By Ben Pensant
Of all the questions I’m regularly asked by right-wing trolls – from ‘Do you know the difference between reported crimes and actual crimes?’ to ‘Why does a man who supports LGBT rights celebrate a regime that hangs gays?’ – by far the most frequent revolve around the divisive issue of free speech. Divisive, that is, to right-wing trolls; we progressives are characteristically clear on freedom of speech: it applies to people we agree with and no-one else. Simple. That so-called ‘liberals’ have joined them in denouncing this outlook tells you all you need to know about the pernicious influence of 21st century fascism.
But still they persist, trying in vain to catch us out by demanding facts and evidence to support our pertinent, principled, piss-easy-to-discredit claims. Of course, as any good Twitter liberal knows, the best way to deal with awkward questions is to ignore them and press the ‘block’ button. However, while this is encouraged with regards to difficult queries about Brexit (and positively mandatory when asked anything to do with Jezza’s love of terrorists), when it comes to discussing free speech the modern left-wing philosophy is so fool-proof it allows us to actually engage with people we disagree with. Yes, really.
Of course, strawmen, whataboutery and cries of ‘racist!’ should still be deployed whenever necessary. But when a viewpoint is as simple as ‘free speech not hate speech’ it’s immensely satisfying watching right-wingers and ‘classical’ liberals struggle to lay a glove on such impeccable logic.
All of which informs my response every time some clever-clogs on Twitter asks ‘But who decides what is hate speech?’. Because we all know who decides; the same people who decide what’s racist, what’s Islamophobic, what’s culturally insensitive to minorities we’ve decided are too pathetic to think for themselves. No, I’m not talking about the government (though once Lord Corbyn cruises to Number 10 you’ll notice the state paying much closer attention to what people say, think or dress up as at Halloween). I’m talking about the folks who really matter: people on the internet.
Indeed, from celebrity care-mongers Lily Alan and Garry Lineker to regressive intellectuals like DJ Werleman and Dan Ariel, it’s liberal Twitter that decides who’s a hatemonger, who’s a Nazi, and who’s a five-year-old old refugee with face-fur, crow’s feet, and a penchant for flat-pack furniture.
But it’s not just in the arenas of free speech and pretend white supremacy that the social media left call the shots. As I’ll demonstrate, they’ve also taken control of the narrative surrounding police brutality, with potentially groundbreaking results. Take aforementioned tub-thumping socialist Dan Ariel, a keen advocate of calling people he disagrees with ‘fascists’ and an even keener advocate of knocking them out. Understandably, Dan is usually absent from protests where fisticuffs occur, preferring to fight the good fight on the battlefield of social media, a war zone he bestrides like a vegan Norman Schwarzcock, lecturing people less tattooed than him on who they should be punching in the name of progressivism.
Because in 2017 the only way to defeat your enemy is to become every bit as illiberal as him. Hence banning speakers, shutting down speeches, and assaulting old women are all in day’s work for Dan. Or they would be if he ever attended any of these protests rather than urging other people to. But as well as fantasising about sneaking into Air Force One to put a drawing pin on President Pussy-Grab’s chair, Dan is also something of an anarchist. Indeed, despite applauding the censorious approach to debate which filthy racist Bill Marr recently called ‘the left-wing version of book-burning’, what Dan really wants is to destroy the system. And it was this anarchic streak that got alt-right Nazis and Nazi alt-righters in a right flap this week when Dan took to Twitter to outline his ground-breaking idea for the future of law enforcement. An idea which involves scrapping the police and replacing them with social workers.
He began by emphatically stating ‘all cops are terrorists’, a sentence as sublime as it is simplistic. So simplistic, in fact, that Dan ignored requests to expand upon it and instead detailed his ingenious plan to get very single police officer in the USA to pack in the political violence: ‘i don’t want to reform the police. I want to abolish them. they only exist to uphold state violence and oppression’ .
As you can see, Dan’s anti-establishment cojones are clear as day, and I’m not just talking about his refusal to use capital letters. As a proud socialist known for talking principled rubbish it stands to reason Dan thinks upholding state violence and oppression is all cops do, as proud socialists known for talking principled rubbish tend to be unaware that cops do a lot more than uphold state violence and oppression. Which he clarified later with a photo of a riot cop beating up a protester. Because in Dan’s world the police don’t spend their time solving crimes, catching criminals, helping people and making the world a safer place. No, if they’re not shooting unarmed black men as they help old ladies across the road they’re patrolling the streets looking for blue-haired lesbians to batter.
Predictably, he received instant abuse from right-wing Twitter users, smearing him by suggesting his blanket view of over a million police officers may be a tad judgemental. He replied that he was ‘judging them by the actual job they’re hired to do’, a viewpoint presumably based on the hours he spent with every single police officer in the USA, observing how half-heartedly they dish out speeding tickets or investigate burglaries compared to the passion they put into setting fire to students or using black children as target practice. Of course, Dan isn’t one to brag so he modestly withheld the details of his widespread investigation. But needless to say it must have happened because Dan is a man of principle and if he was making judgements about people he knows fuck all about he’d look a right tit.
