Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Righteous and Wrong"

Malise Ruthven on Paul Berman in the New York Review of Books:
It is tempting to conclude that in mounting this intemperate attack on Garton Ash, Berman is really writing about himself. Despite his implied claim to be one of the few journalists or intellectuals from Western backgrounds “to grapple seriously with the Islamist ideas,” phrases such as “carelessly adopted positions,” “flippant phrasing,” and “paucity of research” constantly spring to mind when reading his book.

43 Comments:

Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Not much to say to that. It's not like I could respect Berman any less. A trial, Berman suggests, might have “sparked a little self-reflection about the confusions and self-contradictions within Islam” on matters Jewish... as we all know, religions and ideologies are susceptible to reconsidering their positions and then collapsing as a result of 'self-contradictions'.

I just find it depressing reading through all Berman's distortions, mistakes, elisions, omissions, and finally insults for anyone who disagrees with him. How does he find a publisher?

7/31/2010 03:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely at some point Berman is going to get bored of rewriting the same article about Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash, which has in turn been rewritten several times by Nick Cohen.

8/01/2010 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

the central activity if you want to be a true contributor to tgisoot is rewriting the same poorly-thought-through article over and over again in various forms and locations. and cit's also important to, Er, import ideas from others - hence our nick reusing berman reoeatedly.

I think that's a great piece of writing. I'd never thought about countering the "hamas charter" argument with the stuff about the roots of likud. also the nyrb piece was excellent on hirsi ali.

8/01/2010 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

OT.

A style of direct and plain speaking which impresses at home has not travelled so well. It is abroad that his [Cameron's] youth and inexperience have been shown up.

Andrew Rawnsley Observer, today.

Nick Cohen also in today's Observer argues precisely the opposite. Guess which one mentions Hitler? I think Nick's not entirely wrong about Cameron (or "Dave" as Nick, ever the serious journalist, calls the PM), but Nick's small cast of references and characters do turn up again and again. After all, what broadsheet political analysis is not spiced up with a reference to the Third Reich?

8/01/2010 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

In Rawnsley's piece all the stuff about foriegn policy verbiage pretty quickly took a back seat to the grim stuff about the severest fiscal retrenchment in generations...sweeping – and inevitably highly contentious – change to the welfare system...a massive change to the National Health Service which was neither discussed during the election campaign nor mentioned in the coalition agreement.

A senior official was recently asked whether Number 10 had grasped in advance the magnitude of the impact on the NHS of the Lansley plan. The official replied: "They still don't."

Don't give a shit is closer, I think.

And the explanation offered by the Cameron inner circle is that they have learned the lesson of Tony Blair's first term. They concluded...that he had wasted much of his early period in office by failing to conceive and execute radical reform quickly enough, especially in public services. Wittingly or not, David Cameron is going to the other extreme.

Wittingly, and that's because NuLab were all about a second term, keeping both the Thatcherite and the old Labour vote. The conservatives are concerned with taking advantage of the window of opportunity offered by the combination of oh-so-urgent deficit reduction and the recession (looking worryingly precarious - see recent growth figures) to fuck the welfare state once and for all. I don't think that's a Spartoid exaggeration, either. But I would say that wouldn't I.

(My inner pedant/conservative found time to be jarred by the strange use of 'alarmed' in a remark which has alarmed the Foreign Office that the government in Islamabad will react

8/02/2010 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

liberal dinner party watch - nick cohen on the standpoint blog today:

Ever since I have followed a zero-tolerance for racism policy. Every time I encounter the Walt and Mearsheimer hypothesis at a "liberal" dinner party, and I encounter it all the time, I bang the table and batter its proponents remorselessly. Sometimes the hostess disapproves; more often she is grateful to have laid on a party her guests will never forget.(It's probably best to check beforehand if you want to follow suit.)

i can't say I'm wholly convinced that nick is telling the truth here.

also nick's lack of attention to detail fucks up his hypothesis - he claimes that the Israel lobby wouldn't be interested in promoting the Iraq war because Iran was threatening to wipe Israel off the map - but Ahmedinejad made that speech in 2005...

