The Bolsheviks of the left and right are intent on wrecking Britain

by Jonathan Todd

The Bolsheviks of left and right don’t like our country. The left brain is not sure whether it went south with Thatcher or when the wrong side won the Cold War. The right when the dastardly Heath shackled us to the continentals or the first Reform Act of 1832.

They concur that something is rotten about contemporary Britain. We might as well jump off the Brexit cliff-edge. Walk the scorched earth of undiluted, uncompromising Corbynism. Maybe jump that jump and walk that walk, do the full Lexit shuffle.

There is a puritanical hankering for purification in these urges. Which contrasts with the moderation and pragmatism that supposedly distinguishes Britain. Hitler couldn’t happen here, we said. We’d laugh at the goosesteps, Orwell reassured us. Now those exalted by the Bolsheviks – Corbyn and Rees-Mogg – could goosestep wherever they like and be defended.

Telling us that, “the now routine equation of Stalin and Hitler both distorts the past and limits the future” and wanting colonialism “included as the third leg of 20th-century tyranny, along with Nazism and communism”, the left Bolsheviks are more Bolshevik as traditionally understood. Apologists for Stalin, as well as current regimes maintaining similar traditions, such as Venezuela, while seeing a repressive arch stretching directly from the British Empire to the Trump Empire.

The right Bolsheviks would shudder to be compared to those with these views. But there are similarities. They are both utopians. Albeit the Bolsheviks of the right are nostalgic utopians. Enamoured with what we never were and cannot be again. As the right Bolsheviks look back longingly, the left Bolsheviks look forward expectantly. They are certain that Corbyn will be King, they just wonder who will be first against the wall.

The Bolsheviks are as sure of themselves and their cause as Daniel Day-Lewis’ ruthless oilman in There Will Be Blood. When building an oil empire, unchaining Britannia, or fully automating luxury communism, some people will get hurt. Social media spats, Good Friday Agreements trashed. But it will be worth it. The ends justify the means.

Widespread nationalisation will pay for itself, so will hard Brexit. It is just a matter of believing enough. And having believers in charge. Not the traitors of the Treasury. Whether it is to Brussels or the City of London, the Bolsheviks are certain that spreadsheet squares seek betrayal. Trusting anything other than their guts does not come easily to Bolsheviks.

They are, it should be clear, extremists. They veer left and right. In pursuit of the commanding heights of the state. For sake, in the case of the right, of hard Brexit’s absolutist sovereignty. To smash, with the left’s moral certainty, capitalism’s endless inequities.

Both these are delusions. What is portrayed as absolutist sovereignty will mean less sovereignty, accepting whatever terms the likes of Trump afford to keep trade flowing. Equally, blanket implementation of the “public good, private bad” mantra risks creating as many injustices and inefficiencies as the private market that it seeks to improve upon.

The right Bolsheviks love to tell us that they want control of our borders, laws and money. They are less keen on telling us what they want this control for. Protesting perhaps too much, David Davis insists that its isn’t for a Mad Max dystopia. But the right Bolshevik dream of a Singapore-on-Thames doesn’t feel excessively sane.

The Lexit that left Bolsheviks advocate – for example, George Galloway on This Week – is also motivated by control. But they want this to create an economy much more regulated and state-directed than the likes of John Redwood envisage.

Left and right Bolsheviks both want to twist on Brexit, as they anticipate that they’ll come to control the state that emerges and will be able to use this to craft the country of their dreams, while many would prefer to stick with the country that we have, which remains – for now – a safe distance from these dreams.

If you have too many dreams, as Touker Suleyman warned on the latest Dragons Den, you end up with a nightmare. It is less Britannia unchained and more Britain at the end of our teether.

Not everything May and Corbyn do is Bolshevik. But much of the energy in their parties is Bolshevik. Powering letters to the chair of the 1922 Committee and change in Labour’s General Secretary.

The ground that remains between these extremes perilously narrows. The open, tolerant, dynamic country that we were slips ever further away. Yes, this country has problems: inequality between people, regions and generations; public services dangerously starved of resources; and dearth of economic productivity and social purpose. But will any of these be solved by following the Bolsheviks?

