Western world awash with Virtue Signalling on Ukraine

Boris Johnson in Kyiv

Today’s media is choked with Virtue Signals. Western world leaders, academics, reporters and commentators are falling over themselves to make a Virtue Signal in support of Ukraine. Mrs Biden, wife of the US President and co-conspirator in monumental crooked deals with Joe and his corrupt son Hunter, flies secretly to Kiev to meet Ukraine’s “first lady” on Mothers’ Day; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hated throughout the UK and whose party has just been massacred in local council elections, arrives unexpectedly in Ukraine for a media-covered walkabout (another piece of Virtue Signalling).

Jill Biden visits Olena Zelenska

So, you get the picture: Virtue Signals are empty pieces of anti-Russian, anti-Putin and pro-Ukraine propaganda. The aim of Virtue Signals is to convince people that “something is being done” about Ukraine when the truth is otherwise. Ukraine music is played by the media, and Ukraine flags are flown outside shops and houses.

People who participate in these pro-Ukraine activities are NOT to be criticised or condemned. They are following the climate of fear and loathing created by their leaders. They are expressing a moral and ethical outrage which has gripped the world. Their response is entirely understandable, but does that make it right?

Britain’s Labour leader unmasked

In London, the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers has disowned the current British Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, because he is “demonstrably not a socialist”. Who thought he was a socialist? Who thought Tony Blair, co-founder of New Labour, was a socialist? And whoever thought that Baron (Neil) Kinnock or Lord (Jim) Callaghan were socialists?

It’s pity there isn’t a Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers in Australia so they could expel Anthony Albanese because he isn’t a socialist either. “Albo” runs a two-faced race: he makes a warm, leftish speech one day for one audience – but the very next day he delivers a pro-business speech to suck up to the coupon-clippers in the boardrooms.

Starmer: Tory lite

At its AGM on 8 February 2021, the Haldane Society passed a motion that “Sir Keir Starmer QC MP does not qualify for membership of the Haldane Society because he is demonstrably not a socialist”.

The fact that the society’s founder, Lord Haldane, was once a Liberal who later became Lord Chancellor in Britain’s first Labour Government in 1924 is interesting but not consequential.

The recent black-balling of Starmer is related to “his appalling policy positions” and he will “not be permitted to rejoin the society unless and until his re-admittance is agreed by a future general meeting”, i.e. perhaps never.

The Society’s criticism of Starmer is mild when compared with the pasting he has received in another esteemed journal, Mid-East Eye, on 5 April 2021. “After a year in office, the British Labour leader is giving the Tories an easy ride while investing his energy in an all-out war on the party’s Left. At a time when Labour ought to be landing regular punches on the ruling Tory Party over its gross incompetence in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and cronyism in its awarding of multi-million-pound coronavirus-related contracts, Starmer has preferred to avoid confrontation. Critics have accused him of being ‘too cautious’ and showing a ‘lack of direction’. But British voters’ aversion to Starmer is not that he is ‘too cautious’ or lacklustre. Rather, they suspect he is politically dishonest.”

There is a direct echo of these remarks in Australia, and they are being said by ALP members and women protesters about Anthony Albanese. Former Labor leader Bill Shorten is one vocal critic of his successor and when women protesters are off-camera and talking among themselves, they often say: “What did Albanese say today? Nothing! He’s useless.” Then they may add cautiously: “But we can’t afford to get him off-side at the moment. He’s all we’ve got.”

Albo has the same disease

Like Starmer in Britain, Anthony Albanese is labelled as “too cautious” and yet he uses furious energy tearing the ALP apart to tame the Left. His supporters argue that once his message “cuts through”, voters will start to like him. Really?

Anthony Albanese: taming the Left

Once again, the British example is relevant. In February an internal review found that the public viewed Starmer’s party as “deliberate and cynical” in its evasiveness on policy questions. In other words, UK voters’ aversion to Starmer is not that he is “too cautious” and lack lustre, but rather that his team are “not being forthright and honest”.

