The Spectator continues its headlong charge into cuckery by giving voice to Johnny Mercer’s self-serving political drivel. Or perhaps.. just perhaps, one could argue that they’re giving the Conservative community due notice that Mercer is a Blairite forked-tongue bullshitter who they should steer well clear of in the coming leadership elections. Take your pick.
It’s been an interesting week. I was perhaps a little too hasty to jump in the ring and conduct what I thought was a defence of values that Tom Tugendhat and I both share.
“My intentions were good, and that is the important thing.”
I saw him condemning what we both thought were anti-Semitic remarks, made by an individual who had previously made offensive comments I could not agree with.
Offensive? Feelz before realz, Johnny? Very Conservative of you. And in what way can you not agree with him? Because you deconstructed his arguments and found fault with them? Or because you fear missing an opportunity to win votes should you remain silent?
In fact, it turned out to be poor journalism from an individual whose social media posts afterwards revealed his motives.
I was too quick to respond to partial quotes and partial information spread on social media with (it translated later) malicious intent. To this day we don’t know what he said and in what context, which is the problem.
Is that really the problem? Oh dear.
But the hammering we’ve both had – mine worse, because I stand by my dislike of some of the things Sir Roger Scruton says [feel before realz again]– from the intellectual high priests of conservatism [anti-intellectual sneering] has been quite something. Toby Young and other curious individuals [get yer garden-fresh pejorative euphemisms here, 3 for £1] have mounted a campaign to ask me to change my views.
Here’s why I won’t be. I have huge respect for intellectualism.
It took you less than 100 words at the top of your screed to prove you don’t believe that.
The gift of free speech and free thought is a precious one, and one I have actually fought and bled for.
Oh fuck off. Young man doesn’t know what to do with his life (having lost his job with an insurance company that was put out of business by the regulator) so joins up for adventure, excitement, cowboys & indians. All power and respect to him. Man goes into politics in his 30’s and parlays his adventures into a noble struggle for freedom as if he was Oliver fucking Cromwell.
I admire those who make a living from it, who have a relentless pursuit of opponents, and at times rightly cause offence to the status quo.
Do you really, Johnny? Who are your intellectual heroes? Sartre? Nietzsche? Hayek? Einstein? David Starkey? Edward Gibbon? Alexis de Tocqueville? Thomas Paine? John Stuart Mill? Could you tell me one thing each of those people did? I bet you could tell me who won last year’s X-Factor.
But as I have been previously criticised for not being from ‘good political stock’, or being a lawyer or something more suitable for parliamentary life,
By whom? I don’t remember that, and if you had, surely that’s the sort of thing you should have taken up noisy cudgels against and make great electoral hay from.
it would appear I am being criticised here for not being an intellectual scholar. I must again point out that I profess to be none of the above, and neither would I want to be. I would also gently suggest the nation has perhaps got enough MPs from this stock already.
No no… you are not being criticised for not being an intellectual scholar. You are being criticised for being a virtue-signalling halfwit, who leaps to condemn an intellectual giant on the say-so of your thicko mate, and then seeks to spin your arrogant, emotional conclusion-jumping as ‘with the best of intentions’ and therefore somehow morally elevating.
I’m a politician who believes in winning elections for my side, in getting people to vote for me, in bringing people together to pursue the common good.
“I am interested in power over other people.”
There is no common good any more, Johnny. The country is fragmented beyond recognition. There are many ‘communities’ and no ‘society’. Because while you were playing Action Man in Afghanistan, nobody was defending Britain’s borders. Nobody trusts anybody else any more. Your brand of self-serving, slippery, emotionally-driven greasy-pole merchants ruined all that.
Not an intellectually pure version of the common good, but the common good that can unite as many people as possible, to meet the huge challenges presented to our way of life in Britain in 2019. Because without winning elections, you can believe in whatever you like, but you won’t change a single life.
Or you can believe in nothing other than winning power, while scoring cheap points against men whose boots you are not fit to polish, and you can change a great many lives for the worse.
The reality is that these causes – a unifying vision, a collective endeavour, winning elections – are not best served by comments like those reported.
“The truth is most inconvenient.”
Imagine being a British Muslim with family fleeing Isis and reading about ‘tribes’ of Muslims.
Imagine living in a Britain that turned them away because they had no business being here, and pointed them instead towards the lavishly-funded refugee facilities that we are paying for right on their actual doorsteps.
Imagine being the young gay man on an estate in Plymouth, faced with the Herculean task of ‘coming out’ to your family that has never even contemplated issues of homosexuality before, and reading that one of our great thinkers believes homosexuality is ‘not normal’.
It is not normal whichever way you cut it. Whether it is acceptable is another matter, but a sexual preferenced exercised by significantly less than 10% cannot be normal to anyone who covered any statistics in their GCSE maths course.
Everywhere across the land, in sink-estates where yob-rule prevails, kids have their lives blighted by adults and by other kids for not being normal.. for being victims of their circumstances, for being poorer than the others, being bookish, wearing glasses, not liking footy, having a birthmark… whatever. It’s human nature. To pretend being gay is any different a class of ‘otherness’ is ludicrous in today’s secular society where 99% of people don’t give a damn about the Word of God, and only about how they can sort the in-group from the out-group.
I’m afraid that I am in this to bind people together, not mark my homework in the purity of an intellectual argument.
Obvious straw-man is obvious. You never made an intellectual argument, you amplified an unjustified slur of, and successful demands for the resignation of, a great man.
