The calling out of Tory MP Suella Braverman by the Board of Deputies of British Jews has clearly caught some out there on the right off guard, and one who has been caught in the style of a rabbit in the headlights is Fraser Nelson, editor of the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine, which of late has been a by-word for the publication of bigotry.
Nelson was dismissive of the thought that “Cultural Marxism” is a loaded expression which might sound alarm bells in Britain’s Jewish community. “How absurd. The standard phrase ‘cultural Marxism’ - so old I was taught about it at uni - is labelled an antisemetic [sic] conspiracy theory (the power of Wikipedia editing!). So an MP with a Jewish husband is cast as an antisemite” he sniffed. See, it’s no more than a “standard phrase”!
The ridicule was not long in arriving, Ross McCafferty’s response being typical: “Asking her why she used a phrase that, no matter its origins, is a buzzword for the far-right, is not unreasonable … But then you publish racists and a proud anti-semite every week so who is counting?” Nelson does, it is true, still give a berth to Taki Theodoracopulos.
Following that, the Tweeter known as Scottish Panda asked “Can you go and correct the Jewish Board Of Deputies then Fraser? Let me know whether you are successful”. Or probably not. But there was a good reason that Nelson might be defensive: his magazine has veered over the Cultural Marxism line before. And the culprit is well known.
To no surprise at all, the loathsome Toby Young is that culprit, having penned the article “If I were a cultural Marxist, I might be thinking about giving up”. It ultimately pins the label on what Tobes calls, with his customary subtlety, “Labour’s fifth columnists”. The article has a photo of Ed Miliband - who is Jewish - at its head. And there is this conclusion.
Well, look who's been talking Cultural Marxism
“I had lunch with a senior Conservative party figure a week before polling day  and he was concerned about the impact of the long march through Britain’s institutions. He thought the cultural Marxists might have succeeded in creating a climate of opinion in which far-left policies like price controls, a wealth tax, the seizure of private property by the state and so on, were now politically acceptable”. Most revealing.
"Cultural Marxism" and Jewish politician. Whistle those doggies!
Toby Young writes a piece about “Cultural Marxism”, with a Jewish politician portrayed in its heading, then talks of “Labour’s fifth columnists”, the “long march”, and “the far-left”. The dog-whistling is so shrill as to be not merely obvious, but genuinely disturbing.
Keep on digging, Tobes
Worse, the only credible alternative take on the expression “Cultural Marxism” is no less poisonous. Ben Whitham has told “As some Tories & right-wing journos are still scrabbling to defend @SuellaBraverman / claim '#CulturalMarxism' is not an antisemitic conspiracy... @TMirrlees_ researched this at length and gave an excellent paper on it last [year]”.
And look who the cat dragged in
Tanner Mirrlees’ paper considers the use of the phrase by the Alt-Right in US political discourse. To no surprise at all, Steve Bannon was an early adopter. And Mirrless concludes “Overall, I argue that the alt-right’s discourse of cultural Marxism is an instrument of intersectional hate”. Not much has changed since the Nazis, then.
Fraser Nelson is attempting to defend the indefensible. He’s totally out of order.
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