Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clearing up a loose end

Following up a tip from Phil in comments a while back, I have now established to my own satisfaction that there are two Michael Goves, and that the former chairman of the British OS/2 User Group is not the same person as the current Education Secretary and man of Decency.

40 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

Shame - that was a lovely little factoid, a bit like "Bob Holness played sax on Baker Street" only (a) much duller and (b) true. Now it's just (a) much duller.

9/30/2010 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Kettle continues his Cameron-love. Yawn ...

10/01/2010 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Has anyone read all of Aaro on Ed Miliband? I gather he (Aaro) called him (EM) an "onanist". I'm really at a loss as to why. I mean, I can't imagine a coherent reason for doing so in the line of serious commentary.

On a similar subject can anyone explain David Miliband's behaviour? My prediction before the result was announced was that, whoever won, both Milibands and Ed Balls would stand for, and be elected to, the Shadow Cabinet and the two losers would have some clout in the cabinet as they clearly enjoyed the support of a considerable number of Labour members. My prediction after the result wasn't much different. I thought DM could rightly claim a moral victory - having won the original ballot and having more MPs on his side (who presumably actually know all the candidates) - and would use this as leverage.

I do not under his apparent petulance and capitulation. I'd come to the view that he was a loser, and lacked the courage to go for the leadership at the right time, but why are Decents and Blairites taking his side? I'd be mad at him. If I'd been a DM supporter, I'd be all, "What a total wanker!" and be angry that I'd been fooled into voting for him.

I really thought we were heading for a time of reconciliation, when the Decents and "us" whoever we are were going to find we agreed on more things than we disagree about. It seems not.

Poor David Aaronovitch. Still a Labour member and now not only set against his own MP, but against the leader of the party too. Did anyone see his Twitter conversation with Chris Brooke, who, sensibly IMO, suggested that Alan Milburn, Frank Field, and Phil Woolas be kicked out?

10/01/2010 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Yeah, I read it. Twice, in fact, and I can't even remember the veg that pads out the meat of the piece, which is of course, Iraq, boo hoo.

The overall message is Bitch, Moan, Grumble, Harrumph IRAQ! Chunter, Mumble, Grump HASN'T EVEN READ THE CHICAGO SPEECH Burble, Harrumph.

I exaggerate for effect, but you get the idea.

And I think the "Onanist" stuff is aimed at all those trendy young New Generation! Labourites. retired major-ish toryism beckoneth, I think.

I really thought we were heading for a time of reconciliation...

Come on, you didn't really, did you?

10/01/2010 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

But hasn't DM, for all his "star quality" always been a bit of a duffer? An apparatchik who does as he is told (viz Iraq, torture, etc.) but has never had the balls (to quote Blair) to stake his claim to the leadership. Or at least that last bit is how the Blairites will see it - no matter now vain or self-destructive those opportunities might have been.

What gets me is the way that the Blairites just assumed that he was a shoo-in, despite the taint that surrounds him, as though they had a inherent right-to-lead.

10/01/2010 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I think I did. I mean, Labour is in opposition and so are most grassroots LibDems. I thought we would be sort of united in that none of us like the Tories. But you're right: Martin Kettle seems to have a hard-on for Cameron, and DA shares more ground with Michael Gove than with any of us, I think.

I can see what Dave likes about Gove, and why he doesn't like Glenda Jackson. But I'm really not getting David Miliband or his fan base. I've seen tweets suggesting that Ed is a bit thick (from, nominally, a Labour supporter), that he was the wrong candidate, that it was fixed by Charlie Whelan (I can see why Whelan believes this; I'm at a total loss why anyone else does), and so on.

As I said in my last comment, Chris Brooke, at least partly in jest suggested Initiate proceedings to have Phil Woolas, Frank Field & Alan Milburn expelled from the Labour Party, @Ed_Miliband. Aaro responded @virtualstoa Expel the heretics Field, Milburn and Woolas? Begin MiliE's pontificate with an auto da fe? A joke - or genuinely potty."

I'm certainly for purging Woolas: for me, the precedent is Edward Heath sacking Enoch Powell for racist shit-stirring, and I like to think the Labour Party is the one with principles. Of course I'm against hair-splitting issues of ideology type purging, but I do think it's reasonable for any party to expel people who consistently attack its candidates and apparently wish its defeat. Does this make me a latter day Stalinist?

