Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nick on class discrimination

Nick's latest ought to confirm what many of us have long suspected, that he is too lazy to do the basic research for his columns. Instead, what he gives us is an impressionistic ramble through (and against) what he takes to be the Zeitgeist. Usually it isn't, of course, it is his idea of what "librul orthodoxy" involves, as derived from conversations he's had with his mates and other journalists' opinion columns. The whole mess is then worsened by a few off-the-cuff swipes at his current obsessions.

There's no doubt a good piece to be written about how New Labour's equalities agenda is silent on class. There's definitely something right about that. But anyone who works in a university -- as I do -- will know that there is endless emphasis on "widening participation", which is precisely about class. Moreover this is a policy that is backed by an elaborate scheme of financial incentives and penalties. So far, however, this drive hasn't got very far, partly because of the failures in the school system and partly because of determined and effective resistance from middle-class parents. But this is New Labour and it is about class. Has he forgotten Gordon Brown's ludicrous championing of Laura Spence? University access is just one example, of course. In fact many NL policies have been aimed at overcoming class disadvantage - a bit of googling "New Labour" and "under fives" could establish the point.

Nick's lack of basic research lets him down further when he writes:

the orthodoxy is that it's right to discriminate in favour of an Indian steel magnate's daughter at the expense of the son of a white single mother and feel proud of yourself while you do it.

I don't know what Nick's evidence for the content of "the orthodoxy" is, but I do know that if he had any experience of hiring people (and hence of employment law) he'd know that to discriminate in the way he suggests is illegal.

(There's a sub-text to Nick's piece that it really quite whiffy. When he contrasts the fate of poor white people with rich brown people he's tuning in to the same channel of resentment that informed the BBC's recent "White" series.)

53 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

Of course, it's precisely the problem that if you are subject to discrimination in favour of Lakshmi Mittal, you're very unlikely to be the son (and even less likely to be the daughter) of a white single mother (any other kind even more so), because the entry requirement to this discrimination involves a) raising at least £1bn on the capital market and b) wishing to buy a steelworks.

3/16/2008 01:35:00 PM  
Anonymous shake said...

I can't be bothered with Nick's latest, this running theme of hating Obama for having the audacity to be black is jsut bizarre, and the link to British racial politics simply doesn't work.

Anyone read the Observer leader on Iraq and 'liberal intervention'? decency in excess...

3/16/2008 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Not that I actually saw any of it, but was the 'White' season really about giving a voice to working-class racism? It looked to me much more as if it was about presenting the white working class as a problem, quaint and pitiable perhaps but also shiftless, ignorant and racist. I mean, if it had been the series you (and Chris at CT) feared, wouldn't it at some point have made British Muslims look bad rather than good?

3/17/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Observer leader: a comfort blanket for NuLab MPs who voted for the invasion. No-one else is likely to be convinced by it.

Guano

3/17/2008 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Yes, I was thinking about asking the same question about the Observer (aka the Oracle of Decency) leader.

Shooting a few fish:

... a principled goal ... liberating a nation from tyranny and realigning the Middle East towards Western interests.

An unusual piece of candour. But when was it ever legal to invade a country in order to further your nation's interests?

It is a democracy, at least in so far as ordinary people have chosen their own government.

... as if any election under occupation has full legitimacy.

Only one of the many apparent goals of the war has been met. The Iraqi regime has changed.

More candour, but precisely the goal that had zero legality.

But the Security Council, with Russia and China in permanent seats, hardly offers hope that the UN can be relied upon to exert pressure on authoritarian regimes.

Hopelessly one eyed, given US support for authoritarian regimes that it likes.

But far-sighted understanding of national interest will sometimes accommodate foreign intervention, even on occasion pre-emption, perhaps unilateral.

The words can and worms come to mind.

3/17/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Seamus Milne pointed out, New Labour tends to use 'hard working families' as synonymous with working-class. Nick Cohen's article really is hack rubbish, and very dodgy in its dog whistle politics with it.

