Category Archives: Tory press

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 51)

Kennite’s been a little quiet of late. He’s been busy moonlighting for Bozza as his unofficial sidekick Cycling Commissioner. But a couple of weeks ago, there was a Panorama expose (sure) of Tower Hamlets Council, which accused its mayor, Lutfur Rahman of doling out council largesse to groups that apparently supported him. When I saw the trailer, I remember thinking, “this looks a lot like Gilligan’s handiwork”. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised when a series of blogs about Rahman, which repeats Kennite’s stock phrase, “extremist-linked”, recently appeared on Telegraph blogs.

Here’s his blog from 4 April, in which he writes:

In its letter appointing the inspectors, the Department for Communities and Local Government asked them to pay particular attention to, among other things, “the authority’s payment of grants,” a subject we covered on the blog yesterday, and the “transfer of property to third parties.” That’s what today’s blog is about.

Exhibit A is the Old Poplar Town Hall, on the corner of Poplar High Street and Woodstock Terrace. It was the council HQ from 1870 to 1938, until the then Borough of Poplar moved to another town hall (now also abandoned) in Bow Road.

The Poplar High Street building has great historical significance. It was here, in 1921, that radical Labour councillors, led by George Lansbury, began a rebellion against “unfair” rates that resulted in them being sent to prison, and triggered reform of a system that discriminated against poor areas such as Poplar.

Now, however, the Old Poplar Town Hall is part of a rather more worrying redistribution of wealth being practiced by Lutfur Rahman to his associates and friends, such as the Islamic extremist group, the IFE,based at the hardline East London Mosque.

Here he flourishes the heritage card

Remember: the town hall is a large and attractive Victorian building a stone’s throw from Canary Wharf and a few minutes’ walk from a future Crossrail station. It is internally tired but otherwise perfectly usable, and was indeed used as offices by the council. It has 9,803 square feet of space. In 2011, Old Poplar Town Hall was sold by the council to new owners who intend to turn it into a luxury hotel with 25 bedrooms, a restaurant, a bar and two conference suites.

The price? £875,000.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Newham, the council  plans to move out of the 1000 Building in Docklands that it spent millions on and rent it out to Chinese developers. Newham Council has been accused by local residents of wasting money. There’s no mention of this. Why? Because the leader of the council isn’t Bangladeshi.

 In the 3 April blog titled “Lutfur Rahman’s favoritism: the evidence”, Gilligan writes:

Over the next few weeks, this blog will be setting out in detail the truth about Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, and the full evidence against him. I should stress that, over the last four years, all our material about Lutfur and his extremist allies has survived literally hundreds of complaints to Ofcom and the Press Complaints Commission.

The truth? Really? Is that like The Sun’s version of the truth when it reported in 1989 that Liverpool supporters had urinated on their dying fellow supporters and picked their pockets? Kennite also claims that he has the protection of Ofcom and the Press Complaints Commission – the latter of which is run by, guess who? The press.

Naturally, Kennite can’t resist having a swipe at The Guardian’s Dave Hill.

Rahman’s supporters make two main defences: first, that in the words of the Guardian’s Dave Hill, “if Rahman has sinned, how many others are doing so all day, every day in ways that, in the end, differ if at all only in the means and detail?”

Now how’s that for bitchiness? Anticipating the inevitable accusations of racism, he launches a pre-emptive strike on Rahman.

The second defence, inevitably, is to claim that all scrutiny of Rahman is racist – again, without any factual basis. Instead, as I show below, it is Rahman who is practising racial and religious favouritism and it is his ethnicity that has saved him from scrutiny.

The thing is, Rahman has a point: the main reason for Kennite’s pursuit of Rahman is precisely because he isn’t white and happens to be Muslim. Even when the Lib Dems were badly running the council, there wasn’t a peep from Gilligoon or, indeed, any mention of it in any of his blogs for the Telegraph. Admittedly, it was over 20 years ago.  So I suppose he can be forgiven. However, like Kennite, the Lib Dems often played the race card.

Headed ‘Focus’, the new leaflet was produced last month by party activists in the Labour-controlled Wapping ward. It describes the plight of an un-named 74-year-old woman living alone on the fifth floor of a block on possibly the ‘most dangerous estate’ in the area.

The woman, described as ‘Mrs X’, was decorated during the war. She is registered disabled and the lift in her block rarely works. ‘Despite repeated pleas for help,’ the local Labour-controlled ward has not given her a new lock on her front door – ‘it can be pushed open with one hand,’ it says. Her neighbours, also pensioners – one of them, the pamphlet claims, aged 90 – are also living in fear. They have asked for spyholes and latches on their doors but months later the work has yet to be done.

The article is illustrated with a drawing of an obviously black man, snarling with clenched fists. The piece ends with a plea: ‘Is this any way to treat those who endured the Blitz, and risked their lives for our country? Is this the welcome fit for heroes?’

Remember, this was around the time that Tower Hamlets council had acquired a BNP councillor by the name of Derek Beackon. Socialist Review carried a story about Lib Dem racism back in the 1980s that revealed endemic corruption in the borough. The article’s author, Chris Nineham, writes:

Revelations of racism among Liberal Democrats on Tower Hamlets council have made a mockery of Paddy Ashdown’s attempt to promote the Liberal Democrats as a viable and respectable third force in British politics. The projected image of the clean party of politics has been tarnished.

The local Liberal Democrat controlled council stands accused of creating an atmosphere in which Nazi ideas can grow. But recent reports have only told a small part of the story. The full poisonous record of the Liberals in office in Tower Hamlets is a crucial lesson to anyone who still believes tactical voting or LibLab alliances offer a way forward.

