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Date: 2022-07-04 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00020518

Really Dumb

umair haque ... How Britain’s Brexit Nationalism Made it the World’s Laughingstock ... Congratulations to Britain for Solving All the Problems of the World


Peter Burgess
Original article:
How Britain’s Brexit Nationalism Made it the World’s Laughingstock Congratulations to Britain for Solving All the Problems of the World

Congratulations! In a stunning twist no one expected, a dramatic accomplishment for all humanity, Britain has solved the world’s problems. From how to have a functioning society — austerity and rabid nationalism, to, now, the age-old problem, the ancient ill, of…racism. Yes, Britain has solved racism. Rejoice!

I’m clowning. Being sarcastic, of course. Because sometimes, one needs to be. And this, my friends, is one such time. What kind of an idiot nation claims to have, in an act of farcical hubris so astonishing it verges on a Monty Python episode, solved the problem of racism? The answer: is the dumbest country in the world today, Britain.

Let me tell you the story. The British government commissioned a report into racism. Now, Britain at this juncture in history is not a remotely normal country. It is, in the warning words of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, becoming a failing state. It broke up with the EU — meaning it took away the right to live and work in Europe, a thing many Americans and most of the rest of the world would kill for — for nothing. For the bizarre lies peddled by a new wave of fanatical nationalists.

Hence, the conclusion to this recent report into racism was foregone. More or less anyone sane suspected that a government stupid enough to break up with it’s largest trading partners and best allies — an act so suicidal trade has come to a sudden stop, promising a new Great Depression — would of course do something just as stupid. Hooray, it did. The commission writing the report, concluded that there was no institutional racism in Britain.

In fact, Britain was a “model” for “white majority” countries.

LOL — what? What kind of bizarrely backward people even think this way? Are we in the 18th century?

In Britain, people were shocked that the government could claim something like this. The BMJ noted that this “finding” was obviously false, and noted that the commission “included a space scientist, a retired diplomat, a politics graduate, a TV presenter and an English literature graduate, but no one with an academic background in health inequalities.” What the? Even the usually-sober FT called it a “Masterclass in Gaslighting.”

I guess Meghan Markle left the UK because it wasn’t racist enough, right?

Look, this post isn’t going to be about racism. It’s going to be about how nationalism has wrecked Britain and made it a global laughingstock. It should be obvious to any clear sighted person that racism exists everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Go to Dubai, and you’ll see plenty of Arab-on-everyone-else-racism. Go to, I don’t know, India, and you’ll see plenty of colorism and caste thinking in action. Racism is an ancient sin, and nobody is innocent of it in today’s world.

But especially not Britain. It’s not just the obvious statistics: black people are six times more likely to be stopped and searched, face unemployment be arrested, receive lower quality education, die of Covid. Or maybe that almost all Black British students have experienced racism at school.

Of course Britain is a racist country. It’s less racist than say, America. But that’s not saying much. It’s like saying you’ve eaten fewer people than Jeffrey Dahmer.

How do I know Britain is still a racist country? Duh, Brexit. What was Brexit about? It was about white-on-white racism. Call it ethnic prejudice if you really want, that depends on your favourite theory of race I suppose. Brexit was about “pure” and “true” Brits scapegoating Europeans for their economic and social woes. Now the social and economic woes of “real” Brits had nothing to do with Europeans, they were about Brits electing the most catastrophically foolish series of governments since the Weimar Republic — but I digress.

That too is racism, or prejudice, or bigotry, take your pick. In the fever of nationalism that gripped Britain, all of a sudden, even Europeans became second-class…people. Eastern Europeans — whether Poles or Lithuanians or Estonians — were suddenly regarded as criminals or ne’er-do-wells or so on. Think of all the nationalist stereotypes that existed about such people once in say America — Poles were dumb and lazy, Italians were conniving and dangerous, and so on. That’s what happened in Britain, only over the last few years, and worse.

“Real” Brits were conditioned to believe this lie about Europeans — that they were inferior — for a very simple reason: so they could believe that they were superior. Brittania Uber Alles! The old mentality of empire was resurrected by finely suited grandees, and sold to a gullible populace broken into despair and disintegration by austerity. Bang. Britain went full-on nationalist — but nationalist always means “we think we’re better than you.” And so it always — always — involves a teeming cupful of racism, bigotry, prejudice, and worse.

Now, obviously, Europeans are white, too — so imagine how bad it was in Britain for people who weren’t even white. The government declared a “hostile environment” on immigrants not so long ago, which basically meant open season on minorities. Take the Windrush Scandal, for example, where black British people were…deported. Or the countless examples of minority academics having their visas yanked. What kind of idiotic country attacks people like its own scientists? The answer, of course, is: Britain.

Who else might, might, just maybe, have claimed something so outlandish — to the laughter of the entire world — if he’d won another term in office? Can you guess? Donald Trump. This all feels super Trumpy because it is. In fact, this lie is so colossal it even puts Trump to shame — even he didn’t claim he solved racism, but Britain is. LOL — what the?

