Wednesday 1 May 2019

I don't give a shit?

I haven’t been watching or listening to much Beeb lately, but sadly I did catch two of the most astonishing examples of BBCism over the last day or two. 

Number one was the Politics Live assault on Gerard Batten. The other was Nick Robinson’s bizarre interview with Ukip’s Stuart Agnew on the Today Programme. 

I’m not an avid Batten fan, but he has risen in my estimation due to his calm demeanour in the face of the outrageous treatment he’s been subjected to by people like Jo Coburn and various other media hacks - mostly women I think it’s safe to say.

No wonder he declined to appear on the Today Programme as Nick Robinson pointed out rather petulantly this a.m.

Jo Coburn wore a scowl of utter contempt as she interrogated him, not at all like her bemused and light-heartedly exasperated countenance when tussling with gorgeous George the other day, despite his downright rudeness.

The most remarkable feature of the press conference with Ukip, as well as interviews with Ukip people, is the total absence of any substantive argument forthcoming, from any interlocutor.  To a man (woman) it’s simply enough to bleat “the rape tweet” and “anti-Islam”.

What with Jo Coburn’s crass questioning and Lisa Nandy’s sanctimonious indignation about the ‘rape tweet’,  the interview was a total fiasco. What a waste of time. Lisa Nandy, whom I normally regard as one of the current Labour Party’s most reasonable (least unreasonable)  members, stubbornly refused to move past the “rape tweet” issue. Batten warned her that Benjamin was suing people for lying about the ‘rape tweet’,  which she took as a threat. 

Jo Coburn commanding Batten to provide an example of something Benjamin might say that would ‘cross the line’ was utterly ridiculous.

However, as far as I’m concerned Carl Benjamin has already crossed the line with his Holocaust remark. His PC-busting efforts are pretty indefensible as soon as one views them as anything other than the deliberate devices to get himself noticed he claims they are.

Personally, I do have a problem with the whole ‘rape’ fiasco because it’s almost as though he believed he was insulting Jess Phillips when he said he wouldn’t even rape her; as if she should be flattered by someone’s desire to rape her and insulted by his non-desire to do so. “Cos you’re (not) worth it,” so to speak. It’s as if he considers rape as, say, a possible last-resort resolution of unrequited sexual desire, rather than motivated by hate, anger, power and sadism, as it’s more commonly understood to be.  ("We had to resort to rape, as Dunkula quipped))

Of course the other offensive remark he made, which doesn’t seem to bother the media half as much as the rape thing, is the ‘I don’t give a shit” about the Holocaust. The fact that the media has shown no interest in that one is doubly disturbing.

The context seems to have been that he was criticising identity politics, which he hates - and who doesn’t despise an exploitative “asaJew?” - but by saying “Jews this” and “Jews that” - even if he’s kind of damning “the Jews” with faint praise - (they work hard, they’re clever, and they obviously haven’t been ‘held back’ etc etc) well, that in itself is “identity” based stuff in a nutshell. So saying he’s sorry about the Holocaust (oh, and thanks for the benevolence) but then to follow it with ‘I don’t give a shit’ is something else; and he hasn't convinced me that he only said it to ‘get himself noticed’ in the ‘innocent face’ way of his. Especially if you consider the rabid antisemitism that this remark has drawn out, online. And that’s from his fans and defenders.

We have an epidemic of antisemitism, which is coming from all directions. People should be far more vigilant. Seriously.

Nick Robinson excelled himself on the Today programme. Making some sort of weird whataboutery point involving Christianity. That was one of the most inappropriate responses to Ukip’s politically incorrect anti-Islamness that I’ve ever heard. Nil points, Nick. The complaint about Gerard Batten having the temerity to decline an invitation to come along and be harangued about Carl Benjamin’s infamous rape tweet was the icing on a very stale and unappetising cake.


  1. Monkey Brains1 May 2019 at 23:51

    Re Coburn the Barbarian's "scowl of utter contempt"...this is one area where you could scientifically test bias. You could take all the reaction shots from a Coburn interview with Batten and then do the same with a Coburn interview with, say, I don't know, Stella Creasy. Then show those two sets of reaction shots to a 100 people and ask "How do you score each set on a scale of positive to negative reactions 1-10, 1 being negative?" It would be an interesting exercise!

    Coburn would never accept a government press release as the final word on anything so why does she accept the LGA press release as the final word on anything, particularly as the LGA is controlled by UKIP's political enemies? Also anyone who knows anything about council or social housing allocation knows that being a veteran counts for very little however much "it is taken into account". Batten was right on that.

    As I said on another thread, Carl Benjamin has grown in stature for me during this campaign. I never really much rated him before - I didn't like the crass, sweary videos he used to make. He now has to accept there are a lot of chickens coming home to roost but he is doing so with good grace.

    CB's specific ways of expressing himself may not be defensible, but I don't think that he's claiming that groups in society don't have identity. As far as the UK goes, he is probably right to say that our Jewish citizens earn more, are better educated and contribute more to society than the average. I think what he's pointing to is the danger of building politics on group identity. That then simply becomes a numbers-and-influence game.

    Jewish people in the UK are probably already outnumbered 10-1 by Muslims. Politicians see votes when they close their eyes. This is where the danger lies.

    That's why we ended up with the egregious Warsi propelled to political superstardom in a matter of months, thanks to Cameron's amoral vote snaffling.

