An a-historic (and frankly class blind) attitude to disenfranchisement

I was struck by the following passage in a NLP article about the 2011 UK Riots:

Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng, put forward the novel opinion that “Britain needs a return to the spirit of Empire… individualism, courage, dauntless ambition and not a hint of victimhood“. The article, appearing in that bastion of conservative-voting suburbanite opinion, the Daily Mail, featured a picture of Michael Caine from the 1964 film Zulu, next to a masked, hooded man in front of a wall of flames. “…in the context of… anarchic rioting” explained Kwarteng, for those struggling to determine the exact connection between Michael Caine and the riots, “the British Empire encouraged so many of the virtues that are entirely missing from the destructive youth culture of our inner-cities, where a cocktail of instant gratification, lack of discipline and welfare dependency has helped to create a mood of aggressive entitlement…”

Millions of Indians, Kenyans, South Africans, Ghanaians, Nigerians, Malaysians and countless others would undoubtedly tell this Tory how those virtues were far more often respected in the breach than in the observance. Next you’ll be telling us that Empire’s civilizing mission was a valiant and noble effort.

New Left Project | NLP Blog | London Riots One Year On


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