Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nick's conspiracy conspiracy

A sinister, behind-the-scenes cabal involving Al Qaeda, American Nazis, Gilad Atzmon, the SWP, and "literary ladies in their floral dresses", is bent on promoting sinister conspiracy theories. Or something like that, anyway.

24 Comments:

Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

This is the most unintentionally funny thing he's ever written.

I especially like this bit:

The nice, middle-class organisers of the Oxford Literary Festival had invited Israeli-born Gilad Atzmon who is - and you are going to have bear with me on this - a former winner of the BBC's jazz album of the year award.

Where does that 'bear with me' come form?

If he had been from the British National party, the festival would have had nothing to do with him

would Nick have had nothing to do with him, though? I mean he was called in as a last-minute speaker after all.


as he was a fellow traveller of the Socialist Workers party, the literary ladies in their floral dresses and the bookish gentlemen in their ill-fitting jackets welcomed him to the quadrangles of Oxford.

Oh dear, oh dear. And let's face it, Nick's not exactly well-dressed himself...

Him and aaro are still smarting after they discovered that shouting other speakers down and berating your hosts for inviting Atzmon is not going to appeal to people who have paid to attend, have they?

But in general he's jsut all over the place. and to plugs, in a month, for Aaro's book? including recycled material from Standpoint in this one?

6/14/2009 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger paul said...

Reminds me of the mind bending note 41 of the Report of the
Official Account of the Bombings in
London on 7th July 2005

41. As yet little material has been found directly from the others expressing
their motivation. There is some evidence that Tanweer was motivated
particularly by a desire for martyrdom. As described earlier, there are reports
of Hussain and Lindsay expressing extreme views at school. Conspiracy
theories also abounded, at least some of the bombers seem to have
expressed the view that the 9/11 attacks were a plot by the US.

6/14/2009 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I read some of that last night. I couldn't work it out either. (Still, he's not as bad as Debbie Shlussel.) Has Nick bought the Jonah Goldberg et al line that 'far right' is not an appropriate description of fascists? IIRC 'The Day of the Jackal' correctly Frederick Forsythe (Frederick Forsythe!) calls the plotters 'far right'. But perhaps Forsythe was really just a propagandist for the SWP or something. Militant nationalist racist reactionary = far right. I've never met anyone who seriously questioned this usage.

And the headbangers in the US have claimed for a very long time (since Lincoln?) that the Federal Government is out to suppress them and take their guns. This is exactly what the 9/11 truthers claim. It's all a plot to raise taxes and dilute our precious bodily fluids.

6/14/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Mr Kitty said...

My personal favourite is the dodgy dossier, whoops sorry Nick, questionnaire

"In 2003, a third of young Germans believed that al-Qaida was not a cult of death responsible for massacres."

I wonder what the wording of the poll takers was? "Do you think Al Qaida are a cult of death?" Answer yes or no, what box are they supposed to tick?

6/14/2009 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

...modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.

6/14/2009 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Whenever I argue with "truthers", I point out as gently as I can that they are the children of the Holocaust-deniers.

Just a thought, but I'd imagine this is why Nick's arguments, like Aaro's, have a tendency to end up as (often drunken) slanging matches where nothing actually gets resolved.

The conclusion just doesn't work either, does it? Nick cites Aaro's theory of a 'loose coalition' (ie one that only exists in his head) and tries to use it to prove that, despite all his links to the standard neo-Nazis, the Holocaust Museum gunman was actually from the SWP, or something.

And the proof for this is in the standard realpolitik of the UN Human Rights Commion (recycled material again, by the way, with that crap about Chavez being anti-religion, which he manifestly isn't)?

how on earth did he think this would work? and given that there's no new material in this piece at all, how does he actually spend his time?

also I can't find anything about this 'young germans' poll online. Cohen's wording sounds very suspicious indeed.

6/14/2009 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Mr Kitty said...

I'd tentatively suggest, and I have no proof, that he has an official poll along the lines of ...'Germans aged 18 -25, when asked the question did they believe that Al Qaida were terrorists a third of them said no".
Which fits neatly into what he is trying to say that..young germans are a bunch of fascists. Which is classic backfitting and fucking dangerous as well. It's also a dig at the "hamburg cell" and the islams in germany.

But he's so painfully transparent it's just getting dull.

6/14/2009 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Has Nick bought the Jonah Goldberg et al line that 'far right' is not an appropriate description of fascists?

Yes he has! (Either that or the publishers have found someone else called "Nick Cohen" to blurb the UK edition).

6/14/2009 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Whenever I argue with "truthers", I point out as gently as I can that they are the children of the Holocaust-deniers.

Crikey. I mean this is really nutty isn't it? Troofers may possess a host of strange tendencies but to say they are the same as holocaust deniers is just plain nuts.

6/14/2009 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger steve said...

"The last time I heard similar remarks was not in the back room of a Leeds pub" what the fuck does that mean? I ask rhetorically. Snide unsubstantiated crud - what the fuck does this cnt know about West Yorkshire other than it's oop north.

