Rod Humphris is a publican and writer. He is famous for ejecting Keir Starmer from his pub in Bath for spectacularly failing the British people in their hour of need.
When I threw Kier Starmer out of my pub, I was angry. I think that came across.
I was angry because he’d failed me, failed us, failed those who he should’ve been speaking for. He betrayed the idea that is the left. That’s the way I see it, anyway.
What is the left? I’ve never studied it and I’ve never formally belonged, so I can’t offer you an objective answer but I can offer you a personal one. I’m not political but I am of, and from, the left. For me, that is two interlinked ideas:
Shared endeavour is necessary.
We all benefit when we collaborate and share skills and resources. The sum of what we can do together far exceeds anything we can do alone. Therefore, we should pay taxes, agree on rules, do specific jobs that we’re suited to and let others do things for us that we can’t do ourselves. Whether we like it or not, we must share and organise in large groups.
Shared caring is necessary and morally vital.
The strong must protect the weak, the well care for the sick. Our children must be nurtured, educated and brought into their strength. Our old, sick and damaged must be sheltered and protected from unnecessary suffering. Otherwise, what are we? By their nature, these tasks are ill-suited to us individually. They require combined action and the sharing of resources. The redistribution of resources is inherent in the reality of our species.
My understanding is that the organised left was born out of our dark satanic mills. Working men formed unions and those unions used collected dues to support the sick or sacked. They negotiated with their employers as a body and forced them to pay fairer wages. They helped to put an end to what was little better than slavery. And that impetus towards fairness and collaboration and working together for a better life became a political entity which we call Labour.
It was that urge and that process which gave us the NHS and social welfare. In my mind, it was a positive force (though sometimes residing in incompetent hands) which was hopefully taking us towards a happy, egalitarian future that might look a bit like Scandinavia. High tax, but comprehensive, fair and with effective systems; a benign antidote to the capitalism that gave us mill-owners and slavery.
I now see it all rather differently. I was naïve. I didn’t understand the dangers inherent in the ideas of the left. If any of my words in this seem hard or extreme, please remember the context: thousands, hundreds of thousands of us, have been killed. Not died, killed by those who control our government.
When Kier Starmer sided with those scaring, locking up, robbing and killing us – particularly the poor and the vulnerable — which is what he did, he made it obvious that Labour, the parliamentary party anyway, is now owned by the new mill-owners. Worse than that, it’s now the whole damn thing. Our ever-growing state, has been captured by the banks and other vast business interests and is steadily being used to take us back to the slavery of the mills.
If the current trend continues we, and our children, will be chipped, supplied with the minimum necessary resources while we’re useful, and disposed of summarily when we aren’t. That is the logic of the mill-owner/slave owner, then and now. They’ve used what we built for their own purposes.
We made this mess. We on the left. That’s why we’ve been so useless at identifying and understanding it. We’ve been deeply naïve about human nature. I suspect that clever men, who are used to running the world and who take the long view, have foreseen the opportunities in centralisation and pushed us down this road knowing where it leads. And we, like sheep, have been led. By helping to create our massive state, we’ve handed the predators the means to enslave us again. It’s time to face up to this and do something about it.
Someone I admire called Temple Grandin once said: ‘Measure the outcome’. I like that. If you got the outcome you wanted, then whatever you did to get it, must be right. The outcome I want, is to live the rest of my life as a free citizen in a prosperous, civilised society. I want that for those I care about who come after me to have that too.
Fat chance of that at the moment.
The way you solve a large, complex, multi-factorial, evolving problem is to collect the minimum amount of data you need to develop a working hypothesis, act on that hypothesis and then measure the outcome of your action. Then, adjust and repeat. Because the situation is changing, you can never get complete data, so you don’t bother trying.
This particular situation is kinetic. While we’re analysing what they just did, they’re doing the next thing. Until and unless we’re part of the action, we’re just part of the audience. If we don’t measure the outcome, we’re just entertaining ourselves.
For example, given that this is a fight, I have a simple rule:
If they didn’t mind what we did, then what we did, didn’t matter.
