Russell Taylor – Pick a side

A few days ago, I wrote a piece about the proposed bag tax. I’m not going to go over my arguments again, but suffice to say that I think it is stupid, unnecessary and sets a dangerous precedent for future government ‘nudging’. The response to the piece was mixed, but a fair few people were exasperated at my strength of feeling against the idea of a compulsory charge for carrier bags. Their gist was that if this kind of petty obstructionism is what the Right is about nowadays, you could count them out. Concerned people have identified a very real problem and proposed a practical solution, and those who oppose it are selfish ideologues, who are putting their irrational hatred of rules and regulations over the public wellbeing. They should just accept that this is the right thing to do and move on.

I sense that on this issue and others like it, opinions can be a tribal affair. If you cannot bear to align yourself with the people who hold them, nothing else really matters. If you believe the mainstream media’s interpretation of people, ideas and events, it seems there are two dominant social groups in this country. So which of them do you relate to?

In the red corner you have a sassy alliance of selfless politicians, credentialed experts and socially-conscious hepcats. They’re smart and sensitive, witty and cultured, cool-headed and pragmatic, unprejudiced and unshockable, sceptical of the old and welcoming of the new, ethically sound and determined to heal the world. Then, in the blue corner, you have the narrow-minded philistines of suburbia: terrified of lefties, darkness and gays ruining the rose-tinted Albion of their imagination; parochial boobies, who fear the strange and the different, and who obstruct progress out of a determination to keep the wrong people from rising up the pole; reactionary NIMBYs, whose so-called principles are either intellectual playthings that screw people over, or a fig leaf for prejudice and self-interest.

In reality, this is a false dichotomy, because the above caricatures are not much more than left-wing fantasy. More of the same can been seen in the media’s portrayal of UKIP as a bunch of blazered, ale-swilling bigots, who’d probably bring back slavery and poor houses if we gave the bastards half a chance (although Godfrey Bloom’s antics make the media’s job a little easier in this regard). It’s more accurate to say that the Right is made up of people who cherish personal liberty, who wish to conserve institutions that safeguard it, and who oppose those that threaten it. Much of the Right’s philosophy is about doing less, not more. It’s about dispensing with the rules and red tape that someone you never voted for decided you should abide by. It’s about being free to take responsibility for yourself and others on your terms, not those of some second-guessing expert who thinks he knows best. It’s about people finding solutions and reaching accommodations with others without the blundering input of clueless legislators and self-appointed moral guardians.

And the Left? They’re the ones who thrive on all the crap that the Right is trying to do away with. They’re the mandarins, the experts, the intellectuals, the luvvies and the hacks. They have little to offer the world of free markets and self-determination. In fact, it’s like Kryptonite to them:the stuff of redundancy and irrelevance. They boast about being open-minded and liberal, but they’re the ones who want to silence us, to shut us down and to hem us in. Just because they claim to do it on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, Mother Nature, or some other phantom victim group, doesn’t take away from their authoritarianism. I fail to see what’s so cool and progressive about that. So, perhaps when people are picking sides, they should look beyond the hype.

3 comments on “Russell Taylor – Pick a side

  1. silverminer
    September 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    I heard, on the radio today, a young man, who was at the Labour Party conference, expressing his excitement at the prospect of listening to the politicians tell him what THEY were going to do with OUR country when they achieved power.

    This is the problem we face. Pathetic individuals who’ve been taught that they are helpless to control their own lives and must look to their benevolent leaders to make everything right for them, led by narcissistic, authoritarian scum who get a kick out of planning everyone’s lives for them.

    I’m not sure it makes much difference which ones we elect. It’s something about the desire to exercise the levers of power that attracts exactly those types who seek to curtail our freedoms. I like to tell myself that UKIP would be different but I heard one or two speeches at their conference that showed a worrying desire to be tinkering with State involvement in areas which they ought to be getting the State right out of. Agriculture and housing spring to mind.

    Perhaps the only answer, if our representatives cannot be trusted with power, is the adoption of Swiss style direct democracy so we can call blocking referenda on individual issues. A modern method of invoking the Lawful Rebellion clause in Magna Carta, if you like.

  2. Baron
    September 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    A brilliant piece, every word of it, Mr. Taylor, except for one thing. The dichotomy, both the false and the real one you’re describing so convincingly applies almost exclusively to the elites of the two opposing ideological schools of thought, the opinion formers, the avant-garde in both the red and the blue corner.

    In numbers, either elite is a minority, a well educated, articulate and hence a powerful minority, but a minority nevertheless. For any of the two small elites to gain power, to install the system they favour, either the reds or the blues need to win elections. To win the count they need to convince the largely apolitical masses to back them up.

    It is at this point where the reds’ core bribing force that of the state taking over what previously was in the domain of each of us has proven to be by far more tempting than the self-reliance, personal independence, the absence of petty rules…. that the blues favour.

    If it were not so how would one explain the mess we’ve got ourselves in and, more specifically and relevant today, the repeatedly high scores in the polls in favour of the reds who got us into it?

    • Russell Taylor
      September 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      The only hope is that people realise that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that even those government freebies end up costing them in some way or another.

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