It would be an extremely peculiar predilection to wander the streets gathering a variety a dog excrement remains, displaying them to the public neatly arranged and declaring the presentation not only as art but as a seminal piece that portends a new exciting art movement. Equally, it would absurd to handpick the most predictable quantity-over-quality professional trolls and self-appointed opinion-deliverers, who occupy the range of political perspectives from right-of-centre to far right-of-centre, provide yet another vehicle for them to spout their non-didactic drivel and announce that a new platform for disseminating ideas has been gifted to humanity. Perhaps, some artist, somewhere, at some time, has created art similar to the aforesaid faeces manipulation – I am not an art historian and have no desire to be one; what is certain is that someone, namely right-wing think-tank veteran Tim Montgomerie, has inflicted further bouts of spontaneous lobotomies with the creation of Unherd.
There is no shortage of possibilities online for anyone with an opinion, or even with useful information and analysis, to speak to the world. Indeed, some of the blogs, vlogs, facebook accounts, periscoping, etc. are often much better and fuller sources of news and/or more rounded analyses that most of the professional output and Montgomerie knows this. He knows that his description of UnHerd’s aims is about ten years late. He knows that his use of both ‘unherd’ and ‘unheard’ is the opposite of what UnHerd offers: The invited columnists’ list is as bland and as predictable as the comedy of Dec and Ant and is definitely not a gathering of the ‘unheard’ – centrist sniping of Bloodworth, far-right new colonialism of Douglas Murray, a few MPs and MSPs self-promoting – and a ‘herd’ (or a less polite collective noun like ‘stench’) would be apt for this group. Unherd is, indubitably, ‘heard’ and a ‘herd.’
In Montgomerie’s introduction he states one of Unherd’s topics will be “making capitalism work for the many.” It is undeniable that he doesn’t mean the same as Jeremy Corbyn’s slogan “for the many.” Montgomorie and his fellow opinionators know that capitalism is, by invention and by use, designed to work for the few and, thus, the phrase quoted above espouses the intrinsic dishonesty at the heart of Unherd’s ethos.
What is the point of Unherd?
It is just another label that can be used by the contributors (and Unherd’s financial backers) to con the media into giving yet more opportunities for the same tired old confidence trickster opinions to be broadcast. That is it.