#TriggerWarning: I’m going to say things you might disagree with as a fellow leftie
#TriggerWarning: I might even swear.
This is not a #SafeSpace where your ego will be put on a pedestal. If you can’t stand criticism of your own politics from somebody who largely shares your politics, perhaps leave now.
Jonathan Pie, I love you. If I was a woman, I would have your babies. But I’m not, so I can’t.
This is not just about Clinton’s awful failure in the US, but also the British failure to come up with a coherent argument for staying in the European Union. Both of these votes should have been a no-brainer. The UK should have seen that the benefits of the EU outweighs the drawbacks. People should have seen that Hillary Clinton was the logical choice against an orange-skinned racist monkey. Yet what we got was two major, calamitous fuck ups and people still haven’t figured out why.
Nobody predicted either of these votes, but in the cold light of day and with the benefit of hindsight, it was not going to go any other way. And you know who is responsible? You, my fellow political left.
You, who wants a trigger warning on everything. You, who thinks that the opinions and values of white men should take a back seat while insulting the very white men you expect to be your allies and champions. You who enabled #KillAllWhiteMen and then made excuses for the woman who started it because she’s a “WOC” and can’t be racist, and can’t be sexist because she is LGBT.
You, who allowed MP Jess Phillips to mock male suicide in Parliament. You who silence people with labels and sound bites such as “stop mansplaining” and “Check your privilege”. You, who ignored the under-represented working class. You, who handles every crisis facing men (suicide, homelessness, workplace deaths, higher mortality) as “toxic masculinity” as though it is both an explanation and a solution. You, who enabled the rise of a conspiracy theorist in Anita Sarkeesian for whom the end always justifies the means.
You, who over-uses the word “misogyny” – a word that means “hatred of women” and throw it at anyone who criticised any woman regardless of whether that criticism was justified. You, who want to present women as victims every time and assume that any man who is cheated on by a woman must have done something to deserve it. You created a situation where men felt it wasn’t worth the bother pointing out feminism’s flaws but demanded they get on board with it.
You, who presented yourself as judge, jury and executioner of dissent within the ranks and labelled anyone who challenged you as part of the problem and no different from the racist, xenophobic, sexists of the far right.
Oh sure, the sexist, homophobic racists played their part and they will eventually be held to account. But when it really came down to it, you presented yourselves as the arbiters of thought and enforced it with online harassment and hashtags. You became the 1984 scenario against which you claim to stand. You adopted tactics not dissimilar to those of Senator McCarthy.
We on the political left used to be the marketplace of political ideas. We used to celebrate our diversity, argue over them and still manage to stay friends and allies. We used to champion the rights of the working class. What we became is one where certain groups’ views became more paramount than others. We became champagne socialists, disenfranchising working people from the politics that were supposed to liberate them. You insult those you feel have more privilege and still expect them to pander to your identity politics.
This is our reckoning. We are the masters of our own failings. Before we can do anything about it, we need to realise that we’ve capitulated to a Regressive Left that failed all of us in 2016, making all of us a mockery. Then, we take back the narrative.