Sunday, November 12, 2006
A right wing Tory, yesterday.
I am often accused, by various people, of being aggressive and ethnocentric, a hard right nutter - someone obsessed with identity, race, nation, culture, immigration and all that.
Usually I reject these accusations, and dish out insults of my own to the lefties (who usually deserve them). However the other day when I was having a pint with some lefty friends, it occurred to me that these accusations are also partly true. Themes of race, nation, culture and identity are the ones that interest me the most.
Why is this? Is it because I am actually a Nazi?
No, I think it’s because I’m a soldier ant. One of the soldier ants in the ants’ nest that is Britain.
Here’s my theory (bear in mind this was born in a pub).
I reckon members of a tribe, a culture, a nation - like ours - can be broken up into types and roles, just as ants are divided by role in a nest. And basically there are two kinds of ant. The worker ants and the soldier ants.
The soldier ant’s job is to defend the nest (the tribe, the nation). So he is very attuned, genetically, to any threat that might be aimed at the nest (the country, the tribe). Sometimes he is over-sensitive, and thinks the nest is being attacked by pebbles, rain, or harmless earthworms. But other times he, the soldier ant, is right - that distant trembling really is a bunch of termites hell bent on conquest.
Well, I am a soldier ant in the ant’s nest of Britain. My genetic job is to defend the nation. I am therefore super sensitive when it comes to threats to the nation. Sometimes my antennae deceive me, and I go over the top, getting too worked up about EU directives on yoghurt pots, say. But other times I can accurately detect, as its my genetic job, serious threats to the nest from quite a distance - like communism or the IRA.
In contrast we have the worker ants. Their job is to tidy the nest and make everything orderly, and make sure there’s enough moss for the larvae. They do not have the genetic aptitude, nor the desire, to worry about threats to the nest. That’s not their task. They worry about the other ants in the nest, how everyone’s getting along, and what new laws we need to make sure the nest works well. These ants are obviously the lefties, and like lefties everywhere they are a bit precious about their worthwhile jobs.
They also look at the soldier ants with alarm as being militaristic and aggressive.
In the same way the soldier ants - the rightwing people - look at the lefty worker ants as boring drones, with small horizons, obsessed with rearranging twigs.
Anyway, the point is, a healthy ant’s nest - a healthy society - needs both types. Without the worker ants the whole place would fall apart. without the soldier ants the termites might just take over.
So that’s my theory. I’m a soldier ant. And you know what? Right now this soldier ant is saying - listen up guys, I can see a small boy headed our way with a jug of boiling water.
Posted by sean at 5:16 pm