Step into the shoes of a UK supermarket manager. You have gained experience in dealing with customer complaints, some more reasonable than others. Now you are confronted with an irate woman in her thirties, pointing to a cabinet full of fresh produce. She cannot bear to touch any of the items because they are emblazoned with Union Jack packaging.
“Why are you promoting nationalism? This is so divisive.”
“Well”, you calmly reply, “many of our customers like to support British farmers.”
“It’s disgusting”, she shouts back. “I won’t come back to one of your fascist shops again.”
This was an actual exchange described by a woman on Facebook. A perfect illustration of the British social divide: a member of the privileged, progressive middle class taking umbrage at the parochial, patriotic sentiment of ordinary people.
For this person, any expression of national pride or belonging is offensive jingoism. Not surprisingly, her profile identified herself as a Remainer who wants Britain to stay in the European Union.
Birmingham’s Bin-Brexit rally for the Conservative Party conference, September 30, 2018. Via Ilovetheeu, Wikimedia Commons
Just as Labour has favored Remainia over Brexitland, Conservative Party HQ is more interested in signaling progressive virtue than defending faith, flag, and family. According to one moderniser, Ben Kelly, it would be a mistake to appeal to “older, patriotic and zealous” people who are dying out.
“Affluent, liberal middle-class voters don’t want nostalgic politics or culturally insular values.” So forget the folk north of Watford Gap.
Neglect of poorer, predominantly white communities has become institutionally acceptable. Consider the massive donations for a Syrian refugee following a YouTube clip of him being bullying in the playground. Contrast this with the lack of response to the thousands of schoolgirl victims of mostly Pakistani-origin rape gangs. Or consider the constant media focus on the gender pay gap among highly-paid presenters or lawyers. All while ignoring the impoverishment of poorer women whose wages are undercut by the flood of cheap foreign labour.
Until recently, the upper middle class reserved its animosity for the lower middle class, as expressed in the film Abigail’s Party.
There are major flaws in the assumptions of the snob class, who patronize ethnic and other minorities by perpetuating victimhood. A black Brexit supporter, for example, has committed a double crime. Not only having the wrong opinion, but having the wrong opinion while being black. Diversity of thought is as necessary as it is natural.
There are looming threats to the cultural hegemony. The headline value of identity politics is ‘tolerance’, but this will surely eat itself. For all the rainbow murals, tension inevitably arises between favored identity groups.
Identity politics are really an expression of hate. As suggested by Professor Robert Tombs: “vehement Remainers motivated less by affection for the EU than by contempt for those they think support Brexit – above all the white working class.”
Meanwhile populism is gaining ground throughout the West, confronting the globalist elite.
Rulers and the ruled should be of the same place. The pan-Europeans and global idealists should wise up to what the common people want: a civic nationalism that is inclusive, sustainable, and genuinely democratic.
Our middle-class monitors must relearn the lessons from the past: working class folk are the salt of the earth. They deserve more respect than they currently get. Trash their identity, and they will destroy your identity politics.