Tag Archives: Brendan O’Neill

Brendan O’Neill thinks Jews and Israelis are the same thing

Brendan O’Neill: he isn’t very bright

Brendan O’Neill isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. His blogs for the Daily Telegraph are indicative of his blinkered thinking and faulty logic. Many of his blogs are indeed pure loonspuddery. Well, what do you expect from a man who is part of the LM Network? Sense? A coherent argument?

Today’s blog from O’Neill smears Steve Bell, The Guardian and assumes that being Jewish is the same thing as being Israeli.  Perhaps sensing that he was in for a cyber kicking, he has closed the comments thread. Wise move, chum, but you didn’t count on The Cat spotting your mindless nonsense.

Anyway, the blog is quite short and I shall quote it in its entirety,

What is the message of this cartoon in the Guardian this morning? (See screen grab above.) That Jews are the puppet-masters of Western politicians? Do people still believe in that old, poisonous conspiracy theory?

Deliberate and nasty. The dynamics of the Israel/Palestine conflict and its ontology are completely ignored by the eternally stupid O’Neill, who prefers easy answers and simple explanations. One also suspects that his view of the Palestinians concurs with Mitt Romney’s myopic view of them.

Here’s the middle class O’Neill claiming the “middle classes are panicking about losing Newsnight” adding “Now they know how News of the World readers felt”. No, Brendan, it’s all your fevered imagination.

I suspect O’Neill thinks all Jews are Zionists. What he doesn’t realize, quite probably, is that the most fervent Zionists are end-times Christians. Many Jews aren’t Zionists but I doubt O’Neill has ever heard or met any of them.

By the way, the Steve Bell cartoon is ace.

UPDATE 16/11/12 @ 1228

I see O’Neill’s stablemate, Damian Thompson has also repeated the smear.

My sense is that the odious Steve Bell has produced a cartoon (which you can see in Brendan O’Neill’s blogpost here) so unquestionably anti-Semitic – Jews as puppet–masters, for God’s sake – that even the Guardian won’t be able to shrug this one off.

Point spectacularly missed by the wilfully blind and ignorant Thompson, who has also closed the comments thread to his blog. Their ploy is a desperate one that is based on a wilful misrepresentation of Bell’s cartoon. Perhaps Thompson and O’Neill should check how many UN resolutions Israel has flouted and then come back to the cartoon. But I know they won’t. They prefer to deceive themselves and those who read their trash. Referring to Bell as a “Nazi” is beyond the pale.

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Filed under Ideologies, Media, propaganda, Tory press, Yellow journalism

Brendan O’Neill apologises for Breivik

Just a harmless ultra-nationalist who was transformed into a monster by multiculturalism...so says Brendan O'Neill

I wondered how long it would take before Brendan O’Neill or Ed West would write a blog blaming Breivik’s mass killings on “multiculturalism” as a means of excusing the killer’s actions. I didn’t have to wait long and as I guessed, it was the Torygraph’s resident contrarian and self-styled “left-winger” who moved first. In his blog titled “Breivik: a monster made by multiculturalism” O’Neill opines,

Breivik is not so different from the “Cultural Marxists” he loves to hate. Like them, he uses academic lingo such as “deconstruct” and “cultural identity” to describe what he thinks is happening to Europe.

There’s only one problem: there is no such thing as “Cultural Marxism” , it is a confection that was devised by fascists and semi-fascists to lend intellectual gravitas to their conspiratorial musings. But O’Neill isn’t bothered by such things. His mission is to let Breivik off the hook and thus smear those whom he thinks are dragging ‘white’ Europe along the road to hell.

Here, O’Neill tries to offer some analysis but ends up looking like a first year undergraduate who has just failed to grasp the essential difference between fact and hearsay,

Another thing Breivik shares with the multicultural lobby is a powerful sense of cultural paranoia. He believes “my culture” is under siege. Only where mainstream multiculturalists tend to argue that minority cultures such as the Islamic one are threatened by tidal waves of Islamophobia and general public ignorance, Breivik says the majority culture – the white Christian identity – is threatened by the “Islamic colonisation” of Europe and also by general public ignorance (he says ordinary people have been led astray by the media).