On another matter, the Decent Lefties periodically moan about the moniker 'Decent', but 'til now they haven't proposed a convenient alternative. It might not catch on, but I'm pleased to see that Alan 'Not the Minister' Johnson is coining a wonderful replacement over a CiF: "the grown ups"!

Marc Mulholland

3/17/2008 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

The use of the phrase "hard working families" (TM - New Labour) is more subtle than that. It's a typical New Labour phrase, in the sense that it means very little, but is designed to mean different things to different people, all of them positive to New Labour.

The working classes might think that it refers to them, but many lower-middle class, blue collar, suburban middle class (... add your descriptor here ...) will also think that it refers to them. After everybody works, works hard, and likes to support families. It purely reflects people's valuations of themselves.

So when New Labour makes statements like "we will support hard working families", then everybody gets a nice warm glow, but the phrase is devoid of any meaning, let alone policy.

What it probably means. more than anything, is "we will trash the feckless unemployed and disabled".

3/17/2008 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And A"NTM"J gives another outing to the phrase "hard-headed democratic internationalism". I don't see it catching on though.

Guano

3/17/2008 05:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samantha Power is said by Wikipedia to think that there should be a military intervention to create a Palestinian State. I wonder is Johnson knew that before he shot his mouth off?

3/17/2008 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But when was it ever legal to invade a country in order to further your nation's interests?

When was it ever legal to invade a country, full stop?

WHy on earth would any country invade another if they didn't believe it was in their interests?


... as if any election under occupation has full legitimacy.

Which is just another way for you to dismiss the fact that 11 million Iraqis participated in the democratic process.

but precisely the goal that had zero legality.

Again with the "legality" fetish...

You place so much weight on an issue which is so murky. It was up to Hans Blix to say whether Iraq had complied with UNSC resolutions. Blix said Iraq hadn't complied. This triggered actions based on the wording of UNSC resolution -

You seem to think that saying the war was "illegal" makes it true and makes everything irrelevant.

I suppose it makes it easier to ignore complex political/ethical issues...

Hopelessly one eyed, given US support for authoritarian regimes that it likes.

Don't you ever get tired or embarrassed by such weasel-worded evasions?

No one, least of all the Observer newspaper, denies the fact that the US (like most Western nations) has a history of supporting "our bastard" regimes.

It's bizarre that you pretend otherwise. It's simple fact that China and Russia's vetoes make UN action on authoritarian regimes unlikely.

Unless you think this is a good thing?


Several new polls reiterate that at least half of Iraq's population believe that, all things considered, it was right for the US/UK coalition to invade Iraq.

How much do you think they care about the "legality".

After five years of chaos and blunders and bombs and countless deaths - half the country would do it all over again rather than go back the "legal" status quo of pre-invasion Iraq.

Imagine if France had voted "yes" making it all "legal"?!

Now wouldn't that have been something to support!?

ANON

3/17/2008 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

It was up to Hans Blix to say whether Iraq had complied with UNSC resolutions. Blix said Iraq hadn't complied. This triggered actions based on the wording of UNSC resolution

guess who disagrees with this? Hans Blix.

Several new polls reiterate that at least half of Iraq's population believe that, all things considered, it was right for the US/UK coalition to invade Iraq.

as long as by "at least half" you mean "49%", or by "right" you mean "wrong". I think this is pretty much the last warning, "anonymous" - since you are a repeat offender in terms of posting things that aren't true, you are going to have to give us some sort of consistently maintained screen name, as I don't think it's fair to other anonymous commenters.

3/18/2008 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

It's simple fact that China and Russia's vetoes make UN action on authoritarian regimes unlikely.

And, indeed, the vetoes of the US, France and the UK.

3/18/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

WHy on earth would any country invade another if they didn't believe it was in their interests?

I always thought that the muscular liberal principle was that we would only be intervening in a country for it's own good ...

Again with the "legality" fetish ...

