Tuesday, July 23, 2019

“Fake News” News 

This post has been cross-posted at Harry's Place

The news about “Fake News” today is that Roger Scruton has been restored to his role as a government adviser after the New Statesman had to apologise for its misrepresentation of his remarks about George Soros and the Chinese government to make him sound like a racist and anti Semite. 

The writer involved, George Eaton, has apparently been demoted from his role as a deputy editor with the NS. From the start it was obvious this was a wind up job against a Right Wing gammon who deserved all he got, Eaton was even seen on Twitter opening a bottle of champagne while celebrating his tremendous coup against the forces of Rightish darkness.

This is as egregious an example of a journalist stitching up a political opponent with selective quoting as could be imagined and should remind us that all the talk of how “Fake News” is corrupting the media (usually with the attendant message that we should trust the old established MSM) such smearing tactics have always been with us and are rife in broadsheet journalism as well as the more tabloid sort.

It is the nature of most of the partisan news media in the West to constantly try to catch out and lure politicians and public figures into "controversial" statements to start a round of outrage and shaming. And when that doesn't work you can always just selectively quote and decontextualise what someone has said and try to get away with it.

Also it really makes you wonder what is the future of the MSM if it gets more and more desperate for click bait and exposure in the Social Media age and ends up losing all credibility like the NS has with this debacle.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Labour's referendum mess

Corbyn's Labour is now stuck on the massive horns of a dilemma about its Brexit policy and there are real signs of tension as the splits and the rows amongst the splitters (oh what a surprise) get worse.

On Twitter yesterday Paul Mason was panned quite severely by Ian Lavery the Lexit supporting party chair when he demanded the sacking of the Milne faction who he blamed for the disastrous showing of Labour in last weeks Euro elections. He also came out strongly for a "Peoples Vote" (ie a rerun of the 2016 referendum) in which Labour should campaign for Remain.

The row was summarised on the ultra Corbynite site Skawkbox here. Look at the viciousness of the attacks on someone who was once a Corbynite pin up boy. Its just shows how vehemently the opposition to a Labour change to a Remain stance would be resisted by the people now in charge at the top of Labour.

There is no easy answer here for Labour, it seems the only way they will move to an explicit Remain stance is if Corbyn, Milne, Lavery and McCluskey are removed or sidelined and the views of a number of Northern MP's who are very anti a new referendum are overridden. But that would most likely be the end of Corbynism and the Hard Left takeover would be over. Also it is far from clear that a Remain stance would do them any good in a new GE, would the people who moved to the LDs in the Euros come back to them, and they would surely be severely affected in the North and Midlands.

I can just imagine what the new slogan of the die hard Corbynites such as Skawkbox would be to Watson, Mason et al if they forced a Remain policy - "Why don't you just F*** off and join the Lib Dems ?" And given what the result of positing towards a Remain policy would mean they might well be right.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Identity Politics and the ongoing self-destruction of the Left

The continuing story of the disintegration of the Women's March movement in the US is important in how it demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of todays Left.

Take this now infamous statement from Tamika Mallory, one of the original organisers :

“Since that conversation, we’ve all learned a lot about how while white Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy, ALL Jews are targeted by it,” Ms. Mallory said in a statement to The New York Times.

The meaning of this seems to be that Jews can only be on the progressive side if they don't have white skin. Now what hue of whiteness for a Jewish person are we talking about exactly that puts you across the border into being acceptable or unacceptable ? Do we need a colour chart to decide a persons level on the chart of right-on ness ? Its like we are going back to Victorian times when class distinctions were so important maps showed the social level of areas by colour.

The idea that anyone could follow or go along with a movement that has such people as leaders is extraordinary.

But unfortunately this is now where much of the Modern Left is. I'm sure there are many who see themselves as progressive who are aware how bizarre this kind of statement is but if you speak out and show up the likes of Mallory for their obvious failures you face possibly being shunned and thrown out of the movement or even worse (for the social shame) being dubbed a racist.

In this vein look how Diane Abbott has recently accused the BBC of "legitimising racism" because Fiona Bruce called her out for her manifest flaws on Question Time last week. I wonder if Fiona Bruce was black what would Abbott have said ? Should we only have minority female presenters on political shows so figures like Abbott feel safe ?

How did we get to this position ? Sadly a succession of post war Left thinkers have cynically (and because the working classes refused to follow them as they should have) exploited group identity politics to get support (after everyone else sussed them out). The leaders of these movements don't care about the logical absurdity of their positions - for them the potential outcome of their divisive politics (ie the violent overthrow of Western capitalism) is the only important thing and who cares about logical debate. And unfortunately their greatest discovery has been how to sustain support by moral and social shaming (as is often the case with authoritarian idealists).

Along with many others, I really don't think I can any longer identify of the Left while it goes down the rabbit hole of such absurdities. The whole narrative of identity politics is now based on the overriding importance of the feelings of minority groups who feel threatened by the discourse of partisan obsessives and extremists from opposing groups. This leads to a never ending circus of accusations and finger pointing.

There is also no doubt identity politics has been a major factor in the rise of right wing populism in the West, as whites have jumped on the group politics grievance bandwagon. This has had major repercussions for democracies worldwide and I fear we have not even seen the full results, in fact it may well be we have only seen the start of a long term and uncertain path of events.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Corbyn and the Moderate Labour Splitters

So it looks like some of the moderate Labour MPs have finally had enough and decided to go, with Frank Field resigning being what could be the start of a major split.

For Frank as well as others it is apparently the anti-Semitism issue that matters, this is the thing that has brought it to a head.

