A call to LBC

I did something new yesterday – new for me that is – I called in to a radio phone in and got on air.

I’ve been spending more time listening to LBC recently. As I mentioned in a different context a couple of months ago, listening to other people express the shame and dismay at what is happening in Britain today, as part of a conversation moderated by a skilful presenter, makes me feel better. Current topics about which I am depressed/ashamed/feeling powerless include:

And so on…

Publicity photo of Natasha Devon for her Saturdays at 7pm slot on LBC

Natasha Devon led a conversation on LBC yesterday about what could be the explanation for supporters of Trump and Johnson being so fixed in their view. No matter how blatant the lies told by those two, no matter how compelling the cases may be for them being guilty of actual crimes, there are substantial numbers of men and women who will stick up for their guy no matter what.


My suggestion is that one can apply the same analysis as for creationists, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, religious cult members and so on. The phenomenon of denialism is well documented (it’s something I think I might study when I retire). No great insight from me there I'll grant, but others hadn’t said it so I dialled in and made the comparison (“Phil from Ipswich, what would you like to say” and all that).

Paraphrasing only a little, Natasha Devon asked what was the Trump/Johnson supporter’s equivalent of the religious belief that underpins some of those denialisms? I am now very much in that L’esprit de l’escallier moment. Doh! That’s what I should have said! It would have been so much better if I’d said it this way and not the way I did.

So, 24 hours too late – here’s what I should have said in answer to that question.

“I’m one of you. I suffer the same injustice you do. Follow me, and we, the chosen ones, will overcome this together because only together, free from all those non-believers, can we reach our true and rightful position.”

Of course they never are 'one of you' – they just pretend to be – but it works. It works for creationists (we are the true believers), it works for Covid denialism (they’re trying to keep you down, we know the truth and there is no virus!) and it works for Johnson’s Brexit and Trump’s blatant racism (free from the interference of foreigners, we, the chosen ones will be a beacon for the world).

Does that make Nigel Farage the David Koresh du jour?

Anyway, that’s more like what I should have said. What I actually did was to burble on about xenophobia in a very unconvincing manner. Natasha Devon, absolutely correctly, moved on to the next caller. She’s good at this live radio thing y’know…