New Internationalist

Who’s Left?

Issue 422

Anna Chen wonders quite what the difference is between Right and Left.

So here we are, poised in the middle of a perfect storm of revolutionary conditions with economic, social and ecological meltdown staring us in the face. All those years of flogging a dead paper to the ungrateful masses no longer look futile. With prospects for workers in the saddle never better, now’s the time for buns to hit leather and lead us to victory.

But where’s the International Rescue tendency when you need them? How come the Right is still calling the shots? Having done more than my fair share of scientific research into the matter, here’s my Ruff Guide to what might have gone wrong and why we are doo-o-omed!

Society: Right – you hate the unwashed scum but look after your own. Left – you care deeply about the Plight Of The Masses out there but hate the real people around you.

Family: Right – family first, everyone else can go swivel. Left – forget the family, it’s the masses that count.

Workers’ Rights: Right – you attack trade unions and exploit your own workers. Left – you support trade unions and exploit your own workers.

Transport: Right – happy to give lifts in your flash car but begrudge spending taxes on public transport. Left – you support public transport, drive a car, but won’t give anyone a lift.

Arts: Right – being cultured, you encourage anyone to excel but resent public spending on arts. Left – you will book chums and established artists for events, but screw that bourgeois individualistic asshole in my branch who sacrificed their artistic career for the cause.

Comedy: Right – you believe in public decorum but will happily tell outrageous and offensive jokes in private. Left – you support freedom of speech but come crashing down on anyone who even breathes heavily at a shibboleth… unless expediency dictates otherwise.

Truth: Right – you hate the traitor who signed that confidentiality clause and now has a best-selling book all about you and your little foibles, but you love insider-trading. Left – you love the whistle-blower, unless the organization they’re blowing is your own.

Sexism: Right – sexism? What’s wrong with being sexy? Left – you condemn sexism in all forms but snicker over ‘horizontal recruitment’. And get the little lady to make a cup of tea while you’re at it. Earl Grey. With a slice of lemon… comrade.

If you’re on the Left and none of this describes your own behaviour, well done. You win a red star. Shame I never met you.

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