Thursday, January 05, 2006

Nick in "Rather Sensible" Shock

Not a great deal to say about NC's latest PC World, except to give him extra points for picking on Civitas and Anthony Browne in the Evening Standard which is noticably less liberal than either the Observer or the New Statesman. In short, he could have tailored his targets to his readers; he didn't, so good for him. Should you wish to read Browne for yourself before Nick ruins it for you, you can download the Civitas pamphlet in pdf format.

Nick is less funny than Chris Brooke (same as the "Anthony Browne" link above; I just want to make that clear), and he does attempt to be fair:

They're [Browne and Civitas] on stronger ground when they argue there are uncomfortable facts which celebs and liberals [sic] broadcasters don't want to face – the effects of thieving African tyrants, the views of far-Right wing mullahs and the racist murders of whites by blacks being prominent among them. I was stunned at the time of the Live8 concert by the Africans who rounded on Bob Geldoff [sic] and Oxfam and said the last thing they wanted to see was Western governments rewarding their oppressors with debt relief. It was not an argument I had heard often on the BBC, to put it mildly.

It's not an argument I think I've heard much anywhere -- and if readers can think of examples, especially in publications which Nick writes for, I'd like to hear them. (I have heard similar arguments, but they're usually made by people with some connection to debt recovery.) We quote him when he's wrong, so let's quote him when he's right.

But is this political correctness. It’s more like a bias or a lack of curiosity about the world or a stupidity. And does this bias make Britain a modern version of Stalin’s Russia? To pretend that it is, conservatives have to ignore the existence of a robust Tory press whose main reason for getting out of bed in the morning is the joyous prospect of exposing liberal double standards.
In these circumstances, for comfortable Englishmen to compare themselves to Soviet dissidents is whingeing at a demented remove from reality. Rather cleverly, David Cameron and the new Conservative leadership have stopped doing it. They at least have realised that many voters find the moaners profoundly unattractive as well as ludicrously overdone.

update, by the other bruschettaboy (the nasty one)

One hopes that the Decent Left will learn the same lesson about moaners and whingers, as Nick has not exactly been backward in coming forward in bemoaning the way in which Decentism is censored by the PC element in the Guardian, Observer, BBC and New Statesman; perhaps he is preparing the ground for a move to a more permanent commitment to Associated Newspapers (where resides his other former colleague from the Hutton-era Observer, Melanie Phillips). As BB notes, this is all pretty sensible stuff although there is perhaps an element of professional rivalry here since "Our Friends on the Left, an examination of agonies, idiocies and compromises of mainstream liberal thought will be published by 4th Estate in 2006". I suspect that the material on "African tyrants" might be there because Nick has just discovered while polishing off the closing chapters that the Liberal Left is just crazy about Robert Mugabe. But this is churlish - there is actually enough common sense in here to provide a distinct sense of hope, and the growing realisation on Nick's part that his taste in art is not widely shared is also hopeful, as we may be spared the theatre reviews in 2006.

update, by the first bruschettaboy (the nice one)
Listen very carefully, because I will say this only once: Harry of the Place is rather good here.
Being the nice one, I thought of balancing the link to Harry with a link to a Browne approver -- Stephen Pollard who exerpts the best bit of the book, or at least Browne's strongest case. But having read it again, I note that he says:

Unlike many attacks on political correctness, it doesn't trivialise the issue with reference to silly examples, but deals with the real damage that the pc mindset and consequent lack of thinking does.

I mentioned him earlier, but Chris Brooke really is superb here and this post in particular may help you decide whether Browne uses "silly examples" or not.

update by the other bruschettaboy. gosh this is civilised isn't it? I quite like doing these updates, they're much more fun than proper blogging.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

...there is actually enough common sense in here to provide a distinct sense of hope, and the growing realisation on Nick's part that his taste in art is not widely shared is also hopeful, as we may be spared the theatre reviews in 2006.

Anyone going through some kind of political dementia is going to have the odd bout of lucidity (or, with reference to Cronenberg's The Fly, if you're mutating into god-knows-what, there will be moments when you're still vaguely human).

1/06/2006 11:08:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home