In which the Guardian’s George Monbiot encounters the underclass and shows how his worldview is quite different from yours:
A group of us had occupied a piece of land on St George’s Hill in Surrey... Our aim had been to rekindle interest in land reform. It had been going well – we had placated the police, started to generate plenty of public interest – when two young lads with brindled Staffordshire bull terriers arrived in an old removals van. Everyone was welcome at the site and, as they were travellers, one of the groups marginalised by the concentration of control and ownership of land in Britain, we went out of our way to accommodate them. They must have thought they had died and gone to heaven.
Almost as soon as they arrived they began twocking stuff. A radio journalist left his equipment in his hire car. They smashed the side window. Someone saw them bundling the kit, wrapped in a stolen sleeping bag, into their lorry. There was a confrontation – handwringing appeals to reason on one side, pugnacious defiance on the other – which eventually led to the equipment being handed back. They wound their dogs up, making them snap and snarl at the other occupiers. At night they roamed the camp, staffies straining at the leash, cans of Special Brew in their free hands, shouting “fucking hippies, we’re going to burn you in your tents!”
We had no idea how to handle them without offending our agonised liberal consciences. They saw this and exploited it ruthlessly. Eventually the police solved the problem for us. Most of the cars parked at a nearby attraction had had their windows smashed and radios stolen, and someone had followed their lorry back to our site. As they were led away, my anarchist beliefs battled my bourgeois instincts, and lost.
Do read the whole thing. It brings a tear to the eye. And tune in next week when George tries to reason with the tattooed Neanderthal burgling his house.
Update, via the comments:
What’s almost – almost – touching is the implied revelation, i.e., that members of Designated Victim Groups, with which Guardianistas feel obliged to side whatever the particulars, can in fact be obnoxious and predatory scumbags. Apparently this thought hadn’t previously occurred to George and, by golly, the news troubles him. All of which suggests a well-rehearsed imperviousness to reality. One Guardian reader praises Mr Monbiot for his “refreshing honesty,” which rather gives the game away. Maybe George wrote the article to show us how difficult it is to be virtuous, indeed heroic, at least as he conceives such things. I suspect, though, that any moral lesson is quite different from the one intended. You see, George believes in sharing, by which of course he means taking other people’s stuff. Yet he’s remarkably unprepared for that favour being returned. Say, by two burly chaps with neck tattoos and ill-tempered dogs. And as these burly chaps were members of a “marginalised group,” and therefore righteous by default, George was expecting noble savages. Alas, ‘twas not to be.
Oh dear. Mr Monbiot is now being assailed on Twitter for writing such a “racist” article. However, the people doing the chastising – including an indignant, self-described “agitator” - have yet to explain exactly why the article is racist, despite being asked. One of the chastisers is a “Marxist, knitter and student of critical theory.”
Our moral and intellectual betters, obviously.