I was puzzled by the Spectator’s decision to republish Douglas Murray’s piece about Owen Jones, which was first penned in August 2014, during Israel’s infamous retaliatory action against Hamas. A 4th anniversary, perhaps? Owen Jones was lying, plain and simple.
I can’t quite tell if the article has been updated, but not to worry, it’s still as pertinent as it was the first time around. Owen's steadfast refusal to acknowledge his mistake is a prime example of someone so blinded by an ideological obsession that “there is simply no evidence that will ever persuade (a conspiracy theorist) that he or she is wrong” as Melanie Phillips so eloquently put it in her unfortunate recent attempt to hoist herself with her own petard. ( I mentioned it yesterday, but I think I got away with it)
Never mind. Douglas Murray’s piece about Owen Jones led me (I’m a sucker for being led by stuff like that) to read littleOwen’s latest effort, particularly as it concerns “Tommy”. Unfortunately, not the deaf dumb and blind kid who sure plays a mean pinball, but another legend, namely one ex-EDL founder whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
I don’t know why people derive such satisfaction from uttering that name. Is it something about the “Yaxley” that gets them so angry? It does sound a bit exotic. But it’s “an English toponymic surname” derived from a place in Cambridgeshire. Or, is it the “Lennon”? It could be the effrontery of appropriating the hallowed name of a sainted Beatle.
Sometimes a middle name is included in the narrative, “Christopher”, uttered in implicitly scathing tones, as if to say “what? That low-life “tanning salonista*" Tommy Robinson is getting above himself with all those highfalutin double-barrel and unnecessary middle names?
(* Marina Hyde’s description; more of which later.)
So back to Owen Jones, whose piece is headed:
“The far right is at its strongest since the 1930s, and the media is helping" and tagged: The far right.
I’m not 100% sure whether this piece is a parody. It could be a “false flag” thing. But if you read it in a Stockport accent out of one side of your imaginary mouth as if you were Owen Jones, you’ll probably conclude it’s real. I’m not sure whether doing this makes the actual content more, or less ludicrous, but it’s probably genuine Owen, with the unintended comedic element, heightened by the portrait of the author, top right, with his school uniform-like outfit making him look even more prepubescent than usual.
Here’s the opening sentence:
“The far right is on the march, and it is being legitimised and enabled by parts of the mainstream media.”
On the march, eh? In all its goose-stepping glory. Who’ve we got?
Raheem Kassam, Piers Morgan, Steve Bannon, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg. (Hmm, what about Stephen Rees-Mogg? How would that sound? Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Rees-Mogg?) Farage and Oswald Mosley. Those were the bad guys.
The good guys are:
Possibly Nicola Sturgeon, Ash Sarkar (leftwing Muslim writer, since you ask) and last but not least Lady Sayeeda Warsi.
The piece itself mainly consists of ad homs, so it’s hardly worth Fisking. On the other hand, Marina Hyde’s piece, which is in a broadly similar vein, is positively beggin’ for it.
Her piece is headed:
The dark stars of the far right compete to bask in the glory of Tommy Robinson and oddly, tagged “Celebrity”
Her bad guys are:
Katie Hopkins, Raheem Kassam, Nigel Farage, Gerard Batten (UKip) Steve Bannon, Ezra Levant, Geert Wilders, Boris Johnson, Jacob rees-Mogg, Arron Banks.
So, a little more imaginative than Jones, but equally predictable. Not that I can personally boast unpredictability as a trait. In fact, as I start to Fisk, I’m reminded of that phrase “It takes one to know one” because I recognise the habit of using excessively emotive and disparaging language to express 'passion' in the most effective way possible because I do the same thing myself in my own bloggeringly amateurish way.
Marina Hyde does it with a vengeance. She has a list of scornful adjectives for the English Defence League founder, one of which I have already mentioned. Yes, it's ‘tanning salonista’. Apparently, he once had a tanning salon business. We’re talking ‘lowlife’ here - the kind of business the Kray twins might have. “Stone Island Roderick Spode” is an inference I’m less familiar with, but following the link provided I find Spode is one of PG Wodehouse’s parody fascists. Perhaps someone can help me with “Stone Island”. Let’s assume it’s not flattering.
Also from that link, a useful tip.
“Because this is the book in which Bertie Wooster teaches us one of the best and most effective ways of beating fascists: you stand up to them and you point out exactly how ridiculous they are.”
Must pocket that one. If only I knew an effective way to point out how ridiculous I find the whimpering of Owen Jones and Marina Hyde, when there are real, existential threats behind all this myopic left-wing Islamophillic apologia.
Anyway, alongside “salonista" and “Stone Island Roderick Spode” comes: “ a criminal in fact called Stephen”, “a narcissistic shit”, and “a thug”. So Marina doesn’t think much of celebrity Robinson.
A true Fisking involves demolishing an article paragraph by paragraph, but I don’t think we’ve got the space. I’d be up for it if I thought you had the appetite. But seeing as it’s the Guardian, maybe it’s outside the remit of this blog.
