Thursday, 26 July 2018

When BoJo Met Bannon

Cuddly old Boris Johnson cosying up to a literal white supremacist. The lack of outrage this has provoked in the press and broadcast media underlines, as if it needed underlining, just how Conservative Party politicians get to play politics on easy mode. Anyway, Buzzfeed report the two were texting whimsical tête-à-têtes to one another, as part of Bannon's master plan for a Far Right International. A FRI-corps, if you will. Bannon, believing himself to be something of a kingmaker brings his experience of the dark arts with him, as well as bags of cash. And he hopes to replicate across Europe what the Trump campaign succeeded in doing in 2016. Why then would Johnson want anything to do with this proto-fascist riff-raff?

To understand this, you have to know something a little about the culture at Westminster. I've never got the appeal myself, but many politicians on both sides of the House are confirmed Atlanticists. Not just in terms of preserving the special relationship, but a genuine enthusiasm for American politics. To them, the glamour of the White House and Capitol Hill is the LA Law of politics, while we in Britain are stuck with Rumpole of the Bailey. It's well known Labour politicians are enamoured of the Democrats, but over on the Conservative benches similar numbers are enthused by the Republicans. We won't talk about the times Jim Messina, associate of that nice Mr Obama, came over in 2015 and 2017 to work for the Tories - with his blessing. For aspiring, place-seeking politicians, being seen with or associated with the US president or senior US politicians is a way of quickly adding to your political capital.

Johnson is no more immune to this aura than any other. Spending time with the man who captured the White House no doubt flatters his ego. It is all about him, after all. Also, Bannon is the keeper of the magic secrets. Despite polling three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton and against the values drift toward social liberalism, he won. The situation the Tories face with a core support in long-term decline and cracks racing across the diminishing edifice certainly requires something of a genius if they're to carry on winning elections in the medium to long-term. Hobnobbing with Bannon is not without risk, of course. He was formerly close to Trump and wears the garb of unapologetic racism. Johnson has form for racism of his own, but he has also previously called for an amnesty for "illegals" and otherwise operates, most of the time, in the terms of official anti-racism. He must be banking on most people not being too fussed about the company he keeps or, for that matter, not knowing who Steve Bannon is. Ordinarily, he'd be right. But it's all grist to the high profile campaign Labour will run in his seat. And there's also the small matter of Uxbridge and South Ruslip being socially liberal and more ethnically diverse than your average Tory constituency. Wouldn't it be a shame if his dalliances with the far right bit him on the arse?

First and foremost, however, Johnson's buddying with Bannon sends a message to his own party. To the right wingers flirting with Jacob Rees-Mogg or some other foul shade from the back benches, this is Johnson nudge-nudging and wink-winking that he can't be as liberal and Cameroony as all that if Bannon's hanging out with him. It shows them he's serious and prepared to go where fainter hearts with a smidgen more principle fear to tread. Above all, it's a warning to May. He might be out of the cabinet (though not his grace and favour home), and he didn't use his resignation speech to twist the knife, but it's about putting her on notice, of unsettling her and just saying he's serious with serious people behind him. None of this guarantees Johnson would even get on the Tory leadership ballot paper, so numerous now are his enemies, but in the dysfunctional and demented world of Tory faction fighting a touch of Bannon's dark glamour won't hurt him for now.

1 comment:

CCAAC said...

There can be little wonder why white supremacist Bannon is an avid supporter of Israel can there?

One of the responsibilities of the IDF is to keep a count on the Palestinian population and report back to Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

Here those compiling the stats are probed and challenged and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee demand to know the accurate figure if there are any disputes. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories is required to count accurately the number of Palestinians in its area of responsibility and is lambasted if it slips in keeping accurate records. These numbers dictate the need to suppress Palestinian resistance and keep the one state solution firmly off the table. Leaving only the one state and one imprisoned people solution on the table. The 2 state solution is the Western twaddle solution, the pertually in limbo solution and effectively boils down to the keeping the Palestinians imprisoned solution.

Anti Semtism indeed!

The committee regards the Israeli Palestinian issue as the primary issue of our time and notes that the ruling classes in all imperialist nations along with all its servants and apologists see this too and will do all it can to support the racist colonial settler state. This is illustration enough as to why the movement must support the Palestinian cause.

The imperialists have retarded the Middle East and the world for too long, their endless wars for supremacy have brought nothing but reaction at home and abroad. The imperative is to defeat imperialist interest.

Anything else is reaction.