It’s obviously absurd for a country to claim it’s solved the problem of racism. But in a telling kind of way. A North Korean kind of way. A Soviet kind of way. A Trumpy way. Sane countries don’t make such claims, precisely because they’re flatly ridiculous, and so they’d only cost them credibility. So why do states like North Korea and the Soviet Union…and Britain, now…make such puffed-up claims? They teach us what kind of a society Britain is becoming: something beyond even the world’s dumbest country. It is now becoming a true failed state.

Countries like North Korea and Iran and the Soviet Union make grandiose and delusional claims even though they cost external credibility for a very simple reason. They are a form of propaganda.

They are designed to shore up the support of The Party among the true believers. Grandiose claims are a kind of nationalist bragging. Not the humble bragging of the internet era — but the outsized propagandistic lies of the Trump Regime. Like so many other authoritarian fascist regimes before it, the Trump Regime was famous for its high-pressure firehose of endless, grandiose lies.

The point of all those lies was to say: “We’ve Made America Great Again!!” Hence, “the economy’s never been better.” Or “Covid’s not real!” Or “lock Hillary up, she’s a pedophile!!” Or “those immigrant caravans are full of predator babies, who breed like flies!!” Or: “We’ve solved the problem of racism!”

See how perfectly and neatly Britain’s latest stupid lie fits into the pattern of the Trump years? Of authoritarianism, of nationalism run amok, of a population driven mad by the delusional, desperate craving of being number one? Unable to fit into the world as a simple, humble, equal?

Authoritarian governments issue such reports all the time. Go to a place like, I don’t know, Saudi Arabia — and guess what, Britain, you’re in good company. There’s no racism there, either. In fact, there are no social problems of any kind. Because this is a society of the true and pure. It’s the best society in the world. Everybody here is perfectly moral, all the time. Saudi Arabians don’t drink, don’t smoke, their women are perfectly chaste and pure, and no, nobody’s ever killed a journalist. Of course, in reality, Saudis drink like fish, women are horrifically oppressed, and violence is a staple of daily life, as in beheadings. The official line can’t reflect those facts because in an authoritarian state, the truth cannot be told, since anything less than perfection can’t be tolerated.

What are we all working for, anyways? In the grand authoritarian project? We’re on a crusade, a social mission, which consumes everything, every last action and thought, to which everyone’s life is subordinated. We’re number one! We’re the best! We’re so much better than the rest of them, they don’t even come close. North Korea is the happiest society on earth. Dubai isn’t built on slave labour. America? It’s the land of the free. And there’s no racism in Britain.

Failing states becoming authoritarian nations need to peddle the lie that they’re number one, then, for several intertwined reasons. To cover up their failures. To harden the true believers. To create an internal sense of unreality, and widen the divide from the rest of the world. To keep the moral crusade going — because if people stop believing they’re on a quest to be number one, better than everyone else, what then? Then people might see through all the fictions — and bang! That’s the end for the regime.

That’s the kind of nation Britain’s becoming. One where a government peddles jaw-droppingly stupid propaganda to its own people, even if it means the entire world laughs at you. Because it’s on a nationalist crusade, to be number one, and when you’re on such a crusade, you already believe you’re better than the rest of the world, so, well, what does it laughing at you matter? But such crusades don’t solve anything. They only make things worse. They heighten the vicious spiral of implosion nationalism produces. Let’s take the “there’s no racism here” report as an example. What are its consequences going to be?

Well, if there’s no institutional racism in Britain, then there’s no problem to be solved. Bang. Progress in this arena comes to a dead halt, and then goes backwards. Because if there’s no racism, then of course what already exists as bigotry and prejudice and hate is perfectly acceptable and tolerable. Today’s fanatics will take it as an exoneration and a license. They will only grow emboldened.

Meanwhile, some percentage of the population — probably a pretty big one, since Brits are now wedded like Romeo and Juliet to nationalism, in a suicide pact with it — will believe it. Believing it, they will celebrate the government for yet another great, earth-shaking accomplishment. First, Britain “took back control” from those dirty, filthy Europeans. And now — how amazing!! — it’s solved the problem of racism. “We really are the best country in the world,” they’ll say, marvelling at their brilliance and fine morals and keen insight.

And meanwhile, the fallout from the first problem goes unnoticed thanks to the propaganda of the second. Hey, has anyone noticed that Brexit has literally more than decimated huge chunks of the economy? That, for example, fishing, cheese, and food exports have collapsed by 70 to 90% — something a modern, rich country has never experienced, much less inflicted on itself? That that implosion is going to produce a shock wave of bankruptcy becoming unemployment becoming poverty becoming austerity — the precise recipe for a generations-long depression?

Sorry, didn’t see it, don’t care, mate! Haven’t you heard? We solved the problem of racism!! Hurrah! Stop being such a negative Nancy! Get with it, already. Are you with us — or are you against us? Look at how mighty and grand and incredible we are!!

“Incredible” is the right word. As in unbelievable. The foolish lies Britain tells itself today — from “taking back control” to “we’ve solved racism” — are a measure of the kind of country it’s become. It used to be, not so long ago, wise, gentle, kind, the envy of the world. And now it is the kind of country which tells the most foolish and astonishing sorts of lies to itself, lies that would put Donald Trump himself to shame — because the truth has become too ugly, too searing, too uncomfortable to bear.

When you’re putting Trump to shame, my friends, it’s time to take a moment and reflect on who the idiot really is.

Umair April 2021
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