Dio, Patria, Famiglia

Those watching the tragedy of Italy’s election of Giorgia Meloni’s ‘Brothers of Italy’ and the rise of Jimmie Åkesson’s Sweden Democrats do so through a strange prism. This lens of viewing the world tells us that Britain is normal, the default, unremarkable and characterised by moderation and pragmatism. That’s been the ongoing self-taught narrative for a very long time. Through this lens we look askance at these crazy foreigners, laugh at the buffoonish Trump movement and look down our noses at the French and any foreigners that still hove into view after Brexit.

It’s this worldview that allowed the absolute drivel to be absorbed for weeks after the death of the queen, it’s this worldview that propelled the astonishing hubris of Brexit, that’s now falling apart for all to see and it’s this worldview that allows and condones a broadcast and print media in Britain to disintegrate in standards and credibility.

This complacency is taking a battering as the latest incarnation of Tory rule fails even its own mythology – but it’s been in plain view for a very long time. The Overton Window of acceptable political outlooks has long-ago shifted far to the right in Britain. In this sense our comforting mythology about Britain acts just as a comfort blanket to ignore the horrendous state we are in. Our condemnation of the rise of the extreme right abroad is an act of self-deception and misdirection.

While we can all condemn the calamitous Trussonomics and their naked corruption, the Labour Party too felt it needed to dress up its own conference draped in the Union Jack, sing God save the King and thought this sort of contribution was absolutely fine:

Such language is not just deeply offensive, the idea of PR being a route-map to fascism is just ridiculous.

But the branding of the independence movement (usually reduced to the ‘Scottish Nationalists’) as, essentially fascist, and the collective amnesia to their own British nationalism is not new.

This is real audio from a real speech in 2017 in which the Prime Minister of Britain compares those who argue for self-determination for Scotland with ISIS.

This ‘othering’ of the independence movement and the smearing of the SNP has the affect of allowing the suppression of democracy to seem entirely reasonable, forever. If, as portrayed the elected government of Scotland, with a huge majority at Westminster of Scottish seats are, in fact, fascists, then it goes without saying that the only reasonable thing to do is forever suppress and legal vote on Scottish democracy.

I wrote the other day of Scotland as Laboratory. For Italian journalist and the author of Gomorrah Roberto Saviano, Italy is a laboratory too. He writes: “Giorgia Meloni presents a danger to the democratic balance in Europe. Her leadership looks to be the antithesis of what Italy needs – and not just at this difficult moment.”

“The danger arises for Europe because Italy has always been a laboratory: it has foreshadowed the crises of other countries. Italy had Mussolini before Hitler and the leftwing extremist Red Brigades before Action Directe appeared in France and the Red Army Faction followed suit in Germany. Italy had Berlusconi before the US got Trump. And after years of Berlusconi misrule, Italy produced the Five Star Movement, the first populist party led by a comedian, before the rest of Europe caught up. Five Star’s agenda was political disruption, often without any thought to the consequences.”

So we’re in the experiment and we don’t even know it, and we are witnessing different manifestations of the same phenomenon across the world.

To add insult to injury Meloni’s fascist slogan (note the three word structure) ‘Dio, Patria, Famiglia’ (“God, homeland, family”) – is replicated by conservative social forces right here at home. The Christian Nationalism of the Royal Funeral, and the explicit racism of the entire Brexit narrative are perhaps more prominent here than the populism around ‘family’ values, though you can still see that played-out in the culture wars.

Keir Starmer’s speech will today re-position Labour as party of ‘the centre’. But our politics has changed and shifted so much they are nothing of the sort.


Comments (12)

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  1. SleepingDog says:

    Al Jazeera has produced some pertinent recent videos on the Queen and Empire, the anti-democratic coup of Starmerist Labour against the elected Corbynite faction, and the authoritarianism of extreme rightwing Christians in USAmerican politics.

    Of course, the general point of laboratories, even laboratories of democracy, is that you should be able to contain and analyse the results of your experiments without risking the whole world. In UK comic 2000AD, the USA of Judge Dredd, with its elected President Booth, launches unprovoked nuclear war, devastating large parts of the globe and leading to the rule of the Judges. In order to experiment safely with democracy, it has to be contained within some kind of sandbox that won’t destroy the living planet we all (non-humans and humans) depend on. #biocracynow

    Anyway, I recently watched an old documentary from veteran Australian journalist Jon Pilger: http://johnpilger.com/videos/the-last-dream-other-peoples-wars
    Although Pilger does not, if I recall, specifically mention the Queen’s role in the constitutional coup that removed a leftwing Australian government, it was carried out by her representative, the Governor General, the predecessor of the official who recently secretly granted Australian Prime Minister extra autocratic ministerial portfolio powers. Pilger says that governor-general was a member of a couple of rightwing groups: of course, British theocratic hereditary royalism is as rightwing as it gets. What the Queen did to Australia’s aborigines in inflicting nuclear testing on them was not substantially different from China’s nuclear testing in Uyghur areas. The reason the British are unwilling to add that to China’s charge sheet is the same reason that city bombing was not added to Germany’s in the Nuremberg Trials: the Brits were up to their necks in that kind of crime, and prosecuting someone else for it would set a precedent for somebody prosecuting them.

