Thursday, November 26, 2009

Decency means never having to say "we're sorry we unquestioningly recycled some wingut talking points".

Oh dear. Once more, the Decent Left (tendence communitarian-Islamophobic) hands on some talking points to the political mainstream without carrying out its quality assurance. Entertainingly, the original source for this is Andrew Gilligan, about whose checking issues one might have thought the Decents were more aware than anyone.

Nick Cohen is meanwhile discovering the network, with a scattergun approach of seemingly condemning people for their connections to people who are connected to other people in a circular daisy-chain of awfulness, the prime offender being someone whose main crime according to Harry's Place is that he's sued the BBC for calling him an extremist and won.

This clown show repeats itself every few months and we don't even always cover it when it rolls through town. Good to see that Michael Gove has dropped another one on his own toes, though; presumably the Conservative Central Office equivalent of Malcolm Tucker will even now be firmly recommending to him that he stick to blazers and Latin, and leave the Greatest Intellectual Struggle Of Our Time to the grown-ups.

46 Comments:

Blogger Mr Kitty said...

NC in the Observer part of the Rantpoint article:
"...said of Adolf Hitler's massacre's of the Jews..."

Factually problematic (the Hitler bit anyway) and suspicious of a punctuation problem.

Apart from that he's really launched into one here. It's a staccato of vent-spleening shite.

"The fix is in and Islamists are all over Whitehall again."

The last para in the Rantpoint:

"I was faintly bemused by the reaction to my book What's Left? Mainstream leftists tut-tutted and said that I was tilting at straw men. Some extremists such as Ken Livingstone and George Galloway may have gone over from far left to far right, they accepted, but the mainstream was as principled as ever. Now a Labour prime minister is firing leftish Muslims and promoting bigots. As David Cameron seemed to grasp when he attacked Gordon Brown for funding the schools run as front organisations for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Prime Minister's Questions today, the left's indifference to or support of clerical reaction represents this government's final descent into decadence."

This is simple opportunism and a ridiculous promotion for his childish book and a feeble attempt to grab the reactionary low-ground.

Does he seriously think that the liberal "left" (whatever that fucking means to him anymore) fancy hopping into bed with people who advocate female castration and wife-beating? (Which he mentions midway) It's a low-blow even by his standard.

11/26/2009 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I really don't know what to say about the NC effort. Is that really the lead article in Standpoint? His take on the Jan Moir/Stephen Gately/Twitter story is very odd.

The protesters weren't readers of the Mail, who remained as suspicious of gay liberation as ever. They were opponents of social conservatism who were using the access the internet has brought to papers they once ignored to register their violent disapproval of views they had always violently opposed.

Some of them were, but I read the negative comments, and quite a few seemed to be Mail readers who didn't think a personal attack on someone so recently dead was acceptable, or who knew someone else who died while young and healthy (which Moir insisted couldn't happen). _Some_ of what he says about polarisation is correct, but it's not the whole of the story.

11/26/2009 05:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spectacular meltdown by Tory MP Paul Goodman on Newsnight on the subject - after having been obviously been sent unbriefed onto the programme to hold the line by senior colleagues too cowardly to appear:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00p6bq8/Newsnight_25_11_2009/

Pure "The Thick Of It."

johnf

11/27/2009 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try:

http://tinyurl.com/yhx5g7e

11/27/2009 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

A note on Gove: under his ideas for school vouchers, which have the Decent seal of approval, the likelihood of 'schools [being] run as front organisations for Hizb ut-Tahrir' actually happening, as opposed to happening in his mind, is likely to massively increase as opposed to decrease.

Some extremists such as Ken Livingstone and George Galloway may have gone over from far left to far right, they accepted

Did anyone other than HP Saucemongs actually accept that Ken Livingstone is now a far-right politician? I know Cohen thinks it's received wisdom that Respect is a neo-Nazi party but that is not a commonly held view. Funny in light of what he goes on to say about reading the webites of your 'allies'.

