Monday, April 21, 2008

Alan Not The Minister responds

And, like Roy in Bladerunner, for a short while Euston burned so very very brightly ...

Yes of course he actually said that, do you think I'm lying or something?

Other highlights:

David Miliband's recent speech on the democratic imperative set out a post-Blair not an anti-Blair foreign policy. If Euston helped to create the political space for that speech to be given then it was all worth it.

Quiz time! First read this paragraph:

The intellectual and campaigning energies that created the manifesto continue to pulse. Go online and look at normblog, Harry's Place, Engage, Labour Friends of Iraq, Democratiya, and the work of all the contributing online journals, blogs, signatories, journalists and activists.

then guess which blog title was *not* accompanied by a link.

I note that "Not The" is following the Eustonaut house style in responding to me without mentioning me by name. While this obviously deprives me of the oxygen of publicity and doesn't reward my childish and troll-like behaviour, it is a bit rough on the poor old readers who might not understand what the fuck this is all about. It's also potentially counterintuitive, because deprived of context, a great big essay "Euston! Fuck Yeah!" about a recently-deceased political movement might come over a bit unattractively self-important.

A few more notes by Chardonnay Chap 22/4 12:00

There's another connection between Alan 'NTM' Johnson and Roy Batty (apart from the appropriate surname) in Blade Runner.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


You know, fire doesn't burn in space. The shoulder of Orion isn't a physical place (Dick or the scriptwriter was probably thinking of Betelgeuse, not that makes any more sense. I don't know what C-beams are. And is that Tannhauser as in the opera by 19th post-leftist Richard Wagner? Probably, Philip Dick was fond of throwing in references to orchestral music. In short, Roy saw some fairly doubtful things. Also, reading his life as 'burning brightly' is a triumph of existential interpretation: elsewhere he says of his revenge-taking, "Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave." Roy's short life was fairly shitty: that's why he and the others escaped. (Harrison Ford's Deckard is a slave too: he has no choice but to hunt the replicants, even though he should realise that he's one himself.) Well, if that's how A'NTM'J sees the Euston thing, so be it.

Did he also say, "The reductionism in the theory licensed habits of mind and structures of feeling well-known among the older fellow travellers of Stalinism - apologia, denial, grossly simplifying tendencies of thought, moral relativism." Why yes, he did. None of these could be said of his apologia for torture.

I think there is something wrong with John Rees' "Socialists should unconditionally stand with the oppressed against the oppressor, even if the people who run the oppressed country are undemocratic and persecute minorities, like Saddam Hussein." But it's the bit about 'standing with' and 'unconditionally' at that. If he's stuck to "opposing oppression wherever we find it" he'd have been just fine with me.

Anti-Americanism. A lunatic book like Thierry Meyssan's Le 11 Septembre 2001, l'Effroyable Imposture (translated into English as 9/11: The Big Lie) - was given respectful attention in Le Monde Diplomatique and sold 200,000 copies in France within one month of publication.


Alan Johnson never misses the opportunity for conflating the views of one reviewer with those of the publication the review appears in. A couple of things about Le Monde Diplomatique. Its circulation is 350,000 in France (just over the New Statesman's 30,000 [source: Google]). One of of every two magazine readers buying a particular book seems unlikely. In the comments below, Alain Gresh, deputy director of Le Monde diplomatique, has said that the magazine criticized the book. The book's own website states (I've taken out footnote references):

The first articles about The Big Lie were not published in French newspapers. When the book began to appear in French bookstores and Thierry Meyssan had not been invited yet to any television program, two newspapers, one in Chile and another in Hungary, talked about his research on 9/11 with interest. Later, French dailies Le Monde and Libération wrote full pages to accuse him after the author’s appearance at the Thierry Ardisson’s show (France 2) on March 16. The position of the two newspapers that accused him of “lying” and “revisionism” was completely accepted by the French media as a whole. But abroad, countless newspapers highlighted the pertinence of the research.


Not much evidence of widespread anti-Americanism there. Johnson again:

Albert Camus warned that a love of freedom and progress can become "weirdly inseparable from a morbid obsession with murder and suicide".


Certainly true of Albert Camus himself. Since Americanism (is there such a word? anti-anti-Americanism seems too cumbersome) professes to love both, what does that say about us?