8/04/2010 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

I certainly believe the bit about Nick banging the table and causing a scene.

8/04/2010 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Yep. OTOH she is grateful to have laid on a party her guests will never forget has a touch of the rosé-tinted specs about it.

8/04/2010 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

also note "hostess" - I know nick prides himself on being unreconstructed but that gendering is pretty dodgy.

8/05/2010 06:28:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

So Nick thinks that Walt and Mearsheimer are racists ... hmmm.

8/05/2010 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Oh god. Did anyone read all of that? It seemed much madder than usual.

Nick is champion of the world at the misfiring generalisation. It depends what you call a 'crisis' and who does the blaming. ("Jews get the blame in every great crisis...) Cuban Missile? Suez? Hitler invading Czechoslovakia? Sputnik?

8/05/2010 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

All of it, yeah, with appalled fascination. If he could have given more than a couple of sentences to the avowedly more important topic of the title (i.e. Saud) he might have done a reasonable piece. But that's the Decent MO - all these other causes which are supposed to be much more important than worrying about Israel are only mentioned in the most cursory fashion, in order to get onto the topic of bias against...Israel.

I notice he's doing that peculiar cross-smearing thing by associating 'CTists' and supposed AS-ites. It works a bit like crossover pop duets that aim to pool fan bases, only it's foe-bases. The entertaining Chavez/Chomsky episode at the UN was a fortuitous example, leaped on by the US establishment.

(Which reminds me - Hitchens hit-job - really churning it out to order these days. He doesn't get just what a cheeky Chavez he's dealing with. As if Hugo C is concerned about what Hitch and his dismal cohort have to say about him. What are they going to do about it? Make another coup attempt? Good luck with that one.)

Nick's one-line token rebuttal of the W&M 'CT' is typical: Why did they use their scheming wiles to con their goyish American dupes into invading Iraq, which was after all contained by sanctions in 2003, and represented only a minor threat to Israel, instead of Iran...*

Er, maybe because attacking Iran would be utterly insane by any extant standard?

Thing is, stripped of the leaden sarcasm and the irrelevant alternative of a full-scale land war in Iran, Nick's question could actually be an interesting one. (I summarise one relevant account here.

But to Nick it's rhetorical of course - the absurd conclusion of a reductio - because his flip speculation about (lack of) motive trumps the copious evidence about what actually, observably happened. (Though woe betide any 'CTist' who dares use the cui bono heuristic to identify suspects by motive.)

Nick's also not satisfied with the crashing innuendo involved in scare-quoting 'Israel Lobby'. He has to spell it out, in what he presumably imagines is a subtle way: I remember thinking at the time that "the Lobby" must be composed of remarkably stupid Jews.

He thus contorts himself into the position of seeming to reject the Israel-Iraq thesis on the grounds that it would portray "Jews" as lacking in Machiavellian wiles.

Another mangled sentence, too: the...London Review of Books had been promoting anti-Semitism rather than say the Spectator or Mail as one would have expected in the 1930s which at first glance seems to suggest Nick thinks (1) that the LRB chose 'antisemitism' from a shortlist whose other members were the Speccy and the Mail, and (2 - given one's adapted to ignore all N's will have beens and would haves) it is now the 30s.

Also 'had been promoting' rather than the simple pluperfect 'had promoted' (or for that matter 'had lent its imprimatur to').

*(this followed by his anachronistic reference to the speech pointed out by OC, you know the one about hoping the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalam 'vanishes from the page of time' or was that: wiping Israel off the map, or better: face of the earth, i.e. mounting a nuclear first strike?)

(Ugh. 2 Nicks and an ADL in the last week. Never thought I'd say this, having less tolerance for him than some here, but I'm actually missing Aaro a bit.)

8/05/2010 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Why does Obama get the flak for the US's special relationship to the Saudis? Ahem, Google "About 1,470,000 results"!

