Understanding the Role of Right-wing Conspiracies in the Covid Pandemic

The world is in turmoil, and it is the working-class who are being made to pay for the ongoing crises of capitalism, not only with our livelihoods but also with our lives. The question of a future of barbarism or socialism is therefore once again starkly posed. And as ever the looming threat posed by barbarism can only be avoided if we refuse to accept the dictates of our exploiters in the billionaire-class and unite to fight for the socialist transformation of society. Only by taking such action can we ensure that ordinary people are positioned to democratically decide our own futures.

Ensuring that our classes main democratic organisations are capable of leading this struggle against the powers-that-be has always been a work-in-progress; and there is no question that a lot of work still needs to be done to turn the trade union movement into a powerful and effective tool for liberating our class. But with the democratic involvement of tens of millions of trade union members both within our workplaces and within the democratic structures of our unions these organisations can play a critical role in challenging capitalist exploitation and in doing so pose the need for a socialist alternative to capitalism.

Throughout this pandemic, socialists have been at the forefront of social struggles, demanding that our government take action to protect life. But the Tories lust for profiteering means that the elites in power would rather ignore such reasonable demands and instead are abusing this crisis to escalate their plunder of societies collective wealth. This helps explain why the corporate press has been so keen (as always) to demonise and misrepresent the views of those who have been willing to forcefully challenge the government’s dangerous and wholly inadequate response to Covid-19.

With the pandemic causing massive disruption across the planet, increasing numbers of people are clear that there will be no going back to the old normal. But what is the alternative? Socialists say we need to step up our campaigning for a democratic and socialist future; but with the parlous state of Britain’s labour movement combined with a corporate-own media system that exists to perpetuate the needs of capitalism, such emancipatory solutions are not always apparent to huge swathes of society. Labour mis-leaders (like Keir Starmer) working together with the mainstream media thus continue to throw dirt into the eyes of the public. In recent years such collusive efforts to promote mass confusion were of course most clearly seen when, in 2015, a socialist was finally elected leader of the Labour Party. This led to all parts of the labour and media establishment embarking upon one of the most vicious smear campaigns in history – which most notably accused Jeremy Corbyn of being an anti-Semite! (See “The Hate Factory Vs. Jeremy Corbyn.”)

So, with pro-capitalist politicians misleading most of the mainstream political parties across the world — all being united in their refusal to represent the needs of ordinary people as opposed to corporations – ordinary people seeking out some clarity in their lives have been forced to turn elsewhere in their search for answers. And with the assistance of the internet, not to mention Facebook’s repulsive algorithms — which actively market information to people who ask questions like “how to burn Jews” — it is becoming easier for people to get absorbed in the type of all-encompassing conspiracies promoted by the far right. Indeed, rather than popularise the type of socialist ideas that might help people gain control of their lives; the corporate media (whether rightwing or liberal) continue to provide a breeding ground that allows divisive political conspiracies to flourish.

When a toxic nurse goes down the rabbit hole

One dangerous conspiracy that is currently gaining traction amongst some circles is that Covid-19 is a fiction, a plandemic orchestrated by a global liberal elite headed by the like of Bill Gates and George Soros. While another sordid conspiracy intimately linked to this plandemic narrative that continues to spew forth from right-wing media outlets is that of QAnon – a conspiracy that would have you believe that the world is run by a tiny elite of Satanic paedophiles: a demonic conspiracy in which Donald Trump is presented as the only world leader who is willing to battle against the perpetration of such heinous crimes against humanity.

This article aims to explore the roots of these disturbing and increasingly popular conspiracies. In doing so it will demonstrate that although such opportunist tales may harness some element of peoples righteous anger at an unjust status quo, such theories ultimately only serve to undermine efforts to unite the working-class against our real oppressors, the ruling-class. For illustrative purposes this article will delve into the views and actions of one of the up-and-coming stars of this growing conspiracy movement, the one-time botox practitioner Kate Shemirani, who calls herself the “Natural Nurse in a Toxic World.” Shemirani being a toxic nurse whose meteoric rise to fame led to serving as the MC of the first “Unite for Freedom” protest that was held in Trafalgar Square on August 29. The protest was organised to deny the existence of Covid-19 and successfully brought together in excess of 10,000 people in an event that had been organised by notorious climate denier Piers Corbyn.

