Monday, September 24, 2007

Breaking news!

Alan Johnston's NotMinisterial Address to the fringe (in every sense of the term) meeting of the Euston/Scoop joint space station project is up online. Satirists will be pleased to note that Alan Not The Minister has "a hundred new ideas" and that he thinks one of the problems with Britain today is that there aren't enough Decent weblogs. Further analysis, perhaps, to come.

23 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

(see Johnson 2006)

Hahahahahahaha.

9/24/2007 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

(see Johnson et al 2001)

... and it's still funny second time round.

9/24/2007 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

'global network of moderation'. 'the academic-media complex'. Marvellous, marvellous stuff.

9/24/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Who is "Hassan Hazrallah"? And if he means Nasrallah, the quote he gives is of rather dubious provenance.

Pure comedy gold, however, is that one of the first comments on Harry's Place is under the impression it is Alan Johnson, the Minister and former Trade Unionist, not Alan "Not the Minister and former Trade Unionist", that gave the lecture.

9/25/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Cian said...

I liked this:
Today, the new totalitarians, the Islamists, ask ‘And how many activists do the democrats have?
Right...
Incidentally, anyone know what a "democrat" is in this context?

9/25/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson is admitting that the Euston Manifesto is about trying to frame issues in a certain way. The question that this raises is the one that the second comment on Harry's Place points to: how is a social movement goinmg to do this when all the resources of the Labour Party machine and the Coalition Information Centre failed?

9/25/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

I've started a facebook group to show my commitment to the global network of moderation. Please join if you wish.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8356490860&ref=mf

9/25/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A.J.'s theme seems to be that all academics, writers etc. must be conscripted into the the 'greatest intellectual struggle of our times'(TM) What a way to degrade and make tedious third level education, by forcing it to march in step as an adjunct to Decent Correctness.

Marc Mulholland

9/25/2007 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

It seems to me that, having done time in various Communist parties, A'NTM'J is unable to comprehend any solution to a political or social problem which does not involve creating a revolutionary vanguard to 'wage the struggle'. He is also unable to comprehend the idea that the majority of the population are not politicised and are not interested in becoming politicised in order to serve some abstract end that A'NTM'J considers desirable.

9/25/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

A.J.'s theme seems to be that all academics, writers etc. must be conscripted into the the 'greatest intellectual struggle of our times'(TM) What a way to degrade and make tedious third level education, by forcing it to march in step as an adjunct to Decent Correctness.

Also one that might not have found favour with the author of Inside The Whale...

9/25/2007 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Oh gawd. In my doctoral thesis - soon to be a major film* - I've written about 'framing' in this specific context (the relationship between political parties and groups using violence for political ends, that is). Not The Minister doesn't get it at all. (It's not really something you can set out to do deliberately, apart from anything else. "Hey, everybody, let's start reinterpreting the world according to our political priorities! And let's reinterpret it like this!")

*Well, no. But soon to be a book, when I get my act together.

9/25/2007 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous darkhorse said...

It is laughable, but it is also breath-taking in its arrogance. Johnson seems to think that its only his brand of decency which constitutes "democratic" activism.

Apparently the whole range of political activism - ranging from the Countryside Alliance to Reclaim the Streets doesn't really count as non-extremist Islamist activism, offering an alternative view of political means and ends, and only a few, small voices like Alan's counter the overwhelming tide of Islamist thinking which dominates the culture and media of the UK.

Why, only yesterday, I heard that Blue Peter disregarded the popular vote on the naming of a cat, choosing, instead of "Cookie" the name "Khomeni the Wise One" for their latest widdle puss-tat.

9/25/2007 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

My vote was "Fuck You Shep" but they seem to have disregarded that and all.

9/26/2007 06:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the letter about the Hari Wheen affair in the latest Private Eye? My friend wrote it and they cut out the specific reference to Wheen! Ian Hislop also admitted in a reply that he had received "many" letters complaining about this.

9/26/2007 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Just looked at it in the newsagent. Good letter, and I thought the reference to Wheen was clear enough to anyone who knows anything about Private Eye.

9/27/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

How long's it been out? Mine still hasn't arrived.

9/27/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my Private Eye yesterday and I'm probably in EJH's postal district. So some postie must be reading his copy.

The reference to Wheen is pretty clear, I think. But I cannot find Hislop's admission that a lot of complaints had been received (or was this an off-the-record admission?)

9/27/2007 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I was about to post: "....and lo! It arrives in my buzón. So Wheen is the close friend of Cohen? Not sure I follow the point about a reply of Hislop."

but then I saw the posting above. Do I assume I know who you are and you previously had one of my copies delivered to you?

9/27/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the second anonymous reader of P. Eye. I don't understand the point made by the first anonymous reader of P. Eye about Hislop's admission. It wasn't in my PE, so maybe Anon 1 has insider information.

But it wouldn't surprise me if Hislop got quite a few letters of complaint: the original article was pretty awful and (for those who know about Wheen) obviously a bit of spite.

9/27/2007 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous rioja kid said...

Re framing: here's how the professionals do it:

http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2007/09/28/7227

9/28/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Ah, but there's even more to it than meets the eye. Henley: How much of the hype about "Islamo-Fascism" is driven by the long-term aim of keeping American Muslims from using their growing demographic strength to ... But if you read Craig Unger's "House of Bush, House of Saud" (no link, cause I'm too lazy), he alleges that Bush won in 2000 because of the Islamic vote (it was, if you recall, a very small margin, if it was a positive margin at all). American Muslims backed some other things too (morality, all that crap). Just saying.

9/28/2007 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Do I assume I know who you are and you previously had one of my copies delivered to you?

As it happens, I just met the individual concerned in the supermarket and they denied all knowledge.

So either there's three Private Eye readers in a small district of an obscure Spanish town or the anonymous poster has the wrong idea as to where I live...

9/29/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous matt w said...

he alleges Bush won in 2000 because of the Islamic vote (it was, if you recall, a very small margin, if it was a positive margin at all).

Eh, the only way this seems plausible is in the sense that the margin in Florida was so tiny that "Bush won in 2000 because of X" is true for about any X. Anything that swung 200 votes in Florida made the election close enough for Bush to steal, but his Muslim outreach was probably not a big factor -- the Cuban-American vote, among others, was surely much more powerful.

The real significance of Bush's Muslim outreach in 2000 was supposed to be in Michigan, which is the state with the biggest Muslim population and maybe the only one in which the Muslim vote is a political force. But Bush narrowly lost Michigan in 2004. (Reminder: In our stupid electoral system, each state has a certain number of votes which are awarded to whichever presidential candidate gets the most votes in that state. There's no dispute that Bush got fewer votes nationwide in 2000; he became President because he won the right combination of states, which again happened because of transparently phony Supreme Court decisions that kept the vote in Florida from being properly counted.)

Here's an article about the Muslim vote in 2000 and 2004. It seems pretty clear that, morality and crap aside, Muslim-Americans are going to be voting on who seems to hate Muslims the least. Similar (though diminishing) issues among the Cuban-American vote have helped guarantee that US Cuba policy remains insane -- for a long time a presidential candidate who espoused a sane policy was sure to lose Florida -- and it might be thought that Muslim-Americans could exert a similar pressure on policy by swinging Michigan's vote. But part of the effectiveness of the Cuba lobby is surely that it doesn't face a much stronger opposing lobby (let's not deny what is plainly evident).

9/29/2007 02:33:00 PM  

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