While the left Bolsheviks are burdened by guilt about the British Empire and the right Bolsheviks are flush with pride at this history, the Empire is long gone and neither can now offer much by way of a role for Britain. Any sober analysis of this role would position it, as a mid-ranking European state, within the EU. But we may be too drunk to still see this.

This is a Bolshevik country. We just live in it. Hoping for a moment of clarity sufficient to recover it.

Jonathan Todd is Deputy Editor of Labour Uncut

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17 Responses to “The Bolsheviks of the left and right are intent on wrecking Britain”

  1. anosrep says:

    I think it’s time for the Colonel from Monty Python to come in and stop this blog because it’s too silly.

  2. Anne says:

    I have read this article twice to understand the meaning, and although I would not have used the name Bolshevik (too Russian for my taste) but yes I agree with underlying thrust of the piece. Corbyn was not my choice of leader – I voted for Andy Burnham in the original Labour leadership challenge, but if we are to choose between the right and the left then I will be voting Labour, because I believe they are offering a better future for our country, and I am hoping that Labour will eventually demonstrate a position of customs union and even single market status regarding a Brexit stance – this, I believe, offers the best economic prospects for us which will enable Corbyn to fulfil some of his proposals.
    I feel that the U.K. has lost much of it’s position and status in the world since the referendum- we have become the country of ‘Billy no mates,’ and perhaps to coin a phrase ‘the grass is not always greener.’ Every country will be looking after their own interests first – this will be to our detriment – as Jonathan says we will have to accept their trade terms and standard.

  3. Dave Roberts says:

    Actually this is one of the more sensible left blogs. Having said that the competition isn’t much! The writer has a point somewhere which seems to be about the similarity of the extremes of left and right.

    They are both of course dogmatic, imbued with the belief that they are correct to the exclusion of everything else and both would, if able, institute a terror regime that would result in the deaths of millions and misery for millions more. The track record of the far left and far right is very similar.

  4. steve says:

    Raving nonsense from a Year 12 student who has had one bottle of pop too many.

    It’s always a mistake to present your opponent’s arguments, not as they are, but as you want them to be… etc. etc. etc.

  5. Tafia says:

    Well, after reading the nitty-gritty of Kier Starmer and the so called dramatic shift in Labours Brexit policy, there are now two dramatically opposed and defined positions:-

    Leave the EU in March 2019
    Leave the Single Market but negotiate some form of access
    Leave the Customs Union but replace it with a bespoke UK-EU ‘customs union’

    Leave the EU in March 2019
    Leave the Single Market but negotiate some form of access
    Leave the Customs Union but replace it with a bespoke UK-EU ‘customs union’

  6. ad says:

    I’ve never sympathized more with the Lib Dems than I do now. At least if they end up with any power, it will be as part of a coalition government in which their extremist fanatics – I assume they have some, as they seem so popular these days – will be checked by their coalition partners extremist fanatics.

  7. John P Reid says:

    The opponents of Lexit want control too, it’s called business men like Richard Branson wanting Europe to tell us we can have chap labour

    Anne Billy no mates- when France disagreed with us on every military support we’ve had in rhe Cold War including temporarily leaving Nato did they care about not fitting in or whrn they just ignore EU law get fined a few Euro’s?

    Funny with the libdems my local ukip councillor is a EX Libdem one, their resigned leader was a Libdem and a celebrity backing Brexit John Cleese was a libdem, I’m sure Tatiana said something in 2005 before voting Plaid about voting libdem, how many ex libdems are brexiters

    Good comments from Steve, Tafia and Dave roberts(if that’s your real name)

  8. Ben Clay says:

    Oh dear.

    You take the bones of a decent argument, then you spoil it with a rediculous and contrived conceit of “left and right Bolshevism” which you overlabour past the point of destruction.

    Your argument I disagree with, though it has merit from a certain political position. What I take issue with is the awful style, and the massive overuse of Bolshevik etc.

