Richard Seymour: an apology

March 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm (blogosphere, Champagne Charlie, insanity, Ireland, terror, twat)

In a previous posting, I may have inadvertently conveyed the impression that I regard Mr Richard “Lenin” Seymour as the biggest twat and charlatan presently at large on the web. I now fully accept that this allegation is false, erroneous and entirely misleading. I apologise unreservedly to Mr Seymour and his family for any distress caused by this entirely false and irresponsible allegation.

I now acknowledge that Mr Seymour is a profound, learned and thoughtful commentator…compared with this insane basket case (on the subject of whether pizza delivery boys are “legitimate targets”):

By any reasonable definition, they were supplying the army and so indeed were collaborators with the occupation forces.How is it even arguable they weren’t?

And I have read, whether reported accurately or not, that ‘dissident’ Republicans have the support of 300 or 400.

Who knows whether this is correct or not (but you wouldn’t find me just repeating the official line – “a hardcore of a few dozen activists, almost nothing by way of a wider base, and little access to either finance or serious munitions”. It was stated on Newsnight last night, that Crown forces had recovered a sophisticated 300lb bomb from ‘dissident’ republicans recently). If there are 300 or 400 supporters that’s more than some left Groups operating across the whole of Britain.

112 Comments

  1. Rosie said,

    SPP, the Tarantino Tendancy.

  2. Jim Denham said,

    Hak Mao – as usual – gets it right:

    “Would you like death with that?

    “Thick-headed feudal tribalist criminal scum have claimed responsibility for the attack which left two soldiers dead and four other people, including two pizza delivery workers, seriously injured. One of the pizza workers was a Polish migrant, who almost certainly shared the same — nominal — confessional affiliation as his attackers. He is critically ill – a reward for his McJob “collaborating with British rule” by serving British soldiers. The other pizza worker is a lad of 19, shot for going to work.

    “The ‘Real’ IRA, foolishly dignified by some as ‘republican dissidents’, are a criminal organisation every bit as disgusting and depraved as their analogs, the shaven-headed no-neck ‘loyalist paramilitary’ thugs. All of these demented, gun-toting, first division fuckwits have been overwhelmingly rejected by the people of Northern Ireland in favour of a political settlement, a people which does not wish to return to the years of barbarism.

    ★ Posted on 8 March, 2009 by hakmao | No Comments”

  3. badnewswade said,

    Heh – Lenin’s wibbling on about patriarchy now. That’s right – a lecture on PATRIARCHY! From the guy whose party described feminism as a “shibboleth” and reckons Islamist loons are some kind of socialist revolutionaries.

  4. Southpawpunch said,

    Jim Denham, when blood/alcohol level under 10.

    http://www.jimdenham.com (“The Weird World of Jim”)

  5. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Is this obsession with Lenin’s Tomb not just a little wierd? There is already a blog called ‘Lenin’s Tomb Watch’ run by a very sad todger-tugger. Is this aimed at the same market?

    SPP’s stuff on Pizza delivery boys is pretty stupid and moralistic. If Pizza delivery boys are ‘collaborators’, how about the local shopkeeper who sells a soldier a loaf of bread? The possiblities are endless … and endlessly foolish. In any case, there is, in terms of the masses, a situation of civil peace in the six counties at this time – there is no boycott of those British soldiers who remain and the dissident republicans do not have the mass base to declare one. Let alone enforce it by shooting people. Punishing people who break a non-existent boycott is elitist, harsh, brutal and simply wrong.

    But at least this is (idiot) moralism from SPP, not straghtforward depravity. Unlike the filth posted by at least one of the Zionists on this site who blamed Palestinian kids who got killed in Gaza for their own deaths (‘If you will go out cycling in a war zone…’ – said this ‘decent’ in a recent discussion here – the ‘war zone’ being the place where they lived).

    There are no posts lampooning this kind of disgusting ‘blame the victims’ attack on innocent Arab children here. Its not a priority here to lampoon murderous Zionist pigs – just to prove the fealty of the likes of Champagne Charlie to the ‘war on terror’ by lampooning the moralistic excesses of some on the far left.

    Mote and beam, as they say.

  6. John Meredith said,

    Blimey, Wally, that was quick, changing the subject back to those damn Jews, sorry, ‘Zionists’, again. Still, at least you don’t actually come out and blame them for these murders.

    Talk about idee fixe.

  7. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist. Quite a few of the rabid Zionists on this site are not Jewish, many of the anti-Zionists who they denounce are Jewish.

    But keep circling the wagons.

  8. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    And by the way, shooting the British soldiers is not a crime, though in current conditions it is certainly stupid. Shooting the Pizza boys is a crime – because they are neither combatants nor guilty of any crime. This is an elementary distinction that neither side in this argument (SPP vs Charlie and his mates) seem able to make.

  9. Sue R said,

    Sorry, Willy, I’m a member of the indecent left. One of the soldiers killed was actually of Turkish origin (lived down the road to me, in Wood Green), the local paper reported that he was considering settling in Northern Ireland with his girlfriend once his tour of duty had finished. Do you think he should not have been allowed to do so? As for the remark about sending your kids out to play in a war zone. Please, if that’s what you want to do for yours (if you have any), by all means do so, I however, prefer to protect mine. Just as I don’t encourage them to play on railway lines or stick forks into electrical sockets.

  10. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Ah, poor dears. This material is posted on this site, and no-one is allowed to talk about it. And Sue R pipes up like Myra Hindley to once again groove over the deaths of children in Gaza. Left she certainly ain’t. Indecent she is. Weep for the soldiers, mock the dead children of Gaza who shockingly thought they were allowed to play in a war zone called the Gaza strip.