And I like the way Cohen is inventing straw men who accuse him of inventing straw men... Increasingly he seems to be clinging to 'being the bloke who wrote What's Left' as some sort of medal - and as BB said on another thread, that's especially weird given that he had a new book out this year. Has he just forgotten about that one? I thought writers usually clung onto their publishing failures...

Coihen on teh internets - he has, in addition to the TV column, a monthly long article in which to indulge his prejudices in Standpoint now. as we all know, he doesn't understand the internet and uses it as his main source of informaiton and research while also REALLY HATING it. Thus he praises 'Fisking' but doesn't mention that his own book was destroyed by the same techniques; he rants on pointlessly about John Pilger (wtf is that bit doing in there?); then we get this:

The overwhelming majority of political writers on the internet do not fact-check allies

I'm lost for words.

Yes - to reiterate the above - he still doesn't understand the Moir thing. I kind of understand the point - a lot of the complainers don't read the paper they were complaining about - but hey, that never stopped Nick from denouncing Russell Brand in print last year (claiming that Brand's career is over in America, I seem to recall), or from posting negative comments about the Sun.

I think Decents in general (lefties in general too, I guess) don't really understand the Daily Mail, just like they don't really understand the Guardian. I think they genuinely believe in the caricatures of the readers of both papers which is surely problematic. I personally know mail readers who didn't like the Moir piece at all and aren't homophobic or racist. The same is true of the Sun.

and equally he doesn't understand Twitter (I'm not really a fan of that, but still), in fact it would appear he only started using that because he was scheduled to opine on it for tehgraun. and weirdly, in his denunciatory ending, he doesn't mention probably the most important recent example of web users 'changing the world' - the Trafigura case. Has he just forgotten that? I mean, it doesn't fit into his thesis...

11/27/2009 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

The overwhelming majority of political writers on the internet do not fact-check allies

This is the most hilarious thing Nick "Hassan who?" Cohen has ever written. Truly, his projection kung-fu is strong.

Give it some time, and Nick may discover overwhelming majority of political writers are also prone to getting hammered on red wine and shouting about George Orwell too.

11/27/2009 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

The thing about the Moir piece is that Nick didn't bother to read the comments. OK, there were a lot of them, but what I got from Twitter was the tribal thing, while the comments were full of Mail readers who objected to the homophobia (not because they were liberals, but because it was so obviously prejudice at someone they felt they knew) or were saying, "hold on, he's only just dead, what about his mum?" Both liberal twitterers (like me) and regular Mail readers picked up on the same thing: a very provocative and tasteless article.

I'm not sure that #trafigura changed anything: the thing that did it was the move by the Guardian to get a question asked in the the House and then claim that they couldn't report said question because of the super injunction. There would have been a shit storm without the net.

The case Nick didn't mention was the Iran election. He's got an off-the-shelf tyranny there and people doing stuff on the net.

The stuff about only reading blogs one agrees with is very old now, and not really different from reading the Mail or watching Fox news. People have selected media to suit their prejudices for a long time, and I don't see how the Net alters that. I believe that the BBC is (considered as a whole) pretty much unbiased, and (nearly) everyone has access to it. And Nick's complaint about the internet's portrayal of politicians is that people thought of Bill Clinton as a slippery character who shagged a lot and of George W Bush as not particularly bright. I can't see the problem with this.

11/27/2009 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

This is the most hilarious thing Nick "Hassan who?" Cohen has ever written

he was "Ahmad who?" before he was "Hasan who?"

11/27/2009 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

In his defence Nick does mention the Iran thing but says that all the twittering doesn't matter because the state could use online things as well. Again, he's got half a point but dresses it up so oddly that it doesn't really work.

With Trafigura what I meant was the net undid any gagging and that the general net-based shitstorm meant that it was even worse PR than it otherwise would have been. And Nick posted on it at the time - ignoring it in this piece is really weird.

The 'Hasan Who?' thing is enough to make that point ludicrous - but given that he reposted the Noble Michael Gove stuff on his standpoint blog late on Wednesday it looks even worse.