The Paul Berman quote in which the link is wrapped round the words "a few Jews" (for reasons I really can't fathom) comes from a New York Times review of Philip Roth's The Plot Against America (link goes to the whole thing on one page; subs may be required). Berman doesn't produce any evidence for his statement about large publics, but, if Berman says it, Johnson believes it.

Johnson's hubris and vanity are staggering. He takes credit for David Miliband's speeches though there's no evidence that the Foreign Minister needed the 'political space' (?!) to be created.

The most fun reaction to all this comes here. I don't like using 'here' as link text, but read it first before you know who wrote it.

I am the more concerned to make these points, registering my dissent from the usage 'post-left', because Alan's latest deployment of the term links it, explicitly, with the aims of The Euston Manifesto, and so might be taken to commit others amongst its supporters. As the principal author of that document and one of the group that formed around it who attended all of the drafting meetings (and pretty well all of the meetings, period), I feel in a good position to say that that linkage was not there in the manifesto itself or in the thinking of at least some of those who produced it.

56 Comments:

OpenID splinteredsunrise said...

(shakes head sadly...)

And in NTM's list of vital Eustonian intellectual production there are a few things I would have thought he'd be embarrassed to even mention.

I notice to that he's still trying to make "post-left" happen. I also note that in his Mail column, Nick's new friend Littlejohn is using "The Fascist Left". Any odds on who's going to be the first Decent to pick that up?

4/21/2008 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

On the one hand it's laughable, but on the other hand it suits an awful lot of people to behave like this and so it's going to carry on. I can see this poisoning political discourse for a very long time to come.

4/21/2008 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous shake said...

I find it really funny that Alan NTM was happy to respond in the comments section to your piece on euston, and yet hasn't even mentioned it in this piece. So much for 'allowing disagreement' and intellectual honesty etc. As with everything else, Eustonauts only believe in that sort of thing when it suits them.

I find it odd that he's trying to claim Euston as a 'moment' when it had 2 annual conferences, and one of its 'triumphs - Nick Cohen's book - came out almost a year after the EM was announced. Is this a two-year-long moment? Nick and Norm specifically call it a ' a new left movement' in their NS piece introducing it.

and doesn't this:

we lacked the doctrinal agreement to become a group

sit rather oddly with the idea of a political manifesto? surely the whole point of signing a manifesto is because you agree with the statements in it?

4/21/2008 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Also in the orignal press release:

"We simply want to launch this movement in a co-ordinated way"

so you can see how people were confused. Perhaps they were simply typos...

4/21/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

I note that the Guardian's inexplicable refusal to follow the sensible naming conventions is already causing confusion

4/21/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

I'll try that again

4/21/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Didn't Roy survive 4 years?

4/21/2008 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

guess which blog title was *not* accompanied by a link

I win!

"Go online and look at... well, no, don't look at them obviously, but..."

4/21/2008 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Yes of course he actually said that

Bloody hell, he did. What a truly bizarre speech to quote. As Euston dies, it would like to point out that it saw things you people wouldn't believe; on the down side, however, all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

I think it's clear why D^2 doesn't get a mention, as graceless as the omission is - he's actually built this piece around the proposition he was strenuously trying to deny in the comments to D^2's, viz. that Euston is over.

we had no staff or money and we never really sought such things.

They never really sought money? That's making the qualifying adverb do an awful lot of work.

4/21/2008 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

From the comments


alaingresh

Comment No. 1288429

April 21 13:24
FRA

Alan Johnston wrote: A lunatic book like Thierry Meyssan's Le 11 Septembre 2001, l'Effroyable Imposture (translated into English as 9/11: The Big Lie) - was given respectful attention in Le Monde Diplomatique and sold 200,000 copies in France within one month of publication.

This is untrue. Le Monde diplomatique, on the contrary, has criticized Meyssan's book and all the "plot theories" about 11th of September. Everyone could check this by reading Serge Halimi's article about the book
http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2002/05/HALIMI/16522

or by reading this article by Patrck Cockburn
http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2006/12/COCKBURN/14270

Alain Gresh
deputy director of Le Monde diplomatique
[Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.]