  11. John Meredith said,

    “This material is posted on this site, and no-one is allowed to talk about it. ”

    You are allowed to Wally (a surprising degree of self-knowledge shown in the choice of name, by the way) but it is very odd that you feel the need to talk about it when the subject is the murder of pizza delivery boys in NI. The Jewish (sorry, must remember: ‘Zionist’) tentacles can’t reach everywhere, you know.

  12. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    More wagons circling. No attempt to deal with the issues raised, just feeble innuendo as a substitute. The fact is that Sue R posts here mocking child victims of the Gaza massacre for ‘playing out in a war-zone’ when the whole of the Gaza Strip was a war zone and kids were actually no safer indoors than playing outside on bikes. The IDF deliberately killed kids that were playing outside and those in their own bedrooms. Yet there is no main posting excoriating her as ‘insane’.

    That is reserved for stiff-necked ultralefts like SPP. This is about gross double standards and an enormous dirty great pot calling a tiny little kettle black. If some find me pointing this out, or drawing connections between what people say about Northern Ireland and the Middle East (of course, there are no overlapping issues there, are there?), objectionable, then tough.

  13. John Meredith said,

    “More wagons circling. No attempt to deal with the issues raised, just feeble innuendo ”

    Wally, the subject here is the murder of pizza delivery boys in Northern Ireland, it really should surprise you that nobody is much interested in denouncing the filthy Jew (sorry, my bad, must remember: ‘zionist’).

  14. John Meredith said,

    should ‘not’, surprise you, natch

  15. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    You are obsessed with the ‘Jew’, aren’t you? You’ve spat the word out like a Gestapo officer three times now. Careful, people will think you are a Nazi.

  16. John Meredith said,

    “You are obsessed with the ‘Jew’, ”

    ‘Zionist’, Wally. Concentrate! We don’t want to let the cat out of the bag!

  17. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    No skin off my nose that you look pathetic.

  18. maxdunbar said,

    I’m going to delete Wibbly’s constant off topic ramblings about Zionists on any of my future posts.

    Just to save you effort WW.

  19. Sue R said,

    You’re confused, I was not mocking those poor children, I was exasperated with their parents FOR ALLOWING THEM TO GO OUT CYCLING DURING A BOMBARDMENT. Or, was there no bombardment, was it an isolated incident? Were they just in the wrong place at the wrong time? You can say that it is their right as small adventourous boys residing in the Gaza Strip to cycle where they want, but, unfortunately, there are risks, acceptable or unacceptable you decide. No idea whether the IDF ‘deliberately killed’ Palestinian children wherever they could find them. Can you cite your evidence. If true, it is rather shocking, so I think you owe it to us to show us how you know this fact.

  20. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Go ahead. There is nothing ‘off topic’ about my postings on this thread.

    Its the criticism of hypocrisy you find objectionable.

  21. Sue R said,

    By the way, Wally, better dead than christian.

  22. maxdunbar said,

    Wibbly

    This post is about Northern Ireland.

  23. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    And therefore no comparisons are allowed with analogous situations anywhere else in the world. Even with the Middle East where there are quite a few similarities and common issues. Are we going to extend this method to other topics?

    For instance, on a post on the miners strike, are we no longer allowed to refer to the experience of any other strike, anywhere, at any time?

    If that is the way discussions are restricted, it makes a mockery of discussion.

    No, I repeat, this is not about ‘off topic’ posting, it is because hypocrisy has been exposed and some people do not like that. My postings were within the framework of the topic.

  24. maxdunbar said,

    Oh yeah, I’m sure there was loads of discussion about the similarities with the Six-Day War on the picket lines in ’85.

  25. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    “Can you cite your evidence. If true, it is rather shocking, so I think you owe it to us to show us how you know this fact.”

    Try the Palestinian doctor whose teenage daughters were murdered in their own bedroom while he was talking to an Israeli TV station, live on air. A guided missile was fired through their bedroom window – it blew them into fragments. That’s just one of many occurences.

    But you know this already .. anyone who watches the news knows this. And you mock kids who play on bikes, or blame their parents? Comment is superfluous.

  26. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Deliberate obfuscation. There have been lots of discsussions about the Middle East in Northern Ireland due to some obvious overlapping issues.

    Now you’re trolling your own blog. And again, you look silly. No skin off my nose.

  27. John Meredith said,

    “No, I repeat, this is not about ‘off topic’ posting2

    Of course not. Two boys murdered in Northern Ireland? How can it be off toipic to talk about the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza. After all, behind every atrocity, if we just squint hard enough and turn our heads sideways, we can always spot a … er … zionist! (See! I’m getting the hang of it Wally!)

  28. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    No, of course, we’re not allowed to talk about the hypocrisy of those who condemn killings by some two-bit bunch of irregulars while excusing much worse by states they support. That is strictly forbidden and completely off-topic, and will be banned by the thought police.

  29. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    The choice of who to lampoon is political. SPP is attacked as ‘insane’ while far worse pathology among regulars here goes unlampooned.

    If Sue R had been the subject of a similarly prominent all-out attack for her callousness – which I would argue springs from racism, whereas SPP’s springs from macho ultraleftism – I might have adopted a different tone.

    But carry on with the innuendos. They’re no skin off my nose, they only damage those who make them.

  30. Southpawpunch said,

    The only idiots (and there are a few) above are those such as Wally Wibblywellies. Are pizza delivery boys,suppliers of cigarettes ‘collaborators’ – can anyone argue that the word does not apply; I am ‘collaborating’ with this website in replying to its libel, despite the pro-imperialist politics of Shiraz Socialist.