    1. 220927 says:

      ‘In order to experiment safely with democracy, it has to be contained within some kind of sandbox that won’t destroy the living planet we all (non-humans and humans) depend on.’

      This is a bit off-topic (which is the continued rise of populist nationalism across Europe), but you seem to be urging some kind of enlightened despotism whereby some ‘on script’ experts can moderate our public decision-making to keep it within the parameters of some ideological correctness.

      I ask again: how and by whom would these ‘experts’ get selected? From where would they derive their authority? Presumably, unlike that of Giorgia Meloni and Jimmie Åkesson and the like, their political legitimacy would not be democratic.

      1. Derek says:

        ” how and by whom would these ‘experts’ get selected?”

        Err, they’d be scientists and they’d be asked to do work by a government.

        1. 220928 says:

          There’s nothing wrong with calling expert witnesses to inform our public decision-making, but SD is proposing something different from this in his/her ‘biocracy’. What is s/he’s proposing that we’re constrained in our public decision-making by expert opinion for our own good, which is ‘enlightened despotism’.

          The idea that the experts, by whose opinion our public decision-making would be constrained, would be appointed by and in the ideological interests of a ruling party (aka ‘the government’) is even less palatable.

  2. dave says:

    Just a short comment. The British NU-S.N.P. Leader Sturgeon has never even tried to refute attacks from the English P.M. which means that she agrees with the English aristocratic and their lies. Nor has F.M. Sturgeon ever stated that she personally is an independent supporter. Her record on independence speaks for itself ‘NOTHING’ GOING ON 10 YEARS. The NU-S.N.P. MPs at Westminster follow the F.M.s silent protests= ZERO.

    The NU-S.N.P. LEADERSHIP do not want an INDEPENDENT Scotland and never have. Also, they are NOT the YES leaders as they pretend. Until the 50% NO voters have the information they need (BLACKED OUT BY THE English gov’t and their controlled media as well as BRITISH F.M. NU-S.M.P. Leader STURGEON) they will NOT vote YES.
    The BULL Shit that by exposing F.M. Sturgeon as a traitor will cost YES votes is just another lie from the unionists. F.M. STURGEON does absolutely NOTHING for 10 years except BLACKING OUT the true facts about Scotland’s economy, history and culture and we are supposed to support her. Utter madness. The rank-and-file NU-S.N.P.ers better wake up. F.M. Sturgeon is a UNIONIST.

    1. David Webb says:

      Jeezo mate, take a chill pill, sit back and relax. I suggest reading a book on the construction of sentences and punctuation whilst you are doing this.
      If you don’t like the SNP or its leader, why don’t you say so instead of beating about the bush?
      I am awaiting your comments on how you will achieve independence, I am sure you have a plan, don’t you?

      1. 220928 says:

        I think dave’s plan is that, once the Scottish people have been appraised of the facts that Nicola has been suppressing, they will spontaneously arise, Braveheart style, and send the b*st*rd*n English homeward to think again.

      2. dave says:

        Well Mr. Webb. Perhaps you should do some research and educate yourself since you don’t understand my post.

        Tip: One has to read the main article in order to reply. Of course, any unionist would pretend that the article would make no sense. YOU?
        The reason being that unionists want to keep F.M. Sturgeon in power is they know Independence will NEVER happen under her agenda.

        You are not Scottish and don’t understand our language. JEEZO is a word that WE Scots NEVER use. You unionists will never outsmart we Scots.
        We know your tactics and we are away ahead of you.
        220928 understood my post perfectly.

        1. 220928 says:

          I’m vintage Scottish and I’ve used ‘jeezo’ as an interjection all my life. When I’m really gobsmacked, I interject with to ‘jeez-jumpin-jings-o’leary’.

          1. 220929 says:

            I’ve just looked up that ‘Jeezo!’ is a corruption of ‘Jesu!’, in much the same way that ‘ashet’ is a corruption of ‘assiette’.

          2. dave says:

            220928 It appears that you and 220929 are the same person. In fact, we can add David Webb as the third trinity. You are not Scottish, and I doubt if you have ever been here. Your post under 220928 indicates that. The problem you have is that Scots is a phonic language. So, reading from your dictionary or similar type of translational media simply doesn’t work. Nice try.

  3. Hugh Stewart. says:

    I don’t suppose that Labour anti- PR delegate bothered to work out how many seats they would win in Scotland under the Westminster voting system: 1?

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