Throughout its existence capitalism employed a team of protectors to guard its reputation. The protectors cannot defend capitalism’s destructive effects via didactic reasoning or via logic. They must, by necessity, use deception.
One deceptive tactic used by protectors is to nudge focus onto poor behaviour by individuals, single businesses or single countries and to claim the behaviour is the exception and should not be understood as proof of capitalism’s intrinsic criminality.
It is not a new tactic. In 1980 Milton and Rose Friedman’s book ‘Free to Choose: A Personal Statement’ argued that the American public falsely perceived the depression (of the 1930s) to be a result of a failure of capitalism rather than, as the Friedmans claimed deceptively, the result of ineptitude of particular capitalists.
It suits beneficiaries of exploitative free-racketeering if all critical eyes are on the aptitude for governance of politicians (or lack thereof). If prevailing debate discusses the extent of politicians’ capabilities, intelligence, honesty, morality or ethics then systemic exploitation evades blame and its effects evade inspection.
Willingly, or via an absence of critical thinking, alleged opponents of extreme exploitation are easily led away from what should be their targets and onto circular and pointless investigations of side issues.
Boris Johnson’s Special Adviser Chloe Westley, an alumnus of Ron Manners’ Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, is well-trained and skilled in feeding stories to obsequious media and “opposition” politicians, stories that have the appearance of being critical of Johnson or exposing his wrongdoing but have the intent of nudging focus. The fact these stories pretend to be problems for Johnson allows “opponents” an excuse to be led by the nose.
Members of the centrist gloop, particularly Guardian’s Marina Hyde, enjoy comfortable careers as regular and frequent essayists on Johnson’s shenanigans. Their satire and witticisms sit beside crafted expressions of despair and annoyance at refurbishment, at smirks, at duplicity, at anti-intellect and at laziness.
This year (2022) several new acts of parliament will gut liberty, freedom, justice and democracy from British society, Tories are destroying the NHS deliberately as a ruse to make a claim that privatisation is needed, the Brexit heist’s consequences get progressively worse, and Shanker Singham is planning his fascist charter cities, but news outlets fill their space with gossip and complaints about misbehaviour.
Murdoch hack Matthew Parris‘ skillset has a single element: Convince news outlets and, to a lesser extent, the public that he is detached from and elevated above political trends in journalism, whether centrist, liberal, conservative or libertarian. However, Parris is embedded as deeply and as rigidly as is possible to be in the complicit hole of media support for establishment rhetoric.
On 8th January 2022 in Rupert Murdoch’s The Times, Parris went after Boris Johnson. The only motivation for his decision to “eviscerate” Johnson was Murdoch’s realisation that the Etonian has outlasted his usefulness and needs to be replaced with a more focussed extremist libertarian such as Liz Truss, Steve Baker or Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“Evisceration” was used plentifully by commentators (Journalists and politicians) as a means of praising Parris. Their shared compliment was inspired party by the incestuous nature of British journalism and partly by their support for a perspective that isolates an individual – Johnson – as the cause of all ills as a ruse to absolve systemic causes.
In Parris for Times the author’s key objective was not to denigrate Johnson but to excuse others, all of whom are at least as culpable, and some more so, than the prime minister.
Parris expressed sympathy for contributors to exploitation whom he cast as victims by association with Johnson. His list included David Cameron, Theresa May, Jo Johnson, Dominic Cummings, Lee Cain, Robert Buckland, Julian Smith, Theresa Villiers, Esther McVey, Andrea Leadsom and Arlene Foster.
According to Parris the people he listed “have this in common: For a while their lives touched Boris’s, after which they stormed, wobbled, were kicked, staggered, limped or walked away, variously embittered, alienated, vengeful, damaged, broken or resolved to turn the page.”
He presented the old con-trick of blaming a person not the political system and he took it to its limit. “When contemplating this column I was asked whether we might finally step back from close focus on the present prime minister, look more widely at rascality and high public office and draw some general conclusions. But I must conclude that there are none. Johnson is a one-off.”
The reality is that Johnson is a cog in the machine. He had a single purpose – obtain a parliamentary majority which he achieved in 2019 – and afterward his role was cheerleader, distractor and fool. It was necessary for him to have an abject lack of cognizance of morality, ethics and humanity as much as it was necessary for him to be shamelessly stupid. Those around him are more dangerous. Libertarian fascism of Truss, Baker, Raab, Rees-Mogg, Gove, etc. will destroy society and democracy in UK.
Parris picked out a few of Johnson’s associates whom he claimed were undone by Johnson.
David Brownlow paid well via donations for his peerage he received in 2019. In 2020 he paid for refurbishment of Johnson’s flat in Downing Street, the details of which were kept hidden from investigators. Brownlow is as guilty as Johnson, but Parris said he was “now caught in a stupid and horrible web of Downing Street’s making, his name plastered across the newspapers.”
Christopher Geidt, a member of House Of Lords, is a standard obsequious lickspittle who does what his employers ask for including sitting on Sultan Of Oman’s Privy Council, a paid role he declined to declare as required by parliamentary rules for MPs and peers.
Geidt was appointed by Johnson to be Independent Adviser On Ministers’ Interests with the intent to deny wrongdoing by Johnson, a task that Geidt performed to instruction, but Parris indulged in cringeworthy PR for the establishment gofer: “Geidt will have thought his present post offered quiet stature and the interesting challenge of an almost judicial role. Picture him this weekend, accused of playing patsy to a furtive PM who allowed him to be misled: The whole thing will disgust and sadden a man who has built his reputation on discretion.”
Self-described “libertarian conservative” Tory MP Paul Scully was a director of a lobbying business and tabled a question in parliament on behalf of one of the business’ clients. He filibustered a bill in parliament that sought to stop fire-and-rehire exploitation.
Parris blamed Johnson for Scully’s presentation in media interviews of Johnson’s lies rather than blaming Scully for lying. “Paul Scully was put up on the airwaves to defend the prime minister. He did the job in the only way you can: by asserting the unassertible and making himself look like an idiot. This will not destroy Scully’s career, but he’ll be remembered for the first time he came to our attention — and not in a good way.”
Etonian Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Minister, is a libertarian activist. He is directly involved in several extreme think-tanks and lobby groups including Le Cercle. He is as committed to acute concentration of wealth as any politician is able to be.
When Tory MP Owen Patterson was found guilty by Parliamentary Committee On Standards Kwarteng attacked Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone and said she should “decide her position“. However, Parris, again, claimed “this wasn’t Kwarteng’s idea.”
Parris is a straightforward conman. We have the most anti-democratic and most right-wing government since Wellington’s government in 1820s/30s. Johnson had a role that is now spent. What will follow will be worse and Parris is part of its marketing team.