Forget new politics. We need new politicians. The EU is dead
Published 24/07/2016 | 02:30
Last week in these pages, I made reference to the fact that we seem to be approaching the end of something.
What that something is, exactly, is not entirely clear. And, yes, I am aware that simply saying 'we're approaching the end of something' is not the most scientific analysis that's ever appeared in this paper.
But it seemed to strike a chord with plenty of readers who are also experiencing that strange sense of impending doom - we're on the cusp of something big, we just don't know exactly what it is yet.
I wasn't around in the 1960s, but from talking to some of those who were, they remember a similar time of turmoil and strife and an upending of the old order.
Every society needs to shed its old skin every now and then or it will die - one of the reasons all the countries of the Middle East (with one notable exception) are in a state of complete chaos is because they stayed in a state of enforced inertia - they were so rigid in their society's rules that couldn't bend, so instead they broke.
In the West, we have the opposite problem - we undergo a mass cultural cringe whenever someone points out that the Western way of life is infinitely superior to any other way of life.
If it wasn't, we wouldn't have the rest of the globe trying to get here. Pride may come before a fall, but shame has a part to play as well.
What we saw with Brexit, Trump and more interesting politicians such as Geert Wilders, is a movement which is about jettisoning the shame that we're meant to automatically feel simply because we come from the West.
The reason why the media, academic and political classes despise people like Trump and Wilders is because they can't be tamed; they don't play the game and, ultimately, they just don't care what the right-on establishment or their supporters think.
Brexit, Wilders and Trump are very different versions of the same source code - the public's exasperation with bullshit.
Maybe that was the something I spoke of last week. Maybe what we are feeling in the air is the quiet majority, who just want to get on with their lives without anyone hassling them, finally waking from their slumber.
Even more apparent, however, is the public's refusal to bow down before the bullies.
Wilders, particularly, is a very modern conundrum. The spiritual successor to Pim Fortuyn - one of several high-profile Dutch people to be murdered on the street for their views on Islam - he is pro choice, pro gay marriage, pro legalisation of drugs. At Trump's rally in Cleveland this week, he gave a speech at a gay rights group called 'Twinkies For Trump'.
Does that sound like a Nazi? A 'far-right extremist'? A bigot?
No, it sounds like a politician who is far more liberal than many of his Irish peers, yet because he objects to Islam becoming the dominant force in Dutch society, he is meant to be the new Hitler.
If he gets the chance, Wilders will call a Dutch referendum for Nexit. If that happens, and it is highly likely, then the EU is dead. It has been on life support since Brexit, but a Dutch pull-out would be the pillow pressed down on to its face.
We make the mistake of sneering that people like Wilders are nationalists. He's not a nationalist, he's a culturalist. Or, if you like, a cultural supremacist. And he is right.
He believes, as do I and most vaguely sensible people, that we've reached Peak Madness.
We've reached a stage of moral inversion which paints murderously intolerant religious fascists as the victims and people who believe in traditional Western values of tolerance and enlightenment as the Nazis.
I saw it myself earlier this week when an Irish journalist, who should know better, actually compared the plight of Muslims in Europe today to that of the Jews in the 1930s.
Apart from being a pretty disgusting minimisation of the Holocaust, it's simply historically illiterate, beneath contempt and unworthy of rebuttal. That pseudo nonsense would have been greeted with approval a year ago. Now, people just roll their eyes. The establishment and their fellow travellers in the outragerati might like to scream and shout, but the people have had enough.
Bob sticks it to the man - and to mid-priced clothes...
One of the great myths Bob Geldof managed to peddle to gullible punters was that he was a rebel from the wrong side of the tracks.
The fact that he went to Blackrock College, perhaps the most famous and certainly one of the most exclusive schools in the country, was never allowed to get in the way of the false narrative.
Geldof, in short, has always had the arrogance of his class - a natural capacity for ordering people around and then treating them like dirt when they don't do what he wants, how he wants, when he wants it.
But his latest outburst is an absolute cracker of its kind and has brightened my week immensely. Appearing at a festival in darkest Middle England (well, Brentwood) last weekend, he went on a rant about the punters, snarling that: "Brentwood, you are wearing wall to wall f*****g Primark."
When the crowd, presumably comprising the kind of people who look like Alan Partridge and David Brent, started to boo, he responded with the nonsensical: "What are you booing for? We're in f*****g Brexit land here guys. Yeah, we're Irish, we're still in Europe."
What makes the whole thing so utterly fantastic is that this is what the increasingly ludicrous Geldof has been reduced to.
Can there be anything more depressing than playing to a crowd of people so profoundly, hopelessly beige that some of them walked out because he was swearing?
You just know he waited by the phone for a call from anti-Brexit hipsters asking him to play at one of their festivals.
And waited. And waited. And no call ever came. Because nobody knows who he is anymore and those who do know, simply don't care.
As a more youthful Geldof may have said - sling your hook, Grandad, everyone's laughing at you.
A young Nigerian girl has gone on social media to describe her shock at seeing a bunch of idiots dressed in blackface for a stag do.
Blackface is a pretty obnoxious thing (although no more obnoxious than a man dressing as a woman, à la Panti Bliss, when you actually think about it) and she had every right to be pissed off, I suppose.
As the eunuchs in the Irish media soiled themselves trying to paint this as a massive racist hate crime, they missed some pertinent points in her post. First, she said she wanted to punch them, then she said she hoped that they drowned in the Liffey.
Then, from absolutely nowhere, she said: “Not even the fake Jews were this dense.”
That’s the thing wit dem Joos.
They get everywhere.
Especially the fake ones...