Friday, November 10, 2006

So Now You Know

More via Norman Geras:

The people working on these projects are best known for having produced a document called the Euston Manifesto, which was composed in a bar near the Euston station of the London metro. (If these people had a million dollars, they wouldn't have to compose their manifestos in bars - they would be able to rent a proper office for themselves.) Their online journal, Democratiya, has become, by my lights, the liveliest and most stimulating new intellectual journal on political themes in the English-speaking world - certainly the liveliest new thing to appear on the English-speaking left in a good long time. Their project Engage has rather bravely taken up the challenge of arguing against the slightly demented anti-Zionism that appears to have... overrun whole regions of British intellectual life.

So now you know: Euston, Engage, and Democratiya are one and the same. Paul Berman says so, endorsed by Geras. (Ellipses in the Norman Geras version.) Some of us, clearly mistakenly thought than Euston also connected to Manchester and Glasgow, but we'll take Berman's assurance that only the metro stops there. Damn, I should have called this The Metro doesn't stop here anymore.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Simon said...

If these people had a million dollars, they wouldn't have to compose their manifestos in bars - they would be able to rent a proper office for themselves.

Yes but if they had any sense they wouldn't have gone into a fucking O'Neill's in the first place.

11/10/2006 11:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Hugh said...

Berman's pleading poverty on the Eustonites' behalf? WTF? Anthony Julius has got to be one of the Britain's richest lawyers - I'm sure he (and Nick) could afford to put up the cash for a proper office somewhere if they wanted.

One of the worst aspects of the Eustonites is their pleading that they're somehow mavericks outside the Blairite/Murdoch establishment. End the ridiculous posing boys, you're embarrassing yourselves with your rebel yell BS.

11/12/2006 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

The Metro? Is there some parallel public transport system in London I hadn't noticed? Newcastle has a Metro, as do Paris and Moscow. London has the Underground, or better the tube, and is proud of it 'cos it was first.

Anyway, surely if Aaronovitch, Cohen et al wanted a million dollars to pursue International Eustonism one of them could remortgage their Hampstead shack?

11/13/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous redpesto said...

Talking of train metaphors here's Marcus Brigstocke giving DA a thump with the pig's bladder for his criticism of satirists.

11/14/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

The West Midlands also has a metro.

11/14/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Dave's attack on the satirists, isn't anyone going to analyse that? Or is it too much fish/barrel/Kalashnikov?

11/15/2006 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous K said...

Yes but if they had any sense they wouldn't have gone into a fucking O'Neill's in the first place.

The Head of Steam, right in front of Euston Station proper, is a much better pub -- and usually quiet enough for a meeting.

11/16/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Massive Seal of Dacre breakthrough by Nick at the Evening Standard: The standard is of course actually owned by the Mail. His columns there do not go on the web, but the current one is headlined

"Why I fear the middle classes will soon revolt against the migrants"

the whole tone is of course not a "fear" but a "hope". the piece includes an absurd "some of my best friends are against racism" statement

"Friends without a racist bone in their bodies have sent their children to local schools, and boasted of the marvellous multicultural education they will receive. They yanked them out when they realised that if pupils are speaking dozens of languages in the playground, their children's prospects of learning English will suffer"

(how odd that Nick believes children going to school were other languages are spoken in the playground do not learn english)

11/16/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Simstim said...

Or indeed, that hearing other languages in the playground might have no educational benefit in itself...

11/16/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

Actually Nick's Standard columns usually are reproduced on the web, though nothing at all seems to have been posted on his site for a couple of weeks including the Observer columns. Could someone reproduce it here, though, please, because a Nick Cohen column titled "Why I fear the middle classes will soon revolt against the migrants" is something The Nation Needs To Read.

11/16/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why I fear the middle classes will soon revolt against the migrants

NICK COHEN

THERE are times when it seems as if half the world has come to England to tend to the needs of uppermiddle-class Londoners.

At home, compliant Hungarian nannies look after their children, while Lithuanian builders convert their lofts. At work, unacknowledged Nigerian cleaners tidy their offices while Russian computer programmers fix their systems. At play, Jamaican fitness trainers build up their physiques while cooks from every corner of the globe offer them exotic cuisines.

The rich are not alone in experiencing the benefits of immigration.

You can hear rave reviews for Polish plumbers from well down the social pecking order.

It's the working class who have suffered. Competition from abroad has pushed down wage rates and the struggle to secure council housing has become ever more ferocious.

I wonder how long this divide in attitudes to immigration is going to last, and whether you will soon hear affluent Londoners imitating the grumbles of their working-class neighbours.

Government figures this week show that one in three Londoners was born abroad and that there are 60,000 South Africans in London, 58,000 Americans and 49,000 Australians, as well as many well-qualified people from the European Union. They're not just competing for low-wage jobs but putting pressure on the traditional preserves of the middle classes, as indeed are many eastern Europeans and south Asians.

Even if middle-class jobs are safe, all but the very rich need to use public services which are now under strain from migration into London from abroad and the rest of the UK.

Friends without a racist bone in their bodies have sent their children to local schools, and boasted of the marvellous multicultural education they will receive. They yanked them out when they realised that if pupils are speaking dozens of languages in the playground, their children's prospects of learning English will suffer.

If, as the Government expects, London's population rises from 7.3 million today to 8.8 million in 2029, the pressure on schools and transport will grow. Meanwhile, house prices will rise to ever more nonsensical levels - which is marvellous if you are sitting on a fortune, not so marvellous if you are trying to start out in life.

Labour ministers have been far too slow to realise that it is no use just saying you've never had it so good. When Londoners are experiencing buckling services and ludicrous housing costs, the real increase in wages Londoners have enjoyed since 1997 seems a poor compensation.

"It's the economy, stupid," said Bill Clinton as he swept to power in 1992, but London's booming economy isn't doing Labour any favours. The fact that so many people want to move here is a testament to its appeal, but the social costs of presiding over a roaring city could do for Labour at the next election.

Spooks finger the liberal's villains

EVER since the fictional head of MI5 put ironic quotation marks round the "Islamist threat" to indicate he didn't believe in it, I have been fascinated to see how far Spooks' makers would go in imposing the west London view that the world's troubles come from Bush and Blair.

The opening scenes of this week's episode looked like a daring break from the dinnerparty consensus when environmentalists appeared as baddies intent on destroying the Thames Barrier. Inevitably, the militant greens turned out to have a point. The real villain was - oh, you'll never guess - the Labour government, which apparently wanted to allow the Americans to control the world's resources.

In political television as in political theatre, producers and writers can't imagine a valid Conservative or Labour argument. From the plays of Sir David Hare to the spy stories of the BBC, the resulting liberal consensus is not always wrong, but it is always the same.

Eventually audiences will tire of an ideological uniformity that is already stifling and, in the case of Islamism, becoming absurd.

What's on the porn channel tonight, Luke?

IN THE Eighties, a constant of British journalism were the almost daily denunciations of Channel 4's Michael Grade as "Britain's pornographer in chief " by Paul Johnson of the Mail.

Who can deny that events have not proved him right? Voyeurism and the sexual exploitation of exhibitionists fill its schedules. Even Sir Jeremy Isaacs, its founding chief executive, is complaining that a channel which in his day offered "quiet seriousness" now produces Designer Vaginas with The World's Biggest Penis.

Yet Mr Johnson has fallen strangely silent. Could his reticence have anything to do with the appointment of his son, Luke Johnson, as Channel 4's chairman?

FROM Dr No on, every Bond movie has been shot at Pinewood Studios. Now it seems 007 is about to betray his country. Michael G Wilson, the producer of Casino Royale, says he may make the next Bond abroad because "London is the most expensive city in the world right now".

He's right, of course. At my multiplex in Islington, tickets for Casino Royale are Pounds 8.10 each. That's Pounds 32.40 for a family of four, and after popcorn and fizzy drinks you'll be lucky to see change out of Pounds 40. I'm sure Wilson would agree that it would be better for hardpressed Londoners to wait until it comes on the telly.

November 15, 2006

11/17/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

Wow, so
there are too many immigrants, stealing our jobs and pushing up prices
the BBC is biased against the government, and too liberal to come clean about the threat from Islam
and Channel 4 is full of porn

11/17/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Cian said...

Wow. He's actually turning into Melanie Phillips. Scary stuff. I wonder what he makes of the State Within.

Incidentally, it may simply be that I know a different category of "non-racist" to Nick, but most of the people I know who yank their kids out of London schools, its because poor kids also attend the local school. Not that anyone ever acknowledges that of course...

11/17/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough , he is wrong about film prices as well. I thinkhe thinks a "family of four" is made up of four adults (he probably hasn't got his head round child tickets yet because his child is too young to go to the pictures, I think, and he is not one to look beyond his own experience) . Anyway, this is how wrong he is on prices: At the Holloway Road odeon - the nearest big cinema, surely, two adult tickets for James Bond are £14-60, two "under 15 " tickets are £10-40, so that's actually £25 not £32-40 to see the film. Or you can get a family ticket (group of four)for £21-40.

If you feel that the Holloway Road Odeon is to full of "the migrants", as Nick may, you could go to the more poncey Screen on the Green on upper street. Two adult tickets £16-00, two child tickets £12-00 - so still cheaper than he says

11/17/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

£19-80 for a family ticket for four people to see James Bond at the Vue cinema in Islington (a local multiplex).

11/17/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

all but the very rich need to use public services which are now under strain from migration into London from abroad and the rest of the UK.

Any word on how public services - the NHS in particular - would grind to a halt without the availability of migrant workers? No, thought not.

11/17/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

This week's Observer piece is similar stuff, albeit with a focus on the impact of the Bloody Foreigners on the housing market. Not sure the residents of Altrincham would be happy to have their town described as part of 'south Manchester', either.

I also wonder why Nick thinks the average Observer reader has any greater regard for the 'English rich' than he does for the average Russian oligarch.

11/19/2006 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschetta Boy said...

it is atrocious innit? I seem to remember that Nick is originally from Altrincham, which would explain why he picked it. His views on what constitutes an acceptable family house and the average price thereof are not born out by the Land Registry statistics, btw.

11/19/2006 11:44:00 AM  

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