Sunday, November 18, 2007

Reactionary != Conservative

There's a certain joy to be had in laughing at leftists who are just enraged that the BBC won't pay them money any more. Their sense of entitlement says it all about the BBC's supposed impartiality. It's splendid that the BBC appears to be cutting down on its old habit of presenting full-on partisans like the Yazzmonster as disinterested expert commentators, but the dead giveaway is that no leftist can write about the BBC's supposed tilt to the right without mentioning the words 'Jeremy Clarkson'.

Not to give aid and comfort to the enemy, but libs, here's a free clue for you: if you're going to argue that the BBC is being swamped by right-wingers, you might want to not all name the same guy again and again. It makes this right-wing invasion look distinctly undermanned.

Then there's the other thing. Sure there's a natural tendency to rally round a guy who so frequently sends the left into spasms of rage, but how representative is Clarkson of the right ? The deranged anti-Americanism isn't an aberration, it's all a part of Clarkson's shtick as a rhetorical bomb thrower. Not to say that it isn't tempting to adopt that approach when faced with the latest lunacy from, say, the econuts, but there's more to conservatism than that.

Liberals would love to portray the entire right as a bunch of fat blokes sitting on bar stools and ranting about 'elfen safety' - it helps to obscure the fact that all the actual ideas are coming from the right. Ask the average lib about reforming the NHS or the educayshun system and what do you get ? Nada. Nope, no need for reform at all, everything is just wonderful, we just need more of the same.

Ditto, no 'angry of Tunbridge Wells' fulminating about the Sixties ever dredged the depths of nostalgia like a lib recalling the golden age pre-Thatcher. Yes, indeed: these are the only people on the planet who think the problem with the education system is that it's too heavily-influenced by the right.

Yes, folks like Clarkson play an important role in breaking through the MSM's wall of noise and reminding folks that, no, not everyone believes in Gerbil Worming, but the left would love to cast the debate as one between the populist rabble rousers on the right and the sober intellectuals on the left.

The Clarkson phenomenon is a symptom of just how little real right-wing commentary makes it on screen. It's great that he's there to mock the obvious idiocies of the left, but we also need people there to make the intellectual case for conservatism too.

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