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Year 2010 No. 22, April 30, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Hysteria and Driving Down the Level of Politics and Political Culture

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Hysteria and Driving Down the Level of Politics and Political Culture

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Hysteria and Driving Down the Level of Politics and Political Culture

What was immediately evident in Gordon Brown's "bigot" outburst was the exposure of the manipulation of the electorate by the present political system and culture, and the sheer contempt that the ruling elite has for the people and their concerns. The exchange between Brown and the voter prior to his private remarks revealing his actual thoughts are an epitome of how such political leaders set the tone in their refusal to engage in any serious discussion, and instead to seek opportunities to exhibit their fast-talking "leadership" qualities. It is clear that Brown was outraged that his "meet the real public" moment was not as carefully stage-managed as it could have been.

In this sense, the incident highlighted how there is no serious discussion encouraged about the issues and what the stand in principle should be. Far from it, the opposite is the case. All kinds of hysteria is being whipped up by so-called politicians and the monopoly-controlled media alike over the issue of immigration, diverting from the principled starting-point that the issue is a matter of humanity and defence of the rights of all. Discussion on this principled basis should be encouraged; instead, the level is driven down to an unprincipled taking of sides over the "economic worth" of migrants and other divisive arguments based on the most backward pragmatic outlook.

Furthermore, the episode exposed the other side of "conviction politics", of government by "moral compass". In Gordon Brown's world, people are divided into those that are steering (or steered) by a moral compass and those that are bigoted. The world is essentially fine, but the electorate does not appreciate that Brown has been doing his best, that he has a moral purpose.

In the real world, on the other hand, "conviction politics" is leading down a path presenting the electorate with the need to defend the rights of all, to fight for an anti-war government, to work for an informed vote, and to oppose the division of the polity. The hysteria in the monopoly media is to try to disorient people to the utmost, who in reality are confronted by a capital-centred political system and system of government.

Far from being labelled as "bigots" or otherwise, the working class should be encouraged in taking up politics. The role of political leadership is to organise amongst workers, beginning with the level that people are at and working to raise that level, so that they themselves are enabled to become leaders, to become politicians in their own right. This requires workers to set their own agenda, not succumb to having the agenda set for them by the political cartel and the media, based on their own independent politics and human-centred outlook.

The aftermath of the incident and the sheer crassness of its reporting and diverting away from anything substantive are revealing that far from the bourgeoisie finding a champion during this election, they are settling for finding a kind of anti-champion in Gordon Brown. The ruling elite appears to be switching to backing of the Tories and Lib Dems by default to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. This appears to be the result, and possibly the aim, of the massive exposure of Gordon Brown’s "bigot" remarks.

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