Where does he get these ideas from? Who is this “multicultural lobby”? This sounds not too dissimilar to Breivik’s ramblings about “multicultural conspiracies”. Then he talks about “cultural paranoia”.  Who is he referring to? The Frankfurt School? This is very lazy stuff but it’s what we’ve come to expect from O’Neill, whose analysis of all things cultural wouldn’t look out of place on a site like The Gates of Vienna or Atlas Shrugs. He continues,

These are just different versions of the same sense of cultural panic that is fostered by the multicultural outlook. Indeed, it is remarkable how much Breivik has in common with those Islamists he despises. Where Islamists, also under the influence of multiculturalism, crazily claim that their cultural identity is threatened by “New Crusades” against Islam, Breivik says his cultural identity is threatened by crusades from the East, by “Islamisation”. Both groups of people have been made entirely paranoid by being encouraged to become obsessed with their allegedly fragile identities.

Here, O’Neill panders to his gallery of racist headbangers and fascists. He simply loads up his paragraphs with right-wing keywords like “multicultural outlook” but what is worse is how he suggests that “Islamism” is the creation of “multiculturalism”, this is something that is often claimed by self-styled anti-Jihadists, who insist that Europe is being “Islamized” because of this “mulitculturalism” thing.

Islamism is a fundamentalist right-wing expression of Islam. It is no different to other deeply conservative Christian, Jewish or Hindu movements. Yet, here is O’Neill trying to tell us that Islamism is a cut above the rest for its reactionary outlook. Nonsense. Islamism has its roots in the Mahdi’s response to British incursion into Sudan.  Today’s Islamism is best described as a reaction to Western and by Western, I mean what are perceived to be Christian, incursions into the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere in the Middle East.

O’Neill is so desperate to convince his readers that he is both a deep thinker and a serious intellectual but, in reality, he is at best, a philosophical lightweight and at worst, a shit-stirring trouble-maker who overrates his intellectual abilities.

He concludes his ramble with,

Breivik is not an implacable foe of multiculturalism; he is a product of it. He is multiculturalism’s monster, where his true aim is to win recognition of his identity alongside all those other identities that are fawned over in modern Europe. In essence, his barbarous act last year was not about dismantling multiculturalism but about expanding it, to make sure it afforded respect to his own petty cultural feelings as well as everyone else’s.

Make no mistake, this is an apology: what O’Neill is saying here is that if there wasn’t “multiculturalism” then there would not have been an Anders Behring Breivik but that’s simply ludicrous; as is his suggestion that “his barbarous act last year was not about dismantling multiculturalism but about expanding it”. Lazy and illogical with just a hint of right-wing paranoia. But how did Breivik’s actions “expand” multiculturalism? He does not say.

Many right-wingers in Britain were hoping that Breivik would be pronounced “insane” by psychologists and by the court. It seems that their hopes will be dashed. Breivik was compos mentis and knew exactly what he was doing. His ideas may have been delusional but then so are those right-wingers who constantly carp on about “Cultural Marxism”. Such paranoid delusions are not confined to Breivik and they do not end with “multiculturalism”. Many of those who buy into this nonsense also accept The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an authoritative text. But O’Neill won’t tell you about that because it doesn’t fit in with his skewed narrative.

Tomorrow’s blog from O’Neill may well feature a link between Breivik and “political correctness”. Stay tuned!

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Filed under Internet, Journalism, Media, Yellow journalism

The Telegraph, Ed West and the not-so-hidden discourses of the anti-immigration lobby

I came across this blog from Fred Ed West in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. West tells us that a petition has been launched against mass immigration.

Without wishing to plumb the depths of Arab Spring hyperbole (as pioneered by the protestors in “Tahrir Square”, central London), the Greek referendum could be heralded as the start of a European spring. (A bit late in the year, of course.)

Britain, too, is cottoning on to this amazing new thing called “democracy”. Following the first petition about Britain’s place in Europe, and the second, MigrationWatch have launched a petition on that related area of post-national universalism – mass immigration.

