In this week’s title story I air my growing conviction that our political language is badly out of sync with political reality. The context is the upcoming general election in Britain.
At the first — and so far as is currently advertised, perhaps the only — pre-election debate April 2nd, seven parties were represented, each with one of those stand-up podiums … “podia” whatever … that campaign consultants tell them not to clutch too tightly.The full Radio Derb playbill:
The seven were: Labour, Tory, Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationalists, Welsh Nationalists, Greens, and UKIP. Since the betting is that none of them will get enough votes in May to form a majority in Parliament, there’ll be some horse-trading and coalition-forming.
So the political talk over there is all about who’s likely to form a coalition with whom. Thence comes the paradox.
Focus again on the idea of nationalism. On the usual left-right axis, nationalism belongs over on the far right, doesn’t it? When you read in the newspapers about a nationalist party, like the Front National in France, the name usually comes prefixed with “far-right,” right?
So you’d expect that the Scottish Nationalists and the Welsh Nationalists would be smiling sweetly at David Cameron, leader of the Tory Party, in anticipation of him inviting them into a right-wing coalition, right?
Wrong! You could hardly be wronger. Both the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists are parties of the far Left. The entire extent of their nationalism is resentment of England. Far from being nationalist in the sense I defined above, they are enthusiastically globalist, trans-nationalist. If Scotland and Wales get independence from England, their first act will be to reaffirm their membership of the European Union; their second will be to apply for seats at the U.N.
These so-called nationalists favor mass immigration and multiculturalism and any organization that’s big and international. Their economic policies are dirigiste in a definitely “continental” style, totally at odds with the Anglo-Saxon tradition (what’s left of it) of limited government and personal liberty.