Steady on… and yet… November 30, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Nick Cohen writes a more than half decent article in the Observer on conservatism (and acknowledges Ireland too), that tellingly only loses it in the last paragraph or two. And one has to wonder given his self-declared apostasy from the left some time back where he now finds himself. For he has begun to ascribe to the right many of the problems he once appeared to believe were unique to the left.
And there’s a further problem for him. It’s not quite the same with the left, is it? It’s one thing for him to complain about micro-parties on the left in the UK and their idiosyncrasies, some of which are indeed problematic. It’s another again to complain about the Labour Party and Corbyn, but that remains a party out of power – and frankly his depiction of Corbyn et al is far too close to a caricature. But it is another thing entirely when this analysis is applied to ruling parties and administrations in the UK and US in relation to Brexit and Trump.
There is, surely, a bitter irony in that those in the best position to inflict the most harm are those who he managed to largely ignore for years now so great was his concern about a left that was out of power.
I’m not entirely convinced by all this thesis. For a start it seems remarkably anglophone. The US and UK are in deep trouble, albeit in different ways. But is everywhere simultaneously? Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, wherever? It seems to me that there various flavours of centre right and right remain in the ascendent, at least so far. That may well change. Italy and France provide greater concern, but I remain to be convinced that this moment – despite it being as reactionary as it most clearly is, is as of yet (and note the caveat) inevitably going to inflect all from here on out. Trump may fail. Brexit is already, even despite not actually being triggered, a massive economic and social problem and one that is deepening.
So some calm is necessary if we are to draw back to look at the full European or global picture. Still, Cohen’s not wrong about how conservatism has failed in the face of Trump and Brexit.