It is not just a case of a few racist leaflets or a few mavericks in the local party. Since the Liberals took office in 1986 there have been constant allegations of racism and corruption in Tower Hamlets.

This racism is not casual or accidental but blatant and provocative, and is a central plank of their operation in the area both now and in the past.

The liberals began to gain influence in the East End in the early 1980s using a right wing populism to attack the extremely unpopular Labour councils.

A 1981 Liberal leaflet ranted, ‘every year more break-ins, muggings, rapes, violence and acts of vandalism. People are scared to go out at night, and even to open their doors. Something is very wrong indeed’.

From the moment of taking office the Liberals not only discriminated against the local Bengali population, but actively scapegoated them in a series of high profile publicity stunts. In 1987 they made national news by claiming that 52 Bangladeshi families living in bed and breakfast accommodation had made themselves intentionally homeless, simply by coming to Britain. They were therefore not entitled to benefit. This was too much even for the Tories, and the council was eventually beaten in the courts, but the damage had been done. The vile message had already gone out, ‘Immigrants are scroungers, they are taking our homes’.

Looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Back to 3 April.  Kennite provides a litany of the apparent crimes of Rahman’s mayoralty, which reads like the Tory press’s “anti-PC” attacks on the Labour controlled metropolitan county councils of the 1980s. He precedes his list with this factoid.

First, some facts about the ethnic and faith makeup of Tower Hamlets.According to the 2011 census, its largest single ethnic group is white – 45.2 per cent of the population. Bangladeshis make up 32 per cent – down from 33.4 per cent in 2001. Muslims make up 34.5 per cent of Tower Hamlets people – again down, from 36.4 per cent in 2001.

You wouldn’t know this from the makeup of Lutfur Rahman’s ruling cabinet, which is 100 per cent Bangladeshi and Muslim, or from his grants. In 2012, the council changed its policy to ensure that “the decisions for all awards over £1,000 were to be made by the Mayor under his executive authority”.

Yes and the cabinet at Tory-controlled Hammersmith and Fulham is 100% white and 90% male – and that’s in spite of the borough’s large black demographic. I daresay other councils are similar. But what does he mean when he uses the word “white”? White British? White Lithuanian? White Russian?What?

In his blog on 16 April, Gilligoon writes:

The Metropolitan Police confirmed to me tonight that Tower Hamlets CID is investigating alleged fraud at the council involving a grant to an organisation called the Brady Youth Forum. A member of the mayor’s staff is involved in the alleged fraud, I separately understand. The Met said the investigation was at “an early stage”.

“Brady”? Yeah, that sounds like the kind of name an Islamist organization would use. He continues:

I understand that detailed evidence on this specific allegation did form part of the dossier that Panorama’s reporter, John Ware, passed to the DCLG and which was then passed to the Met. The material supplied by Ware includes evidence implicating one of the mayor’s staff in an operation where cheques for public money were sent to what appeared to be a bogus address.

Yeah? Where is this “evidence” then?

But for all Kennite’s crowing, he’s beginning to look a little foolish. The Metropolitan Police have looked into Panorama’s story (because that’s what it is) and have decided there is “no new evidence”. Naturally, Kennite isn’t pleased and in the paragraph below, he may as well be accusing the Met of being “linked to extremists”.

This blog has previously noted the local police’s cosy relationship with Lutfur’s council – but what on earth is the Met playing at here? Serious questions – more serious questions – need to be asked about whether we can ever trust what this force is saying.

All this because the Met wouldn’t dance to his tune.  How low can you go? If you’re Kennite, you can sink much lower – right into the sewer. He whines:

Panorama, too, alleged favouritism in the allocation of council grants and misuse of council resources for electioneering purposes. The fraud allegation didn’t form part of the programme because it wasn’t ready for broadcast in time.

Let’s be in no doubt: Kennite doesn’t like Muslims (he probably doesn’t like blacks and Roma people either) and he likes the idea of a Muslim mayor even less. There are plenty of examples of municipal malfeasance around London, most notably in Hammersmith and Fulham, but Tower Hamlets has become his single biggest obsession.  The only real difference between Hammersmith and Fulham and Tower Hamlets is this: one council is David Cameron’s and Bozza’s favourite local authority and the other isn’t.

 

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Life on Hannan World (Part 11)

The Lyin’ King is as predictable as clockwork: you can always rely on him to produce at least one blog per year in which he repeats the lie that the Nazis were “socialists” or produces a variation on that dishonest theme (The BNP is ‘left-wing’ is one such theme). Today’s blog (the comments thread was originally closed) ploughs the same tedious furrow as his previous efforts. The title is a blatant piece of red-baiting: “Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism”.

He opens his latest smear with this scene-setter:

On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote, for capitalists nor priests nor Tsars. Rather, in the place of debased, Jewish Bolshevism, the Wehrmacht would deliver “der echte Sozialismus”: real socialism.

Yes, he’s mentioned Hitler in the first sentence. Clever, huh? Nope.  The first sentence of the second paragraph continues the theme.

Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.

Goebbels? Yeah, he was a real leftist. A proper Bolshevik.

Let’s skip down a paragraph, where he attempts an early defence of his, er, smear-job.

The clue is in the name. Subsequent generations of Leftists have tried to explain away the awkward nomenclature of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as either a cynical PR stunt or an embarrassing coincidence. In fact, the name meant what it said.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this: but how ‘liberal’ is the Australian Liberal Party? Come to think of it, how communist is the Moldovan Communist Party? The truth of the matter is that there was no ‘socialism’ in Nazism. The early Nazis may have referred to themselves as socialists, but their brand of ‘socialism’ is known as ‘Strasserism’. It was named after the Strasser brothers, who proposed it as a Nazi response to socialism that was ultra-nationalistic, militaristic and anti-Semitic.  Strasserism’s roots are  in the Catholic form of Distributism that was based on the teachings of Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XI. Even if the Nazis claimed to be the ‘real’ socialists, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they were actual socialists. Anyone can say stuff like that. The Tories have claimed to be defenders of freedom. We know that isn’t true… unless you’re talking about preserving the freedoms of bosses to exploit workers. Then, yes, the Tories stand for freedom.

