Douglas Murray

Are Tories fanatics? The New York Times thinks so

Are Tories fanatics? The New York Times thinks so
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The New York Times’s strange jihad against post-Brexit Britain continues. Some readers may have missed the paper’s insistence that having only just finished eating mutton, the British public are currently stock-piling food and all but preparing to start eating each other (see here, here, and here just for starters). 

But yesterday they have returned to the fray with the international edition of the paper carrying a front-page piece declaring ‘Extremists hijacked UK politics’.  The online version of the story is headlined ‘A fanatical sect has hijacked British politics’. 

The author of the piece is someone called William Davies, who we are informed (in fact in the circumstances we really do need to be informed of this) is a ‘sociologist who writes about politics’. 

It is he who the NYT has decided to pluck from obscurity to make this serious allegation about this country. Mr Davies (‘the sociologist who writes about politics’) informs his readers at the outset that ‘It seems there is only one voter who matters to British politics right now: a Brexit-obsessed, 50-something white man living in rural southern England.’ 

There’s nothing like the injection of ‘white’ into that sentence, is there? In the hope of spreading a little more racial resentment around.

Anyhow – who is this fanatical sect which has over-ridden the UK? It appears that in the NYT author’s view the UK has been cruelly hijacked, not by members of al-Qaeda, but simply by the membership of the Conservative party, who are getting to vote on their new leader. Here is an example of the type of insight Mr Davies can muster:

‘For the next few weeks, the most influential force in British politics is a fanatical sect.

‘How did Britain reach this extraordinary situation? A plausible part of the explanation is that the Conservative Party has been heavily infiltrated by supporters of Nigel Farage, the far-right populist who formerly led the U.K. Independence Party and who recently established the Brexit Party.’

Even for the NYT that is low-grade analysis. Far from being ‘plausible’ there is no evidence whatsoever that the Conservative party has been ‘infiltrated’. Though you have to admire a writer self-aware enough that he has to use ‘plausible’ for things he can’t back up. And then there is that easy drive-by shooting allegation against Nigel Farage. No attempt to understand Farage’s appeal or success. Merely ‘far-right’. Like Hitler.

It goes on. Which I will not. Just to say this. If words like ‘extremist’ and ‘fanatic’ can now be used with such frivolity, why don’t we all do it? Only a couple of months ago the New York Times published a racist cartoon.

In fact after publishing it, the NYT admitted that its cartoon was racist, and subsequently chose to address the matter by (wait for it) deciding not to publish cartoons in the future. Presumably because the paper could not trust itself not to keep publishing racist cartoons.

So fine, if the Conservative party membership are fanatics, then the New York Times is fascist. Why not? Why not let’s all say it? Why not let’s all say any crazy, kooky thing we like until words have no meaning? What could possibly be wrong with that?