Successive administrations have always had reasons for appeasing the Saudis: They provide intelligence on al Qaeda, keep the oil flowing, maintain "stability," oppose Iran, and have taken a few baby steps in the right direction. There is partial truth to every claim, but even added together they are far from sufficient to justify the scandalous love affair with one of the most repressive dictatorships on earth. The Saudis should also not be applauded for going from an "F" to an "F+" on human rights.

Daniel Keyes from an article quoted entire by NC. But as Keyes said a few paragraphs earlier (with a link!):

Instead, Obama praised the dictator's "wisdom and insights" and thanked him for his "good counsel."

Obama didn't mention human rights, much less praise Saudi Arabia for them. Surely the whole truth about Saudi Arabia is oil? They have it, the US is dependent on it. Here's a song to give Nick a clue.

A shout out to the blowhard American patriots who hate liberals and the UN.

8/05/2010 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Ah yes - somehow missed the linking para which indicated that Cohen had cunningly subsumed the whole of Keyes's article - title, byline and all - in his own, relieving him of the need to manifest any real interest in the putative topic of his piece.

8/05/2010 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

OK, I know this is OT and I will owe Justin a shedload of cash, but can someone please read this and then read this and this and the comments and tell me I'm wrong to think that these people are either utterly obsessed in their absolute determination to take offence or literally unable to understand the English language. Or both.

8/05/2010 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Andrew, it's hard to make a man understand something when his ability to act like as much of an unforgiveable arse as humanly possible depends upon his not understanding it.

The pachyderm in the pantry here is the war itself, and none of the decents want to discuss that because it's an Epic Bummer on a galactic scale. Far less upsetting to go all booga booga! at the awful Guardian, innit?

8/05/2010 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

the...London Review of Books had been promoting anti-Semitism rather than say the Spectator or Mail as one would have expected in the 1930s

And Nick's obviously not been reading the Mail lately;

However, Cameron can be praised for words he did use about Gaza – ‘an open prison’, as he termed it. He spoke only the truth. Israel controls the borders of Gaza by land, sea and air and lets in very limited supplies. The standard Israeli excuse is that Hamas, the elected ruling party in the strip, is responsible for rocket attacks on Israel. Get rid of Hamas and we’ll let you have supplies. But Hamas is an essentially Israeli creation.

Driven by Tel Aviv’s intransigence over peace negotiations, the pauperised occupants of Gaza – so many of them refugees or their descendants from what is now Israel – have turned to anyone who would stand up to its aggressive neighbour. What do you expect?

Few deaths have resulted from rockets fired by Hamas’s military wing. But the last Israeli descent upon Gaza at the end of 2008 produced 1,400 deaths and numerous casualties which the subsequent UN commission said were, in part, due to Israel’s illegal methods. If you prefer, you can also read the report by B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organisation. Cameron’s remark on Gaza led Israel’s President Shimon Peres to dive for the old excuse – Britain’s persistent ‘anti-semitism’. Does it not occur to those who support Israel’s behaviour that they are the chief promoters of anti-semitism?


Surely only far-left anti-Semites at al_guardian believe that claptrap?

8/05/2010 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

The pachyderm in the pantry here is the war itself, and none of the decents want to discuss that
well, the exact same bloke - Maher - has written a standpoint post on the very subject, which was reproduced on HP Sauce.

and therein we read that, yes, women haveing their noses cut off is bad, and... er... well what do you think?

That's the sum of Decent engagement with the reality of this utterly unwinnable war. point out how evil tehtalibanz are ad nauseam and that's it.

8/06/2010 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

just listening to someone from the 'centre for social cohesion' tell us why putting ringfencing predominantly Muslim areas with CCTV cameras is a good idea. on 5 live. well it is nick's favourite station...

but that led me to look up this David Keyes chap who Nick so enthusiastically quotes. He's not all that high profile - presumably his org targets its press releases - but still, the organisation's raison d'etre seems a good one, to promote democratic dissidents worldwide.