... because the rule of law is designed to make the world a more civilised place (even if it does not always achieve it).

Of course arbitrary and unilateral decisions are different if made by the likes of Putin, etc. etc.

3/18/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/18/2008 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Check out question 11.

Well I saw the report on Channel Four last night, and the situation is much more nuanced. In addition, Iraqi views are likely to be relativistic to their recent (appalling) situation. It's easy enough to feel that things are getting better, when they've been so bad for so long (and that includes under Saddam during economic sanctions).

Regarding democracy, then the Kurds and Shias are much more likely to be satisfied, as they have always had none, and it would be simple for me to cherry-pick statistics from the same survey, for example that, of the inhabitants of Dyala, only 10% are happy with the way democracy is developing.

But look at question 9 (Table 22). 70% (of the whole population, not just Sunnis) want the occupiers to leave.

3/18/2008 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On another matter, the Decent Lefties periodically moan about the moniker 'Decent', but 'til now they haven't proposed a convenient alternative. It might not catch on, but I'm pleased to see that Alan 'Not the Minister' Johnson is coining a wonderful replacement over a CiF: "the grown ups"!

Nah - that just sounds like a Martin Kettle trick (see also his use of 'Serious' - as mercilessly dissected by Glenn Greenwald over at Salon.)

3/18/2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

half the country would do it all over again rather than go back the "legal" status quo of pre-invasion Iraq.

Of course neither the question nor the answers mean anything of the sort.

But that's probably not "lying". Not as such.

Can I add my name to the calls for anonymous posters to provide one?

3/18/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be able to post under my nom de blog, but the change in the system means I can't unless I register - redpesto

3/18/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

redpesto - how about "Name/URL"? It comes out looking like this.

3/18/2008 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/18/2008 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/18/2008 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Look, I'm not trying to say that these poll results prove anything other than what they say at face value.

... the problem being that polls should never be taken at face value.

It's the same problem if you ask the "white working class" whether they think that immigration has made their life worse.

A majority would most likely answer "yes", at the same time as they tuck into their chicken tikka masala. Because that's unlikely to be the whole truth (if any part of it).

3/18/2008 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Note: "anonymous" is now having his posts deleted, after ignoring the final warning given above. Readers may want to bear this in mind when replying to him; either don't write long responses or make sure you quote his text, as I'm doing here.

please don't accuse me of lying

I'm not accusing you of lying. You are lying; that's a fact, not an accusation.

Check out question 11.

Why would I do that when it is question 16a which asks "Taking everything into account, do you feel that, so far, the 2003 invasion has been in the best interests of Iraq?" and question 16b which asks "In the long-term do you think the 2003 invasion will turn out to have been in the best interests of Iraq?" That was the question that you asserted this poll supported (actually you claimed that it was supported by "a variety of polls", which would appear to be another lie), not something generic about "whether democracy has made Iraq a better country".

But you could at least have the honesty to discuss it...

A man claiming that 48% is "at least half" is in a very poor position to demand anything of anyone else.

3/18/2008 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

But you could at least have the honesty to discuss it...

You could have added a link, which would be:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_03_08iraqpollmarch2008.pdf

Well it's notable that the poll ratings for this question are actually slightly worse than they were in 2004 - but they are pretty much unchanged throughout that time.

I just think that cherry-picking one part of a poll is pointless. Iraqis could have many reasons to answer positively to this question, not least the removal of Saddam, and the scores will always be distorted by the views of the Kurds and Shias who have profited from the invasion (much better to look at the Channel Four poll that provides a breakdown).

I mean. Look at the next question. The status of pretty much all public services are terrible, and worse than they were in 2004. Sure security is "better", but only because the US is paying the Sunni militias to defend their own areas, and the Mahdi Army is on ceasefire. None of the consequences of the war is yet resolved, nor shows signs of being resolved. That would be why 70% want the occupiers to leave (also a pretty unambiguous number).

3/18/2008 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Here's the direct link to the poll which Anonymous read until he found something that supported him and then rushed over here to post. The more relevant question 16 begins on page 138 and you will see that "Taking everything into account, do you feel that, so far, the 2003 invasion has been in the best interests of Iraq?" breaks down 29% yes, 48% no, while "In the long-term do you think the 2003 invasion will turn out to have been in the best interests of Iraq?" breaks down 23% yes, 46% no.

3/18/2008 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/18/2008 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

These were the base responses:

Absolutely Right: 21. Somewhat Right: 28. Somewhat Wrong:23. Absolutely Wrong: 27.


"anonymous", in a now deleted comment, presented these figures more or less truthfully, though I am at a loss to see why, unless he thinks we can't see that 21+28 is 49, or that 23+27 is 50.

3/18/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Anonymous, you might be realising by now that I am serious about requiring that you use the "Name/URL" option. You're pouring your words into a hole until you do.

3/18/2008 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Well, previously in a since-lost episode of Aaro Watch, anonymous claimed: What does it mean? I don't know...

We get the "I don't know" more than once, as it happens. Which is, odd, because a few spots back, assuming it was the same anonymous and now-deleted poster, we had:

After five years of chaos and blunders and bombs and countless deaths - half the country would do it all over again

Which is a statement that he, or she, did, in fact, know what it meant.

Now of course "somewhat right" doesn't mean "we would do it all over again". It can mean a number of things - for instance, "I can see why they did it and I think they had good intentions at the time", or any number of similar and dissimilar things - but it doesn't mean "we would do it all over again".

I personally think that this is quite common in Decent discussion - the use and generally the misuse of inference. In quoting the targets for their abuse, of course, it's standard practice, but it's common in the interpretation of statements and statistics also. Well, they're not alone in this but to my mind it plays rather too great a part in the house style. No?

3/18/2008 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

No - or rather yes. This particular anonymous poster has developed such a bad habit of misrepresenting things that I've lost patience. Look, the name/URL thing is not difficult guys, or you can do what redpesto did and give yourself a tag in the post. But just being "Anonymous" makes it impossible to tell who's saying what and means that it's quite possible that different anonymous posters get other people's arguments attributed to them. When there is one anonymous poster who's being systematically disingenous this is clearly intolerable. Also, deleting the comments destroys the thread of the covnersation and thus gives proper posters less of an incentive to respond to the troll (I realise I did this myself but I'm a slow learner).

3/18/2008 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/18/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you might be realising by now that I am serious about requiring that you use the "Name/URL" option. You're pouring your words into a hole until you do.

Okay. that's cool. But you said you'd delete me if I lied. I didn't (as far as I know) - but I'll use the name URL thing (after this post) if that's your rule.

Can you re-instate my posts? As I've explained I didn't "lie" - or didn't mean to.

Soon not to be ANON

3/18/2008 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Anonymous, you *are* lying about what the polls say, and this will continue to be the case so long as the boundary between "at least half" and "less than half" is drawn where the mathematicians have put it, at 50%.

I'm not deleting you for lying though - that's actually allowed on AW, although obviously we'd rather you didn't. I'm deleting you because you're not providing any sort of pseudonym, despite being asked to do so repeatedly. You could post the sermon on the mount and I'd still delete it if you didn't comply with this simple and reasonable request.

3/18/2008 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you read that last post before deleting it, Bruschetta?

I just want to be clear that I wasn't lying. I'm not trolling (except inasmuch as I'm a "Decent" and know discussion will often be heated)

Do I have a URL? I don't have a webpage or anythign like that... Will an email address do?

I can't seem to get in using Name/URL

Hawkforce

3/18/2008 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Did you read that last post before deleting it, Bruschetta?

Nope, I gave it a cursory glance to make sure that it was you rather than an innocent bystander and that's all.

Thanks for the name, "Hawkforce". Now that wasn't so fucking difficult was it?

On the central topic, I initially said "posting things that aren't true", but upgraded it to "lying" when you a) persisted in the error, b) started talking about a single source when you'd previously claimed to have "a variety" c) started trying to guide people to the semi-related question 11 of the Channel 4 poll rather than the directly relevant question 16 and d) tried to piss down our backs and tell us it was raining with respect to the difference between 49% and "at least half". Try and explain how this was all an innocent mistake if you like but it is certainly not going to end up in an apology, shall we say. The polls from Iraq do not say that "at least half of Iraq's population believe that, all things considered, it was right for the US/UK coalition to invade Iraq"; the BBC one says that a bare majority think it was wrong, and the Channel 4 one has a substantial majority saying it was "not in the interests of Iraq".

3/18/2008 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Hawkforce said...

Thanks for the name, "Hawkforce". Now that wasn't so fucking difficult was it?

Well, let's see if this post gets through the filters first...

Can you reinstate my posts? Is it possible?

I'm not deleting you for lying though - that's actually allowed on AW, although obviously we'd rather you didn't. I'm deleting you because you're not providing any sort of pseudonym, despite being asked to do so repeatedly

Well, fair enough. I didn't realise that.

Although, I'd consider flatout lying as grounds for banning someone because by knowingly stating something which is a lie is the defining characteristic of a troll in my experience...

3/18/2008 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Hawkforce said...

Here's the direct link to the poll which Anonymous read until he found something that supported him and then rushed over here to post.

Thanks for posting the link. Is the BBC one up as well? Sorry - I'm useless with HTML.

As for finding "something that supported him" - supported what, exactly?

This is one question asked of the Iraqi people. It's not going to prove anyone's point or agenda.

But it's pretty remarkable data, don't you think?

The more relevant question 16 begins on page 138 and you will see that "Taking everything into account, do you feel that, so far, the 2003 invasion has been in the best interests of Iraq?" breaks down 29% yes, 48% no, while "In the long-term do you think the 2003 invasion will turn out to have been in the best interests of Iraq?" breaks down 23% yes, 46% no.

Isn't it fairly obvious that this question has been taken as a comment on US motives rather than long term hopes for Iraq's future?

Of course Iraqis don't believe the US invasion was motivated by a consideration for "the best interests of Iraq". Nobody believes that.

How else is the discrepancy between this response and the others we've been discussing explained?

3/18/2008 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Isn't it fairly obvious that this question has been taken as a comment on US motives rather than long term hopes for Iraq's future?

No.

How else is the discrepancy between this response and the others we've been discussing explained?

By the rather less ambiguous wording of this question compared to the other one of which you are rather more fond?

3/18/2008 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Hawkforce said...

By the rather less ambiguous wording of this question compared to the other one of which you are rather more fond?

Huh? You really believe this?

How can you reconcile the BBC question 8:

Q8. From today’s perspective and all things considered, was it absolutely right, somewhat right, somewhat wrong, or absolutely wrong that US-led coalition forces invaded Iraq in spring 2003?

%48 Right %49 Wrong

And the Channel Four Question 11:

Q11: The conflict of the last five years will be justified if Iraq becomes a fully democratic country Abridged...

%48 Yes. %36 No.


How can you possibly reconcile these responses?

Actually that's a very interesting question.

3/18/2008 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

How can you possibly reconcile these responses?

By drawing a Venn diagram in which the set {would believe that the invasion was justified if Iraq were to become a functioning democracy (intersection) does not believe that Iraq will become a functioning democracy} contained 13% of the Iraqi population. This is not difficult.

3/18/2008 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

erratum - I of course mean 15% not 13%, as the proportion of Iraqis who do not believe that the invasion was in the best interests of Iraq (a completely unambigous sentence, of which hawkforce's interpretation is utterly perverse) is of course 51%

3/18/2008 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Hawkforce said...

proportion of Iraqis who do not believe that the invasion was in the best interests of Iraq (a completely unambigous sentence, of which hawkforce's interpretation is utterly perverse)

Come on... You must know my interprestation is not "utterly perverse" - it might be wrong but it's not perverse.

