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Friday, 11 March 2016

Cursed with celebrity principles

That she was “advanced” you could also postulate, but “advanced” in a strange way that would make her all the more dangerous, if only to small circles;. You would know, if you happened to know the type, that she would have “principles” that at odd moments would wreck enterprises, homes, or the lives of friends — always for the purest of motives.
Ford Madox Ford - The Marsden Case (1923)

This morning found this humble blogger sitting in the dentist’s waiting room reading a Daily Mail piece about celebrities who are in favour of immigration but highly unlikely to experience any of its negative impacts. People such as Stephen Fry and Helena Bonham Carter who live in the most agreeable surroundings and proclaim political principles with no possible impact on their own lives. Unfortunately those same principles may well have an impact on the lives of other, lesser mortals.

Oddly enough I’m in what could just about be called a similar situation. Here in former coal mining areas there has been very little local immigration. I’m not sure why, houses are cheap, but whatever the reason it would be mildly dishonest of me to demand mass immigration or make a case against it. Immigration has barely affected me in any direct sense.

I suppose the difference is that over time it could affect this area and another difference is that I’m not a wealthy celebrity, not in that enviable position where it doesn’t matter either way. The point to be made is not so much about immigration, but about proclaiming principles which are really virtue signals emitted simply because they can be emitted without any personal risk of negative repercussions. Those repercussions are left for others to deal with. To my mind it is one of the more loathsome aspects of celebrity culture.

6 comments:

DCBain said...

I have nothing but contempt for champagne socialists. They wear their hypocrisy alongside their smug grin of "look at me, I'm an egalitarian".

Sam Vega said...

Agreed. Apart from being insulated from the effects of the policies they promote, there is the other major objection to these celebrities. They don't actually know anything about the topics that they sound off about. Helena B-C is a decent actress with good bone structure. Stephen Fry is an average actor who makes a living by pretending to be a sort of bumbling professorial aesthete in real life. Why they know more about immigration (or anything) than the average mouthy cabbie is beyond me.

Roger said...

Slebs play at being something they are not, they dress up and spout words they do not mean and they do this job very well. But you wouldn't ask one to mend a tap or repair an economy, but with a bit of a script and a spot of makeup they can look as if they could.

Politics is acting for ugly people, so what better than to trot out well practised and good looking people instead. People who have a ready made image in the public mind that is uncorrupted by lying and failure. So slebs are ideal fodder to be trotted out in front of a gullible public. As for payment, nothing so vulgar, just the hint of a gong or a garden party.

wiggiatlarge said...

Here is another example of virtue signalling coming from people who would not have clue about the real problems involved in mass migration.....

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/fresh_calls_for_authorities_in_norfolk_to_take_in_refugees_from_syria_1_4444573

only in cut off Norfolk could you find people like this almost certainly Lib Dems and Greens, with not a scintalla of knowledge about what is going on in the rest of Europe regarding immigrants, and of course we have the dubious plus of Stephen Fry living here as well.

Demetrius said...

The lifeblood of the celebrity and politician classes is publicity. Without it they are nothing. So what they say is what they think they need to say to get it. What their reaction might be if someone opened a coal mine in their village and imported a few hundred miners would be interesting.

A K Haart said...

DCB - and seem to be unconscious of the hypocrisy. Still puzzles me at times.

Sam - odd though isn't it? As if they merely learn the lines and there is nothing much left to examine the lines.

Roger - "Politics is acting for ugly people" ha ha, I've noticed that too. I have a draft post along those lines.

Wiggia - I can't get the link to load but I'm sure I have the gist of it. I think much of it is the insulating power of money and comfort. It cuts people off from the harsh realities of life.

Demetrius - I agree, they speak for effect because that's what the celebrity business requires of them. In the end it probably becomes a habit.