That’s what I am according to Theresa May’s worldview, as reported in the Daily Mail yesterday. Apparently, I find patriotism distasteful, think concerns about immigration parochial and views on crime illiberal.
As The Spectator mole puts it:
It turns out there’s not some tiny cabal of well-connected, property-guzzling, cash-hoarding people running the country and ruining it for the rest of us, after all. There is no wealthy minority. Apparently the 48 per cent of the electorate who voted Remain now count as the “elite”. Champagne all round!
I listened to May’s speech and this trashing of the Remainers is starting to really irritate me. My views haven’t changed and I would like a say on what ‘Brexit means Brexit’ actually mean. But according to the Mail, this is me being ‘liberal elite’ and riding roughshod over ‘the will of the Britsh people’ when the will of a very sizeable chunk of the population is no such thing.
As I listened to her speech, I couldn’t help but think of what I’ve been reading in The Republican Brain that looks at the psychology of the political right and left. I’m about halfway through and have just hit a section on Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative intellectual who played a major role in the rise of the New Right in America.
She successfully mobilised grassroots supporters to mistrust and condemn the ‘liberal elite’, whether they be politicians, academics, scientists or the media. As a result, a sizeable part of the American population see liberal conspiracies everywhere, deny scientific truths, believe blatant untruths and prefer Fox News to the ‘liberal-biased media’.
She did that by appealing to the emotional needs of people who are naturally inclined towards conservatism, those who fear change, are suspicious of those who are not like them and who want to preserve a way of life that probably never existed in the first place. (Sounds a lot like NIgel Farage doesn’t it?)
I truly hope that we’re not headed in the same direction, if we’re not there already.