Now I oppose Corbyn as leader of Labour (and will not be voting for them again unless the Far Left is booted out - which could take quite a time) but I do wonder about the sudden attack of conscience from these moderates.

Its almost as if they are looking for a moral reason for going which sounds to me really what is called virtue signalling, that is a decision or statement that purports to show the importance and depth of ones basic and deep moral values but is in reality an exercise in using the appeal to conscience to show one's status amongst (what you identify as) “right thinking” people. This reflects how identity politics has created the mind set amongst the liberal intellectual class that one's views and statements on gender and race issues are of such extraordinary importance that other more mundane political issues like economics and foreign policy are of lesser value.

I mean the moderates in Labour have known all along about the Corbyn/McDonnell gangs’ mad views on economics (e.g. the policy of nationalising the water companies without proper compensation) and foreign and security policy (i.e. hating NATO and pretending to support peace in NI by only ever talking to hard line republicans). Didn’t they care about all that quite important stuff ?

All the latest revelations that are coming up now about what Corbyn did and said over the years in support of the Palestinians were all known when he was elected. How come these moderates are now only being so horrified about Corbyn's historic utterances ? I'm not sure it makes much sense.

One lesson from this disaster should be that placating the Far Left who are far more ruthless in obtaining their aims than moderates is just stupid. Labour had the opportunity to remove the likes of Corbyn in the past but just ended up treating him and his ilk as eccentrics to be indulged. Frank Field even nominated Corbyn as leader ! As usual moderate liberal types in the West lack the ability to forcefully argue for and implement difficult but necessary measures. You can see that in the fatal lack of sense and purpose in implementing immigration rules in Western countries that has directly led to the rise of populism. That failing is also because arguments about immigration have become so bound up in the moral fervour surrounding identity politics and minority rights amongst the Western liberal intellectual class.

I don’t see any way out of this mess for centrists until there is a sea change in their attitudes to these issues. Otherwise populists of Left and Right will continue to gain ground and the future looks bleak for sensible centrist pragmatic politics.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Labour and the PLP - will it be total surrender or a fight back ?


Jeremy Corbyn is still going around as if he won the election and his popularity seems to be on the way up. What are sensible Labour MPs going to do about it ?

Now although Labour won 30 extra seats it is nowhere near enough to be able to form a government. All the Ulster Unionist MPs are against him and I would imagine that the Liberals in reality would want nothing to do with Corbyn and his fantasy manifesto if the offer to go into government with him was on the table.

As for that manifesto its clear the moderates just let Corbyn and co hatch up whatever they wanted and boy did they go for it. Bribes for students and other giveaways with a semblance of a funding plan arranged (although it was still dodgy) and wow the electorate went for it. Then there was the cost of renationalisations which would just be magicked up. Of course the Tory campaign was dire and inexplicably failed to hold Labour to account on any of this but I doubt that will happen again. 

Presumably now all this stuff will be party policy. Will all the party come in behind it ? ATM the craven behaviour of the likes of Harriet Harman (see here) and others seems to say they will but surely once the Tories get back on track they will be holding Labour to account for their lavish promises.

The other big issue in Labour is Brexit, it is clear now that Corbyn and McDonnell are for hard Brexit, unfortunately some of the Remainer electorate don't seem to realise it, or don't care as they are lost in Corbyn worship. One of the reasons Corbyn and McDonnell may want hard Brexit is that then they won't be constrained by EU laws which might stop them renationalising companies (see here), which is a big part of their vision. Again once this becomes apparent lets hope things change in Labour (and indeed we see Keir Starmer being more flexible over Brexit here). Or perhaps none of them care and they will all just swallow their doubts as they might get back in power. If so what a bunch of disgraceful turncoats.

I still think Labour will never win from the Left and hope this is Corbyn's high point but if it isn't and we somehow get the nightmare of a Corbyn government then it will very much be the Labour moderates who are to blame.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Fake News" ? Not News more like it

The supposed furore over Judge Kushner's remarks about rape is a perfect example of the kind of pointless fake news that our MSM and even the likes of the BBC indulge in.

This is the way it goes :

1. Person in authority (or celebrity even) says something supposedly controversial because it (in some journos opinion) goes against accepted opinion and could be an example of "Xism" or an "Xphobia".

2. Concerned group produces a boiler plate statement of concern once notified of 1 by MSM journos looking for a story.

3. Broadcast media start "debate" on said non-issue after phoning rent-a-mouths on either side of "debate" so in this instance this was the first story on the BBC Today programme on Saturday morning and still the main news story on the Radio 5 headlines at midday.

3. Issue drags on over a few days and gets onto the phone-in circuit (there was a phone-in discussing it this Monday morning on LBC)

4. People get more and more pissed off with the whole nonsense and smash their radios/PC screens in despair (maybe that's only me).

This particular issue seems to boil down to an Humpty Dumpty like battle over the meaning of the word "blame" as far as I can see but maybe I'm not informed or bright enough to discover the larger important issue. Whatever that is though is it really enough to dominate the BBC's coverage when there are literally thousands of other more important things going on in the world ?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump elected - Islington reacts

This post has been cross-posted at Harry's Place


Seen this morning in the liberal lefty Corbynite cosmopolitan paradise of Islington. I don't think this helps to be honest.

To be serious though this kind of thing (ie abuse of others who don't agree with you) is absolutely part of the issue for the Left. Do you think these cafe owners would put up a similar sign saying "All Zimbabweans/Russians/Iranians must be accompanied by an adult" after those countries had elected unpleasant leaders ? If not, why not ?