Voters are left bewildered: either Starmer is covering up the fact that Labour under his leadership is an ideological empty vessel, or his party has clear policies but conceals them because it believes they would be unpopular.

Starmer appears to be “re-inventing” Labour with a new image. It is a Tory-lite party which is based on patriotism, the flag, veterans and dressing smartly. Hidden from Starmer’s master plan are core values which are anti-refugee, anti-Moslem and anti-union.

One newspaper correspondent captured the essence of Starmer’s new party when he wrote: “Starmerism has not defined itself in any sense beyond sitting on the fence.”

Another wrote: “If there is one consistent thread in Starmer’s first year, it has been a determined purging from the party of any trace of the left-wing politics of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, as well as a concerted effort to drive out many tens of thousands of new members who joined because of Corbynism.”

Worldwide anti-left trend

A cursory study of post-Shorten politics in Australia, and post-Bernie Sanders politics in the US, shows that a similar process is under way. Albanese is shredding the campaign policies of Bill Shorten, Joe Biden is handing control of the Democratic Party back to the Bill & Hillary Clinton machine, and Starmer has embraced Tony Blair’s worship of the City of London, NATO, Washington, the Pentagon and Wall Street.

Jeremy Corbyn: Unperson

Under Starmer, his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn has become an “Unperson”. To mention his name or his policies is to invite suspension or expulsion from the party. At the same time, special interest groups from the private sector are being welcomed to the party and its inner sanctum. Religious zealots, mostly people who are hostile to Labour values, now vet Labour members to decide whether they should be allowed to remain members, or be expelled. These are the kind of authoritarian policies that 20th century dictators used to silence their critics. At the General Election, Corbyn asked voters to “Rise like lions” and argued that “We are the many, they are the few”.

When that particular tidal wave breaks, Sir Keir and Lady Starmer would be smart to choose an overseas hideaway which does not have an extradition treaty with the UK.

The psychology of Scott Morrison

Everyone has some kind of priority in their lives. For some it is their partner and their family. For others, it is their job, a place where they receive optimal satisfaction.

I know others for whom family pets are the priority and they give them more loving care than their children. There are some people for whom their footy team – AFL, NRL or ARU, it doesn’t matter which code – is what they live for. You can recognise them by the beanies and war paint that they wear at weekends.

I prefer people who like books and cruising through bookshops. They are a minority but they represent a bastion against philistinism and anti-intellectualism, and that’s why we need them.

Scott Morrison: priorities

Ask a few simple questions and anyone’s inner-most priorities are laid bare.

  1. What is more important to Scott Morrison – the Liberal Party of Australia or the Pentacostal church? The answer is obvious: his Hillsong faith.
  2. Who is more important to Scott Morrison – his partner Jen or the victims of rape in Parliament House? The answer again is obvious: Jen.
  3. Does Scott Morrison care more about the Cronulla Sharks NRL team in his Sydney electorate of Cook, the Raiders or Brumbies in Canberra, or his own team of Cabinet ministers? Once again, the answer is obvious: footy comes first.
  4. Has Scott Morrison run out of ambition – or does his Hillsong faith tell him to aim higher and head for Washington DC as Australian ambassador or to New York as Australian delegate to the United Nations? The answer to this question is not clear yet.
  5. Morrison is insanely jealous of Senator Mathias Cormann’s plum job as secretary-general of the OECD in Paris and wants something similar. Washington DC or the Big Apple?