But Dan wasn’t about to get bogged down in whether or not cops are fascist. Because they are: ‘i disagree with the institution as a whole. they enforce laws in communities they are not from’ he declared, because only in a country as fucked up as Trump’s America would it be acceptable for a cop born and bred in Brooklyn to arrest someone for murder in Montana. What Dan wants is to disband the police altogether, illustrating his affinity with the working man by calling for hundreds of thousands of them to lose their jobs, a small price to pay if it makes it easier for rich kids in masks to throw bricks at people they disagree with.
Because like every anti-Page Three campaigner and car industry-baiting environmentalist before him, Dan is a principled member of that strain of middle-class activists intensely relaxed about normal folk losing their jobs in the name of progressivism. Especially normal folk who voted for Trump and probably think Norm Chomsky is that fat bloke out of Cheers. The fact that Dan’s plan to fire people who put their lives on the line every day would affect a hell of a lot of men and women from the ethnic minorities he cares so much about is irrelevant. Dan has no qualms about labelling Asian men white supremacists so he’s certainly not gonna lose any sleep over a load of Uncle Toms who sold their souls just so they could don a badge and beat up prostitutes.
And if they’re that upset about losing their jobs they can always re-apply for them when Dan launches his new, improved version of the police force; the highly trained, unpaid gang of ‘community based peacekeepers who answer to their community members, not the state’. Fortunately, Dan wisely avoided explaining who will train and pay for these community-based peacekeepers, because like most socialists he’s very keen on handing the government other people’s money but not too arsed about giving it back.
Dan then spelled out the complex structure of this brave new dawn of law enforcement; ‘no hierarchy. not weaponised. their bosses are the people. think neighbourhood watch’. Sensible stuff and I’m sure anyone who’s ever been burgled would’ve felt ten times safer if instead of an experienced officer the break in was investigated by the bloke who does the pub quiz at the Black Bull .
And thank god that they won’t be weaponised. There are already enough armed criminals wandering around; is it too much to expect the cops to cool off until Dan’s army of untrained Ed 208s hit the streets to politely persuade muggers and gang-members to stop killing each other? What volunteers for the community peace-keeping service may lose in life expectancy they’ll gain in the brief thrill of instant virtue points. Indeed, if Dan’s plan ever comes to fruition I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of volunteers in cities like Chicago, especially once Dan gets Black Life Matters on board to work as a Rapid Response Unit and the Antifas moonlighting as bobbies-on-the-beat.
Who will handle white-collar crime in this radical utopia isn’t clear, but I doubt Dan’s sweating it. Because it stands to reason, if you hire enough people who like wielding truncheons and beating people up sooner or later you’re gonna find someone who knows a thing or two about investigating fraud. Dan’s all about letting communities decide what laws they enforce and if that means they have no legal avenue to stop themselves being robbed, assaulted, or swindled then it’s a small price to pay if it means Dan getting one over on the fash’.
And it’s precisely because Dan hates fascism that he’s so keen on a society which would allow fascists to behave as fascistically as they want. Because we all know that when crime inevitably rises and people start dying Dan will be the first to say it’s got bugger all to do with abolishing the police force and everything to do with white male privilege or something. It couldn’t possibly be because dedicated coppers lost their jobs and were replaced with a ragtag mob of local busybodies led by whoever had the biggest pick-up truck.
And just because Dan’s spent 6 months crying because an inexperienced lunatic is President it doesn’t make him a hypocrite for wanting to let inexperienced lunatics be the first line of defence against people who want to shoot their faces off. The validation of knowing that liberal values have triumphed will be more than enough to make up for the fact that thanks to Dan’s masterplan the American public are living in constant fear because all the community-based peacekeepers have been burnt alive by crack addicts.
Luckily, thanks to equally daring law enforcement proposals made by the Labour Party this week it appears there IS an answer to the boring question of what will happen to all the former cops after Dan puts them on the dole. For this week Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbots unveiled bold plans to recruit 10,000 new police officers at a cost of £1 million per head which…sorry, I meant one million new police officers at £10,000 per head…I think…or was it £300,000?…yeah, that’s it…oh hang on, isn’t it £300 million?…I dunno….shit…either way, the sums clearly add up and anyone who disagrees needs to dial back their misogynoir, pronto.
Happily for Dan, once Jezza romps to No.10 there’ll be ample opportunity for unemployed American cops to ply their trade in the UK. Though it’s debatable whether they’ll be needed, as rumour has it the Magic Money Tree Lady Di and Jezza are cultivating to fund their revolution has also been growing a branch-full of liberal lawmakers ready to dedicate their lives to banning books, policing pronouns, and arresting Katy Hopkins once a month for six grand an hour. Or six pence. I think.
Until then Corbyn’s Britain is by far the best place for fascist cops to be reprogrammed into kind, progressive robots ready to do some real police work. And trust me, one glance at the soon-to-be-erected gulag on the area formerly known as Hide Park will be enough to dissuade even the most psychotic racist pig from shooting an unarmed black man ever again. And if they could then channel their hatred for ethnic minorities and use it to persecute the white working-class instead we may be onto something beautiful. Because as I’m sure Dan agrees, decent liberals would have far fewer complaints about violent cops if they simply shot dead the odd Leave voter every now and then.
Increase the peace.