10/01/2010 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Exactly, GG. Like the puir cat in the adage, David M has always let "I dare not" wait upon "I will." I asked one of my unionised coworkers (after the election, as I try not to harangue people too much with my views) how he voted, and he said he voted for 'the younger one' as 'the other one' seemed to think he was entitled.

One of the things I've really hated about New Labour is that Blair, Brown, and David Miliband just seem to assume that they're fucking royalty and the throne will pass down to them. They have no idea how much us peasants hate that. I actually believe that open democracy is a much better system for choosing leaders than hereditary monarchy.

That goes for Papal elections and their ilk too. As I'm confessing my ignorance and lack of imagination freely today, I'll throw in that I've drawn a total blank as to why Oliver Kamm thinks 'Another proposal is for the Labour leader to be chosen by a pure "one member, one vote" system....' Shd be MPs alone.

I think MPs have enough privileges, such as making laws. I'm generally flabbergasted by this. Shouldn't the grassroots have a say, just on the principles which Labour is supposed to be for? Why would anyone join - or continue to be a member of - a 'democratic' party which disenfranchised them? As an idea it's brilliant: for Lord Ashcroft. I'd imagine it would eviscerate Labour funding inside five years.

10/01/2010 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...


I really thought we were heading for a time of reconciliation, when the Decents and "us" whoever we are were going to find we agreed on more things than we disagree about.


Like torture, sucking up to the rich, contempt for public service workers, hatred for anything vaguely leftish, copious lying and the deployment of absurd and bad faith argumements?

Say it ain't so Cheesy.

But on a more cheerful note I can't have been the only one who has felt a deep sense of joy at witnessing the wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the Decent fraternity this past week.

Ed M. may not be as radical as I and many others might like but I thought his speech earlier this week was pretty good and demonstrated that he had a grasp of why it was that Labour hemorrhaged votes in the period between '97 and 2010. Despite what those on right in the media say recent polling and focus group work shows the public is quite left-wing on many bread and butter economic issues. Policies like taxing the rich more, increasing the minimum wage and improving the rights of agency workers - all policies to the left on New Labour- gain solid majority support - even amongst Tory voters.

So the courtier class of Aaronovitchs, Kettles, Rawnsleys Rentouls can spout all they like about how a labour shift to the left would be electoral suicide, the polling and focus group research tells a different story and that is what Ed M. will be looking at when he crafts his messages.

What he really needs to do first is follow Chris Brooke's advice and begin a clear out of those who so badly tarnished the Labour brand.

10/01/2010 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Fair enough, Bubby. I had even more to say but it wasn't fully formed - and still isn't.

I've got to distinguish here between why I think it's wrong for DA to call Ed M (or his supporters, whichever) 'onanists' but called David M a 'wanker'. As I see it, it goes like this. I was writing a comment on a blog post, working on information I'd got a few minutes earlier. I wasn't paid for this, and I don't expect any kudos. It was purely venting.

DA writes roughly two short essays a week. Plus some media stuff and appearances. He gets paid - IMO, and this may be 'envy' for Blairites - a horrendous amount for work which wouldn't tax a student with two other jobs. I mean, I say "X is a bit of a wanker" all the time, but I would expect that if I expressed myself thus in a university essay I'd be failed.

I pretty much think that the economic model of national newspapers is - ahem - fucked. I can't see why "star columnists" get paid huge sums for repetitive, uninsightful commentary most PhD students (and there are a lot) could scribble down in half an hour. The Murdoch consensus seems to be that the net will kill reporting; I think it will (with the usual percolation delay) kill opinion writing. Anyone can do it, and many of us have.

There's a political side to the above. Newspaper comment writers are paid in multiples of the average wage - for an hour's work a day (?). No wonder they side with the Tories or the status quo. If I earned what Dave earns, I'd probably be a Tory too: I'm as self-interested as the next person. As an atheist, I don't believe in prayer, so I can't pray for the Times to go bust. OTOH, nature, the invisible hand and all that may be on my side, and there's no need to.

10/01/2010 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

1. so are most grassroots LibDems.

I really doubt this, though I think there's a substantial number of whom it could be said. But not most, or close to it.

2. You're on much more solid ground here:

One of the things I've really hated about New Labour is that Blair, Brown, and David Miliband just seem to assume that they're fucking royalty and the throne will pass down to them.

I know "sense of entitlement" is a contemporary cliché, but it's apporpiate here. They're people who expect to say what's what and have people just do it.

