“I could not consent to the introduction into our national life of a device so alien to all our traditions as the referendum, which has only too often been the instrument of Nazism and fascism.” – Clement Attlee
In an earlier post I took a more light-hearted look at the recent phenomenon of how lies have been used effectively by politicians, trouncing facts and evidence in the minds of the populace, sweeping away the ‘experts’ and heralding an Age of Unenlightenment. I’ve lost count of how often I’ve been listening to the radio, watching TV or reading the papers and had a coughing fit after spluttering, “But that’s just an outright lie!”, aghast that such tripe could even be broadcast or published without a reporter or journalist chipping in with, “That is, of course, an outright lie.”
It’s because these various untruths have metamorphosed into something far more powerful than a political fib, voiced by ‘opinionaters’ recruited by publishers and broadcasters who should know better, that they require a definite article, a capital letter and a bold font. I’d go so far as to say that Nigel Farage in his present form is very much a product of the BBC, given how often he has been given hot air-time.
But how has this happened and what is the actual process in turning The Lie into The Truth, and what – or who – is behind it?
Looking at various totalitarian leaders in Europe and beyond (left or right wing, it makes no difference), plenty can be found that unites them in their formative years. Honecker, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Tito all had alcoholic or abusive fathers, to which you might say, in the modern vernacular, “No shit Sherlock”.
None of them did well at school, but they all became politically active at a relatively young age, forming very strong, anti-establishment opinions along the way; perhaps forming a doctrine or ‘path’ before adulthood could intervene and bring some rationality of thought.
At this point, a disclaimer: I am not a sociologist, psychologist or psychotherapist and have never studied any such subject. I have, though, lived a bit and watched people around me, so that’s my ‘evidence’. It won’t hold up in a court of law, or probably even stay up by the end of this post, but it’s all I’ve got your honour. To continue:
Mussolini, for instance, didn’t have such problems with daddy, but he was packed off to a seminary, at which he fairly quickly became an atheist and made his ‘path’ that way – a path that was on a high-speed collision course with the establishment.
More recently we have Nigel Farage, whom certain people would want to compare to Hitler. But although he too had an alcoholic father (who left when Nigel was five), I wouldn’t be so silly as to compare him to Hitler.
No: I’d compare Farage to Stalin, Honecker, Tito, Mao, Mussolini and Hitler. In this way…
Without wishing to trivialise past monsters, or make a monster out of nicotine-stained, beer-swilling Nigel, all of these people do in fact have one thing in common: they are all The Bloke in The Pub. They are all the opinionated, self-aggrandising, narrow-minded, shameless, bigoted, big-mouthed Blokes in The Pub, propping up the bar with a pint and a fag (in Farage’s case a first-year student from Dulwich College – and a cigarette), giving vent to their misguided, not-quite-formed, poorly thought through invective on ‘How and Why the World is Broken and I Know How To Fix It Because I am the Voice of the People”: The Lie.
But the most interesting part of this theory is not the Blokes, because as we all know from experience, there are thousands of them, very few of whom become despotic, mass-murdering psychopathic Great Leaders. No: it is the sponge-like acolytes slurping up every word along with their beer, in order that both words and beer will experience a second fermentation in their respective organs, the next day producing an equal quantity of farts and secondary invective, both of which seep into their places of work (or not-work), gradually poisoning the atmosphere, making both breathing and thinking equally difficult for their co-workers (or co-not-workers).
And the further it travels, the more it is re-told, the bigger and more powerful The Lie gets. This is what is happening in Britain today: the seeding, germination and flowering of The Lie.
It starts off very small but grows exponentially and changes into something immensely strong, choking off the truth – a sort of bindweed of the brain. How and why? Because once you believe in The Lie and let it take root and grow, adding your own ‘edge’ to the story, picking up more and more cherry-picked evidence in support… it becomes your own ‘truth’, a truth that has its own back-story, its own reality, moving inconvenient facts aside and settling it’s lardy arse right in the middle of your day-to-day thoughts.
And most importantly, there will be a very small, indestructible and hidden part of your ego that will defend it to the last, because it will know that it is The Lie… and your ego will not… WILL NOT allow others to know you’ve been duped.
You may ask, what about Johnson, Gove and the rest of nanny-needers. It’s true that right now they appear to be gaining credibility over and above Nigel, but really, they’re just short-term, power-hungry elitist tossers. The important thing to consider is that they are doing exactly as Nigel wants – it’s not the other way round: Johnson would only offer Farage a cabinet position because Farage wants him to (as if Johnson would want to even share a room with Farage, let alone a government).
Indeed, the referendum itself – the most undemocratic political process imaginable – has been called for by Farage ever since he oozed into the spotlight (and probably before that… in the pub).
Look at the support that Farage has on the Internet. Look at the thousands who write all that disgusting bile about foreigners, lefties, gypsies, homosexuals and others who are not as beautifully perfect as Nigel. Take a look at just about any piece that argues for the UK to remain in the EU (Michael Dougan’s excellent talk on YouTube being a case in point), and read some of the comments below: they’re Nigel’s people, they’re the Believers in The Lie. They’re the ones who will eventually be rallying in sombre-coloured shirts, beating up folk who are not them, ripping veils off women, indoctrinating kids, campaigning against abortion/women’s rights/straight bananas, demanding sovereignty and traditional values and making others different, inferior and unwanted.
They’re the ones we should be wary of, because they believe without question. We only have knowledge – and that requires questions – which doesn’t help much in a ‘yes/no’ referendum.
As for Farage, I was amazed to find out the other day that he’s only 52 (I know – so much for my researching): an old man in an old man’s body. Hopefully he’ll drink and smoke himself into a doddery old crank before his time and history will forget him.
I did write about this before in a round-about way.
Published earlier this year, it was actually written in 2013, and described the feeling of being in a movie when the audience is thinking, “Get out, GET OUT – before it’s too late!”
Is it too late?