By Ben Pensant
They can’t help themselves, can they? First they demand four-eyed freedom fighter Pete Crowther is sacked, charged with assault, and designated a domestic terrorist for throwing milk and ice cream at some gobby fascist. Then they publicly shame the brave woman who screamed ‘Nazi!’ in that Nazi’s face at the recent anti-Trump rally, forcing her out of her job and condemning her to being occasionally called a ‘fat cow’ on Facebook. And last week the alt-right pulled off their most brazen trick yet, in an act of theft so cheeky it makes the 1958 Israeli land grab look like that episode of Home and Away when Todd pinched Jim’s sandwiches.
Because when lefty comic and former mental patient Joe Brand cracked that hilarious gag on Radio 5 about throwing battery acid at politicians, Tory Twitter once again displayed its stunning lack of originality by accusing her of ‘incitement’, demanding she is fired, and reporting her to the police.
Who do they think they are? Us?
Having long ago lost the battle of ideas, it seems the right have decided the best way to gain the moral high ground is to simply copy the left’s best moves. So while progressives reacted to Brandgate in the principled manner you’d expect – defending Joe’s right to free speech despite the fact when Cunt Dickula was on trial a significant portion of the left either said nothing or screamed for him to be jailed – right-wingers showed their true blue colours, adopting a lazy policy of ‘if you can’t beat them, be them’. Then screaming for Brand to be jailed.
They even had the nerve to justify this by stealing the left-wing battle cry of ‘they did it first!’, that reliable go-to utilised by every decent liberal who’s ever DESTROYED a racist by arguing that ISIS would never have raped children or thrown gays off tower blocks if the evil West hadn’t invaded Iraq, bombed Afghanistan, and drew cocks on their pencil cases.
They also took the progressive approach to racism – that the best way to tackle it is not to eradicate it but to make sure everyone experiences it – and appropriated it to justify their own authoritarianism. “It’s time the left had a taste of their own medicine!” whined one. “The more left-wing comedians hunted down the better!” snarled another. “It serves her right for getting Thatcher’s daughter sacked from The One Show” squealed thousands, deploying the tried and tested left-wing tactic of stating straight-up lies as facts because they know fine well there’s zero chance their ideologically warped followers will spend two minutes researching what actually happened.
And on they went, aping the contemporary left and demonstrating their commitment to free speech by demanding less of it. I can see them now, cackling as they turn our ideology against us, exposing theirs as nothing but a sham by insisting the same hate crime laws they’ve spent years decrying are enforced against a 61-year-old woman who said a naughty sentence on the wireless. Indeed if you swap Brand for Rod Lidl, replace the ‘acid’ gag with a rape joke, and pretend that the average outraged milk monitor calling for her head has blue hair and a face like a smacked arse rather than high blood pressure and cheeks of purest Gammon they’re indistinguishable from your common-or-garden left-wing SJW.
Needless to say, the mob got their wish and Brand was ‘assessed’ by the police, much to the annoyance of envious leftists who haven’t achieved such a feat in weeks. This in turn led to much celebration on right-wing Twitter, with champagne being uncorked by the very same people who would be whining about ‘threats to liberty’ and misquoting HG Orwell if Brand was a Tory.
Who do they think they are? Novaru media?
It was overwhelming. But here’s the thing. Like Harry Hill’s wife in Goodfellows, I gotta admit: it turned me on. And I couldn’t help but feel jealous that they were having such a good time. For a split second I even experienced a tiny smidgeon of – urgh – respect. Because while left and right may view the world differently – we want to save it while they want to rid it of anyone who isn’t straight and white – it’s hard not to empathise with their authoritarianism, no matter how much I’d like to stab them all in their sleep.
Because at least they believe in something, even if it is fascism. In many ways they’re just the Nazi version of us. None of which can be said for those godawful non-partisan types, parading their fence-sitting wares on social media, acting all superior and pompous just because they believe in ‘fairness’ and ‘consistency’. Tossers. They’re arguably even worse than right-wingers, with their cowardly insistence on holding both sides to the same standard, their belief that free speech applies to everyone rather than just people they agree with, and their deeply immoral view that no-one should face the sack or a police investigation for telling a joke.
Who do they think they are? Adults?
Which got me thinking. As we know, the culture war takes place almost exclusively on Twitter. And with good reason too, as braindead drones in the Real World are too selfishly preoccupied with friends, family and enjoying life to concern themselves with backstops, critical race theory, and oppressed adults throwing money at 11-year-old boys in lipstick. But there comes a time when you have to accept that something no longer works. And I’m sad to report that, thanks to the killjoy antics of the aforementioned centrists, Twitter just doesn’t feel like home anymore. So I have a simple suggestion for those dull, reasonable, non-partisan cowards who have hijacked our beloved platform: why not bog off and start your own?
I mean come on, if you hate it so much why stay? It can’t be good for your health so perhaps it’s time to make a clean break, depart for pastures new, and leave us ranting ideologues to have fun hating each other without vanilla shitheads of no fixed ideology sticking their boring oars in to prattle on about ‘balance’ and ‘respect’.
You can be ‘nice’ to your enemies all day long in your new, milktoast version of Twitter. Meanwhile those of us who actually believe in something – Good People on one side, Evil Shitheads on the other – can duke it out in peace. Once you’ve left Twitter can fulfil its destiny and become the thing we’ve always wanted it to be: the internet version of Skrull Island, with the crybaby extremist factions of left and right recast as the radioactive dinosaurs and horny giant gibbons of modern political discourse.
It might not be the Twitter everyone wants but it’ll sure as hell be the Twitter the world needs. And it’s one of the few things guaranteed to get extremists from all corners of the aisle nodding in agreement, bonding over their mutual excitement at the prospect of an interference-free battlefield on which to slug it out using facts, intelligence, and increasingly rubbish memes. You want common ground? Here it is, bitches.
Of course, it won’t last as virtually everyone will have been blocked, reported and banned by teatime. Which is win-win for the left. Because when that day comes we’re virtually guaranteed to be sitting atop the iron throne, at peace with the world we’ve destroyed and recreated, quietly revelling in victory like Thermos after he clicked his fingers and liquidised all the X-Men. Beautiful.
And the nice thing is that any fascists left over will be a peace of piss to convert. Indeed, you only have to look at the right-wing lunatics calling for Jo Brand to be locked up to see a ready made fleet of left-wing lunatics-in-waiting. Like their liberal counterparts, their ideology isn’t important: what they really believe in is having something to be self-righteous about. Whatever group they hang their piousness on is incidental, because much like us they’re authoritarians at heart, with little time for ethics or values, which can be abandoned or adopted on a whim depending on which group has the coolest costumes.
As shown by the back stories of the Yellow Tabard movement’s leading lights, this week’s Union Jack-clad Tommy Robertson clone is last week’s Kool-Aid Corbynite in a keffiyeh. The ideology is irrelevant: the thrill comes with belonging to a group who hate another group. And you only have to look at the rank double standards of the alt-right weirdos screaming abuse at Brand this week to see that all it would take to bring them over to the Light Side is a handjob from an Ash Starkers wannabe with nice tits, a filthy mouth, and an unswerving belief in literal communism.
In the meantime we’ll keep defending Brand and they can carry on abusing her, until the tables inevitably turn and we reverse roles the second Geoff Knobcott calls St. Jezza a puff. With both sides as convinced of their own superiority as they are oblivious to their mutual failings, we can sit back and await the glorious day Twitter is purged of all the cowards too scared to pick a side, allowing left and right to face off like two ancient behemoths, pounding each other into submisson by spreading lies, instigating pile-ons, and sending each other death threats. Altogether now…
Let them fight!