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Zero Tolerance

by Phil Thornton 

How many times do we have to listen to politicians and journalists describe ‘Tolerance’ as one the things ‘we British’ are noted for. Tolerance and fair play, tolerance, fair play and self-delusion, tolerance, fair play, self-delusion and self-pity.  

Tolerance is such an over-used word, in fact it has become almost meaningless. In the usual context it is meant to convey something positive, something virtuous but is tolerance really a virtue? As the old Jewish man once said when repeatedly told how lucky he was to live in such a tolerant nation, 

“ I don’t want to be tolerated!”  

This is the crux of the matter because tolerance is always used as a pretext to offensiveness. ‘Why you lucky Jews/Pakis/Niggers/Polaks should be grateful you live in such a tolerant country. Anywhere else they’d have battered, lynched or gassed you.’ OK Nazis were not exactly the most tolerant of people but do you think that every German soldier was an Aryan supremacist who enjoyed exterminating children and was every Tommy a liberal minded freedom fighter interested only in democracy? All wars are fought to preserve economic power, whether they’re dressed up as ideological, cultural or religious crusades.  

The second world war, we are told over and over again, was a ‘moral’ war, a war against tyranny and brutality. But the British didn’t go to war to save the Jews or defend the Poles, they went to war to defend their territories, their dominions, their empire and empire’s exist with one purpose in mind; to make people rich. As a consequence of this economic war, the death camps were uncovered, death camps that the allies had long knew about. But the propagandists would still have us believe that the ‘righteous’ war against the fascists and Nazis was fought for nobler reasons than monetary self-interest.  

Of course it sounds better to glorify the dead and pretend that they died in Flanders, in Burma, in Korea, in Vietnam, in Afghanistan or in Iraq to preserve the world from evil tyrants, torturers, murderers and monsters. If your kid died in Iraq would you rather say that he died to protect the share prices on the Dow Jones or to free the world of an evil dictator? That’s why we fool ourselves with this notion that, as a people, we are, if anything, over-tolerant of others and anyone who points this hypocrisy out is branded as a wet liberal do-gooder. 

Well let me state categorically that I am proudly intolerant. I am a Stalinist who doesn’t want to engage in any form of rational debate. I don’t want to convince you of my argument by means of dialogue or debating the issue. I don’t intend to balance all the available evidence and come to a sensible, equitable conclusion. I take no account of popular opinion or seek a consensus. I don’t expect the existing or any future political system to take account of my viewpoint and act on my behalf. Democracy is a myth and like all myths it is sustained by those who gain most from its perpetuation. I’m in a party of one, but that’s OK because there’s no room for dissent in this dictatorship baby. Dissent will not be tolerated.  

To be thought of as tolerant is to admit that you disguise your hatred and put up with things that you despise. The tolerant person is thus a disfigured mass of suppressed emotions and angst. The readership of the Daily Mail for example would no doubt offer their collective tolerance as a form of weakness that is exploited by the myriad legions of the unemployed, single mothers, heroin addicts, benefit cheats, asylum seekers, suicide bombers and general global goodfornothings. If they only had weapons at their disposal and the law to protect them, the law that bends over backwards for the criminals and not the victims, then they would have their retribution. 

In my world I wouldn’t allow Muslim women to wear headscarves but neither would I allow Christians to wear crosses or Sikhs to wear turbans. I would be intolerant of all religions, organised or not, equally. I wouldn’t differentiate between Protestants or Catholics, Methodists or Moonies, Shi’ites or Sunnis, Buddhists or Hindus, Republicans or Democrats, Neo-Cons or New Labour, homo, hetero or bi-sexuals, transgender or bi-polar, new age or old money, prisoners or pensioners, hi-res or lo emission, pro-life or anti-global. In my world there would only be one law; my fucking law and you can like it or lump it. This way to a world of perfection, that way to the fucking gulag, brother!

Of course this will never happen which is why I like to amuse myself by observing every futile act of human folly as an endorsement of my decadent brand of cynical nihilism. It’s something I hope I’ve passed onto my kids, that way they’ll never be disappointed with life’s many  injustices and shortcomings.  

Tolerate that!   









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