Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dave Walks The Line

Television is chewing gum for the eyes
Frank Lloyd Wright1

Note to Anon2: we do sometimes agree with David Aaronovitch, but not because we are coming round to his way of thinking. There are columnists and blogs I hate - Melanie Phillips, Little Green Footballs, Martin Kettle. I 'watch' Aaro and Nick because our world views aren't tangential, but are pretty similar, and up to a few years ago were closer to parallel. For me, this is at least partly a mental exercise - what do I really believe here? I certainly don't hate Aaro; he's not unreadable (as Melanie Phillips is), but he sees a different slant to me on most liberal points. I'm not giving the party line here, or pandering to 'right thinking people'. I am a blockhead who does not write for money.

I think DA is pretty good today, especially as he seems to have written his column very late (probably before Jade was voted out, but that hardly required psychic powers).

The Sun headline yesterday, accompanied by six horrible pics of Jade (whom the paper monstered last time around, as well) was "Evict the face of hate". The irony was that the page itself was the face of hate. A columnist condemned Jade’s hate speech. "She shrieks racist obscenities, her piggy eyes bulging as she struts round the house like a demented toad." And that, presumably, is just what Our Lord would have written if He were a columnist.

That's a pretty good attack on The Thunderer's profitable younger sister. (The Sun not Jade Goody.) And spot on. I'll give Dave this, he took a risk with the para before, and I think a lot of people who comment will have misunderstood his intent. Some of his regular fans will fall over themselves to agree with:

I loathe and fear Jade. Her mother, Jackiey Budden, who was evicted last week, was the stuff of my nightmares: slack-gobbed, dead-eyed, yowling, incontinent, illiterate and needy. She had never heard of a dilemma. "What’s a dimella?" she asked Big Brother. Mum and lass are trailer trash - crazy-making underclass folk who'd want to kill you because you once read a book and didn't call your father a c***.

But Dave is being ironic. Sadly, this bit isn't:

The argument over the stock cubes has a more solid hold on the nation's sense of history than the walk in the woods.

Nicely put and nicely pat - and like a lot of too-good-to-be-true sentences, utter rubbish. It's true most of the nation have forgotten 'the walk in the woods' (the best Wikipedia can come up with is the play) - but then most of them probably weren't born, and the point of walking in the woods was that the negotiations were off the record. The event is as mythic as Alfred and the cakes, and about as relevant to proper history. Also, DA lets slip that, despite what he says later, he really does think we're thick.

Dave's former paper, tehgrauniad has been pretty disgraceful over Big Brother. I can't remember if it owns shares in C4 or vice-versa but they're in bed together somehow. In the week it printed a C4 denial:

However, Channel 4 has confirmed that fellow housemate Jack Tweed did not call Shilpa a 'Paki' as had been reported on many websites.

Rather disingenuous when you consider what the alternative theory had him say. And the Comment is Free homepage has a disgraceful Steve Bell cartoon (not archived as far as I can tell), showing a recognisable Jade wagging a finger and foregrounded by "Sponsored by ASBO warehouse" (oh ho ho Steve) and a mobile phone smoking a cigarette (how non-U!) and apparently topped with either a nipple or more likely a condom teat. How the underclasses breed! We must stop them before they flood us. (Use 'Muslims' for underclasses if Mark Steyn or writing for the Sun of course.)

1 My Oxford Dictionary of Quotations thinks this was the ever-quotable 'Anon' (not our Anon, the smart one), but I'm sure it was Frank.
2 aka 'Paulie' - allegedly.


Blogger ejh said...

The last paragraph here is a ludicrous piece of populist showboating.

1/20/2007 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Whose? Mine or his? Would you be so good as to explain?

1/20/2007 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...


Because it's an overblown piece of rhetoric which makes an incredibly offensive comparison between some genuinely foul views and some views which you see fit to attribute to another individiual although they have not expressed them.

1/20/2007 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger cian said...

Gosh, Aaronvitch at his finest.

I think you've misinterpreted the Steve Bell cartoon. He's saying the same thing Dave is. Jade's not his target, its the idiots jabbering on who are.

1/20/2007 09:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am rather hampered on this one, because I actually don't watch it, as opposed to pretending not to watch it, much. So the most surprising thing for me in the Aaro column is that he is now outright saying that David Milliband is "future PM"! Does this mean he's knifing Ed?

(Aaro had previously claimed to be a "Millibandite", revelling in the ambiguity of the term).

1/21/2007 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way, I bet we are now going to be treated to the "rehabilitation" of Jade Goody, complete with trips to India, going gooey over icke starving babies, lots and lots of weeping and hugging. If I was her agent I would tell her fuck that, and to go for the main chance as the new figurehead of the BNP. If Pauline Hanson can make a career in soft fascism, surely Jade can.

(evil bb is in general in favour of the BNP, as the force which has single-handedly done more to destroy the prospects for fascism in this country than any other. If you want to protect yourself from any possibility of a BNP Member of Parliament, get a BNP councillor).

1/21/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Milibandite? Is Dave getting back to his Marxist roots?

1/21/2007 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I did misinterpret the Steve Bell cartoon: I found it offensive until they took it down. I accept that it may have had other intended interpretations, but I can't imagine what they may have been. They weren't explicit. I disagree very strongly with Justin (and I didn't reply immediately because I wanted some time to think) that Steve Bell has 'not expressed' views. I'm much more sympathetic to Cian because he at least thinks Bell articulated - that's the wrong word, I know - something else (rather than nothing). And I don't think Bell is saying anything like Dave. DA is saying that everyone has prejudices, only some of us think we are better than that. Steve Bell falls into the 'some of us' here, IMO.

1/23/2007 08:39:00 PM  

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