If we go marching and they don’t send the TSG, then our march didn’t help. If we communicate and they don’t try to shut us down, then our communication didn’t help. Very obviously, when they feel threatened, they attack. If they didn’t attack, then they didn’t feel threatened.
What follows is my best effort at a rigorously pared down working hypothesis and plan of action. I propose that the solution to this mess will, and should, come from the left for these reasons:
- We made the mess, we should clear it up. We’ve done it before, so presumably we can do it again. At its root, this isn’t about systems or ideals or anything ephemeral like that. As a species, we have a tendency to enslave ourselves. If you happen to be one of the slave-owners, that may be OK. If you happen to be one of the slaves, probably not. That’s the problem; the specific features are just the detail. That’s the problem the left came into being to address. Time we woke up and did it again.
- On the left, our core values and motivation are in direct opposition to the problem. The wellspring of the left, as I am describing it, is the protection of the citizen, us, from slavery. The point of the left is to speak for, and fight for, the ordinary against the elite. We value and fight for equality and fairness.
- The right is dead. Arguably, the left and the middle are now dead too. The Conservative party, the Parliamentary Conservative party anyway, has sold its soul to the devil and no longer exists. Individual freedom, limited government, rule of law… etc.
Anyone seen any sign of those recently? Not me. In the last few years, almost every member of our mother of all parliaments has betrayed our country, its people and the founding ideas of each of their parties, right, left or liberal. There’s no use in them and they should all sod off.
The conservatives want to conserve. They have understood our predicament more easily than we on the left have, but they keep wanting to solve it by keeping it and correcting it.
That won’t work; we need a bigger change than that, and that is the job of the left.
Our democracy is a fig-leaf covering rule by a gang of criminals. Our “independent” judiciary and press are bought and paid for. As a society, we’re busy legitimising paedophilia, the mutilation of children and the erasure and rape of women. We recently killed off many of our old people with Midazolam and neglect, injected poison into ourselves and our children, reducing our life-expectancy and our fertility for a generation.
The banks, Gates, Vanguard and others control the media, the courts, the money, the mechanisms of the state, the police and the army. That’s normal. In previous centuries replace “banks, Gates, Vanguard “ with mill-owners, aristocracy, the church, whoever. Our recent few decades of relative freedom, democracy, the rule of law, have been unusual and probably largely fictitious. In either case, they’re over now, or shortly will be.
We have two enemies: them and us.
The enslavement of, and predation on, most of a population by one small section of it, is a repeating, emergent phenomenon of our species. It’s happened so often that it looks more like our normal than anything we might call democracy, equality, freedom. Expecting that to somehow go away as if by magic, would be insane. The best we can hope for is to push it back for a while in the certain knowledge that it will be back; growing again in the dark corners, protected by our lack of attention or lack of self-awareness.
In all this madness, not a single one of them has actually hurt a single one of us. We did that to ourselves. They asked us to lock ourselves up, hand over our money and take some poison, and we did. Who’s fault was that? We are the force that they use to control us. We are the army, the police, the bureaucracy. We are the fools who wore the masks. We are the nurses who injected the poison. We should face this. A truth and reconciliation process is necessary.
By them, I mean the relatively few people with real power. Some of them we know, some of them, we probably don’t. I don’t in general mean politicians or high ranking functionaries; they act out of self-interest, blackmail, weakness, stupidity or possibly evil, and do what they’re told.
I think there are a few things we can deduce about them that it may be useful to know:
- Like us, they’re heterogeneous. They’re not all bad. Some of our previous mill-owners were quite decent people; paternalistically benevolent. It’s reasonable to assume the same today. There may be a lot of cohesion between some factions of them but there are also outliers and independents and competing interests.
- Their point of view and experience of life is very different to ours. They, ‘bestride the narrow world like colossuses; and we petty men walk under their huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonourable graves. We must look like insects to them, and possibly, not very clever insects at that. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised if they treat us as such.
I am certain there is plenty of evil and malice in all this, but it is not stratified; it runs from the top to the bottom, and so I suspect does courage, principle and heroism.