    But do I support the actions of the Continuity IRA? In true Stalinist style, Champagne Charlie cuts my comment. The original reads –

    “Whether I personally even just think that, or not, is no longer answerable. It is a thought crime and outlawed because of the British censorship laws, … I wouldn’t currently be arguing to a return to the war. “

  31. twoseventwo said,

    The comment was reproduced in full, as you surely know and anyone can check. The passage you quote comes from a completely different one. For the life of me I can’t see what you were trying to do here.

  32. charliethechulo said,

    “In true Stalinist style, Champaign Charlie cuts my comments.” I would call SPP a liar, but I seriously think we may be dealing with mental health issues here. As ‘twoseventwo’ notes, SPP’s comment on Dave’s blog was quoted in full. The additional bit he refers to must come from a different comment, that I haven’t yet even seen. If I intended to misrepresent SPP I wouldn’t have been so stupid as to have provided a link, so that readers can check for themselves…

  33. Jim Denham said,

    SPP: thanks or telling me about the “Weird World of Jim” that appears with my name attached: http://www.jimdenham.com (”The Weird World of Jim”)

    I’m obviously doing this in my sleep, and then waking up without any recollection. It would make a good short story or ‘noir’ – type film, wouldn’t it?

  34. Southpawpunch said,

    Fine, I made a mistake in that it wasn’t the same comment, but another one slightly further up (or down) the page – which make very little difference.

    The omission of my other comment shows how mendacious was your manipulating of what I said in relation to the violence in Ireland.

    And there’s something subhuman like in those who respond to someone making a cogent argument (as opposed to saying they are Jesus etc) by suggesting they are mentally ill – it’s a nasty fabrication (not that being mentally ill is ‘nasty’, of course) and also suggests a bias towards those who actually do have mental health problems.

    @ Denham Yes, P.D.O.A (Politically Dead on Arrival). Scenes open with our hero going to report a political murder at a police station – his own.Over the next 24 hours we see that our hero finally realises that he has slipped completely into the arms of reaction, maybe years ago – politically dead. The only question is – who held the knife. The obvious candidate is Sean but I suspect femme fatale, Jane.

  35. Futurecast said,

    Well this is a start!!

    Maybe now you’ll stop reffering to those on the left with different ideas as ‘tossers’ and ‘wankers’. Maybe people can start to take you seriously.

  36. SP said,

    SPP comment 37

    The last sentence is entirely inappropriate given the even I have been to in Manchester tonight – site owners please delete and/or SPP withdraw and apologise.

  37. Southpawpunch said,

    @Futurecast.

    If that comment refers to me, then please give an occasion when I have used these terms – which either, I don’t think, exists or will be very rare but nonetheless would also be rather different – no one take such a description to be meant literally but as another word for ‘nasty’ etc.

    Calling someone ‘mad’ for what they argue is ok, in that you are saying their arguments are very wrong or stupid; alleging someone has ‘mental health issues’ is very different.

  38. Southpawpunch said,

    SP, I honestly don’t understand what your comment is referring to at all.

  39. Jane said,

    OOhhh,SPP seems still to smart from the wounds of 25 years ago. Good -long may he contine to remember his humiliatons.

  40. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    SPP:

    “The only idiots (and there are a few) above are those such as Wally Wibblywellies. Are pizza delivery boys,suppliers of cigarettes ‘collaborators’ – can anyone argue that the word does not apply; I am ‘collaborating’ with this website in replying to its libel, despite the pro-imperialist politics of Shiraz Socialist.”

    Foolish argument. The term ‘collaborator’ in the context of the Six Counties implies that they got what they deserved. Which is of course what RIRA itself said. There is no ‘revolutionary’ principle that obliges anyone to defend this attack on ordinary workers. They were not accidentally caught in the crossfire, but deliberately targetted, as the term ‘collaborators’ implies. It is foolish, and very defensive, to deny that this is what was meant. Why defend an anti-working class, elitist act?

    Futurecast:

    “Maybe now you’ll stop reffering to those on the left with different ideas as ‘tossers’ and ‘wankers’. Maybe people can start to take you seriously.”

    Maybe Futurecast should take this up with those who run this blog. Have a look at the keywords at the top of this posting: such as ‘insanity’ and ‘twat’.

  41. Southpawpunch said,

    At Dave’s part you get a lot of rightwing rubbish but at least you generally understand what they are on about. Here the political colour is similar but that’s now a few posts that may, as far as I know, only make sense in an obscure Hittite dialect.

  42. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    SPP’s just shocked at coming across criticism of his silliness from the left on a blog where most of the flak comes from the right. Not everyone who posts here is a right pro-imperialist arse, though quite a few are.

  43. Southpawpunch said,

    Wally – your compass is defective or its direction its deviating from true by your standing alongside the cold steel of imperialism, as commentators from my right, such as yourself, are prone to do.

    They were considered, by the shooters and by myself, as ‘collaborators’ .Whether the action of the shooters was correct, I refuse to be drawn although I did note “I wouldn’t currently be arguing to a return to the war. “

  44. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    In what way is criticising the deliberate shooting of pizza delivery workers ‘standing alongside the cold steel of imperialism’? Partcularly if you make clear that the shooting of the actual operatives of imperialism, i.e. the soldiers, was not a crime (see post #8 above?).

    I’ve always considered that the real content of ultraleftism is rightist, and amounts to a fear of dealing with complex realities concretely lest one ends up joining the right-wing bastards whose fate one fears. Concretely, SPP fears that if he rationally criticises anti-working class actions such as RIRA’s deliberate shooting of the pizza lads, he will end up like Jim Denham.

  45. paul m said,

    Is McGuiness a collaborator?. Is the electrician fixing the local police station up a collaborator?

    You’re a sick joke SPP.

