This is it — the moment we’ve been waiting for. The moment when the Brexit rebellion finally began.
“Enough of this pissing about. Enough lawyerly excuses and Civil Service prevarication and Remainer politician manoeuvrings. We voted Brexit. Now give us Brexit. Give us Brexit, strong and hard, Boris!”.
That, in a nutshell, is what the people of Britain have been saying this week. Except that the way they have expressed it is in the context of another issue entirely. Instead of talking about Brexit, everyone has been preoccupied with two other “b” words — Boris and the burqa.
But make no mistake, it is Brexit that is the underlying reason as to why Boris Johnson v the Burqa has been dominating the British media’s news agenda with such extraordinary persistence all week.
Tory Progressive Ruth Davidson Wants Burqa Protected Like Crucifix, Pro-EU Remainers to QUIT if Boris Becomes Leader https://t.co/QDlAFADkvj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 9, 2018
Like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, the Boris and the Burqa business is just a pretext for the inevitable main event which was always going to happen in one form or another, only till it happened no one knew quite how or when.
This is why I’m writing about Boris and the Burka for the third time in a week. Not because I think it is in and of itself a particularly important story but because of its massive broader significance.
If this rebellion goes the way I hope it goes then the effects will be seismic indeed. What it will mean is that Britain — glory be! — could soon find herself in a position as envious and covetable as the United States under Donald Trump.
Get this one right and Britain, once more, will be a force to be reckoned with. We’ll have the chance to become more prosperous, proud and free than we’ve been since the days of Empire.
Get this one wrong and it’s pretty much game over for this particular corner of Western Civilisation.
Let me just recap on the story so far.
It all began on Monday when Boris – formerly Mayor of London; formerly Foreign Secretary; currently the leading candidate in the Brexit camp to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister – wrote a newspaper column about the burka.
The gist of the piece was that he didn’t believe it should be banned – that wouldn’t be the British way and it would be counterproductive – but that personally he found it an unpleasant garment which oppressed women and for which there was no scriptural pretext in Islam.
Nothing particularly exceptionable there, you might think. After all, lots of people, left and right, Christian and Muslim, have said similar stuff over the years.
It only became a casus belli because certain political factions chose to make it a casus belli.
These factions included: Islamist groups playing the “Islamophobia” grievance card; Momentum socialists from the Labour party, spotting a handy excuse to distract from all the stories about their leader Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism and his consorting with Islamic terrorist groups; bitter Remoaners within the Conservative party (and Lib Dems, Scottish Nationalists and Greens — or rather, since happily there’s only one of them in parliament, the Green) on a mission to decapitate the new de facto leader of Brexit; and Social Justice Warriors, forever obsessed with identity politics and therefore determined to parade their virtue by taking offence on behalf of burqa-wearers and Muslims everywhere.
That sounds like an awful lot of people ranged against Boris Johnson. But really it’s not. And this is where the story gets interesting.
Whoops! MSM Data Poll Finds Public Back Boris: Burqa Comments Not Racist, Garb Should Be Banned https://t.co/v50iZEkBFo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 8, 2018
To understand why this story is so important, you need to see it as a clash between the two dominant ideological forces of our time. It’s difficult giving them labels because each is so multifarious and fissiparous.
But for the sake of argument, let’s call them Traditionalism v Post-Modernism.
Traditionalists believe broadly in the tried-and-tested, in common sense, in “old-fashioned” qualities like resilience, self-determination, personal responsibility, common sense patriotism, loyalty, self-sacrifice, honour, duty, deferred gratification, in family values, in free speech, in liberty and natural justice.
Post-modernists, broadly, want to make the world anew on a ‘progressive’ model which rejects the past, embraces change as an automatic good, which seeks to impose — by force, if necessary — ‘social justice’ on a world it divides into oppressed and oppressors, and which believes that there is no such thing as absolute truth — only a succession of competing narratives.
Traditionalists are conservatives, though they may not necessarily identify as such.
Post-modernists are quintessentially Marxist, though they may baulk at the term — preferring to think of themselves as liberals or socialists or social democrats or even “centre-right” conservatives. But this is just semantics and sophistry. As the Polish MEP and philosopher Ryzard Legutko (a future podcast guest, I hope) points out in his must-read book The Demon In Democracy, the “liberal democrat” model championed in the last few decades by everyone from Hillary Clinton to the European Union is really just communism without the secret police, bread queues and gulags.
EU Chief Jean-Claude Juncker Defies Protests to Deliver Heartfelt Defence of Karl Marx https://t.co/LXTrmbYpGX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 5, 2018
Obviously this is far too big a subject for one Breitbart column, but I just wanted briefly to focus on one detail of the Boris versus the Burqa debate which illustrates the gulf between the two camps, and which shows why they can never be reconciled.