MigrationWatch, eh? Well, let’s have a look at them. According to Powerbase, MigrationWatchUK, to give them their proper name, claims to be an,

Independent, voluntary, non political body which is concerned about the present scale of immigration into the UK

Where have I heard those words before? Well, I usually encounter words like “independent” and “non-political” when I look at the websites of right-wing think-tanks like Policy Exchange and Localis. It’s a lie. Powerbase tells us that MigrationWatchUK’s co-founder David Coleman has close connections to the UK’s former European Trade Commissioner, Leon Britton and Baroness Caroline Cox who was ejected from the Tory Party for supporting UKIP. Coleman has also,

been described by the BNP as their “friend at the immigration-reform think tank Migration Watch” and “a very distinguished demographer whom we trust” [16]. Being praised by the BNP of course is not in itself an indication of his political objectives

Coleman is also connected to the Galton Society. Yes, the society is named after Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, the social Darwinist and eugenicist. The Galton Society is, as one would expect, concerned with the notion of  a pure gene pool- in other words only those ‘superior’  genes of the white British who are of a certain social class should be preserved. Ed West presumably fits into this category.

One of its members wrote the foreword for a book authored by an American Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke[4] who is the most prominent racist in America today and heads the largest white supremacist organization in the world.

Back to West’s blog. He tells that he has

 enormous respect for MigrationWatch, for the simple reason that as a political campaign opposing the last government’s mass immigration policy carries no social reward whatsoever. No one at a dinner party is going to congratulate you, no one is going to fictionalise your life as a romantic lead in a Richard Curtis-style comedy. In a world where so much political posturing is based on whether one’s views make the holder seem more high-status and more attractive to the opposite sex, few people dare express any opposition to the wonderful, but mysterious and unproven, benefits of diversity.

Here we find two things: the first is that West clearly supports the aims of the socially exclusive and possibly racist Migration Watch. Second, he reduces his argument to one of sexual attractiveness. Listen, Eddie, the only people who are going to find you or your racist friends attractive are those people who have had their eyes gouged out and even then, it’s quite a stretch to assume that someone who has been blinded would ever find you attractive – unless they were members of the KKK, of course.  If we look at the comments left on his blog, we can see that he’s playing to an all too familiar gallery of racists and eugenicists. This one from “Flatulent Emissions” has 102 likes.

Commenter's avatar
Limiting immigration is one thing, but we absolutely must seek to repatriate those who are a net burden to our economy who are already here.The costs and social difficulties will rocket once the wave of babies we’ve imported reaches adulthood, so something must be done before that time comes.
He isn’t the only one who holds these repellent views. “Emily Enso” says,

EmilyEnso

17 hours ago

Simples we pay them to go.
It would be cheaper to give them a lump payment to relocate than keep them here.
Not only that, we could cancel off our foreign aid payments.
By sending back people to their home nations with money for homes, businesses or whatever we would give those home nations a huge financial boost.
Paid for repatriation is a win win win.
Win for us.
Win for the home nation.
Win for people financially enabled to make a new life in the environment of their own people and culture.
I find it difficult for anyone to fault it.

This was the very same policy put forward first by the National Front in the 1970’s and later by the British National Party.

Ed West would never admit to being a racist and he would probably say that he has “Black friends” in an clichéd attempt to deflect attention away from his rather muddled and reprehensible views. For West, expelling immigrants is equated in his mind with ‘democracy’.

Now perhaps it is time that we might ask, in that shy, English way of ours, whether we might possibly be allowed a say in the running of our country, if it’s not too much to ask.

The phrase “having a say in the running of the [our] country” is code for “the only people who should run this country should be white British (well, English) and middle class”.

Here is Ed West’s profile on Powerbase.

He has connections with the LM network through his brother, Patrick and Brendan O’Neill’s Spiked Online.

You can find Migration WatchUK’s website here. Their “What You Say” page is a means of manufacturing consent and it isn’t entirely clear if those who have written to MigrationWatchUK are genuine or not. My suspicion is that some of them are hardened Little Englanders and lost Empire Loyalists. Some of the letters may well have been written by MigrationWatch staff.

Finally, Ed West is more than happy to entertain the racists who collect on his blog to pat him on the back. He would tell us that it’s ‘free speech’. I would tell him that he’s a dissembler.

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Filed under Ideologies, Journalism, Media, Racism

#OccupyLSX, right wing smears and the tax-dodging Barclay Brothers

I’ve never credited Britain’s right-wing commentators with much intelligence. They have the best education that money can buy and yet they’re still as thick as two short planks. If they aren’t thinking straight, then they’re making wilfully ignorant comments. Since OccupyLSX began outside St Paul’s Cathedral, the right has been desperately trying to second guess the movement. All attempts to do so have foundered.  As a result, the organs of the right have retreated to their default position: smear the protesters.

