Assad’s friends, apologists, collaborators and useful idiots

March 4, 2012 at 10:44 am (apologists and collaborators, Champagne Charlie, Guardian, John Rees, Lindsey German, Middle East, stalinism, Syria, terror, truth)

Mass funeral in Homs, 26 Feb 2012

Above: mass funeral in Homs

Lest we forget… the role of shame:

* The totalitarian ruling classes of Russia and China, of course.

* David Rieff and the isolationist movement

* The so-called “Stop the War Coation

* Jeremy Corbyn MP – the DN Pritt du jour

* Seumas Milne and his Grauniad chums

* Mehdi Hasan

* The degenerate “CND

* Stalinist scum

* The ex-Marxist renegades of ‘Counterfire

* Nooman and ‘Socialist Unity’

In fact, with one or two notable exceptions, it’s pretty much the usual suspects.


  1. SteveH said,

    This is a classic example of your the imperialist way of the reactionary way, with no possibility of an independent working class position.

    As much as Socialist unity is an apologist site for China etc, the debate around Syria there has been far more productive than the invective here.

    This site is a mere propagndist site. There is little or no concrete, empirical and methodological writing.

    Still, it feels good getting how much I hate you bastards off my chest. very therapeutic.

  2. skidmarx said,

    Since it is my comment that is used above to paint Andy Newman has a regime apologist, I’ll point out that it is yet another false implication by Denham that because his site posts a piece by a regime apologist he must have identical views. Much as it is when Andy and Karl Stewart state that anyone who supports the Syrian opposition must be on the verge of joining the AWL.

  3. charliethechulo said,

    [It is yet another false implication that] “because his site posts a piece by a regime apologist he must have identical views…”

    …well, he must at least think those views are worthy of promulgating on his site. And given his support for the Chinese ruling class, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to draw the conclusion that he broadly agrees with those views.

  4. modernity's ghost said,

    I never understand the AWL.

    They go on about antisemitism. I assume they have a “No Platform” policy?

    Yet they let (even encourage) ex-Trots with serious hangups against Jews (Skidmarx, etc) to post on their blog.

    It is not as if any of the assorted anti-Jewish cranks (Skidmarx, SteveH, etc) here respond to arguments or reasoned

    Their hatred and loathings preclude that.

    Still the AWL members insist on trying to reason with them, despite the evidence that years of argumentation has no effect,

    So what we see is AWLers making a big play of dealing with antisemitism, but when people with serious anti-Jewish hangups appear on their blog they act as if they are legitimate interlocutors.

    It is very hard to take the AWL seriously, if they allow racist and cranks to cutter up the threads in this blog.

    Such attitude drives other socialists away. The AWL needs to think seriously on this issue.

  5. Jim Denham said,

    ” I assume they have a “No Platform” policy”. Well that’s where you’re wrong, Mod. And it explains a lot about stuff you’ve come out with in the past. If we implemented a “no platform” position on antisemites, we’d be unable to speak to, argue with, or work with, a large swath of the British left.

    We do, however, have a “kick them in the bollocks” policy.

  6. modernity's ghost said,

    No Jim,

    You offer racists a platform, as long as they are ex-Trots like Skidmarx,

    If a BNPer were to post his filth here on a regular basis, then you’d ban him in the blink of an eye.

    Instead you tolerate and legitimise racists and cranks, as long as they are a certain type.

  7. skidmarx said,

    I object strongly to being described as an ex-Trot.

    Jimbo, you’ll have to understand that I said a nasty thing about him at TCF so he needs to throw a tantrum.

    • modernity's ghost said,


      It is simple, Skidmarx articulates racism towards Jews. THAT is the issue.

      I couldn’t give a damn what people say about me. I am not thin skinned.

      The issue is Skidmarx’s tolerance towards anti-Jewish racism.

    • sackcloth and ashes said,

      ‘I object strongly to being described as an ex-Trot’.

      But you don’t object to being described as an anti-Semite, which makes that a rare excursion into honesty on your part.

      • skidmarx said,

        Fuckwit homicidal scab and genocide denier doesn’t understand irony any more than than his mate Abu Faris. Honesty? You wouldn’t know what that was if one of the Vietnamese whose deaths you celebrate when you’re not pleasuring yourself over the firebombing of Dresden came back like the ghost of modernitybully and strangled you with it.