4/21/2008 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

As usual, the 'left' from which the Eustonauts are supposedly distancing themselves, turns out not to be a political movement but a small number of warblogger memes from about 2002. John Pilger said we couldn't be choosy! Tony Benn wasn't rude enough to Saddam Hussein! Someone from the Socialist Workers' Party once said something a bit stupid! The general public in Western Europe is vaguely anti-semitic, because Paul Berman says so!

You would think if the 'post-left' was such an important phenomenon that NTM wouldn't have to dredge from the same small number of examples.

Oh, and no less than seven hyperlinks to various Decentiya articles.

4/21/2008 09:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy Stangroom said...

It was always blindingly obvious that the Euston thing would fail, but all this dancing on its grave lacks class. Group-Schadenfreude is just a little distasteful.

4/21/2008 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

Alan gives the impression that Euston is a credible movement by knitting together everyone that could be possibly associated with it, including bloggers, and claiming somehow that these (mainly online) witterings constitute that famed "fresh political alignment".

However, another view is that Euston is merely an online device; airy statements that a various people signed up to, and this was then hawked as a "fresh alignment".

However, this is just putting a new label on something that existed before - essentially the right wing of the Labour Party, and (increasingly) neoconservatives. There is nothing fresh or new here, actually.

Hence the real world events organised by Euston - the conferences and 'debates' - are heavily dominated by Labour or Labour supporting figures, or neoconservatives.

4/21/2008 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

"If Euston helped to create the political space for that speech to be given then it was all worth it."

Until the EM no-one could have given a speech about how we had to invade other countries to bring them the fruits of freedom!

Of course we did on fact invade two countries before the launch, but no-one had the "political space" to talk about it.

4/22/2008 06:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact, Sonic, I think that it's better to see Euston (and all its other manifestations) as post-hoc justifications for those two invasions (which previous to their occurrence had been justified on other grounds). There wasn't political space to talk about those post-hoc justifications before the event because it wouldn't have worked. What is interesting is that, as it becomes clearer that we haven't brought the fruits of freedom to Afghans and Iraqis, the shrieking from the Eustonauts gets louder. New post-hoc justifications get scraped from the barrel. The rubble from Stalin's purges gets picked over so as to avoid picking over the rubble of Baghdad.

Our political elite are never going to admit that invading Iraq was a bad idea. They have invested too much capital in it. Admitting the error would involve admitting that even a chancer like Galloway was shrewder that they were. The Decent Left provides a useful smokescreen that helps avoid discussing the serious issues rased by those two invasions.

4/22/2008 07:18:00 AM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

It was always blindingly obvious that the Euston thing would fail, but all this dancing on its grave lacks class.

Wrong and wrong. It was not blindingly obvious at all; it looked quite credible at several points in time that the Euston Manifesto might get enough of a push from the excellent media connections of some of its supporters to become a viable pressure group within the Labour Party, not unlike Compass. And since, as Alan Not The Minister points out at length, all the Eustonians are still around and pushing the same line, I think "dancing on its grave" is not really in question; this is the same political fight between us and the Eustonauts, and it is still going on.

Group-Schadenfreude is just a little distasteful.

Really? There's this blog you might have heard of called "Butterflies and Wheels" that seems to spend an awful lot of its time kicking harmless old men for believing in God. Why don't you have a word with them.

4/22/2008 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

The schadenfreude may just be connected to the terms in which the Euston people have chosen to conduct their side of the debate. If all they had done was made a serious mistake, then so be it: all of us do that. But as they decided to make a very obvious mistake while screaming "pro-fascist" and "anti-Semite" at people who took a dim view of that error - and that, perhaps, the screaming got in the way of their judgement and helped bring about the error in the first place - it's not entirely out of order for those they traduced to wear a small and happy smile.

4/22/2008 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lke Pris in Bladerunner, the Euston manifesto will go out thrashing wildly and inhumanly on the ground.

I predicted all this ten years ago, you know. See:
http://www.red-star-research.org.uk/rpm/maxingun.html
and scroll down to 'Amnesty International With Rockets'

The point I made there is that Charlie Brown will always kick the football, even though Lucy keeps taking it away.

Chris Williams

4/22/2008 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Sonic said...

True anon.

