What is an ‘extremist?’ The word is entirely subjective and one person’s extremist is another’s freedom fighter. In my eyes Teresa May, David Cameron, George Osbourne, William Hague and Barack Obama are extremists. In my eyes Paul Dacre is a hate preacher, Rupert Murdoch and Richard Desmond are hate preachers, Peter Hitchens, Melanie Phillips and Richard Littlejohn are hate preachers.
Extremism cuts both ways Cuthbert.
What the political elite really mean by extremism is people who express opinions that are not part of any prescribed narrative whether that’s to to the left or the right, anarchist or islamist. The militant, terrorist, insurgent and extremist are those who do not view the world in terms of nationhood and borders but rather throught prism of class, ideology or faith. The demonisation of anyone who is prepared to voice these heretical views is set upon in an orchestrated media campaign of vilification.
OK, so most Daily Mail readers don’t read an editorial and go and and bomb a food bank or behead a Big Issue seller, nevertheless Dacre’s brand of hatred is far more widespread, relentless and in my opinion dangerous than any two-bit, self-proclaimed mullah. For all his bluster and bullshit, Abu Hamza’s trickle of hate is a mere piss in the ocean of terror perpetrated by people who have REAL power.
In the 1980s I was a trade union activist and would often be described as a ‘militant’ although I never belonged to that splinter group or indeed the Labour Party. I certainly wasn’t a Trotskyite because I didn’t even understand what that word meant. I was no academic but I was a socialist in my bones. My dad was a docker who was out on strike all through the 70s when I was growing up and then made redundant in the 80s.
Thatcherism was no glib hate figure for us, she was a true enemy and we HATED her, truly hated her and what she represented. Just as much as she and her puppet masters hated us. She was also a coward and a hypocrite talking tough on enemies without and within yet getting the police and the secret services to do her dirty work and then covering it up, decrying the something for nothing culture yet poncing juicy defence contracts for her idiotic son whilst sending young boys to die in the Falklands.
My so-called ‘militancy’ was based in my own experiences and shaped my belief that the only conspiracy at work in the world is to keep the rich, rich or make them even richer. Everything from warfare to invented notions of nationhood and identity flows from that one basic human instinct to retain power, wealth and influence. That’s how it’s always been ofcourse. Those noble Greeks and Romans who fought for their liberty and to spread ‘civilisation’ amongst the barbarians were doing it for the spoils of war more than any high falutin’ concept of democracy or republicanism.
Read Thuycidides or Tacitus and that truth becomes self -evident. Athens under Pericles or Rome under Caesar were only the Palmerston’s and Reagans of their day, presiding over vast empires who subjugated and enslaved other peoples under the pretext of democracy, yet built their temples and palaces with the proceeds.
If voicing views on Afghanistan or Iraq, Israel or Palestine, Ireland or El Salvador, Bangladesh or Bolton makes me an ‘extremist’ then I reserve the right to denounce those who bandy about such words in a similar manner. As austerity bites and its consequences become all too visible in our everyday lives, maybe we should ask why Iain Duncan-Smith and his wild eyed social engineering policies is classed as a ‘reformer’ instead of the fascist extremist that he truly is.