Marina has a few nicknames for the other characters too. Abu Hopkins, for instance, who thinks she’s “the Winnie Mandela to Robinson’s Nelson”. Geert Wilders is filed under “Eurotrash” and “Kassam is just a nebbishy shitposter”
As if trying to ingratiate herself with, I don’t know, people who use swear words with gay abandon, she introduces hers as if she wants her readers to think she’s a regular guy rather than a prudish snob. You know, to make like she’s getting on down with the shitposters.
(Nebbish - origin Yiddish; meaning - innocuous, ineffectual, weak, helpless or hapless unfortunate."
Shitposter? Urban dictionary, he say: “shitposter” - a person who regularly submits terrible or nonsensical posts to an internet forum. )
Gosh, that could be me.
Then there’s the bit about the mortgage fraud, where she scoffs at the idea of Tommy Robinson suffering mental torture and pretending to be a nebbishy wimp when he’s really a hardened criminal, and guilty of what she calls a “hefty” mortgage fraud. That’s really lazy journalism.
The trouble is, if you overlook the over-the-top disparagement, some of the stuff she says is perfectly true. You can’t argue with the bit about his weight loss. Why, if we all went on a diet of a tin of tuna and a piece of fruit per day, it would solve the world’s obesity crisis in a couple of months. But we wouldn’t choose to have to do so because we were shit-scared (see what I did there Marina) of being poisoned by those who were out to get us. As Marina says:
“And yet, his BMI seemed to me – how to put this? – rather healthier for a man of his stature than what he’d carried in a few months ago.”
I quite agree. His face did look decidedly gaunt, but he could easily have withstood the loss of another few pounds round the middle. He was hardly emaciated, and probably in better physical shape at the end of his ordeal than at the beginning.
I did think it was worth comparing this with certain comments about the apparent weight gain of poor imprisoned Ahed Tamimi while she was incarcerated in an Israeli prison, and evidently much more trusting of her jailers’ culinary abilities, despite being convinced that they're out to get her.
And of course, it’s true that Tommy Robinson is guilty of the Hello Magazine syndrome. Sorry, OK Magazine.
“Robinson is the sort of man who made sure a camera was on hand to record what you might think would have been the day’s most intensely private moment – his reunification with two of his young children – and promptly put the footage online. This is the EDL version of flogging your wedding to OK! magazine, and should be judged accordingly.”
However, this misses the point. Recording all this stuff is par for the course. It’s his MO. You might as well criticise the Kardashians for being "the sort of family" that makes sure a camera is on hand whenever they etc., etc. It’s part of the job. No, it’s not part of the job, it IS the job. Yes, it is a shame that the little boy was so upset, but there you go. Marina knows this because she says:
“packaging it, in order that the emotion might be immediately politicised is a helpful reminder of what you’re dealing with.”
And she has the answer, which seems to be: 'if you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen'.
“you shouldn’t keep nearly causing mistrials of child rapists then, should you? Once may be regarded as unfortunate; twice is a thug’s strategy to subvert justice.”
That’s one way of looking at it, “nearly” being the operative word, and not very far from saying “Don’t rock the boat” or “He had it coming”, or what was it Naz Shah reportedly said/shared/liked
“Rotherham sex abuse victims should ‘shut their mouths for the good of diversity’. If Tommy Robinson had kept his mouth shut, none of this bad stuff need have happened to him and his family.
Kind of short-sighted principle I think.
Now for something completely different. Different but exactly the same. From the Guardian to The Times. Here we have Janice Turner. Well, really! We ignore Tommy Robinson at our peril (£)
What is this “Peril?” (to sound rather like Tubbs.) Here we go again, and Janice is even more disparaging than Marina. She’s more left-wing, more Islamophillic, more contemptuous.
“the veneered smile of Robinson: the girlfriend-beating football thug and mortgage fraudster, too thick or arrogant to grasp contempt laws understood by any free-sheet trainee, who risked derailing complex trials and denying alleged rape victims justice.”
Wow. Veneered smile? Oh, does she mean the sparkling new teeth that replaced the natural ones, which he was separated from whilst in prison? How very narcissistic of this thug to have a veneered smile. I wonder if Janice does any gratuitous swearing.
“Robinson’s supporters do not care about his crimes, that their diamond geezer hero is really called Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and ran a sunbed shop.”
No, I don’t actually care that his real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon-Rees-Mogg any more than I care that Marina Hyde’s dad is called Sir Alastair Edgcumbe James Dudley-Williams. And, I don’t even care that this working-class lad ran a sunbed shop. (At least it’s not a tattoo parlour)
Why should I care about that? Why should anyone? Why does Janice Turner think we should?
It sounds quite enterprising. Would she rather he was on Job Seekers’ Allowance or universal credit? Would that be more honourable, d’you think?
He could throttle an imam on Luton high street and his YouTube hits — already between 400,000 and a million views per video — would only soar, his martyr myth burn brighter.
Why on earth would she say such a thing? It’s weird. I can’t even be bothered to go into it. Still, I didn’t quite get what the actual “Peril” is? I might have assumed it was Islam, but Janice Turner doesn’t see it that way. I think, for her, the peril is “right-wing populism.”
What is it about these people? Complaining that people turn a blind eye to mortgage fraud and other heinous crimes such as being in possession of a double-barrel surname when it’s they who are turning the deafest, dumbest and blindest eye to the creeping Islamisation of this rudderless Isle.