Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Work Here Is Done ... For Us

Phil of the Gaping Silence takes on Nick Cohen over the Rhys Jones story. The whole thing is splendid, so I suggest you read it.

On a similar theme, we haven't written about Nick last Sunday: Why Gordon never gets the hump with big money - to quote Phil, above - "possibly because the numbers are solid and the argument seems pretty reasonable." This does look like a return to the more radical Nick Cohen (he's had doubts about Gordon Brown since the 90s, IIRC), though it also reads like a write-up of various TUC press releases and talking points.

Via Lawyers, Guns & Money (specifically the comments), David Brin writes that Both the right and left have gone quite mad. I read this because of this comment: "Erika -- ugh, he cites Nick Cohen. From what I've seen (thanks to the brave souls at Aaronovitch Watch/World of Decency), he's a sober Hitchens." Did we say anything like that? Is it true? Nice to know we have readers anyway, but link next time, OK? [Joke] The Brin piece is long, but it gets critical of NC and the comments are intelligent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick is certainly not a sober Hitchens. More of a happy shopper Hitchens. Nicks things about moral panics are of course a New Nick v Old Nick thing, with poor Balls being forced against hiswill to play old Nick - see for example Nicks many articles about how Blair mis used the Bulger killing with his "hammer blows against the nations conscience" speech

9/22/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunno 'bout Brin here - he's coming out with the old 'If only there was a good left' hand-wringing line. But here was and indeed is a good left: the actual positions of the WCPI (all of them, not just the bits the decents like), the AWL and the Millies are good places to start. But rather than do anything for this left (even broadcasting its existence would be a start), he's happy to throw up his hands and stomp off the pitch.

Chris Williams

9/23/2007 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

The AWL? Do me a favour. They're Decents with a Trotsky poster on the wall.

9/23/2007 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The AWL operate according to the 'guess-the-weight-of-the-cake' principle* of Trot positioning, thus they often sound rather more right-wing than they are. They aren't decent, owing to the fact that decents like imperialist invasions, and the AWL don't.

Chris Williams

*Oh, work it out.

9/23/2007 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, is he drunk then? Some of my Nick impressions were formed on my own -- that is, I read the back cover of What's Left in a bookstore before I read this site -- but my impression was that both Nick and Hitchens are very much into talking about how The Left has lost its moral compass and loves Islamism even though it's completely illiberal, evidenced by the fact that The Left opposed the war on Iraq. Is that wrong?

Admittedly AFAIK Nick has never called for "killing fields," but that's part of being sober.

BTW I don't understand any of these comments.

9/24/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry matt, it's a leftie thing. I can assure you that ignorance of the finer points of sectarian debate on the UK ultraleft is, if anything, something to be proud of.

The only things that you need to take from the exchange are:
1) Decents are evil fools.
2) Some leftists are also evil fools, but in a different way.
3) Not all leftists are evil fools: some are good and clever.

Chris Williams

9/24/2007 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

The AWL, however, are neither clever nor good. Nor indeed sober.

9/24/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I sort of agree with the second Anon here, but I think the comments are very good, they discuss most of the objections to Nick's position (and much else besides) while keeping the tone civil.

As for Nick being a 'sober Hitchens' - I'm quite taken with the phrase, but it's a little unfair to Hitchens who has a better back catalogue of journalism as well as unfair to our Nick who at least doesn't have Hitchens' conviction of his own greatness. Nick also seems fond of having arguments at dinner parties.

9/24/2007 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

hmmm I was busy, but remember thinking at the time that it did not seem at all clear that Nick would be able to see that:

1) The murder rate in urban areas has declined

2) The murder rate outside urban areas has declined

were not inconsistent with

3) The total murder rate in urban and non-urban areas has increased.

9/24/2007 06:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can assure you that ignorance of the finer points of sectarian debate on the UK ultraleft is, if anything, something to be proud of.

Thanks, but sadly I think the mental real estate cleared by that is occupied by the doings of Tammy Duckworth, Christine Cegelis, and Rahm Emanuel.

Nick also seems fond of having arguments at dinner parties.


9/24/2007 08:15:00 PM  

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