Sunday, 1 December 2013

Nigella is a Symbol of MetroLib Decline

Times come and go, but usually it takes the fall of a specific individual to crystallise in the minds of the people that an age has well and truly passed.

In the 1980s, a signal that the "greed is good" era had become passe was the conviction of the financiers Ivan Boesky and later Michael Milken for insider trading scandals. Now, it is at least arguable that the end of Metropolitan Liberal cultural predominance is symbolised by the fall from grace of Nigella Lawson. Of course, it should be stated that the allegations of drug taking made against her are unproven, but it hard to see how her "brand", to use the ghastly MetroLib phrase, has not suffered irreversible damage.

Nigella was the perfect symbol of MetroLib ascendancy - a media superstar who became fabulously wealthy from her own efforts, she personified the new go-getting successful woman who could "have it all". In many ways a very admirable individual, her fate may seem in some ways  rather unfair. If as alleged she did turn to substance abuse after personal tragedy, she is far from the first person to do so, and there are many members of her MetroLib tribe who are far more deserving of public ridicule - a certain T. Blair immediately springs to mind.

However, her travails are merely a symbol of something that has been apparent for some time - namely that the time of Metropolitan Liberal ascendency is coming to an end. As always happen when an elite goes into decline, the first stage is confusion and denial: the raging MetroLib blairite Dan Hodges, who fittingly seems to have switched his allegiance from the Labour to the Conservative Party, argues for a mere tactical retreat from Tory  "modernisation". This is just a temporary blip, you understand, and normal service will soon be resumed, particularly as the economy improves.

Well, maybe that is what life looks like from their North London bunkers, but the fact is the economy is not going to improve in any meaningful sense anytime soon, if ever. It's underlying structural weaknesses and  malign trends remain extant, as will become apparent once the sugar rush of Osborne's cynically engineered housing boom comes to an end.  Even with major structural reform, the huge debts we have accrued mean we simply can not afford the easy prosperity we once took for granted.

Whether we like it or not, our society simply can longer afford to be dominated by the insufferably smug, effete, emotionally driven impulses of the Metropolitan London elite any longer. Most people realise this, and are less and less willing to tolerate it's excesses.

I can not put it better than the commenter "Vampiresquidandchips" on the Telegraph blogs, who said in response to Hodges' delusions:

"The liberal progressive, soft-left politics of the North London elite belong to a decadent, whimsical era of economic boom and the ascendency of style over substance.

We live now in serious and dangerous times, requiring people of substance to take difficult decisions based on common sense and dealing with the world as it is, and not as we wish it were. The days when we could afford the luxury of having the country run by a cabal of light weight, posturing show ponies, all trying to solve global poverty one glass of champers at a time, are over."

For the MetroLibs, it will never quite be glad, confident self-adoring again.