Let’s kill the myth that right-wingers merely think those on the left are ‘misguided’

Dominic Lawson: He thinks left-wingers are "driven by hate" while "most Tories... regard the Left as just misguided". He's wondering how else he can patronise you today.

Dominic Lawson: He thinks left-wingers are “driven by hate” while “most Tories… regard the Left as just misguided”. He’s wondering how else he can patronise you today. [Picture: BBC]

Dominic Lawson, writing in the Daily Mail (yes, we’re still having fun at the Rothermere Rag’s expense – any objections? I thought not), has told us: “The tribal left is driven by hate.”

Paraphrasing an article he wrote previously in the Sunday Times, he continued: “It is one of the factors tending to distinguish the left in politics from the right, that the former frequently regard the latter as actually wicked, if not evil; whereas most Tories tend to regard the Left as just misguided.”

That is not my experience.

I have found that right-wingers and Conservatives (who tend to claim the middle ground in politics, while still claiming to differentiate themselves from “you lefties”) tend to fall into insults, invective and profanity – hate speech, if you like, with extreme rapidity. It is they who are driven by hate – in my experience – and not those of us on the left who enjoy a reasoned debate. So nobody in the Conservative Party, the right-wing press, or even offering right-of-centre views on Facebook pages should claim any moral superiority over the rest of us on those grounds.

I have an example to illustrate my case. It developed from the earlier Vox Political post on the Mail‘s attacks against Ralph Miliband and Mehdi Hasan. Those of you who are familiar with it will know it quoted the fact that Mr Miliband Senior – who the Mail claimed was The man who hated Britain – served in the Royal Navy during World War II, while the proprietor of the Daily Mail, Viscount Rothermere, had been a supporter of Adolf Hitler, and the father of the Mail’s current editor, Peter Dacre, had been a fashion reporter at the age of 19, when he should have been doing National Service and fighting the Nazis.

I received the following, from a commenter called Raymond Northgreaves (quoted verbatim): “should he have served in any of HM Forces he would have been given a service number and then can be identified”.

Several possibilities were available as to who “he” might be. I wasn’t willing to make an inaccurate guess – nobody was disputing that Mr Miliband Senior had seen active service, so there was a presumption that it might be somebody else, but that’s all it was – so I asked: “To whom are you referring – Dacre Senior?”

In reply, I received the following, which I again quote verbatim:

“Mark Sivier, Hi! You know to whom I am referring to, so why play the cretin left wing anti human. many of us who are from working class family’s know what the value of labour and what it stood for. Now its taken away the voice from the many, and given it to the Marxist rich. Fact, which you and your left wing friends will never understand, you attend Uni and had to slum it in some dose house, which was beneath your middle class upbringing, and you all took on the “we the working class” are fighting to be??? something that you have never dreamed could happen to GB subjects(sovereignty is in the many and not the one), ‘yes’ subjects, before you jump through a window, screeching your left wing head off, British citizens are the one’s going around bombing and murdering people! My age group know all about DS, from the second world war; the mistake that Winston Churchill made was putting people like him in prison, when he should have executed them all. In my life time, I have never knowingly put my hand in shit, and I am not going to start writing to it The rest of us center of the road people know that the left and right are the one. When you all stand up and defend my homeland, then come back and communicate with me, until then, do what you left do, and renumber, it was Blair, Campbell, Prescott and Reed, that sold us all out to the USA, and made us all murderers to 1.5 million people; they also condoned the murder of 2514 British soldiers by the Roman Catholics, and some 30,000 civilians, of which many of their bodies have never found as yet? You and yours are no better then Hitler or your Icon Starling. pro patria!”

I was going to try to analyse this but, look at it; do I really have to?

Point made, I think.

31 thoughts on “Let’s kill the myth that right-wingers merely think those on the left are ‘misguided’

  1. Robert Livingstone

    More psychological projection, this time from the son of Thatcher’s chancellor.

    The Left hate people dying, they hate people being abused, they hate people being exploited.

    The Right just hate people.

  2. Chris

    A bit disappointing to use the semi-literate rantings of someone who clearly has mental health issues. We can defeat the fascist agenda without this shite, surely!

    1. Mike Sivier

      You may think he has mental health issues but I bet HE doesn’t!
      The quote I used were a fairly representative example of the right-wing response (in my experience).

    2. sibrydionmawr

      I doubt he has mental health issues, other than perhaps his rather nasty right-wing viewpoints. However, he clearly does suffer from illiteracy as well as perhaps being somewhat intellectually challenged.

      Anyone who knows anything about fascism or nazism also knows that it works on all sorts of levels, and happily will use ‘shite’ like this – one only has to remember the role of the SA who were no more than brown uniformed bully boys largely of similar measure to the commentator under scrutiny here.

