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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One Response 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.

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