This is our truth, tell us yours
Some time ago,when the SWP were revealing themselves to be a sordid collection of rape apologists, a lot of people had to reflect on the company they keep. Part of the debate was about whether a principled party had been subverted by a central committee composed of creeps, or whether there was something about Leninist parties that makes them untrustworthy in matters of individual rights and sexual politics. My conclusion was the latter, based on a long and unhappy experience of the SWP and similar vanguardist organizations. Simply put, the principles and policiesof the SWP made them rape apologists, because they elevated the institution above the individual in a way eerily reminiscent of the Catholic Church
Baroness Warsi, over the weekend, discovered, on a battlebus, that the people she was in the Leave campaign with weren’t very nice. She went further. Apparently, you wouldn’t want to be on a nightbus with Michael Gove, never mind a battlebus heading into the unknown adventures of Brexit.For that reason, she told anyone who would listen, she had changed sides and believed Britain should remain in the European Union, a complete reversal of her previous position. Her change, she explicitly told anyone who would listen was based on the conduct of her fellow conservatives in the Leave campaign, who she labelled as xenophobes and liars.
There may be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repenteth but down here on planet earth one can only ask Barones Warsi what sort of person she thought she’d find in the Leave campaign.Did she think that the Leave campaign was entirely made up of retired vicars and elderly ladies from Tunbridge Wells who volunteer for the WRVS? Has she really only just discovered that Michael Gove is the kind of man who would be Gauleiter of Guernsey if fascism ever re-emerged, too ideological, too sketchy and too untrustworthy to be allowed any closer to the centres of power.
The Leave campaign were always the ideological heirs of Enoch Powell, obsessed with the kind of issues that have their roots in bitter xenophobia and the dark recesses of nationalism. Add in an unhealthy dollop of unfettered free market capitalism and you have an ideological cocktail that would repel anyone with a modicum of decency. The Leave campaign are not ugly xenophobes by accident; their ideas, their principles, the things that make them the Leave campaign, are the things that make you worry about being on a nightbus with them.
If Baroness Warsi doesn’t say that out loud, she’ll leave a lingering feeling that she leapt off the bus not because she doesn’t like her fellow passengers politics, but because she feared they were going to lose. In that case she may be revealing she has more in common with Michael Gove than she would like to admit.