Tuesday 10 January 2012

Melissa Benn stirs up the narrative of decline

Melissa Benn tries to bring some logic and analysis to the matter of selection. A dangerous thing to do on Comment is Free as the comments threads that follow the articles are now attracting a mix of ex-pats, immigration-obsessives, racists, snobs, totalitarians, class segregationists, Margaret Thatcher adorers who seem to fly to the Comment pages to vent their fury about the 'country they've lost'. In their narrative of decline, everything has got worse/terrible because of immigration, champagne socialists, Muslims, the PC brigade and trade unions.

Quite apart from the barely concealed, not-so concealed and entirely un-concealed racism of a lot of this, there's a bizarre way in which they give mythic status and power to liberals and lefties. You would have thought that UK Ltd had been in the grip of Tony Benn and Diane Abbott for the last fifty years, running schools, railways, the immigration service, the justice system through an evil network of marxists, black nationalists, Muslims and Communist trade union leaders. All the evidence points to the fact that by and large such people are not running the country and never have. You would have thought they had noticed this. On the rare occasions, eagle-eyed, macarthyite readers of people's back-stories could point to people with left pedigrees walking the corridors of power, they know full well that such people long ago purged their wardrobes of red garments.

What's particularly strange about it is that if you start at 1979, we've had a non-stop, market-led economy, with social policy being brought more and more into this sphere either through out-sourcing, selling off, or in the micro-detail of how information, knowledge and skills are treated as if they are commodities.

Anyway, here's the link:


Melissa Benn's latest book is a good and important read too: