Wednesday, May 17, 2006

You bastard!

Norman Geras on the Euston Manifesto:

Leaving aside criticism of an infantile kind, a common line of objection has been that the manifesto is made up of well-meaning platitudes and its strictures against others on the left are not widely applicable - though this has been expressed with a degree of agitation and animus that suggests that one, other or both of these things can't be entirely true.

(UPDATE: more of the same "The fact that you squeal when I hit you proves I was right to hit you" nonsense in the Times today.

Well I'm sorry for being infantile in this post, but good grief! I'm sure there's some Peter Cook and Dudley Moore dialogue that would be up to this ....

Euston: "You bastard! You complete cunt!

Left: (bemused): Are you talking to me?

Euston: "You fucking fucking bastard cunt!"

Left: I say old chap, steady on there!

Euston: Fuck off, you are Saddam's catamite!

Left: I jolly well am not you nasty man!

Euston: You are expressing yourself with a degree of agitation and animus that suggests that my strictures against you are justified, you bastard!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Those of us who have come together as the Euston Manifesto group think that, by its indulgent attitudes towards anti-democratic political movements and regimes, a section of the left, and of 'progressive' opinion more generally, is in danger of repeating the grave mistakes of the past – as in the 1930s with respect to the USSR."

Still no explanation of why this 'section of the left' matters so much that they felt the urge to write a manifesto about it. Also still no explanation of what influence they hope to achieve over important decisions made by powerful people, given that much of the manifesto is already existing government policy.

I suspect the summit of their ambition is to get a Decentist onto the Guardian op-ed pages. It doesn't seem to be about a great deal more than that.

5/17/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect the summit of their ambition is to get a Decentist onto the Guardian op-ed pages. It doesn't seem to be about a great deal more than that.

No, it's to get Seamus Milne (op-ed editor of the Guardian) the sack (see the Harryettes obsession with the Dilpazer [sic] case for details) and to shift the editorial line of the BBC to wholesale Decentism.

5/17/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They haven't even explained in what sense teh document is a manifesto. (Except, pace Natasha Walter, that it was written by a man. It's still copyright Norman Geras, BTW.)

5/17/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It was written by multiple men and multiple women, and let me quote from the M itself:

"Solely for legal reasons this document is ©Norman Geras 2006. It will be made available under a Creative Commons licence."

On the side of the angels or what?

5/17/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I'm fascinated. It will be made available under a CC licence? Does that mean that it is currently licenced, or that it will at some unspecified future date be made available under a Creative Commons licence? How long does it take to licence something? Is the delay there because Norm is worried about splits?

5/17/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incidentally, at least Norm has made some vague reference to the latest twist in the Ayaan Hirsi Ali story (although he makes no judgment, just defers to someone else) - otherwise a deafening silence from the decentists on their cause celebre - presumably the most embarrassing thing for them was not the revelation she had lied about her asylum application, rather the way it made clear she had become a "clamp down on immigration" spokesperson herself

5/17/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't really blame them; I don't know what to make of the AHA saga myself. As far as I can tell, she had a particularly horrible and abusive childhood in a wealthy Somali family and her politics on arriving in the Netherlands has clearly been shaped by this. Which is not necessarily a bad thing of course, but it always made me think that she was a bit of a loose cannon. But now I'm not sure what at all to believe about her life history; this Kenya business is news to me. I suspect that she will end up being a little bit too uncontrollable for the AEI though; I don't read her as an identikit political hack, in the way in which, frankly, Irshad Manji often comes across.

5/17/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But didn't she claim authority for her arguments based upon her life experiences? Kind of a problem if she's a liar?

5/17/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Taken straight from Notes on Rhetoric

"To argue is to lose The very fact that your opponents argue against you is the best evidence against them. It means that your post has 'upset quite a few people', 'got a few people quite agitated' 'got under their skin' etc They have not made an argument but had a tantrum, they are not making reasoned points but ‘throwing their toys out of the pram’. As in Freudian theory, so in blog rhetoric, to argue or contest only confirms your guilt."

5/17/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger marcuse said...

Once it has been licenced under a Creative Commons Licence, I can see a future project emerging. A group of us should create numerious versions of the Manifesto, each different in one small but significant way. We can name each of them after a street, place or pub in Euston.

For example I propose the Euston-Mornington Manifesto. This is in all respects identical to the Euston manifesto, except that the word "left" (when refering to a political position) will be replaced with the term "neo-conservative", the term "liberal" will be replaced with the word "conservative" and the word "conservative" (where it exists twice in the original text) will be replaced with "ultra-right".

5/18/2006 12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're as credulous as ever: written by multiple men and women? Don't be daft.

I am sure the document was written by Geras with some consultation.

5/18/2006 05:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any businessman will say that you have to look at raw sales. Those are represented by the number of signers of the Euston Manifesto. Those are the committed.

Let's take stock then: 1500 signers after over a month of solid publicity in serious papers and journals and after a deluge of blog chat. That's about half the total number of signatures garnered by Unite Against Terror, the last Decentist failed venture. That's bout 2 signatures an hour on average (less now.)

It's clear they will need funding from a wealthy right wing source to keep this baby alive. Otherwise they'll only be able to say they got Guardianistas talking for a while before disappearing from the scene.

5/18/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they might be holding signatures back for the "real world" launch.

5/18/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Some star signings for the press conference? Ah, yes, the glitz and glamour, I am sure.

Well, I will be in mainland China during the time of this remarkable, earth shattering event on the 25th of this month. Might catch up with the chat online it if I can find a place with a few computers :-)

(They almost certainly won't have the Beeb. There are a few parts of mainland China where you can get the Beeb I hear, but during the results of the US election 2004 I was there Beebless and duly nonplussed.)

I notice that Euston wallahs have moved the venue of their bash to the Union Chapel in the posh part of Islington. Anyone familiar with the history of Decency might notice the slight irony.

Anybody made any straw purchases of tickets?

5/18/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So what is Dave's view on the EM?
Has he signed? If not, why not?

5/18/2006 08:55:00 PM  

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