Thursday, 4 July 2019

We need to talk about Remainer Unicorns


Now I know I've pissed off a lot of people by pointing out that people on the extreme Remain fringe are every bit as toxic as the Brextremists, but I'm going to have to address the subject again.

And again I'll include a massive disclaimer that I'm not generalising about all Brexit-sceptics - which would be stupid because I'm a Brexit-sceptic myself - but highlighting the ridiculous and counter-productive behaviour of some people on the polar fringe of the debate.

And again a load of Remainers will turn up in the comments to cry victim and cynically pretend that I'm generalising about all Remainers in order to discredit the argument that some people on the Remain side are just awful strategically inept people who do far more harm to the cause than good.

We all know the routine by now.

A.C. Grayling

Anyone who is on Twitter will be familiar with AC Grayling's lamentable output, which consists mainly of intense Remain fanaticism, burning Corbyn-hate, relentless Lib-Dem apologism, endless refusal to address the actual causes of Brexit, and seething contempt for people with different views to his own.

In short Grayling is exactly the kind of smug, insular, arrogant, sneering Remainer that breathes so much life into the Brexiteer caricature of all Remainers being aloof out-of-touch metropolitan elitists.

Sinn Féin

The Irish independence party Sinn Féin have repeatedly warned that a chaotic "no deal" Tory-administered Brexit would ruin the Good Friday peace agreement.

I'm sure we can all see how the re-imposition of a hard border in Northern Ireland is both against the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, and risks inflaming sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

But instead of simply agreeing with the warning, AC Grayling went a lot further in an extraordinary Tweet, demanding that Sinn Féin MPs take up their seats in parliament, and twice referring to the fight for Irish independence as a "fetish".

Remanier Unicorns


One of the favourite endlessly-repeated tropes in Remainer echo-chambers is to refer to pretty much anything to do with Brexit as "chasing unicorns" or "unicornism".

Of course a lot of the stuff Brexiteers come out with, like Boris Johnson's Gatt 24 nonsense, or the absurd idea of an "orderly "no deal" are flagrant nonsense that absolutely deserves to be ridiculed and derided.


The problem of course occurs when one of the most high-profile Remain campaigners on social media proposes an absolutely ridiculous "unicorn" solution to Brexit.

Sinn Féin will never ever take their seats in Westminster because to do so would involve swearing allegiance to the Queen, and sitting in the parliament of a what they consider to be an illegitimate and hostile occupying power.

Ireland was brutally repressed by the mainly-English aristocracy for Centuries, including the savage execution of the Easter Rising revolutionaries, and avowed Irish republicans certainly aren't ever going to legitimise London-rule by pledging allegiance to the Queen and taking up their seats in Westminster.


Respect them or loathe them, at least they stick to their principles and stay out of the parliament they want to be rid of, unlike the Brexiteers who turn up in ever larger numbers in the European Parliament in order to laze around collecting salaries and expenses for doing absolutely bollocks all beside displays of grandstanding gesture politics for the "stick it to Johnny Foreigner" mob.

Once again. Just to be absolutely clear: Sinn Féin will never take their seats in Westminster

Never.

Anyone who proposes this nonsense as a solution to the Brexit mess is just as guilty of wildly unrealistic unicornism as any Brexiteer.

Strategic ineptitude

The idiocy of calling for the impossible isn't even the worst of it. The worst of it is the decision to twice portray the fight for Irish independence as some kind of disgusting "fetish", rather than a legitimate political stance.

The use of such language absolutely reeks of entitled British-nationalist imperialism.

It implies that the long fight for Irish independence from London-rule was illegitimate and depraved, and that the entire existence of Ireland as an independent sovereign state is some kind of ungodly perversion.

It should be absolutely obvious that, when asking people to help you out by breaking their own firmly-held principles, it's an impossibly weak strategy to grossly insult their beliefs and the very existence of their nation.

