Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Let's all join hands and sing Kumbaya

For this rare moment of agreement. Aaro fucking nails it this week, on the subject of how Frank Field (and, inter alia, Andrew Anthony and Nick Cohen's new mate Anthony Browne) are completely full of shit on the subject of immigration. And does so in a very well-written article with just the right amount of sarcasm. I very much hope that Aaro has put the final knife into Field's political career with this one and will buy him a pint or sponsor him in the London Marathon if he has.

"Decent racism" post forthcoming; it's actually quite interesting in that a number of AW (i'WoD') betes noires like Aaro, Kamm, Hoare etc are more or less totally innocent of it whereas some of the more minor comedy figures (Anthony, NTM etc) are a lot more concupiscent than you'd think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To continue the odd heroes theme, I'd rather hoped Blair had ended Field's career. A hanger-on at right wing think-tanks, he was given his head at the start of the administration. Predictably his "think the unthinkable" proposals proved to be unworkable and/or too expensive (his wife really should buy him a pocket calculator). So Blair sacked him. He's whined about it ever since but fact is he just wasn't up to the job.

9/09/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I didn't think the article was all that great, and I agree with the opinions Aaro expressed. There's nothing in it that would, I think, cause anybody to change their minds who didn't already share Aaro's view.

I might in Aaro's place have harped on a little more about the age aspect, which is (as he observes) that the native population is getting older and it's only immigration that's going to pay for them. That's the sort of issue that might concentrate people's minds a bit.

I was sceptical about the part that says the UK will lose out to places that have a more enlightened view of immigration, because I'm not entirely sure where these places are: the same songs are getting sung in most wealthy countries, I think. And I think he harrumphed a bit through the section about gastarbeiter. It's really hard to show that societies can't get away with refusing their immigrants full citizenship and yet enjoying the benefits that immigration brings. I don't like this much - I have a lot of legal rights as an EU immigrant that the local Senegalese and Colombians, for instance, do not have, and I don't think it would cause any problems at all to give those groups the same rights as me. But on the other hand, they don't have them, and yet immigration continues nonetheless.

I've hated Field for many years. He makes his living playing to popular prejudice and doing it with piety to spare. Incidentally don't know if this is still true, but I was told by an ex-Labour Party member that Field was one of only two sitting Labour MPs to be deselected by their local parties (which deselection was overridden by the NEC). Can anybody tell me the name of the other?

9/09/2008 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bit harsh on the Optimum Population Trust, I thought. Even if you think they're barmy, they don't deserve to be bracketed with the likes of Andrew Green.

If DA's quoting is accurate, one has to scoff mercilessly at the notion that this balanced immigration would prevent immigrants clustering in certain areas. (Unless they would have the immigrants directly replacing the emigrants and living in exactly the same places, which would be a bit of a burden on my mum.)

9/09/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

By the way, hats off to whoever ensures that Aaro's column always appears adjacent to a photo of Mary Beard.

9/09/2008 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

Sadly, No has at Nick. It's like a puppy being smashed by a truck.

9/09/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Kamm did have a critical piece about Mad Mel Phillips wherein he did express the view that she was "essentially right" about the threat of radical Islam which, given some of the stuff Mel has written about Muslims-in-general, is a bit borderline, I think.

9/09/2008 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Yes, I was surprised by that comment but I'm willing to believe he was just softening the blow of criticising every bit in her article.

9/09/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Mmm...Sadly, No! don't actually know who Cohen is, though, do they?

(If they did, they wouldn't say something like "pretends to be liberal", which he doesn't.)

9/09/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(If they did, they wouldn't say something like "pretends to be liberal", which he doesn't.)

But doesn't Nick, Anthony, et al stand for enlightenment (aka liberal) values when campaigning against the unenlightened Muslim hordes?

Which leads me to the question of why he's defending the creationist Palin ...

9/09/2008 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick has a fairly complicated relationship with the word 'liberal' doesn't he? In his book he uses the phrase 'liberal-left' as a catch-all term for 'people i dislike', but recently he tried to sell anthony Browne approvingly to the readers of the Standard as 'a true liberal', who has stood up against 'the perversion of liberalism by Whitehall and the BBC'... it would be fairly odd if Nick thought that true liberalism was a bad thing based on that article, but it wouldn't be unexpected.

9/09/2008 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

"Liberal" in the US sense, clearly, which in fairness he pretends to be with far greater conviction than he pretends to be a socialist.

9/09/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Yes, but that's the problem, perhaps - that some US commentators read off US political categories into non-US politics really quite too easily. Which is understandable to a degree, but is not good enough if you're hoping to speak with authority, and not if you're claiming something specific about somebody else's expressed opinions.

I don't like Sadly, No! very much, I'll admit: they spend too much time being very pleased with themselves for hitting yet another easy target. Which tends to make you lazy and complacent.

9/09/2008 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've hated Field for many years. He makes his living playing to popular prejudice and doing it with piety to spare.

"Well, I don't know what that was, but it wasn't very Christian and it certainly wasn't socialism." -
my Dad, after a talk given by by Frank Field to the Christian Socialist Movement, late 1980s

9/09/2008 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoare may not be racist but his Serb bashing is not quite rational either.

9/10/2008 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's also quite funny when he gets onto the Greeks, or the Romanians, or the Slovaks, or any other of the long list of nations he disapproves of. But that isn't racism, it's democratic geopolitics.

9/10/2008 09:14:00 AM  

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