Tuesday 22 August 2017

Tuesday Morning ramble

John Humphrys read out the wrong date this morning but I think he got away with it. (They must have spliced the right date in afterwards)

On the principle that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing I hesitate to leap into the foray over about moral equivalence between out-and-out Nazis (the alt-right) and Antifa (or, if you like, the alt-left) 

Until we have a visible body of strutting, out and proud swastika-wielding Nazis in Britain we’ll probably have a different perspective on the issue. We have a slightly different set of villains.

A discussion between Melanie Phillips and Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin about Trump’s approach to Charlottesville  took place at the end of the Sunday programme
“In the context of Donald Trump's remarks about the events in Charlottesville, Melanie Phillips and Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin discuss Moral Equivalence.” 
says the website.

“Trump was saying” said William Crawley, ” that there was no moral difference between the thugs who tried to turn Charlottesville into Nuremberg and those who came out to oppose them - the words of Rabbi Jeffery Salkin - or perhaps” he continued,”this was not, as widely portrayed, a clash between fascists and anti-fascists - it was between two groups, each of which perpetrate hatred and intolerance - the words of the columnist Melanie Phillips.” 

What followed was a civilised discussion which deserved a longer slot than it was allotted by the BBC, but William Crawley took a back seat and conducted the chairmanship rather well, I thought. (By not interrupting)

I see this as a perfect example of a topic that makes demands of the audience, starting with comprehension and historical awareness. The listener ought to know a little about, e.g., Donald Trump, American white supremacists, Nazis, fascists, antifascists, supporters of Black Lives Matter, statues that honour discredited historical figures, the antisemitic hard left and the antisemitic hard right, BDS, freedom of speech, the right to protest, violence, retaliation, self defence, murder and terrorism,  before jumping in with some superficial verdict.
Even so -  even if the historical and political context has been taken into account, there won’t be a definitive ‘right’ side.

On this occasion the speakers weren’t in complete disagreement, and they both expressed thought-provoking arguments. 

Sadly, as I said the other day, RIP Subtlety. The reaction on Twitter - I don’t want to link to any of it - but certain people were outraged that Melanie Phillips had been given a platform.


Talking of statues, we are facing the prospect of a statue of Brucie. Please, no.


Talking of facing prospects, what about the Crown Prosecution Service clamping down on online hate crime. Is racism actually illegal, then? Can hate be criminalised?  Will the CPS be able to pry right inside our brains?
Nick Robinson’s example of extreme hate was sending a Tweet to, say,  Luciana Berger, (as I believe someone did) saying: “Filthy. Jew. Bitch.”. (That wasn’t me saying it occifer, honest. I was just recounting wot Nick Robinson said) 

That’s quite hard to unpack. I mean all three words are fine, separately. It’s the three-word combination that makes it offensive. It’s not incitement to violence exactly. Can I take it that the most sensitive of the three is “Jew”? (makes it racist) Does this throw up any semantic obstacles to law enforcement?


‘No More Boys and Girls’. One minute they’re asking for positive discrimination in the workplace, next they’re insisting on gender-blindness. All that confusing stuff about boy toys and girl toys. Yet most trans “guy-to-gal” interviewees always seem to be telling us that they first realised they were in the wrong body because of their desire to wear a pretty dress. Contradictory messages? 


  1. This is the best commentary I have seen on the subject of the alt right / antifa.
    Ben Shapiro being crystal clear :


    If you haven't got time to watch the whole thing (which is a pretty good programme), skip to 28.35.
    The 3 minutes following consists of a nice little rant that sums up my own feelz.
    I wish the BBC would do this kind of journalism.

  2. Shapiro seems a bit confused. What's his point? He presumably agrees with free speech as a fan of "Americanism". That has perforce to be extended to white nationalists and all the other extremists.

    I am suspicious of anyone who uses the terms "Alt Right", as does Shapiro. He wants Trump to condemn this mythical beast "the Alt Right". It's been used by the Left and the MSM to beat up anyone and any idea they don't like - according to them Brexit, Gove, Johnson, UKIP, AMD Waters and Farage are all part of the Alt Right. Equally any Southerner who doesn't want a Confederate statue removed or their state flag changed, is "Alt Right". Likewise anyone in the UK anyone who doesn't want a statue of Cecil Rhodes removed in the UK (personally I'd happily have it removed) is in league with the Alt Right.

