As far as I’m concerned, 2016 was utterly brilliant year. Not only did the UK vote to leave the EU, but against all the odds the outsider Donald Trump became President of the United States.
Now I have to say that I don’t personally like Trump: I find him abrasive and something of a boor, but I suspect that in the grand scheme of things he will be surprisingly effective and on the world stage probably a much safer pair of hands than his electoral opponent would have been.
Why was 2016 brilliant? Because it marked the rise of the ‘little people’ – those whom the professional politicians (especially those on the left) have made such a point of ignoring. As a UK citizen, I can’t speak for the US: but I can identify specifically with the needs of the little people in the UK who have so often been swept aside under the pretext of political correctness. Indeed, it has seemed to me for some considerable time that the new underclass in the UK are working class white, heterosexual, married males of Christian background.
But not just that, in trying to help the genuinely needy, in the medium past those who have conformed to society’s norms of honesty, respectability, reliability and hard work were almost routinely ending up at the back of the queue. 30 years ago there were many cries that scarce council housing was being preferentially allocated to single parents (so much so that some women were getting pregnant in order to jump the queue) in preference to the indigenous population who had decided to wait until they were married before having progeny; or alternatively that the tax laws were slanted to discriminate against those who had opted for a conventional, married family life.
Similarly, there is the continuing sense that religious tolerance has in practice now come to mean ‘tolerance for any belief other than Christianity’.
Don’t get me wrong here. I believe strongly that society has to ensure that it looks after the disadvantaged, the dispossessed, the refugee, the immigrant, the person of a different religion, of a different colour, of all sexualities – but not at the expense of the rest, who at the very least need to be treated equally.
But in practice that fairness has not happened and the current underclass (white, working class, heterosexual males of Christian background) has in practice been discriminated against whilst also being taxed to pay for everybody else and then verbally lambasted as bigots by the Metropolitan chattering classes.
The reason why I am increasingly annoyed by the aforesaid chattering classes is that although they claim to be politically correct, in practice (and despite their virtue-signalling), their actions and decisions consistently disadvantage the current underclass who have done nothing wrong (they didn’t ask to be born working class, white, male etc did they?)
And it’s these people that have risen up en masse and kicked the establishment in the teeth over Brexit. If the left-wing chattering classes had bothered listening to those they claimed to be protecting they would have realised long ago that there was a simmering sense of resentment among a vast section of the population who were utterly sick of being ignored over their perfectly reasonable frustrations. After all, it is very hard to keep your cool for decades when you are consistently demeaned, disadvantaged or sidelined.
It is also extremely hard when you are aware that the reason why you may not be able to get a house is because others from different countries are being given preference; the reason why you can’t get a place at a maternity unit is because there are so many immigrants having babies; and the reason why you can’t get your children a place at the nearby school is because most of them are oversubscribed because we still keep on letting large numbers of other people (especially from the EU) into the country.
What is even harder is when people who are being disadvantaged in this way protest, they are accused of being racist when in fact they are simply drawing attention to the external overloading of the system. This isn’t racism: they are talking about numbers, not nationality. That the Metropolitan chattering classes accuse the English underclass of racism is testament to the degree to which those chattering classes are out of touch with the real concerns of the citizens they claim to represent. (And of course they are doing it from their dining rooms in their comfortable North London houses, whilst large numbers of people up and down the country can’t acquire a decent house at a decent price; or else can’t get their children into the local school and have to make do with a place miles away — and therefore miles away from their childrens’ social contacts.)
No, say the chattering classes. You are wrong to want out of the EU: you are racist, fascist bigots. (How easy it is to criticise others when you have the privileges that they don’t! )
And so we had the apparently unexpected result of the referendum – though it wasn’t unexpected to me. The EU always represented a mega-version of the Metropolitan chattering classes, an elite which the little people in England were so anxious to get rid of.
I predicted that the UK would vote for Brexit: similarly, I predicted that the US would vote for Trump – again, for much the same reasons. Although the left wing (chattering classes) media are very quick to make out that Trump is a bully, sexist, racist unintelligent incompetent, I suspect that many of the US underclass see him as their representative – someone who will actually take up cudgels on their behalf: seal the border with Mexico to stop unwanted immigrants (but also, very importantly, stop the heroin coming in); and ensure that the US is not suckered into treating Middle-East refugees as though they are 100% non-involved with terrorism (as Merkel has just found out).
One of the difficulties of the Metropolitan chattering classes is that although they disdain the theological aspects of the Christianity they despise, they try to continue the social aspect of it (or, rather, the social aspects of it that they are comfortable with) without realising that they haven’t got the whole picture. Were they actually to read the New Testament they would be brought face-to-face with a completely different picture of Christianity in which rules matter, punishment for wrongdoing is still very valid, where social misbehaviour is deprecated and those who take part in it are firmly criticised. Sure, the New Testament tells of forgiveness, freely given by God, love, and (in the appropriate circumstances) turning the other cheek. But you can’t have the social benefits without the theological truths and to imagine that Christianity is all about being lovey-dovey to everyone is about as far from the real truth as you can get.
One of the real driving forces of my entire life is the injunction in the Bible, repeated in many places, to ensure that justice applies to all, and especially to the disadvantaged: ‘justice for the widows and the oppressed’. I stand by that entirely: both the UK and the US need to ensure that they are always sensitive to the needs of the disadvantaged, of the refugee, of the vulnerable. But crucially, this must not be done to the detriment of existing groups of people already within our societies. The Bible tells us that we must treat our neighbours as ourselves: this also implies that we must treat ourselves as our neighbours. Or to put it another way – charity begins at home.