America’s Right And Britain’s Left: Democracy Under Threat

by Neil Bamforth

Unfortunately, in America, the far right know the president will, at least, tolerate them if not tacitly support them whilst, in Britain, the Conservative government are so weak they cannot prevent the growth of the far left.

I have little idea what, if anything, can be done about this problem in America. In Britain, there also appears to be little that can be done.

The one light in the darkness in Britain was the referendum vote to leave the European Union. An odd light I grant you but a light nevertheless.

Whether such a decision proves to be good or bad or somewhere in between is of little consequence. At least regarding the far left or far right. It was one decision the British people made that both had to swallow whether they liked it or not.

What is of consequence is that the referendum allowed ordinary people to express a view the far left, among others, hated. Although even that is not entirely accurate as some of the far left wanted to leave. It was the fact that ordinary people were given a free expression that both sides hated.

It has to be said though, that in Britain at least, the far left are far more against freedom of expression unless it’s their view of the world.

British politics is a bloody mess at the moment. Extremes everywhere you look.

A particular worry is Britain’s universities where, clearly, young people go to learn and further their academic abilities with a hopeful view to gaining excellent qualifications thereby allowing them a better chance of a high earning career once they leave.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph printed an article that contained the following alarming claim.

Last month Sussex University was accused of undermining free speech after one of its leading professors held a workshop for academic staff of how to “deal with right-wing attitudes in the classroom.

The event stoked controversy among students and staff, who complained that the institution was revealing its political bias.

The workshop, titled “Dealing with right-wing attitudes and politics in the classroom” had been advertised on posters around the university.

The debacle prompted the university’s vice chancellor to write to all students and staff urging them to “challenge each other in such a way that respects different opinions and voices”.

You see so-called ‘right wing’ views are no better nor worse than so-called ‘left wing’ views. They differ clearly but neither are illegal nor evil.

Far left and far right views are a whole different ball game of course.

So, whilst Britain has a Conservative government which is, technically at least, the right of center, it’s main opposition party, Labour, is currently drifting away from ‘left of center’ at a rate of knots and becoming increasingly ‘far left’.

Brexit is often perceived as a ‘right wing’ victory and, certainly, the right of center UKIP party wanted it but, slightly oddly, so did many of the left – at least those nearer to the far left.

Britain is not, at the moment, in the grip of the far left but, as young people in universities are increasingly taught that anything vaguely considered ‘right wing’ is wrong and evil, there is a very real danger that, in a relatively short time, Britain could actually have a very left-wing government indeed.

If we were talking the old style socialism of Harold Wilson and ‘Sunny’ Jim Callaghan’s 1960’s and 1970’s Labour then that would be bad. It didn’t work then and, undoubtedly, it wouldn’t work now. It’s been tried, tested and found severely wanting. However, it wouldn’t cause mayhem quite on the scale that a far left Labour government would.

Far right or far left governments are invariably terrible for the people of whichever country they run. Always have been always will.

That isn’t to say center right or center-left governments are fantastic by any means. It’s more a case of they do less harm to everything and that’s probably the best we can expect.

Political correctness is certainly a scourge on Britain at the moment but it would be as nothing if a far left government was elected. (A far-right government isn’t even close to any political horizon).

If America thinks the Trump government is extreme right wing they’ve seen nothing yet if Britain, in the not too distant future, swings politically to the far left.

It is a very real and present danger. You only have to see what is happening at so many of our universities and understand how young people are being unduly influenced by far-left rhetoric. They are there to learn but what are they learning?

MadMikesAmerica is, by nature, a liberal place. Liberals, by nature, are generally considered politically left of center as, I believe, are your Democrats. That’s fine and dandy.

Political extremes are dangerous. Left or right. Trumps America seems to have veered to the right to an alarming extent. Increasingly though, it does seem as though the steam is running out if only because of most Americans, who, once they stop and think, are not by nature politically extreme.

Memories of WWII are still too fresh for any genuinely far-right political party to survive long in power in western democracies.

We must remember that and fight against any kind of extremism. If we don’t, one day, we may be silenced not, I suspect, by idiots like Trump but by far-left zealots who cannot abide any worldview other than their own.