In the last few days, the Daily Telegraph (a paper run by a pair of tax-dodging brothers who also own the small island of Brecqhou near Sark in the Channel Islands) has done its utmost to ensure the public (or at the least, the right wing fraction of the public) is made fully aware of what these people are getting up to… or so it thinks.

Tuesday, this blog appeared from David Hughes. In it, he regurgitates a smear story printed the same day in the Telegraph.

They’ve been rumbled. It turns out that the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OccupyLSX) protesters who have settled in St Paul’s Churchyard are not only not occupying the Stock Exchange – they are not even occupying their own tents. Our enterprising news reporters were there in the small hours with a thermal imaging camera and discovered that most of the tents were empty. The report and video are here. You can hardly blame the demonstrators for preferring a snug bed at home to a chilly night on paving slabs. But their empty tent policy raises an important question. Decades of terrorist threats  have made most people in this country – and particularly in the capital – hyper-sensitive to the sight of a bag or suitcase left unattended. It’s normally only a matter of minutes before such items are whisked away by the police. So how come so many tents have been allowed to sit in the heart of London for so long without being removed, particularly now that we know that most are unoccupied?

So, it’s fine to invade people’s privacy for the sake of a smear story? This joker seems to think so. Let’s have a look at the ‘story’.

The camp forced St Paul’s to close for the first time since the Blitz and is costing local businesses thousands of pounds a day.

But footage shot by The Daily Telegraph on a thermal imaging camera appeared to show most of the dozens of tents in the cathedral churchyard were empty. And when the remaining protesters realised what The Telegraph was attempting to verify this, the mood turned ugly.

The site was quiet at around 12.30am with the faint smell of marijuana smoke in the air. A handful of police officers stood back on the fringes of the encampment.

First the authors of this piece repeat the same spiel about St Paul’s having to close for the first time since the Blitz. Notice how the word “Blitz” is used to evoke an image in the popular mind. But this image is connected to a particular memory of WWII. It was one that was evoked by Thatcher – much to her cost. One abiding image of the cathedral is often used to evoke this memory of the “Spirit of the Blitz” with this defiant building standing up to the Luftwaffe’s bombs when others could not.

Interestingly enough, although the cathedral’s dean told reporters that it had closed, it still went ahead with a planned wedding. Most historic buildings, if they have to charge anything at all for admission, will ask visitors to pay a small, often voluntary, charge. But, as we can see from St Pauls’ website, the charges are rather steep and it would interesting to find out exactly how many tourists visit the cathedral each week. When the charges were introduced, there was a public outcry. Yet, for some odd reason, this has been conveniently overlooked by the right wing press in order to make sure their smears stick. What this also shows us is how the Anglican Church is consumed with the same corporate greed as its neighbours. On this site, an American tourist complains that,

 …this church has the audacity to charge £13.50 for a student ticket is simply ridiculous, especially considering how well-endowed the Anglican Church is. Cologne, Florence, Ravenna; nearly any cathedral on the continent can surpass what St. Paul’s offers, and without sucking your wallet dry at that.

This tourist is not alone either. Theo Hobson,  in The Guardian’s Comment is Free wrote last year,

My reluctance to pay is not really a matter of meanness, but of principle. By excluding people, especially young people who are often time-rich but money-poor, and spiritually curious, the C of E is edging them away from a sense that England’s religious heritage is theirs – that it is not just for tourists, and not just for worshippers at actual services; it is also theirs to browse. And there’s another point: paying an entrance fee changes the nature of the visit. To pay is to make a tacit statement: that this is primarily a tourist-attraction, that its sacred function is secondary to this. Perhaps a little meanness is also involved, I admit.

William Oddie in the Catholic Herald wrote,

I have had this problem before, getting into Anglican cathedrals built by the Catholic Church and purloined at the Reformation. They have no right to stop you (or anyone else) entering: simply refuse politely and go in. I know that buildings like this need maintaining. But I would almost certainly pay more than the entrance fee as a voluntary contribution, and I usually do. A notice suggesting a voluntary contribution, even specifying a recommended sum and with a desk there to collect the money (they could hand out a free guide or something to encourage people to give) would avoid this appalling and deeply secular tourist entrance fee.