And of course it's ambiguous. You might be absolutely right but you must be able to see how another interpretation could be made - especially given the answers given to the other questions.

3/18/2008 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[Meanwhile - Phil: thanks for the tip, but that's not me, honest. redpesto]

3/18/2008 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger cian said...

Maybe Iraqis don't believe that it will be fully democratic. So there are a few death squads, militia, the US will keep its bases regardless of what Iraqis want and Iran has a certain influence. Little things, tiny things really.

3/18/2008 11:14:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Well I can't be bothered to re-check the the poll pdfs in detail again, but I'm pretty sure that one of them had the question "who is actually running Iraq", and 70% answered "the US".

3/19/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Imagine if France had voted "Yes" making it all legal."

Like with a lot of arguments made by apologists for the invasion of Iraq, I don't know what our new friend is getting at here. Blair's "second resolution" was withdrawn from the Security Council because it looked as if it was going to be defeated by a marging of about 4 to 11. France's vote on its own was not important and wasn't a veto (because France was on the same side as the majority of the Security Council).

If France, Mexico, Chile and Angola (for example) had all voted "yes" then there would indeed have been a UN mandate. But the fact is that they didn't, and they didn't because weapons' inspections were continuing and no WMD had been found. The majority of the SC were following Resolution 1441, while Blair was trying to move the goalposts by saying that it was already an established fact that Iraq had WMD (and then tried to move the goalposts yet again by claiming that the lack of WMD wasn't important).

So I have difficulty in understanding what our new firend is getting at, and in understanding this stuff about the "legality fetish" (which seems to echo some recent stuff from Martin Kettle about legalistic liberalism). International law was developed for very good reasons after WWII and the Iraq example seems to strengthen the case for it.

Guano

3/19/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

I have difficulty in understanding what our new firend is getting at, and in understanding this stuff about the "legality fetish"

I guess he's saying that if the run-up to the invasion had gone differently enough, the invasion could have been conducted legally; this legal invasion could have had exactly the same consequences; and if this sequence of events had happened we'd all be supporting it because then it would be legal. So aren't we in fact hypocrites for opposing what's actually happening in the real world?

To which the answer is of course, No. I don't know about anyone else, but the possibility that my actual beliefs may be inconsistent with the beliefs I might hold in an alternative universe doesn't bother me at all.

3/19/2008 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger donpaskini said...

There is a variant on the legality fetish argument where all the problems post-invasion are because the international community failed to support the invasion, hence:

"Isn't it time the STWC, the Liberal Democrats and Matthew Parris/Simon Jenkins issued an apology for not putting pressure on the UNSC to present a united front in removing Saddam hussein from power?"

3/19/2008 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the run-up to the invasion had been conducted differently ..."

Differently in what way? If Valerie Amos had gone to badger Angola three times in a month rather twice? If Colin Powell's power point hadn't been so pathetic?

The only way that they UNSC members might have voted for the invasion would be if they had based their vote on completely different criteria, ie regime change rather than WMD. But they didn't because they weren't asked to (at least in public) and because they don't agree with going down that slippery slope.

Guano

3/19/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Guano - differently enough. That's the trouble with you leftists, no imagination.

3/19/2008 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Ho ho

3/19/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

ejh - I laughed out loud. I am a very sad person.

(We don't need to actually read it, do we?)

3/19/2008 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article on the permanent damage done to the US's relations with and standing in the rest of the world by its bullying of and spying on allies like Chile, Latin America more generally, France, and Mexico in the UN in the lead up to the Iraq War:

http://tinyurl.com/yv6geb

Rather than lamenting France's refusal to back the US, perhaps, as Matthew Parris points out, he should spend more time worrying about the enormous blow America's behaviour has given to its prestige in the world. Going even further, how much is the present plummet in America's economy and currency caused by various nations in the world deliberately cutting America down to size?

johnf

3/23/2008 05:39:00 PM  

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