But here’s the worst part of this wretched attempt at historical revisionism for dummies.

Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, a Prussian who briefly worked for the Nazis before rejecting them and fleeing the country, that he had admired much of the thinking of the revolutionaries he had known as a young man; but he felt that they had been talkers, not doers. “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun,” he boasted, adding that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx”.

Laughable. Next, Dan will be telling us the Hitler Diaries weren’t a hoax. National Socialism was the marriage of corporate and state power that was imposed through coercion, fear and intimidation. No workers’ control of the means of production. No workers’ rights at all. Socialists, Communists, anarchists and trade unionists were persecuted. Many died in work camps.

And here’s where The Lyin’ King slips up:

Marx’s error, Hitler believed, had been to foster class war instead of national unity – to set workers against industrialists instead of conscripting both groups into a corporatist order.

Hannan doesn’t understand the nature of class conflict (a necessary component in understanding how socialism works), because he belongs to the dominant class: the bourgeoisie, rather than the dominated or subaltern classes.  It is in his interest and those of his class to refuse the existence of class conflict. Indeed, a war has been waged by the dominant social formation against the subaltern classes for centuries. For example, the Inclosure Acts were used by the ruling classes as a weapon in the war against the so-called ‘lower orders’,  stripping them of the right to agriculture and amusement on common land (the seasonal fairs were also closed down by the end of the 18th century). If it’s one thing that the right hates to be reminded of, it’s social class. Tories like Hannan hate the idea of class consciousness unless its middle class consciousness.

More red-baiting.

Leftist readers may by now be seething. Whenever I touch on this subject, it elicits an almost berserk reaction from people who think of themselves as progressives and see anti-fascism as part of their ideology. Well, chaps, maybe now you know how we conservatives feel when you loosely associate Nazism with “the Right”.

Note the use of language here: a “beserk reaction from people” he says, “who see anti-fascism as part of their ideology”. Hannan’s suggesting there’s some kind of confusion on the part of the Left’s anti-fascism. It’s another way of saying, “Leave those fascists alone. They deserve to be heard”. He closes this paragraph by claiming the Nazis weren’t right-wing and it’s all been an attempt on the part of the Left to smear the Right.  Seriously! I hate to tell you this, Danny, but the Catholic Centre Party – a conservative political party – effectively handed power to Hitler. The Nazis are associated with the Right, not only because of the sympathy of German conservatives, but because their ideology was extremely nationalistic, militaristic and racist. How can I put this to you, Dan? You’re talking crap.

The idea that Nazism is a more extreme form of conservatism has insinuated its way into popular culture. You hear it, not only when spotty students yell “fascist” at Tories, but when pundits talk of revolutionary anti-capitalist parties, such as the BNP and Golden Dawn, as “far Right”.

Notice how The Lyin’ King has moved seamlessly from German Nazism to Italian Fascism. Notice also how he talks of “spotty students” yelling “fascist” at some unnamed Tories, because that’s what this is all about: some people calling the Tories “fascists”. He forgets how his side tends to shout “Communist” at anyone who identifies as a ‘liberal’ or a Labour voter.  But what’s this suggestion that the BNP and Golden Dawn aren’t “far-right”? If they aren’t far-right, then what is to “far-right” of the Tories? Nothing? Laughable. But didn’t Tory treasure, Alan Clark, have Nazi sympathies? I think he did… In fact, he once told a journalist,

I am not a fascist. Fascists are shopkeepers, people of that sort. I am a Nazi.

The analysis in the next paragraph is woeful. If an ‘A’ Level History student included this drivel in an essay, they’d get an “F”. Dan has a degree in Modern History from Oxford University.

What is it based on, this connection? Little beyond a jejune sense that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists are nasty. When written down like that, the notion sounds idiotic, but think of the groups around the world that the BBC, for example, calls “Right-wing”: the Taliban, who want communal ownership of goods; the Iranian revolutionaries, who abolished the monarchy, seized industries and destroyed the middle class; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who pined for Stalinism. The “Nazis-were-far-Right” shtick is a symptom of the wider notion that “Right-wing” is a synonym for “baddie”.

A grown man wrote this and was paid for it? You’re having a laugh. By the way, Vladimir Zhirinovsky is the leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party – a party that is neither liberal nor democratic. Dan sort of sidesteps him and his terrible party. Funny how The Lyin’ King kind of forgot that. Poor choice, Dan.

I’ll skip to the final paragraph, because the rest of the blog just gets itself into a terrible tizzy.

Next time you hear Leftists use the word fascist as a general insult, gently point out the difference between what they like to imagine the NSDAP stood for and what it actually proclaimed.

Yeah, I can’t wait for that. In fact, I’m setting the timer. I reckon another one of these blogs will be along in another 8 to 12 months.

Say, didn’t many Tories support the Nazis and didn’t The Daily Mail run the infamous headline “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”? Let’s give those Blackshirts a helping hand.

Then there’s Aidan Burley

Oh and Dan, at the risk of me being tautological: the Nazis were extreme right and reactionary conservatives.

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#28)

On Monday, Dan ‘Tribal Loyalty’ Hodges, the Telegraph’s Blairite-in-residence, attempted to write something objective about the BBC. But as anyone will tell you: the right – especially those who leave comments on Telegraph blogs – hates the BBC, because of its imagined ‘left-wing’ bias. Hodges’s blog: “The BBC isn’t anti-Tory. It’s anti-government” sounds like it should be anti-authority, maybe even counter-cultural, but rather predictably, it is anything but.