      As fascism/nazism operates on many levels it has to be challenged on those levels too, and Mike’s decison to publish verbatim without further comment is to be applauded, as far from giving such views the ‘oxygen of publicity’ rather more exposes such views to the disinfectant effects of sunlight.

  3. joanna

    Hmmmm this crap from someone who can’t even get your name right, though they will blame typo’s

    1. maxwell1957

      Another variation on what Jim Saunders said would be to comment that if intellectual ability was fuse-wire, the person inquestion wouldn’t have enough to go round a sparrow’s ankle.

  4. Petra Howard

    I am Dutch, living in the UK with my English husband, and am proud to call myself a ‘lefty’ as it means I stand for: Justice for all, Fairness for all, Equality for all. Having been brought up in a family fully made up of ‘lefties’, I was surrounded by people who thought (and think) this way. The only thing any of them ‘hate(d)’ is injustice, unfairness, inequality.

    When I look at the British political parties I am always slightly surprised; the left (Lib Dem) is here not quite as left as they are in The Netherlands. The same goes for the so-called ‘middle-ground (tories), although I always think they are slightly more right of middle ground. And I am not even sure where Labour fits into all of this but I’ll take it as slightly left of middle ground. And then there is, of course, the right-wing; UKIP. This one always makes me laugh as ‘kip’ in Dutch means chicken and in English it is pronounced as you kip, in other words: you doze, you sleep…
    On the whole, the parties here seem to be less ‘radical’ (except for UKIP, who seem to be filled with more hate [and a willingness to show it] then the most right-wing party in The Netherlands). The Dutch parties seem to have a more definitive boundary, less in common with each other, if you like.

    This is just me, as an outsider looking in. All I can say is: I am now 36 years of age and have never been really interested in politics, I just considered myself to be left as that was what I voted but, in recent years, I have started to become more interested in politics and have found that ‘just voting left’ doesn’t quite describe it any more; I am becoming more left with each passing day and with every article I read on politics… And proud of it!

    1. Mike Sivier

      Lots of readers may be surprised that you put the Lib Dems on the left; they’re seen as centre-right, if anything. Tories – right. UKIP – further right. BNP – too far right. Labour – centre left (used to be left but New Labour shifted it towards the Tory world view and it hasn’t re-orientated itself back yet).

      1. sibrydionmawr

        I would also suggest that where a political party’s positon is in the spectrum is also determined by one’s own political position. I have never regarded the Labour Party as a truly left-wing organisation, indeed, one of the stalwarts of the Labour Party, Tony Benn no less denied that the Labour Party was ever a ‘socialist’ party, but rather a party with socialists in it. I personally have never really regarded Labour as a serious radical contender, as the most radical thing they ever did was to try and run capitalism more efficiently! But then, I am an anarchist, who has dual tendencies, on the one hand towards individualism, but who also has strong leanings towards collectivism, (all the more so after as a recent grateful recipient of NHS hospitality) and can only wonder where we’d be if the idea of the Tredegar Medical Aid Society had spread in essence and provided our healthcare instead of the NHS. Don’t get me wrong, the NHS is a wonderful organisation, but it’s sadly controlled by poiliticians and not those working in it, or receiving care from it.

  5. Deborah Harrington

    Dear Mr Lawson, the Left are driven by love, and a thirst for social justice that extends far beyond their limited self interest, informed by a clear awareness of the inequity of the world. The Right, on the other hand appear to operate primarily from a profound sense of entitlement combined with a politics of envy. This is so entrenched in them that any slight suggestion that they might have to share, and thereby diminish their disproportionate wealth by one drop, leaves them seething with self righteous anger and cries of ‘it’s not fair! It’s mine!’.

    The Right cried when their icon, Mrs Thatcher died. The Left cries over the inhumane solitary confinement of Herman Wallace and the death of Daniel Gauntlett, homeless and frozen to death on the streets, neither of whom were allowed any entitlement at all.

    1. Margaret Symonds

      Very well said! And I don’t know anyone on the left in politics who is in it for money or personal status.

      1. George

        Let’s not be naive… there are some, I think… check out how much the heads of unions make. I’m totally pro union on principle, by the way, but I think that the leaders should be getting what their members make.

      2. Mike Sivier

        Are you a member of a union? If so, why not put forward a motion for leaders to justify the amounts they receive, or take a pay cut?

        It would be interesting to see the result of that.

      3. sibrydionmawr

        not all unions have highly paid executives and bureaucrats who sell the membership down the river. I joined the Industrial Workers of the World, a union run and controlled by the membership that is growing quite rapidly, (though still small) which is attracting more and more alienatd members from mainstream unions. Many are ‘dual carders’, which is to say that they are members of both the ‘recognised’ union in their workplace, and also members of the IWW because it it truly radical in it’s aims.

