Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wanted: new running joke to replace "Seals of Dacre"

Nick is now going to vote Tory for London mayor apparently - you do surprise us Nick - and so he will never need to worry again about voting for a party that doesn't do enough for those struggling little battlers at the bottom of the tree with their £100,000 incomes. It is Ken's support for Hugo Chavez that pushed him over the edge.

Now, I am not a great fan of Hugo, ever since this rule by decree crap was passed, and not all the concerns about press repression can be brushed away. But, is Nick walking and chewing gum at the same time? Has he forgotten that the Venezuelan opposition is against all the values that he holds dear? Is he paying attention to the voices of true Venezuelan democrats? Where are his comrades in Venezuela? Name them, I charge you, sir! I think that there is a danger that Nick has gone berserk. His wild oppositionism to Ken Livingstone has led him to forget his basic principles. Carlos Andres Perez and the Globovision gang are on the far right, yet he cannot denounce them, preferring to concentrate only on one side. And although this is true of Nick and of Harry's Place, it surely represents a much deeper sickness of the liberal left.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not dewy-eyed about Chavez either but... The Cohen piece is a disgrace. And Dennis McShane, that great reason to stick with the Labour Party, was of course the shameless fuckwit who raced so quickly to welcome the right-wing coup that briefly deposed Chavez in 2002. Why can't people who "support democracy" work out the difference between a) numerous elections and referenda b) a military coup which immediately tries to abolish the entire constitution.

Chavez has increased his powers, but, as I understand it, 5% of the electorate can force a referendum on anything he does in that direction (
If that's true, it's more than the British are allowed to do.

2/22/2007 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

Well this is it - I think both points of view are acceptable with respect to whether Chavez has crossed the line, but any opposition to him surely has to recognise that the official Vene opposition are coupmongers and weirdoes. This is exactly what Nick accuses the indecent left of failing to do, and exactly what he doesn't do himself. And so he ends up allowing himself to be led by Carlos Andres Perez.

2/22/2007 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY plugging of my new book has now broken all bounds of decency
I can't feel much irony in this remark.

2/22/2007 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Venezuelan journalists union is up in arms against the closure and appear to be backed by the International Federation of Journalists. (It isn't quite a closure more of a refusal to renew the licence, which the UK govt has to do for TV and radio) But the journos are linked to the CTV, which supported the coup.
Other workers in the company (ie who would be in Bectu in the UK) appear to be in favour and are negotiations to either take it over or run the RCTV in alliance with community organisations.They are represented by the UNT federation (of which part is linked to Chavez but not the majority).
There most probably is some intimidation of the media although last summer the IFJ were saying it was almost all criminal gangs, so i don't where Cohen gets to imply all 700 instances are politically inspired. Also there are still three TV stations in operation which regularly call for Chavez's overthrow so there is plenty of choice.
Of course none of this will worry Cohen or McShane. They are just making their excuses to look the other way when the US sends the death squads in.
BTW can you imagine the furore from the Decents and the mad mels if the government renewed the licence of a UK Islamic radio station that broadcast Jihad and supported the July bombers?

2/22/2007 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger George Shaw said...

Cohen's admiration for MacShane, a signatory of the neo-con Henry Jackson Society, is further evidence of his rightwards drift - that's becoming more of an avalanche.

2/22/2007 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What London’s secular, liberal and democratic lefties are going to do about him at the next election is an awkward question.

Not a very interesting one, though. Does he think Evening Standard readers really give a shit about the answer?

2/22/2007 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

What's the last bit about? Surely he doesn't think Livingstone is going to rig the election, so presumably he thinks that he is always going to win if he is the candidate? But this can't be because he gets any help from Labour's national poll showing, so I suppose Nick's of the view that London is full of millions of homophobic, racist, misogynist, Islamists who are going to vote for him.

Weirdly, he believes this at the same time as he thinks Labour's national strategy should be to focus on the economic plight of London couples on £100,000 a year, and the rising cost of private school fees.

2/22/2007 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick's going to vote Tory? Game Over, I say - he's turned into Paul Johnson/Peter Hitchens/Mel Phillips at last, just as I suspected he would nearly two years ago. What's Left? was always going to be his valedictory/suicide note.

Re. running gag: is there a Melanie Phillips equivalent to the DefCon index - so the Mad Mel equivalent of DefCon 1 (NeoCon 1?) is when Nick really loses it in rightwing madness.

2/22/2007 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Has he openly referred approvingly to Mel yet? That might be a new game. He already has Anne Atkins, has he not? Tick them off as you go, or issue bingo cards. (Paul Johnson, since he's been mentioned, would be a good one.)

2/22/2007 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has approvingly cited Theodore Dalrymple (see post immediately below) a number of times, including in his book. I think Dalrymple appeals to soon-to-be-ex-lefties like Nick because he was an actual real physician and therefore appeals to people who like their analysis 'realistic' and 'hard-headed' and have an increasing predilection for dismissing the 'muddled thinking' of 'liberals'.

2/22/2007 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh. My. Sweet. Jumping. Jeezus. He's left the dial, hasn't he?

Of course Chavez doesn't like the "free press". It's owned by the same extreme-right fuckheads who tried to depose him in the US-backed coup, and its idea of "news" is 24/7 Chavez slagging. Chavez remains very popular with the people in Venezuela for good reason. The alternative is truly horrible.

As for McShane, he's just a thorough arsehole. No more needs be said about him.

2/23/2007 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a prominent British anti-apartheid activist who knew a thing or two once told me that Mcshane was, shall we say, a CIA "asset". Certainly his career path (working for the ICFTU in Geneva) and political priorities would be in line with such a role.

2/24/2007 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

in a curious way, I'm glad to hear that there is someone in the world who considered Denis MacShane to be an asset rather than a liability.

2/24/2007 05:50:00 PM  

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