He kicks off with,

Today has seen yet another significant drop in unemployment; down 125,000. The trend is clear. The war against unemployment is being won.

Groovy. So what is this really about?

Which of course isn’t what’s supposed to be happening. Only yesterday I became involved in a round of Twitter handbags with former MPC member David Blanchflower, who had confidently predicted “Tory public spending cuts ‘could push unemployment to 5 million’”. According to Blanchflower “If spending cuts are made too early and the monetary and fiscal stimuli are withdrawn, unemployment could easily reach four million.

The thing is, Dan, that apparent ‘drop’ in the numbers of unemployed is entirely concocted. You’re forgetting the numbers of people who’ve been sanctioned, forced into workfare, working ‘self-employed’ and all those other people who are on zero hours contracts. Then there are all the part-time workers who want to work full-time but can’t because the jobs aren’t there. You’re not exactly playing with a full deck. Are you, Dan?

Two paragraphs down and we get to the real point of the blog.

So how does the Today programme choose to cover this dramatic fall in unemployment? With a feature on the scourge of youth unemployment.

Oh dear. Yes friends, the Today programme hasn’t done what it was supposed to do: suck up to the government, which it does every day without fail.

But hang on, what’s this?

But this charge of “Left-wing bias”, or more accurately “pro-Labour bias” is too lazy. It’s true there is a small “l” liberal culture which dominates the Corporation.

Dan, if this is your idea of trying to persuade your headbanging readers to accept the BBC is anything other than ‘left-wing’ you’re wasting your time. Oh and god damn those liberals! Yeah. That’s a sentiment that even this week’s commenter,  CassandraKing, can agree with.

CassandraKretinThose damned left-wing scumbags at the BBC allowed people with dissenting views to express their opinions of Thatcher when she died. Did they? The thing is, the coverage of the week-long Thatcher binge was dominated by gushing tributes from those who worshipped her  as the ‘saviour of Britain’.  The same oleaginous types even tried to rewrite history before our very eyes. “Cassandra” (a delusional choice of online name for sure) can’t see this. “The Maggie haters got more air time than those who loved her”,  she thunders. Aw, diddums.

“CassandraKing” then claims that the BBC turned into “North Korean TV” in their coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela. I hate to tell you this, Cass, but Mandela was a better politician than Thatcher. In fact, Mandela fought a struggle against oppression. Thatcher fought on behalf of the oppressors. She hated unions, unless they happened to be in Poland and she defended apartheid.

Tony Benn is next for the Cassandra treatment.  She whines “The BBC will allow no demonstrators or critics airtime”.  First, let me ask “what demonstrators”? Right doesn’t do demonstrations because it doesn’t need to. I mean, just look at the Rally Against Debt a few years ago. The right couldn’t even muster two hundred supporters for an issue about which it was apparently passionate. Not even Toby Young could be arsed to turn up. No doubt about it, “Cassandra”, like many right-whingers is playing the victim here.

“CassandraKing” closes with the standard “the BBC is the mouthpiece of extremist left/green axis”. The “left/green axis”, eh? The BBC? Yeah, right. Only in DelingpoleWorld.

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#27)

The severe weather that’s been affecting the British Isles for the last few weeks has provided a stark reminder that climate change is here and it is real. Climate change sceptics or ‘deniers’, as they are sometimes called, respond with the usual mush about how fossil fuels aren’t a contributory factor to the change in climate and how we should all learn to love breathing heavily polluted air. The ‘deniers’ are a scientifically-challenged bunch, who pretend to know more about science than they actually do. Lord Nigel Lawson is one such fellow. Lawson possesses no scientific qualifications… unless you count his degree in PPE, which includes the dismal science of economics but aside from that, he’s no scientist. He is, however, working on behalf of the very industries that are responsible for pollution and he loves to frack.

Climate change sceptics are an odd bunch. Take Brendan ‘Eddie Munster’ O’Neill, a man who takes a contradictory position on almost anything. Today he takes the side of the petrochemical industries over peer-reviewed scientific research. In a blog titled “Are you now or have you ever been a climate change sceptic”?

Eddie takes over from where his erstwhile stablemate, James ‘Norma Desmond’ Delingpole (who left Telegraph blogs this week),by accusing the Green Party’s Natalie Bennett of “McCarthyism” because she said in a BBC interview that “every senior adviser who refuses to accept the scientific consensus on climate change shouldn’t be in their posts”. Fair enough. Would you have a creationist in charge of teaching evolutionary theory? Well, no you wouldn’t. Therefore, it makes perfectly good sense to exclude any adviser whose views are ideologically opposed to climate change.

Eddie can’t see this. He groans:

Perhaps we should ask every aspiring civil servant, “Are you now or have you ever been a climate-change sceptic?” The Green Party’s proposal shows how authoritarian and intolerant environmentalist politics has become, so that everyone who raises awkward questions about the climate-change consensus is branded a “denier” (a term borrowed from the Inquisition) and anyone who fails to conform to the right way of thinking on climate-change issues will swiftly find themselves accused not just of being wrong, but of being immoral and even dangerous – the Green Party says senior government advisers who refute the green consensus are “endanger[ing] our future and our children’s future”.

This is paranoid stuff from Eddie and he knows just what his readers want, so he lays it on some more.