And it's obviously not just Sinn Féin members that Grayling is insulting by delegitimising the fight for Irish independence, and the very existence of Ireland as an independent state, it's all Irish people, and everyone with Irish ancestry too.

When Brexit-sceptics need to form as many alliances as possible with our European neighbours, here we have a very high-profile English Remainer resorting to displays of toxic British nationalism against the Irish, and literally thousands of Remainers liking and retweeting his bile-laden nonsense.

Unionism and Irish reunification


A recent poll of Tory party members revealed that an overwhelming majority of them would gladly give up Britain's claim on Northern Ireland in return for their beloved Brexit.

So that's members of the Conservative and Unionist Party supporting Irish reunification because they're so obsessed with Brexit, but instead of criticising this extraordinary state of affairs, Grayling is trying to get Irish republicans to step in and save his beloved Union by ... errr ... insulting the very existence of their country as some kind of perverted abomination!

The irony and logical incoherence is extraordinary. He doesn't seem to care that avowed Unionists have given up on his beloved Union, but he's going to insult Irish republicans in the hope that makes them step in and save it!

And this guy is supposed to be a public intellectual!

Consequences

Just imagine if the impossible did come true and Sinn Féin politicians did decide to dishonestly pledge allegiance to the Queen in order to enter the British parliament and put a stop to Brexit.

How do you think that would pay in the mainstream media?

You'd have to be utterly delusional to think this wouldn't be portrayed as a nasty bunch of hostile Irish infiltrators sneaking in to ruin our beloved patriotic Brexit, or to think that such a move wouldn't be immensely detrimental to the Brexit-sceptic cause.

Conclusion

Not all Brexit-sceptics are toxic and delusional, but the enduring popularity of AC Grayling, and the fact that even the most delusional, counter-productive, and downright offensive of his Tweets garner thousands of likes and retweets is an indicator that the "dick head quotient" is actually pretty high.

The problem is of course that just because somebody holds the same view as you do on an important issue like Brexit, doesn't mean that they're an ally of yours to be uncritically retweet whatever nonsense they come out with, and tribalistically defended because you see them as fellow members of your tribe.

Once you see people resort to delusional and offensive nonsense it's really important to think about how much damage it actually does to the cause you support.

Any legitimate political movement needs internal criticism and debate, otherwise the loudest and most toxic attention seekers end up forcing their way to the forefront.

And to see a very high-profile Remainer proposing ridiculous unicornism and spitting undiluted British nationalist hate at the Irish, and getting masses of support and retweets is compelling evidence that the anti-Brexit movement is allowing toxic attention seekers like AC Grayling to do exactly that.

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52 comments:

Unknown said...

Is he related to Chris Grayling by any chance? He seems to have a similar grasp on failure dressed as success!

Mr. Magoo said...

I agree with the views expressed in this article, however, bickering over whether the UK should leave the EU is like bickering over whether we should turn into gorillas. In other words - it ain't gonna happen, and we're wasting time over it. We should be talking about important issues, such as preventing ecological armageddon; the economic/physical wars happening right now; and the DISGUSTING level of wealth inequality in the world.

Andrew Heenan said...

On the mail, as usual.
Kudos.

Andrew Heenan said...

Er, nail.
Sod autocorrect.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant idea. Can you please name three/five policies you would like to see enacted by parliment as a response to climate change and provide academic citation/examples of them working in real life? Genuinely interested, cheers

Anonymous said...

Dear Zelo ,
I must try to get in touch with Mr Grayling and suggest he also asks the Taoiseach to raise an Irish Catholic army to come over and return England to proper order . Worked out well for Charles I !

Mr. Magoo said...

(@ Anonymous) The workers of the world should unite; remove the means of production & distribution from the hands of the capitalist class; and place them under common ownership & democratic control. We should also abolish money then produce & distribute goods & services based on need (not profit). By doing these things we could develop as a species sustainably, thereby humans could live in harmony with nature.