The historical reason for this is that more than twenty years ago the Labour Party decided that it no longer wanted to have difficult discssions in public in case it was seen as being divided. I can understand this now in a way that I didn't then, but it's always been obvious that saying "we will shut up rather than say anything awkward" was, if adopted as a habit, a disaster for a democratic party.

Among the worst things about it is that the Westminster village journos expect to be treated as far more important in framing and discussing party policy than the actual party members. It just gets treated as an article of faith that having democratic discussion is "damaging" to the point of being unthinkable.

I've really enjoyed the discomfort of the Blairites. I wasn't expecting it, but my word it's fun, isn't it?

3. Anybody fancy a sweepstake on the date on Aaro's agonised "I have searched my conscience and I can no longer remain a member of the Party that I for so long loved" piece?

10/01/2010 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I've not read Aaro, but isn't all this wailing about a candidate (who I don't recall being considered a cert* a year or so ago) really just a version of Thatcherite 'true believers' 20 years' later? Basically if they can't have who they want (Thatcher/Blair/Blairite de nos jours*) then they don't want anyone.

* Same footnote - I'm sure they preferred that cabinet minister who resigned and once got in trouble for photoshopping a picture. I really can't remember his name.

10/01/2010 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Justin: on point 1, can we agree on 'many'?

The historical reason for this is that more than twenty years ago the Labour Party decided that it no longer wanted to have difficult discssions in public in case it was seen as being divided.

Yes, totally agree - and this played into the hands (cliche) of certain - oh what's the word? People who valued democracy less than I hope we both do.

Agree on journos too. I hope that the future disempowers journalists They're all - oh what's the word? Begins with "O" and it's some kind of "ists" involving Indian bread for curries.

10/01/2010 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

The historical reason for this is that more than twenty years ago the Labour Party decided that it no longer wanted to have difficult discssions in public in case it was seen as being divided.

This is true but it was deeper than this. They wanted to dismantle the internal democratic structure of the party. The executive were terrified of the monstering that the urban municipal left (GLC etc) got at the hands of the tabloid press in the 1980s. Philip Gould's focus research post 1985 (research which would have been savaged in any half decent peer review journal) told the party that it was seen as extreme and out of touch- some of the 'loony left' mud had stuck.

So to 'detoxify the brand' they purged the people they saw as a liability (Militant plus also a fair few very honourable old Labour people), got rid of the policies the focus groups said they didn't like (e.g. unlateral nuclear disarmament) and concentrated as much power in the hands of the executive who could then make policy unimpeded.

The question of why people like Rentoul, Kettle and Aaro have taken such a dislike to Ed Milliband and are make overtures to Cameroon is quite simple. These people have forged a career with all the money and prestige that flows from that on the basis of their access to and ability to channel the thoughts of a particular clique that has been dominant with the Labour party for the last 20 years. Now that group are seeing their power and influence drain away they now need somewhere else to go.

10/02/2010 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Jeebus, I've just read Norm on Ed. For a philosopher, I find him sloppy with words.

I didn't think Ed should have challenged his own brother for the leadership

I don't think I'm being pedantic in saying that both stood for the leadership; no one 'challenged' anyone else. Ed is a perfectly reasonable candidate: he wrote the 2010 election manifesto, he's 40, which was Blair's age when he became leader. "Challenged" suggests that Ed deliberately attacked David, which was not the case.

And Norm quotes from the Guardian's Patrick Wintour:

Ed Miliband also came under continued media pressure to justify his decision to stand, given the consequence that he had destroyed his brother's political career.

"Destroyed" David's political career? Thatcher defeated William Whitelaw, he survived. Political career rather healthy afterwards. Nixon lost to Kennedy in 1960. He won two Presidential elections later. Career not over either. Michael Portillo and Chris Patten lost their seats, both still have political careers. Will anyone say that Ed destroyed Ed Balls' career - since I think everyone expects Balls to be the star of the Labour front bench? If David is crushed, it just shows that he's not made of the right stuff for politics.

Is Norm even being serious here? If David had won would Ed have folded? Would we have heard from his partner that she was cross about the result? Jebus, even Cherie Blair kept a lower profile than David missus. Everyone should learn from Denis Thatcher that spouses aren't elected and their opinions carry no weight at all.