When a party can so casually call for the sacking of political advisers who do not accept a particular outlook, a particular consensus, then it’s pretty clear that party has lost any attachment to the age-old ideals of free thought, free speech and the rights of conscience. The Greens are demanding nothing less than a purge of eco-heathens and political undesirables from public life. And in the process they have revealed their true instincts, which are to demonise their opponents rather than debate them, censor stuff they don’t like rather than challenge it, and, like a secular version of yesteryear’s pointy-hatted enforcers of Biblical correctness, brand as beyond the pale anyone who doesn’t accept the gospel of greenness.

Notice how he continues the religious theme in this final paragraph.  The Greens are “demanding purges” and they “demonise their opponents”. Not that O’Neill ever demonizes anyone. Oh no. Not our Eddie. Parties call for sackings all the time but in O’Neill’s eyes, the Greens are a special case and his readers agree with him. This week’s comment was provided by someone calling themselves “bluepeter”.

bluedickheadNotice how this one immediately ties the idea of climate change to “wealth re-distribution”. Yeah, wealth redistribution is bad, it’s kind of like communism for “bluepeter”.  What I find curious about this comment is the way the author seems so certain of the merit of his bad arguments. “It’s not a debate the believers wish to have because they know they will lose” (my italics). The climate change sceptics believe that anyone who supports (the correct word for those who accept the scientific position) the idea of climate change are the same as members of a religious cult – as Eddie had done earlier with his Inquisition references. Not that the ‘deniers’ attitudes aren’t cult-like or the their unwavering belief in bankrupt economic theories borders on blind faith. Please, spare me the hysterics.

“Bluepeter” closes by suggesting the Greens, climate change scientists or anyone else who doesn’t agree with him are “fascists” adding  they, “silence the opposition”. Which is kind of funny when you think about it,  because that’s what today’s fascists (who tend to refer to themselves variously as ‘nationalists’ or ‘libertarians’ these days) accuse anti-fascists of doing when they oppose fascists on our streets. I even had someone suggest to me that trade unions who went on strike were ‘fascists’. Fascism and Nazism were both opposed to trade unions. Who says irony is dead?

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#26)

Every so often, the Lyin’ King produces a blog about the American Civil war in which he muses over what it would have been like if the war never happened. All of Hannan’s blogs on this subject are, more or less, grandiloquent attempts at historical revisionism: they tend to play to a particular constituency of reader who sees the Civil War as the end of a golden era and any attempt to say otherwise is part of an huge conspiracy by the “Feds” to deceive you.

Hannan’s view of the American Civil War is perfectly aligned with the neo-Confederalist movement in the United States. This movement is, as I have written elsewhere on this blog, intellectually supported by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which produces all manner of revisionist stuff about the war and of the role it played in the abolition of slavery. On this latter point, the neo-Confederates can’t quite come to terms with the fact that slavery is, fundamentally, an evil enterprise. Instead, what we see from them is the continual production of articles that support and justify the institution of slavery as a noble enterprise that proceeds, albeit ahistorically, in a fine epoch’s old tradition.

Today Hannan asks “Could the American Civil War have been avoided”? The short answer to that question is: no, it was inevitable. Yet, we find with the Lyin’ King and the neo-Confederates that such things as historical materialism are despised and, in their eyes,  it is much better to fantasise about an alternate world in which the southern states are still practising slavery and the slave-owners are a uniquely noble form of human being who really care about their chattel. In this dystopian fantasy world, everyone knows their place.

This doesn’t stop Hannan from dreaming of what might have been:

Might slavery have been abolished without bloodshed? It’s hard to say. The ban on the import of new slaves would eventually have finished the institution, but at a price of decades of suffering for those already in bondage. Peaceful manumission, as had happened much earlier in Britain, was the obvious alternative, but the slave-owners were in no mood to sell. Then again, had they been able to foresee the future, they would surely have grabbed at compensated abolition.

Hannan claims that the import ban on slaves would have finished the institution. What he doesn’t dare mention are the slave-breeding farms of Virginia and Maryland, the internal slave trade in the Southern states, or the plan to seize Cuba from Spain and use that island as a slave state should the South be forced to relinquish slavery.  The capitalists, in this case the slave-owners, are compensated, but the victims – the slaves themselves – are considered unworthy of reparations; they’re just human capital in the minds of the hard-nosed, hard-faced capitalist, who only sees the world in terms of profit.

I’ve seen Hannan claim, like the LvMI claim that the American Civil War was a “tariff war”. It’s a feeble attempt at a economic rationalization of the war. The war and its causes were much more complex and a major part of the reason for war was the issue of slavery. Hannan would do well to read up on the slave revolts, John Brown, Bleeding Kansas and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Now to our comment of the week. “Jim Blane” has already graced this series and so, once again, we find he’s come to give us the benefit of his knowledge deficit. He justifies chattel slavery by claiming that “Slavery has been practiced for thousands of years by all races and civilizations”. All “races and civilizations”? Laughable. But because it existed in history is no excuse for it to exist today. Moreover, the kind of slavery that existed thousands of years ago was not based on what Fanon called “melanism”, it was predicated on the idea that the vanquished should be enslaved because they had been defeated in battle.

Dim Blame

Here “Dim Brain” claims that the first slave owner in “North America” was a “Black African”. This is fictitious. Notice how he doesn’t actually provide any evidence for this assertion. The right despises evidence as much as it despises the working class and they only accept history as long as it’s been airbrushed first.

The level of ignorance in this comment is shocking. Nowhere does our dim friend make a distinction between the nature of chattel slavery and the forms of slavery that were practised before its introduction by the Spanish and Portuguese. The entire point of this comment is to claim that white people are superior to other ‘races’. Notice how he begins his comment with “Educating White Guilt Ego Glow Peddlers”. What does that mean? If he’s setting himself up as an educator, then it’s no wonder these people are so dim. Then there’s his claim that “The White man was the first to ban slavery . and if he had not it would still be going on in Africa and Asian today” (sic). Nonsense. Slavery continues to this day in the so-called developed countries as well as parts of Africa and Asia.

