These are sombre times for humanity. Around the world the far right is on the march, funded and enabled by a terrifying coalition of mega-rich plutocrats, transglobal corporate sharks, autocratic tyrants and religious fundamentalists, and then enacted on the ground by the lumpen, ignorant brainwashed admass. Within living memory we have been here before, but it seems nothing whatsoever was learnt from all the mistakes and all the suffering. It is happening again. Lest we forget, we forgot.
With open contempt for the Tory government’s squeaking objections, the leader of the world’s most powerful state is now enthusiastically endorsing a thuggish cabal of British neo-Nazi white supremacists, one of whose supporters murdered an MP last year. While the ‘special relationship’ enters the naked abuse phase – it always happens in the end to the grovelling groupie – the UK is being led towards its very own special economic and social catastrophe by a lame-duck rabble of venal, trashy, trivial racists, bigots, deluded little Englanders and extreme right zealots. If you are not frightened you are either too desensitised, too anaesthetised, too busy checking Instagram – or, most probably, too complacent, far too complacent.
It’s never a bad time to quote the famous lines of German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), and it’s particularly apposite now, when the cowardly complacency of the comfortable is precisely what Fascism needs to thrive:
First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Homosexuals, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Homosexual.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.