I said last week that I thought David won a sort of victory, but I'm increasing glad that Ed won. Not only because I can now reconsider joining the Labour Party, as he may take it back to a kind of politics I have some sympathy for, but also because unlike Adolf Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, and David Miliband he has a full set of wedding tackle.

10/02/2010 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous bubby said...

That's a dreadful post from Norm particularly the stuff about shafting his brother. I suspect the main reason why Norm dislikes him so much can be found earlier in his post.

I found Ed's attempt to invoke his semi-secret opposition to the Iraq war, as being a point in his favour, pathetic.

If Norm can't see that it was important to immediately draw a line under a policy that had been an albatross around Labour's neck since 2003 then he is an idiot.

Patrick Wintour was right at the heart of the moves to 'modernise' the party in the 1980s and 1990s.

10/02/2010 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I don't think I'm being pedantic in saying that both stood for the leadership; no one 'challenged' anyone else

No, it's the point: Norm et al think of Ed as Challenging Dave because Dave was the Anointed One.

The Iraq stuff is pitiful: of course one can make a strong case that Dave would appeal more to a wider electorate than Ed, but Iraq is the most obvious, most glaring exception.

You know that Norm, Nick etc are going to see everything through the prism of who-was-in-favour-of-Iraq until the day they die.

Bubby - yeah, I know all that stuff, but I'm more interested in the question of why people went along with it.

10/02/2010 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

At least Norm admits that he's in a minority (and I think he realises that "brothers shouldn't go for the same job if one *really* wants it" line doesn't convince anyone). I finally read to the bottom of that Wintour piece. Here's DM writing to his constituency party:

I genuinely fear perpetual, distracting and destructive attempts to find division where there is none and splits where they don't exist, all to the detriment of the party's cause.

Hello Norm? Are you listening? No division, no challenge.

10/02/2010 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

Well of course the line:
The Labour Party belongs to all of its members, and, some might say, to its more loyal voters as well
could be applied to the Blair years with somewhat different conclusions.

10/02/2010 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Bubby - yeah, I know all that stuff, but I'm more interested in the question of why people went along with it.

Well that is a very good question and I certainly don't have the answer.

However bad Norm's article on Dave Miliband was I have to say that this piece is much, much worse.

10/02/2010 05:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Norm et al think of Ed as Challenging Dave because Dave was the Anointed One.

Norm, to my slight amazement, actually says this:

"it's not to do with elder and younger, except indirectly. It's that David Miliband was poised to gain a position that he prized highly and for which many thought he was well-qualified"
[emph. added]

And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling voters.

10/02/2010 07:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chardonnay Chap:

The Murdoch consensus seems to be that the net will kill reporting; I think it will (with the usual percolation delay) kill opinion writing. Anyone can do it, and many of us have.

...and on Comment is Free, everybody does.

As for Kettle, it's a question of when he jumps ship and not if: the Blair groupies such as Phil 'Not the Drummer' Collins have been making doe eyes at Cameron for years.

[redpesto]

10/02/2010 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Yes, quite. Many thought he was well-qualified, but the electoral system of the Labour Party (which I'm not going to defend here, but I don't recall Norm criticising before this result) thought that Ed was better qualified. Isn't old Norm big on democracy? Did he complain about Ed destroying David's chances when nominations opened? Would he have complained if Ed had split Ed Balls' support so David won? He seems to have a total sense of humour failure over this, and wouldn't even recognise himself in "The people have spoken, the bastards".

10/02/2010 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Belated reply to Red Pesto. Comment is Free is, IMO, largely crap. They don't understand. CiF seems to do without editors, which is much too slack for a serious newspaper. What I want is much more flexibility in opinion writing. I think there's both a demand and a place for it, though I think the whole "the Guardian backs X to win this election" is entirely misguided. Tell us what the candidates support, what experience they have, what they've achieved etc, and we'll make up our minds, thanks all the same.

I think everyone pretty much repeats themselves after a while. So I think columnists should be rotated much more often. And journalists who usually only have an undergraduate degree plus perhaps a Masters in journalism are now under-educated compared to the smarter section of the public, and increasingly politicians. (Obama, Bush, Brown all had post-grad qualifications. I think education makes a difference, and journalists are lacking.)

I also think there's a difference between Rawnsley and the rest. Rawnsley at least seems to haunt Parliament at all hours and follows the action. He does journalism, in other words. Kettle, Cohen, Aaro and so on mingle with various party worthies, which isn't the same thing at all. Anyone can read news and then write about what they think. I really believe that's dead, or at least not worthy of a full-time living wage. Kettle should pay the Guardian.

