Tell me Lies, Tell me Sweet Little Lies
There is this notion floating around like a used tissue in the wind that the alt. and far right ‘say it like it is’. They’re very good at marketing themselves that way. Recently, UKIP have announced themselves as ‘the authentic voice of Brexit’, billionaire Donald Trump tells blue collar workers on a daily basis what they need, and Spain’s particular brand of immigrant kickers simply call themselves ‘Voice’.
The alt./far right have laid claim to the ‘voice of the people’ territory which had mainly been occupied by more left-leaning workers’ parties after the war. Let’s not get into a decidedly Carl Schmittian debate on who these ‘people’ are, but rather explore the validity of the alt. right’s stake to their position of an omniscient fountain of truth.
The Authentic Voice of Brexit riled up the country to leave the EU, had no intention of actually dealing with the aftermath beyond throwing in the odd snide remark, and managed to pull a spineless Tory government into dangerous far right territory. Promising the Brexit referendum to keep the more racist side of the electorate appeased as well as forming a coalition with the DUP are a dark path to follow. Amid further cuts to the NHS, it is safe to say, the 350 mill BoJo was banging on about haven’t found their way back into the healthcare system. Similarly, to how those great coal-mining jobs haven’t found their way back to Iowa.
This whole speaking for the people thing is kind of dangerous, anyway. If you don’t agree, what does that make you? Well, in the case of Brexit, it makes you one of at least 48% of the country. Meanwhile the UKIP peoples’ party are pushing for a ‘unilateral and unconditional withdrawal’, an outcome even many Brexiteers don’t support. The far-right impose themselves as the moral arbiters of the entire population, while parties like UKIP rack up 5% at the polls.
Reneging on promises is nothing new in politics and, in fairness, mainstream parties do it just as much. No, the ‘voice of the people’ thing comes from an even more troubling place. In a society where the mainstream is pushing for political correctness with, paradoxically, almost fascistic vigor, light is being shed on a growing segment of the population that still wants to call Indians Pakis and yell the N word at black people. Don’t kid yourself that far-right parties becoming major contenders in Italy, France, and Spain means voting for them isn’t condoning xenophobia.