Tuesday, October 18, 2011

And if you believed Decentiya, I've an Atlantic Bridge you can buy...

Or, opportunities to knock Fox, Hague and the 'jobs for the boyfriends' policy.

Thanks to Coventarian in the comments to the last post.

One of the key donors to Pargav has been Michael Lewis, who is a former vice-chairman of Bicom, an organisation that lobbies on behalf of Israel. He has donated £13,832 to Atlantic Bridge and £5,000 to Fox. Bicom has been linked to Werritty, and paid for the 33-year-old's flight and hotel bills when he attended a conference in Israel in 2009 to speak about Iran.

Bicom's former communications chief is Lee Petar, who left the lobby group to set up PR outfit Tetra Strategy a few years ago. Emails seen by the Guardian show Petar had been working to arrange a meeting between Werritty and private equity boss Harvey Boulter in Dubai in June. An invoice seen by the Guardian shows Petar received thousands of pounds from Boulter for help setting up the meeting and for PR advice.


Guardian: Fresh questions over company that funded Adam Werritty's jet-set life. (Serious question, what is a 'friend of Israel' doing in Dubai? It's hardly the philosemitic capital of the world.[1])

Ooh, look who's joined BICOM. (This suggests further blurring of neoconservatism and what was the 'Decent Left' to me.)

I'm really fascinated by ConHome's attack on Douglas Murray. (Thanks to Organic Cheeseboard, though I saw it yesterday.) It seems to represent a maturation of the conservative argument about Islam. I've thought for a while (hardly originally) that much of Melanie Phillips' output is virtually identical to hard-line Islamism (horrible term, but I think we're stuck with it): Western society is decadent; gays are yuck, aren't they?; we should be tougher on crime; only faith can through [mechanism unexplained: it runs on faith] can bring society together, and so on. Douglas Murray represents one side, and I think it's the more left-wing side. He seems to be saying (under a slag-heap of racist innuendo) that Muslim societies are backward, hate and repress gays, women, Jews and other religions, and generally reflect the medieval past that 'Western' society grew out of between 400 and 200 years ago. Goodman's argument, by contrast, seems to say that there are a lot of good things in religion and we can learn from Islam (perhaps bring stoning back, etc), especially, and this whole post-enlightenment free-for-all will lead to people marrying their tortoises or something.

But to pause to brush away the mud is to play Murray's game. So is to linger over the debate over gay marriage, to which his latest article adds nothing. I argued on this site that once one has opened the door to gay marriage it may not be so easy to close it to multiple sharia marriages. Murray's response is to take more or less the line I anticipated. "Marriage, in our culture, not to mention law, is between two people," he writes. Not exactly: it is between two people of different genders (or sexes if you prefer). Once the requirement that the genders be different has been dispensed with, it becomes easier to dispose of others - such as the insistence that polygamous marriages, a custom throughout much of the world, are not recognised by the state.


In fact, Goodman's differences with Murray seem to be entirely about gay marriage. This isn't the Tories waking up to racism; this is deciding which bigotry fits them best.

Damn it, I like Murray a lot more than Goodman. That's not saying much. Last time I saw Murray on television, I thought him perhaps the scariest right-wing demagogue I've seen (on film) since Oswald Moseley.

This isn't quite what I meant to write. I've confused myself again. However, I do think that the Fox affair seems very close to Decency (pro-spreading democracy, particularly by ignoring the particulars of democracy such as accountability; pro-carrying a big stick and wielding it often to keep your muscles limber; very dodgy lobbying; pro-Israel support, though god knows why now).

Somehow there's a very Alan Hollinghurst tinge to all this too. Look at HP for instance; I can't be alone in noting a certain homophobic element to some of the comments. It's all look at us, healthy hetero males, just hanging out with other boys. You don't mind if I give you a manly slap on the back, do you? We're just lads, talking of lad things. If it wasn't Islamofascism, it would be supercars and Wayne Rooney. Ooh, get that Liam Fox, you can tell he's one of them, always lurking around men, where's his wife, eh, eh? And slapping his friends on the back, who does he think he's kidding? This sort of thing seem to infect every kind of political site these days. Labour promised to bring more women into politics, but somehow women are just as marginal as they always were.

I know where that sculptor for Ozymandias was coming from. The despair bit, anyway.

[1] Wikipedia entry on Dubai. Hmm, is there a major Middle Eastern religion missing?