In Britain it is not the far right who are rising, it is the far left.

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42 Responses to America’s Right And Britain’s Left: Democracy Under Threat

  1. jess Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 9:43 am

    People that are getting upset about this whole, we’re moving so far left it is (insert whatever excuse here) are only doing so because the goalpost has been moved so far right so anything a little to the left is an abomination according to some of them. AYUP, we cannot have any of those university students thinking for themselves and deciding they will not tolerate intolerance, that is a bad thing. So in summary “bothsidersism” abounds and we really have “good people” on both sides, never mind that one side is anti everything where the other wants an inclusive society that treats all equally, got it.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      January 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

      In America certainly politics have moved to the right but, in Britain we’ve a centre right government not right or, God forbid, far right.

      We seem to have a problem building outside of government with a growing hard left group of citizens.

      My concern is not right or left but extremes of either.

      In Britain – not in government – the hard left are flexing their muscles.

      It may come to nothing ultimately….or it may become a greater problem.

      Time, as always, will tell.

      • jess Reply

        January 11, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Like I said, it’s only hard left to some because the goalposts have been moved so far to the right no one can remember what a lefty is anymore and the right wing acts accordingly. Hell, here, the right wing has started accepting neo nazis, pedophiles, sexual assaulters and pervs in general as normal because they want their tax cuts for people like me that DO NOT need it. Um no, I am not good with that, so if that makes me a hard left extremist, I’ll not only own it, I’ll proudly own it.

        • Neil Bamforth Reply

          January 11, 2018 at 1:36 pm

          No goalposts have moved in Blighty. We haven’t shifted right. The hard left are trying to make inroads and it’s dangerous for democracy.

          Political extremes whether left or right are to be resisted if we believe in democracy.

          • jess Reply

            January 11, 2018 at 2:06 pm

            But ya have Blanche, ya have moved rightwards, when taxes go up for the little person to benefit the rich, when your health places do not have enough funds to take care of the people, when anyone considered left wing that has an opinion and shares it is an extremist because REASONS, you have moved to the right. People are rightly way pissed off and angry about what is being done to benefit wealthy mcwealtherton and his or her spouse at the expense of the little corner store owner. I will give the example I have been in a rage about since yesterday and disclaimer… I own Amazon stock so I benefited from this. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO is now the wealthiest person in the world at 100+ billion and counting, the people that work for him still do not get a living wage. In what universe is that an acceptable deal? Yes, he is self made and I do not grudge him that money because he worked for it but he also exploits the workers in his distribution centers, the people that deliver for his company etc that I can guarantee, do more damn work than he ever will and get paid shit money for it. He probably pays way less in taxes than the normal middle class person. Thanks but no thanks, I will stick to my way left leaning ways and talk about them, loudly if need be, if it means others will benefit at some future point.

            • Neil Bamforth Reply

              January 11, 2018 at 2:26 pm

              As a former union rep I agree 100% that, self made or not, no employer should be allowed to pay less than a decent living wage.

              I’ve said it before.

              Social care, equality, environment – I’m resolutely left wing.

              Uncontrolled immigration, The European Union I’m resolutely right wing.

              I am both.

              I struggle to comprehend people who can’t see both the left and the right, politically, do have some good ideas.

              It ain’t so black and white as ‘left’ is good ‘right’ is bad or visa versa…

              • jess Reply

                January 11, 2018 at 3:06 pm

                Neil, when the right wing cuddles up to neo nazis, British First, pervs and anti science, anti LGBT, anti woman, anti poor and disabled people(or anything else) there is no way for me to see that they have good ideas. But one example just from today. So over here they passed this huge tax cut bill and now they want to start cutting health programs for the poor, disabled, low income people by making them work for health care in certain states and we all know what states will do this, where some of them do work they just cannot afford health care. Won’t be California, where we take care of our people and it shows, it will be places like Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi where they are run by those on the right, you seem to think have good ideas. If you put the money in the hands of the person that will go right out and spend it, it benefits all people where if you put it in the hands of say Pfizer, another article from today, by way of a tax cut that said oh yeah, we will put more into research because of this cut, well they have backtracked on that and are now saying they will be paying out 10 billion to shareholders instead of research they spoke about two, three months ago. So tell me again, how I am supposed to see that right and left (bothsiderism) have good ideas that I need to see. Seriously if someone could show me where some of this stuff makes sense, other than on EarthX in Legends of DC, I would be more than happy to research it.

