Realpolitik (see also Political realism; from German: real “realistic”, “practical” or “actual”; and Politik “politics”) refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical considerations, rather than ideological notions or moralistic premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism.
"Manchmal werden Leute den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen."

Monday, 28 November 2011

029- My Tram Experience

It has been a while since we have posted onto Realpolitik, but the following event has finally jolted us into writing again.

So the following Youtube video by user ladyk89 is growing rapidly in viewer numbers, and is now one of the top-trends on Twitter today: #MyTramExperience, in which we are all treated to a cheap and foul-mouthed tirade from a Bigoted Briton. 

Cheap is the correct valuation of her diatribe, against all of the so-called ethnic minorities aboard a tram car in Croydon, Greater London. Cheap, is also the correct term to describe the intellectual value of the types of British tabloids who have served as the catalyst for this type of outburst in the post-9th September 2011 world we now inhabit. (I'm looking at you publishers of The Sun, The Daily Mail and the Daily Express for starters.)

Whilst it would of course be truly ignorant of me to insinuate that xenophobia finds its roots in the the inception of the War on Terror, there is no doubt in my mind that there has been a a more marked focus on the presence of non-Whites in British/Western society ever since that fateful day. Discourse since that point in time surrounding human migration, has mainly focused on the so-called 'threat from within' from those with origins from without

The female antagonist must surely be psychologically disturbed. Evidently, the short video clips gives us no cues as to why she decided it would be appropriate for her outburst to start on a crowded tram- in the south of the most ethnically diverse metropolis in the United Kingdom, if not the world- but no rational human being would flout public decorum in such a manner.* 

UNHELPFUL: The Sun and its headlines designed to whip up public ire against immigrants, with myths of overcrowding.
Thinking on a tangent, I wonder which aspect of this video the The Sun and the Conservative Party consider a symptom of Broken Britain? If you have followed their dialogue over the last five years at least, once their rage about the sexual exploits, drugs consumption and social failings of inner-city teenagers had subsided, talk often moved onto repeated calls for "frank" and "honest" discussions about the effects of mass immigration. What they seem ready to gloss over though, are the vile outbursts from people such as this woman. Some people like to suggest that non-white members of society purposely disenfranchise themselves from others. This of course, is an odious and simplistic suggestion which does nothing to address a social phenomenon which is more a question of exclusion rather than isolation. This behaviour has developed from historical social contexts which prevail into the present day, a topic which will be discussed in the near future. (1)

Let me make it clear; I am all for "frank" and "honest" discussions about migration. What I am not all for is the type of behaviour demonstrated in the video. I find it somewhat incomprehensible that on a superficial level, Britons seem to be incapable of talking about something as natural and ultimately innocuous as the (free) movement of people, without either frothing at the mouth or spinning a tale about the dangers of the darkie. Social commentators and laypeople alike, need to realise that before they begin to blame arbitrary social and economic problems on the presence of non-Whites, they should first look at their own circumstances.

I think it's safe to say that tabloid journalists are employed, and the more they write about topics which tap into the inner-most insecurities of their audiences, the more money they will continue to make. I also think it is a fairly reasonable assumption to make that the majority of people who may choose to purchase one of these newspapers, also possess a degree of disposable income. I realise with the former case, that income could be the result of either employment or welfare, but the point is, it may be safe to assume they are not financially destitute. In the light of this, why then, are these people complaining about other people earning money? Why are they complaining about them having houses? Why are they complaining about them going about their daily business, in as anonymous a fashion as humanly possible?
UNHELPFUL: The Daily Mail and it's usual scaremongering surrounding the presence of "outsiders"

It is this type of behaviour -this aggravating commentary which dishes out limited and insular perceptions of the British nation- which is the catalyst for the type of outburst that the above woman exhibited, or the behaviour of the likes of the EDL.

The only slant that I can offer against the target of the tirade in the video, is that although she challenged the antagonist, she adopted a lowly position when explaining the reason why she was in the country. When that woman gained the right to work, the only person she ought to feel compelled to answer to are the authorities. It is a widely banded about myth that immigrants (solely) take on the jobs that people born in Britain turn their noses up to. A job is a job at the end of the day, and the female challenger ought to have more pride in her employed status, rather than feigning subservience in order to pacify a bigot.

At the end of it all, I still find myself pitying those who harbour racist (political) sensibilities. Not so much because of the perennial hatred for other human beings, and the amount of energy they must expend in doing so, but more because of their consistent inability to express their point of view in a generally palatable manner.

As a proud and staunch advocate democratic society, I believe that every opinion has the right to be heard. What parliament and society must strive for, are more opportunities to establish a level platform for genuine and profound discussion; to air the dirty laundry. Because the longer we continue to gloss over the cracks of a society of which certain elements are desperate to be heard- no matter how extreme their views- these random, gratuitously violent outbursts will only increase in frequency.

There can be no platform given to violent political and social expression of any form, for this is the antithesis of democracy.

In closing, I stand by my assertion that the vile woman in this video is deranged. There is nothing about her outburst which evokes the sense of her being a reasonable individual. Negative discourse on human migration has its place in our society and I wish that the current government of the day had adopted a more intellectual approach than making a sweeping declaration that multiculturalism had failed. (Both Cameron's and Merkel's commentaries on this issue, seem to me to be a case of European social protectionism, in the face of economic uncertainty for the masses, but this is a topic for another day.(2) It is that type of narrow-minded expressionism, which feeds the irrationality of violent xenophobes throughout society.

When the female aggressor is handed a suitable punishment by the law courts, a useful next step would be to educate her on the appropriate method of expressing one's opinion in society. Additionally, provision to ensure her child does not spiral down the same path of hatred would go a long way to improving his future prospects. I am already sorry that that poor child will one day have to witness the video of his mother demonstrating the worst aspects of British society.

Realpolitik will be making a special emphasis on posting entries surrounding national identity, migration and demographics in the hope of doing our bit to foster constructive, democratic debate surrounding the essence of the British (nation-)state, and to allow a platform for people to express their views.

We welcome you to continue the debate, as we enter into a new phase of posting on Realpolitik.


*As per this comment from the original uploader of the video, the female antagonist may well have been psychologically challenged, as according to this, she had allegedly been abusing the tram passengers for 20 minutes.

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