Friday, December 25, 2009

Festivus Quiz

Who said the following in 2002?

Most people don't do anything on principle, and most people don't kick up a stink unless a) they're told to, or b) it's in their faces and it hurts them.
It's in their faces now. It's hurting. You know, this time last year, no one knew what a Muslim was. Now everyone is looking at people in the street: "where's he from?" "what's he doing?" they're starting to see things people never noticed before. Asylum seekers clogging up the hospitals. Shop assistant can't speak English. Black media corrupting our children. ... Everyone's crying out for a voice of reason. They're not alone, they're not on the extreme. That they are the majority, and it's all right to get angry.

I doubt a Google search will help and it's not a Decent, but it is relevant to this blog. Read Nick Cohen's recent writing (since we last followed him) for a hint.

Answer and some NC blogging when I feel like it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to be uncharitable, but it reads a bit like Nick Griffin.

12/25/2009 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

It does, doesn't it? Close, but no cigar. And it was intended to sound like Nick Griffin. (I don't know the person who wrote the speech, but that was clearly the intent.)

12/25/2009 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous SimonC said...

Fictional far-right loony 'Robert Osbourne' from that episode in the first series of Spooks where Lisa Faulkner memorably had her head shoved into a deep-fat fryer.

12/26/2009 12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

In The Rotters' Club there's a character called Harding who writes ultra-reactionary letters and pamphlets in the name of some mythical colonel, just for wind-up value. We meet him briefly as an adult in The Closed Circle, and it seems that his face has grown to fit the mask - or else that he really did believe that stuff all along. Is it him? (I liked him a lot in The Rotters' Club & didn't like what Coe did to him in the second book - I thought he was probably thinking of liberal reactionaries like the old Private Eye crowd, but the character he came up with was both more extreme and more sympathetic than Ingrams et al.)

12/26/2009 12:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Oh, and Happy Christmas all!

12/26/2009 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Phil, while you're right about Sean (in The Rotters' Club) Harding (John in The Closed Circle), and Nick did indeed mention both recently, SimonC is correct. It was fictional far right loony (and wife-beater, journalist killer, and people smuggler) 'Robert Osbourne' from Spooks series 1, episode 2. See Spooked by Islamists which a sub ed has kindly tagged with "Watching the latest batch of spy thrillers, you'd never guess who the real enemy was".

I like Spooks though I know it's rubbish now. As long as the Beeb keep making it, I'll keep watching it, but it's fallen a long way. The first two series were really brilliant. It was clearly commissioned as a result of September 11, 2001, and the early episodes allude to the war on terror (contra Nick). However, the producers and/or writers clearly decided early on not to stir up racial hatred, which still seems to me to have been a very sensible decision. Nick instead thinks they acted out of fear, racism, and conformity. Our intelligence services spend virtually all their time countering Islamist plots. Were the BBC to follow this example in prime time, it would mobilise a few thugs and alienate a lot of Muslims, as well as providing very dull story lines.

The BBC did the right thing, and actually gave their reasons in the bloody program. But I may discuss this at length some other time.

12/26/2009 01:29:00 AM  
Blogger flyingrodent said...

David Hasselhof?*

*No, I tried that at Liberal Conspiracy, and nobody laughed. Clapton?

12/26/2009 03:41:00 AM  
Blogger flyingrodent said...

Jack Bruce is cool, though. I wouldn't want the world's greatest living Scotsman tainted by association with Clapton, or anything. Ginger Baker is a bit of a dick, though.

12/26/2009 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger flyingrodent said...

I'm 32.

12/26/2009 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger flyingrodent said...

Seriously, though. Roy Walker?

12/26/2009 03:50:00 AM  
Blogger AndyB said...

I know that you are just angling for; 'it's close, but it's not the one'.

12/26/2009 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Der Bruno Stroszek said...

Our intelligence services spend virtually all their time countering Islamist plots.

One of those moments in Cohen's writing where I feel momentarily possessed by the spirit of Noam Chomsky - have you got a cite for that, Nick, or is it just something you think sounds sort of like what reality might be?

12/26/2009 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sighted in today's Obscurer: "Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens" pretending to be a "terrorism expert" for the Centre for Social Cohesion. Whose kid are you?

