Opposing Populist Chauvinism is not Elitism

History demonstrates the evils that arise from whipping up popular xenophobic nationalism. After the Tories trumpeted that companies will have to declare how many foreigners they employ, that foreign doctors will be phased out of the NHS, that taxi drivers will have to prove their immigration status, that fewer foreigners will be allowed to study at British universities and that landlords will have to check the papers of their foreign tenants, we will now be told by Theresa May that to oppose this surge of fascism is elitism. I call it fascist after careful consideration; I don’t know what else to call it. Immigrants to Britain are going to be hauled up to produce documents at numerous moments of daily life to prove their right to be here. They will not yet need to be identified by yellow stars, but anybody who does not see the direction of travel is a fool.

The ability of politicians and media to whip up popular racism is well demonstrated historical fact. I am simply appalled by the catalogue I have outlined above. It is astonishing to me that popular opinion, particularly in England, has been conditioned to the point where outright racism has become the accepted everyday level of political discourse. And it is not just the Tories. Blairites are using populist anti-immigrant rhetoric as their most potent attack on Corbyn. Rachel Reeves made a speech last week that channelled Enoch Powell in predicting violent reaction to immigrants, and in some ways was worse than Powell’s classical allusion. But while Powell’s anti-immigrant rant ended his chances of becoming Prime Minister in a more decent age, Reeves is firmly in today’s UK establishment mainstream.

The argument that immigration is impacting the living standards of ordinary working people is a demonstrable falsehood. If mass immigration made a country’s people poorer, then Germany and the USA would have the lowest living standards for ordinary citizens in the world. An economy is not a thing of fixed size with a set number of jobs. If it were not for immigration, there would have been no economic growth in the UK at all since the millennium.

The march of Tory militarism continues apace. Today we will have a further glorying in the creation of weapons of mass destruction, while yesterday scarcely a hair was turned at the announcement of the reintroduction of military cadet forces in our state schools, to instil militarism and xenophobic patriotism into children. The attempt to elide patriotism, militarism, monarchism and the interests of the corporate elite would be laughable were it not successful.

There is no doubt that the racist mood in England is real, and there is no doubt that it is racist. I have never accepted the argument that to oppose immigration is not racist, and consider myself entirely vindicated by current events. The argument that to oppose immigration is not racist is precisely the same as the argument that holocaust denial is not anti-semitic – you can make out a theoretical case that it isn’t, but in practice it works as an extremely good indicator.

It is ironic that May accuses the opponents of popular chauvinism as elitist. The Tory Conference has had two key themes – one is xenophobic nationalism, and the other is educational elitism. The grammar school policy is being driven through, along with the school military cadets – what kind of crazed government is this? But the significance on the attack on the university sector should not be missed. Overseas students are a vital source of revenue and all are already seeing a drop in interest as nobody wants to live in a country where they will be the subject of patent racist hostility, while EU students cannot know where they will stand on fee structures by the end of their course. However the announcement that “new” universities will be treated differently in terms of numbers of overseas students allowed is a major departure that will inevitably spread into other areas; a de facto return to polytechnic status is in the offing.

The new Tory self-confidence was evidenced also in attitudes to Scotland. Theresa May could not have been more explicit that Scotland is but a part of the UK, that the UK voted for Brexit, that Westminster will handle Brexit negotiations and she really does not care what the Scots think. There very plainly is no process, or any intention of any process, that could result in Scotland maintaining a more integrated relationship with the EU while within the United Kingdom. That idea was always fantastical anyway, as it would be an impossibility to accommodate such an arrangement within EU treaties, as I have previously explained. But the gradualists in the SNP have sought to pretend that such a process is happening of which we need to see the outcome before an Independence referendum.

What Theresa May has done this week is publically to rend Nicola Sturgeon’s tabard, and make absolutely plain that Brexit will be organised, negotiated and decided by the UK government and parliament alone. The Scottish parliament will have associated legislative changes, even on devolved matters, imposed on it from above. Scotland’s response to this has so far been alarmingly supine.

I support Scottish Independence passionately because I have an urgent desire to get away from the control of these appalling Tories. I want to live in a society where I can dissent from populist racism without being condemned by the government as a liberal elitist. I also firmly believe that the shock of the break up of the UK is the dislocation required to break the grip of the Tories and UKIP on the psyche of so much of the public in England. It can provide the revolutionary moment for change that Corbyn and those like him can exploit. Scottish independence is the best hope for the rest of the UK too.

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  • whatgives?

    “The argument that immigration is impacting the living standards of ordinary working people is a demonstrable falsehood. If mass immigration made a country’s people poorer, then Germany and the USA would have the lowest living standards for ordinary citizens in the world.” : What are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes? Never mind.

    • Zap

      Depends who the immigrants are, when the immigrants are 80 IQ bomb throwing Koran thumpers I would not expect any economic miracles.

      • cityspeak

        Aren’t all these excellent foreign adventures by the west creating and causing the flood of immigrants to europe’s shores?
        Does neocon foreign policy create immigration as imperial policies did before it?
        And what of the neoliberal desire for unlimited cheap labor?
        Any talk of immigration without discussing the desire and need for cheap labor is a fraud.