Weirdly, though, the map on their own website demosntrating where these dissidents reside is a selective one of middle eastern and north african countries. So bad news, Burma, but lucky Lebanon whose cyberdissidents are represented... all looking a bit more fishy at this point, especially because Iraq is not included on the site whatsoever - neither are the UAE. Mind you, when your mission statement contains a loaded phrase like "the West has a moral duty to support those struggling for freedom", maybe things get a bit clearer...

then if we look at other internet presences, apparently Keyes's mentor is one Natan Sharansky, a likudnik hawk with, ahem, 'intersting' views on Palestinians (apparently none of them were in Israel/Palestine til 200 years ago), and 'cyberdissidents' is run out of the adelson institute which appears to be a Jerusalem-based think tank devoted to, er, improving Israeli-US relations.

And guess where the most prominent mention of the 'cyberdissidents' brand came on google?

why, only the first conference organised by... The George W Bush Institute! I wonder why Keyes is so hard on Obama.

Christ almighty. It took me 5 minutes to find that out via google. Nick is so fucking lazy. Or maybe he just doesn't care that he's parroting neocon propaganda.

also a kerching:

http://hurryupharry.org/2010/08/05/terry-fitzpatrick/

hmm, searchlight contributor in calling black people niggers furore... funny how this is a 'tragedy'. fairly sure it'd be called something else if the bloke in question was a member of Unite Against Fascism...

8/06/2010 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Coventrian said...

Nick has no problem writing for Standpoint after it published this,

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/3040

Blogs >Peter Whittle > Stop the Ground Zero Mosque

Thursday 20th May 2010

Stop the Ground Zero Mosque

'Opposition to the the unbelievable proposal to build a mosque and Islamic centre at Ground Zero in New York, the site of 9/11, is gathering pace. The idea - beyond anything the satirist Chris Morris could dream up - is a completely serious one, and will leave most people speechless.

But speechlessness is not enough. There is a demonstration planned for June 6th, but for those of us around the world who rightly consider this an affront, there is a petition going to Mayor Bloomberg which you can sign here'

Thanfully Mayor Bloomberg ignored the likes of Whittle and Cohen

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/mehdi-hasan/2010/08/160-mosque-muslims-city-rights

8/06/2010 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Usually I ponder the question of what constitutes a dinner party, but today I'd like to ask - what is a liberal dinner party? Is it advertised as such on the invitation cards? Or in the subject line of the invitational emails?

Also, why does Nick go to these things, hating them so much as he does? I mean it is actually possible to decline a social invitation, rudely or politely. I don't go to dinners at my old college, because I would hate them. Not going to dinners is really a very easy thing to do.

8/08/2010 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

(Though woe betide any 'CTist' who dares use the cui bono heuristic to identify suspects by motive.)

Rightly so in my view

8/08/2010 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

I see DA was a studio guest on today's Sunday Morning Live,he didn't appear to say anything of particular note, though it was a snigger trigger when he said "Everybody knows I deserve a slap", which could perhaps be looped and used as this site's theme tune (or played at its funeral).

8/08/2010 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Yes, i just don't get why nick agrees to go to these parties either (that's if they actually exist, of course - I'd wager a fairly lage sum that he goes to very few and at about one in seven does someone bring up M&W to be followed by his hissy fit).

He's on his high Islington horse again today, by the way. apparently someone called Andy Hull, a councillor in Islington. Not sure if Nick would be 100% on-message with Hull generally - in his capacity as an IPPR worker (if it is the same Andy Hull there - this one seems v excited about James Purnell running that show), as he's not exactly on-Decent-message about Afghanistan. But all the same, Hull seems to have made Nick read a book called The Spirit Level. Nick says that its authors are shocked by its success, but I'm more shocked by the fact that Nick's only just noticed a book that seems to be precisely in his political field, which was published a year and a half ago.

Unpicking Nick's tangle of claims, it looks like this article is a PR puff-piece for soemthing called the 'Islington Fairness Commission', devoted to tackling inequality in Islington. Fair enough - it' a very odd area, full of the richest and the poorest, though that's not uncommon in london generally.

