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Showing posts from June, 2015

LETTER FROM LONDON JUNE 2015: LOOKING FOR UTOPIA

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I have had a busy month providing copy on the 150th Anniversary of Portobello and Goldborne Markets as well as the concurrent InTransit arts festival. More of this later. One thing that the month has reminded me is the way in which when I was immersed in work ‘the news’, massacres, financial crisis, coups, civil wars, famine became just a vague background blur, not really registering. This is how it is in the new globalised world. It takes a particular level of outlandishness, or now an exceptional degree of barbarism to pierce this fog. Butchering people as they lay sunbathing on a beach would do it. As it happens I stayed in Sousse a few years back, possibly in the hotel targeted. I cannot remember the name of the hotel[1], but it does not matter, I know the beach. I preferred to lie beside the pool and that may have brought me a few precious minutes. Though as far as IS/Daesh are concerned it could have been a beach anywhere full of ‘Kafirs.’ I have lain on many beaches, daydreami…

JON SNOW'S 'NICE GUY': THE MORAL ROT OF THE LIBERAL LEFT

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The following tweet was written by the Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow.
Jon Snow ‏@jonsnowC4  Jun 5 Enfield, London Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz has died in jail: Nice guy in a nasty situation - made no better by Bush/BLair's Shock and Awe.
Nick Cohen re tweeted this as an example of all that is wrong with the liberal left today. It is difficult to argue with Cohen. Snow, who seeks these days to package himself as a left wing tribune of the people, has given up all pretence of impartiality or being the sober disseminator of information,[1] and seems to believe he has outgrown the role of mere newsreader. He now wants to kick ass. So let’s take a close look at the contents of this tweet. Let’s start with Mr, ‘nice guy,’ Aziz. Tariq Aziz was amongst the closest of associates of Saddam Hussein throughout his long, bloody and genocidal[2]period in power.
 ‘He began to rise through the ranks of Iraqi politics after the Ba'ath party came to power in 1968. Aziz became clos…

THE PROHIBITION ERA

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COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDRENI
We have now entered the era of prohibition and collective punishment. The era of the ban, the boycott, the do not walk on the grass, -let alone smoke it, culture. The default position of so many on the left respecting ideas they don’t like is try and silence those who hold them. This takes the form of the  ‘No platform,' movement.  Whilst governments seek to police all aspects of our lives from what we say on Twitter to what we choose to take in order to mood alter. Mood altering of course becoming increasingly popular as society becomes steadily more puritan. This week saw another low point, though I fear there is no stopping this escalator now, it is in free-fall. The success of the smoking ban having gone to their head the Welsh government, on the basis of zero evidence, intends to legislate to  prohibit vaping. This on the same basis as that it has prohibited smoking. The sheer irrationality of this ban is clearly demonstrated b…

THE VIEW FROM THE WRECKAGE

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PROGRESSIVE POLITICS IN THE AFTERMATH OF MAY 2015Two excellent bits of analysis on the general election, one by Nick Cohen and the other by Andrew Rawnsley , though coming from very different perspectives they both provide telling truths about Labour’s defeat and Cameron’s victory. Cohen names the central poison that has gradually eroded the left in England,[1] disconnecting it from the great mass of the electorate, namely the fact that it despises the white working class, thinks loyalty to the UK or any kind of patriotism is reactionary and whose default position on any foreign policy issue is anti-British and anti-West. In Short, as Cohen states:-
‘The universities, left press, and the arts characterise the English middle class as Mail-reading misers, who are sexist, racist and homophobic to boot. Meanwhile, they characterise the white working class as lardy Sun-reading slobs, who are, since you asked, also sexist, racist and homophobic. The national history is reduced to one long i…