Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Ukip "racism" row: is the Daily Telegraph buying into the political cartel?

Comedy’s funny. Peculiar, I mean: for example, I remember an American friend looking nonplussed at Father Ted, while I was splitting my sides.

Paul Eastwood's page at Jo Martin Management

Less amusing is the alacrity with which some on the Left will jump on certain types of comedy but not others. Dan Hodges, for example, has published a blog entitled Ukip is now a racist party, in which he seizes on comments made by comic Paul Eastwood (right), which retain their humour even within Hodges’ tirade.

It’s all what you’d expect from a Labour and union aficionado. What is unusual is that it was published on the blogs site of the centre-right Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph has become obsessed with Ukip recently, the party being mentioned in the analysis section at least once daily.

This, I believe, is the political cartel in action. We have a Tory-aligned publication running standard left-wing dog-whistle fare because both Conservatives and Labour are terrified of the long-term consequences of Ukip breaking up the current three-way football match where the parties kick the ball to each other to try and con the masses that the result is democracy.

And as for the charge of racism, I think questions like, for example, "what race is Islam?", although valid enough, risk heading down the wrong road. The whole vocabulary of race relates to the sinister concept that differences between groups of people are inherited and not culturally instilled. This vocabulary first served the slave trade (and indeed still does) before being conscripted to justify eugenics. It’s easy to forget, though, because "you are racist/fascist/insert your own meaningless-through-overuse adjective" is increasingly used merely as a synonym for "I disagree with you". We risk sliding back to the horrors of the 20th century through forgetting that words, contrary to what post-modernists believe, have meanings.

And that wouldn’t be funny.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

Ukip is now a racist party - Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 3 March 2014

Neo-fascism and neo-corporatism: The Emergence of the Cartel Party - 300 words

Click to go to Paul Eastwood's page at Jo Martin management

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