Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Virality and Virility

Thanks to Flying Rodent in the comments to the last post.

Oh dear. Let's be charitable. I'll assume that our Nick is joking about the Observer 'viral ad'.

The editor, a kind and caring man[1], warned me that posters here could sometimes be rather rough.

He didn't warn Nick that they can be almost unbelievably credulous, and culturally philistine. There are 13 comments as I write this. None realise that it's an Armando Iannuci sketch.

I was going to correct FR's observation "Cohen and Bright seems an oddly homogenous pairing" because I was under the impression that Bright has retired. Newp. In that case, the comments do get rather rough, and rightly so.

What is this about? Allow me to feel a little vindicated. I know I predicted somewhere (on here?) around the General Election that when the Tories (specifically Simon Heffer in the Telegraph) turned on David Cameron, it wouldn't be pretty. Heffer and others regard Cameron (wrongly, IMO) as what was called a 'wet' during Thatcher's first term. Not 'one of us'. Deviantly left-wing, and so on.

My guess is that Nick has joined the Spectator because he has form for piling on the Lib-Dems. And the Spectator can fire at the LDs all day long and still claim to be loyal to the Tories. This, then, is another move at undermining the Coalition from the right, because the Coalition isn't sufficiently Thatcherite yet.

Or, I could be paranoid. It's been known.

[1] But whose name, NC appears to have forgotten. (I consider naming names basic journalism, and academic and blogging practice. But that could just be me.) It's Fraser Nelson, isn't it?


Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I cracked. I posted a comment myself to remind readers that it was a comedy sketch (from the BBC) and not "a really rather unpleasant advertisement" nor "a deeply unpleasant advert".

I'm still unsure whether the second comment (by an 'AY') is a dig at Alex Massie (the bloggers the Speccie commenters seem to hate most):

Journalist with common sense, telling truth, using human language, and applying unskewed logic - a rarity! Welcome and good luck.

BTW, Nick wrote a second post yesterday which I didn't find before I wrote mine because the Spectator blog only had links to 'Back to Nick Cohen' and 'Previous' (which I assumed didn't exist). It's so rich in subtexts than I can't do it justice even in a particularly prolix post.

Conservatives may find the great hatred of Nick Clegg baffling. The haters are my people, and I can explain. Buried deep in the English psyche is the notion of the gentleman: a well-educated, well-born man, but decent, honourable, considerate and a protector of those less fortunate than himself. It is very easy to mock the Richard Curtis view of England, not least because good manners can hide many a scoundrel. But I would be foolish to deny the myth’s potency. I feel it myself.

Apart from the first sentence, this is fairly incredible. The well-born man stuff could apply to Macmillan, George Orwell (still the avatar of Harry's Place), Tony Benn, Thomas Jefferson, Friedrich Engels, Gore Vidal, and David Cameron just as well. The hatred of Nick Clegg is much easier to explain. It's not that he has violated some collective unconscious archetype, but that he has (appeared to) betray all his pre-election principles (as Nick goes on to explain). What's odd is that Conservatives hate him, and they eat up this kind of vitriol.

They cannot call the voters idiots and expect to get away with it.

Indeed, Eric Joyce.

11/23/2010 09:16:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeesboard said...

The problem with Nick's output in general, but on blogs in particular, is that it's all based on prejudice. This one in a specifically anti-Lib Dem prejudice, just as Bright's Woolas piece is really, at root, a kvetch about Livingstone, who he hates. Cohen's weird anti-rich people schtick is tired even by his standards - if people genuinely hate Clegg because he's posh, then why on earth did they ever vote for him? He was posh before the election. A lot of Nick Cohen's personal friends are pretty fucking posh - David Toube, Michael Ezra... Presumably they're the 'ok' kind of posh, ie very rich, utter cliches in every single way Cohen berates Clegg for, but obsessive commie/tehislamist haters or some such.

As CC says, it's demonstrable why people are upset about the Lib Dem approach to higher education - it was something they sold themselves on, and they've reneged on every single aspect of it.

Cohen pretends this is something unique to the lib dems, who as his first post makes clear he is totally unhinged in his dislike of (on the wrong side, or abstainnig, from EVERY SINGLE IMPORTANT ISSIUE IN TEH WORLD), and makes fun of people who trusted the manifesto. But surely students in particular would vote based on higher ed policy? There is after all no difference between ANY of the parties now - the student would have been a fool to vote Tory or Labour.

surely that's no differnt from Cohen being on record saying he voted for Labour 'beacuse of Iraq'? doesn't that in effect make him look as stupid as the anonymous young person he's making fun of, now?

Personally I think the royal Wedding - 'coincidentally' timed to happen just before the AV referendum - could be the nail in the coalition coffin. and i'm not convinced that the tuition fees thing will mke it through parliament.

11/24/2010 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Also, if I have time I'll go into detail on what, exactly, is wrong with Cohen's Thomas Hardy analogy:

and now she feels like Tess of the d’Urbervilles...

11/24/2010 07:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Cian said...

Shorter less prolix Nick Cohen.

Young people won't vote LibDem again because they were lied to on a key policy. Good insight there Nick...

Clegg might be posh, but no posher than Tony Blair - while Cameron is possibly the poshest person in politics at the moment. So fuck knows what Nick thinks he's getting at there. Mind you he's no worse than most of the Spectator's bloggers, so I guess he's found his natural home.

11/24/2010 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

Was the cartoonist a secret liberal?

11/24/2010 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

ok so on hardy - since nick likes his C19th novel analogies:

He says:

The Lib Dems are like cads posing as gentlemen who have got a girl into bed with a promise of marriage, jilted her at the church and told her it was her fault for trusting them. [...] the average Lib Dem voter thought she was voting for Hugh Grant in Love Actually… and now she feels like Tess of the d’Urbervilles...

Avoiding his weirdly gendered approach to this... The link he gives us is to the final scene of the BBC's recent (and pretty good) Tess adaptation. Tess, though, is in no sense 'jilted at the church'.

The 'cad posing as a gentleman' - except he isn't actually posing at all, he's fairly direct - is Alec, who she never marries, and when she ends up living with him, she doesn't jilt him but kills him.

Angel - in a sense - is a 'cad posing as a gentleman', but, again, he doesn't jilt her, he actually marries her, despite his apparent 'unconventionality', before almost immediately separating from her once he discovers her past. How does that work as a parallel to the Lib Dems? Maybe the 'exposed as more conventional than they appear' thing - that might work... but...

in any case, and despite his general twattishness, Angel and Tess are united in what is depicted as genuine, true love at the end of her life - at the specific point in the story which cohen links to.

so either the female voter is about to die and thus become reunited with the Lib Dems; or voting for the lib dems launches a chain of events which leds to your death, but that's ok since being a true lib dem means you're dead inside, or something

- or alternatively, Nick doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about.

11/24/2010 05:32:00 PM  

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