One of the constants in British politics seems to be how nasty those who accuse others of being “extremists” often come across.
Just look at the abuse that Nigel Farage has taken in the European Parliament. He’s been called mad, bad, dangerous and everything in between by a number of frothing-at-the-mouth EU nationalists.
The same is true with the so-called “progressive” (Read: far-left) activists who shrieked at UKIP supporters who attended a big rally before the European Elections. Breitbart London’s coverage showed how the audience, young and old, black and white, were subjected to unpleasant abuse. Nothing constructive or conversational. Just nasty.
Of course, the likes of former Conservative MP Matthew Parris tend to think of themselves as the rational, friendly face of “conservatism”. Those like myself with a strident belief in the nation state, border controls and democracy are the extremists in the eyes of these metropolitan types.
His latest tirade in The Times constituted a torrent of abuse towards the people in Clacton. Decent people whom he has absolutely no right to judge. Mocking people because they have tattoos? The closed-mindedness involved in such infantile judgement is breathtaking.
In reality, it was a clear cut case of snobbery. Such a London-centric view represents a conceited politics. “We are the ruling classes, peasants! Know your place!”
It is a view that narrows down broad opinion to a self-selecting panel of wealthy metro elites. Not very pleasant.
Meanwhile, in Clacton, Douglas Carswell is getting on with a by-election campaign. He’s out there talking to the people of the town in a way in which Matthew Parris didn’t bother to and seemingly wouldn’t contemplate.
Yet the remarkable thing about Carswell is his unflinching niceness in the midst of such unpleasantness from the mainstream media – one envoy of which recently asked him if he had had a stroke! His response represents something to admire from a British politician.
Rather than putting the boot in to David Cameron when he defected to UKIP, Carswell admitted he likes him as a human being, he just happens to disagree with him.
Douglas Carswell is in politics for the issues, rather than a race to the bottom. He’s the type of politician I’m sure many would like to have as their MP.