“Dim Brain’s” last point is an exercise in how to write white nationalist drivel. He claims that ” Only the White race has served up an indictment for crimes against humanity upon all of it’s children’s children for all eternity as a way for White middle /upper class progressives to insaiate their insataible greed for moral supremacy” (sic).  Put down the crack pipe, matey.

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Life on Hannan World (Part 8)

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#25)

Dan Hodges is a bitter man. In fact, when it comes to being bitter, there’s no better a bitter man than Dan. Tribal Loyalty used his blog on Friday to moan that he hasn’t been asked to appear on The BBC’s weekly bunfight, Question Time. Instead, comedian, Kate Smurthwaite appeared as the only voice of sanity on an otherwise gruesome panel. I mean, Mark Littlewood. Why? In fact, Dan Hodges. Why?

Hodges’s blog bears the title “That’s it. If the BBC don’t want me, I’m boycotting them”. I’ll scweam and scweam and scweam! But Dan has been on the BBC. Is it because he see himself as the authentic voice of the British Left? A Blairite? Left? In one sentence? Please. Maybe it’s because he sees himself as a potential voice of reason on the often unreasonable Question Time? In which case he’s just as deluded as his fetish-object: His Holiness, Pope Tony of Sedgefield Mayfair Jerusalem.

Tribal Loyalty’s whine actually uses Kate Smurthwaite as a framing device. He opens with:

Yesterday, at about a quarter to midnight, I was sat at my computer Googling Kate Smurthwaite. Who, you may ask, is Kate Smurthwaite? Good question. I didn’t know, and I desperately needed to find out.

Does Mrs. Hodges know what you’re up to, Dan?

So it’s the witching hour, and a middle-aged man is hunched over his computer screen in south-east London, studiously ignoring his wife’s desultory instructions to come to bed, whilst frantically trying to find out everything he can about this mysterious person. You can park that image for a moment, but we’ll be returning to it.

Yes, I think I will “park that image”. Mind bleach!

The blog closes thus:

Kate Smurthwaite was born 9 December 1975, is a British Goth, a stand-up comedian and a political activist. And last night she was ace on Question Time.

For most of his piece, he’s complaining about how he hasn’t quite managed to get his voice heard beyond the confines of the Telegraph or, indeed, The Daily Brillo. “Last year” he confides, “I got asked three times if I’d like to appear on QT. Three times. And three times they said at the eleventh hour: “I’m sorry, we don’t think this is the right show for you this week.” Not the right show? I was born to be on that show”. Sheesh, turn it in.

Now to this week’s comment.  As you’d expect with the Torygraph, any blog that mentions the BBC is bound to have its online readers venting their spleen about “left-wing” this and multi-culti” that. This week’s comment is really two comments. It’s another one of those exchanges between two dimwitted souls that often get on these threads.

steelplateinheadHere “Lord Loopy” complains that a Ukrainian protester was tortured by that country’s repressive apparatuses and the BBC (I guess) focussed on this story much to his nibs’ displeasure. It’s a bloody outrage! It’s the bloody news, mate. Get real.  Steelwheels is equally outraged but in a different sort of way. For him, it’s all about skin colour. The beaten protester is a “fellow Caucasian from a Christian heritage” he insists. Yeah, but what if he turns out to be an, erm, left-winger instead of an, erm, neo-Nazi?  Such questions don’t cross the minds of this pair,  one of whom loathes anyone who appears to want to join the European Union and the other, a definite racist,  who completely ignores the OP to squeeze his skin-based hatreds into one, stinky paragraph. Lord Loopy at least keeps his vexation within the limits of the BBC’s supposed pro-EU, left-wing agenda, but that doesn’t say much. He still ignored the OP.

Next week, Tribal Loyalty demands to know why he wasn’t asked to take part in The Great British Bake-off.

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#24)

If you put the words ‘homosexual’ and ‘Africa’ into the same blog title, there is every chance that you’ll get a load of right-wing sad sacks with too much time on their hands leaving comments that vary from ‘gay is a disease and we are the cure’ to ‘the bloody Africans should be grateful to us for giving them Christianity’. And so it is with this blog from Tim Stanley, which on the face of things, seems reasonable enough. Here’s a snippet.

The snub to the outside world is important. Some African politicians argue that homosexuality is a Western import and gay rights a form of neo-colonialism – a way of exerting Western cultural influence on innocent, “God-fearing” countries. The argument goes that African societies have always been historically 100 per cent straight. An explosion in gays and lesbians is a recent thing, encouraged by foreign powers.

Doc Stanley’s efforts are like a red rag to the proverbial bull. The number of ignorant and offensive remarks left on the comments thread are too numerous to mention and I found it difficult to choose one in particular. Needless to say, there was the inevitable traipse into victimhood with, “Oh, so it’s all whitey’s fault”. Some commenters even tell the Doc to leave this country and go and live in Africa. Yes, this is the level of intelligence we’re dealing with here. I’ve heard Telegraph blogs being likened to a bear-pit. Frankly I think a bear-pit is a much kinder place.

This week’s comment was left by “molly black”, who saw an opportunity to launch into an attack on her favourite obsession: Muslims.

molly slackwit1

You can always tell what kind of person is making the comment by the way they use outdated words and terminology. Here, the word “Moslem” is used. “Yes, Moslems practice sodomy – we know that” says molly authoritatively. Nothing like a good old fashioned smear from the Middle Ages, eh? But who is “we”? I suspect “molly slackwit” is referring to the BNP or similar, in which case her use of the pronoun “we” is being used selectively to imply a consensus. Then there’s the much loved phraseological style of the typical right-winger: cram all your hatred into a single sentence by using as many clichés as possible, thus “molly” produces, “professional placard-carrying, mincing queen”. The beauty of this phrase is that you can replace “mincing queen” with “dirty layabout” or “soap-dodger” and voila, you’ve got a handy phrase for expressing your hatred of student protesters. Try it at home with whatever minority group takes your fancy. It’s so easy!