6/14/2009 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick seems to have fashioned his own tinfoil hat from the wrappers of Jonah Goldberg books, connected directly to well known loons on the itnerweb (Kerching). Nick says :-
"You know there are some very strange connections between these different conspiracy theorists. Makes you wonder if they are not working together. And you know, while they may seem to be on the fringes, I think they are secretly very powerful. Makes you wonder if the SWP run the BBC and the BNP, by manipulating jazz prizes ? The liberal left shot that bloke in the holocaust museum with bullets of pure relativism. Thank god there are people like me brave enough to unearth the truth. the more you deny my ideas, the more you show them to be true -"

6/14/2009 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mr Kitty said...

OT and OTT; re Aaro and Voodoo Histories and the general NC implosion. Does anyone have a reliable email address for AW as I want to plug this blog in a commentary I've got in the Socialist worker next week regarding Aaros' book and general position.

But I'm conscious of not drawing them into a debate not of their own inception. Emailed aaronovitch@googlemail bla bla without success.

If anyone does they can email dohraymefahsohlati@googlemail.com

6/14/2009 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Sorry about that Mr K; in principle the aaronovitchwatch@gmail.com address is the right one, it's just we're really lazy about checking it. dan1el@crookedtimber.org (with the numeral 1 replaced by an i, naturally) is probably the most reliable way of getting in touch with me, but precisely for that reason I'd rather not have it printed in the pages of Socialist Worker.

6/14/2009 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

y is losing it - from the indie:

Don't expect Observer columnist Nick Cohen on the Today programme any time soon. The firebrand launched a blistering attack on its presenters on Facebook, saying: "If you want to meet a pea-brained, slack-jawed, lolling-tongued, hunch-backed, club-footed, string-wart covered simpleton, look no further than John Humphrys or James Naughtie. Unusually stupid seven-year olds are smarter than Today programme presenters." The "string-warts" comment was unkind.

6/14/2009 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I'd be surprised if NC can even pronounce Jim Naughtie's surname correctly. I doubt he'll be saying that at some literary festival near you.

Life is unfair, and it's often fun to pick at the faults of those luckier than oneself. But I think Nick has simply let envy get the better of him. Presenting isn't anything like his gig. Both JH and JN have reservoirs of charm and very good radio voices; NC has neither. He'd be better of wondering why Andrew Rawnsley (about 10 years younger than Nick; also written books on NuLab) is the Observer's lead political columnist and NC isn't... Which presenters would NC like?

There was a good piece in the Graun recently by Ian Jack. Nick likes to deride the middle class; but they're the people who still support Labour.

6/15/2009 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick's slurred insults are becoming ever more bonkers. Johan Hari was "Maoist", now Jim Naughtie is a hunch-back? What next - will he accuse the Liberal Democrats of being wisps made of air, gas and magic?

6/15/2009 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Der Bruno Stroszek said...

"Attyfurly" on Wikipedia recently referred to him as "Johanna Hari". Ouch! That's gotta sting! Er, if you're six years old, that is.

(Word verification: "ponces". No, really)

6/15/2009 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Sangiovese Fellow said...

Which presenters would NC like?

Which indeed? Maybe Paul Wolfowitz and Jonah Goldberg?

6/16/2009 04:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

What next - will he accuse the Liberal Democrats of being wisps made of air, gas and magic?


Clearly some mistake here, as the Liberal Democrats in fact are...

6/16/2009 07:32:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

The whole 'what does Nick actually want' question is especially interesting with regard to television. He seem to disapprove of all BBC news output, as well as all TV investigative journalism in general (oh with the exception of Martin Bright's prog on Ken, natch), the only drama he's admitted liking was 'the devil's whore' and he didn't even like that much, and the only comedy I can remember him liking was one episode of the otherwise-hated Daily Show because Jon Stewart said something mildly 'against' Obama.

The truth is, I don't think he really likes TV in general, or radio either. I doubt even he would really like Fox News, though he goes on Sky News fairly often. Depressingly he looks like he's going down the path of 'hating the MSM' in general like a lot of Harrys place regulars - but he seems to hate the BBC most, which will get him airtime when the tories try to reduce the licence fee...

this is why I find it so odd that Standpoint have got him to do a TV column - the whole point of TV writing is that you have to actually like the medium, otherwise you just look like Nick does when writing on the arts - a philistine.

6/16/2009 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah... Nick's reference to "Joanna Hairi" is hilarious. Cos, like, foreign-sounding names are dead funny. And calling gay men by women's names - that's priceless.

Moee of this ribald satire please Nick!

6/16/2009 08:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Der Bruno Stroszek said...

Incidentally, I wonder if the recent events in Belfast might cause Nick to rethink his infamous line that Jews are the only people whose slaughter official society will excuse?

6/17/2009 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Why should they? There's been condemnation from all sides (and nobody has actually been slaughtered).

6/18/2009 06:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Der Bruno Stroszek said...

It's come closer to mass murder than any British incident of anti-Semitism in living memory, though. I was seriously taken aback by the idea that scores of people would (apparently without coordination) try to kill members of a minority group, even babies, and apparently the Jeremy Vine show yesterday was full of the usual wankers phoning in and saying of course they don't condone what happened but you see a lot of Romanians in Belfast out begging, so there's clearly equal blame on both sides.

Frankly, I think it's bonkers to say "official society" would excuse the slaughter of anyone in the sense of a government press statement being issued saying "Well done, keep up the good work!", but this has more of an authentic whiff of 1930s Germany than anything I've read Nick Godwinning his heart out over. I'd be amazed if he even mentions it on Sunday.

6/18/2009 06:51:00 PM  

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