Sunday, June 25, 2006

Nuclear recycling

Nick is off again about CND's alleged cheerleading of Iran's nuclear programme. There's not really that much to say, apart from to observe that this is more shameless recycling both of his own earlier material (New Statesman) and stuff from HP-Sauce (David T on CIF on the 22nd). Here's Nick from last December:

Iranians went to the conference to protest. CND stewards threw them out when they heckled the ambassador, just as Labour party conference stewards threw out CND’s Walter Wolfgang when he heckled Jack Straw the previous month.

and from today:

Iranian dissidents, who oppose the theocracy's drive to get the bomb, turned up to protest. CND stewards threw out the hecklers just as Labour party conference stewards had thrown out CND's Walter Wolfgang when he heckled Jack Straw the previous month.

Does he have a macro to do this, or does he retype the sentences. Who cares?

Of course there is the small matter of substance. Nick tells us:

On the other, we have an 'anti-nuclear movement' that is against Britain being a nuclear power, but not Iran.

But is it true?

Well, not according to CND themselves, in the document to which Bruschetta Boy referred him following his NS article (God this is getting repetitive), which states clearly:

CND opposes both the use of force against Iran and any acquisition of nuclear weapons capabilities by Iran.

Nick: do your homework, and write some new material.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same point needed making again. He made it. I see no problem with that.

I thought this site was set up after some predictable lefties were horrified at the new direction Cohen and Aaronovitch were taking. Now you're saying they need new material. You're all over the place. Why don't you start doing something worthwhile with your lives? Imagine if your parents could see what you get up to?

6/26/2006 02:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that might be a sensible attitude if you're reading NC for free on the internet, but it grates a bit for those of us who pay £1.70 for the Observer. There's kind of an implicit contract between a newspaper and its readers to deliver new content every week.

btw, "Mike", you are now yourself recycling material from previous comments, unless I am mistaken including your joke. Perhaps, like U2 at the end of the Joshua Tree tour, you need to take some time off in order to "dream it up all over again".

6/26/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> like U2 at the end of the Joshua Tree tour

Ah, if only they'd quit then - we might have fond memories of them now. S'pose you could say the same about ex-leftie columnists.

6/26/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ah, if only they'd quit then - we might have fond memories of them now."

unfortunately not so; if they had quit then, our abiding memory would have been the "Rattle & Hum" album and film.

6/26/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah, I thought they were rubbish when I saw them for the second time, in 1983. Should have quit after "Boy" or at the very least after "October" if you ask me. Mind you, first time I saw them, people still spat. Took them by surprise, I can tell you. Can't blame them for retreating into stadium rock after that.

Imagine if Smike's parents could see what he gets up to. They probably think he's surfing for porn, but instead he's trolling blogs. Bet they think, "He's a good boy. Bless."

6/26/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is all Nick's stuff coming from HP these days. The stuff on Colin Stagg was also on HP last week.

Is there a consensus here that Nick turned seriously weird after he read Terror and Liberalism?

I used to like his journalism and sometimes he still writes some good stuff, but lots of his writing now, especially the stuff on Islamism and Iraq sounds a bit bonkers.

6/26/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Is there a consensus here that Nick turned seriously weird after he read Terror and Liberalism?

The only time Cohen has ever acknowledged his writing has sharply changed direction in recent years was when he selected the above book in his Gerasblog "writer's choice" feature, where he said it made him 'look at everything afresh'. Elsewhere, e.g. his "I still fight oppression" article, he and his Decent fanbase are keen to push the line that it is the rest of the left that turned Indecent post 9/11 while Cohen stuck to his principles. They turn curiously silent when you quote from his articles of 1999-(roughly)2002, still openly available on the Observer website, which reveal that the 'liberal left' journalist to whom Cohen's attacks on the 'liberal left' most closely conform is in fact Cohen himself from a few years earlier.

I still think he is going through a period of confusion, though. He seems a harsher critic of New Labour again now than he was a year or so ago, for instance, and he can't seem to decide whether to be a civil libertarian (eg Sunday's ID cards and Colin Stagg pieces) or a tough-minded anti-terrorist authoritarian (the Forest Gate stuff of recent weeks).

6/27/2006 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

Nick did some of the best coverage of the Colin Stagg case ten years ago, before his Great Transformation. He doesn't need Harry's Place for this one.

See Cruel Britannia, pp.87-94.

6/27/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

The more I look at the timing of these things I think that CousCous Kid is right and that Nick C is as likely to be an unacknowledged source for Harry's Place as vice versa.

I think NC has actually been quite a lot better over the last few weeks and is beginning to develop his own version of Decency. Immediately post-Berman, he fell into the view that being Decent meant being pro-war and thus pro-Blair (the nadir of this was the dreadful Hutton Report stuff). But he's constitutionally incapable of staying too long in the John Lloyd camp of blaming the media and pretending that our rulers can do no wrong (albeit that he had a go in the most recent New Statesman piece).

I suspect that he's going to end up in an oppositionist camp as an anti-everything leftie (this is his natural home) casting plagues on everyone's houses. I would put the odds no better than evens that he would support war on Iran when it comes, albeit that he will do so from an anti-anti-anti-anti-war perspective and get a lot of material out of differentiating himself from everyone else in the world (except possibly Mariam Namazie who shares the same affability and easy going temperament).

6/27/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"I would put the odds no better than evens that he would support war on Iran when it comes"

But what would you put the odds on him supporting the war a few years after it had happened?

6/28/2006 10:27:00 PM  

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