Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Church of the Repeated Meme

Nick's in entertaining form this morning. I don't think anyone guessed any of his topics, though old friends have popped up. Harry Fletcher (last seen in January) gets a mention.

Another old friend is "I think it is fair to say" which we've seen as "I think it is fair to say that New Labour hammered the last nail into the coffin [of freedom]", "I think it’s fair to say that previous generations would be astonished that [the March for Free Expression is necessary]", and "When the wife of Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyer can use the language of class struggle to defend the interests of extortionists, I think it is fair to say that socialism is dead." Nick uses it for Pronouncements of Doom.™ This time we have

The peer was Lord Tebbit. And when he attacks a Labour government from the left, I think it is fair to say that it has lost the plot.

I think Nick's wrong to use "from the left" here. I think the government has lost the plot. I think the proposal to "allow private companies to take over the supervision of dangerous criminals" is as venal and foolish as Nick and Lord Tebbit seem to, but the Chingford Skinhead's objection isn't left-wing.

It's probably wrong to categorise Norman Tebbit as a minarchist, yet he and Tories of his stripe believe roughly that the state should not be involved in energy production, telecommunications, broadcasting, etc, as these services can be handled by the market; instead the state should concern itself with law and order and defence. The former can (and therefore should) be privatised; the latter shouldn't. I don't think Lord Tebbit has shifted to the left at all. This does show that he had political ideas; the government hasn't.

Otherwise, Nick is a man in some pain. He hates the Tories, he hates New Labour. He's burned his boats with the Lib Dems. I have a lot of sympathy.


Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

The "real toffs don't sell stuff" line was a bit odd. The Waitrose at the end of my street has endless boxes of "Duchy Originals" biscuits etc.

Though the Tories would probably be as willing to sell peerages as NuLab, the fact that senior Tory wives have their own range of handbags looks like weak evidence of hucksterism.

4/02/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I live on Kensington Park Road, and (very) occasionally buy things from Felicitious, though I was unaware it had something to do with Osborne.

On a minor fact-check, Felicitious is definitely not the 'hippest' place to buy chocolate, as it's not even the hippest place to buy chocolate in Notting Hill. That's Melt, which opened earlier this month. Nick needs to keep up...

4/02/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Some Watching for you all:

Bizarre Nick Cohen reference in this piece (,,1743055,00.html)

and Aaro is on TV this week talking about his communist past.

Tues 4 April - 9.30pm BBC4 – Dinner With Portillo.

4/02/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was qa blast from the "Pretty Striaght Guys" past, wasn't it?

There seem to be two parallel Labour governments competing for sdpace in Nick's head, both of them run by Blair. One is the principled, courageous entity that went into Iraq, the other is the sleazy, rapacious cabal up to its neck in bungs. It must be difficult to reconcile the former with the latter.

But Gordon's coming to sort it all out...

4/02/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Otherwise, Nick is a man in some pain. He hates the Tories, he hates New Labour. He's burned his boats with the Lib Dems. I have a lot of sympathy."

Remember "Unite Against Terror", when Cohen said:

"You can expect to lose a few friends and have many rows, but at least you will be on the side of best and the bravest".

Apparently that side is now him alone. On the subject of UAT, incidentally, Peter Tatchell, who is clearly a small 'd' decent man, did apologise for his piece recently. I wonder what exactly Alan Johnson said in his email inviting them to contribute that made all the Decents (except Oliver Kamm) think it was an attack on the "left', not terrorists?

4/02/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did u guys miss this?§ion=0&article=80058&d=1&m=4&y=2006

4/03/2006 03:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Tatchell apologise for his barmy peice ?

4/03/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tatchell apology down in the comments threads here:

4/03/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"From the left" doesn't quite capture it. Tebbit's position is not left-wing - it's just that New Labour has now moved so far to the right, Tebbit is now to its left. So his criticism comes from the left of New Labour - a broad area of the political spectrum that now includes everyone who isn't clinically insane.

4/09/2006 05:46:00 AM  

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