Monday, July 14, 2003

Roots of the Right

This column from George Monbiot is, as you would have realised as soon as you read the authors name, smug and nasty. But I will get on to that in a minute. Unfortunately he has some good points, particularly on a one sided extradition treaty we signed with the Yanks and Geoff Hoon's surrender of our strategic ability to defend ourselves (profiled by Phil Chaston in Electric Review).

Of course the basic assumption is wrong - the right are doing this for their own selfish reasons. Being a Guardian article the assumption is that the right can only be wrong for selfish motives while for the left this is impossible. In particular it is the foreign control of the right wing media. I would have thought that the right wing media would have been more interested in attracting readers, as the Conrad Black owned Spectator shows with a rather liberal set of anti-interventionist articles and the Times shows with the glorious Simon Jenkins. Profit comes before politics for these media barons, which is why they are media barons in the first place (Of course we've completely missed the second biggest selling paper in the country the British-owned Daily Mail who are also staunchly right wing).

The other thing that he accuses the right of is power worshipping. Well George as most right wingers that I know still publicly identify themselves as Conservative supporters their not very pious power worshippers.

Of course there are personal motives in this. I wil break my taboo and state that for example Iain Murray is certianly influenced by his close links with America and it would be fair to say that if he did not have those links then his attachment to the Anglosphere would be more questioning than otherwise. However the closeness of these links are very rare even in our right wing punditocracy, and in most cases these links are very clear.

It will not do for the right to simply scoff at Monbiot (although nothing wrong with scoffing - as new Times columnist Peter Briffa does). He actually has a point. The Anglosphere is simply not "patriotic" in any sensible use of the term. To non-initiates in the cult it sounds as ridiculous to say that tying ourselves to America is patriotic as it would be for Charles Kennedy to claim (as he has) that the case for the Euro is a "patriotic case".

The right is going to have to make the choice, patriotism or America. I've already made that choice.


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