  46. Wibbly Wallywellies said,

    I took an afternoon nap and had my first proper dream about defeating the Jew. Now I am complete. I cannot describe the emotion, his face, the blood. Mere words insult the sensations. Soon the dream must become reality.

    Oh god, I wish I had a girlfriend.

  47. Jim Denham said,

    I’m getting confused by all the Willies being waved round here.

  48. Rosie said,

    I’m getting confused by all the Willies being waved round here.

    Thanks a bunch, Jim. That is imagery I can do without.

  49. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    The juvenile at comment #50 feebly arsing about and trying to pass off his rantings as by me should be made to wear a badge saying:

    “How dare you presume I’m heterosexual”

    Cos he obviously thinks ‘having’ (possessing?) a ‘girlfriend’ is the mark of a ‘real’ man.

    Quite a lot of the human race do not share the sexual orientation he regards as so essential to being accepted as fully human by the likes of him.

    His sexism and implied heterosexism is fitting for someone who so liberally throws around the word ‘cunt’ as a substitute for political debate.

    Its also not suprising that this kind of sexism should be expressed among people some of whom freely express other kinds of chauvinism, and are often applauded here for doing so.

    Obviously, from his previous appearances, he thinks I’m a ‘cunt’ (that is, in some way effiminate and associated with female genitals) and can’t therefore be a member of the elite of ‘real’ men like himself. Not that he knows me from Adam.

    Why are female genitals associated with things unpleasant by some men? Does this not reveal much about their deep-seated misogyny? Perhaps if this blog didn’t encourage this by pubicly labelling people it doesn’t like ‘twats’ then this kind of excresence would not happen.

    This is not my problem, by the way. Its yours. If you want to gain a reputation for encouraging misogyny, then carry on tolerating this. This blog has some positive features that point in a different direction … including its defence of the rights of sex-workers…which is its saving grace. But this points in a very nasty direction.

  50. Jim Denham said,

    I honestly don’t think that those comments were intended to refer to your sexuality (whatever it may be -which is of no interest to me, or anyone else on this site), Willy: merely to you being a sad, obsessive twat.

  51. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Obviously it’s of interest to our juvenile friend or he wouldn’t have said what he said.

    Amazing how you casually excuse sexism and then yourself use a term for female genitals as a term of abuse. Don’t you see anything wrong with that?

  52. Jim Denham said,

    No

  53. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Fine. Try using that kind of language in a trade union meeting. You would soon be called to order. And rightly so.

  54. Southpawpunch said,

    @Denham, this post, about me, has frankly turned into a toe-curling embarrasment that is heading for who knows where.

    Would you mind retitling it as ‘things we get up to on a boring Fri night here at SS’, or similar, and remove all mentions of myself.

    It’s like a match between Torquay United and Hartlepool where you don’t give a monkeys (hmm – am i simianist here?) which of the losers win.

    I knew there was a good reason I rarely visited Shiraz Socialist – there must be half a dozen of those reasons above

  55. Wibbly Wallywellies said,

    God I wish I had a sexual partner. Of any kind. Even a Jew would do.

    OK, anybody bar a Jew.

  56. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Ah, our juvenile friend is attempting to correct himself.

    Sexist epithets are welcome on this blog. Actual anti-semitism .. the real item that is not the invented smear … is also welcome here, providing those posting it use false names to try to decieve people into believing it is someone else’s work.

    What’s next I wonder? Will our friend post overt racist epithets about Jews, blacks or anyone else he cares to abuse, under a username designed to resemble mine? And will Jim Denham make excuses for that as well?

    Our friend is the logical conclusion of the AWL’s fake denunciation of others on the left for ‘anti-semitism’. If you can’t provide an iota of evidence of it, concoct it yourself and sign it with a false name to make it look like your opponent’s work!

    No skin off my nose. This only discredits those who run this blog. Anyone with a half a brain can spot that this is a juvenile Denham groupie or other tolerated ‘decent’ lumpen.

    Thank you my friendly juvenile imposter. You’ve made my point for me in an slightly novel way. Good night and pleasant dreams 😉

  57. Wibbly Wallywellies said,

    What a performance by me yesterday! You may think twice before sitting beside me on a bus, but I know how to dominate and subdue a blog.

  58. Jim Denham said,

    Re:use of the word “twat”: I wouldn’t use it in a trade union meeting, but i have no objection in principle to its use in general conversation. As a matter of fact, I did a year or so ago, object to the use of the word “cunt” in a meeting of Birmingham Trades Council, by one Bill Golding, a semi-geriatric Stalinist and anti-semite on the Exec of the Trades Council at the time.

  59. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    ‘Twat’ has exactly the same meaning as ‘cunt’. You wouldn’t use it in a trade union meeting? Good. Well a socialist internet forum like this is supposed to embody a higher level of political consciousness than a trade union meeting – but there are good reasons why such language is anathema in TU meetings. It is oppressive. It should be doubly beyond the pale in a socialist forum, because oppressive language and sexist-tinged abuse is anti-socialist.

    And how can you object to the use of the word ‘cunt’ in political discourse, when you frequently use ‘twat’? Total hypocrisy.

    Our juvenile friend is whinging about me ‘dominating and subdueing’ this blog. Well, if that were true,which I doubt, this can only be done by arguing politics. All he has done is post racist abuse (and a little bit of childish sexism to boot) under a phoney name designed to resemble the one I use.

    But anyone with half a brain can see that it is not me posting this crap, so it just brings discredit on this blog as one where its own supporters post racist and sexist rubbish under false names to try to smear others. If you want to acquire that kind of reputation, be my guest.

    Maybe if he tried arguing politics he might actually get somewhere.

