Assuming you didn’t bother reading the posts on paleoconservatism yesterday [with the exception of our two commenters], you might have missed the key ideas separating it from the other forms of political positioning. There are two:
Civility [respect] and quiet pride.
These can’t be skipped over because they really do differentiate the paleo from the other so-called conservatives, it separates us from the jingoistic flagwavers, it separates the “trade with the worlders” from the Little Englanders. It separates the civil and friendly dialogue with other cultures from default hatred of other ethnicities.
It is such a core, such a key factor in one’s politics and there’ve been attempts to call it compassionate conservatism, among other labels. It’s been hugely misconstrued – Cameron’s wishy-washiness and pandering to a left narrative is NOT compassionate conservatism. Enoch Powell’s was.
Anyone who saw his interviews knows how civilized the man was, not in the least the raving fanatic the left made out. Similarly, the left went for the jugular with Maggie who really did drop herself in it:
She revelled in her title of Iron Lady. But Margaret Thatcher was warned by her chief press secretary Bernard Ingham that she was seen as ‘hectoring, strident and bossy’ by the public.
She was caught in that prejudice against women which is unfortunate but there it is – men do not like a “hectoring, strident and bossy” woman but more than that – nor do most women. And to take that further, most women and men don’t like it in anyone, irrespective of gender. But especially not in a woman. Shakespeare wrote a play on the taming of the type.
It came out at that demonstration where Tommy Smith was arrested for just walking, the police unable to distinguish between quiet protest and something strident, e.g. Kill All White Men.
It came out where Sarkozy, a nasty little man, provoked Segie into losing her rag, whilst he maintained his “dignity”.
It came out with Nigel – many did not like the calling of Rumpy Pumpy a low grade bank clerk. It seemed to lack civility, no matter how correct Nigel was in substance. People of a certain age in this country, by and large, do not like a lack of civility. This is how Cameron does so well compared to the others – he obeys his image makers.
It came out when I called Merkel vermin and in other epithets this blog applies to the egregious, to the hardline stances [so it seems] and in the strongly personal tone.
Arrogance comes under the heading of Pride.
Pride’s a most unusual quality because it can mean really good things, e.g. Klopp standing before the Anfield sign and pointing to it, then standing on the Kop and pointing to it. At what moment does pride descend to flagwaving and jingoism? Pride can turn negative.
The devil’s into pride, but any sportsman would say he’s proud of achieving something. How can that be? The devil twists healthy pride into unhealthy. In its mild form, people just call pride Confidence.
So you do see that civility, respect and pride in its healthy form are major factors underpinning a political philosophy in a western nation such as ours. And I mean genuine, not pretend versions of those qualities. People see through a faux person.
And look at the things which rile us – Muslim protesters at Royal Wooton, yesterday’s Muslim pray-a-thon with Westminster behind them – on OUR heritage land, the putting up of mosques for goodness sake and not just mosques but MEGA mosques, the howling from the minarets, the carry-on of Jose Mourinho, so unBritish, the woman who complained that soldiers should not be allowed to swim in Woolwich or Deptford pool because it takes her space – so many things come down to us not liking somebody attacking shibboleths.
And we resent that. What if the Muslims stood silently behind a barrier with placards, did not jabber on and scream as they do? What if they, dressed as us, turned up, had their protest and then just departed and went for a pint at the Fox and Hounds? Would anyone vociferously complain? What if Jews turned up in a similar way, had a protest and departed?
But no, we have south London, do we not – the looting and trashing of things, the special lack of grace of black people, the lack of any sense of the civic or of civility. That’s the thing we don’t like.
And our sense of fair play – what are we most against with the Ferguson mob? It’s the lies surrounding it, the way the mayor acted, exacerbating the situation. It’s the falseness which gets to us, rather than any legitimate grievances they may have begun with.
And this is what paleoconservatism is all about – it is the quite natural way we react in our own land to something. Equally, the French react in a far more intellectual way to political questions, endlessly thrashing them out in cafes at volume – it’s not our way, we are not Italians either. It’s interesting to observe when we visit.
Why do many Brits not like Australians? It’s the manner, no? The harsh accent. They can be admired for their achievements but could you stand listening to two hours of an Aussie football commentary? Even I struggle with that now and I lived there for so long.
Is it racism? You do see how very close to the line this is. I had a black mate called Godfrey and his skin was irrelevant to me, I used to knock about near Lewisham with a few black guys which surprised many. They were good guys, funny, good company. But were they to lose civility, were they to start the strident things we see now in the media – I’d have been out of there.
Do you see how wrong this catch-all label of racist is? Were that person to embrace our history, respect it at least, as I did in Russia, appearing to many to be half Russian, even down to the nuances and jargon – were it that situation, then I’d wager the person would be accepted.
There’s a tale downunder by a young woman who spoke of her father who had come in the early days to NSW and realized quickly that a knowledge of cricket was the big thing. Said father boned up on it all, got to play a bit, then went into bars and other places and if the subject got round to cricket, he’d say, “Nah, I would have dropped Smith back to long on and brought an extra man into gully …” or whatever.
Point was, he did it right. And just like me in France, he was quite willing to accept all the barbs and laughter from the indigenous until it became apparent he was accepted. That’s the point at which they became more interested in his “wog” Italian culture. He’d shown he wanted to be part of their heritage.
I’m all for this but I’m not, in any way, shape or form, for someone coming in and failing to embrace, having no respect, sharing no pride in the heritage, just trying to live in a ghetto or even impose his own culture. No – way – known – chum.
Is this such a difficult concept for the left to grasp? Why is it? The “meltingpotters” – what is it with these people? It’s a sort of bastardized twisting of love-one-another. Why must love mean denying one’s roots? Why? Do I ask them to forget where they came from?
And I feel very strongly about this, as I tell YouGov each time.
In schools I taught or was head where there were black children, every single one of the parents I spoke with said they’d sent the child for a “British education”. [Yes, I know, I know but let’s not dwell on that.] So there really is a two way process here from reasonable people on both sides.
But it’s been soured, has it not? And who are the unspeakable bstds who’ve done this? The bloody left with their really genuine racism, their differentiating between different races for what they call “positive” reasons – I’ve not done that, I wasn’t the one, I never did that with Godfrey and the Lewisham lads – you’re the ones who did that and got it enshrined in legislation against your own people, you bstds.
And you have the nerve to call us racists? On yer bike, chum.
Paleoconservatism always has overtones of host and guest. If the guest behaves, goes through the process, then he eventually becomes accepted. I knew a Londoner who went north and she told me that it took her 20 years to get the first wave from Yorkshire people.
Paleoconservatism differs radically from the left who say shame, this should never be. The paleo says well yes, it’s a shame but that’s human nature, that’s the way of the world. It’s cynical in that it recognizes human nature. It doesn’t approve of prejudice, as the left maintain – civility and respect, remember – but it understands the workings of the world and knows it takes effort for the interloper to become the guest and then a fellow citizen.
Similarly, what sort of idiot thought the way for women to get what they wanted was to become obnoxious and unfeminine? Civility. Not Femen and their lowlifery.
Sure paleoconservatism is a label – I can’t think up a better descriptor for now. But its core ideas I hope came out in this post.
Via Chuckles, here’s a bit of further reading: