Monday, March 27, 2006

Oh there were days when we were lots and lots ...

Nick's Observer latest hardly seems worth the bother. But just for completeness sake I might as well note his nasty endorsement of the British Army's griping about Norman Kember's alleged failure to thank the soldiers who rescued him. I don't know what state Nick would be in if held hostage in Baghdad for three months, but I'm not sure I'd want to be held responsible for anything I might say (or fail to) immediately after such a frightening experience. Still, Nick tells us

They may have done no good, they may have put better and braver men in danger, yet they strike me as preferable to the majority of European liberals who have sat out the conflict.

I wonder how many "better and braver men" (and women) the 101st Keyboard Division have put in danger through their endorsement of the Iraq war? Probably none, since their actual impact on decisions is zero. I'm not sure what Nick had in mind that European liberals should have done instead of "sitting out" the conflict anyway. Written letters to the Guardian? Demonstrated in Trafalgar Square?

Speaking of which, Nick doesn't appear on any of the photos I've seen of the demonstration for "freedom of expression". Was he there? Will he report next week? At least he had the good sense not to say, as Peter Tatchell did, that he would be joining "thousands", since there seem to have been even fewer than even one thousand (300 by some reports). I'm guessing that 300 splits evenly three ways: 100 decents; 100 libertarian nutters; and 100 UKIP members and far-rightists.


Anonymous rioja kid said...

"If you refuse to take sides in Iraq, you can’t take them anywhere else."

OK Nick. I condemn barbarism in Iraq. Do I have your permission to condemn barbarism elsewhere now? Is there any particular reason why I needed your permission in the first place?

Oh, and there's another thing. The acts of barbarism you talk about are part of an unfolding super Srebrenica happening in Baghdad under the noses of around 150,000 occupation troops and practically within sight of the green zone, and about which nothing effective is being done. You could of course condemn that. But that might give discomfort to Bush and Blair.

3/27/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

A commendably articulate response. My reaction was more along the lines of "fuck off, you tedious hack".

3/27/2006 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Shuggy said...

Ah, so it exists! I was told about this place but wasn't sure if anyone was actually that mental - but it's true; you are.

Glad to see Vinnie's with you - I was getting a bit worried about him. But a nagging thought: he doesn't seem to have written much and I'm wondering if he's really alive or if there isn't some big Cover Up going on!!!????

Now, Richard Kimber. Yes well - since the Almighty didn't seem to be too bothered but the SAS were, his response, the deprivations and trials of his incarcertaion notwithstanding, might reasonably be described as - how to put it? - less than fullsome.

In fairness, perhaps its a spiritual upset on his part - caused by the thought that perhaps when he called out for help, the Big Yin called in the SAS. That'd fuck up any man's theology, no mistake.

A commendably articulate response. My reaction was more along the lines of "fuck off, you tedious hack".

Yeah - and that in turn was tedious in the extreme and scarcely worth repeating - so why did you do it?

3/28/2006 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Shuggy is here! prepare to have all of your ideas of what constitutes tedium redefined for the new millenium.

He also suffers from strange memory lapses, but don't hold that against him.

3/28/2006 01:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SO Nick didn't even bother to go to the barmy "free speech" demo he publicised (but I think Vanessa Feltz did) - how can he complain about pioeple "sitting out" on the big issues,the slacker

3/28/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Backword Dave said...

Richard Kimber? Shurely you mean Norman Kember. Or are things really that different on planet Shuggy?

Anon: Vanessa Feltz is here (half way down; two below the second close-up of Peter Tatchell). Lends support to the theory that Nick didn't get off his arse or, to put it another way, refused to take sides.

3/28/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

"I was told about this place but wasn't sure if anyone was actually that mental - but it's true; you are."

You mean there is a place where people dare to question their holinesses, Aaronovitch and Cohen? Fie on you, sir, I do not believe it.

I have heard similar tales of strange topsy turvy lands where people talk of 'ye imperialism' (ha, a daft conspiracy theory that)and doubt the revealed visions of the Grand High Rumsfelt. These places are all mythical. Imagine it - places where socialism is not associated with the B52! The spreaders of these foul lies and madnesses must be burned.

3/28/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

This is also bollocks from Nick:

"To say, instead, that ‘the illegal occupation of Iraq by multinational forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq’ was to insult not only the rescuers but the intelligence of all who know about the policy of deliberate slaughter being prosecuted by al-Qaeda and the Baath party."

Nick, it's quite possible to make such a statement about root causes and still be grateful to those soldiers doing the rescuing. Kember made a clear statement about his gratitude. He also presumably endorses the root causes statement.

You don't have to agree with the chap but don't tell us that somehow its an insult to talk in such a way or its incompatable with a personal expression og gratitude.

3/29/2006 01:32:00 AM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Perhaps this would be a good time to quote Orwell

"One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. The P.S.U.C. militiamen whom I knew in the line, the Communists from the International Brigade whom I met from time to time, never called me a Trotskyist or a traitor; they left that kind of thing to the journalists in the rear. The people who wrote pamphlets against us and vilified us in the newspapers all remained safe at home, or at worst in the newspaper offices of Valencia, hundreds of miles from the bullets and the mud. And apart from the libels of the inter-party feud, all the usual war-stuff, the tub-thumping, the heroics, the vilification of the enemy—all these were done, as usual, by people who were not fighting and who in many cases would have run a hundred miles sooner than fight. […] Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him."

3/29/2006 03:30:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I wonder if there is any relationshp between the second world war being remembered as one of national unity (albeit it rather rose-tintedly) and the fact that the 101st Keyboarders (on all sides) actual did face the risk of death?

3/29/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

By the way, the main piece was like "Groundhog Lordships"; almost the exact same column appeared in the Standard. I have a certain amount of sympathy, because if I had taken the trouble to look up who Maundy Gregory was I would also try to amortise the effort over two columns, but even so.

3/29/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Tempelton said...

"libertarian nutters"

Can I take it from this that you are not in favour of the libertarian approach to freedom of speech?

3/30/2006 10:50:00 AM  

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