Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Forecast

Well, I would say that this week's Friday Forecast competition is a race with one heavily-backed favourite. I can't see any way in which Aaro doesn't respond to the Matthew Parris column, surely? Other possibilities would of course be de Menezes (particularly as this now offers a wonderful opportunity to "reach out to the left") and the Gaza withdrawals, but MP has got to be the bookie's choice.

For Cohen it's a more difficult call. An anonymous commenter has posted "Can I have and advance bet on 'From BNP to MCB, one letter at a time' for next weekend? " in a thread below; maybe he's a ringer with the inside track? I don't think that Cohen's New Statesman piece from this week is recyclable for the Observer so no clues there either.

The often useful "Harry's Place" forecast isn't really giving much of a steer this week but if anything points to the topic of "The Iraqi Resistance: Bastards". So I'm going to take a flyer and say:

Cohen (Sunday): The death of Stephen Vincent, Talibanisation of Basra and how the liberal left isn't doing enough about it.
Aaro (Tuesday): "I am as frightened by the way things are going in Iraq as I am by the shootings in London. But we can do nothing other than trust the police and the government".
Cohen (Tuesday): A Levels are getting too easy these days, guv.

Faites vos jeux, as always, in the comments thread below. Anyone is entitled to bet on all, some or none of the three Watch categories; winner to be decided on Tuesday on the basis of accuracy and specificity.

Update: On the other hand ... "A senior columnist from The Times Newspaper UK, Mr. David Morris Aaronovitch, was recently in the Sultanate for a short visit to feature Brunei and the Empire Hotel & Country Club in The Times newspaper". "Brunei, a successful Islamic state and a model for us all??????". Junketastic.

Second update: going by the Harry's Place indicator would indicate that late betting might be going on some reference to WHSmith's policy of selling Playboy branded pencil cases. I really don't think this is likely and won't be altering my own forecast at all, but if Aaro or Cohen so much as mention it then it will be a brave man who bets against Harry's Place in future weeks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a ringer, honest - but how are Cohen and his new friends going to stop Basra going tits-up? Why should the anti-war left get him and Team Bush out of the hole they've dug?

8/19/2005 04:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to be honest I always add something like "and how it's the liberal left's fault" to Cohen predictions because it's always there; sort of like if this was "Bon Jovi Watch" I would add "squealing guitar solo and pointless key change" every week.

We've enabled anonymous posting here; all you need to do is select "other" and invent a nickname for yourself, or just put a nickname in the post otherwise it's going to get really confusing.

8/19/2005 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Has Cohen said much about the State of Israel lately? (or, indeed, ever?) The Gaza withdrawal could be a good opportunity for him to open a second front of Decency, and maybe have a pop at the MCB's equivocation over Palestinian suicide bombers at the same time.

8/19/2005 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

well maybe but to be honest Nick has typically and historically been on the side of Labour when he has commented on Israeli politics at all (which hasn't been often) so opening up a front to the right of Likud would be a hell of a shift for him. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but I think you're betting on a real outsider here (obviously if you're right the kudos will be multiplied).

8/19/2005 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"The Times Newspaper, which was established in 1785, is the leading newspaper in UK that prints 2.2 million copies each year. The paper mainly covers major news, business and travel stories"

2.2m a year? That's about 6,000 copies a day. Must be Aaro's influence...

8/20/2005 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Is that Brunei thing for real?
It seems beyond parody.

8/20/2005 03:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strange place to be cheerleading for. Brunei scores 6.5 on the Freedom House's Political Freedom index. Ths is very firmly in the 'not free' index.

The State Dept notes that:

"Citizens did not have the right to change the government, and they generally avoided political activity of any kind because of the official atmosphere of disapproval concerning such activities. Citizens did not exercise freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, or freedom of association. The Government used the Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain persons. Other human rights problems continued, including restrictions on religious freedom. Occasional spousal violence against women remained a concern, although the Government addressed the matter at many levels. Discrimination against women was a problem. Labor rights were circumscribed, and foreign workers sometimes were subjected to exploitation, although the Government took steps to protect foreign workers and began limited prosecution of errant employers".

8/20/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

so opening up a front to the right of Likud would be a hell of a shift for him.

I don't mean he'd be against the withdrawal; I'm just thinking he might use it as a peg on which to hang some more conventionally Cohenian observations on The Left's Softness On Terror, or maybe The Left's Failure To Support Progressive In Israel (or secularists in Palestine). And an attack on the MCB could tie in with the Panorama programme that's going out tomorrow evening.

It's just that most of the other big players on the Decent Left (save Aarono, who is more of a Blairite opportunist anyway) have an all-purpose opinion on Israel that can be shoehorned into commentary on a semi-related topical event, and Cohen might want to earn his stripes in this regard.

But yeah, it's an outside bet.

8/20/2005 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Some Cohen ES articles appear to be online, see and look at August 2 for an example.

8/20/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I think he might have taken a holiday!

8/21/2005 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Sonic said...

No Cohen today but some geezer called ........ takes up the cudgels with this tortured prose

"A half-century of a well-intentioned but catastrophically mistaken policy of multiculturalism, indifferent or even hostile to social and cultural integration, has produced in Britain and much of Europe a technologically educated but culturally and morally unassimilated immigrant demi-intelligentsia."

Chronic stuff

8/21/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Former Labour Voter said...

Are we the same 50-100 or so people - men, let's be honest - arguing about the same thing on the internet forever, do you think?

8/25/2005 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

yes, I'm afraid that you have died and this is the modern version of Jean-Paul Sartre's hell.

8/26/2005 11:02:00 AM  

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