It’s Not Far-Right, It’s Counter-Culture

by Sean Bw Parker (July 2024)

Socialist Fraternal Kiss, Gheorghe Virtosu (2017)


As mainstream progressive culture goes ever further left, more and more people in the centre or right are being labelled ‘far-right.’ This progressive culture has been taught for decades, in that if boundaries aren’t constantly being torn down, progress isn’t being made. Most attitudes in the centre/right haven’t changed, but the left demands they do, since they control the majority of the media that considers itself ‘respectable.’

The current situation is the result of a now decades-long cultural revolution started by Tony Blair after his landslide election win in 1997. His New Labour policies were the seedlings of progressive ‘woke’ culture, but only got that tag during the Black Lives Matter movement in the late 2010s (in a hijacking of that cultures’ much older term).

Blair’s inversion and corrosion of the traditional right and left was evidently welcomed by the electorate at the time, but with huge increases in immigration over the same period, the social tensions resulting were soon felt. Subsequent politicians have all seemed to be ‘Blair’s children,’ following (or exploiting) the new identity politics for their own various purposes.

All this coincided with the Silicon Valley-originated tech revolution, as the internet made the right to reply as important—and often moreso—than the original messaging. This right to reply escalated the conspiracy theorising of the likes of JFK by Oliver Stone or The X Files through 9/11, and on to a basic questioning of all ‘legacy’ media, resulting in what is colloquially called ‘conspiracy theorist’ as a social slur.

So, the original counter-culture of the 1960s, which moulded Blair’s views, morphed into a questioning of official establishment narratives. This ‘basket of deplorables’ (Hillary Clinton) contains Donald Trump’s MAGA supporters, David Icke fans, a legion of genuine first-generation hippies, Jeremy Corbyn’s Momentum types and a million other subsects.

Amusingly, due to their distrust of the official narrative over revelations about the Iraq War, Julian Assange, the Postmasters scandal and numerous more, these people are increasingly labelled ‘far-right’ when they get lively. Comedian, actor and now political commentator Russell Brand is a key figure in this group. Meanwhile traditional Conservatives—maybe embodied in Jacob Rees-Mogg—ignore these ‘culture wars’ unless pushed, pretending they’re not happening as they are gradually run into the ground by the new establishment.

But the new folk devils aren’t all just in one media basket. Top tier hate figures include Enoch Powell, Nick Griffin, Tommy Robinson, Katie Hopkins, Laurence Fox, and Nigel Farage. Second tier hate figures are more Julia Hartley-Brewer, Rees-Mogg, Suella Braverman, Douglas Carswell, Calvin Robinson, Dan Wootton, Brand, and Jeremy Clarkson. Political colour or evidence of genuine ‘hatred’ isn’t necessary for membership of either of these clubs, but a dogged adherence to human, natural or common sense can be.

The old divisions of upper, middle and working class have been turned into something new, while the establishment media pretends that they still exist. All those traditional class castes contain the identifications of ‘woke’ establishment, counter-culture or traditionalist, but the steady drip of identity politics has mixed the colours in new palettes. Money or family connections are not the dividers that they once were: attitude towards blatant establishment manipulation have taken their places.


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Sean Bw Parker is a British writer, artist and musician, born in Exeter in 1975. He gained a Masters degree in Fine Art from the University for the Creative Arts in 2003, following which he lived in Istanbul for ten years until 2014 where he gave TEDx talk ‘Stammering and Creativity,’ and also lectured at Istanbul University. He has published several books, poems, albums and paintings, won a number of Koestler Arts awards and a Perrie Lectures essay award.

He has been published by the Westminster Commission, T.S. Eliot Foundation, Time Out Istanbul, Louder Than War, and appeared at the Brighton Science Festival, the University of Bristol, BIMM and others. He has interviewed Julie Burchill, Ed Harcourt, Kristin Hersh, Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds and Sarah Blackwood of Dubstar, hosted shows by The Members, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and Eat Static at his Seafish music and arts venue in 2016, and was interviewed for a Sky Arts documentary in the same year. He curated the Chi-Signs, Blakefest and Wildefest mini-festivals between 2015 and 2017, and has been involved with numerous other exhibitions and live events.

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