And what's he up to? Why, he's demanding that universities do more ideological policing, on the basis of...what?

Peter Hoekstra, the senior Republican on the House intelligence committee, said it was examining Mutallab's links with the radical Yemeni imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, who has inspired a number of terrorists.

[snip for brevity]

"Mutallab is the latest in a long list of terrorists [Awlaki] has inspired and encouraged," said Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens of the Centre for Social Cohesion.

"The preacher has long been a highly respected figure within a number of British university Islamic societies because, unlike most other radical preachers, Awlaki speaks English as a first language, and being born and raised in America has given him a good understanding of western culture. This makes him very appealing to young western Muslims."

Meleagrou-Hitchens called for British universities to increase their vigilance. "This incident should act as a wake-up call to university authorities," he said. "It is crucial that they now accept the central role they must play in resisting extremists and preventing student groups from promoting hate preachers."

Note that - if you go and read the piece and especially the bit I [snipped] - there is no actual evidence that Awaki has anything to do with this at all. Peter Hoekstra is an idiot, but the Obscurer doesn't even manage to quote him saying so, just assert that he did. So the entire source for this contention is WKAY boy, who is apparently trying to build a David Horowitz clone career as a campus red baiter.

12/27/2009 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Thanks Alex. I don't get the Yemen thing at all (though wasn't Hitchens' pater convinced of the whole Yellowcake uranium story?) John Band and I argued on Twitter about the Detroit bomber story; I think JB was right.

First (and you're better at this, so I hope you pick up any mistakes) the 'plot' was executed really badly. There were explosives in the guy's pants for the whole journey. If I wanted to bring down a plane, I'd divide the flight into three sections.

1) Activate the bomb not long after take off and hope that the fuel tanks (at that point full) explode and bring the plane down on a built up area: result many casualties, terror.

2) Do it over the mid Atlantic. No secondary targets, but all passengers and crew likely to die from explosion, cold, starvation, sharks etc before a rescue operation meets them.

3) Do it on approach: no aircraft fuel to ignite at this point, and some bloody great lakes for emergency downing of plane. Rescue straightforward; casualties, likely minimal.

1) and 2) would scare me. 3) not so much. This didn't seem like al Qaeda, who definitely go for value for money/or bang for their buck if you must. The explosives didn't even work.

I'll have a look at real terrorism experts' analyses, but for now I'll guess they'll say that this was an amateur and fantasist, who worked alone.

A really paranoid thought occurs: Obama has passed health care (which every educated middle class American I've spoken to for the past 20 years has told me the country needs) and the right hate him. What a time for terror to surface.

12/27/2009 09:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, my own opinion of this is that it's typical jihadi work - of the last couple of years. That is to say, carried out by a self-starter who didn't have much contact with the movement, a one-off rather than a multiple attack, using shaky technology, and crappy execution.

Apparently, he says that he did it for Al-Qa'ida and that he's been to Yemen. Whether he means the first in fact, or in an ideological sense, is a good question. Whether he was actually recruited in Yemen in any meaningful sense or whether he was a war-tourist is also a good question.

Of course, the usual suspects and the transport-security bureaucracy are all shouting about how this shows that AQ is as dangerous as it ever was. I disagree - I say it confirms they aren't able to pose a consistently effective threat to aviation at the moment. Occasionally, some halfwit tries a badly planned effort that fails.

So far, since 2001, they've had three goes at blowing up a plane and they've botched every one, either through crappy execution, crappy bombmaking, or loose lips.

of course, this is all subject to new information. I'll probably expand on this on my blog

12/28/2009 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Der Bruno Stroszek said...

"I'm part of an al-Qaeda cell" is going to become "The devil made me do it" for the 21st century. You watch.

12/28/2009 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

i have no idea why they ran those alex h comments. We still have no proof he was radicalised in the uk and ucl is not one of the "soft on terror" unis regularly featured on hp sauce. I can't even work out what hitchens is advocating unis actually do. It's worrying that the obs is taking comments from the deeply dodgy csc too. But not as worrying as nick cohen's column...

12/29/2009 01:47:00 PM  

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