                • Neil Bamforth Reply

                  January 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm

                  If I can’t get my left knee sorted I might be in the disabled category myself soon enough!

                  An extreme example then of the political right….

                  Margaret Thatcher.

                  What she did to mining communities was unforgivable = bad right.

                  Sending British forces to defend the Falkland Islanders from a hostile invader = good right.

                  Slightly extreme examples I admit but easier than writing several paragraphs…

                  • jess Reply

                    January 11, 2018 at 3:52 pm

                    Bad example using Thatcher, seriously bad example. She cut unions, social welfare programs over there, making private the transportation and social housing. Joined at the hip with old Ronnie Raygun, who also did some union busting of his own and I could go on and on, so nope, using her as an example really bad idea there Neil. I did a paper on her for my women’s studies class in college and she disgusted me when I did the research on her. Conservative people like that, want to pull up the ladder behind them when they have theirs, so that no one else can benefit.

                    • Neil Bamforth

                      January 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm

                      All true = bad right.

                      Brought in the ‘right to buy’ allowing millions to own their own homes for the first time = good right

                      Didn’t replace the social housing now bought = bad right

                      Virtually single handedly stopped the EU from railroading anything they wanted through = good right

                      Ignored my home, the North of England = bad right

                      Was pivotal in supporting Gorbachov and ending the cold war = good right

                      You are right in what you say but, in saying it, you are ignoring any good things and there were some.

                      Whether they outweighed the bad is open to conjecture but to deny there were any good things is Ostrich time.

            • Michael John Scott Reply

              January 11, 2018 at 8:28 pm

              I will also stick to my Left-leaning ways, and good on you buying Amazon stock. I had the inclination way back when they were just an online bookstore, and decided against it. I kick myself daily for that.

              • jess Reply

                January 11, 2018 at 8:57 pm

                I did not buy it. When the rents passed away, I was still in my early 20s and they had a trust set up that when they died, I only got a certain amount, till I became 35 when I got all of it so that I would not fritter it away. The trustees and my uncle the financial adviser who was the executor, are the ones that bought it to up my fund. I have Apple stock too (that was my dad’s wisdom from when Apple was just a tiny seed) and I hate Apple products. Hey, don’t judge me all you Apple people.

  2. Bobbie Peel Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 9:49 am

    What power does the extreme left have in the British Parliaments? None as far as I can see. Parliament is where laws originate. PM May’s leadership is weak and holds power because of a deal with the hard right Ulster party. Not all members of the opposition are extreme left. Again, what power does the left have to influence legislation.

  3. Neil Bamforth Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Very little influence in government. As I said above, it is hard left groups outside of mainstream politics that are growing in strength.

    I hate extreme political ideals both right and left.

    In Britain today it is hard left factions away from politics attempting to stifle free expression…for example in many of our universities.

    • Bobbie Peel Reply

      January 11, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      You say left wing influences are stifling free speech in many universities. You mention one, Sussex.

      • Neil Bamforth Reply

        January 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

        Sheffield, East London, London Metropolitan Uni, Queen Mary…various Scottish uni’s….

        The far left, or hard left, usually through the students union, are bullying students who are politically conservative or apolitical.

        Political extremes are an evil regardless of being left or right.

        • jess Reply

          January 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm

          Wait a second though, Scotland, didn’t they vote overwhelmingly to stay in the EU. I seem to remember our idiot of a leader was over there, when this was all happening, at one of his golf resorts and he was righteously hammered by people in Scotland when he said something to the effect that they would be better off leaving the EU when they had just voted to stay in it by like a huge margin. It seems to me Scotland is more of a socialist country, Like Norway that is forced to deal with people in power in London just because they are part of a group of countries, so I can see where they have left leaning tendencies. Plus any Scottish people I have met, are not shy in the least about saying whatever it is they need to say, regardless of who they may be talking to left right or center.