One appeal I would make is that we stop enabling the likes of the HP gang.

If we all stopped posting there and they had no targets for their daily hate then I'm sure they would dissolve like the wicked witch of the East.

4/22/2008 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

West. The Wicked Witch of the East died when Dorothy's house fell on her.

It is sheer relativism to fail to distinguish clearly between East and West and it is time that the Left....

4/22/2008 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the mistake cannot have been a mistake. The good people cannot have made a mistake and a crowd of a million or so (with some bad people at the front) couldn't have been correct. You never know where it will lead if we we start thinking that sort of thing.

Guano

4/22/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous shake said...

He takes credit for David Miliband's speeches though there's no evidence that the Foreign Minister needed the 'political space' (?!) to be created.

there was obviously no Euston-derived space involved in the delivery of that speech, it could have been made the week after the Iraq war started. The only reason NTM is even bringing that up is because Miliband allowed it to be reprinted in Decentiya, ages after it was delivered - cue another link (but not one to harry's place obviously).

4/22/2008 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy Stangroom said...

" to become a viable pressure group within the Labour Party"

Yeah - but that's not exactly a realignment of progressive politics, is it?

"Why don't you have a word with them."

I'm not responsible for the content of B&W.

4/22/2008 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy Stangroom said...

"But as they decided to make a very obvious mistake while screaming "pro-fascist" and "anti-Semite" at people who took a dim view of that error"

Obvious mistake? I'm not quite sure what you mean here.

Anyway, the abuse has always gone in both directions. Not that I particularly object to abuse. It's more the whole enjoying other people's discomfort that I find rather distasteful. (Though no doubt I've been guilty of the same thing in the past; and I'll probably be guilty of it again.)

4/22/2008 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Obvious mistake? I'm not quite sure what you mean here.

To loudly support the invasion of Iraq.

4/22/2008 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy Stangroom said...

"To loudly support the invasion of Iraq."

Ah right. But please don't tell me you're wearing a "small and happy smile" because they were wrong about that (if they were)?

Probably you just meant the whole Euston thing.

I've got to say, though, that I still find this idea of being happy because of the misfortunes of others a little distasteful.

4/22/2008 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I have to say your point eludes me, unless it be to express your own moral superiority, something I am sure we would all be happy to acknowledge in the light of your achievements in that field.

4/22/2008 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous little plum said...

"I still find this idea of being happy because of the misfortunes of others a little distasteful".
Your distaste would be appropriate if people here were sneering at the homeless or at paraplegics. In fact they are chortling over the downfall of a cabal of bombastic blusterers who choose to promote their particular brand of politics (itself deeply distasteful, but leave that aside) through crude smears, innuendo, guilt by association and character assassination. And let me add a small chortle of my own to the general chorus.

4/22/2008 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

I'm not responsible for the content of B&W.

nor are you responsible for the content of Aaronovitch Watch but it does not, apparently, stop you gobbing off around here, where you have few or no friends; why not buzz over to one of your friends' blogs and start handing out your unsolicited etiquette advice over there?

The Eustonites' poisonous brand of politics could have had a huge success but it didn't, which is worth celebrating, and it still could, which is why it is both sensible and "classy" to continue to jokily remind the world exactly what's wrong with them. Aaronovitch Watch and our mates on other blogs played our little part in its downfall by constantly reminding the world that the Eustonians were full of it, and that's worth celebrating.

It's more the whole enjoying other people's discomfort that I find rather distasteful.

Well there are Avogadro's Number of other websites you can visit then, admittedly most of them are to do with making pictures out of cross-stitch, but your particular prissy brand of wowserism has plenty of potential online outlets and I suggest you start looking for them.

Seriously, Jeremy, try not to be such a knobhead[1], will you? It's called politics, everyone does it and it's not going away any time soon.

4/22/2008 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

By the way, what misfortunes? Nick Cohen has written a successful book, Alan NTM Johnson is editor of a journal, Norman Geras continues to enjoy a happy retirement, Denis MacShane is now chairing a backbench committee; I'm not aware of a single man-jack of the Euston Manifesto crowd who aren't better off than they were two years ago; all of them who were politically active within the Labour Party continue to be so.

