The Coming Storm: Thinking about the fourth English Civil War

The assumption that we’re too civilised to fight a civil war again is wild hubris.

Battle of Naseby, by an unknown artist. The victory of the Parliamentarian New Model Army, under Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, over the Royalist army, commanded by Prince Rupert, at the Battle of Naseby (June 14, 1645)

For many years in the UK — perhaps as far back as 1979 — there has been a cold war at work within the country. When Margaret Thatcher spoke of ‘the enemy within’, she was merely saying out loud what had been policy for a long time. Any notion of left-wing thought or deed needed to be purged from British life in favour of a reactionary-flavour of politics which would have given Oswald Mosley a hard-on. The Big Bang — deregulation of the stock markets — along with the sell-off of council housing and the neutering of trade unions were all part of the same programme; the refashioning and flattening of what it meant to be British and, more specifically, English.

‘Money, money, money’ was the mantra, even as Tony ‘education education education’ Blair entered Downing Street, bringing with him the age of David Kelly’s death, millions on the street ignored, war after war — both at home and abroad — and the vilification of anyone outside a narrowly defined spectrum labelled ‘centrist’.

From the Brixton protests — always called riots by more supine media elements — the English cold war has often gone hot. But the Brexit referendum was when the forces of reactionary England mobilised in ways they had been scared to before. The death of Jo Cox, at the hands of a right-wing terrorist, was swept away quickly, with an understandable focus on ‘kindness’ allowing the most unkind goblins like Nigel Farage to still peddle fascism, red in tooth and claw, with barely a moment of political or media consideration that an elected politician was gunned down while doing her job. She deserved more. It was the first shot in the Fourth English Civil War. The next one is coming.

With a death cult in Downing Street, barrelling the country towards crashing out of trading arrangements with the EU, messing with the nation’s defences, and pushing through plans in the MOD to put the army on the streets in large numbers, things are about to get very ugly. The far-right has been allowed to become increasingly violent, offering up threats and following through on them, because many in the police are on their side and the prime minister and his aides, several drawn from the Spiked/Living Marxism/Battle of Ideas malignancy support the idea of a hot culture war.

I just urge you to be ready. It will not stop with the disgusting attacks on refugees and the distortion of every left-wing argument. They have attacked left-wingers often in the press and sometimes on the street. When the temperature rises with food shortages, more lockdowns, and military on the streets, the cold civil war will heat up to a boiling point.

Prepare yourself and the people you love.

Writer, editor and internet arguer.

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