A little bit of a round-up and some thoughts on the plight of the Left around the globe: I have been busy on something else this month (see below), so I am running around catching up on what I want to discuss on here. Back to normal service soon! OK …
At last Vijay Mallya, rural Hertfordshire’s most notorious alleged loan defaulter (but ask the banks and his wretched employees, who should know, or the Central Bureau of Investigation in Delhi, which recently charged the business genius with fraud) was arrested in London on 18 April on an extradition warrant. This doesn’t mean he’ll be dragged, handcuffed and squealing, onto an India-bound jet next week, desirable as that might be. It’s the start of a long, lawyer-enriching process that should nonetheless eventually see the ‘businessman’ back in the country he loves – and I do mean India not the Bahamas. PM Modi tweeted, ‘There is no place for corruption in India. Those who looted the poor & middle classes will have to return what they have looted.’ Not much fun to be in Modi’s crosshairs, I should think. Mallya’s besotted cheerleader at the FT must be sobbing.
That’s one small victory for justice. Another victory, and one that should also please Modi, was the wipeout of the Congress Party and the Aam Admi Party in the recent Delhi municipal elections. The BJP has been in the catbird seat in Delhi local politics for a decade, and to be honest the corruption and graft stank as much as the sewers they were supposed to keep unblocked. And yet, for all the trumpeting of the ‘anti-incumbency handicap’ that the BJP supposedly faced, they won in all three areas of the city and increased their seat count by almost 30. Two things contributed to the sweeping gains across the city (or maybe three …):
- First, Things are different now Modi is in charge and voters still trust him to root out graft, privilege and corruption. As usual, the BJP might not be trusted but as long as Modi is there people will temporarily lend the party their vote.
- Second, the BJP very cleverly put up new faces for election in an overwhelming number of wards in order that the old, tainted characters and their sewer smell, wouldn’t put voters off.
- Third, perhaps the recent demonetisation, far from damaging the Indian economy and reputation of Modi and the BJP as certain people (cough-cough-Jayant Bhandari-cough) believe, has actually worked brilliantly and increased the party’s popularity. Mmmh …
The problem for the global Left
And thinking about this most recent trouncing of the Congress Party in Delhi puts me in mind of the popularity problems that all the planet’s so-called Left-liberal parties are experiencing. Now, I say ‘so-called’ because they all appear to have metastasised into bastions of greed and privilege over against the interests of the ordinary people they (still) claim to represent. The global Left is now in the absurd position of being the spokespeople for financial, corporate and big institutional (eg EU) interests. The bankers, mega companies and supra-national organisations are destroying the middle class in the West, doling out crumbs to emerging economies, and fantastically enriching a small planet-wide rentier class looking forward to re-establishing the delights of feudalism.
Meanwhile the Left asks its supporters to support this looting of the world’s economy under the rubric of ‘progress’ and ‘globalisation’ – which should make genuine classical liberal supporters of free-markets and free-trade want to vomit.
Let’s look at some examples where ‘Left-liberal’ parties have come unstuck:
US Democrats-Hillary Clinton Clinton, as many have said before, was the moolah-hoovering pom-pom cheerleader for the absolute dregs of Wall Street and corporate financial interests. Utterly shameless and vacuous, she was just a list of social issues on a website. Ordinary Americans were ‘deplorables’, and the paradoxical (and hilarious) situation arose whereby the Occupy Wall Street trust-funders, the man-bun social justice warriors, and tattooed snowflake ‘anti fa’ armies were actually shilling for Goldman Sachs. The ‘ordinary’ folk of the nation, of course, demonstrated their contempt for this rabble by suggesting that they would take even Donald Trump in preference to the Dems. In the wake of defeat, the Dems seem to have doubled down on entrenching the anti-democratic rule of privilege that the party now represents.
UK Remain Tories-David Cameron The Brexit vote prevailed, after the scare stories and pro-EU statist propaganda emanating from Cameron’s rear end (and the rear ends of his close Eton buddies) failed to make the desired impression on the ordinary people of the UK. I know the UK Conservatives are not a ‘Left-liberal’ party and are supposed to be of the Right, but under Cameron this was muddied, again under the ‘progressive’ and corporate-institutional labels, so that democracy and sovereignty were to be offered up on the sacrificial altar of supranational banking interests – and I mean that: Greece was crucified to protect rich bond-holders. The Greek people were thrown to the wolves. That’s the EU for you: controlled by bankers and their rich handlers. Again, if you are of the right-on progressive, politically correct Left, these are the people and arguments you are supposed to be in favour of these days.
UK Labour-Jeremy Corbyn It’s not often that one sees a political party commit suicide before one’s eyes, but that’s what is now happening, and actually accelerating in the weeks since Conservative PM Theresa May called a snap general election scheduled for June 8. Corbyn’s dream is not an EU superstate, which is why he campaigned for Remain so half-heartedly. No, his plan is to turn the UK into Cuba in the North Atlantic. Thanks to the strategic genius of Ed Miliband, whose rule changes allowed back in the lefty extremists that had been pushed out over a period of decades, the Labour Party is now a haven for terrorist-hugging Jew-baiters and Stalinist fantasists. Oh, and the usual ‘radical’ middle class activists who blend into these categories. Great. A bright future of Salafism awaits it. The reasonable, principled ex-Labour supporters now look as if they are happy to lend the Conservatives their votes. Brexit aside, this might be because under Theresa May the Tory party looks as if it could become the liberal one-nation conservatives that once upon a time people foolishly dreamed Tony Blair planned for Labour.
France: Socialists-François Hollande And, actually, every other party except the Front National under Marine Le Pen. After the first round General Election run-off saw the Left and Right hurled into outer darkness, the French Left is now high and dry, marooned with the choice of the nationalist FN – the slur that Marine is like her fascist old man has failed to stick – or the curious, freakish Emmanuel Macron. This is a man with precious little political experience – he is a privileged enarque (actually from the ENA, so trained as a high-level civil servant) with almost no political experience. That which he has, he gained from working under Hollande as his economics and finance minister. So, a socialist? Not likely – a banker’s toy just like Hollande was. It’s strange how the En Marche! vanity political party he leads sprang from nowhere, fully-financed, about a year ago just when Hollande’s backers saw the last of their illusions fall away. Macron is the political Monkees to Le Pen’s Beatles, a completely manufactured act. Having said that, though, it is highly likely that he will be France’s next President for the corporate business-as-usual interests. Again, the poor voters of the Left have been Shanghai-ed by the financiers into supporting something entirely against both their interests and ideals.
I really don’t think that Le Pen can close a 20% gap in the second round of voting, but watch this space: Macron is already revealing himself as an entitled princeling who assumes victory is his by right. And we all know how that pans out, don’t we, Rahul, Hillary, David?
A quick plug …
… for a new magazine I am involved with and will be writing for in the future. Yes & No is a quarterly covering arts, culture, science, technology and business.
It’s the brainchild of one man, my friend, film-maker and artist Cassius Matthias, and I am extremely impressed with what he has managed to do. It’s really a magazine for grown-ups. Please do check it out here and ask your friendly local news-stand to get some copies in!