Back to the article, the authors claim that there was a ” faint smell of marijuana smoke in the air”. This is a way of painting the occupiers as “unwashed hippies” and has a resonance with the right’s response to the protests of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It panders to the deeply-held prejudices of the ruling classes and their unwitting allies, who tell us that they “never protest”. The reason for that it is obvious: they hold the whip but tell them that and they’ll reply with gobbledigook.  They also tell us that when the Torygraph snoopers started filming that the the “mood turned ugly”. The reason they say this is to insert a particular image in the public mind of an “enemy within” that needs to be vanquished by the police.

The Guardian (equated by Torygraph readers with Pravda) was more sympathetic to the occupiers,

“OccupyLSX was surprised to hear the Telegraph and others reporting this morning that 90% of our tents are empty overnight,” the group said in a statement.

“This is simply not the case. While it is quite possible that not every tent is occupied every night, we try to keep vacancy to a minimum and operate a sign-in/sign-out system to help ensure this happens. The camp attracts thousands of people every day. We do not expect all the people who are expressed through this movement to be able to stay overnight.”

The Guardian also adds that,

Reports quoting the 10% occupancy rate appeared in the Times,TelegraphSun, and Daily Mail on Tuesday, apparently based on evidence gathered by a police helicopter equipped with thermal imaging cameras.

However, City of London police told the Guardian that they could not confirm nor deny the reports, saying only that neither details of the thermal imaging cameras nor the occupancy estimates had come from them.

The right wing press’s position is beginning to look threadbare. So far, all they have is a handful of smears and a cupful of baseless allegations.

This blogger alleges that St Paul’s Cathedral is effectively run by former Ye Olde Cittie of London bankers and a former City of London Mayor. Even if it isn’t the case, some readers will know that the City of London Corporation is run like a private fiefdom. I am tempted to say that this is the last vestige of feudalism in Britain but that would be inaccurate. It is, in effect, the last of the Rotten Boroughs as this blogger points out.

LM cultist and smear artist, Brendan O’Neill chimes in with this poorly-considered blog.  He refers to the occupation as a “warped class war”. This, coming from a man whose own ‘libertarian’ ideas are questionable.

Occupy London does not speak for the 99 per cent or for the working man – on the contrary, it is more an expression of slacker disdain and organic-fuelled fury for the ethos of the ambitious working man

And praytell, how is that, Brendan? He doesn’t explain. Why? Because he’s only interested in twisting reality to conform to his warped ideas of the protests. He panders to his authoritarian readership. Scratch a right libertarian and you will always find a rabid authoritarian and neoliberal shill underneath.

Today Damian Thompson and Hon Tobes both wade in with a smear of the occupiers and Dr Giles Fraser, the canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, who resigned from his post in protest at his bishop’s pandering to pressure to the Cittie parasites who practically run the cathedral. Hon Tobes’ piece is the more dishonest of the two. He claims that Fraser has cost the cathedral “hundreds of thousands of pound in lost revenue”, wilfully ignoring the fact that the admission price alone has been responsible for the decline in numbers visiting the place. The helmet-headed one opines,

Those traditional Anglicans who oppose gay marriage are “narrow-minded puritans seeking to impose their joyless and claustrophobic world-view on the rest of the church“. On it goes – no opportunity for Giles Fraser to air his Left-wing views in the media is ever neglected.

Of course, anyone who disagrees or does not share Hon Tobes’ world view is an “loony lefty”. It’s so pathetically easy, it hurts.

The proprietors of the Telegraph Group are the mysterious Barclay Brothers, who have recently bought Claridges and run their island of Brecqhou like feudal lords. But the tax free status of the Channel Islands isn’t enough for them and they have also claimed residency in tax-free Monaco. Er, come again?

The Barclay brothers own a big chunk of the media, including The Spectator magazine and The Telegraph Group.

Although they are considered philanthropists, having donated over £40 million to medical research, they are also tax exiles. The savings from not paying tax in the UK but Monaco, should more than cover that, and leave enough small change over to pay for a Channel island.

The Brothers own two very influential right wing organs, both of which are pledged to defend and apologise for excesses of casino capitalism.  Therefore it’s fitting that they live in Monaco, the home of high-rollers and tax-dodging self-exiles.

The entrepreneurial siblings may hide themselves away in the Quinlan Terry designed, battlement surrounded, three feet deep walls of the Brecqhou mansion, but they give their address as 7 Avenue de Grande Bretagne, 98000 Monaco.