11/27/2009 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Just watched the Newsnight interview. Car-crash TV - and yes, straight out of the Thick of It; put in a couple of cutaways to Peter Capaldi swearing and you could broadcast it as is.

If there's much more of these shenanigans I think there's going to be a big swing back to Labour. Ed Balls came out of that interview looking supremely slappable - smug, well-groomed, well-fed, oozing managerialist entitlement - but basically more or less well-meaning, more or less rational, more or less trustworthy. Paul Goodman came out of it looking crazy, dishonest and dangerous.

It's as if the Tories have secretly dumped Cameron and replaced him with Sir John Junor, circa 1983 - the worst are full of passionate intensity, indeed. Similar to watching Mad Mel on Question Time last night - she's quite a persuasive speaker when she gets going, and I caught myself thinking, If I lived in her world I'd agree with her.

11/27/2009 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

There is a really shallow pool of talent in the Tory party.

11/27/2009 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Gilligan's updated his pieces on this (with full HP Sauce approval) and it's starting to look even worse:

Ofsted – far from "satisfying themselves that there were no problems" – actually condemned one of the two schools as "inadequate," questioned the suitability of the staff, and said that it could do more "to promote cultural tolerance and harmony." That was in November 2007.

By May 2008, according to a follow-up report, the school had been magically transformed, and was now "good". That second report, however, was written by an inspector with, at the very least, personal connections to Islamic groups.


Note the word at the end - IslamIC. I guess this is the all-new, tolerant Tory point of view in action. Anyone linked to Muslim groups is untrustworthy and schools can only improve through 'magic'. Brilliant.

11/27/2009 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

By May 2008, according to a follow-up report, the school had been magically transformed

as any parent who reads these things knows, there's nothing even uncommon, let alone "magical" about a school getting a crap Ofsted and being given six months to shape up, then passing second time round. Que tool.

11/27/2009 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Apparently the 'dodgy Islamic groups' thing is about her acting as a judge for that Muslim 'Nuremberg Rally'/Peace awards ceremony which Decents all got very upset about - there's no proof she even attended the event which was also endorsed and indeed attended by that well-known radical Muslim, Yusuf Islam.

the people who have been caught out by this major error on the part of both Cameron and the CSC (a very, very dodgy organisation, lest we forget) are, in typical Decent fashion, refusing to give even the slightest ground to their critics. 'Lucy Lips' on HP Sauce is evn suggesting that Ofsted officers are univerally unable to distinguish between Islam and Islamism which is a pretty serious accusation and doesn't seem to be motivated by anything other than malice.

The weekly Decent McCarthyite shitstorm, motivated in large part by ultra right-wing Tory think thanks. plus ca change...

11/27/2009 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

They're selectively deleting posts from that comments thread too - two by "amused" have just disappeared, both of them pointing out that "Lucy" has tipped over the edge into paranoia and is now openly speculating that Ofsted has been infiltrated by the dastardly Hizb ut Tahrir.

Very quick moderation too; it's a shame that they can never quite be bothered to delete the racist and obscene comments in such a proactive fashion.

11/27/2009 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Yup, a case study in their actual moderation policy - more or less anything pointing out the faults of the original post is deleted.

I don't quite understand the HP Sauce concept of 'links' either. Pretty much everyone in the world is damned as an extremist if you take the idea of 'links' as far as they do.

Gilligan's Ofsted point is also pretty odd. He seems to fully believe any critical Ofsted report and yet also thinks that any positive report is 'just like the Haringey one' and in any case was probably written by one of those untrustworthy Muslim types. Notwithstanding the repellent use of the word 'Islamic' to mean 'untrustworthy Islamist', he can't really have it both ways.

11/27/2009 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...


They're selectively deleting posts from that comments thread too - two by "amused" have just disappeared, both of them pointing out that "Lucy" has tipped over the edge into paranoia and is now openly speculating that Ofsted has been infiltrated by the dastardly Hizb ut Tahrir.

Very quick moderation too; it's a shame that they can never quite be bothered to delete the racist and obscene comments in such a proactive fashion.


'Amused' is Benjamin Mackie who is under a lifetime ban from HP. You can tell from from the writing style.

11/27/2009 06:20:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

http://aaronovitch.blogspot.com/2006/02/laffaire-benjamin.html

why is he permabanned?

in any case i've added a couple of comments and both were deleted.

11/27/2009 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Similar to watching Mad Mel on Question Time last night - she's quite a persuasive speaker when she gets going

Steady on. I thought Mad Mel was on cracking from last night. Her first two responses involved an insistence that yes it had been confirmed that Saddam did have WMD - which created a strange hush in the auditorium, everyone appearing to just sit there in a stunned silence not quite believing what they were hearing- and secondly that climate change was a massive scam. After she was challenged on her views on climate change she started behaving very strangely indeed. Definitely worth checking out on the iplayer

11/27/2009 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

Yes - to reiterate the above - he still doesn't understand the Moir thing. I kind of understand the point - a lot of the complainers don't read the paper they were complaining about

I'm not sure why that's wrong. I mean surely a resonably prominent writer like Moir writing in a popular newspaper and making homophobic comments is a bad thing per se, whether one happens to reads the Daily Mail or not. It's wrong because it can give such bigoted attitudes the veneer of respectability and therefore risk making others who hold them more likely to think them acceptable, not because (or not only because) the people who actually read it at the time may find it personally offensive.
Or maybe when Cohen next bemoans anti-semitic comments at CiF I should just respond that I don't read CiF so why should I worry.

11/27/2009 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Benjamin is banned for being a perennial thorn in the side of HP Sauce. His criticisms are pretty sharp and he is always very maddeningly reasonable and polite. Sends them tonto.

11/27/2009 06:47:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

After she was challenged on her views on climate change she started behaving very strangely indeed. Definitely worth checking out on the iplayer

What angered me about that was that of the other pannelists only Brigestoke seriously challenged her lunatic and frankly dangerous comments. I mean you have elected politicians, two of whom are involved in national or regional government (and one who could be in future) and could therefore be involved in the formation of policies aimed at mitigating the single most serious threat to mankind, and they didn't have a clue about the basic scientific arguents behind it. "I'm not a scientist" isn't an excuse for ignorance - any reasonably intelligent and honest person who reads up on the subject could easily understand it well enough to show up Mel's arguments for the garbage they were. As it is, there were no doubt many watching at home who shared Phil's opinion of her being a persuasive speaker but without his awareness of the strange world in which she operates and may have been convinced by her arguments.
And I'm not suggesting that those viewers are dumb - I went to the Speccie's Ian Plimer lecture the other week and it was horrific. Obviously educated and intelligent people lapping up his mendacious anti-scientific nonsense.

11/27/2009 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I am having the most hilarious time in HP comments. Apparently the owners haven't quite got the nerve to delete me (or have made the calculation that this time round, I might be more trouble than it's worth) and the current denizens of the comments section are something like nine generations thicker than when I used to post there.

11/27/2009 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Mel also had Bill Clinton in office in 1988.

11/27/2009 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Her first two responses involved an insistence that yes it had been confirmed that Saddam did have WMD - which created a strange hush in the auditorium, everyone appearing to just sit there in a stunned silence not quite believing what they were hearing- and secondly that climate change was a massive scam.

That was sort of what I meant - I felt that the only thing in the way of seeing Mel as a really persuasive and interesting speaker was my inability to believe the factual statements she was making. Take that leap of faith and suddenly everything would make sense.

Since Bush II came to power there's been a lot of this stuff on the Right in America, and it seems to be eating the brains of the Tory Party now. I'm starting to think that a Labour vote next year wouldn't be such a bad thing - there are crazy people out there.

11/27/2009 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

Mel also had Bill Clinton in office in 1988

is the word "his" missing from that sentence?

11/27/2009 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Cor, that comment thread eh. Not much I can add to the car crash but still - I don't understand how dsquared, flying rodent and that benjamin person provoke so much ire.

None of the voices are terrorist-huggers or members of 'the far left'; none of them are antisemites or fascists; the response to anything these people post, from the people who run the blog and who comment on it alike, is a stream of sweary invective and unfounded insinuations.

But that 'Mark T' bollocks is a new low in terms of 'quality of debate' - sweary, faux-tough, fingers in ears behaviour of the most childish internet variety.

What I think is most worrying about HP Sauce in recent days is their new penchant for reproducing press releases from the CSC and 'Nothing British about the BNP' - two pretty hardline conservative thinktanks with extremely dodgy agendas. I mean, it is incredibly clear that the CSC was the source of Cameron and Gove's gaffe the other day but HP Sauce have fully exonerated them.

I do like the mistaken idea that this HUT school story has legs. The tories can't bring it up in the commons again - the response would be inevitable and ultra-embarrassing. All this TGISOOT posturing over it from HP Sauce, Gillian and the CSC alike is being done to mask the fact that everyone who boosted the story got it so spectacularly wrong.

11/28/2009 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I find most of the above hard to believe. It's not in character for HP at all. Most strange.

Re: links. I used to link to Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Pope, so I'm not sure what that makes me.

11/28/2009 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Btw, if anyone can bear it, both Aaro AND Gove were on Newsnight Review last night. Reviewing, among other things, Sarah Palin's 'memoirs' and the Palestine comic book... iPlayrer awaits someone braver than I.

11/28/2009 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Yes, Newsnight Review. Couldn't face watching it and can't get my username/password to work on their comments section. As in: how come Gove was conspicuous by his absence on Newsnight on Wednesday when Paxman could have called him to account but they have him on the sofa on Friday night for some soft cultural chat?

11/28/2009 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

how come Gove was conspicuous by his absence on Newsnight on Wednesday when Paxman could have called him to account but they have him on the sofa on Friday night for some soft cultural chat?

I think you've just answered your own question. Damned if I know how Gove got so respectable in the first place, though - perhaps it's just that he talks like a curate (Paul Goodman talks like the man the curate's just had to escort out of the church).

Incidentally, does anyone know if MG is the same person as Mike Gove, who was the British representative of the International OS/2 User Group?

11/28/2009 02:43:00 PM  
OpenID splinteredsunrise said...

Mr Gove, by the way, sends his kids to the same faith school as the Camerons. Something the militant secularist wing of Decency doesn't seem to have noticed.

11/28/2009 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

faith schools are a really important part of Tory education policy. just not teh Muslim ones.

11/28/2009 06:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how come Gove was conspicuous by his absence on Newsnight on Wednesday when Paxman could have called him to account but they have him on the sofa on Friday night for some soft cultural chat?


In the same way the wannabe supervillain sends his henchmen to do his dirty work. If the Tories do get in I suspect Gove's ministerial career is going to be one long train wreck before he realises he'd make more money writing crap for the press. Mind you, I'm still waiting for Gove to do Newsnight Review alongside a dancer/dance critic so he can be given an on-screen kicking for what he said about Dance being an 'easy' A level subject (though I'd settle for him doing 'Strictly' and making John Sergeant look like Nureyev).

[redpesto]

11/28/2009 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Having spent much of today listening to my brother's missus's family trotting out the talking points of the English Defence League, I'm now officially calling bullshit on self-proclaimed anti-Islamists.

After years of scaremongering bollocks about the Gas the infidels like badgers loony Muslim protesters, the net result has been to convince a lot of people that acting like a racist cunt isn't a) racist or b) cuntish.

(It's at this point in yer average comments thread that some wingnut usually points out that Islam isn't a race, to which I can only say, well, call it bigoted idiocy instead and have the stones to wear it.)

The ratio of "actually countering Hizb influence" etc. to "encouraging folk towards arsehole opinions" is not making your right wing dipshit/Decent Left axis look good at all. One day with a load of "England isn't England anymore" and "I'm not racist but ooh, them Muzzies protesting Our Brave Boys, eh?" has moved me from regarding the Decents as basically well-meaning but dishonest and deeply misguided to thinking that they're actively malicious.

And can I add that the comment thread BB appears in is possibly the most graphic illustration of how the ideological underpinning of the neoconservative War on Terrer is just the Cold War with the backdrop changed from Moscow to Waziristan?

11/28/2009 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

This is exactly why I think tone is so important in political discussion. If, for instance, somebody thinks multiculturalism is problematic, or actively a bad idea, then they need to say so and should be allowed to, but because there's a really obvious danger of setting off the crazies, they need to do so in a thoughtful and, dare I say, generous way. What however you normally get is the polar opposite. Which is not helpful.

11/29/2009 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

FR: I don't want to get too metaphysical on your ass, but is there really much in the move from 'basically well-meaning but dishonest and deeply misguided' to 'actively malicious'?

While observing Godwin's Law, I'd just observe that some kind of Kantian free floating Good Will is no kind of excuse for what these buggers are up to. It's all a bit 'They're cunts. ...but are they really cunts?' for my liking.

Self-induced delusion is no defence. Reductio: else Blair would be blameless, most of his lies and dissimulation having apparently long since made the journey from conscious to unconscious to actually believed. By the time you get to the peering-into-souls question of basic well-meaningness, you're on pretty tenuous grounds for assigning any blame at all.

All the 'good motives' stuff is fine as a sweetener for the large mass of deferential Pollyannas. It's hard for the poor dears to grasp that the degreed or uniformed, and even (in Carne Ross's recent phrase) the 'knighted professionals', could do bad things with their eyes wide open. A situation not helped by the 'conspiracy theory' rhetoric of Aaro et al. ad nauseam.

The 'bare good will' idea (and the presumably concomitant 'pure evil') doesn't really have any traction. It serves only to add one final fallback position to the familiar staged retreat: 'it didn't happen', 'it wasn't me', 'I didn't mean to', 'not for that reason', 'only because of misinfo', 'one of the bigger boys told me to do it' etc... finally, 'come on, this is good old me we're talking about'.

I'm not convinced you hadn't already discarded that kind of exculpation-lite in at least some cases, given your compendious knowledge of and insight into the Decents' MO. Though I could readily understand the impulse to turn the outrage up to 11.

Then again, you know your own mind (better than I do anyway), and I have noted something resembling a certain backhanded affection for Nick and Dave around here...

11/29/2009 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Hmm, tha's a bit off actually innit. Apologs for presumptiousness and misplaced didacticism. Should have been expressed if at all as generalised musing.

11/29/2009 06:25:00 PM  
Anonymous magistra said...

One peculiar aspect for those of us who actually would like some accurate information is that the OFSTED report for the Islamic Shaksiyah Foundation school in Haringey isn't up on OFSTED's website. The reports for the ISF school in Slough (unique reference number 134085) are here, including a good report in Jan 2009 from the rather unIslamic sounding inspector Jackie Cousins. The unique reference number for the Haringey school is 134084, but this returns nothing from OFSTED, nor does a search by name or postcode. So where are all these commentators talking about the OFTSED reports for that school actually getting that information from?

11/29/2009 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

...is there really much in the move from 'basically well-meaning but dishonest and deeply misguided' to 'actively malicious'?

Well, maybe not. To pick a contemporary example...

http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/11/29/defend-religious-freedom-in-switzerland/

...I reckon David T. at HP genuinely thinks the Swiss minaret ban is a very bad thing. On the other hand, nobody could read that comments thread without noticing that HP is now running a website for people who are using puddle-deep waffle about "anti-extremism" as cover for some very nasty bigotry. Chuck in a bit of Britain Is Full, Muslims Out rhetoric and you could post that at the EDL's website. And this from "committed anti-fascists," no less.