        • sometime

          ” need for cheap labor “? there is no such thing. What there is, is a need for a decent living wage labor. Cheap labor harms the entire country, top to bottom. If only the intelligence were present to understand the facts. The ruling class would find themselves better off by ensuring well paid jobs (labor)….The entire country would also benefit as compared to having ” cheap labor” Soros and his type be damned, and the Bill Gates types also. Gates and Micro soft have just been thrown out of Russia….Sorry was thrown out some time ago….Doesn’t require a rocket scientist to under stand this….

          • cityspeak

            I had a wonderful conversation with a California economist after the collapse of 2008. We discussed the ruling class risking their own existence by gaming the system and pushing it to the the breaking point. I asked him did they realize they were pushing for a “game over scenario” where they could find themselves at the end of pitchforks. Didn’t they know any history?
            His answers was They don’t care about consequences or the lessons of history as their greed knows no bounds.

          • sometime

            I believe you. Thing is those people about to hang themselves and others, don’t realize the fact of what is about to happen. Also the time frame of this can be a lengthy one….before the actually opening of the trap door…One must be aware and throw out garbage oratory….Cause, the entire populous does matter…..regardless of the slave traders mentality of who runs the ship

          • cityspeak

            King Louis and Marie
            Czar Nicolas and Alexandria
            The Shah of Iran

            Round and round we go.

          • sometime

            until the hangman’s noose….AND
            Just then, whose head is in the noose?

        • Zap

          The CFR and their sock puppets in Western governments (that is ALL of them) are not looking to import “cheap labor” to the West, they are busting the West out economically and moving their “interest’s to Asia. They are using mass migration of Islamist’s as a trojan horse in this.

    • sometime

      You’re coming close to saying. Every one go back to slavery….you have fallen into the Hog Wash
      which will end up killing the Hog.

  • awb22

    Mr. Murray appears to want it both ways. He wants an independent Scotland, yet he also wants open borders. What is the point of sovereignty?

    Typical globalist, and yes, liberal elitist.

  • cityspeak

    Racism rises as the economic situation becomes dire.
    If Mr Murray and other “left leaning parties” want to do the humane thing for immigrants, as well as their constituents, they would remove and dismantle the neoliberal economic model that is making serfs out of 99.9% of the population.
    The perceived elitism is that you are not realizing the situation the majority of your constituents are finding themselves living under. Nor are you listening to and addressing their fears and concerns as you hand more treasure and more power, as one follows the other as night follows day, to the .01%.

    How else do you explain the “shock of the establishment” over the Brexit vote and across the pond Obama’s first veto over the 9/11 Saudi bill?
    You can run your polls and spy on the populace all you want but if you refuse to “see, hear and understand what people are saying” you are due for a nasty surprise.

    Think the Shah of Iran in the late 1970s.

  • This article surly belongs here with this fine article today. April 11, 2016 The Fascism-Industrial Complex: How Xenophobia & Nationalism Lead To War & Terror

    The media and right-wing politicians were quick to latch on to last month’s Brussels bombing to support a narrative of nationalism and xenophobia that leads to more war and terrorism.


    • sometime

      I read this after you posted. Some of the article makes sense and some of it makes no sense. What actually causes war is Human Stupidity..Period. Capitalism does not cause it. Human Stupidity does….and so forth! You bring fine up to date reference material to postings on this site

      • ‘All Wars are Bankers Wars’, period! I read and view more topics in a day than most I read while blogging. I have been at this as a web site administrator stretching the minds of the two party flavors for years now. Now I blog instead. This quote says it well, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” Confucius

        • sometime

          I know ….’ All Wars are Bankers Wars’ I told you before I have that years ago on my computer along with…Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket
          Thing is, Bankers can’t get results unless….people are ” stupidity ” enough to go along with it….
          …………………HUman Stupidity……………causes war…………Period….I did read recently that humans may be wired to kill one another….
          Seriously, I wouldn’t doubt that
          At least some people could be.
          My training by the us army, as a draftee,,,,either go in or go to jail…
          did not remove my born instinct to protect….’one another’
          So with me, brains over brawn…is the day!

          • Did you happen to know this? Please share this view with others. Brains over brawn is me today as well.

            June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

            A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?


          • sometime

            I will share this

          • I am glad. More folks need to ask questions and seek those answers which I do daily. I do not need to be lead in anyway and or direction. I cut my own path as a old man. With one exception, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C. S. Lewis

          • sometime

            me too
            am not so young anymore
            attempting to go to 100
            but that will take the help of some magic energy from above….

          • sometime

            for me, it would be a pleasure for the two of us to communicate, email to email.
            Two, or three years back, two of us on disqus did get ahold of each other and think it was, both of us asked the administrators at disqus to relate to the other the email addresses….of each…..To the best of recollect this is how we did it….another way is for one to list an email add for only say 10 min then take it down…..that way is not so wise….

