Thursday, 5 September 2019

Boris Johnson goes full Mussolini


It's an extraordinary and iconic scene.

As MPs battle to undo Johnson's hard-right, parliament-shutting, disaster capitalist coup plot, Tory HQ actually decided that it would be a good idea for him to go and stand there in front of a load of police, as a visual demonstration that he may not have the backing of the people or parliament, but he still has the full power of the state behind him.

Obviously this kind of belligerent hard-man posturing is going to play brilliantly with the far-right ultranationalist Blue-Kip demographic that Johnson is so obviously intent on pandering to, but by ruthlessly expelling the Tory moderates for doing the right thing the other night, and now going full Mussolini for the cameras, he's brazenly sticking two fingers up at the kind of "keep calm and carry on" middle Englanders who traditionally voted Tory.

This is the imagery of hardcore British nationalism, and it's tailored to appeal to those of the far-right authoritarian disposition: The kind of people who want parliamentary democracy shut down if it means getting their own way, and revel in ruthless state repression of non-violent political dissent.

The Tory party was once a broad church, where comfortably wealthy middle Englanders, economically right-wing privatisation maniacs, and those of more extreme-right dispositions rubbed shoulders, wary of each other, but united in the joint purpose of transferring as much wealth and opportunity as possible from the ordinary majority, to the already-wealthy minority.

But Brexit fanaticism and the rise of Johnson has coincided with a savage ideological purge of the middle Englanders from the Tory ranks, and this piece of Mussolini-style authoritarian posturing is a clear message that the Tory party is now heading down a much more sinister path.

Photo shoots like this don't happen by chance.

The optics of an embattled wannabe hard-man leader surrounded by uniforms will have been carefully considered by Tory strategists and PR wonks.


They know perfectly well that the message they're sending is as much a direct provocation to those who object to the Tory lurch to the far-right as it is delicious manna to heaven to the far-right ultranationalist Blue-Kip demographic they're so desperately pandering to.

But they've done it anyway, because fetishisation of the power of the state and divisive "with us or against us" posturing is staple fare for ideological fanatics.

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12 comments:

Antitoria said...

This picture is quite sinister. To me it says "Big Brother is watching you". This is rich coming from a man who is prepared to ignore parliament and prepared to ignore the law if necessary to get what he wants. It's classic authoritarianism, saying I am the privileged elite who can step out of line whenever I want to but if you step out of line we'll come down on you. The PM is showing himself to be a fool, Incredibly he's got even less talent than his woeful predecessor and is trying to present himself as a 'tough guy' in order to cover his dismal performance as PM so far.

vonnie said...

have you noticed how he walks with hands behind his back- very Hitler

JMonaghan said...

Il Duce? More like Il Dunce.

SteveHolmes11 said...

Surrounds himself with uniforms.
Then delivers his monologue in the style of Oliver Reed (on one of his days off).

Not a good look, any chance of you posting the video.

Mr Gao said...

lets hope the story ends hanging upside down outside a gas station in Milan.

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