I concluded a long time ago that there is virtually no difference between the hard left and the hard right. Both are repulsively ugly, both threaten our democracy and our basic freedoms. Guess what? We are living at a time of extremes unparalleled in modern times.
Yesterday, for example, there was a march and rally organised by the People’s Assembly. Before you get too excited, the People’s Assembly is a rag, tag and bobtail alliance of the 57 varieties of the far and ultra left. Which is probably why Labour’s shadow chancer – sorry, chancellor – John McDonnell was present. In fact, there was quite a sprinkling of the comrades from the current version of Labour mingling with the likes of the rape apologists of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), Stop the West (War, really, but we know what they are all about) and the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) who happily waved their Soviet Union flags and pictures of their hero Uncle Joe Stalin, murderer of at least 20 million people. Prominent members of her majesty’s opposition marched with these people. Can you imagine it?
Far left former journalist and now political activist Owen Jones spoke of course, as did McDonnell himself, the latter speaking straight after the SWP’s odious Weyman Bennett had charmingly suggested that Theresa May should “shoot herself”. Nice. Bennett may not have noticed the far right intimidation of Tory MP Anna Soubry last week, although you might have expected him to have noted his fellow comrade Jones suffering similar abuse. The lessons of the death of Jo Cox have been wasted on most of the far left, then.
McDonnell has plenty of history of course, having spoken of Esther McVey that “(they should) lynch the bastard”. Far be it for me to defend one of the most obnoxious Tories in parliament, but lynching McVey is, I suggest, a step too far.
Across the road, sometimes quite literally, stands the far and ultra right. They are the architects of Brexit, the single most damaging decision since World War Two. Many of their number may take umbrage to being compared to Hitler and the like, but the reality is uncomfortably that this is exactly the direction from which they come. Their politics is often very similar, their rhetoric and ideas identical. Somehow, the left and right are so extreme, they seem to meet up. It is almost as if Jeremy Corbyn, who is merely far left rather than ultra left, is in the same political space at Nigel Farage, who I would definitely place in the ultra right category.
The Jew hating far left, the foreigner hating far right. It is very difficult to tell them apart. For instance, Ukip and the right of the Tory party wants to end freedom of movement to our people. But so does Corbyn’s Labour Party. Oddly, the mainstream Labour left, the centre ground the mainstream Tory right, supports free movement. Just an example of where the far right and far left is the same thing.
This is where our politics is right now and why a vast swathe of people from mainstream left to the centre ground and maybe beyond have nowhere to go. Under no circumstances would I ever vote for a Tory party of any description, but then I’d never vote for a far left Labour Party either. As things stand, the Lib Dems represent a wasted vote and after what happened in 2010 when they took jobs in a right wing Tory government, I am not sure I could ever trust them again.
Of course it is Brexit that has caused the fissures and division and it will do so for decades to come if the process of leaving the EU goes ahead. The extremists are winning and it doesn’t look too good for the rest of us.