Monday, 25 October 2010

Blog Announcement

I've recently been helping look after an elderly relative in a place with no internet access, and will need to help out for quite a while. Thanks to everyone for commenting; I hope to return to the blogosphere sometime.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Talk to the Hand

As mentioned in my last post, I've gone done been bad and my CiF comments are being monitored: purely because I pointed out what a joke Rusbridger's scare tactics about Rupert Murdoch were. Seems that for all Rusbridger's talk of bouncing ideas around, etc., The Guardian only wanted ideas that flattered their editorial board.

Now I come across this. Johann Hari's twitter feed (largely devoted to flattering other journalists) advises people not to read comments on the Independent website, because they are all written by 'lunatics'. And this is the guy who attacks 'the religious' because they allegedly don't like listening to stuff they don't want to hear.

It seems to me that the mainstream left-wing media are utterly cut off from any kind of feedback and remarkably unintelligent in their inability to adapt to the changing electronic media.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Snowball Effect

Things are looking bleak for Britain according to Alan Rusbridger. Comrade Snowball has his snout in the trough and may soon get even more power and influence in the media, animals be warned!

Uhm, warned of what? That articles attacking 'big government' might be published? That he might publish all sorts of drivel about the United Russia party (or 'Vladimir Putin' to use the shorthand). I wrote on the comments section that as long as the Guardian continues publishing drivel by Julian Glover as one of its chief Op Ed writers, and as long as its Russia affairs are the domain of Luke Harding, then I frankly don't care how much media presence Murdoch has. One economically right wing, foreign policy militant, socially liberal publication barely differs from the other.

And guess what? They deleted my comments and now I'm being moderated. I find that really is quite laughable. Julian Glover has an idealistic view of the free market precisely because his chums are shielding him from consumerist ideas such as customer feedback.

If Te Graun really wants to frighten its readers that Snowball is at large and will crush Social Democracy, they really are going about it the wrong way.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Imagine if this Happened in Russia

If an officer who knew a bit about military affairs bravely spoke the truth about an unpopular war brought about by blundering politicians and Putin said
"We thought for a moment about sacking him, but concluded that that would just make him into a martyr,"

Methinks liberals might not be quite so sycophantic but would deliver plenty of sermons about freedom of speech in Russia.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The wages of sin?

Came across this comment on Youtube:

'Perhaps you are a old barmaid that does know Hitch and can confirm that certain parts of his body are in fact, fat and greasy. A double shot of the Hitch magic ? It all makes sense now 42 D.'

Ugh, how grim is that? The thing is that the cheek-hens think he's a bit crap. But I don't think this will stop a generation of frustrated men from delighting in his musky animal magnetism.

Friday, 1 October 2010

When We Were Social Democrats

Whilst I don't like to idealise any type of society or overstate the influence of an economic system on the psychology of the people, it does strike me as interesting that before we were diverted from the road to serfdom, Britain showed resilience against terrorism that seems astounding to someone who has lived through the hysterical 'war on terror' in neo-liberal privatisation-mad Britain. From Simon Jenkins in The Guardian:

'In the mid-1970s, the Provisional IRA staged some 50 explosions in London, subjecting the city to far greater mayhem than today. Somehow we survived without the gargantuan counter-terror apparatus in place today. The bombing campaign came nowhere near toppling the British government or infringing the liberty of the state.'

Well, some Irish Catholic immigrants might not have felt that the British state was a model of liberty at the time and it would be ridiculous to ignore the very real human rights abuses that the state carried out against many innocent Irish people. However, it does seem to me that the British government overall did handle the IRA terror threat with a certain level-headedness. As a historian, I'm often interested in how Heath and Wilson will be remembered. Those who lived during their time seem to have remarkably low opinions of them (it is notable that Jenkins treats the attitudes of the time as common-sense without praising Heath or Wilson). Perhaps this is bi-fold: firstly social democracy may be more appealing as a dream than as a reality. Secondly, I think that the boomer generation spent so much time hating authority with values, that they would be hard pushed to recognise that we've gone backwards.

Be that as it may, I do think that history will be more generous to the people they fought against and criticised than it will be to those they supported and who are now destroying what their parents struggled for.