If they had lost their careers and reputations along with the failure of their silly political movement (which certainly appears to have actually happened to a number of members of RESPECT), then there would be a bittersweet tang to our celebrations to reflect the individual personal tragedies which had been an unavoidable result of the political failure. As it is, there's nothing but good news.

4/22/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy Stangroom said...

Sweetie, Daniel, the fact that I'm not responsible for the content of AW is not, in and of itself, a reason to refrain from commenting here. If it were, then you risk only talking to yourselves (which of course is pretty much the case - but you get what I mean).

However, the fact that I am not responsible for the content of B&W is an entirely appropriate response to your slightly strange - you're kind of obsessed with B&W aren't you? - remark about "having a word".

"The Eustonites' poisonous brand of politics could have had a huge success "

No it couldn't have had.

"It's called politics, everyone does it and it's not going away any time soon."

That's not actually a very good argument, Daniel. It's kind of a combination between an argumentum ad antiquitam and an argumentum ad populum.

"try not to be such a knobhead[1], will you?"

Classy, Daniel, classy. You do AW proud. Well done!

4/22/2008 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

It's kind of a combination between an argumentum ad antiquitam and an argumentum ad populum.

Now that is classy.

4/22/2008 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Obsessed

Of course. I'm interested, you're obsessed.

My, and isn't that obsession a bit suspicious.

Remind me, why does this one never cut the other way?

4/22/2008 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous dsquared said...

You didn't even try, did you?

4/22/2008 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

It's more the whole enjoying other people's discomfort that I find rather distasteful.

What discomfort? In the post linked to NTM argues, I assume sincerely, that Euston was a good deed in a wicked world and had a positive outcome.

I'd be very surprised if anyone on the Decent Left regarded Euston as some kind of terrible tragedy for the cause or is facing personal or professional ruin as a result of it so I think that a certain amount of amusement at the contrast between the fanfare that heralded Euston's entry into the world and the whimper which notes its departure is both innocent and ordinate.

Unless you are opposed to any kind of satire and mickey taking in general - which strikes me as an unnecessarily austere position but it would be consistent.

4/22/2008 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

By the way, of course (and I promise I will post some proper content soon, loyal and long suffering fans), Jeremy is of course fibbing when he claims not to be responsible for the content of Butterflies & Sneers.

Jeremy Stangroom (Associate Editor/Webmaster)

And for that matter:

Better get that domain name registration updated Jeremy, it expires in six weeks.

Why would anyone try to bullshit me about something a) which they know I know and b) which is so easily proved? The risk of "only talking to ourselves" really does look more and more like a risk worth taking. Sweetie.

4/22/2008 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous shake said...

Unless you are opposed to any kind of satire and mickey taking in general

given the utter lack of humour (and self-awareness) in almost all Decent writing, and given Nick Cohen's batshit crazy idea about what satire is, I'm not sure how farthis actually is from the truth...

4/23/2008 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger pj said...

"Jeremy is of course fibbing when he claims not to be responsible for the content of Butterflies & Sneers."

Although your primary objection is to the Notes and Comments bit (the blog part), which is written by Ophelia Benson - and from her comments there I think she now runs the whole site mostly herself - so all must have prizes.

4/23/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

? I thought Butterflies and Wheels was the name of the blog?

4/23/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Winstanley said...

While we're talking about distasteful schadenfreude Jeremy, commenters on one of your favourite blogs are currently chuckling over the murder of British academic Malcolm Caldwell. (And if NTM can't be arsed to link to them then neither shall I).

Might I suggest you pontificate over there?

4/23/2008 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger pj said...

I don't think so, or at least the main Butterflies and Wheels page mostly consists of links to articles and news items, whereas there is a little bit on the bottom left of the page where it says:

"Notes and Comment
Blogging Butterflies and Wheels style. And your chance to disagree with us!"

Which links to the blog-like bit.

4/23/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

I've been pondering about the coincidence of the EM anniversary and the 40 year anniversary of 1968, and thought it would be useful to jointly commemorate this with some slogans that might combine the two.

The first I came up with was "Beneath the cobbles ... the war bunker", but then I thought that it might be too humourless.

So the best I've come up with so far is "Be realistic ... demand that the post-conflict planning is done a little bit better next time".