Nick's conclusion, though, and the direction of this Islington movement seems weird, though:

The participants' ideas are becoming very radical, very quickly. Suppose the owners of the chi-chi shops, serving the croissants or fitting the Frost-French dresses, are not paying their workers a living wage, which in London stands at a minimum £7.60 an hour. Should Labour name and shame them? Should it organise demonstrators and tell them to test the liberalism of upper-middle-class consumers by asking them to shop elsewhere?

I can't help wondering if the Tories really are 'running scared' if the new Labour movement in this country defines itself by wanking on about Frost-French and trying to get people to shop at coffee shops which pay workers more than £7.20 an hour. Activism of sorts, I suppose, but a pretty narcissistic kind, and I'd wager a substantial amount that people who work at these places on Upper St are not, on the whole, residents of Islington. And given Nick's fondness for campaigns to get people into local pubs, presumably he checks what they pay their staff too? I just don't buy any of this. It's navel-gazing nonsense.

Btw, what is nick's problem with Frost-French? surely there are much bigger fish to fry than a fairly niche mid-level designer?

8/08/2010 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

ejh: Rightly so in my view. [link]

Oh dear.

8/08/2010 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

RIP Tony Judt... a sad loss.

8/08/2010 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the cheeseboard said. Any man's death, etc - but every so often someone dies and I feel a big dose of Gore Vidal's reaction to Eleanor Roosevelt's death "We're on our own, now."

The C21st could really have done with another 20 or 30 years of Judt, largely because, though he was a stalwart warrior against Decency, that was only about 5% of what he did.

Chris Williams

8/09/2010 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

I see from yesterday's Times that DA launched into the Gopal/Time thing, but not really adding anything that hasn't been said elsewhere.

8/13/2010 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Cian said...

DA was on the Today program at around 7:55 this morning. Topic: David Kelly. Unsurprisingly given the topic it was DA at his worst. He mangled the facts, implied the doctors calling for a reexamination of the evidence were somehow unscientific based upon a misunderstanding of how these things typically work and finally said it would be unfair on David Kelly's family to reopen it.

8/17/2010 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Cian said...

On Afghanistan and HP. So have they not yet noticed that we've lost Afghanistan? And the reason that we can't help that woman is because of US arrogance, stupidity and brutality which turned an incredibly unpopular movement into liberators. And which has caused a civil war in Pakistan. Not to mention all the civilians killed by US indifference/carelessness.

8/17/2010 09:00:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

aaro's got a lot invested in David Kelly's death being not-at-all-dodgy so there's no surprise he's come up with about 15 different reasons for there to be no new investigation.

On Afghanistan - HP Sauce logic (kerching) genuinely seems to be, if we sty there for long enough, someone will eventually work out how to a) win the war and b) install a moderate, secular democracy. Failure is not an option, even if it's already happened, as it almost certainly has.

They're all group-wanking about how bombing the shit out of Iran would be a great idea at the moment, anyway. Afghanistan is so last week. Worh posting hichens's reasons for attacking Iran - oh, sorry, not letting them get a nuke - here (bonus points for the rehas of 'Uday and Qusay' at no. 2):

1) International law and the stewardship of the United Nations will have been irretrievably ruined. The mullahs will have broken every solemn undertaking that they ever gave: to the International Atomic Energy Agency; to the European Union, which has been their main negotiating interlocutor up until now; and to the United Nations. (Tehran specifically rejects the right of the U.N. Security Council to have any say in this question.) Those who usually fetishize the role of the United Nations and of the international nuclear inspectors have a special responsibility to notice this appalling outcome.

2) The “Revolutionary Guards,” who last year shot and raped their way to near-absolute power in Iran, are also the guardians of the underground weapons program. A successful consummation of that program would be an immeasurable enhancement of the most aggressive faction of the current dictatorship.

3) The power of the guards to project violence outside Iran’s borders would likewise be increased. Any Hezbollah subversion of Lebanese democracy or missile attack on Israel; any Iranian collusion with the Taliban or with nihilist forces in Iraq would be harder to counter in that it would involve a confrontation with a nuclear godfather.

4) The same powerful strategic ambiguity would apply in the case of any Iranian move on a neighboring Sunni Arab Gulf state, such as Bahrain. The more extreme of Iran’s theocratic newspapers already gloat at such a prospect, which is why so many Arab regimes hope—sometimes publicly—that this “existential” threat to them also be removed.