  60. Jim Denham said,

    Wally: it’s necessary to deal in subtleties, nuances and degrees here: for instance, the term “berk” actually means the same as “cunt” (which, in turn, actually means the same as “twat”), but is a term generally considered quite moderate and inoffensive… language used in officially Chaired labour movement meetings will naturally, and quite properly be more constrained than what is allowed on a blog like this. I see no problem with that. Why do you?

  61. maxdunbar said,

    I’m laughing out loud at all this.

  62. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Well, I never knew ‘berk’ meant that, and I suspect most people are unaware of that also. Apparently looking it up, its a bit of abbreviated rhyming slang that has morphed into something obscure and inoffensive because of being abbreviated. Such things rapidly lose their original connotation and become innocuous. If it were currently used as a synonmyn for womens genitals I would object to that as well.

    ‘Twat’ is really not innocuous, it does have a current sexual connotation and is currently used as a direct synonymn for vagina. That’s why its objectionable.

    And these blogs are public forums just as much as officially chaired labour movement meetings. In some ways more so – they leave a record and can be re-read at will. We should not be too prissy about heated debate and the odd ‘fuck’, ‘bastard’ or whatever should not raise too many eyebrows because these days they do not mean much. But if we use feminine attributes as a term of abuse, and indeed among the most foul terms of abuse, what does that say about our committment to women’s equality? If we officially encourge that, as the keyword above this post does, then doubly so.

  63. Jim Denham said,

    Wally: “Well, I never knew ‘berk’ meant that”.

    My point, entirely.

  64. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Indeed. And my point is that most people, including you, know exactly what ‘twat’ means.

  65. Rosie said,

    “Twat” seems to have got divorced from its original meaning, and is now just a general term of abuse. Does anyone actually use the word “twat” to mean “vagina”? I think because it sounds a bit like the very mild term of abuse “twit” it has become more innocuous.

    Though I hate the word “cunt” as a term of abuse I don’t think the people who are using it are sexist – women use it as well. I just think they are fairly horrible. It still has the force of the most forbidden word. In the way of these things, it will go the way of “twat”.

    It’s only when the word “cunt” is used as a synonym for “women” that it becomes sexist. “Don’t swear, there’s cunt about,” men would say, meaning, “Don’t swear in front of women.”

    My definition of sexist language is language where you use terms specifically aimed at women. Stupid bitch, stupid cow, stupid old hag, silly bint are some that come to mind.

    BTW the false WWW is not a good parody of the real WWW and isn’t funny either. I wish s/he would stop doing those posts.

  66. maxdunbar said,

    I really like the fake Wibbly. I think s/he should do a guest post.

    The real Wibbly’s hysterical tangent about sexist language is misleading. As Rosie says very few people use the words ‘cunt’ or ‘twat’ to mean ‘female vagina’, it’s just a general insult.

  67. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    In my experience, ‘twat’ is used quite frequently as a term for vagina. It does sound a bit like ‘twit’ but you will frequently find it in various kinds of sexual material, alternating with ‘cunt’, ‘pussy’ and similar terms. I’ve never head ‘berk’ used in that way, ever.

    It do think there is a sexist connotation in use of these terms for both women and men. With women it obvious – the woman is simply equated with her genitals.

    With men, its something slightly more subtle – it implies ‘he’s not a real man’, he has womanly attributes and that makes him bad, etc. It still has a sexist logic, just at one remove.

    That’s how I’ve always understood it, anyway.

  68. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    If its such a hysterical tangent, why are people like Denham arguing at length about it? Answer – because this sort of thing is taken seriously in the labour movement and goes down like a lead balloon particularly in the trade unions – and not just the more progressive ones.

    Anyone with any experience or connection to the labour movement knows that.

  69. voltairespriest said,

    What a load of piffle. The word “cunt” is a highly effective insult precisely because of its shock value – nothing is more guaranteed to upset the secretary of the local WI than such a word. It’s no more endemically “oppressive” than any other word, the point is the context in which it is used. As Rosie said, it’s simply nonsense to claim that most people who use the word these days are referring to female genitalia, any more than when they call someone “posh” they are referring to Port Out Starboard Home. When they use the word “cunt”, they just mean that they really really disapprove of or dislike the individual to whom they’re referring. Like the word, dislike it, use it or don’t – I should care. But don’t invent a hierarchy of oppression amongst swear-words which is simply a false excuse for some left-wing version of parochial moralism.

    And of course words like that aren’t used in union meetings, any more than there’s a section devoted to throwing cakes at each other, or dressing up as clowns. It’s not appropriate to a meeting. A blog isn’t a meeting though, and anyone who seriously thinks that blog comments boxes are “higher fora for debate” than the organs of the labour movement, has a funny idea of how politics works IMO.

  70. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    “The word “cunt” is a highly effective insult precisely because of its shock value – nothing is more guaranteed to upset the secretary of the local WI than such a word. It’s no more endemically “oppressive” than any other word, the point is the context in which it is used.”

    Indeed, it will upset the secretary of the local WI. Not because its ‘naughty’ — members of the WI even do nudie calendars these days. But because its misogynistic abuse.

    No doubt you think racial abuse and epithets are no big problem either.

    The reason such language is anathema in working class organisations is because it is oppressive, just as much as racial epithets are oppressive. Simply look at the rules of order or discipilinary codes of most unions, that makes it very clear. I support such things, do you?

    I have no objection to the use of the word ‘cunt’ to describe the vagina, by the way, or to the ‘cunt’ monologues, or anything like that. I’ve got no sympathy for prudishness and I am hostile to anti-sex forms of ‘radical’ feminism for that reason.

    But using ‘cunt’ or similar words to denigrate people is oppressive just as much as racial epithets are.

