Saturday 3 December 2016

Michael in the lion's den

Today's Dateline London had a new pro-Brexit panellist today - one Michael Gove. 

Against him were ranged three strongly anti-Brexit regulars: Michael Goldfarb, Nesrine Malik and Rashmee Lall. 

I had to laugh at Michael Gove smiling and waiting politely to reply as all three of the latter worked themselves up into a hand-jabbing, head-in-their-hands, hair-tossing frenzy against him. "More, more please!", he said at one point, clearly seeing the funny side of it. 

Regular pro-Brexit Dateline viewers, of course, have (metaphorically-speaking) been precisely where Michael Gove was many, many times over during the past year or so, having faced many an entirely anti-Brexit panel jabbing its collective hand, wagging its collective finger, tossing its collective hair and tutting in their direction, time and time again. 

Still, at least Gavin Esler (for the second week running) did a proper, devil's advocate job and didn't join in the frenzy, instead (quite rightly) putting some counterpoints to the three attackers of Mr Gove. 

After the two Brexit discussions, the final topic today had its starting point in an article in the Guardian (naturally) by one of the guests, Nesrine Malik. Dateline asked, "Has the impending Trump presidency given permission for some to use sexist, misogynistic, antisemitic and racist language?" Nesrine, of course, thinks it has.

Here, for the record, is Michael Gove's take on the 'alt-right' - a term he prefers to avoid:
It covers too many phenomenon. At the one end you have this new generation of hipster Nazis, essentially. These are people who use the internet and who cluster under particular policy institute names - the people who greeted the president's victory with 'Hail Trump! Hail our people!'. They're a tiny group who are given disproportionate attention because they're taking a toxic legacy of the past and repackaging it. Then there are a broader group of people who are raucous, right-wing, who are in some cases vulgar and I think in many cases misogynistic, who are not Nazis. They are people whose speech I deplore but who are not in the same bracket. And then there are also others who are provocateurs, who try to make us think again, and who are in the tradition of 18th Century satirists who sometimes say things that make us shudder but who are trying to hold up a mirror to some of the corruption that they see around. 

1 comment:

  1. Goldfarb? Oy. I'll watch this later tonight, only to see if he is presented as the authentic Voice of America, and if that woman really did say that someone who had no problem with his daughter converting to Judaism to marry an orthodox Jew is encouraging anti-Semitism.


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