    Then when it comes to influence, we have billionaire Arab oligarchs wielding huge power in the UK through their purchase of shares in media outlets, donations to academia and control of charities.

    Identity politics is like a corrosive acid in the way it works on a society. Once you take the top of the bottle and start pouring it in there is no end to the damage it will do.

    I agree there is an epidemic of anti-semitism and it is to be traced primarily to the rise of the Far Left and mass immigration into this country of people committed to an ideology that is based on anti-semitism (or, more accurately, anti-Judaism) as one of its founding tenets. Yes the internet has enabled a revival of old fashioned Far Right anti-semitism, 30s style, but I really don't think that's where the big threat is.

    On the other thread I called for an Orbanista "revolution" here. As Orban says, about the safest place to be Jewish in Europe now is Hungary. That's a sad statement but also probably an accurate one. The fact we have the leader of one of our two great political parties endorsing anti-semitism through his own words, through forewords to books, through praise for vile propaganda art and through friendly relations with explicitly anti-semitic organisations is a mark of great shame upon our nation.

  2. Like MB I'm not keen on 'sweary' videos but the BBC has been normalising that in its 'comedy' for years now so they are to be expected.
    Doesn't 'caring about the holocaust' sit on an axis that extends at one end into virtue signalling? What does 'caring' mean anyway? What was done was done and those involved are now very few in number.
    Jordan Peterson for one has argued that most of us would be 'camp guards', its the easy option. The modern day Twitter mobs demonstrate that. The real lesson of history is think for oneself and take responsibilty for one's own actions.
    Another lesson, a more difficult one, is that forgiveness is the better way, without that the hatred consumes oneself. Perhaps Carl Benjamin too has tribal connections to the holocaust but has chosen to 'move on'?

  3. Monkey Brains2 May 2019 at 01:41

    Forgiveness is in the gift of the victims, of that I am sure, not anyone else. Indulging in involuntary proxy forgiveness is just plain wrong.

    I wouldn't agree that "forgiveness is the better way". I am not even convinced you think that. You might just be taking the p.

    The doctrine of "compulsory forgiveness" seems to me very much part of modern piety. I think you are wrong to equate "not forgiving" with "hatred".

    I might not forgive the person who stole my car. It doesn't mean I hate them, or want them to suffer some awful revenge or even that I think there might not be a rational explanation for why they ended up stealing my car. But it might mean I don't think it's right to forgive someone for doing something bad when other people don't give in to the temptation to do something bad.

  4. "I wouldn't agree that "forgiveness is the better way". I am not even convinced you think that. You might just be taking the p.
    I absolutely think it is the better way. The alternative is that the injury just festers and does even more harm to the victim. Having said that I don't think it is an easy thing to do.
    Taking your example of the car thief, they 'serve their time' and society draws a line under their punishment but when does the victim cease to grieve? (I think that is a good word, a death can't be undone but ultimately 'life goes on', whilst acknowledging that there is a scale here, the 'victim' can't be expected to jump from one end to the other. There is no compulsion here).
    I am not a Jew. My predjudice, based on the few that I have known is that they are good people with a moral and philosophical position that I have admired.
    I am not a theologian either but I have heard it said that forgiveness is central to Christianity, the 'new' message that Christ brought to the Jews. I have heard Rabbis dispute that though.
    Should African-Americans keep playing the slave card, or should they finish school and get a job? Should Jews keep playing the holocaust card? I am 'outside' both issues, but what would a friend to those that are 'inside' advise, especially when those 'inside' are at least on step removed? Your father might not find himself able to forgive the theft of his car but should you carry that feeling on into your life? Moral choices aren't easy, if they were they wouldn't be moral choices.

    1. The most remarkable example of Christian magnanimity I can think of was from Gordon Wilson, having lost his precious daughter Marie in the Enniskillen bombing in the cruellest way imaginable. His immediate, unconditional forgiveness astonished the world.
      I have lost my daughter, and we shall miss her. But I bear no ill will. I bear no grudge. Dirty sort of talk is not going to bring her back to life.”

      Forgiveness, if you can manage it, is undoubtedly better (for all concerned) than being consumed by bitterness for the rest of your life. However, forgiveness is quite separate from forgetfulness. “Never again” is not bitterness. It’s a lesson.

      I’m not trying to be confrontational, but never mind your analogies with car theft and playing ‘the slave card’ - or if you like, ‘the Holocaust card’. (A trivialising and offensive term)

      The point has less to do with “drawing a line” or “moving on” than learning the appropriate salutary lesson from the past.

      Writers and artists have created a wealth of Holocaust-related material that illustrates the depth and reach of Jew-hate and its consequences, so ignorance is no defence.

      In this particular case, Carl Benjamin was trying to puncture our current pc hell, which was originally born from good intentions. I get that.

      Being “sorry” about the Holocaust might seem like virtue signalling to an ignoramus, (and I don’t think CB is one at all) but he should have foreseen the inevitable outcome of bragging that he doesn’t give a shit about it would open the Pandora’s box of Jew-hating fans that he would be far better off without.

    2. Monkey Brains2 May 2019 at 15:40

      I agree with all you write - forgiving is not forgetting. I would add that not forgiving (or if you prefer "continuing to condemn") is not the same as "being bitter". You can refuse to forgive and be bitter but you can also refuse to forgive and live your life as you please, without bitterness. That's kind of Stoicism, as a philosophy.


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