The comment beneath “molly” also interested me. Mainly because the commenter uses the name “indigenousbrit” in an ahistorical manner that not only evidences a lack of self-consciousness and erudition, but also because they crown it off by displaying Enoch Powell as their avatar. No prizes for guessing how this person feels about ethnic minorities.

There’s more white male heterosexual victimhood on this comments thread than you can shake a stick at. Welcome to the sewer.

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#23)

No matter how hard they try (perhaps they’re not trying at all) the Telegraph can’t stop the numbers of fruitcakes that flock to its comments threads. This is no doubt due to the kinds of blogs that are published on the site and, in spite of Dan Hannan’s complaint that the blogs shouldn’t be judged on the kinds of comments that appear below them, his complaint sounds like the insincere whining that’s born of a lack of self-awareness. “It’s not my fault, blame that lot over there”! These people know what they’re doing and the more clicks these blogs get, the more money for the Telegraph. Clickbait: it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 clicks.

This week, a new horse arrived at the Telegraph stable. Posing as a recent history graduate, Jago Pearson wrote an article in support of Michael Gove’s education policies and complained that academia was “dominated by lefties”. The thing is, Pearson is actually working for a Tory-friendly PR company. This sort of thing happens a lot: the government has made much use of astroturfers and Twitter accounts that harass anyone who doesn’t support the government’s classist policies. Gove is not a pedagogue, he’s an ideologue and a former journalist and it shows. It’s all about the narrative. However, what Pearson seems to have forgotten is that universities do not fall under the auspices of The Department for Education, they are the responsibility of The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Oops! Perhaps he should have written an article in support of David Willetts instead?

Here are a couple of snippets from his first article.

The dominance of the Left is deep-rooted and for all to see, especially when it comes to the teaching of history. I write as a 21-year-old graduate of History and Politics, just six months out of university.

Don’t get me wrong: I had some superb teachers and lecturers, both throughout my time at school and while studying for my degree – individuals who enthused and inspired and knew their subjects inside out.

But the majority of them were rabidly Left-wing and the subjects they chose for their students matched their own misguided outlook on society.

Towards the end he tells us:

When it came to my dissertation, I managed to retreat to something more traditional, in the form of British defence policy and the Falklands conflict. Luckily, my supervisor was just about the only in the department without a Left-wing grudge to bear. To be expected I suppose, as an expert in intelligence and strategic defence.

Jesus H. Christ! Talk about paranoia. But “traditional”? What is that supposed to mean? Pearson’s prose style is reminiscent of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, but not quite as entertaining.

After he was exposed as a fraud by Tom Pride, Pearson thought he’d ask Damian ‘Blood Crazed Ferret’ Thompson for another crack at those awful, horrible lefties. The result is even more hilarious than the first article.

The tactics of the Left are so predictable, especially where certain subjects are concerned. You give them a prod; shake them around a little and they stir into life. How dare we criticise their cosy stranglehold on education?

The point of Higher Education is to get students to think critically and to ask questions. Pearson appears to have done neither during his time at Loughborough University, the alleged hotbed of academic radicalism and focus of his ire. The rest of the blog reads like a sixth form rant and it’s hard to imagine how Pearson managed to obtain a degree at all. On the basis of this, I’d say he’d have been lucky to achieve a third.

Now for the comment. This one is full of the usual clichés and hackneyed phrases that we’ve come to know and love.

Jim Bilge

“Jim Blane” just vomits the words onto the page. He opens with “White middle /upper class Neo-Leftism is a racist anti-White ideology”. So we now know this person is probably a white nationalist and possibly a member of the BNP or UKIP. But what is “anti-White ideology” other than paranoid drool? Have a look at the spelling, it’s clear this person doesn’t much time for such trivial things as grammar and sentence construction. Such things are, no doubt, indicative of ‘Left-wing indoctrination’. We can’t have that.

This comment wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory “Cultural Marxist” thrown in but, in typical headbanging style, Jim Bilge crams far too many epithets into his sentences and the result is a sort of mush with long sentences like: “Most self described Lefties and most NeoCons are Cultural Marxists or have adopoted the core tenets of Cultural Marxist /Cultural Deconstructionism / Blank Slate Theory / Critical Theory and yet at the same time don’t even know what these things are”.  Get all those hatreds in Jim, time’s running out.

Critical theory offends the far-right mind because nothing should be questioned. The leader is always right. The world was created in seven days and the story of Noah’s Ark is better than any scientific analysis.  Evolution, dear friends, is a commie…no, scratch that, Cultural Marxist plot to destroy the White ‘race’. That is what passes for free speech in Toryland, a country in which people accept their place under a regime of bullies, dummies and their pals in the PR industry.

This kind of rant against “left-wing intellectuals” is typical of the anti-intellectualism of, well, right-wing dictatorships. Oddly enough, it’s also the kind of thing that’s been happening in the States for decades where students are asked to report “left-wing” academics, who are then hounded out of their jobs.

Truth? These people haven’t got a clue.