But real actual on-the-spot journalism should survive. Dave Weigel is my hero. He took a movement everyone thought was a joke and went to every event he could and stood around and listened and reported. Pretty much everything we know about the Tea Party grassroots comes from him. You have to remember that their supposed leaders are inveterate confabulators who will say anything that suits them: Beck, Palin, Pamela Geller - all have very selective memories of their own recent actions.

10/02/2010 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Nick Cohen has been kidnapped and replaced by an imposter who has a sense of proportion and reasonableness, and does not feel the need to mention Iraq in every column.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/03/ed-miliband-bankers-tax

10/03/2010 07:46:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

wow, a cohen article which i can´t find much fault with...

though it´s a bit weird in approach - nick was fully lined up behind dave m, to the extent of those pitiful attempted smears. suddenly cohen realises that ed´s policies are clearly most in line with nick´s stated beliefs, after the win? hmm.

also i son´t get why nick feels the need to call ed M an ´írritating´ speaker. surely he´s no worse than any other politician?

10/03/2010 08:35:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

elsewhere in the obs today cohen admits that the only reason he disliked gordon brown was because of the way martin bright was treated by charlie whelan.

on david M, i don´t really mind him so much, and thought he´d have made an ok leader - i don´t really see that much distance between him and ed in terms of ideology. i even understand why he stepped down - the Harman episode would have been repeated almost every day if he´d stayed.

But he ran an abysmal campaign from beginning to end. I still can´t remember a single reason to vote for him ever being put forward, either by his campaign or supporters - the best any of them could manage was that he was the best-looking candidate.

i feel sorry for him for being saddled with the Iraq legacy, but he chose that - in 2006 for instance he was all but briefing against Blair´s behaviour over lebanon, but he chose to be the establishment candidate and to effectively ignore the unions. i can´t understand why nobody´s mentioned this in the ´narrative´of Ed´s win. Yes, the electoral system needs reform, but not only was it clear how the system worked beforehand, the unions fund the party and have prevented it from bankruptcy. why shouldn´t they get a substantial say?

what i can´t understand with the decent love of dave m is quite why they love him so much that they´ll refuse to get behind the winner. Decency, it has been conclusively proven on here, is all about winning. Just like Oona King, this Decent poster boy has been found out as an electoral liability. hilariously some decents still seem to think that oona is the future. maybe, in fact, decency is still all about iraq.

on a separate note, doesn´t Aaro´s fervour for dave, at least, confirm the ideas on here about him as someone who thinks the public need to be told who to like and vote for - thus he´d have to back the éstablisment candidate´.

what´s weird about aaro and a lot of decents is the way that they´re still briefing against ed now. i guess it´s true - iraq will be all they care about, til they retire/die...

10/03/2010 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Elsewhere the Observer is true to form. A column from the execrable Blond, and an insane article from a Blairite advisor, who's beef with Ed is that he's against bloated wages for the super-rich because it offends the "aspirational", and then goes on to demolish a policy that Ed doesn't have, a maximum wage. Now where have I seen that line of argument before ...?

10/03/2010 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"It certainly doesn't seem like 18 years since we first worked together"

or

"Ed, I'm annoyed how successful you have become"

Ah, I've jumped the gun - he has a Wikipedia page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Allan

10/03/2010 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

I know it's an obvious point but why if Nick thought Labour should move to the left did he endorse the most right-wing candidate?

Can it really just be as ejh suggests that for people like him everything is refracted through the prism of the Iraq War? If so then he's a monomanical lunatic.

10/04/2010 08:28:00 AM  
OpenID yorksranter said...

Also sighted in the Obscurer, Nick reviewing a buke on New Labour and starting in the first paragraph by repeating the Martin Bright/Gordon Brown profession of faith. See Nick repeat!

He's since added a role for Charlie Whelan in the story, which is meant to give it a boost - as everyone knows, Whelan is history's greatest monster for some reason which every columnist agrees on but never actually states.

10/04/2010 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

hilariously some decents still seem to think that oona is the future

she was tentatively and hypothetically suggested for Frank Dobson's seat (ie, my constituency) when he retires, a couple of weeks ago. Then she was turned down, rather less tentatively and more definitely (the phrase "that would only happen over hundreds of dead bodies" was used, according to the New Journal). Which is actually a bit of a shame, as Oona King is actually quite sound on a lot of issues (I used to love to remind David T, back in the day, that Oona King's views on Gaza were not so very different from those of Jenny Tonge), but there you go.