So on balance, David honestly detests racism, yet runs a website for the entertainment of openly racist freaks and I, for one, think people should be pretty blunt about pointing this out the next time he starts one of his inkblot anti-racist campaigns against some innocent punter.

11/29/2009 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

In the interests of the impartial record, FR, which I know you're awfully keen on, it's about 20 fuckwits and assorted filth saying the ban is a good thing, which is 40%-ish of the commenters on the thread.

Now, a bit less than half of commenters saying such an outrageous thing is a bit less than half of commenters too many.

However, I'd be interested in your always-considered view as to how DT writing an article which disagrees with and lambasts the views of openly racist freaks (with which all of those regularly in agreement with the HP editorial line would agree) can be counted as providing entertainment for openly racist freaks. Throw in a large number of anti-BNP posts over the last 12 months in particular and you're looking to be on fairly boggy ground, hmmm...?

Don't let the fact that there are large numbers of frothing right-wing cretins everywhere you see a popular news-focussed website with comment facilities get in the way of the appropriately pious denunciations though, there's a good chap.

Man. Talk about projecting your own issues...

11/30/2009 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Don't let the fact that there are large numbers of frothing right-wing cretins everywhere you see a popular news-focussed website with comment facilities get in the way of the appropriately pious denunciations though, there's a good chap.

Nice one Ben. No doubt if, say, Lenin's Tomb or Comment is Free turn into 40% openly racist fucks cheering for the persecution of ethnic minorities using precisely the arguments of the EDL, the same level of intellectual charity will be granted.

11/30/2009 01:29:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

It does look like feeding time - and as long as there's a bit of muslim in it, it'll do.

I don't know anything about that particular fellow, so I'm rather uncomfortable to be sort-of putting myself in the position of insisting that he's malicious.

Still, I bet he is. You can smell a wrong 'un.

So, looking at the article, there is a slight twist at the end:

"What this suggests, to me at least, is that Swiss people are somewhat ashamed of their views on the issue, but sufficiently frightened to vote for the ban, nonetheless. It is the Swiss People’s Party and their counterparts in the far right Islamist parties which have conspired to terrify them."

Swiss voters are just terrified, not racist or nuffink like that. and the 'far right Islamists' are (we are left to assume) as much to blame for the fear of minarets as the (actually far right) SVP. The 'conspired' can pass as non-literal, I suppose.

But - aha! Following the links, it appears that of the three Der Stuermer-esque posters, two were't, contrary to the post, directed at Muslims at all. The crows one was reportedly about Bulgarians and Romanians, from an EU vote in Feb, while the sheep one was about ordinary decent criminal foreigners, and from 2007.

So, ito be maximally uncharitable: the point (besides "racism's bad", "don't blame the buildings" and "some of my best friends are moderate muslims") seems to be 1. the SVP is all about fear of muslims, 2. there's no smoke without quite a large fire, 3. the SVP is different from him, because it doesn't stick to pictures of a rather extreme looking bad muslim with missile/minarets, but spills over into attacking the nice ones, just because they're, er, black.

Not sure how coherent that is, but I don't think that's my fault.

11/30/2009 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Hadn't seen Ben's 'projecting' remarks or would have got a bit more tribal about it.

11/30/2009 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

The "it's only 40%" stuff might be more convincing if:

a. it didn't concern (or indeed come from) people whose stock-in-trade is attacking other people for their "links" ;

b. the people concerned asked themselves "how come we atttract quite so high a proportion of appalling individuals?" ;

c. the aforesaid appalling individuals actually got deleted, which I believe the website concerned has been known to do in other cases.

Oh, and if

d. 40% wasn't a really high percentage. How high is it here?

11/30/2009 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gregor said...

Afraid I can't share the optimism re Gove. Half a decade after the right wing smear machine admitted it was speaking nonsense, there were still right wingers on the internet saying that Al Gore claimed to invent the internet. It's old news now.

12/01/2009 07:23:00 PM  

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