In a recent article for New Statesman, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that “progressive parties of the centre and centre-left are facing marginalisation, even extinction, across the Western world“.
It’s an interesting argument, that the far-Left’s anti-police and extreme identity politics are ‘voter-repellent‘ and play into the hands of conservatives who publicly defend flag, family and fireside traditional values.
Blair, a famous centrist, contends that while voters may agree with progressive values in principle, they absolutely do not approve of the extremist tactics the far-Left have employed to promote them. No better case in point than the criminal violence and looting precipitated by the BLM movement.
I never protested as a university student, I just didn’t care that much about anything except putting food on the table. I know plenty who did, who played by the rules of non-violent demonstration — they achieved nothing. Because that’s what you get when The Man controls how, when and where you protest.
So you can understand (if not approve) that change is not invited, it is forced. In the aftermath, how is it better if the Left become ‘The Man’ and employ the same repressive tactics the Right have always used? If those on the extreme Left monger hate, dox, troll and cancel anybody who fails to play by their New Rules, don’t they just become The Enemy?
Of course they do. This is what Blair is saying.
We all have blindspots that limit our ability to act and think rationally. Violent emotions emerge from this. For example, Christians blindly indoctrinate their children into their faith while vehemently shitbagging other religions. Because only they are right. Thousands of religions on the planet, yet only their god exists.
But we make false idols of other things, too. Believing that only our party has a monopoly on the truth, we define ourselves in opposition to The Other party. This pushes us to extremes. We end up in corners of faith, belief, and behaviour. Another example: Jews around the world are being attacked by supporters of Palestine. Physically attacked. By people who aren’t even Palestinian!
Some of it is mental illness. I meet a lot of people who are holding on, but only just. I have more sympathy for them than I do for self-righteous Christians and staunch conservatives because the latter have a choice, the former don’t. Most, for example, don’t call the disembodied voice in their head ‘God’.
Two years ago I dealt with a very minor complaint from an unwell lady. Let’s call her Sally. It became immediately obvious that Sally’s expectations were unreasonable, so I took appropriate action, advised her of the result, and left it at that.
Or so I thought.
Two years later, Sally picks up exactly where we left off. Like an angry tap had been turned back on. I suspect Sally had been in therapy, or gone off her medication, but she had my work email address and fixated on me.
I am fairly thick skinned. I’ve been abused and threatened so many times it doesn’t register. Sally’s trolling (her one-day record: 21 abusive emails) eventually trickled out because I wouldn’t provide the feedback-loop she demanded.
A bit sad, because maybe I was the only person she “spoke” to.
Tony Blair notes that Western nations are engaging in similarly one-sided convesations. The center ‘voters’ want is hard to find, because to get votes you must also appeal to the lunatic fringe where the Sallys live. In my experience, there’s only two ways to recapture the sacred middle ground — attack the Sallys, or ignore them.
I could have availed myself of the NSW cyberbullying laws to put my troubled Sally in the cross-hairs of a criminal investigation. I didn’t, but if she finds my email address again, then enough’s enough.
And for the record, Tony Blair was wrong: The centre-left are far from extinct. We may be slow to rise, but when we do, we know exatly what to do with leftist trolls and right-wing troglodytes.