Avenue de Grande Bretagne, how cute… I’ll bet that makes them feel at home.

UPDATE @ 18.30

Just caught the end of a  BBC News item on Giles Fraser and #OccupyLSX, which the reporter described as a “siege”.

This is a siege.

This is not.

The Guardian have an interview with Dr Fraser here. Apparently St Paul’s is reopening its doors thereby leaving it open to the charge of flip-flopping.

UPDATE: 29/10/11 @ 1807

You know that story in The Telegraph that claimed to use thermal imaging cameras to determine if people were sleeping in the tents at the #OccupyLSX camp at St Paul’s Cathedral? It turns out that you can’t tell if someone is in a tent or not by using thermal imaging. I don’t think the Torygraph will apologise for this blatant lie though. That’s a bit like expecting the Tories to be compassionate.

Here’s the video.

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Murdoch: hoist by his own petard or playing a long game?

My work took me much longer to finish than I expected, hence the long gap between blogs. A lot has happened over the last couple of weeks. Events in the phone hacking scandal have moved very quickly: no sooner than we hear of one revelation, another comes along within hours to take its place. Needless to say, Murdoch’s minions have overstepped the mark and acted criminally. Phone taps normally require a court order. The News of the World thought that it was above the law. It wasn’t.  Now the rest of News International and its parent company, News Corporation are under suspicion. The Sun and The Times have both been accused of phone hacking and in the US, it was believed that one of the News Corp companies hacked into the phones of those killed in the Twin Towers attack of September 11, 2001.

The News of the World is no more. No doubt it will be replaced by something just as vile. In many respects The Sun and the News of the World are the same paper. They both print the same kind of gossip and sleazy scandal and both papers believe that they have the right to intrude into people’s private lives.

I had originally begun drafting a blog a couple of weeks ago. My angle on this was the city of Liverpool and how The Sun and NotW had been boycotted by Scousers. The people of Liverpool have known for a long time what News International is capable of doing.  In the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, The Sun made up a story about Liverpool supporters urinating on the dead. Kelvin MacKenzie, then editor of the paper, refused to apologize and even went so far as to rub more salt into the wound by standing by the ‘story’. To this day, the sales of The Sun and The News of the World on Merseyside are the lowest anywhere in the country. No self-respecting Scouser, red or blue, would contemplate buying such a vile rag.

Many of us have known for some time that Murdoch media and the government enjoy a close relationship. When Cameron hired Andy Coulson as his press secretary, Coulson was already up to his neck in shit.  But what we have seen is that the relationship between the Tories and the Murdoch media is somewhat closer than a mere business arrangement; these people meet socially. Cameron, Rebekah Brooks and Coulson have  broken bread together. Indeed Cameron, Coulson and Brooks live rather close to each other.  They are even referred to as the “Chipping Norton Set”.

The Murdoch press may not be able to inject its views into the heads of its readers but it is an opinion former and its views are taken seriously by many people. British politicians work to please the Murdoch press and will do their utmost to avoid upsetting papers like the The Sun, a paper that can ruin lives and careers at the drop of a hat.

In 1992, The Sun claimed to have won the general election for John Major’s Tories. The day before the polls opened, the Scum ran a front page that said “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave in Britain turn off the lights”. Labour lost the election but in the years that followed the Tories were battling allegations of sleaze.

Before the 1997 General Election, Tony Blair met with executives from News International. He understood that he needed to get the Murdoch media on his side in order to win. But it was a poisoned chalice, the Blair and the Brown governments found themselves dancing to Murdoch’s tune.

Yesterday, Murdoch had full page apologies printed in his papers and those of his rivals.  He’s done it again today. I suspect that his lawyers have advised him to do this, so that he can come back in a year’s time with a renewed bid for BSkyB. All he’s doing is trying to remake his image and that of his papers. As far as out politicians are concerned, they talk a good talk but they’re scared of Murdoch. They’ve done just enough to give the impression that they’re reining him in. Ed Miliband has called for a ban on multi-media ownership by a single person or group. This would be welcome. But the press cannot regulate itself properly. The Press Complaints Commission is run by the newspaper industry and membership  is not compulsory. The PCC does not have the power to sanction errant newspapers nor can it impose fines. All it can do is get the paper in question to print an apology, which is, more often than not, a single paragraph buried inside the newspaper.