We’ve lost the country by doing precisely that, when it comes to Brexit.
More manifest bollocks. Parliament has lost the people by being close to united in stopping what a clear majority of us voted for, and sneering at us as thicko racist plebs while doing so. Parliament lost the people by their pilfering of our money to line their own pockets both before and after the expenses scandal. Parliament lost the people by ignoring concerns about Muslim rape gangs for more than 15 years. Parliament lost the people by leading the condemnation and marginalisation of anyone who raises awkward questions about immigration.
Incidentally, Mercer has only been an MP since 2015, but has already been investigated by the police over discrepencies in electoral expenses, criticised by the TPA for lavishing tax-payers’ money on expensive Apple Macs, and employs his own wife to run his office.
Politics in this nation is in the gutter. But I never cease to be amazed by the lack of self-awareness of those who have contributed a great deal to sweeping it there.
I… err… actual LOL.
Just last night I spoke at another Conservative association who berated me for being part of a club of MPs that has destroyed democracy. My family were there – we had interrupted a precious family holiday to raise funds for a far-flung, hard working group of our movement. I reminded them that this nation that so berated its current crop of MPs, had voted for these same MPs time and again over the last 30 years.
“You are a perfidious scum-sucker”, “Yeah? You voted for a perfidious scum sucker, dipshit.”
Perhaps Mercer, who has repeatedly and justifiably attacked May and her Brexit performace, could remind us who he supported for the Tory leadership when Cameron ran away? And whether at some point he had a reaslisation that he’d been sold a pup, just like many conservative grass-roots members have been.
I am different as an MP. I accept that, and make no apologies for that.
No. You really aren’t. You literally have nothing to apologise for here.
I will always defend free speech
Remind me what you were saying earlier about self-awareness, Johnny?
and unlike many of my detractors, I have actually fought for it.
Really? The last thing I can remember the British forces doing that was even remotely genuinely related to freedom or the best interests of Britain was the liberation of the Falkland Islands, and my calendar says you weren’t there. In fact you were still shitting in your nappies.
But I will never countenance ideology at the expense of groups that for too long have wrongly found themselves pushed to the fringes of society.
You mean truth-seekers and free-thinkers? You don’t, do you.
Being a Conservative is one of my characteristics;
You are a Trans-Tory.
it is by no means my defining characteristic, as it appears to be for my vociferous detractors on this incident.
‘Appears to be’? The sly maligning of people who aren’t as thick or slippery as you ‘appears to’ be your defining characteristic.
I am a dad, a husband, a patriot, a leader, a campaigner, and a conservative – who has actually won elections for the Conservative movement in places the Conservatives have never won before. Again, unlike many of my detractors.
Have a fucking lollipop.
So please move on. My interest has been lost,
How many times have you seen that on social media? The moment someone realises they’re losing the argument, they hit you with a canned lecture of marginal relevance, then turn all ‘you’re boring me now, why are you still going on about that? It’s time to move on…’.
In fact, that is EXACTLY how the more spoiled and hysterical of women argue.
and I hate conflict with fellow conservatives.
Doesn’t that just say it all? Good, sound, robust ideas are the product of constructive intellectual conflict. Egregious, destructive ideas are the product of mushy, spineless concensus-building by intellectual pygmies.
I was wrong to call for Sir Roger to go – I slipped up and made a mistake. I have never commented on whether people should resign before, and I never will again.
We’ll be holding you to that.
But to think that someone who expresses these views
You have clearly made no effort to understand Scruton’s views, so you have no right to pronounce on what his views make him fit for.
should work for a government that desperately needs to bind this nation back together again at the moment is a different matter. And I still hold the view that what Scruton said was unnecessary
Is that now the bar that must be met for someone to keep their jobs? That their entire back-catologue of documented utterances be deemed ‘necessary’? By you? Fucking hell.
, and detracts from what he was tasked with doing. CEOs of major companies would have had to leave too; that is the world we live in.
Perhaps so, but it doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t make it something a conservative MP ought to be standing behind.
I want to bind people together,
How’s that working out for you?
win elections and be part of a team that can heal a nation
What a pussy.
and meet the strategic challenges presented by the total failures of the ‘career politician’ we are seeing laid bare by Brexit.
Please elaborate. Go on, tell us some of the ways. Prove to us how self-aware you are.
If we choose to, we can have ever-reinforcing degrees of purity in our debates around Brexit or free speech.
“Ner ner… I may have called for Scruton’s resignation on faulty evidence, but YOU THICKOS VOTED TO DESTROY THE WHOLE COUNTRY on faulty evidence.”
And we can lose the next election. Or we can get out beyond London and try and bind up a broken country that is petrified by the idea of a Corbyn government
No-one – absolutely no-one – is petrified by the prospect of a Corbyn government. It’d be a shit-show, but my God it’d be funny to watch. They could not do a worse job than this so-called Conservative government has done. They could be no more right-on, censorious, progressive, totalitarian or dim-witted than this government.
and yearning to be set on fire by a new generation of political leadership, if only we are brave enough to provide it.
You want fire? I think you should be careful what you wish for. With increasing numbers of British people feeling unrepresented by politics and with nothing left to lose, keep your eyes on parliament square next time the economy dips.
UPDATE: The Spectator BTL commenters are unusually unanimous in telling Mercer precisely where he can stick his faux apology. There are a great many variants on precisely what I’ve posted above.