  6. Matthew Smith

    As far as the stereotype is true, it’s largely because wealthy people have much less to fear from the Left than the poor and vulnerable have from the Right. The Left only want the wealthy to pay more tax; the Right want to strip benefits and services from poor people (and those with particular needs, particularly disability) that make life bearable. They also justify this by using their press to demonise those they want to attack, which leads to public hostility and even violence directed at quite innocent people.

    I find that those on the Right who see themselves as being on a moral crusade (who tend to be less wealthy) are more likely to characterise the Left as evil, often pointing to their lack of a religious conviction. In the USA, the Right (which has substantial support among lower-middle-class whites) attacks the “Left”, such as it is, as Godless, unpatriotic and freedom-hating. So it’s only true as regards a certain type of English Tory.

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  8. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Mike here refutes Dominic Lawson’s bland assertion that the ‘tribal left are driven by hate, whilst the Right merely thinks they are misguided’. He reproduces what Private Eye would call ‘a foam-flecked rant’ from an outraged Right-wing commenter to his blog, attacking Vox Political, the Labour Party, and indeed the entire Left. So confirming Mike’s position on the matter. What also needs commenting on this individual’s rant, is that he asserts that the Right – the Conservatives – are really the Centre. This is another rhetorical strategy imported from across the Atlantic. Right-wing American Conservative blogs, such as Kathy Shaidle’s Five Feet of Fury, strongly urge Conservatives to use terms like this about themselves in order to reclaim the very basis of the argument for themselves. It’s part of the Right’s attempt to normalise the extreme Right-wing policies now enacted in America, Canada and Britain. by denying that they are extremists. In their view, only the Left is extreme. It’s an attempt to block off any retreat to the political consensus of the period before Reagan and Thatcher. It’s another aspect of modern Conservatism that needs to be strongly resisted: they are the Right, and not middle ground, and need to be reminded and exposed for what they are.

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  10. beetleypete

    I think that Chris has overlooked an important issue with this post.
    It is very important to publicise the bad grammar, illiteracy, and unconcealed venom in the writing of Mr Northgreaves. This is the voice of the unaligned, the disaffected and angry. It was people like these who put Hitler in power. We should not look for danger where it wears colours on its sleeve for all to see. The real problem cannot be seen, and dwells within the misguided frustrations of those who currently seek no outlet for their allegiances. They are waiting for a spokesman, a leader; a visionary.
    Let’s hope that they never find one.
    A very significant post Mike. I hope everyone sees that.
    Regards, Pete.

  11. Brett

    I am amazed at how the “Left” has been marginalised by society. Its as if “Left” is a dirty word. I see more and more ill informed comment that equates socialism with communism. The nickname “Red Ed” is to me laughable. Ed Milliband is barely pink politically speaking. It will be a great loss if the true voice of the left is pushed to the margins by the media and Westminster, with the tag of “loony left” while the “rabid right” is allowed to run unchecked.

  12. Chris Tandy

    I think I once briefly lived in a ‘dose house’, as the upstairs seemed to double as a bordello. It was only a brief interlude, for my upward mobility took me to stay in could actually be described as a ‘doss house’. I shared a room with an Irish crane driver, an Australian journalist and an Italian fascist. There were six such multi-occupied rooms. The landlord was a window-cleaner, for tax-purposes.
    Was I down and out in Wigan? No, St Albans, as it happens…..
    Apologies for nostalgic digression brought about by the entertainingly rabid letter you received, seemingly writ in blood-red steam, from “Fuming Mad” of Tunbridge Wells.

  13. watermelonbloke

    ““The tribal left is driven by hate.” – That’s right. If only we had Hitler lickers for predecessors and backed De Vichy Scum FN in France we would be the embodiment of The Age Of Aquarius.

    Anyhow, Lawson is an asset of state intelligence – a massive stooge.

  14. Daniel Kouble

    I have tried to understand the Right-wing mind of late. Being of a very Left-wing persuasion myself… The thing I always notice about Right-wing thinkers is the fact that they are at best, disdainful and intolerant of anyone they regard as: “weaker”, “less fortunate” or “different.” and at worst, openly hostile to those traits. Now I don’t think “different” is always an issue with the Right., as they are quite happy to suck up to wealthy and powerful foreigners who would surely fall into the “different” category. So I think it’s really those who are “weaker” and “less fortunate” than themselves, who the Right despise. If the world was a school playground (and sometimes it resembles one) Conservatives, Republicans, UKIP and other Right wingnuts would be the bullies. Why am I Left-Wing? … Simple.. I just don”t like bullies.

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