Here are a couple of academic papers for you:
https://www.greenhousethinktank.org/uploads/4/8/3/2/48324387/why_capitalist_economies_need_to_grow_-_for_green_house_-_10_10_14.pdf

https://systemchangenotclimatechange.org/article/green-capitalism-god-failed-0

Unknown said...

Working examples of policies in real life enacted to confront a never before experienced global threat? You're not really genuinely interested are you smartarse?

Kit said...

Those of the Scottish and Welsh assembly need to give an oath of allegiance. Those of the Northern Ireland assembly do not. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_Allegiance_(United_Kingdom)

PaddyT said...

The 6 counties was created by the UK in 1921, as 80% of Irish industry was based there and Ulster has 9 counties by the way, the other 3 was mainly Catholic, they gerrymandered a Unionist majority. Nearly 100 years later their creation has come back to haunt them

Anonymous said...

Known policies: carbon tax, investment in renewables, plastic ban... It's been internationally known since the sixties, youve clearly no idea what you're talking about. Let the adults talk, make some noise from the side lines if it makes you feel better x x

Unknown said...

It seems like the definition of "working in real life" is what you are struggling with. And why ask a question you already know the answer to? Genuinely interested?

Anonymous said...

To highlight that Labour and its voters dont know what to do about climate change. Unless you know?

Anonymous said...

Oh, you want communism. I'd suggest you read any of the accounts of Soviet Russias central planning departments prior to 1991 to understand why that wont work.

Anonymous said...

Hold on there anon, just imagine what Stalin did for Russias Carbon foot print? Magoo could be onto something!

Mr. Magoo said...

Once socialism and communism meant the same thing. Communism, for a hundred years or so, has meant the means of production & distribution are state owned and controlled by a bunch of unelected bureaucrats. These bureaucrats hand out wages to the workers of the state, while giving themselves "wages" that make them filthy rich.

Here are three questions to check if a society is socialist:
1. Is it based around a hierarchy?
2. Do the workers need to earn wages to survive.
3. Is it obsessed with economic growth?

If the answer to any of those questions is 'yes' then it's not socialism. If anyone reading this wants more information on this topic, then Ecosia search 'state capitalism' (you can tell I'm honestly green because I want you to use Ecosia instead of Google). ;-)

Anonymous said...

You cant have a society exist without a hierarchy. Hierarchies exist based upon competence, for instance a plumber who is naturally more skilled than another plumber will be in greater demand as weLl as being more skilled. In this sense your socialist utopia simply cannot exist if it must not have hierarchies.

If certain people are naturally better at things, they create a hierarchy and therefore disparity. How will you resolve this?

Andrew Heenan said...

Straw man argument.
I see no evidence of this merit hierarchy in our society. It's pure wishful thinking. Plenty of bad plumbers do very well thank you, and plenty of good ones don't.
You didn't really think it through, did you?

Anonymous said...

Tiger Woods... best golfer in the world.
Floyd Mayweather... best boxer in the world...
Hell, Jeremy Corbynwas elected over the other candidates because Labour party members thought he was the best for the job.
You think footballers dont receive wages on how well they perform?
The S A S have a vigorous and relentless process of picking new recruits... you dont think this creates a hierarchy based on competence?

I dont think you thought your answer through x x

Anonymous said...

How will you organise the creation and distribution of cars in a socialist society?

Andrew Heenan said...

They are the exception, not the rule. And even most of them are about money, not merit. Maybe you can't tell the difference. I don't think your capable of thinking it through.

Andrew Heenan said...

When you've read a bit of Marx (the Communist Manifesto is only 23 pages for gawds sake), is be happy to discuss Communism with you. It's not difficult. But I suppose it takes more effort than trolling.

Andrew Heenan said...

Don't bother. He has no idea what communism is.

Anonymous said...