10/04/2010 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

I feel sorry for Oona like i feel sorry for Milliband - a couple of really poor decisions have ended up costing them dear.

He's since added a role for Charlie Whelan in the story, which is meant to give it a boost - as everyone knows, Whelan is history's greatest monster for some reason which every columnist agrees on but never actually states.

as far as i can tell the reason is that he was quite like the monster cohen paints him as. Whelan's always been in Cohen's version of that story - I see no reason to doubt that, but equally, I see no reason to think that Bright wasn't doing an extremely foolish thing in actively smearing the Labour candidate on TV, for an hour, and thinking he'd be safe long-term at the Staggers. One part of Decency I'll never understand is the one where unlike everyone else in the world, everything they do is somehow motivated by purity and rationality, and is free of political consequences. That characterises everything from Iraq onwards.

though that hardly makes him unique among political spin-merchants. I still don't understand why they all give alastair Campbell such an easy ride. If, in an alternative universe, Charlie Whelan had been, i dunno, spinning vociferously on behalf of the Palestinian side and had then been caught signing copies of a UNHRC report on the Lebanon war, for instance...

why if Nick thought Labour should move to the left did he endorse the most right-wing candidate?

It's Iraq, as you suggest. It's the only reason Cohen even endorsed Labour at the General Election.

10/04/2010 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

I also think there's a difference between Rawnsley and the rest. Rawnsley at least seems to haunt Parliament at all hours and follows the action.

Yeah, he actually tells you stuff you didn't know and gives some actual insight, although Steve Richards in the Indie is the best for that kind of thing. Compare to Rentoul's small minded and petty "analysis" of EM's conference speech and his output in general since EM was elected.

10/05/2010 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

Bubby

Can it really just be as ejh suggests that for people like him everything is refracted through the prism of the Iraq War? If so then he's a monomanical lunatic.


Well for many Decents that does seem to be the case - I've lost count of the number of times I've seen him accused by them of "opportunism" for mentioning the subject in his election campaign and conference speech. That and the Blairite "not one millimetre from New Labour" mindset seem to trump any other arguments on the issue.

10/05/2010 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

By the way, if you're metropolitan, well-off and many of your friends work in politics, it can be much easier to assume that Labour is just there to win elections rather than to win elections for a purpose.

10/05/2010 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Another perceptive article which provides further ammunition for ejh's argument that John Harris is Britain's finest living man - though personally I would put Henry Blofeld in the number one slot.

I wonder if he was thinking about people like Norm when he referred to 'the moronic parts of the commentariat yakking on about [David Milliband's] "profound personal tragedy"

10/08/2010 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I've not heard much from Alan 'not the Shadow Chancellor' Johnson recently. Anyone know what he is up to?

10/08/2010 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

Another perceptive article which provides further ammunition for ejh's argument that John Harris is Britain's finest living man - though personally I would put Henry Blofeld in the number one slot.

I have to echo that sentiment about John Harris. I would also have to put in a word for Michael Rosen though.

10/08/2010 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Lobby Ludd said...

"I've not heard much from Alan 'not the Shadow Chancellor' Johnson recently. Anyone know what he is up to?"

He has recently re-joined AFA and is doing undercover work in EDL.

10/08/2010 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Looks like last week's NC column was an abberation because this week he's backing to flogging his favourite hobby horse.

He has also started citing material from the New English Review brought to you by some of the same people who run Jihadwatch.

It did not take me long to realise that fear of clerical fascism had led Bentham's trembling successors to abandon intellectual inquiry and basic intellectual standards along with it.

For someone who lamabasts others for hyperbole this is pretty rich.

But what is Cohen really suggesting that academics do? Snoop? Hector? Force members of the Islamic Society to attend classes where they are introduced to the works of Melanie Phillips, Oriana Fallaci and Bat Ye'or?

In all Cohen's writings I've never seen a glimmer of evidence that he has the faintest conception of how to deal with the problem of radicalisation. All he offers is finger wagging and moral grandstanding. I also suspect that denying that torture took place at Gitmo or that many Western states exercise double standards in the Middle East is not likely to help.

10/10/2010 10:47:00 AM  

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