Saturday, 10 December 2016
In the United States, in days of old (until pretty much up to the present day) popularity was a longed-for goal. Being crowned most popular in your class, your year, your town, even, was almost the most important attribute, just behind truth, justice and the American way. Hell popularity WAS the American way. Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ was published in 1936, has sold over 30 million copies (according to Wikipedia) and is still in print today. Who doesn’t want to be popular when the opposite is such a hard way to live your life?
When Trevor Phillips was head of the Commission for Racial Equality he declared that it was not racist to prefer to live among people like yourself; in appearance, in cultural and in economic terms. The popular choice for most humans is to seek the comfort of the familiar. Nobody was listening. Actually, that’s not true; those for whom those wise words rang true were grateful to hear that they may not actually be racist after all. But those engaged in furthering the multicultural invasion simply dismissed it from their consideration and carried on accelerating the intensity with which their model world would test human endurance.
Multiculturalism is far from being universally popular and a significant proportion of those imported to further it are resolute in refusing to be a part of it. But whenever this has been pointed out the segregated communities have been given privileged status and the displaced have been ridiculed and shamed. David Cameron’s great political hero Tony Blair spent much of his premiership calling us all racist until that mealy-mouthed epithet ceased to mean anything. In the search for harsher terms of opprobrium Godwin’s Law has been tested almost to destruction, but even being called Hitler himself now fails to cast shame, but rather raises a wry grin at an argument won.
But Albion's way is not to hurl extreme insults; we prefer a more subtle, self-deprecating form of expression and the current insult-du-jour is ‘populist’. In typically British ironic inversion, subscribing to a majority opinion is now something to be berated for. In the week in which Louise Casey’s report into the harm that mass immigration has done, David Cameron has come out against the very thing that got him elected; populism. Given that so much public money is regularly wasted on unpopular projects benefitting so few maybe he has a point; sod the popular, let's go avant-garde.
Populism... there' no future in it.
Maybe in future we should award the seat to the Parliamentary candidate who gets the fewest votes? Perhaps we could adopt Groucho’s attitude towards clubs that would accept us as a member? In seeking to cast what is popular as what is wrong maybe this is a last gasp attempt to deliver what a minority voted for in the referendum. But who knows, it may catch on. After all, who wants to run the gauntlet, suffer the slings and arrows of being on the winning side? You can almost hear the silent spit: Brexit, darling? Oh god, no; that’s so... popular.