Thursday, 30 June 2016
For the avoidance of doubt
In 1961, the communists of the German Democratic Republic built a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall”. The wall was said to prevent western fascists from undermining the East German socialist project. But mainly it imprisoned its citizens in a totalitarian communist state, preventing mass defections from the slavery of the East to the freedom of the West. In 1989 it ended and it is the images of young people bringing hammers and picks and bare hands to tear down the wall that endure. If those youngsters averaged 23 years old then, today they are 50 but they still cherish freedom.
In Britain, if you are 50 or over, the 23-year olds are busy, not shaping a free and tolerant society but demonstrating against you and blaming you for exercising your knowledge and experience in bringing about a vote to leave another totalitarian state. The EU is hell-bent on closer union and yes, it will have its own army; to its leaders the citizens are mere resources, furthering the aims of centralised control. The kids of yesterday, who cheered freedom are still true to their cause but the children of today appear incapable of cutting Mother State’s apron strings and don't understand the difference between diversity and freedom or division and rule.
In their anger and their blind rage they are demanding to be let back inside the prison and they are confecting nonsense arguments and fabricating stories to reinforce them. One of the biggest lies is that Brexiteers are fascists and are openly attacking immigrants and refugees and anybody ‘other’. This hysteria is being whipped up by the media, who love nothing more than creating havoc with images of photogenic young people wielding placards of love – messages such as ‘Kill Farage’. The irony is almost deafening.
People are suddenly wearing safety pins to show they support Britain’s immigrant population. What? Now you have to virtue-signal that you are not going to pour petrol over a stranger and set them on fire? What if you support immigration generally, but you are vehemently against unrestricted immigration; should there be different coloured pins because, heaven forfend we should all be forced to hold identical opinions? And how long should you wear this safety pin for? A day, a week, a year? What if you are a British Nationalist neo-Nazi who just happens to have lost a button? And where do you wear this pin; do different positions represent different levels of tolerance? We need clarification here.
Britain was once the most tolerant nation on earth; it was one of our core values. What happened to that? Do we now have to wear our politics on our sleeve; declare our allegiances to all, even those who would wish us harm? Might you lose a job if you attend an interview not wearing a pin... or wearing one? And what if you are over fifty and haven’t even heard about this weird, ill-thought-through idea? Will it be assumed that you are therefore in favour of herding refugees into cattle trucks? How long before somebody is actually attacked for not wearing one?
It is one thing wearing a ribbon or a wristband to show you have donated to a particular cause. It is quite another to have to declare to strangers what sort of person you are. Didn’t they try that in 1930s Germany? Should I just sew on a yellow star-shaped patch to mark me out for vilification? Maybe a nice forehead tattoo for the avoidance of doubt? While we are waiting for our wise young people to decide what form of mark we should be compelled to wear I have designed this lovely pin which will serve the same purpose as wearing no pin at all.
All pins are equal... some are more equal than others.
The world was a safer place before people began demanding safe places and tolerance was far more widespread before it became mandatory. People exercised free choices before they were forced to become ‘free’ by legislation and British society in particular was a much friendlier place all round before it was demanded you signal how friendly you are. But hey, you’re young. The world will forgive you your youthful follies and one day you will grow up and begin to understand. It would be lovely if you could begin that process now.