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#22)

If it’s one thing the Right loves to do it’s to claim that it’s philosophically and epistemologically superior to the Left. Yet its constant rewriting of history actually demonstrates the opposite. In recent years, many on the Right have claimed that the Nazis are ‘left-wing’. Why? Because they can’t cope with the idea that the Nazis (and fascists) occupy a space further along from them on the political Right. They do this for two reasons: first, to smear the Left and second, to claim a tenuous moral superiority over them. The Nazis are ‘socialists’ they will exclaim because the word ‘socialist’ appears in their name. There can be no more a feeble rationalization. For example, the Australian Liberal Party, in spite of its name, is not a centre left party but a right-wing party. If you tell them that, they start hurling insults. Names count for nothing but try telling them that.

This week’s comment was found on a Delingtroll blog, which makes the same tired claims about how Nazis aren’t really right-wing. In this blog, he attempts to create a space between Nigel Farage and the Front National’s Marine Le Pen but ends up making himself look foolish and ignorant in the process. No mean feat for Delingpole or Dan Hannan, who is cited in this hilarious piece.

To lump together fascist parties (Golden Dawn in Greece, Ataka in Bulgaria, Jobbik in Hungary, the BNP) with bellicose but essentially constitutional anti-immigration movements (FN in France, PVV in the Netherlands, Freedom Party in Austria) is clumsy. To add in eurosceptic parties of the democratic right (AfD in Germany, Mouvement pour la France, Danish People’s Party, Ukip) is deliberately tendentious.

When someone groups all these parties together under the label ‘extreme right’, he is telling you more about himself than about them. Parties like Golden Dawn are not right-wing in any recognisable sense. They favour workers’ councils, higher spending, state-controlled industries; they march on May Day under red flags. They could just as easily sit at either end of the European Parliament’s hemicycle (our closest equivalent, in its combination of mystical nationalism and loathing for capitalism, is Sinn Féin). Calling such parties right-wing isn’t intended to make anyone think less of them; it’s intended to damage mainstream conservatives by implying that the difference between them and the Nazis is one of degree.

Hannan’s article for The Spectator Dictator is desperate as well as intellectually dishonest. UKIP have, through Godfrey Bloom, established friendly relations with Le Pen’s FN. Moreover, the FN recently met with Geert Wilders PVV with the intention of forming an electoral pact in the European Parliament. There’s nothing ‘clumsy’ about those connections. They are real.

The above quote is preceded by a characteristic whinge from Delingtroll:

Yet our lazy and parti-pris media – even many newspapers notionally on the right-wing side of the debate – continue to do the liberal-left’s dirty work for it by labelling any party with instincts which are nationalistic, anti-immigration, or anti-EU as belonging to the “far-right” – and therefore automatically beyond the pale of reasoned political discourse. The loons of the green-left, on the other hand, get a more or less free pass to spout their anti-democratic drivel at will.

The nationalism that is expressed by the likes of the PVV or the other parties mentioned here, belongs on the far-right. There can be no question about it. Furthermore, there is nothing ‘reasoned’ or reasonable about the shrill paranoia that dominates the Right’s anti-immigration discourses. Words like ‘floods’ and ‘tides’ are constantly used alongside exaggerations like ‘mass immigration’ which is itself a euphemization of the phrase ‘floods of immigrants’. These words are often joined by hygiene metaphors like ‘contamination’.

Now to this week’s comment. This one comes from ‘eufreedom’. Yeah, I laughed at that name too.

euignorance

The key to this comment is “ALL British born” and in spite of “eufreedom’s” claims that no distinctions will be made according to colour, creed and denomination, questions are invariably asked by such parties regarding one’s right to claim national identity – particularly if they look different. Kippers often claim that they are “neither right nor left” but given their nationalism and obsession with difference, this is evidently dishonest. ‘eufreedom’ also takes umbrage with the fact that people disagree with his/her drivel and pronounces them “neo-fascist-marxist-EU drones and trolls”. This comment may look like a self-parody of a Kipper, but this is how they really think and talk.

For more hilarity, have a look at Toby Young’s feeble attempt to unite the Tories and UKIP under the “Country before Party” banner. 

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#21)

For the last couple of weeks I have been without the internet, hence the lack of blogs. Admittedly the last year has been a very busy time for me and I haven’t been able to update this blog as much as I’d have liked.

Anyway, this week’s comment was found on a Toby Young blog, in which he claims ‘free market capitalism beats socialism’. To support his assertion, Tobes flourishes a graph from the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (there is considerable overlap between AEI and The Project for the New American Century). Essentially, Tobes’s blog is nothing less than bitchy ramble and his graph proves nothing.

So let’s hear it for the free enterprise system. Next time you hear John Pilger on the Today programme lambasting the evils of capitalism, remember the above chart. It is tough-minded entrepreneurs motivated by a desire for profit that have lifted the world out of poverty, not bleeding-heart liberals.

‘Free enterprise’? Is he for real? For all his ‘libertarian’ rhetoric, Hon Tobes doesn’t much care for opposing points of view. Here he claims that the profit motive has ‘lifted the world out of poverty’ but he offers no more than a dodgy chart to support his view. He’ll have to do much better, but I know he is neither capable nor willing to do so.

Now for this week’s comment. The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has claimed that anyone can teach; it’s a simple job that requires no professional training. This commenter seems to feel that supermarket chains are better than local authorities at running schools.

northumbrianmoron

This one repeats the stock line “leftist control of education”, which is much beloved of neo-cons and the self-styled ‘libertarians’ who fill  the Telegraph’s comments threads with inane drivel about markets and crypto-racist ejaculations. But how on earth could a supermarket chain like Tesco improve education standards? It can’t. Tesco is only interested in one thing: making profits. Education is not about making profit and even public schools are run as charities.  No matter how hard one tries to impose market ideas on education, they will always fail to provide, because the profit motive and pedagogy are in conflict with one another. As for a Tesco police force, I wonder if “northumbrianmariner” has ever seen Robocop? Probably not.

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