          • sometime

            yes as you have told me and I like C. S. Lewis

          • sometime

            This is a good piece. Have not read this particular one, although have read some others a kin to it

          • I had posted the original article there and then they received permission to republish it and I now use the republished one because the website is also a good worldly publication and read as well.

          • sometime

            I used to have this site marked on my bookmarks…..then dropped it for just the reason I had too many…..ya hoo uh

        • sometime

          also when it comes to the subject of war…..Confucius can go away. Any ignorance on this subject leads to death….Confucius or not! Don’t people get it? War Is A Racket….just as smedley butler said….he I think is the most decorated American soldier ever, surpassing Eddy Murphy….2 separate congress medal of horror awards a separate medal given by the Marines for another incident..it’s highest….Yet people shake their heads about war.
          Cause of their stupidity.

          • All of these Americans are government schooled daily and with also 6 corporations that also control 90% of everything they read and view. So, I do not blame victims only the government gangster bureaucracy for everything.

          • sometime

            yes but at some point, perhaps after our own lives have past, the public at large must realize for their own survival, they themselves are responsible to their own thoughts, ambitions and future…..we both know that the number of those doing and living this way must skyrocket…..I don’t have a magic button for that to happen

  • sometime

    lets hear some………..for whom the bell tolls
    cause it’s good music

  • sometime

    for whom the bell tolls


  • hyperbola

    Mr. Murray leaves out important considerations. One of the continual ploys of the “elite” is to keep a population divided against itself and unable to identify and neutralize those that exploit them. It is no accident that the elite-owned American media continually push racial division. In other places, “foreigner/immigrant” divisions may be the most useful to the elite. This is a very old ploy and is simply being repeated.

    The Weaponisation of the Refugee
    Coercive Engineered Migration: Zionism’s War on Europe (Part 2 of an 11 Part Series)

    Artificial mass migration as imperial policy has a long history. To illustrate this, we will cite a few historical examples. …. In the nineteenth century, Imperial Belgium imported hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Tutsi workers to the Congo to staff their work colonies. This artificial migration policy of Belgian imperialism has played a major role in the context fueling the current ethnic cleansing and ongoing neo-colonial proxy wars being carried out by the US/Israeli and European powers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the US /Israeli Tutsi puppet regime of Paul Kagame is murdering and pillaging on behalf of Western corporations. The Wall Street Journal has ironically described Kagame’s Zionist puppet regime ‘The Israel of Africa’…..

    …. A more recent example of migration used as a tool of imperialism is Eritrea. Since the country’s independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has chartered a unique independent path to national liberation and socio-economic development. The results have been astounding, with economic growth rates surpassing most other developing countries. However, the socially-oriented policies of the Eritrean government have brought it into conflict with neo-colonial interests. As a consequence, sanctions were imposed by the United States in 2009 on the only country in the Horn of Africa that has never failed to feed, clothe and educate its children…………

    Rothschild’s “Slaughter Ships”
    Coercive Engineered Migration: Zionism’s War on Europe (Part 4 of an 11 Part Series)

    Austrian intelligence officials have reportedly revealed that US government agencies are paying for the transport of migrants to Europe. On August 5th, 2015 Austrian magazine Infodirekt reported:

    It has come to our knowledge that US organisations are paying for the boats taking thousands of refugees to Europe. US organisations have created a co-financing scheme which provides for a considerable portion of the transportation costs. Not every refugee from North Africa has 11,000 Euro cash. Nobody is asking, where is the money coming from?

    French government officials have also been caught selling life boats to refugees in Turkey. France’s France 2 Television station filmed French honorary pro-consul Françoise Olcay in Turkey in flagrante delicto.

    When the official was asked if she was aware that her actions were illegal, she indicated that there were hundreds of Turkish officials involved.

    Many of the refugees/migrants arriving in Europe are being provided with false Syrian passports. Until the violence in Syria in 2011, Syrian passports were printed by French government printers. This fact strongly suggests French government involvement in the distribution of false Syrian passports.

    European governments are out-sourcing the management of the migrant crisis to private companies…..

    How Neocons Destabilized Europe

    When I first encountered the neocons in the 1980s, they had been given Central America to play with. President Ronald Reagan had credentialed many of them, bringing into the U.S. government neocon luminaries such as Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan. But Reagan mostly kept them out of the big-power realms: the Mideast and Europe.

    Those strategic areas went to the “adults,” people like James Baker, George Shultz, Philip Habib and Brent Scowcroft. The poor Central Americans, as they tried to shed generations of repression and backwardness imposed by brutal right-wing oligarchies, faced U.S. neocon ideologues who unleashed death squads and even genocide against peasants, students and workers.

    The result not surprisingly was a flood of refugees, especially from El Salvador and Guatemala, northward to the United States. The neocon “success” in the 1980s, crushing progressive social movements and reinforcing the oligarchic controls, left most countries of Central America in the grip of corrupt regimes and crime syndicates, periodically driving more waves of what Reagan called “feet people” through Mexico to the southern U.S. border…..