Dubai also has large Hindu, Christian, Bahá'í, Sikh, Buddhist, and other religious communities residing in the city. Non-Muslim groups can own their own houses of worship, where they can practice their religion freely, by requesting a land grant and permission to build a compound. Groups that do not have their own buildings must use the facilities of other religious organisations or worship in private homes. Non-Muslim religious groups are permitted to openly advertise group functions; however, proselytising or distributing religious literature is strictly prohibited under penalty of criminal prosecution, imprisonment, and deportation for engaging in behaviour offensive to Islam.


My emphasis.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Chris said...

"He seems to be saying (under a slag-heap of racist innuendo) that Muslim societies are backward, hate and repress gays, women, Jews and other religions, and generally reflect the medieval past that 'Western' society grew out of between 400 and 200 years ago."

The idea that western society got over homophobia, sexism etc. centuries ago is very odd. These things were overwhelmingly prevalent well into the twentieth century and still have a pretty strong foothold.

10/18/2011 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Brownie said...

It's all look at us, healthy hetero males, just hanging out with other boys. You don't mind if I give you a manly slap on the back, do you? We're just lads, talking of lad things. If it wasn't Islamofascism, it would be supercars and Wayne Rooney.

Baloney. There are more homos per square inch at HP than any other blog I can think of (save those specifically directed at gay men and women). Off the top of my head, I can think of half-a-dozen regular commenters (not to mention 3 regular posters) who have on several occasions referenced their homosexuality. Here at AW, I can't even think of half-a-dozen regular commenters.

Carry on.

10/19/2011 12:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Brownie said...

The idea that western society got over homophobia, sexism etc. centuries ago is very odd.

I think he just means that the west stopped pushing walls onto homosexuals and flogging female victims of rape a wee while back. Not that everything is rosy for homosexuals in the west. It's just that not being killed for your sexuality is considered a bonus by some.

10/19/2011 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger john b said...

the west stopped pushing walls onto homosexuals and flogging female victims of rape a wee while back

It's true; homosexuals in the west never get beaten to death, and female victims of rape are treated with nothing but the greatest respect and compassion. FFS.

10/19/2011 02:12:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Goodman's differences with Murray seem to be entirely about gay marriage. This isn't the Tories waking up to racism; this is deciding which bigotry fits them best.

I'm no Goodman supporter but I don't think this is quite right; his opposition to Murray might well be based on other stuff too, but before this gay marrisge tiff, Goodman does seem to have noticed that Murray is an outright bigot (based on his recently-retracted 2006 speech). He also noticed something I didn't in that speech which is that Murray does seem to think that any Muslim who supports, say, Palestinian resistance to Israeli settlement expansion should be sent back wherever they came from, even if they're third or fourth generation. I'm personally glad that Murray was called out on that speech as too mny people seem to be happy to elieve that he was in some way 'misquoted by his enemies' when in fact Murray stood by the thing till very recently - and lest we forget, Harry's Place hosted a posting which supported his views in that speech fully.

re Brownie's point - yes - 'the west' in general treats muslims and gays fairly well now. But it hasn't done for long, at all; and DM's historical narrative obscures this completely.

Last time I saw Murray on television, I thought him perhaps the scariest right-wing demagogue I've seen (on film) since Oswald Moseley.

This is what i really don't understand about Murray - his total lack of charisma and charm. But he still gets TV and radio gigs.

the Fox affair seems very close to Decency (pro-spreading democracy, particularly by ignoring the particulars of democracy such as accountability; pro-carrying a big stick and wielding it often to keep your muscles limber; very dodgy lobbying; pro-Israel support, though god knows why now).

well, it's clear that a lot of the AB central figures (I'm thinking most of all here of Michael Gove) went on a charm offensive to woo pro-Iraq war lefties about 5 years ago, and the lobbying by these associated groups clearly found its way to a few Decents (before or after that event) e.g. Nick Cohen being introduced to Wolfowitz - i wonder how that came about. And I can still remember our Nick, for example, bemoaning the fact that Michael Gove wasn't sent up against Nick Griffin on Question Time, and Nick still parrots the lie that the only principled anti-fascists in the UK are neocon Tories, despite all evidence to the contrary.

It's all look at us, healthy hetero males, just hanging out with other boys. You don't mind if I give you a manly slap on the back, do you? We're just lads, talking of lad things. If it wasn't Islamofascism, it would be supercars and Wayne Rooney.

there's a fuckload of cock-waving on HP Sauce but it's no different from other places - you've only got to look at the output of Chris Hitchens and Martin Amis to see the tendency to act all macho and swear lots cos it looks good on paper/comments threads, when in fact you're probably quite a sweet retiring type. god knows a lot of us on here are guilty of that too at times.

