Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The right resurgent?

Is it fanciful to suggest that the overwhelming preponderance of right-wing blogs in the blogosphere points to the first signs of a rolling back of the Left's hitherto unchallenged occupation of the political moral high ground?

Since at least the mid-60s, arguably much earlier, it has been an absolute article of faith among all bien-pensant opinion that Left equals Good and Right equals Bad. It is a view that has permeated almost all sections of society and that underpins and in many ways circumscribes all political actions.

Take the hijacking of the word 'progressive'. Socialist policies are always 'progressive'. It follows therefore that conservative policies must be 'regressive'. Thus tax cuts = bad, tax increases, especially when paid for by someone else, = good. In much the same way, America is always wrong (though fun to visit, of course), the Third World always right (if rather less fun for holidays: Chad anyone?). It goes without saying that fat-cat-dominated big business is the fount of all that is sinister and corrupt as well as clearly responsible for global warming (a term now mutating into 'climate change', a necessary precaution just in case it turns out the Earth isn't getting hotter after all). Likewise, private education, which actually works, is a bastion of class-driven privilege while state education, which doesn't, is a monument to far-sighted idealism. Ditto even more so health: the NHS enjoys almost literally untouchable status on the Left. And racism of course is the evil beyond all others, though curiously only when perpetrated by whites (say the word fuck on television and your right-on credentials are guaranteed: so for a real laugh, why not try saying 'nigger'?).

The list goes on. What was most the odious regime of the last 50 years (America aside, of course)? The Soviet Union? North Korea? Albania? Burma? Cuba? Chile under Pinochet? The last one will always get some points but the correct answer is of course South Africa followed closely by Israel (odd to think it was once held up as a model of socialist aspiration).

Worst tyrant? There have been some hefty contenders after all. Mao? Ceaucescu? Castro? Amin? No, in joint first place are Bush (jr), Reagan and and arch-villain Nixon, though honourable mentions are reserved for Allende and any pre-Mandela South African leader.

Ditto, over the same period which British politician has consistently been reviled as the essence of evil? Well, Thatcher of course. (Maybe that one's too easy).

These are ingrained reactions, unshakeable, unchallengeable, undoubted. They drive not just the BBC but much of the rest of the media. They reign supreme in academia as well as in every council in the land. They explain a vast and growing public sector as much as a vast and growing set of official attitudes towards gender (silly me: I always thought this was a grammatical term), inclusiveness, positive discrimination, risk avoidance and the environment. They hold us all in thrall.

So how come they are not all over the blogosphere? Put it another way, why is it the Right that is so obviously making the running?

The answer seems to me pretty straightforward. That whatever the prevalence of left-wing attitudes among the metropolitan elite, they are far from shared by the population at large. And the wonderful thing about the blogosphere is that it allows anyone with something to say a direct, unfiltered means of doing so which bypasses not only traditional political parties but traditional media outlets, too.

And who has the most to say? In fact, not just who has the most to say but who has consistently found the most entertaining, provocative, incisive, irreverent and memorable ways of saying it? The Right. Look through Iain Dale's list of the top 50 left of centre blogs and you find only a tired, leaden-footed collection of plodders. As important, they attract hardly any comments. Either practically no one is reading them or they just can't be bothered to react to them. The spiky subversiveness and near instant responses generated by likes of Dale himself, Guido Fawkes, Dizzy, DK and the other standard-bearers of the Right are nowhere to be found.

The only lefty blog to attract comments regularly – and strictly speaking it isn't a blog at all – is the Guardian's Comment is Free. But intriguingly, a huge number of the comments, certainly almost of all of the most coherent and well-argued, are far from lefty. Quite the opposite. Take at look at this piece of characteristic bollocks in today's paper by George Monbiot. He is slaughtered in the comments, rent unto shreds.

All of which can only be an immense cause of satisfaction to those, such as me, who for years have railed against the consistent lefty bias of our poor, benighted world.

Is this the resurgence of the Right? Have we got the buggers on the run? That's what I call properly progressive.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Where it all goes wrong for the lefties (and more crusty Tories) is once people start looking at facts, observations, statistics and logic.

Like the vouchers for schools thing. Those who support them can point to Sweden, where it works perfectly well. Then watch the Lefties squirm.

Similarly, NIMBYs will twist and turn like mad once you point out that only 10% of the UK is developed or urbanised, even in the South East of England it's only about 15%. There's plenty of fucking space for building more houses.