Tell me: does this passage from American director Spike Lee’s recent rant against the gentrification of Brooklyn not sound like a press release from UKIP?
‘I’m for democracy and letting everybody live but you gotta have some respect. You can’t just come in when people have a culture that’s been laid down for generations and you come in and now shit gotta change because you’re here? Get the fuck outta here.’
Admittedly it’s a little street for Nigel Farage. But reread it with a Bucks bray and it’s pretty bang on; the voice of Little England undeniably rings out. In fact, if anything, it’s the kind of thing that New UKIP might find a little extreme. A little media-unfriendly. It’s the voice of Godfrey Bloom really.
And yet, the Guardian – among others – have endorsed it. That’s what’s happened to the radical Left. They’ve shifted to the right of the Right. It is inevitably where the anti-gentrification message leads. Being anti-immigration on a local level is the same as being anti-immigration on a national level. The difference is just one of degree – and often race.
And believing in preserving a community on the grounds that it’s been there a long time does not automatically become a Leftwing idea just because those communities happen to be brown or black, not white. Wanting to preserve cultures in aspic is called being a conservative. (The clue’s in the name.) A very old-fashioned conservative. And amazingly, Spike Lee is their latest recruit: