Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday forecast thread

A lot of people have made predictions in other threads this week; you can let 'em stand or make new ones in this thread.

If you're going along to the "Support for the Danish" protests that Hitchens and Kamm are thinking of organising, btw, make sure to wear your t-shirt, because this way you get four for the price of one: a) protest against censorship of the Danish b) protest against censorship by the Danish c) show support for FARC or the PFLP (not an unalloyed benefit this one I grant you) and d) demonstrate your belief that the world and the censorship issue are substantially more complicated than a lot of people would like to believe.

Meanwhile, currently Watching Dave in the Jewish Chronicle being pretty reasonable about the CoE boycotting Caterpillar shares, although he does rather lose the plot about half way through and just round off having a pop at obscure figures on the Left for being anti-Semites, something which I would personally have left to a specialist anti-Semite spotter. This Neil Berry character certainly seems a bit slimy if everything Aaro says about him is true and there is no mitigating context, but I have no reason to believe that is the case (see comments by Mark below) and so I reserve judgement.

And Nick, in the Staggers. This latest one is at least well written, which is a blessed relief after some of the stuff he has been shovelling our way of late. But the conclusions don't seem to make any sense at all; is Nick proposing to speak for the "Authoritarian Tories" now? Having promoted himself from chippy working class grammar school boy to middle class bien-pensant midweek in the Standard, has he now elevated himself to the gentry? It's like a Trollope novel.

In all seriousness I do not like this new authoritarian version of Nick at all; although it is always nice to have a go at Berlusconi, the meat of the Standard column was simply that the proles need to be sneered at and told not to be so feckless by their betters, or they will gamble their rent away. And now it's "huge lead on national security", and Cameron is a fool to oppose assaults on civil liberties. Oh yeh and a pointless sneer at Brokeback Mountain.

I've just had a minor epiphany. Of course it's not a "pointless sneer"; the sneer is the point, as it is in ninety per cent of NC's journalism at the moment; the man increasingly defines the term "contrary for the sake of it". Nick is engaged in the journalism of punk rock; "Whatever you hate, that's what I am". He's passed the point of diminishing returns when it comes to flagellating the middle class for their bourgeois tendencies, so now he has to become petit-bourgeois himself, lest the well of self-loathing run dry. Give yourself a break, Nick, you really aren't all that bad!


Anonymous rioja kid said...

I think the idea that there's some kind of authoritarian legion out there has been a feature of Nick's journalism for a while, certainly from before the Bermanite conversion. It used to make an odd contrast to his notion that New Labour were non-popular populists. Now it seems to be a kind of bourbon comforter, something he can rely on to ensure the eventual defeat of the liberal middle classes...

...who he seemd to rejoin temporarily on Wednesday. What is going on here? Sometimes we seem to be chronicling the disintegration of someone's general opinion into it's ill fitting constituent parts.

As for the forecast, we seem to have done Danitude v Dhimmitude, though there might be one for the hamper there. I'm guessing "straight lift from Harry's Place", though I'm not in the mood to investigate what.

Or how about: the attack on the golden mosque in Iraq demonstrate how the real struggle is between secular, democratic tendencies in Islam and the fundies, because the Iranians are blaming the USA. Or something...

2/24/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I left a long comment which appears to have disappeared, which basically boiled down to 'Why the James Lyle story?' and a forecast which was I think it could be that story about people being willing to pay X 000s of pounds to get a better house for their children (or so they say) coupled with that report into the East End last week, which said housing policy encouraged racism. However I suspect he'll play the HP card, and go for either the Decency March against Austria, the Decency March for Denmark, or Livingstone the anti-semite. One might thing as he helped get him elected to begin with he might shy away from this, but in fact knowing our Nick it will probably make him even more angry.

2/24/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Backword Dave said...

I thought that the second half of DA's piece made no sense whatever.

Forecast is easy: both will mention Ken. Harder to call what they'll say. David T thinks he shouldn't have been suspended (I think there's something iffy and undemocratic about that; he hasn't broken any laws), but Norm seems to think it's all good. Hmm. I think DA will go for the "he lied in court" line and cite the tape. Also: being rude to journalists is intolerable.

Will either mention Iraq? "Civil war" predicted a while ago by Jamie is now a better fit than "localised unrest" and "terrorism." I haven't seen any evidence that our troops are making a difference. (I mean for the better.)

Nick's little fillers are increasingly bizarre, and for those I predict: "Curling is deadly boring, isn't it?" and "Chris Huhne used to drive a BMW."

2/24/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous redpesto said...

NC filler - some mad Oscar prediction nonsense (probably a kicking for Good Night and Good Luck; George Clooney is the new Michael Moore)

DA won't touch Iraq at the moment

DA or NC - the Education Bill, former on why it's a good idea, latter on Blair and grammar schools

2/24/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

We're all so blind. I'm changing my Nick forecast as I've re-read the Staggers piece and this bit jumped off the page:

I was speaking the other day to the usually courteous Patrick Holden, the director of the Soil Association, and he was making it as clear as he could with- out being rude that he wanted me off the phone.

So a quick search of google news suggests that he'll have a go at the EU's farm commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel for "ignoring the views of European consumers and seeking to drive the organic sector towards commodity production" [Farming Weekly]

As Nick's probably not going to get into a MMR style cul-de-sac, he'll probably accentuate the EU aspect.

2/24/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

One thing to note with Nick is that he's never *too* topical (in the Observer at least) - the news from last Monday or Tuesday is as up-to-date as it ever gets, unless something unignorable like 7/7 happens. So I think the Shia Mosque or Ken will both be too late.

Irving might sneak in, though. If not, Domestic Nick. What hasn't he done recently? Something about education?

2/25/2006 12:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There could be a late HP steer - civil war in Iraq might be ok.

2/25/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Nick in the Observer:

Bird flu or animal testing, possibly straight, possible as bizzare metaphor to illustrate some decentish obsession.

2/25/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous evil bruschettaboy said...

I think Cap has it right; I would guess that the Soil Association conversation was about freerange chickens.

2/25/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Backword Dave said...

Has Nick mentioned movies before? If he does go for George Clooney, I think he'll pick on Syriana (see Oliver Kamm).

I think Evil BB's epiphany is right, and that's what I liked about the NS piece; it was the first in while where the sneers were in the background, and he actually displayed some sort of knowledge. I really hope that he doesn't comment on bird flu. His past form on scientific controversy is not good.

We could always start a "Nick from South Africa" watch is things go quiet. Any takers?

2/25/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Or perhaps a 'mates of the Decent Left' watch. I've thought for a while the indecent left ought to be indulging in more smears-by-association, and 'white South Africans who have yet to get over apartheid' is as good a place to start as any.

2/25/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Backword Dave said...

Simon, I should point out that Nick is actually British: he's said so in previous comments. He moved to South Africa after his time in the British Army.

2/25/2006 08:41:00 PM  

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