James O’Brien gave a talk at the RSA that caught my attention. His far-ranging talk eventually caught on Paul Dacre, executive editor of the Daily Mail. His comments ring true also of Trump and any of his oligarchic band that would seek to undermine democracy:
Remember he’s never spoken to any of these people; he never will. … He never has to buy new shoes; you know why? Because he never walks on anything other than carpet. He gets out of his chauffeur-driven car where he crosses about six foot of Kensington pavement and then he’s back in the executive suite of the Daily Mail. He gets back in his chauffeur-driven car. He gets taken to his club. He gets taken to his shooting estate in Scotland. He gets taken to his gated community.
He doesn’t speak to any of these people, but he tells them every day to be terrified, to be full of hate, to be angry, to be bitter, to blame their neighbour for everything that’s gone wrong in their life. He tells them every single day not to trust anyone, not to believe in the healing power of love and redemption and peace. He tells them “crush the saboteurs, enemies of the people. Academics can’t be trusted. Parliamentary sovereignty can’t be trusted. The rule of law, the High Court judges can’t be trusted.” Think about this list of institutions that a man whose entire career has been built on defending British values [has maligned]. He hasn’t got a British value left. He has maligned sovereign Parliament. He’s maligned functioning democracy as represented by MP’s who disagree with him - they’re the saboteurs. The enemy of the people are the High Court judges. That’s the rule of law that’s under attack. Freedom of the press? Not really.