    I think Trump is right not to issue MSM-approved anathemas.

    You have to remember his rallies were subjected to targeted violence by the Left and Democrat-paid operatives. He has a right to be suspicious about the way they manage these things.

    1. So your argument is that the alt-right doesn't exist as an entity, and that the POTUS should not roundly condemn a bunch of guys walking around with torches shouting "blood and soil".
      Shapiro is not the one who is confused, he's way ahead of the coming curve.

    2. I am saying there is no "Alt Right" entity as used by the Left and MSM. Alt Right covers everything from KKK to UKIP, from National Socialists to Evangelical Christians, from racists to patriots, from pro-gay rights activists to anti-gay rights activists. It's an effusion of the liberal-left mindset and has at its heart a wish to suppress opinion and exterminate belief. Just to use the word is to play the Left-MSM game according to their playbook. As a matter of record and fact Trump did condemn White Nationalists and the KKK - just not on the terms the MSM and presumably you find acceptable.

  3. There's a difference between thoughts and deeds. Until the violence started from the Left, the neo-Numpties were demonstrating peacefully. There is no equivalence.

    1. I think this is the key. People seem to find it hard to understand the difference between being pro free speech - which means celebrating the ability of Narzees, Evangelicals, Scientologists, pro-Sharia activists and Communists (to name a few) to express their beliefs openly without fear of legal penalty - and being pro the various views expressed under free speech.

      We also need to get away from this idea that things can neatly be divided into "moderate" and "extreme". Moderate liberal capitalism as practised in the USA ends up with over two million people in prison, millions drug dependent and many sections of the population with third world levels of health care and health outcome. It has also meant continuous involvement in armed conflict for the last 100 years or so.

      One person's extremism is another person's moderation. Even in the UK, millions of citizens tell their co-citizens that voting for Brexit was an extreme move that has opened the floodgates of hate. I think that is an absurd, non-factual claim, but millions seem to believe it.

      Free speech is the only way to organise a fair society. A "fear speech" society of the type we are fast developing is going to be horrible.

    2. To respond to a couple of your points :

      "I am saying there is no "Alt Right" entity as used by the Left and MSM."

      Apparently there is. Perception is everything. It was crystalised in full colour the moment those morons decided that the best way to make
      their political point was to emulate 1932.

      What a bunch of cretins. Rendering themselves and their opinions impotent in the eyes of people who don't want civil wars. A stroke of
      pure genius, and only an evening's work.

      "Free speech is the only way to organise a fair society. A "fear speech" society of the type we are fast developing is going to be horrible."

      As there is no alt-right manifesto, and various intelligent right wing commentators have been putting oceans between themselves and the
      alt-right bunch for a few years, let's see who publicly stands up for these pituitary retards. Then we'll watch them be sliced and diced
      Because it's easy for the machine when you've shouted "blood and soil".

      Shouting "blood and soil" means you're a dickhead and the rest of your views become irrelevant very quickly. It really isn't rocket science.

      The root debate must not be about polarisation, it must be about making sense. There are much, much better ways to argue what needs to be

    3. Nazis, white nats and KKK have been doing this sort of thing in America every year,week in week out for decades. They did it under Obama, they did it under Clinton. They won't stop doing it just because Trump has condemned them.

      It's an irrelevance. The extreme right in the USA is miniscule. If you want to argue that Trump is "extreme right" then go ahead, but I don't agree he is. He was a New York Democrat a few years ago. He's quite liberal on social issues. He wants to follow a Keynesian economic policy of economic infrastructure.

      What he's done though is taken on the globalist ideology (no borders, asymmetric free trade agreements, PC multicuturalism and mass immigration). That's been enough for the globalist elite to set their media attack dogs and violent leftist mobs on him.

      Globalism is an extreme doctrine: by opposing borders and stable cultures, it creates unnecessary human misery and should be opposed.
      But to do so is to invite an unrelenting media onslaught.

  4. A statue of Brucee?
    In his knuckle to nose pose?
    Just opposite to the status of Hughie Green.
    Alongside the Bishop, whatever his name was.
    With a space for the sainted "Cur", Bob Geldorf.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.