I think the homosexuality stuff is very widespread about Werrity/Fox, it's not limited to HP Sauce at all, in fact if anything that site's relatively quiet on it.

10/19/2011 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Waterloo Sunset said...

Yeah, I don't think you can fairly level the accusation of homophobia at Harry's Place. I've never seen any real evidence of that. You've got a stronger point about laddishness, but as you recognise, that's part of a general issue in the political blogosphere. I don't think HP is any worse on that than many blogs out there.

Murray's relationship with decents is intriguing. You'd think that more decents would have loudly disowned him, for reasons of public relations if nothing else. The man's openly advocated allying with the EDL for fuck's sake. But the only person that I can think of that seems to have done so is Marko. (Well, ok, Edmund Standing has done his "I only wrote for him a few times so I can not be held responsible for anything he puts out even if HP don't extend that to their political enemies so NOW STOP MENTIONING IT YOU BIG MEANIES". But that's less than convincing).

the tendency to act all macho and swear lots cos it looks good on paper/comments threads, when in fact you're probably quite a sweet retiring type. god knows a lot of us on here are guilty of that too at times.

I'd like to clarify that I am also an aggressively loud opinionated prick in real life. Frankly, I'm probably worse.

10/19/2011 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Just as a note on the original post too, in relation ot Douglas Murray - I do think he fits in with the Mad Mel paradox a little more than CC does. Witness:

He seems to be saying (under a slag-heap of racist innuendo) that Muslim societies are backward, hate and repress gays, women, Jews and other religions, and generally reflect the medieval past that 'Western' society grew out of between 400 and 200 years ago.

Yet his solution to the problem of Muslim backwardness in the face of estern superiority etc is to - er - send all the Muslims back where they came from. It's the Martin Amis approach - 'they hate our freedom, and to demonstrate how superior and free we are, and how this freedom is desirable and not in any way hateful, we need to start strip-searching and deporting people baed on their religion - that'll teach them about tolerance'.

(Well, ok, Edmund Standing has done his "I only wrote for him a few times so I can not be held responsible for anything he puts out even if HP don't extend that to their political enemies so NOW STOP MENTIONING IT YOU BIG MEANIES". But that's less than convincing).

heh, yeah it's always funny to see that, and to see him advising HP Sauce readers on why they shouldn't pal up with EDL supporters.

10/19/2011 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous bensix said...

...It's true; homosexuals in the west never get beaten to death, and female victims of rape are treated with nothing but the greatest respect and compassion...

I'd say it's a nontrivial difference that here a gay man's killer would be put in dock and in, say, Iran they'd be on the bench.

...god knows a lot of us on here are guilty of that too at times...

The fuck I am! I'd take on all o' youse!!1!

10/19/2011 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

As luck would have it the most obnoxious pack of HP regulars are now hurling insults about poo and testicles.

10/19/2011 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

Poo and testicles? So when HP isn't being a sewer it's pants but it's usually a sewer.

BTW could people give links to what they refer to? I just checked out HP and yes there was lots of shit and complete bollocks but I don't think I saw what Asteri was referring to.

10/19/2011 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

Well if you insist. I thought there was an agreement against posting direct HP links in case innocent bystanders see them?

http://hurryupharry.org/2011/10/19/speaking-truth-to-paranoia/

The main culprit is the uber troll 'academic' one that accuses others of being trolls, and likes to self-righteously denounce others as being self-righteous.

10/20/2011 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

Sorry, I'm a bit of a newbie here. I didn't realise HP was the subject of a no platform policy.

But thanks I won't ask again

10/20/2011 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

i can never get a comment poysted at sauce these day.

I don't think they like the death threats.

10/20/2011 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

I can't be alone in noting a certain homophobic element to some of the comments. It's all look at us, healthy hetero males, just hanging out with other boys.

You are alone if you're wanting my company. There's some fucking annoying laddishness and sexism there from some regular commenters that I kick now and then but I can't remember any homophobia.

There are a couple of gays who comment there regularly - Flaming Fairy & Lamia for instance. They run guest posts from Peter Tatchell and most commenters, if disagreeing, make a respectful bow to his activism, without homophobic digs.

10/20/2011 05:32:00 PM  

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