          • Neil Bamforth Reply

            January 11, 2018 at 3:24 pm

            I’m talking specifically of uni students not the people in general.

            Yes, Scotland voted ‘remain’.

            As a northern Englishman I have a lot of empathy with the Scots dislike and distrust of the London based government.

            • jess Reply

              January 11, 2018 at 3:36 pm

              Well yeah, I get it with the students but the people as a whole lean socialist right, because there are hardly any conservative or labor people left in their government, more the national party of Scotland or whatever it is called, I forget. I think that if you grow up surrounded by liberal, socialist thinking it makes sense you would develop those kind of thoughts and keep them as you grow older. I have noticed myself, that I am way more liberal as a grown up and I was pretty damn liberal growing up.

              • Neil Bamforth Reply

                January 11, 2018 at 4:17 pm

                Socialism over here is always left of center politically.

                As a political system it is brilliant. Sadly it fails to take into account humanity – not unlike communism really. As a system it sounds great, in practice…oops

                As a young man I was resolutely left wing. As I grew older I became more and more right wing. Over the last 5 years or so I’m drifting left again.

                I have realized, finally, that neither are universally correct.

  4. Neil Bamforth Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Mike? Your picture at the top? Liberal Democrats ‘centre right’? 😂😂😂😂😂

    Centre left mate. Every time.

    It’s ‘Green’ and ‘Labour’ left. Conservatives ‘centre right’ and UKIP ‘right’

    Labour are traditionally ‘centre left’s but are currently drifting further left.

    Just so tha knows 😀

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      January 11, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      I didn’t draw the picture Neil. Perhaps it disagrees with your “picture” of things? You know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

      • Neil Bamforth Reply

        January 11, 2018 at 4:19 pm

        Not my picture of things old bean. Whoever drew it clearly doesn’t know.

        The Liberal Democrats are resolutely left of center. That’s why they successfully diluted the conservatives more extreme ideas when they power shared with them.

        Best government we had in my life time.

        • Michael John Scott Reply

          January 11, 2018 at 8:31 pm

          I found it in The Times. Isn’t that a conservative-leaning publication old bean? I would think they would know yes?

          • Neil Bamforth Reply

            January 12, 2018 at 3:10 am

            That’s just weird….

  5. Bobbie Peel Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    The Conservative party has been in power since 2010 and yet you’re worried about the left, I think you are more right wing than you let on, pretending to be a centrist it seems to me. Perhaps if the conservatives would crush the left a little more, you’d be happier.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      January 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Not at all! The Conservatives are seemingly hell bent on destroying and privatizing our National Health Service for one thing.

      The best government we’ve had in my lifetime was the Conservative (centre right) Liberal Democrat (centre left) coalition.

      The Liberal Democrats kept the Tories in check. It was capitalism with a small ‘c’.

      You could have called it ‘caring capitalism’ albeit that sounds a contradiction in terms…

      The west needs political balance not extremes.

  6. jess Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    All true = bad right.

    Brought in the ‘right to buy’ allowing millions to own their own homes for the first time = good right

    Didn’t replace the social housing now bought = bad right

    Virtually single handedly stopped the EU from railroading anything they wanted through = good right

    Ignored my home, the North of England = bad right

    Was pivotal in supporting Gorbachov and ending the cold war = good right

    You are right in what you say but, in saying it, you are ignoring any good things and there were some.

    Whether they outweighed the bad is open to conjecture but to deny there were any good things is Ostrich time.

    Wouldn’t let me reply to you up there Neil. Just because you maybe do one good thing or three, does not get you off the hook for the bad you do. I am certain when he was younger Jeffrey Dahmer may have liked puppies but he still was a murdering cannibal. Same goes for Thatcher, Raygun etc. Because of their bad policies, we have to suffer through the likes of Dolt45s, Erdogans, Putins and Theresa Mays of the world adding to what came before them.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      January 11, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      You’re too young to so cynical 😉

      Maybe so but if even Thatcher did a couple of good things, and she was not my idea of a caring leader, then it does prove the point.

      The political right can have good ideas that work just as the left can.

      If you want to say the left have way more fair enough – I’d be inclined to agree actually – but, for want of a better description, moderate left or moderate right wingers are not particularly dangerous.