I’ll leave you with this mindless drivel from LMer and professional shit-stirrer, Brendan O’Neill who blames the NotW’s demise on a “dictatorship of do-gooders”.

When small groups of professional activists help to shut down a newspaper read by millions of everyday Brits, that is not “people power”. When celebrities and well-to-do commentators help to deprive 7.5 million people of their Sunday read – and what’s more, claim to be doing it in order to save those 7.5 million people from being morally corrupted – that is not a “democratic moment”. It is more like a dictatorship of do-gooders.

Lest we forget that O’Neill’s former magazine, LM was shut down because it lost a libel case against ITN whom LM had accused of misrepresenting the Bosnian Civil War.   A “dictatorship of do-gooders” had nothing to do with the NotW’s demise; its death was caused by slipshod journalistic standards and blatant lawbreaking. I, for one, am glad it’s gone. I think that I should point out that O’Neill also writes for the Australian, a title owned by guess who?

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Myths, lies and the iconography of Osama bin Laden

Here is some breaking news,

“Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALS. He was armed and was brandishing an AK-47.  A woman, believed to be one of his wives, was being used a human shield”.

There was only one thing in that statement that is true: bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALS. The rest of it is rubbish.  Within hours of the announcement of bin Laden’s death, a photo was produced that was purported to be that of the newly-deceased Al-Qaeda leader. It was a photoshopped composite of two, possibly more, separate photos. A doctored image that had, apparently been substituted for the real image, which was allegedly “too gruesome” for sensitive Western eyes. Bullshit. We got to see the photos of the expired Saddam Hussein and his gruesome sons. What’s the problem? Aren’t humans, by nature, full of bloodlust? Isn’t that why ‘sports’ like badger-baiting and hare-coursing are still popular with some people? Because we revel in the sight of a blood-spattered being? In spite of what they say, those who go fox-hunting don’t go for the “thrill of the chase” and the stirrup cup (though it helps); they go purely for the denouement. They want to see death.

The assassination of Osama bin Laden in a house in Abbottabad in Pakistan has raised more questions than it has answered. Already, there are conspiracy theories surrounding the life and death of OBL.  Is he really still alive and living the life of luxury in Belize? Is he teaching at a school in Dar es Salaam? Or is he working in a chip shop in Batley, West Yorkshire with Elvis Presley as his manager? Or, to pose a more Baudrillardian question, did he ever exist? I’ll leave those questions for those people who listen to the paranoid ramblings of Alex Jones and Jeff Rense ;  or those who  get a buzz from reading the psychotic prose of  lizard-worrier and anti-Semite, David Icke.  By far the most important question is how this mission was carried out without the expressed prior approval of the Pakistani government. Such a mission would have been unthinkable in a country like North Korea or China, both of whom would be planning  la  revanche as I type this. Surely this hit violated every tenet of what passes for international law? Yes? No? So much for co-operation in the “War on Terror” and other abstract nouns. l’alliance: elle est cassé. Pakistan was only ever going to be a junior partner if that…but Pakistan has a nuke. Nonetheless, the Torygraph bloggers are pretty much united: most of them claim that bin Laden’s summary execution was just and that the US had every right to carry it out. Many of them also agree that this event will spawn a million and one conspiracy theories, which they will pin on ‘leftists’. Some of them, like the Hon Tobes, have produced spectacular drivel like this,

If bin Laden had been captured and put on trial, thousands of people would have died at the hands of his terrorist sympathisers. No doubt there will be reprisals in any event, but the terrorist response would have been far greater if bin Laden had been taken alive.

Hmmm, yes, Tobes. The real truth is that The Network (Al-Qaeda to you and me) is in decline. They have had no influence on the events that have taken place during the so-called and ongoing, “Arab Spring”.  The suggestion put about by Torygraph bloggers and other self-appointed sages of the Right is that bin Laden’s execution will serve as a bookend. But you’d have to be an idiot to believe that. Tobe’s stablemate, the LMer Brendan O’Neill, on the other hand, comes across like a tuppence ha’penny moral philosopher , O’Neill opines,

And third, these complainers don’t seem to realise that the stakes in war are far higher than they are in law. War is a matter of life and death. It touches upon highly existential issues. It is generally considered acceptable in a war to kill someone whom you believe to be a threat to you, your people or your way of life.