In the wake of this huge protest The Times were quick to promote the growing anti-covid movement, devoting a double spread to explaining Kate Shemirani’s ascension to the leadership of the so-called freedom movement (see “Kate Shemirani: antivax leader is banned nurse who fears 5G network”). In keeping with the uncritical output that typifies the right-wing press, the article gave previous column inches to restating Shemirani’s proudly held anti-scientific beliefs before advertising her next planned protest (held in London on September 19). The Times explained how her popularity, like that of David Icke (who headlined the August 29 protest), had been increasing by the day. But no attempt was made to locate Shemirani and Icke’s politics within the resurgent alt-right, or to describe how their advocacy of elaborate schemes of satanic domination were feeding directly into the resurgence of the QAnon movement.

That is not to say that The Times has not exposed the anti-democratic nature of the QAnon phenomena in the past, as in mid-August they ran an article that warned that the QAnon was gaining popularity in Ireland. The article however neglected to mention that the academic report that served as the source for their article had actually emphasized that this was not just a problem for Ireland but for the whole of the UK. So it is ironic considering The Times fixation on the growth of QAnon in Ireland that when it came to their article discussing Shemirani’s role in leading the growing Covid-19 denial movement the newspaper failed to draw attention to the political credentials of the one Irish speaker earmarked to speak at her forthcoming protest. That speaker was Dolores Cahill, the chair of the far-right Irish Freedom Party. Nor does The Times bother to remind their readers of David Icke’s longstanding liaisons with the far-right, something that the newspaper was happy to discuss at some length just a few years ago.

But in The Times latest ‘advert’ for the conspiracy theorists’ mass gatherings they write: “David Icke, the conspiracy theorist and antivaccine campaigner, has seen a surge in his Twitter following, up by nearly a quarter since May.” Icke now has more than 365,000 followers they added, a surge which “indicates the rapidly growing interest in his anti-lockdown rantings.” The paper however passed on the opportunity to mention that the main argument being popularised by Icke is that we already live in a fascist state (as he stated at the August protest). Perhaps Icke’s own reactionary rants were downplayed because they are not really so different from the government’s own conspiratorial ideas, as illustrated by the recent comments made by the Tories attorney-general, Suella Braverman, who stated the government was in a “battle with cultural Marxism”. Icke of course agrees on the threat posed by cultural Marxism and views the threat of an imminent global Marxist takeover of the entire world (spreading from China) as representing an additional threat to his freedom in so-called fascist Britain.

“Do your own research”: finding the truth of the far-right

Highlighting the bizarre pedigree of many of Shemirani’s closest allies, the day after she had acted as the MC for the August freedom protest she was invited to speak on a YouTube show known as “Camelot TV” which is hosted by John Mappin, the multi-millionaire QAnon booster. Impressed by her militant anti-vax activism he rejoiced in introducing her as the voice of “the Great Awakening”; and during the course of her interview Shemirani professed to be in awe of Alex Jones (“I used to have his app on my phone”) and later pointed out how “one of the things that took away my fear of death was reading a book by David Icke and I hugged him yesterday.” She maintained that such coincidences could only be the work of God. Likewise, like many good patriotic spiritual warriors of the far-right she had internalised the QAnon mythology as the real truth, and speaking of the perversions of the world’s elite overseers she explained:

“So, when they kill these children they do a lot of satanic rituals with them. You know there is a very famous one where they strip children and all these royal elites were hunting these 14 year olds and they cut their genitals off and put them on plaques. This is all fact.”

Elsewhere in another discussion… CONTINUED HERE https://underthemaskofphilanthropy.wordpress.com/2020/09/27/understanding-the-role-of-right-wing-conspiracies-in-the-covid-pandemic/

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