Well, as I said in the previous post, I’m back.
Actually, I’ve been back over a week but was re-adjusting to Kipper Republic reality and thinking through all I’ve seen and done while away in Hungary. I’ve been looking through stuff like the local free papers piled on the doormat, or the weekly NSS ‘Newsline’ (previously a small source of sanity in a deluded world) and I feel like a Martian.
For example, contributors to a National Secular Society forum reduced to suggesting that a ‘protest’ by a bunch of BNP rejects, the English Defence League, might count as a legitimate one against an alleged future threat of English ‘Islamofascism’. I can’t even be bothered writing in, just look at any of the ever reliable Richard Bartholomew’s work on such topics – e.g. http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/edl-again/ or http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/english-defence-league-interviewed-by-veteran-us-anti-gay-bigot/ and work it out for yourselves.
But even before returning from Hungary I’d decided this blog has to change direction.
What I saw there was a growing threat from fascism caused by a corrupt government which pretends the working class no longer exists. The inevitable result is that powerless people turn to the false answers of the only folk who claim to care (i.e. neo-nazis and the churches) who feed off each other’s lies and pick on the same culprits (foreigners, the undeserving poor, gays, uppity women….). What depressed me more was seeing intellectuals (even Jewish ones), while not joining the outright fascists for obvious reasons, going along with the general analysis.
Is this sounding familiar?
The thing is, I’ve long argued that religious evangelicals (Christian in the Manx case) and fascists work the same way and feed off the same targets. They see a breakdown in society (real or the result of media who’d rather jump on an easy myth or parrot a government PR handout than do the research), people who feel vulnerable or afraid, and they leech on it. They bang on council house doors and offer false hope, while those I’ve looked to recently as allies shudder at the very thought of a council house.
Saddest thing is, I grew up on those estates too and should know better. My grandparents all left school at 14, my parents at 15, not from choice but from class and religious prejudice.
My godmother – brilliant at maths but couldn’t get a scholarship at 13 ‘because a Taig would only go and waste it’ then spent her life book-keeping for middle class dullards.
Her dad – fought off Loyalist thugs in Edinburgh streets and got a Jewish kid out of Czechoslovakia in 1939 by pretending to be her uncle, then turned down the foreman’s job at the brewery where he worked (owned by her real uncle) rather than help the boss keep his workmates in line.
My paternal grandfather - who taught me you always fight fascists, but not foreigners or others of your own class, after having his life saved in World War One by a German.
My paternal grandmother - a Sally Army street preacher in the 1920’s when, as a single woman, she couldn’t even vote - never mind preach in a ‘proper’ church.
My wife’s grandfather, conscripted into the Hungarian Army in 1944 and sent to the Russian Front – only documents recently released from the Russian hospital where he died, having never fired a shot, revealed he’d been a secret Communist Party member throughout the fascist Horthy regime era.
I could go on, but you get the point. Couple of degrees and a whiff of a smug Oxford biologist’s generalities and I’m laughing at my own heritage, not nailing the bastards who keep others down.
Well not any more.
From now on I don’t confuse class with ignorance, and don’t deal in generalities concocted by those who want to hang on to power and repeated by those too lazy to ask questions.
But I will devote time to explaining how scams like Freedom to Flourish are used by the Manx government, religious interests and corporate bodies to destroy real community and replace it with astroturf (pseudo ‘grass roots’ activity) controlled by them.
And I will blog more on those who fight back against fascism (secular or religious), be it in East Europe, the Middle East or far nearer home.
Speaking of which, the International Campaign Against Honour Killings website (see sidebar) is down for maintenance, having been attacked so often.
ICHK should wear such attacks as a medal. Unlike many of us cyber-dilettantes, it seems they are having a real world effect.
5 years ago