- Their tools are not perfect. They do everything through others and some of those, are muppets. You can probably think of one or two. A lot of what they’re doing is new and not all of it works. For example, I suspect that Omicron was designed to take the covid war up another level and force us into another lockdown and consolidate vaccine passports. It failed to deliver. It’s probably harder to design viruses than we think. Some informed opinion reckons that CBDCs will be a lot more complicated to implement than we might imagine.
- What they’re doing is to some extent self-defeating. There are more people awake to the true nature of things than there ever have been before. We’re all living in an intensive master-class in how stuff really works. We’re getting trained in rational thought and information processing. Perhaps in a while we’re going to get training in other more active skills too.
- Their motivation may not be what we think it is. I suspect that those at the top are very intelligent, low-fear kind of beings who do a lot of things just to see if they can, or because it’s interesting. They aren’t necessarily good or evil, but they do exist on a very different plane. An interesting feature is that they always tell us what they’re doing first. Some say that that is to do with a satanic code of conduct. It may be so. I suspect that for some of them, they may just be playing fair. We may be an interesting experiment in a petri-dish.
Can we earn our freedom? Do we deserve it? Will we fight for it? Perhaps some of those who are attempting to enslave us, also hope that they will fail. That might be a more interesting outcome than success. Perhaps, if we show some spirit, one or two of them might support us, even if only to annoy a rival.
We all already know the solution: individually, we’re lunch; together we’re untouchable. We have the power of numbers, if we say no, then no is what happens. If only it were that simple! We need to:
Accept that it is about power, not information.
The answer to a problem with wolves, is not more sheep. When it was us against the mill-owners, it was about power, and it’s about power now. It’s always about power. Power, not information. The media, and the BBC in this country in particular, are believed because they speaks for power. Media itself is about power, not information. Journalists and those who control them, decide who and what gets attention, who and what exists. It’s all about power.
We’re a social species and our lower brains prevent us from doing things that will get us cast out from the group or attacked by the biggest dog in the room, without our even knowing it. In the last few years, strong principled men and women have thrown away everything they knew about medicine, law, morality and the nature of the world, and collaborated in the enslavement and murder of themselves, their parents and children, without even being consciously aware of it. Information by itself will not solve this problem. Everyone in the whole world can know it’s all a pack of lies, and if the only force present is them, it won’t make any difference. You remember all the insane covid rules? They were flaunting their power in our faces. To counter them, we need manifest, useful force.
What will that power look like? I believe it will look like it usually looks. The problem is not new and neither will the solution be. It will go under the name of ‘politics’ as that’s the word we use for the negotiation of power between ourselves. It will require numbers and organisation; either without the other is useless.
We have to join ourselves together in large numbers, in a common understanding and purpose. That requires that we have to stand for something and be going somewhere. It’s not remotely good enough just to oppose. We require a narrative; a religion; a binding set of ideas that we can share and believe in. We need something that people can join, want to join and is effective in the real world. We have to know what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and have some belief that we actually can do it. And we need good strong leadership.
I believe Kenneth Clarke hit the nail on the head when he said:
What civilization needs: confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, and confidence in one’s own mental powers [….] a vigorous belief in law and discipline. Vigour, energy, vitality: all the civilisations—or civilising epochs—have had a weight of energy behind them.
Building civilisation is what we must be about. It is the antithesis of what’s currently going on. We have been lucky enough to have had quite a bit of if in this country for a while, but we’re currently throwing it away. And it will require what it always requires: energy, self-belief and hard work to make it anew.
The philosophical and practical framework for all that is rather above my pay-grade and, in any case, will be the work of many, or several, not one. I’ll stick my tuppence worth in in a minute, but that’s all it is. Please consider it an invitation to a constructive argument.
The movement – the international movement against this encroaching tyranny – is well supplied with wise heads from many countries and walks of life. I could make a long list, but I won’t as I’ll probably miss a few. You probably have your own favourites. The work is beginning. Ideas will emerge and be tested. What we are desperately short of, is driving force, boots on the ground, organisation and effective leadership.
The constituency is there hungrily waiting for that. The left has provided it before, and I hope, it will again.