    And I didn’t say that blog comments boxes in general are higher forums than trade union meetings. I said that socialist discussion forums (whether on-line or off-line), should be repositories of higher political consciousness than you would find in a trade union meeting (or on-line forum). You should be less likely to find racism, sexism, homophobia. etc among socialists than you would among trade unionists who embody all kinds of non-socialist politics as well. This is elementary. If trade unions are more advanced and progressive on these matters than the left then the left really is dead in the water.

  71. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    And another thing:

    “The word “cunt” is a highly effective insult precisely because of its shock value – nothing is more guaranteed to upset the secretary of the local WI than such a word. It’s no more endemically “oppressive” than any other word, the point is the context in which it is used. As Rosie said, it’s simply nonsense to claim that most people who use the word these days are referring to female genitalia, any more than when they call someone “posh” they are referring to Port Out Starboard Home.”

    So where does its ‘shock value’ come from then? It comes from its meaning, like virtually all words that have ‘shock value’. If it didn’t have that meaning, it wouldn’t have that shock value when used to abuse people.

    If this society were not highly misogynistic, it wouldn’t have that shock value. But then if society were not misogynistic, there would be no point in using it as an term of abuse in the first place. It is because society is misogynistic that it has that impact. There is no other explanation that makes sense.

  72. Sue R said,

    I always thought the objection to swear words was a class based one. It’s considered a mark of low culture. I seem to remember Trotsky writing an essay about the use of swear words and saying it was a bad thing. i don’t think anyone really equates the words cited above with female pudendas etc, it’s just a vile use of language and doesn’t really put forward any constructive arguments. They realease aggression, but they don’t solve anything.

  73. voltairespriest said,

    Except that there is, Willy – the one that exists in lived reality (as opposed to in asinine discussions like this one), which is that most people think it’s an insult. No more and no less. Ergo, it’s treated as an insult. which it is. Hence social conservatives’ obsession with “the C word” which goes along with “the F word” etc. An obsession they share with conservatives-in-denial on the left, methinks.

    The comparison with racial epithets is nonsense and sophistry, for precisely the same reason. Nobody who drops a racial slur is just referring to a general intent to insult. The colloquial understanding of the terms is too specific for that. Therefore, the two things are different, and obviously so to anyone who ever has a conversation outside of the middle class public sector, Londonista circles in which most of the left exists. 🙂

  74. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    I tend to agree with Sue R about what Trotsky meant, but he was talking about Russian swear words, that apparently were many and vile, and possibly difficult to translate and retain their full idiomatic force. I suspect that Trotsky only scratched the surface of this in Problems of Everyday Life.I think its worth thinking these things through concretely and addressing what the relatively few words we are talking about, actually mean in the current social context.

    One other point that occurs to me is why the word ‘fuck’ has lots much of its bite, but the word ‘cunt’ has not. I think its simply because ‘fuck’ has no misogynistic connotation per se, just being a crude term for sexual intercourse. As society has got less prudish, the word ‘fuck’ naturally lost much of its force. But in getting less prudish, society has not got less misogynistic, hence ‘cunt’ and its homologues have not lost their force. At least, that’s how I would explain it.

  75. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    VP

    “most people think it’s an insult. No more and no less. Ergo, it’s treated as an insult. which it is.”

    So its just like calling someone a silly so-and-so then, or a silly idiot?. No it isn’t.

    There are degrees of insult, and this is one of the worst available. The reason it is so ‘bad’ is because of its misogynistic connotations. That does make it in some ways comparable to racial epithets. It has force … if it didn’t have that connotation, it wouldn’t have that force.

  76. Ed said,

    I tend to agree with Wally, actually on this – though I think it depends to some extent on context, who’s using it etc. But think of the use and power of ‘cunt’ in the US. It’s way stronger than here, and tends to be used only about women.

  77. voltairespriest said,

    (losing the will to live, such is the JCR boredom of this conversation…)

    (deep breath)

    Yes, we all know that the historical meaning of the word is “woman’s genitalia”. However if you think that the colloquial aversion to the term is about its “misogynistic connotations” then you clearly think that the general populace is akin to a 60-odd million strong version of a metropolitan Labour Party meeting in the 1980s. For the record, it isn’t.

    Have you ever considered why “decent folk” (to use the Joe Ashton term) think that references to women’s genitalia are rude? Indeed, more rude than references to men’s genitalia? Could it possibly be because the real sexism here is one that shoves anything to do with women into the realms of the private, not to be a part of public discourse but rather to be put in a cupboard and hidden away? It’s about taboos, guys.

    The idea that the “oppressiveness” or otherwise of the word “cunt” is a big deal in the world of gender relations today is a symptom of the most rank tokenism which covers up the real power inequalities which are the root of women’s subordinate status in the world today.

  78. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    “Have you ever considered why “decent folk” (to use the Joe Ashton term) think that references to women’s genitalia are rude? Indeed, more rude than references to men’s genitalia? Could it possibly be because the real sexism here is one that shoves anything to do with women into the realms of the private, not to be a part of public discourse but rather to be put in a cupboard and hidden away? It’s about taboos, guys.”

    That’s only part of it. The real point is that female genitalia are not merely hidden away , – male genitalia are also generally ‘hidden away’ – but that they are associated with vileness, and become one of the strongest terms of abuse. That is sexism. I’m sorry that some silly lumpen thinks it is ‘bourgeois’ to object to such abuse. He should try insisting on using ‘cunt’ in a trade union meeting, and see what the response is from trade unionists, particularly women trade unionists.