It concerns the revelation in the Spectator that Boris Johnson is far from the only person to have made a joke of the similarity between the burqa and a post box: a Muslim woman made a similar joke in the course of a satirical article in the left-wing Guardian in 2013.
To people in the traditionalist camp, this is hilarious: the clinching argument that shows the left’s outrageous double standards — and which also exposes the absurdity of all those squishy Conservative Remainers, from Theresa May downwards, lining up to condemn Boris for such an innocuous joke.
To people in the post-modernist camp, however, it is nothing of the kind.
Here are two tweets which illustrate how post-modernists ‘think’:
Written by a Muslim woman. You know the Tim Minchin song mate, "only a ginger can call another ginger, ginger". Context is everything in comedy. As is the person delivering it. People on the right need to understand context and nuance far more. Not everything is black and white.
— Marvyn Dickinson (@marvyndickinson) August 10, 2018
Are you going to soon suggest that The Producers is anti-semitic? Once more for the cheap seats: people are allowed to joke about THEMSELVES. Boris is not a comedian. His words will have led to actual racist attacks on women this week.
— Liz Tray (@LizTray) August 10, 2018
Note how in their worldview you can only make jokes about a given subject if you belong to the appropriate minority group. A Muslim can joke about the burqa, but not, apparently, a non-Muslim politician.
No intelligent person thinks this way. But lots of “educated” people do, especially now that our colleges and universities have effectively become madrassas which indoctrinate the youth in what passes for post-modernist “thought.”
To a traditionalist, free speech is sacred — one of the bedrocks of Western Civilisation. The very idea that it should be constrained according to whether or not you belong to an approved victim group is anathema. And dangerous anathema at that: it’s the quintessence of Marxism, this notion that the world divides into oppressors and the oppressed. And we all know from history, those of us who care about history, that Marxism tends inevitably towards misery, poverty and terror.
To a post-modernist, though, it’s the way all decent, caring, progressive people think. It’s a badge of the “woke” credentials that render you so morally superior to all the Neanderthal traditionalists who don’t share your Weltanschauung.
The two camps’ way of looking at the world – one, rational, evidence-based and history-conscious; the other about narratives and perspectives and “progress” – are irreconcilably different.
It’s why there can never be a meeting of minds between these two groups – for they think in ways which are diametrically opposite to one another: common sense vs muh feelings.
Survey: Right Wing Students Find ‘Clear Anti-Brexit, Anti-Conservative Bias’ in Universities, Hide Political Beliefs https://t.co/QNqfpbEeLy
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 28, 2017
Trump voters, it goes almost without saying, belong to the traditionalist camp. So too do Brexiteers. Both groups have often been mocked for their lack of university education but in fact this is more of a strength than a weakness. What it means is that they can think straight — from first principles, rather than according to skewed, crazy, ever-shifting narrative of post-modernism.
When, for example, traditionalists read Boris making light of the burqa, their instinctive response is not to go “OMG how can I best take offence?” but to consider how much his opinions gel with their own opinions. In other words, they look to see how much truth there is in his humour. And if they find truth there, then they will probably laugh because that is one of the ways that humour works: comedy of recognition.
To traditionalists this is just normal behaviour — the way any rational, not weird person would think and act. And traditionalists are right: this is how normal people think and act. It’s the post-modernists who are the aberration – by definition, in fact, because that’s what post-modernism is: a conscious rejection of tradition and convention and authority and the canon and all the values that previous generations have taken for granted.
As I argued before, in positioning himself as a gently mocking opponent of the burqa, Boris has done his political cause no disservice: at little personal cost and with zero effort he has suddenly established himself as Britain’s Voice of Common Sense — the politician who says what everyone is thinking.
But the real #winning move for Boris is the one that all his opponents have been making.
Every time an Islamist pressure group shrieks “Islamophobia” (while remaining strangely unmoved by: terrorism; rape gangs; FGM; no-go zones; honour killings)…
Every time another SJW “explains” on Twitter how only Muslims can joke about burqas and that for everyone else the entire religion is off limits…
Every time another Remoaner Conservative demands that Boris should apologise — or be disciplined, or resign for saying something that the vast majority of British people agree with…
Every time the BBC runs yet another story giving just one side of the argument — the anti-Boris, anti-Brexit, pro-Islamist side, obvs…
…the majority of people in Britain just shake their heads and go: “This is why I voted Brexit.”
And it makes them more determined than ever to make sure that Brexit happens.
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