My tuppence worth – towards a useful set of beliefs
The first building block is context. To build something meaningful, first you have to be someone and live somewhere. It’s no coincidence that a lot of what they’re up to is working against that. They would have us sexless, interchangeable, bug-eating citizens of nowhere.
I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of countries as such, but they are the effective, emotive unit of organisation that we have. Anything smaller will be brushed aside, anything bigger is impractical. Yes, I know the problem is global, but this bit is our bit to sort out. Let us see if we can clean our own room before we try to help our neighbour with hers.
The UK is ours, not theirs. They’ve been busy trying to teach us to be ashamed of her and disown her. They’re wrong. Yes, countries have a gender and no, being proud of who you are is not the same as murdering babies. All this makes me rather uncomfortable. It’s good for me to be uncomfortable, so let’s go there…
Who we are — war.
War isn’t what it’s usually made out to be; one group good, one bad. It’s a contention for control of resources. Asset-stripping with guns. I also know that that’s a collective endeavour. We out-fought the French for dominance in Europe, led the industrial revolution, built an empire on which the sun did not set, and held our own in two world wars. And I mean we, not them. The mill-owners may have created it with lies, organised it and got rich on it, but it was us who did the work, suffered the losses, and benefited from it too. That required energy, courage, work, ingenuity and cleverness by thousands, millions of people. From some angles, we, those of us who live in the British Isles, may currently look like a bunch of weak idiots who expect to live on the work of others and won’t climb a ladder without a risk-assessment, but not so long ago, we were tough and energetic, confident and set high standards for ourselves. Those are good things. Anyone tells you different, they don’t have your interests at heart.
Competition for resources is our context. Chap called Darwin laid it out. Trees do it, blue-tits do it, amoebae probably do it. We used to be very good at it. Being ashamed of being good at it is probably a good way to earn a Darwin award ourselves. Let’s own this stuff. Not as jingoistic subjects of Kitchener’s propaganda, but as clear-eyed, practical realists.
We’re in the shit and we need to be clever and strong and willing to fight. We used to be good at that, let’s hope we still are.
Who we are – culture.
This place has been, until relatively recently, by historical international standards, the best place to live, possibly anywhere, ever. That’s not nothing. That’s pretty cool. And, before you start going on about the things that were wrong (racism, sexism, take your pick…), I’m comparing this place with other places – at the same time. When you get back from Utopia, then tell me I’m wrong. I’m comparing apples with apples, not apples with pork-chops.
We used, as a lived individual experience, to be very free by international historical standards. We generated a language that is sophisticated and beautiful and still commands much of the world. We created a body of music, literature, art, science, technology, philosophy, sport, engineering, many, many good and useful things, that is the equal of, or better than anyone else, ever.
Probably one of the reasons I’m feeling uncomfortable writing this, is we also developed very good manners and a habit of self-deprecation. Sorry for letting the side down, but needs must… I shouldn’t mention this I know, but did you know the idea of an English gentleman, is still a thing in the world? Not here, of course, but out there it is…
We gave the world football and cricket and pubs…
As human beings go, we’re okay. Certainly no worse than anyone else. Those who say we are, they’re wrong. I know who I am, and I’ll bet you know who you are too. I live here and I want to carry on living here. This is my place. If you want to take it from me, you can sod off.
Who we are – good and evil.
I thought we would balk at them killing our children. I was wrong. One day, during the scamdemic, I watched a big strong man gently forcing a mask on his small, distressed son outside a testing station. Man: why were you hurting your child, not fighting for him?
This is why I’m angry. Not because it’s inconvenient, or difficult, or unpleasant, or even because it might kill me – lots of things might do that – but because it’s wrong.
Good and evil are a thing. I didn’t know that before, but I do now. It has been said that the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. That has become very visible. The comparisons to Nazi Germany are entirely apt. We all choose a side every day. Life or death. I come back to my anchor: measure the outcome. By its fruits, you may know it.
I am not Christian or Muslim or Sikh or anything, but I am anti-Malthusian. I want a word for that idea; a word that is a thing, not defined by its opposition to a thing. I am in favour of life and kindness and prosperity and love and freedom and happiness. If what you are doing is taking those things from me or others, then I oppose you. What you’re doing, whatever it is, is wrong.
