Sunday, April 23, 2006


Apologies for straying beyond our narrow remit and into the broader territory of things Decent, but I was reading a piece by Brian Brivati on Normblog that purports to be a reply to Martin Kettle and I was struck, and puzzled, by the following sentence:

What unites us is a belief that developments since 9/11 represent part of a broadly based assault on democracy and that this assault has to be challenged, fought and defeated.

Well I can see that they might think that 9/11 was an assault on democracy, among other things. They aren't wrong about that. But "developments" (oddly colourless word) "since 9/11"? Do the mean the Motoons? Or the Van Gogh murder? Because presumably they don't mean the Patriot Act, the various British anti-terror provisions, the ID card legislation, and so forth, since they support all those things? Presumably Bush packing the US Supreme Court with conservative justices isn't part of the assault on democracy either, from a Decent point of view. Someone help me out!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brivati also tries to address the question as to why bother issuing the EM when it seems to be alreays the official policy of the Labour Government. However Brivati claims he was advised to join Neal Lawson's "compass" - surely he would be much beter advised to join "Progress", compass being abitt too left wing and a bit iffy about endelss war

4/23/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought anything and everything Decent was on topic these days?

btw, the Nick Cohen replacement column in the Observer is another shocker today; we've now had "Clothes For Chaps", then that northern Irish mad'ead and today someone wittering on about the Surry Times. Come back Nick, nearly all is forgiven!

4/23/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

The Decents are solidly back popular authoritarianism at home - strongly supporting Blair's tactic of building up a strong surveillance state by citing popular disaproval of criminals.

Of course, normally that sort of policy would be described as right wing populism, but as long as Blair sugars it with enough talk of helping ordinary working class folk then the Decents will swallow it - like the credulous twits they are.

For all their sanctimonious airy talk of democracy, I don't regard Decents as particularly democratic, if you examine their views closely enough.

4/24/2006 02:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm quite pleased that Norm published that. I'd started to think that he and H'sP were just publishing links to whoever slagged them off, and had given up. They seem to be whining "But it's only a first draught." I wonder if Norm feels that the Alan "Not the Minister" Johnson bits are the problem while A'NtM'J is grumbling about Nick Cohen, who in turn is muttering "I knew we should have left that bloody Linux stuff out."

The Will Hutton piece has the "rule of law" argument in its favour; otherwise it's complete rubbish. He makes the mistake Brivati does: Google shows a lot of hits for "Euston Manifesto." But they still only have 690 signatures. Most bloggers who've written about it haven't signed. There's a lot of talk about the BNP as well; it doesn't mean that their "position will now resonate as a recognizable one that should be represented more prominently in future."

Brivati suggests that they could have called the Manifesto an essay. If they had all these great minds assembled together, why didn't they think of that at the time?

4/24/2006 12:02:00 PM  

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