On the same page, gobshite serial commenter and Islamo-obsessive, “danoconnor” chips in like a skipping CD,

The Left feels it has an affinity with Islam because the Left feels it has an affinity with everyone–except its own culture .

The Left thinks that all religions have a few nutters , but don’t worry we’ll take care of that when we have defeated the real enemy –the West .

“danoconnor” is a two-trick pony. He only does Islam and the “Left”. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to drink with him?

Many bloggers and commentators were quick to draw parallels with the Nuremberg War Trials and an imagined war crimes trial of OBL.  But it’s lazy stuff that is born of enfeebled minds. It was inevitable that the Nazis would get dragged into this, since the Nazis have become wholly symbolic of pure, undiluted  evil. Before the Nazis came along, Satan incarnate came in the shape of Kaiser Wilhelm and before him, the squat figure of Napoleon Bonaparte.  Will bin Laden supersede Hitler as the embodiment of evil? More than likely. Make no mistake, OBL is the bogeyman for the 21st century. He is, in death as he was in life, a mythologized creature of  spectacular invention: paradoxically, he is at once a dehumanized human being and a monster of gargantuan proportions. He takes his place in the genealogy of unspeakable evil – he is the bastard son of  Adolf Schicklegruber. A sort of bastard’s bastard.

The issue of bin Laden’s “burial at sea” is also a bone of contention. The US says that it dumped OBL’s bullet-riddled corpse into the briny because they “didn’t want his grave to become a site of pilgrimage”. Of course this ignores the fact that the Abbottabad compound in which he was slain could easily become a shrine, complete with a souvenir shop selling T-Shirts, mugs and key-rings with OBL’s visage gracing each one.

One thing that was revealing about the White House’s Jay Carney’s press briefing yesterday, was the way he unconsciously divulged the manner of bin Laden’s death. He was shot in the face, though he corrected himself and said “head”.

The mafia and others shoot people in the face so that the deceased’s relatives can’t have an open coffin at the funeral. But OBL was chucked into the deep…. Now there’s something to think about.

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Brendan O’Neill bangs the drum for nuclear power by smearing the opposition

It’s pretty much as you’d expect from a member of the LM Network. Like his fellow LMers, Brendan O’Neill talks complete rubbish about nuclear power and claims that the “debate over nuclear power is being driven by holocaust-hungry doom-mongers”.

The response to the ongoing problems at the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan confirms that catastrophists have colonised the debate about nuclear power.

Ah, but in this blog he hasn’t actually put forward a decent argument in favour of nuclear power. Maybe he should have a look at this blog and accompanying video from Adam Curtis…but I know he won’t. LMers always know better than the rest of us.

But O’Neill doesn’t seem to be taking sides. In fact, he appears to be trolling. He uses compound words like “apocalypse-mongers” and “holocaust-hungry” to describe those who have concerns about the dangers of nuclear power – and these are legitimate concerns too. But that doesn’t bother O’Neill. With words like “doom-mongers” he ought to be writing for The Sun or The Daily Star. He’s actually the editor for LM’s  Spiked Online.

Free speech is LM’s obsession but their idea of free speech is about having the freedom to talk nonsense for the sake of provocation (they would describe it as ‘stimulating’ debate). Besides, they’re adamantly opposed to free speech in their own ranks. Supporters (as opposed to members) must obey the diktats of the leader, the Great Frank Furedi.

Here’s another snippet from his blog

Vastly exaggerating the problems there, by inaccurately comparing the shaken plant to Chernobyl and even shamelessly using the H-word (Hiroshima), they opportunistically argued that we must “call time on the nuclear age”. CND rallied its ageing troops for a protest outside Downing Street, waving placards that said “no nuclear” in both English and Japanese (nice). For some, the potential for a radioactive meltdown – more imagined than real – confirmed that humanity has gotten too big for its boots and must learn to be more eco-meek. “We cannot master nature, nature rules us”, said the leader of the German Green party.

Personally I find it ironic that Japan, the only country to have been subjected to the full horrors of nuclear warfare, has embraced the atom in the way that it has. This is something that O’Neill has omitted in his haste to condemn the detractors of the nuclear power industry. You can’t let a few facts get in the way of a good troll. Now can you?

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Filed under Internet, Japan, Journalism, Media, World