Well according to the communist manifesto all property rights would go through the state (which would be an eternal one party system) meaning car manufacturing would be organised by the state (which Magoo is arguing against). The Soviets attempted this and the cars were sub par due to horrendous innieficiencies from central planning. I dont think you're keeping up with the conversation. I suspect you're afraid of actually putting across an opinion because, lets be honest, you know it'll be shot down with a few simple question.

Anonymous said...

Really? Well foung back to my original example; If you have plumber over and he fails to fix your sink... do you call for a more competent plumber, or do you call the same one again?

Anonymous said...

Or if you're sick if plumbers, you dont think Corbyn was elected leader because he was more competent then the others shortlisted in the eyes if the party members?

Take your time.

Anonymous said...

Lol, well it's been a while since I perused Das Capital but I think its: a one party system of governance in which the state holds all property rights and by default every market is centralised through the state. Additionally whilst the Labour Value Theory is not mentioned by name, Das Capital outlines it multiple times as a major code in which to calculate worth from specific processes, again, all of which are regulated by the state: education, power, farming, the police, healthcare, manufacturing, music, entertainment, water...

You're the weakest troll I've come across on here so far, lol.

Andrew Heenan said...

Except, Jeremy, that I actually have read Das Capital, so I know it's past your bed time.

Anonymous said...

Lol, you've got nothing but insults and innuendo and you've failed to answer basic questions. It's been a pleasure, I dare say if you dont talk about it the glorious revolution will DEFINATELY happen LOL

Anonymous said...

Two really basic questions you cant answer because you know hierarchies exist out of competence. Absolute jokes.

Unknown said...

It doesn't really matter what Labour do about climate change unless everybody else does it too. And nor does your genuine interest in what some random commentator on a website thinks has to be done have any relation to Labour policy on climate change either. Like I said, you're not generally interested in anything except making yourself out to be cleverer than everybody else. Ten a penny on the internet these days. And of zero benefit to society.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Labour haven't a clue what they're doing as usual. No policies researched or backed by any serious science, just a bunch of vague promises to satisfy guiless activists.

FYI: well done for including yourself in your reply, that means we're as bad as each other x x

Mr. Magoo said...

The definition of 'hierarchy': a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority.

Examples of hierarchies: the military; the justice system; the government (including the royal family); the media; most political parties; etc.

Very few cars would exist in a socialist world (we would mainly rely on trains and trams to travel). Imagine how much more rewarding it would be for designers to design their products to last as long as possible plus be recyclable/disposed of sustainably (imagine telling Apple you want them to make a computer that will last several decades)!

Anonymous said...

Exactly, they are ranked according to relative status in a societal hierarchy, you've just proven my point. By definition relative status is achieved through competency.

Your example of engineers completing trains/trams would be a hierarchy of competence. The best engineers would have the most input and dictate what would happen on the project.

Hierarchies are innate, you cannot escape them.

The issue you face is obviously: in a socialist world, who would be in charge and who would organise society given you cannot escape hierarchies?

I hope for your sake its someone benevolent.

Anonymous said...

For instance: the U.K does not have enough arable land to survive independently (even if you were to somehow overcome this technologically its still a major issue in the short term). My question would be: who is utilised to perform trade deals (again, they'd need to be good at bargaining so another example of a hierarchy of competence), and what stops them from giving into corruption I.e organising trade deals that benefit them or people they know in other sectors of society?

Mr. Magoo said...

"The issue you face is obviously: in a socialist world, who would be in charge and who would organise society given you cannot escape hierarchies?"

A people's assembly (of sorts). This assembly would be made up of people's' delegates, with a general election every year, and the delegates able to be recalled by their constituents if their constituents aren't satisfied with them. The workplace would also be democratised in this way - with delegates elected to organise the work.

"My question would be: who is utilised to perform trade deals (again, they'd need to be good at bargaining so another example of a hierarchy of competence), and what stops them from giving into corruption I.e organising trade deals that benefit them or people they know in other sectors of society?"