5) There will never be a settlement of the Israel-Palestine dispute, because the rejectionist Palestinians will be even more a proxy of a regime that calls for Israel’s elimination, and the rejectionist Jews will be vindicated in their belief that concessions are a waste of time, if not worse.

6) The concept of “nonproliferation,” so dear to the heart of the right-thinking, will go straight into the history books along with the League of Nations.


i have slightly more time for these arguments than the ones about Saddam from back in the day. But they're coming from the exact same people. coincidence...?

8/17/2010 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

Well coming from the same people who supported the invasion of Iraq "international law and the stewardship of the United Nations will have been irretrievably ruined" is rather ironic.

8/17/2010 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

re: Aaro on Kelly in Saturday's Times: "Piss and Wind"

8/17/2010 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Cian said...

You do? About half the premises are their own propoganda (Iran is not supporting the nihilist forces in Iraq, and the idea that Hamas are an Iranian proxy is just fucking stupid).
Point one has an "interesting" relationship to the truth...
Point two would be stronger if the current foreign policy hadn't, erm, strengthened the Revolutionary Guard...
Point three only works if the US is seriously prepared to nuke Iran, in which case I think I'm worried about the US.
Point four, dunno. I'm going to guess that this bears the usual HP relationship to reality.
Point five is a sick joke.
Point six also (India, Pakistan, Israel -> not to mention the Afrikkaners. That ship has sailed).

My brother's girlfriend is Iranian, and is a longstanding member of the democracy movement type thing which is why she no longer living in Iran. She's also terrified that the US will attack Iran.

8/18/2010 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Nasty Nick Cohen in guilt-by-association via a fairly untrustworthy-seeming anecdote shocker:

http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/3282

8/18/2010 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

BTW i found that on hp sauce - kerching - where the majority of commenters appear to be, er, upset at cohen's attempts at smears and guilt-by-association! i never thought I'd see the day. I know there have been a lot of false dawns on this one, but this, for me, is the final nail in Cohen's coffin. When the HP Sauce readership thinks you're a smear-monger and disapproves of your claims of sympathising with fascists, you know you're in trouble.

On Iran - like i said, some resaons are more understandable than others. All the ones about international law / nonproliferation - completely with you there cian. How can he write that with a straight face and talk about Israel's security? And that's before anyone gets round to mentioning north korea...

This is maybe pointless, but what does the Iranian you know think about the country's nuclear plans?

tim W - thank you for that. a really good, and interesting, read. I think Aaro has seriously miscalculated in staking his colours so firmly to the, er, Kelly mast, if that phrase even vaguely makes sense. There are a lot more 'conspiracy theories' out there that he could have picked...

8/18/2010 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

Ah well. Tried to be congenial.

8/18/2010 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Thanks OC, Bensix. Have done some follow-ups relating to Aaro's mindless Twittering.

(I love the idea of 'nihilist forces' - very Python.)

8/18/2010 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Cian said...

This is maybe pointless, but what does the Iranian you know think about the country's nuclear plans?

Not sure. I get the feeling that its quite low down on her list of her concerns. I think a bigger problem for her is that her dad is paying for her studies here, and that sanctions are likely to make that very difficult (not to mention possibly bankrupt him).

8/18/2010 05:47:00 PM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

How will we ever trust Nick Cohen's dinner party reportage now?

8/19/2010 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Oh dear, that doesn't make Cohen look good at all. I did think, when I read Nick's column, that his version seemed suspiciously 'edited'... and it's a pisspoor attempt at smearing Ed Miliband too.

Not sure I'd ever want to be friends with Mr Brown either, but still.

8/19/2010 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

This bit is weirdest:

My accusation that he had a soft spot for Islamo-fascism

if Nick actually said that i think it demonstrates just how intellectually bankrupt he is...

8/19/2010 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I do wish David would write in proper English. "Twitter" is no excuse.

8/19/2010 09:21:00 PM  

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