The Seventies student Communists and Trotskyists who surrounded Tony Blair now surround David Cameron, but in alliance with the Eighties hired help of apartheid South Africa and Pinochet's Chile, many of whom were at least sympathetic towards Blair. This Red-Brown, Molotov-Ribbentrop arrangement is now our permanent government, and we are all supposed to be terribly pleased about that. For such, apparently, is "the centre ground".
There are two models for this sort of thing. One is in Northern Ireland, and the other is in South Africa. Give that some time to sink in. However divided Great Britain may have been in the Seventies and Eighties, a comparison with Northern Ireland or South Africa during the same period does seem just a little on the hyperbolic side. Anyone would think that the people seriously suggesting such a thing had no experience beyond the sectarian Left or the sectarian Right. Yet were now running the country.
In Northern Ireland, we see the centre ground defined as a carve-up between Sinn Féin and the DUP. Sinn Féin may have been happy to take the coin of the gullible Reagan Administration, but its ties to the Soviet Union for as long as there was such a thing, as well as to Libya and elsewhere, are hardly any sort of secret, nor ever have been. The original UVF certainly had ties to mainland Fascism, whether that mainland was the British one or the European one (it had aboriginal ties to Prussianism). The UDA's flirtations with Ulster independence were part and parcel of its links to the National Front. Lo and behold, something toned down but essentially similar became the position of the Ulster Resistance, its beret worn by Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson. (The integrationist wing of the UUP had connections to the Monday Club and to Western Goals through figures such as Martin Smyth and Robert Bradford, and indeed Western Goals had a sideline in spreading Bradford's beloved British-Israel theory. But the disappearance of that little world is exemplified by the gravitation of Enoch Powell's erstwhile bag man, Jeffrey Donaldson, to the DUP.)
In South Africa, a party controlled by the Soviet Union to the bitter end, but very much like the French one in not being beyond denunciations of glasnost and perestroika in spite of that, considerably extended the lifetime of apartheid by holding to that position. The "centre ground" initially entailed the deal between that ANC and the National Party led by F W de Klerk, the more hardline leadership candidate when he had won, whose wife had called the Cape Coloureds "non-persons", and who stood foursquare in the tradition that went (and goes) back through B J Vorster's Hitler memorial to Eric Louw's ban on German-Jewish refugees and beyond. The National Party has since been subsumed into the ANC, which may not be criticised. The far more effective opposition to apartheid - non-racial, non-violent, non-Marxist and pro-Commonwealth - is almost completely forgotten. Whites leaving South Africa are often heading for Australia, just as National Party leaders used to mock the Progressive Federal Party as "Packing For Perth". Is fleeing to an English-speaking country with the Queen as Head of State the behaviour of Afrikaner ultra-nationalists?
Not very long ago, electoral support for Sinn Féin was barely higher, as a proportion, than for sectarian Left parties in Great Britain, while the DUP was restricted to an electoral if not an actual ghetto, much as the BNP is now. White South Africans had viable electoral alternatives to the National Party, so would have had any voice, and that usually categorised as Liberal (but in fact far more Radical), if the National Party had ceased to function. It was of course impossible to measure support for the ANC, since most of its supporters had no vote. But it seems highly unlikely that all those agrarian churchgoers were generally Stalinists, or really thought that they were voting for the Communism-cum-corruption that they now endure. Yet look at the Northern Irish and South African situations now.
And look at our own. Who voted Labour realising that it meant rule by the Seventies student Communists and Trotskyists, with the Eighties hired help of apartheid South Africa and Pinochet's Chile also hanging around? Who next year will vote Tory realising that it means rule by both of those elements, now best friends? Who has ever heard of the high society, high politics Euston Manifesto Group of sectarian Leftists, or the high society, high politics Henry Jackson Society of sectarian Rightists? Never mind heard of the small number of Red-Browns, of Molotov-Ribbentrops, whose names appear on both lists? And who are now fulsome, if quite beyond parody, in their cheerleading to make Tony Blair President of the EU.
The worst is yet to come.