Alphen, Netherlands. 13 October. “If I should die, think only this of me; That there’s some corner of a foreign field That is forever England”. Watching the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) win its first parliamentary seat last week in England I could not help but be reminded of Rupert Brooke’s century-old requiem for a soon-to-be lost England and his soon-to-be lost self. The March of the Kippers is a very English political insurgency but no less potent for that. There are three main drivers of this insurgency: political disconnect between the narrow uber-elite who run England and the people: elite failure and a refusal of the elite to listen to the English people; and the loss of patriotism or any belief in the country at the highest levels of government and governance in England.
Political Disconnect: A clue to the cause and the depth of political disconnect between the uber-elite and much of the English population is apparent in two pieces written last week by Times columnist and former MP Matthew Parris, a fully paid-up member of the liberal London uber-elite. In a couple of articles stunning in the ambition of their arrogance he called the electorate ‘out of touch’, and advised his uber-elite friends to tell them so. His shrill chimes rang in unison with those in the London and Brussels Kommentariats who talk about political dissenters such as the Kippers as failed little people left behind by globalisation the voices of whom must be dismissed and if needs be actively marginalised.
Elite Failure: If England was some form of idyll the dismissive howls of an aggrieved elite might be understandable. However, England today is far from being an idyll. Rather, it is a rudderless, broken, divided place, a political and social mess that has lost much of its identity in the face of the relentless tide of elite-led immigration and the ghetto-creating multiculturalism that has so undermined social cohesion.
In other words it is the London elite who have failed the people not the people who have failed the elite as Parris implies. Indeed, it is the same elite who in the space of a generation have allowed the conditions for home-grown terrorism to spawn in England; handed over sovereignty and power to Brussels and denied the English people a promised referendum on the Lisbon Treaty; allowed the banks to bring Britain to its economic knees; lost control of migration and drove down living standards; and who by appalling political miscalculation this year brought the United Kingdom to the point of disintegration. Indeed, it is the self-same elite who over the past fifty or so years have made just about every wrong strategic decision it is possible to make and thus fulfilled their own self-fulfilling prophecy of absurdly rapid national decline.
First, it is the London and Brussels elites who daily fail the challenge of globalisation. Critically, they fail to understand that globalisation and Europeanisation as currently conceived are mutually exclusive. Second, whilst past London elites were just as much ‘out of touch’ as the current leadership they at least had the interests of the country at heart and the power to do something about it. Today, much of that power has been handed to Brussels. Third, much of the London uber-elite are part of a new elite European politico-intellectual complex who talk far more to each other than their compatriots.
Loss of Elite Patriotism: It is also the self-same elite who privately sneer at the ordinary, decent patriotism of the ordinary, decent folk of England who are now rebelling. Sadly, the very people who run England are the very people who seem no longer to believe in England. And that includes Parris and many of his elite fellow-travellers in the scribbleocracy. They think that Little Britain can only survive as part of the ghastly mutual impoverishment pact that the EU has become. These denizens of exaggerated declinism dismiss those who with no sense of hubris still believe that Britain, the world’s fifth or sixth most powerful economy with one of the top five world militaries, could and should matter and could if necessary forge its own future, forge its own partnerships and build its own alliances.
Indeed, it is the dignified quiet patriotism of millions who still believe in their country that the intellectually all-over-the-place uber-elite simply do not get so lost have they become in their theoretical ‘isms’ and ‘ations’. Yes, many of the ordinary people now voting in huge numbers for Nigel Farage are no doubt to quote Parris “intellectually all-over-the-place”. Some of them are no doubt the ‘Little Englanders’ belittled endlessly by the self-satisfied ‘liberal’ London uber-elite. Some of them may also be guilty of the racism with which the politically-correct elite love to charge anyone with legitimate concerns about the social, political and cultural impact of rapid, uncontrolled hyper-immigration.
However, many millions of England’s political dissenters are also decent, ordinary people who feel let down by their political overlords and rightly so and who are finally breaking out of the political docility which the elite have for too long exploited. People now willing to challenge directly the many dangers to democracy, identity and indeed security that to all intents and purposes unaccountable elitism has created.
But, here’s the political rub. In England these ‘little people’ might well be close to forming a majority precisely because of uber-elite failure and that will in time matter. London and indeed Brussels better realise that and quickly. However, so long as the London and indeed Brussels elites continue to dismiss the Kippers and their like as the errant, ignorant voices of a few political Luddites, political troglodytes who cannot be trusted with ‘reality’ then England’s political insurgency will not only grow it will spread across western Europe.
Surrounded by self-interested ‘Special Advisors’, bombarded by special interest groups and daily in receipt of ‘research’ that tells them what they want to hear the London political elite too often content themselves that their warped picture of society is in fact reality. In such a world the people become sheep that can be bought off with political placebos (ever more spending on the National Health Service), lied to (immigration and Europe) or simply insulted. Parris calls UKIP political “parasites” even though millions of his compatriots vote or indicate they will vote for UKIP leader Nigel Farage. By so doing Parris implies that millions of voters are parasites too and that by definition they are parasites on his uber-elite.
It is my firm belief that in time a new England will emerge. However, experience suggests it will do so because of the good, decent, ordinary people of England of all creeds, races and orientations. And it will most likely happen in spite of London’s failed uber-elite.