliament has as little influence over the process as possible. She wanted to trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval and the Daily Mail savaged the judges who ruled in favour of parliamentary sovereignty. Now she wants to bypass parliament and allow her ministers to rewrite thousands of British laws with no democratic scrutiny whatever, and the Daily Mail are applauding her every step of the way because they know that a legal system that is completely rigged in favour of tax-dodging corporations and the mega-rich is very much more likely to develop if opposition politicians are completely cut out of the process.

The parallels between the savagery of the Daily Mail's attacks on any judges, politicians or educators who oppose the right-wing and profoundly anti-democratic interpretation of Brexit they share with Theresa May, and the Gleichschaltung purges in Nazi Germany are only strengthened by the fact that the Daily Mail was cheering on wildly from the sidelines as the Nazi purges were going on back in the 1930s.

Since Brexit some people may have been surprised at Daily Mail's sickening attacks on the judiciary, their craving for ideological conformity, their anti-intellectual tone, and their unyielding support for Theresa May's plot to fatally undermine parliament to give her party absolute power to make up the law of the land as they see fit with no democratic scrutiny whatever. 

But others can see it for what it is. The Daily Mail has always been a rabid dog, but their extreme-right raving, contempt for democracy and the rule of law, and their rank anti-intellectualism remained somewhat tethered by the British cultural memory of the fight against fascism. 

They couldn't show what they truly were because they knew that too many people still had first hand recollections of what fascism was really like.

Now that the very youngest people with any memories of the Second World War are reaching their 80s, and anyone who actually served is into their 90s, the Daily Mail no longer feels the need to hide their true colours, and the vote for Brexit was the critical moment when the rabid dog that had remained chained up for generations was let off its leash again to begin savaging anyone who doesn't share its enthusiasm for tyranny, its vile anti-intellectualism, and its extreme-right contempt for the rule of law.

The really sad thing is that millions of people per week still read this disgusting fascist hate comic, and they still don't seem to have clocked what it is that they're reading, even after it's gone into full on rabid dog mode right in front of their eyes.

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