Any other offers?

4/23/2008 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

"The call to prayer rings: first Islamofascist of the day"

4/23/2008 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about:

Baghdad! Tehran! And Darfur!/Intervention's What We're For!

[redpesto]

4/23/2008 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Ophelia said...

"? I thought Butterflies and Wheels was the name of the blog?"

You thought wrong, Daniel. pj has it right. Butterflies and Wheels is not a blog, it's a website, which includes a blog. That's not all that hard to figure out, I would think.

"Jeremy is of course fibbing when he claims not to be responsible for the content of Butterflies & Sneers."

No he isn't. (And you sneering at anyone for sneering is a bit rich, you know.) I'm responsible for all the content at B&W; Jeremy is innocent of any of it. I was responsible for nearly all of it from the beginning (September 2002) and have been for all of it since about May 2003, because Jeremy has been busy with other things. Jeremy is not "fibbing" or, in the vernacular, lying.

4/23/2008 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Cian said...

Hmm, Jeremy and Ophelia. Oh yeah, "Why Truth Matters". Odd book, that fails to give a terribly satisfactory answer to the question posed by the title. Also has a peculiarly garbled defense of that old monster "Napoleon Chagnon" [1]. And it was very shrill. Why is that? What is it about defending orthodox^H^H^H^H^H^H^H I mean truth, that makes people so shrill.

Anyway otherwise fairly mediocre entry in science/PM wars. Did I miss anything?

[1] Ok the measles thing was bizarre. But the man's methodology was appallingly unethical, and almost certainly biased his data in some pretty bizarre ways.

4/23/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave Weeden said...

Ophelia, I've just looked at your About Butterflies and Wheels. The bottom section is titled "Who are we?" It DOES NOT make it clear that you write all the blog bits and Jeremy is just the webmaster. "Much of the content of Butterflies and Wheels is made up of contributions from independent academics (who may or may not have sympathy with our agenda). But editorially, we are two people: ..." Neither of you is credited with writing; you are both credited with editing. D2 may have been wrong in fact, but he took his evidence from the best source available.

4/23/2008 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ophelia said...

"D2 may have been wrong in fact, but he took his evidence from the best source available."

Dave,

That's what I said. I said Daniel was wrong - I didn't say he was "fibbing." But he did in fact announce as a fact that Jeremy was "fibbing," and he was wrong about that. It's bad form to announce that people are lying when they're not.

4/23/2008 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ophelia said...

P.S. I don't write just the blog bits, I write everything except the articles (which I edit and format and post); I post all the links in every section, etc. I'm to blame for every bit of it. It is all entirely my fault, not Jeremy's.

I know the About page does not say that; the About page dates from September 2002 and needs to be updated, but it's on a static page that I don't have access to. Thinking Jeremy is partly to blame for B&W is understandable in the absence of other evidence, but since he said he wasn't - taking his word for it would have been one option.

4/23/2008 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The schadenfreude may just be connected to the terms in which the Euston people have chosen to conduct their side of the debate."

Calling anti war lefties 'fascists' is bound (designed?) to provoke an angry response.

It's like going into a WI meeting during a debate about how best to deal with prostitutes and calling everyone who disagrees with you 'whores'

But when you choose to target 1 million people from a broad base in society with the accusation that they were "marching to keep saddam in power" when you know full well that they were not, you are fucking asking for it.

If the allegation was that people were unwittingly/'objectively pro fascist for not supporting the war this would be better, but that's not what is meant. Hence the whole 'red-brown alliance', 'Respect are a fascist party' bollocks.

Anyways, notice how NC tries to have it both ways re the Mayoral election. He says don't vote livingstone, but when people point out that in a two horse race this is helping the Tories in, he gets all "I have the right to vote with my conscience". Bollocks. In his terms he's self indulgently "voting to ensure that Johnson gets power" (no doubt it's got something with postmodernism)

And the fucker earns loads of money, so he won't suffer the consequences if the Tories get in.

I'm not a labour supporter but I know who the enemy is

4/23/2008 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

But Jeremy presumably edits it, or he wouldn't be an editor. Or is this the equivalent of investment banks and their multitudes of vice-presidents?

4/23/2008 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ophelia said...

