Monday, 22 August 2011

Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair and the Almost Overwhelming Temptation to Riot

On hearing of Peter Mandelson's new luxury pad, one becomes a little angry
Janet Daley yesterday wrote an interesting piece on the riots entitled 'UK Riots: The end of the liberal's great moral delusion'.

I agree with the main thrust of her argument that the riots have blown apart the liberal consensus that human beings are 'born good' - an important doctrine of the left. All that is required for a just and happy World, therefore, is suitable conditions for that inherent goodness to flourish.

Ending her piece, she says...

'It is futile to go on asking why the riots happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the rioters was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'

Janet insists that the riots emanating from the bottom strata of society have no relation to the bad behaviour of MPs, bankers and phone hackers in the top and middle strata of society. She could well be right that there is no connection at all between the amoralism of the looters and rioters and the amoralism of the rich, but I wonder whether that is really the point. Does there have to be a 'connection' or an aping of the rich's amoralism by the poor, when what we are talking about is an entire culture of an entire country that is, in PM David Cameron's words, 'sick'.

Commentators on the right dismiss the views of the left out of hand because the left appeal to an ideological framework to support their assessment of the riots. That ideological assessment may be deeply flawed, but at the same time, I can see a grain of truth in what the left suggest as to the causes as I can see a nugget of truth when the right says of the rioters, "Selfish little s**ts.". Personally, I can see within Marx a pretty accurate assessment of the unfair working conditions of industrial Europe, I just can't agree with his Communist Manifesto solution because it forgets Original Sin and denies that true liberation is spiritual and redemption is something that comes from God alone.

Like the poor, Original Sin will be 'with us always', until the Lord returns at the End of Time. What is grossly unjust, however, is an assessment of the rioters as being amoral without addressing an amoralism which is general. Wars are evil and terrible things which have often been portrayed in Catholic terms as 'chastisement' upon countries. Does that mean that God loves wars? No. What it usually means is that sin comes back to haunt us and that fratricide becomes a consequence of sin which bites us on the behind, big time. So it is with the rioters. One can see a sudden explosion of human evil that makes parts of London look like its been bombed by WW2 German aircraft. Does God agree with their actions? No. Can we see it as a 'chastisement' upon the country? Yes, because the whole country has abandoned Christian morality and lo and behold, here is the result.

The New Labour Years: Then and Now

Minted: Beneficiaries of Britain's love-in with the super rich
Where Janet and I might agree is that the left must take some blame for the dire state of the country, as it has been in their hands for the past 15 years and these children are 'Blair's babes'.  This is because if the root cause of the riots is not 'inequality' but what Pope Benedict XVI has consistently criticised in the West - moral relativism - then there can be fewer more famous proponents of relativism than the Labour party of the Blair years. How convenient it is for Mr Blair to deny that there is any substantial moral dimension to the riots. There was rarely a moral dimension to his Premiership other than his own astonishing self-righteousness and confidence that he always did 'the right thing' no matter what the Catholic Church that he joined teaches. The former PM says of the riots:

"The big cause is the group of alienated, disaffected youth who are outside the social mainstream and who live in a culture at odds with any canons of proper behaviour."

"Canons of proper behaviour"? Isn't that just typical liberalism for you. Nothing is right or wrong in Blair's world except when the "behaviour" of the "alientated, disaffected youth who are outside the social mainstream" impinges upon others. It's like saying, "You can have as many abortions as you want, just don't leave the dead corpses on my driveway because it doesn't look nice."

What is "proper" about dropping a load of bombs on Iraqi civilians? What is "proper" about voting for abortion consistently? What is "proper" about the promotion of homosexual culture and homosexual 'marriage'? This is just typical, liberal, moral relativism and here we are today with Tony Blair still defending his confusing credo. Whether the issue was war, sexual morality, abortion, homosexuality, or any subject of morality, the New Labour years saw a near total assault upon Christian morality.  Under Prime Minister Blair, Janet's words could be equally applied to those years, and also to so many of our elected leaders today.

'It is futile to go on asking why the Iraq war happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the Cabinet was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'
 'It is futile to go on asking why the Civil Partnerships Act happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the MPs was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'
'It is futile to go on asking why the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the politicians was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'

It has to be said, though, that it really was Blair's war. Quite how 'collective' a decision it was we are unsure. All we know is that Robin Cook and Dr David Kelly were publicly negative about it but then they both died suddenly. Further, it wasn't just on traditional morality that Labour embraced moral relativism. Unusually, as Robert Peston says in his book, 'Who Runs Britain?' the Labour Party became so deferential towards the rich, the City and the 'super rich' in particular, that no constraints at all were placed upon investment bankers and the exceedingly wealthy. Under Labour, moral relativism and one of its fruits, astonishing avarice, were embraced as a religion. That is part of the great hypocrisy of the new left and the fact that Peter Mandelson is buying a house for $8million thanks to a new role as "senior adviser" at the global investment bank, Lazard, in the wake of years of cosying up to the Rothschilds is no longer surprising in the slightest. He was the man who, after all, said that the Labour Party was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich”.

