Category Archives: smugness

We are so wise and nice that nothing bad can happen to us

The smug deluded Scandinavians

Behind the notion (always somewhat specious and now defunct) that Scandinavians have attained a higher level of civilised governance lies, writes Dalrymple,

not only complacency, but arrogance. ‘We are so wise and nice that what goes on in the rest of the world cannot affect us,’ they suppose. ‘Moreover, anyone who comes to live here must be so thankful for our generosity.’

This, Dalrymple points out, is a fantasy.

It requires a form of moral grandiosity to believe that you can live in such a fairytale, with a happy beginning, a happy middle, and a happy end, without ever having to think of such potentially nasty beasts as national interest and old enmity.

Caterwauling from across the pond about Trump

Commenting on Dalrymple’s ambivalent attitude towards Donald Trump, a reader writes:

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screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-11-20-38But when we go north of the border, Dalrymple equivocates not at all. Justin Trudeau, he says, is a man born to Original Virtue, and just to look at pictures of his face, which radiates self-proclaimed goodness and Leftist smugness, is to experience disgust — the sensation you get when you’ve had too many marrons glacés: mild nausea accompanied by a general feeling of stickiness.

Maar het is niet president Duterte waar ik de grootste afkeuring voor heb op het wereldtoneel, zoals het in feite zou horen. Nee, het is iemand die in mijn ogen vele malen hatelijker is, namelijk Justin Trudeau (of moet ik zeggen Sint Justin Trudeau?), de premier van Canada. Ik moet al walgen enkel van naar foto’s te kijken van zijn ongelofelijk zelfvoldaan gezicht, dat straalt van de zelfverklaarde goedheid. Een goedheid die in schril contrast staat met de rest van de menselijkheid, zeker ten zuiden van de Canadese grens. Het veroorzaakt dezelfde sensatie als het eten van te veel marrons glacés: lichte misselijkheid vergezeld van een algemeen plakkerig gevoel.

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The Donald’s clownish rodomontade vs Hillary’s ruthless self-righteousness

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-08-47-07Dalrymple notes that Donald Trump is regarded,

somewhat melodramatically, as a proto- or sub-Mussolini. Private Eye, the satirical weekly, published photos of Musso and Trump taken from the same angle, and the physical resemblance was remarkable.

Hillary Clinton, he says,

would be the choice of most Europeans. They believe, by no means justifiably, that she would be less dangerous for the rest of the world than the volatile and unpredictable Trump.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-09-04-14There is, Dalrymple points out,

a smugness about the European attitude to the American election. It couldn’t happen here: no serious politician of Trump’s crassness would reach his exalted level. Not only does such assurance forget our history, it disregards the discontents under the surface that could one day erupt into something far worse than Trump’s clownish rodomontade.

And Europe’s political class

already shares Clinton’s invincible and ruthless self-righteousness. Being Clinton is never having to say you’re sorry.

Europe faces

a similar choice as that between Trump and Clinton: inchoate and resentful protest (Trump), and self-anointment and entitlement to rule (Clinton) — with an admixture of suspected financial impropriety, past and to come, in both.

Ghettoised Sweden

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 09.06.25Dalrymple points out that last year, Sweden took in 100,000 migrants and this year it is estimated that it will have taken in 190,000, equivalent to 3 per cent of the population. He says:

If this rate were to continue for very long, Sweden would be irreversibly changed for ever.

On the London Guardian newspaper’s website, Dalrymple comes across a video about the Sverigedemokraterna or Sweden Democrats, a political party opposed to mass immigration. Dalrymple writes:

The Guardian journalist interviewed young members and made them appear arrogant and unattractive. Whether this was the result of editing or a true representation of them, or both, I cannot say. She herself appeared intolerably smug and self-righteous, arrogant in a different way. She asked the young Swedes what was wrong with vibrant multicultural societies such as Britain and France.

Even from the video,

what was shown, no doubt unintentionally, was that Sweden was not multicultural, it was ghettoised, with practically no contact whatever between the refugees and natives.

The Swedes, says Dalrymple,

throw social security to the refugees as zookeepers throw meat to the lions.

One of the questions of the Guardian journalist to the young Swedes was

Why do you dress so smartly?

The question was asked, says Dalrymple,

in an accusatory tone, as if dressing smartly was yet another of their bad qualities, a derogation of their duty to appear casually or scruffily dressed like almost everyone else in modern society.

For the person who asked it,

any kind of formality in dress was symbolic of élitist or exclusivist political sympathies, whereas casual dress, the prevailing any-old-howism of the majority of the population, was symbolic of democratic and egalitarian sympathies, a demonstration of solidarity with the poor of the world. Whether poor people in Africa actually benefit from rich people dressing in expensively-torn jeans and T-shirts is not important: as with presents, it is the thought that counts.

There is another way of looking at it, Dalrymple says.

To dress well is a sign of respect for other people and society, to dress scruffily is a sign of disrespect for them, a sign of the purest egoism. Perhaps it is even possible to express élitism and respect at the same time.