No, Jeremy doesn't edit it; I do. As I said, the About page was written in September 2002, when Jeremy set up B&W. He intended to play an active part then, but he ended up not having the time.

I don't know how to make it any clearer. I'm responsible for all the content on B&W, and Jeremy is responsible for none of it. He's not guilty. I am.

4/23/2008 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

when people point out that in a two horse race this is helping the Tories in, he gets all "I have the right to vote with my conscience". Bollocks.

Well, not bollocks, because he does. People have the right to say that neither of the choices on offer are appealing to them. It's reasonable to say to them "are you aware of the potential consequences?" but it's surely reasonable of them to reply "yes, but I think I must do this nevertheless". I personally, if I had a vote (which I do not) would vote Livingstone without hesitation, but I wouldn't vote for Clinton against McCain - not that I have a vote in that one either - and so I'm surely obliged to respect other people's refusal of the either/or.

4/24/2008 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous shake said...

People have the right to say that neither of the choices on offer are appealing to them. It's reasonable to say to them "are you aware of the potential consequences?" but it's surely reasonable of them to reply "yes, but I think I must do this nevertheless".

Indeed it is. but the problem with Nick using this argument is that his Iraq War protest logic, where opposition to war = support for saddam, not matter the actual opinion of individual marchers on Saddam, should negate this pathway. The 'either/or' is a near-constant feature of Nick's political thought, often in cases to which it is far less obviously applicable than this.

And in any case, his 'nevertheless' reply doesn't work, because his reasons for voting for Paddick are based on half-truths, and the numbers he is using to justify his support simply don't add up.

4/24/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

but the problem with Nick using this argument is that his Iraq War protest logic, where opposition to war = support for saddam, not matter the actual opinion of individual marchers on Saddam, should negate this pathway.

Well indeed.

4/24/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Speaking of RESPECT, I was interested* to read this:

We are writing about the "Muslim preachers" who have been found guilty of terrorism (Report, April 19). One of them, Abu Izzadeen, was interviewed several times on Newsnight. What we fail to understand is that while the government is so keen on stopping terrorism, time and again we see people like Izzadeen go on national television to express their extremist views. If you give platforms to people like Izzadeen then they will use it. When is the government going to stop groups like al-Muhajiroun, who are the same people who held George Galloway captive in a meeting in the 2005 election and say people should not vote in elections. We in the Muslim community must do everything to stop all forms of terrorism and people with extremist views. But we are so angry at these kinds of programmes that we have contacted the Metropolitan police commander for Tower Hamlets to arrange a meeting to discuss them.

Cllr Oliur Rahman, Cllr Rania Khan and Cllr Lutfa Begum
Respect, Tower Hamlets

*OK, more startled and horrified, but I didn't want to give it away.

And pleasantly surprised by this:

I was very surprised to see a letter from three Tower Hamlets councillors purporting to represent my party, Respect, (Letters, April 23). They are in fact three of four who deserted our Respect group on Tower Hamlets council more than six months ago. One of them has since joined the Tory party; these three now appear to be joining the depleted supporters of the home secretary, Jacqui Smith.

I have more reason than most to carry no brief for Abu Izzadeen. Groups like his oppose me precisely because I offer political engagement to young Muslims, as I am doing in the London assembly elections. But all who are concerned about liberty and genuine security should look soberly at his trial. He was jailed for four and half years for an emotional speech on the eve of the US destruction of Falluja. I know no one who would seek to defend all of his words. But the legal basis for conviction should sound alarm bells. Under the anti-terror legislation many speeches against the Iraq war would fall foul. Izzadeen’s words were uttered in November 2004, but action was taken only much later after he had made national news for heckling the then home secretary, John Reid, in September 2006.

The government and police already have huge powers to deal with terrorism. The current attempt to increase the period of detention without charge to 42 days will only provide grist to the mill of violent separatists. It is mainly by addressing the causes of terrorism that it will be defeated. Kneejerk reactions will make matters worse.

George Galloway MP
Respect, Bethnal Green & Bow

Will Galloway condemn...? No, quite frankly, he won't.

I wonder if this will make Marko reconsider his refusal to support either side in the "wonderful split" in RESPECT.

4/24/2008 12:43:00 PM  

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