There would be no trade in a socialist world. The peoples's assemblies of the world would co-ordinate with each other (and the workers' councils) to produce & distribute goods to wherever they are needed.

Anonymous said...

Ok, a) I specifically said international trade. Bot every other country is going to be socialist. Please explain how youd organise trade deals. And
B) if they're elected surely you realise it's based on the perceived competence in their role by those who elect them?

Anonymous said...

C) how is this different from Soviet style central planning? Is the state involved and if so how do you stop the creation of unelected officials dictating distribution as they can be empowered by the elected officials as happened in Russia?

Gloria Scott said...

not a useful post

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Mr. Magoo said...

a) Socialism can't exist in one country, it would have to be a global system.

b) Of course. But (to reference one of your previous comments) being one of the best golfers in the world doesn't give Tiger Woods the right to boss around other golfers.

c) States won't exist in an economic sense in a socialist world. All officials would be elected and would be held to account by the people who elected them.

This is just a basic blueprint on what a socialist civilisation could look like. We will have to decide on all the specifics of a socialist society together, democratically, as a community of equals.

Liberty, Equality, and Justice (each of these three can't truly exist without the other).

Anonymous said...

A) I agree, that's why it will never happen.
B) Strawman,at no point did I state that Tiger Woods bosses other golfers around because hes the best, hes merely seen as the best golfer currently. The comparison to the engineers was, again, that they achieved this recognition through COMPETANCE. I'll do this in capitals to hammer home the point: IN YOUR SOCIALIST VISION ENGINEERS WIL STILL BE TESTED ON COMPETENCE AND THEREFORE A HIERARCHY WILK EXIST. DO YOU UBDERSTAND THIS? I said they'd have the most input, do you understand how engineers work in teams? They have supervisors and managers who dont specialise as well, do you admit theyd get that position through competence? Theyd be better at organising individuals with specific skills so theyd have authority, again, based on competence. You dont honestly think a magnetism specialist is going to be able to micro manage a graphic designer and focus upon making the tracks at the same time do you?
C) who organises these elections? Who organises the police and courts of law? Which writes the law? If you elect individuals to do this: you have created a state through a hierarchy of competance and also run the risk of corruption. Do you understand?

Do you admit you cant escape hierarchies?

Mr. Magoo said...

If you want to call more talented people and those with better ideas having a greater input in a socialist society 'a hierarchy of competence' - then fine, a hierarchy of competence would exist in a hypothetical socialist world.
j

Anonymous said...

THANK GOD. I was getting genuinely worried there.

Regarding this how are you to ensure the democratically elected officials who decide the laws and govern the police wont end up becoming as corrupt and self serving as failed socialist states (Russia, China) or even compared to the current one in the U.K?

Mr. Magoo said...

The people's/workers' delegates would be leaders (as opposed to rulers). They would be answerable to the people they represent - with elections every year, and their 'constituents' able to recall them (if they're unsatisfied). A socialist world will only exist once a majority of people understand what its really all about (democracy, equality, justice, sustainability, and an end to the profit/wages system), therefore preventing authoritarianism & corruption.

There are over 40 comments under this blog post, so this will be my last one. If you are genuinely interested in socialism - here's a list of pamphlets (arranged from newest to oldest) you can check out: https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlet/

Anonymous said...

Ah ha. So you want a planned economy soviet/maos China style (I.e material distribution by an official who organises an entire sector of an economy rather then the market organising it). This has been tried multiple times and resulted in: starvation, corruption, technological stagnation and genocide.

To avoid corruption these key individuals will be elected yearly. This will add further burocracy to the cause because for six weeks or two months of the year they'll be running a campaign on top of distributing goods to their specific sector. Not to mention the change over if someone new is elected in.

Finally this is completely under the assumption that every country in the world will agree to do this.

I think my summation is all that's needed at this point, best of luck with your future endevours.

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