  79. voltairespriest said,

    Or indeed try hurling any kind of insult, dressing as a chicken when making an intervention, standing on his head or anything else inappropriate to a meeting. Your point’s a little frivolous if I may say so: nobody’s saying that “cunt” is a polite term. You are, however, missing the point about the socially conservative conservative roots and nature of taboos on discussion of anything to do with female sexuality.

  80. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Except, of course, that there is nothing ‘socially conservative’ in objecting to misogyny. Indeed, misogyny is a feature of social conservatism. Such language is rife on the far right – along with racist epithets of course. That’s only natural – they belong together.

    I have no problem with the use of the word ‘cunt’ to describe vaginas. Just to its usage as a very strong term of abuse, which signifies that female genitals are to be associated with that which is most vile.

    As for ‘dressing as a chicken’ or ‘standing on your head’ in a trade union meeting, whatever turns you on. An absurd straw man, such things are so absurd that they are not dealt with in any set of rules and there is no need for that. Abusive, sexist language certainly is forseen as something to forbid – in most unions it is specifically subject to disciplinary sanctions. Rightly so.

  81. voltairespriest said,

    Yes, using abusive language is not the norm in most polite conversation either. And?

    You still haven’t made the case for a unique taboo on this one word, particularly given all that you have is that “it’s rooted in a description of female genitalia” and “it’s insulting”. Both true, both beside the point.

    There is a historical social conservatism which sees discussion of sexuality, especially female sexuality as “rude”. That is why the middle-englander brigade see “cunt” as a rude word – it has precisely nothing to do with feminism or misogyny.

  82. maxdunbar said,

    Voltaire

    Why do you bother?

  83. voltairespriest said,

    A desperate faith in humanity’s capacity to grasp new concepts?

  84. Rosie said,

    If I was called a “slag” I’d be extremely insulted, as it’s an insult aimed particularly at females.

    If I was called a “cunt” I would be extremely insulted as it’s the rudest thing people can think of. The female connection wouldn’t occur to me. When blokes call each other “cunt” I merely think they’re being insulting and rude, not sexist.

    “In my experience, ‘twat’ is used quite frequently as a term for vagina. It does sound a bit like ‘twit’ but you will frequently find it in various kinds of sexual material, alternating with ‘cunt’, ‘pussy’ and similar terms. I’ve never head ‘berk’ used in that way, ever.”

    I was thinking more of speech rather than sexual material – is that written or films BTW? – and I’ve only heard “twat” used neutrally or with a slight sense of derogation. However, I’ve heard “cunt” used affectionately towards female genitalia. Rule:- you say “vagina” to the doctor, “cunt” to your boyfriend. So like many words it can have several separate meanings.

    “It do think there is a sexist connotation in use of these terms for both women and men. With women it obvious – the woman is simply equated with her genitals.

    With men, its something slightly more subtle – it implies ‘he’s not a real man’, he has womanly attributes and that makes him bad, etc. It still has a sexist logic, just at one remove.”

    I think you’re wrong there. I think it’s a generalised insult, whatever its origins. “Pussy” on the other hand – which is American – fits your definition when used as an insult for men.

    Terms of abuse used to be more religious e.g. “bloody” and nowadays they all seem related to sexual/excretory functions eg “arsehole”, “wanker” etc. Perhaps the re-education committee could adopt “arsehole” as a suitably neutral term of abuse?

  85. voltairespriest said,

    … which would of course be OK to use in a Trade Union meeting, which is apparently now the absolute yardstick by which all acceptable standards of conversation should be measured.

  86. Rosie said,

    Please add “sack of shit” to the list of unmisogynistic terms of abuse.

  87. Wibbly Wallywellies said,

    In order get back to more pressing political concerns (namely the ‘Jewish problem’) and to avoid further distraction, I have collected my previous posts here regarding the female sex organs. The publisher Verso has agreed to print these collected writings under the title ‘Wibbly’s Wobbly Cunt’, and the first twenty copies will be signed by me.

    Extra material will be added, including a chapter on the term ‘beef curtains’. Also, I will be pointing out when it is inappropriate to use the word ‘cunts’ (at a union meeting), and when it is acceptable (shouting it at a Jewish family in the street).

  88. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    “You still haven’t made the case for a unique taboo on this one word, particularly given all that you have is that “it’s rooted in a description of female genitalia” and “it’s insulting”. Both true, both beside the point.”

    Actually, I have made a case. At some length. But quite typically for some of the dishonest and anti-socialist numbskulls who run this blog, it has not been addressed.

    Amazing the twists and turns people are prepared to engage in to defend the right of people who are supposed to be in the vanguard of social progress to behave not unlike the far right.

    When all said and done, all the rantings and the abuse here is simply generated by objections to calling people ‘cunts’ and ‘twats’. Since to most decent people on the left this is pretty reprehensible behaviour, all it really underlines is that it is questionable as to whether this can be described as a left-wing or socialist blog.

    As to ‘Pink Otter’, I didn’t directly reply to his original point because it was either illiterate or disingenuous … I said the word ‘fuck’ was innocuous and the force it once carried was because society was then prudish. If he wants to be seriously replied to, he should learn to read. But of course, he can: he couldn’t reply to what I actually said without distorting it. So I replied to what he was really driving at. He doesn’t deserve more than that.

    I wonder if some of the lumpen juveniles ranting against me for objecting to misogynistic abuse here were involved in the London AWL’s picket of the UNITE offices during the recent LOR strike? Judging by the contempt they hold the norms of the working class movement, it wouldn’t surprise me. I note that a rather perceptive poster … one of the few who make this site worth bothering with, wrote that the LOR strike showed that significant sections of the left (including much of the AWL) are no longer much in touch with the labour movement (or words to that effect). This is one symptom of this: a number of the more flaky contributors here just act like reactionary lumpens. Or as Marx put it:

    “The ‘dangerous class’, the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. ”

    Seems like a fair description of those baying for the use of words like ‘cunt’ and ‘twat’ as terms of discourse in the socialist movement.

