Magazine article The Spectator

The Brutish British

Magazine article The Spectator

The Brutish British

Article excerpt

I GREW UP believing that it couldn't happen here; that the intrinsic decency, good sense and ironical detachment of the British would have precluded Nazism or anything like it from taking root in our sceptred isle. Now I am not so sure. Utter vileness does not need a numerical majority to become predominant in a society. The Nazis never had an electoral majority in Germany, yet Germany offered very little resistance to their barbarism. Of course, it is highly unlikely that history would repeat itself in anything approximating the same form; but evil, unlike good, is infinitely multiform. We can invent our own totalitarian evil. There is little doubt that we have prepared the ground very well for evil's triumph.

Despite years of unprecedented prosperity, a larger proportion than ever before of the population is dependent, or partly dependent, upon the state as provider. Only this week, an unmarried woman with three young children by the same man told me that when she asked him for money to buy them shoes that they needed, he told her to take a loan out from `the social'; that, he opined, was what it was there for. He had in any case made it abundantly clear that under no circumstances would he part with any money for the upkeep of his children, and so far had been as good as his word. The exact proportion of British fathers who have abrogated their parental responsibilities to the state in return for the right to use their income purely as pocket money to spend on their vulgar distractions is not fully known, nor that of mothers who accept this abominable arrangement; but it is not small and it is growing.

Not only are such people severely lacking in ethical standards, but they also live in permanent fear of the power that they have ceded to the state; and no one who has any dealings with the bureaucracy of welfare, child support, housing and so forth can be left in any doubt as to its power to grind people up and spit them out. Hedonistic egotism, fear and resentment form the character of a large proportion of our population, and it is a character that is ripe for exploitation. They have made themselves natural slaves.

Whenever I have dealings with British bureaucrats, an insistent question is at the back of my mind: is there any order you would refuse to obey? From my observations of their conduct, my guess is that, in general, there isn't; that they would prefer mass slaughter to the loss of their jobs and that, in the event of a post facto trial, all of them would fall back on the old excuse, I was only obeying orders. Let me give two examples. It is well known that moving very old people from where they are settied to a new location results in an increased death-rate among them; that is to say, it kills them. Recently, arbitrary government regulation has meant that many perfectly adequate residential homes have closed down, and their residents decanted into large and impersonal homes that meet the bureaucratic requirements, where many of them swiftly die. Is it likely that any British bureaucrat, at any level of employment, has resigned rather than implement this murderous policy in any individual case? No: better a hecatomb than a mortgage unpaid.

Recently, I received a circular headed New Ethnic Categories that began with the words, `As you may know, we are required to monitor the ethnic origins of our staff. …

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