    Was there a competion as to who could get the word in most in an article? Are you hoping to attract views ala click bait? Perhaps you have applied for a staff job at one of the right wing rags?

    I struggle to see why else you would do this.

    If someone sent me this when I was editing a student rag, I would have sent it back and told them to try again.

  9. Simon Rey says:

    Yes, I agree with Ben. Sadly a similar tone of rather rabid desperation has dominated several recent pieces on this site. As if you know the prevailing wind has turned against you, but you hope that by screaming loud enough you might somehow manage to alter barometric pressure and reverse it. The 2017 election cut a big hole in Labour Uncut’s credibility and its raison d’etre. Carry on talking to an ever-decreasing circle of malcontents, but I won’t bother checking in any more.

  10. John P Reid says:

    Simon you’ve got a good point, unless labour get zero votes I need the Essex county elections in 2019′ it’ll have to be 2022 now for anyone to see how well labour does, I wonder if the gerneral election that year, will be the same day as the council elections, if labour does very well in London in th council elections in 9 weeks time, and then tries to repeat that trick in 2022′ assuming there’s not going to be another election now for a bit, it’ll show that labour will just be a big city party,

    But if labour wants to win the 2027 or 2032 elections, then we’ll have to realise this obsession with remainers in inner London won’t do.

  11. buttley says:

    Tafia, good post,

    it is also no different to the position taken by Labour in the manifesto.

    Page 24

    “We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first. ”

  12. paul barker says:

    A perfectly reasonable article but the logic is to leave Labour & join The Liberal Democrats. Whats the point of staying in Labour if your only role is to whinge from the sidelines ?

  13. John Cunningham says:

    What utter tosh and this person is the Deputy Editor of Labour Uncut!! Time to advertise for someone else to take over. Preferably someone who can string together a coherent argument. If this is the best Labour Uncut can do then maybe it’s time you all packed it in!

  14. Rallan says:

    LOL, so deluded. The Remain side is a political horror show! Sinn Fein, George Soros, Tony Blair and that’s just the start of it.

  15. I am not advocating full Maoist self-criticism, but surely the right wing of Labour, the New Labour supporters, need to look a little at themselves and ask, “How did we end up here?”

    Why was the electorates view on EU membership not the same as their own, and why did the Labour Party membership vote so overwhelmingly in favour of the left? How much of both of these were a public reaction to the political class made up of New Labour apparatchiks, their Cameron Tory heirs and the Liberals selling their souls for a ministerial limousine?

    Maybe start with why neither Burnham, Cooper and Kendall managed to instill any enthusiasm in the membership after Ed Miliband resignation.

  16. John P Reid says:

    Danny while not distressing with what you put

    Another her two questions could be
    Why didn’t the electorate vote Corbyn and why are the Tories ahead in the pub pls
    Yes Andy Burnham disgraced himself .kendall wasn’t knowledgable enough and Cooper though appealing to the one more push brigade would do it

    But after 2010 Ed Miliband told the Party we lost as we werentvk fg wing was bough. Then when we were rejected corbyn said Ed as right thd public need to be told that they want a more left wing government

  17. Jay says:

    Excellent article, and an pinpoint conclusion –

    “While the left Bolsheviks are burdened by guilt about the British Empire and the right Bolsheviks are flush with pride at this history, the Empire is long gone and neither can now offer much by way of a role for Britain. Any sober analysis of this role would position it, as a mid-ranking European state, within the EU.”

    Look at the Russians laughing at murdering people (Russians and Britons) in the UK, such is their sense of impunity that they’re openly mocking the UK on state TV. And our response? Threatening to boycott their World Cup. Pathetic. As an EU member we might have been able to galvanise the bloc to impose collective sanctions on Russia and inflict serious damage on it, as a single country we can only threaten to stay away from their games.

    The problem with UK politics isn’t the imperfect EU, there are far more obvious flaws in our own system – lacking in democratic legitimacy and transparency – which have been obvious for decades. But it was so much easier to scapegoat the EU.

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