      Extreme left or right wingers are.

      That, in a nutshell, is what I’m saying.

      At the moment there is a popular groundswell of far/hard left behaviour around Blighty.

      It isn’t healthy.

      The far right are on the retreat. That is healthy.

  7. Bobbie Peel Reply

    January 11, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    How right wing is a guy who thinks the Liberal Democrats are center left. Very. Just Conservatives with a small ‘c’.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      January 11, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      Exactly. I just told the old boy that the picture I found was originally published in The Times. Aren’t they Right-leaning? given their political proclivity, I would expect they would know what they are saying, but Neil doesn’t seem to think so.

      • Bobbie Peel Reply

        January 11, 2018 at 11:14 pm

        The Times is one of Rupert Murdoch’s many rags. No doubt Mr Bamforth is a big fan. I read British media, it’s pretty like ours, garbage, with a few exceptions.

        • Neil Bamforth Reply

          January 12, 2018 at 3:16 am

          The Liberal Democrats have been center left forever. No idea what The Times is saying.
          Don’t take my word for it Mike just ask your family over here!

          Only newspapers I read are the free ones found on the tube on the rare occasion I use it.

          I don’t’think’ the Liberal Democrats are center left Bobbie, I know they are as a matter of historical fact.

          I sometimes wonder what planet some of you lot are actually on 😀

  8. Neil Bamforth Reply

    January 12, 2018 at 3:32 am

    Quick history lesson….

    Liberal Party – center.

    Labour Party – center left.

    Social Democratic Party formed from Labour breakaway.

    Liberals SDP align and become Liberal Democrats – center left.

    Coalition Conservative / Liberal Democrat government best we’ve had as center left LD’s reign in excessive Tory ideas.

    Ungrateful electorate bash LD’s at next election as LD’ are politically much closer to Labour and electorate think they got into bed with the Torys as it was their only avenue to power.

    Entirely true but rather unfair to bash them for it as they did make it a moderate government for a change.

    Savvy? Liberal Democrats center left.

    Doesn’t bother me if they’re raving Maoists…they just happen to be center left and somebody at The Times was clearly on something 😀

  9. Bobbie Peel Reply

    January 12, 2018 at 8:28 am

    You Brits and your infernal class system. There is no middle ground in politics just right or wrong.

    What are you Mr Bamforth working class? Or lower middle class, middle class, or upper middle class? Maybe Gentry or a Yeoman? Can’t possibly be working aristocracy.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      January 12, 2018 at 10:12 am

      I came from lower middle class stock who pushed themselves to middle class.

      Personally I’ve always considered myself working class up until around my mid 40’s when I stopped bothering what I was in terms of class.

      I suppose others who cared about such things would say lower middle class? I suppose so. We’re financially secure an own our home albeit we haven’t got money to burn.

      My wife was a Senior Micro-Biologist and is definitely middle class….

      I’m her bit of rough 🙂

  10. M Bates Reply

    January 12, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Neil, don’t worry about the people attacking your facts, their opposition is annoying but facts are facts and the truth will not go away quietly.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      January 12, 2018 at 10:12 am

      True! Mind you it sometimes has to hit people on the head metaphorically before they see it 😉

      • jess Reply

        January 12, 2018 at 11:13 am

        Here was me thinking we were having a nice respectful discussion/debate then we had to have the M Bates turd in the punchbowl float to the top.

    • jess Reply

      January 12, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Awwww, you again. Speaking of going away. Let me fix your sentence for you so it makes more sense, M Bates will not go away quietly but h/she should Blanche, ya should. And verily the Lord said unto Felicia, fare thee well.

      • M Bates Reply

        January 12, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        You’re are a very aggressive person. You and Bobbie should get along fine. Although Neil seems to like you so I forgive your rudeness.

        • jess Reply

          January 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm

          I have zero fucks to give about you or anyone else forgiving me anything, I don’t need it nor do I want it. Bitch! you don’t rate and you need to stay in your own lane. This attack on whether or not I am aggressive, will NOT end well for you at all and it will please me. Leave Bobbie out of this s/he had zero to do with anything that I said, unless you want to try and pull innocent people into your shit because you have nothing else to argue your points.

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