Is it actually possible to be "intensely relaxed"?

Further, it wasn't just grotesque avarice about which the Labour Party became "intensely relaxed". The Labour Party became "intensely relaxed" about sin, selfishness, greed and all the tenets of moral relativism. The Labour years were like one gigantic orgy of a party. It is only now that the country has woken up and realised that under Labour, the country was economically, spiritually and morally raped and suffers the resultant STIs. Still, though, Mandelson can feel "intensely relaxed" about buying an $8 million house, while London's charred buildings are still smoking and while even Conservative MPs suggest that it is odd that a man can become so wealthy since leaving office only a year. Even Conservative MPs think that the wealth of Blair and Mandelson is sickening and vulgar. That really does tell you something. Peter Mandelson provides us all with the temptation to riot. Politicians like Blair and Mandelson inhabit a totally different World to both the poor and, in fact, the rest of us. The Labour years saw an extreme contrast of two Worlds, one vastly rich and one impoverished by the City's 'super rich' and their beneficiaries, some of whom just so happened to be Labour politicians.

The Labour Party was meant to be all about 'equality' - a construct of the left. Ideologically, the left hates 'inequality' because this is the scourge of society and cause of so much harm, rather than sin, heresy or its effects. Yet, under Labour it was not only true to say that the rich became richer (vastly so) and the poor became poorer (likely) and that the gap between the rich and the poor widened. No. Under Labour, the City was allowed to boom. London became the place where private equity ruled and international finance rode roughshod over the economy and individual livelihoods. Under Gordon Brown 'the City' was embraced so much that Peston says...

'In the UK, there are three relevant trends. First, there is our competitive advantage in financial services, the astonishing international success of the City of London. This is a winner-takes-all-industry in which fabulous rewards accrue to the most talented individuals.  Then there is the belief - which has become more ingrained under New Labour - that individuals are more important than teams in the success of an organisation [very Tony Blair!], that those with rare and productive skills can sell themselves for a fortune anywhere in the World [very Tony Blair!] and that therefore it is in the interest of the UK to be seen as a haven for the super-rich or aspiring super rich. The widening in the gap between the rich and poor has taken on a new slant under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The maximum spoils have gone to those at the very apex of the income and wealth league tables: a new plutocracy has been born...' 

Even if one were to accept that 'inequality' was the main reason behind the riots, the left do not have a moral leg to stand on, because the gap between the rich and the poor widened so dramatically on their own watch and so many of those who outwardly declared their 'equality' credentials enriched themselves so disproportionately in relation to the rest of the country and allowed the enrichment of the already vastly wealthy at the expense of what turned out to be the rest of society.

Mandelson and Blair are living, breathing, almost comedic caricature examples that it doesn't matter how much money individuals accrue, how many holidays in Tuscany, houses, luxury flats, mansions, cars or plasma TV screens we obtain - none of those things improve our morality or our souls. Only Jesus Christ can change our hearts and minds and He brings with Him the Truths of His Doctrines given by Him to His Holy Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ simply doesn't do moral relativism no matter how many politicians promote it and then benefit financially from it after they have left office.

Original Sin, sadly, will be with us always, afflicting us as individuals and as a society. Original Sin, social inequality, rotten politicians and the recently rioting poor will be with us, like the Lord will be always with His Holy Church yes, even until the End of Time, but hearing of Mandelson and Blair's financial gains while whole communities burn, and then for Tony Blair to pontificate both on the cause for the riots and the necessary solution does rather make me want to vomit and then riot. Quite what qualifies Blair to be a spokesman on Middle East peace is a great mystery. Quite what qualifies Blair to be a spokesman for people living on benefits in sink estates with no plugs is an even greater one.

"He was the people's tyrant..."
Blair didn't do morality as a Prime Minister and we know his tenure didn't "do God". No. When it came to morality, he simply kept 'hedging' his bets and got rich out of it. It was a case of "Goodbye Number 10 Downing Street. Hello J P Morgan!" Today, it looks rather like one of his friends is in trouble...

Priceless. Maybe Tony can use his influence in the Middle East to get his old friend a last minute reprieve. Nah..."So long and thanks for all the oil." That was, after all, what Gaddafi most likely said to Tony Blair after this meeting...


Multum Incola said...

"Wars are evil and terrible things which have often been portrayed in Catholic terms as 'chastisement' upon countries. Does that mean that God loves wars? No."

Wars are not evil and terrible things. A just war is a moral good. So a why/why not question here is, 'Does that mean God hates wars? No.' Certainly some wars will be hated by him, but others won't.

If you fancy some very heavy reading, but very rewarding and interesting and, I think, that you might enjoy, you should get hold of Iota Unum by Amerio.

. said...

Surely the point is that human nature contains both good and evil; the best term for it, it seems to me, is flawed.

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