6 comments

  1. As always Alex you see clearly the shenanigans and political posturing of all sides of this world – the US Biden (and Hunter – what a give-away given name that is) and their support of the neo-Nazi ridden Ukraine and its long-term war on the Donbass – or proxy war against Russia and huge profits to its WMD industry); Boris and Labour-lite (I knew things were up there when “our” Adam Hills in his London late-night show began following the anti-Putin and scurrilously anti-Corbyn nonsense line) and here – yes – Scott and his Pentecultist allegiance – his faux love of “The Sharks” and references to Jen and the girls – the Hockey chap cuddling up to Trump while doing his mafia-like best in Washington DC, Matthias in Europe – what’s he up to on our national behalf one must ask? Thanks again. John Menadue, Tony Kevin, Caitlin Johnstone, Patrick Lawrence, John Mearsheimer – among the other names I follow … keeping me sane…

  2. Characteristic, valuable range of pithy insights from Alex. Yes we need but can’t find gutsy, visionary views from Albanese & Starmer though the former may get over the line because the empty bullying traits of Morrison have been exposed. The poison from the Murdoch media outlets creates fear even in the ranks of the so called Left. I’m not sure what that adjective means anymore, so perhaps Alex you’ll do an anthropological dig and paint the the principles of this phenomenon called the Left.

  3. Colleen just said, “What’s Alex got to say?”

    My reply: “He hasn’t got a good word to say about anybody.”

    Colleen came back quickly: “Oh! He’s got old.”

    Looks like we are all ageing. As much as I detest him, my pick is Albo.

    Best regards

    Tom

  4. Dear Alex, your rage is frightening. Aside from all the debate about disappointing paradigms of socialism, nazis versus communists, etc etc, I am simply horrified by yet another war which exposes the truth of bloodlust that seems an inevitability within humanity.

    My decision to be a socialist and more importantly, a pacifist (key to my later deep friendship with Arthur Boyd), began back in Adelaide when I was 18, prompted by personal trauma. It was 1962, when Russians came into the Bay of Pigs with their missiles to Cuba. My mother had lost her husband, my father, in a crashed Lancaster over Germany in February 1945. I was a baby. And so when she saw the screaming headlines that we were on the brink of another World War, she broke down, shaking with tears of grief saying she lost her beloved husband, and now faced the prospect of losing me too. I was 18, no siblings, ripe for conscription.

    So mum begged me to declare myself a pacifist or conscientious objector should that have come to pass. The irony is that just a few years later I became totally obsessed with Russian art , music and especially literature, reading everything I could lay my hands on. It changed my life, but what does that all mean now?

    The purely Socialist aspect was easier to account for. Mum respected Bob Hawke and his work with the trade unions, and we had a warm regard for Mick Young who she met during his political work in South Australia during the 1960s. And so in tribute to her, I remain a socialist to this day. Anyway Alex, I love you and Judith and your courage, you know that, but I have one question which worries me about your blog.

    Does anyone who expresses dismay from an ethical and humanitarian viewpoint about what is happening in Ukraine come under that lazy cliché Virtue Signalling, now used so much as a j’accuse just a bit too easily? I don’t know who reads your blogs, but am sure there are many who are genuinely distressed about the monstrous murderous horror that is going on. Are the things we read, hear and see on our televisions all merely an alarmist trick by appallingly useless leaders? It is just too simple, and even if only half is not false news the situation is catastrophic

    Does that personal story I related above make me a Virtual Signallist in your view? If so I would feel rather hurt, though I am sure you, a good man and true believer, never really intended your rage, born of disappointment with individuals who clearly should be better, to be taken this way.

    Best wishes Barry.

    1. Barry, I am mortified that you seem to think I was referencing you in any way in my piece on Virtue Signalling. I was definitely NOT. I was referring to those of our political leaders – and others who should know better – that their Virtue Signals are an excuse for doing nothing. I have the greatest respect for your commitment to pacifism and socialism. My blog was directed against the powerful in the West who could be working towards peace and disarmament but instead choose to use the war in Ukraine for their own purposes. I specifically say: “People who participate in these pro-Ukraine activities are NOT to be criticised or condemned…. They are expressing a moral and ethical outrage which has gripped the world.”
      But the context of this terrible conflict is complex, and central to it is the expansion of NATO, which is a warlike bloc whose leaders are now engaged in “Virtue Signalling” to cover their role in big power aggression and the military-industrial complex. They are the targets of my anger, not good citizens like you. I hope that this clarifies my position. If not, I am happy to answer any further comments that you wish to make.

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