We, those of us who live in these islands, have been known, in a muddled and imperfect way, to have some moral sense, some understanding of that is good and what isn’t, and to act on it. We’ve been so easy to manipulate because we all want to help and do the right thing. Perhaps we can start to actually notice what is good and what isn’t again, and act on that. God, I hope so.
Practical things – the left as the way forward.
I’ve been profoundly wrong about the value of some of the ideals of the right. You can forget your capitalism vs whatever; the issue is monopoly. Anything big, is dangerous. It might possibly be efficient and powerful and shiny, but it’s liable to lead to robbery, slavery and murder, because it’s big. Back to power again.
The alternative may be, will be, imperfect, but it’s a lot safer. I’m in a mild state of disbelief that I’m saying this, but I get why the Americans want to keep their guns now. They’re right: the state is dangerous.
I know it’s a very big thing to swallow, that our government in these isles is our enemy, but it is. It isn’t going to go away or back down just because we ask it nicely. It’s just robbed every single one of us and murdered a lot of us. There is no sane way back from that.
That means it has to be drastically reduced, and that means that we have to get used to paying for a lot of things directly again, not through taxes. Yes, it’ll hurt in some places and a lot of people will scream, but it still has to be done. We should do it.
My GP practice, a place I’ve never actually been and intend to avoid if at all possible, is in the habit of sending me texts telling me that they want to inject me with various substances for my own good, which I happen to know are either useless, or potentially deadly. And they do it like it’s up to them, not me. It’s got to stop, and that means it’s got to be me paying their wages, not the bastards from pfizeri who stole our government and then used it to steal our money to pay our doctors to do what they’re told.
I reluctantly think there’s no other way. And that goes for the rest of it too: health, education, social security. We have to go back to where we started out: an effective safety-net, not a universal provision.
I’m from the left and I’m accepting this now. I believe I’m not the only one.
i It is the opinion of the author that the name of the company is unworthy of capitalisation.
10 thoughts on “Slavery and the meaning of the Left – a personal perspective from an angry publican”
This is bang-on. Gut-punch truth and realistic about the role of the state. What we should seek is a state whose remit is to simply prevent evil. That’s a very different proposition to what has led us to today’s evil state – a state captured by corporate power and terrorising its citizens under the pretext of a doctrine of utilitarianism.
Kind of you to say so. I agree.
What a brilliantly written article. All my thoughts laid out in a fantastically articulate manner. Thank you 🙏
My pleasure, Sue. Thanks for saying so.
Great article. No utopias, no grand strategies, no isms. Just common sense without resorting to “multisyllabic tautology” (sorry about that, obviously I need a vaccine to cure me of that virus.)
Thanks. Yes, I fear isms. Wasn’t space to go into it, but I’d even say any amount of words of any kind will only get us so far. We will, or won’t, take back our lives on our own streets by what we do together physically on them.
Kropotkin figured it out a while back:
Kropotkin believed in a horizontal (that is, non-hierarchical) society made up of voluntary associations, where all wealth is socially owned, everyone has access to the necessities of life, and everyone owned their own means of subsistence.
It’s been all downhill since_ _ _ _ or should that be down the poo pipes?
I don’t know Kropotkin; I’ll have a read. Though I have a strong belief that we must work with what we have, and my experience of us, myself included, is that we are intrinsically hierarchical.
You’re in for a treat Rod.
Thanks Rod. I like your straightforward approach. To me, the social democratic values that are held dear to most people in the social democratic countries have been used against us, and there is the irony. This is what our past struggles have amounted to… Complacency has bred ignorance.
I agree the solutions have to come through a (real) Left. The very definition of left is the advocacy of democratic control of the wealth created by the people themselves. The Left is simply the total of all the different views of how to get there, how far that democracy goes and how it is exercised. We’re starting at a low base given the appalling ignorance of the majority of the working class of the latest bloodsucking projects of the ruling class.
I appreciate your call for action! As we work our way theoretically through what’s happening in capitalism we need to simultaneously be actively organising around what we can agree on within the freedom movement.