    Rosie deserves some credit here, as someone who at least attempted to reply to me politically on this. But I think she is wrong: She writes:

    “However, I’ve heard “cunt” used affectionately towards female genitalia. Rule:- you say “vagina” to the doctor, “cunt” to your boyfriend. So like many words it can have several separate meanings.”

    She’s got the wrong end of the stick here. I am not objecting to using the word ‘cunt’ affecionately about female genitalia. That’s the correct meaning of the word, and I am all in favour of its being used that way.

    I’m objecting to it being used as a term of abuse for people. The reason this is not generally used on the left is because it is widely recognised as sexist. Rightly so in my view.

    She also writes:

    “If I was called a “cunt” I would be extremely insulted as it’s the rudest thing people can think of. The female connection wouldn’t occur to me. When blokes call each other “cunt” I merely think they’re being insulting and rude, not sexist.”

    I think she’s wrong about this. ‘Cunt’ as a term of abuse has extreme force when used for women, as Ed noted. It also has considerable force, only marginally less for men. The “its just an insult” idea does not explain why this particular insult has such force, and no-one has come up with an alternative explanation of why that is so.

  89. Sue R said,

    I read somewhere once that the Native American word ‘squaw’ is actually the word for ‘c*nt’, in whatever language it is. There was total identification between a woman and her sexual parts. I don’t think that applies here. It has a shock value because it is not a word one hears in the drawing-room. My dad used to swear like a trooper, fuck this, fuck that, but he never said ‘c*nt’. It was actually my mother who used to scream it at us children when we misbehaved or she couldn’t find what she was looking for. I don’t remember ever feeling that she was comparing us to vaginas, but I know I knew it was a dreadfully nasty word.

  90. Max Dunbar said,

    Fuck me, is this still going on?

  91. NGC 891 said,

    Yes it is. I think Wally is having some sort of episode. I, for one, am a bit frightened.

  92. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Ah, our juvenile imposter comes out of hiding. Find this discussion scary? Tough.

  93. Sue R said,

    I’ve always wondered what swear words are used in other languages and cultures. I mean how do the Amazonian Indian tribes curse/swear. I have never known any Native speakers of other languages well enough to ask them, they would need to be socio- and anthropologically aware. Does anyone know? Are there any serious studies of this issue? Also, I know Trotsky says that the Russian swear words are the vilest in the world, but surely everyone thinks that about their own language’s swear words. Let’s face it at the end of the day there are only certain things that are socially unacceptable and unmentionable ie scatological, sexual and religious. The Human Mind is remarkably consistent over time and place. Does anyone know any Russian swear words with their translation?

  94. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Interesting questions Sue raises. Unfortunately, I don’t have the knowledge to answer that.

  95. (Wally's ego) said,

    Oh come on. Give it a go. You know you want to.

  96. Lobby Ludd said,

    Wally’s Id says ‘fuck off, Wally’s ego’. And Wally’s super-ego says ‘why am I bothering’ with this.

  97. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Which of you five is the real Willywanker? The one going on about wobbly cunts, the one going on about how using the word “cunt” is the same as being a fascist, the superego, the id or the ego?

  98. Willywanker said,

    I’m Willywanker!

  99. Sue R said,

    And I claim my five pounds.

  100. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    You know, I have no objection to people taking the piss out of my user name. In case you hadn’t guessed, it’s formulated for precisely that purpose. It deflects the personal abuse that is legion here and renders it ridiculous. A bit like a lightning conductor really.

    So those who are inclined to do so can carry on making fools of themselves for as long as they like. Its no skin off my nose.

    Good one Lobby. And kudos to the two women posters who have engaged with this discussion, which by the way was rendered completely on-topic by the keywords at the top of the thread. As for the rest… well the less said the better.

  101. Lightning Conductor said,

    I, formally known as Wally Wibblywellies, hereby change my name to Lightning Conductor. It deflects personal abuse even better than my old one, and gives everyone something to look up to.

    Anyone posting under my old name is a lumpen impostor and must be ignored.

    Kudos again to the two women posters. They provided me with my first female contact in 17 years.

  102. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    I’ll keep my existing name, thanks. Carry on making a fool of yourself for as long as your mates will tolerate it. Not my problem.

    And by the way, the word your’re looking for is ‘fomerly’, not ‘formally’.

  103. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    I mean ‘formerly’. Bloody fingers.

  104. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Anyway, I think Archibald Arseholeend would be a better username for our friend who likes apeing other people’s usernames. It bears a certain resemlance to one of his mates’ names, contains a rude word (and therefore will increase his street cred), and is certainly self-decriptive. And it would provide us all with a good laugh each time he posted.

  105. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Sorry I did mean ‘fomerly’. I think.

  106. maxdunbar said,

    Talk amongst yourself, Wally

  107. Rosie said,

    I think she’s wrong about this. ‘Cunt’ as a term of abuse has extreme force when used for women, as Ed noted. It also has considerable force, only marginally less for men. The “its just an insult” idea does not explain why this particular insult has such force, and no-one has come up with an alternative explanation of why that is so.

    Well, WWW, your experience has some weight. I’m sure you’ve been called a cunt far more often than I have.

  108. Wally Wibblywellies said,

    Indeed.

  109. Wibbly Wobblyywellies said,

    She’s right.

  110. Wibbly Wobblyyywellies said,

    Nothing more to be said,

  111. Wibbly Wobblyyyywellies said,

    To bed then.

  112. voltairespriest said,

    Gooood niiiiiiight…

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