Saturday, May 03, 2008

M'aidez! An Open Thread

Don't say we don't we don't listen to comments. We do listen. We just like saying "WHAT? No you bloody can't." Only joking.

As Simon noticed in the following comment, David Toube (note H's P's new address) stayed at work rather than campaign for Ken.

If you’re looking for an analysis of the reasons for this defeat, you couldn’t do much better than this short Guardian piece. A certain part of it is the general tiredness of this Government, after 11 years of rule. Northern Rock was a mess. Soaking the poor with the abolition of the 10% tax band was poison. And it doesn’t help that it is led by a man who seems to want to be Prime Minister, but who can’t articulate precisely why he was so desperate to occupy that position.

I think both David T and Andrew Sparrow in the Guardian underplay the role of Gordon Brown. Sparrow:

Labour performed dreadfully in last night's elections in England and Wales. As in previous years, Livingstone outperformed his party. He must be wondering if he would have done better to stand as an independent.

Really, given the way the votes went in the rest of the country, I can't see any reason to believe that Ken lost because Oliver Kamm and Nick Cohen don't like him. David T:

The far Left’s love affair with Islamism is a bit of a side show.

By 'far Left' he means Ken Livingstone, I think. I don't believe that made any difference.

But I know you're desperate to say something, so fire away.

Update 9 pm The view from over the pond. The comments are class. Crooked Timber gets a mention.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say I'm disappointed in Margaret Thatcher - I thought she'd destroyed the Tory Party much more effectively than that. I suppose I should be grateful - I wouldn't really want last night's Tory vote split between the Lib Dems and the BNP.

5/03/2008 07:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the decents going to be absolved of blame for this one then? I really don't think they should be.

5/03/2008 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

first off, to anonymous, it actually looks like David T is seeking the credit for Livingstone losing, in a roundabout way - if only people like david T and his other 'apathetic' anonymous mates, who spent the run-up to the election publishing reams of anti-Ken propaganda, had been around to campaign on Ken's behalf! EVERYTHING would have been different. Once again displaying the same old Decent trick of seeking the winning side. Surely such a loyal party member would be writing stuff about - you know - the nationwide collapse of the party? But no, it's all about how Ken (and not New Labour, obviously) has let him down.

David T:

I started to ask him a question about amphibian husbandry. He turned to me and said:

“Oh, shut up!”

I am sad to say that I was pathetically crushed.

David T to me last week, in his sole response to a critique i made of his post on David Edgar:

You're a twat too.

Shome mishtake shurely?

Oh and David T has never read, or been to see, Coriolanus. Arrogance is not the fatal flaw of Coriolanus. This is proof of his ignorance, if any were needed:

Just as Coriolanus would not please the mob by showing them his war wounds, Livingstone stubbornly rejected us, again and again.

The mob's requests aren't meant to be a good thing; Coriolanus' flaw is that he is not a politician and won't play to the baying mob. What is David T trying to say here? Oh wait, it's obvious - he's yet again relying on childhood anecdotes to justify his 'adult' political opinions.

I find this part of David T's criticism of Ken especially depressing:

The weirdness. The nastiness.

He has called Ken 'weird and nasty' in the preamble to pretty much everything he's published about the man (most of which are verbatim reprints of Gilligan's depressingly tedious 'investigations'. It's simply dumb to resort to using unjustified insults as reasons for disliking him. HP never 'wanted to support Ken'. They willingly took part in the ES-derived smear campaign against him, despite the fact that it was obviously motivated by Gilligan's anti-Labour grudge, and despite the fact that it was all to be found in a paper the Left usually steer well clear of (although note the number of 'isn't the Mail a good paper' posts on there recently). The collective hissy fit over very minor allegations about Lee Jasper that every single person on HP threw has evidently slipped his mind - as have the HP and Nick Cohen agitations for a different Labour nominee.

This really is a rewriting of history, and it's truly childish.

5/03/2008 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger flyingrodent said...

Well, quite - if David T was a footballer, we'd all be abusing him for "simulation", the term we use to beat diving bastards these days.

Somebody summarised it well at HP - "I'm loaded, so I can afford this kind of vanity politics. How about you?"

Decency, nutshell, I think.

5/03/2008 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't read much of HP during the campaign. If Toube's hostility to Livingstone went as far as you suggest, isn't it a little borderline as to whether it is compatible with his party membership? Or was he careful to stay on the right side of actively campaigning against his own party's candidate? (And if he wasn't, might it be worth letting the party know?)

5/03/2008 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was he careful to stay on the right side of actively campaigning against his own party's candidate?

well yeah - by republishing ES reports verbatim, and 'balancing coverage' by including a couple of vaguely anti-Boris 'articles', he's safe really, since his site is meant to 'provide highlights from the web'. But I'm not entirely sure why he thinks that doing that and then sitting on his arse and not campaigning - and then boasting about it - is justified given that there were more elections going on than the mayoral one... In general I am not convinced by the Labour party loyalty displayed on that site at all. It seems that Labour membership is convenient at some times and not at others, and david T can adopt it and drop it depending on - well - I'm not sure exactly. Note his support for Ken in 2000.

if he wasn't, might it be worth letting the party know?)

The Boris campaign had a lot of people who contribute to blogs working pretty hard, and HP was infested with them. Believe me, they know all about HP.

For 'independent voices' they had an awful lot of seemingly pre-prepared answers...

I'm loaded, so I can afford this kind of vanity politics. How about you?


5/03/2008 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about being an annoying anonymous up there, but I also know the strict rules about Dinner Party monikers.

My point is not so much about David T or the blogosphere, but those that went into print and TV - Bright and Cohen, especially the latter, who exhorted yellow and left us with blue.

I don't know how much of an impact it made, but it must have made some - it might have made a few Decent minds up that voting for Johnson wouldn't betray their 'leftism' after all; that compared with an Islamofascist, Johnson was the only liberal choice.

5/04/2008 01:03:00 AM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

More on Coriolanus over here.

5/04/2008 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger cian said...

Jeremy Hardy said it best on Johnson:
“He may seem like a lovable buffoon but you know he wouldn’t hesitate to line you all up against a wall and have you shot.”

5/04/2008 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Coriolanus stuff is hilarious - David T in a response to that very good piece continued to maintain that Coriolanus' fatal flaw is 'a lack of hubris', but earlier he'd said it was his 'arrogance' - which is surely the complete opposite thing? in the comments David T admits that he'd mistaken hubris for humility (orwellian plain style in evidence again), but hasn't changed the initial post, because, to repeat, he has never seen or read the play.

These kinds of Shakespearean readings of history are dodgy enough when written by someone with yer actual knowledge of theatre, like David Hare. They're just embarrassing when they're written by someone who only brought it up so he could wank on about his childhood pets in order to detract from his role in getting a conservative elected.

5/05/2008 09:28:00 AM  

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