  8. Jim Denham said,

    “If a BNPer were to post his filth here on a regular basis, then you’d ban him in the blink of an eye.

    “Instead you tolerate and legitimise racists and cranks, as long as they are a certain type.”

    In a sense, Mod, you’re correct. But I start from the assumption that leftists are at least motivated by decent instincts and need to be educated rather than banned.

    Eventually, we do periodically ban the cranks (eg Skidmarx and SteveH), but very reluctantly. And the sods always come back. Mind you, SteveH assures me he has a vibrant social life and only comments here in order to kill time between parties.

  9. Columnular said,

    Listen to your little Zionist controller Denham and exclude everybody who isn’t a fully paid up member of the Genocide for Palestinians Club. As for the StWC’s support for Assad, it is an utter disgrace but then Stalinism and anti-revolution have always and always will be synonymous. They disgust me as much as you do.

  10. modernity's ghost said,

    “But I start from the assumption that leftists are at least motivated by decent instincts and need to be educated rather than banned.”

    How would they be educated here?

    Racist don’t respond to arguments.

    Anyone familiar with basic antiracism could tell you that.

    Racists don’t base their views on reason and argumentation, thus it is useless, a waste of time, a dream, to argue with them and assume they will change.

    The evidence doesn’t prove it. I wish they would change but they don’t.

    And your assumption is based on a false premise.

    There are a very small minority of people on the Left who will eventually end up on the Far Right, and how you tell that is that they are blind to anti-Jewish racism (as Skidmarx & SteveH are), etc etc

    Therefore, if you wouldn’t argue with an entrenched BNPer then why would you argue with someone who for years and years has kept the same mania against Jews?

    It is illogical.

    Again, you can’t argue with belligerent racists and the evidence shows that anti-Jewish racists like SkidMarx are not amenable to argumentation and reason.

    Therefore, it is irrational to continue to argue with them on the misplaced assumption that one fine day they will recant their hatred and hangups.

  11. SteveH said,

    Erm, this site is hardly a platform. At best a platform in a soundproof room with the lights turned out and only room for a couple of people!

    BTW Modernity I am no crank! You, on the other hand are from a different planet. I find you both sinister and endearing at the same time. Like some creepy child in a horror movie. Surely only life in a sect could produce characters like you?

    “SteveH assures me he has a vibrant social life and only comments here in order to kill time between parties.”

    That about sums it up. I was at a Mamma Mia birthday party on Friday night incidentally! Which isn’t as bad as it sounds!

    • skidmarx said,

      And if you had to do the same again, you would, my friend, listen to a song about the Mexican revolution?

  12. Matt said,

    contrary to what Rees says in his speech, the reasons given by the US and British governments for invading Afghanistan and Iraq were respectively that the Taliban were sheltering al-Qaeda after 9/11 and Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction. all the “liberate the people” rhetoric was rationalisation by pro-war liberals and leftists.

  13. Jimmy said,

    All to do with trade in oil, gas and minerals and not letting the fuzzy wuzzies stop the flow. Why else be involved. Some prick is going to mention democracy and religious freedom!

  14. Jim Denham said,

    “not letting the fuzzy wuzzies stop the flow”… a racist as well as a political imbicile.

    • skidmarx said,


      But does political imbecile mean not actually an imbecile at all, but someone who despises my right-appeasing politics, in the same way that “political antisemitism”…?

  15. Jim Denham said,

    Without comment (copied from ‘Socialist Unity’)

    You cannot compare Johng to Jim Denham for christs sake. You have to take into account their previous statements. Denham has a long history of supporting US and British wars and conquests, Johng does not.

    So Johng isn’t calling for the US and the UK to attack Syria, he’s just making it clear where his sympathies lie.

    Having said all that it is incumbent on the left to know exactly who the Syrian opposition are and what they believe etc. Only then can we really make clear where our sympathies are.

    Incidentally, I think the article was thought provoking. It seems quite the fashion to use the meida for propagands purposes. It was believed that the internet and modern communication would break down a few barriers and allow the truth to the aired more easily. The reality is that the confusion is ever greater! What a shame!

    Posted by Marko 4 March, 2012 at 11:34 am [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]


    The Angry Arab blog mentions this propaganda Youtube of overtly Sunni sectarian opposition fighters. They have named their unit after Yazid Bin Mu’awiya, who is the embodiment of tyranny for Shia and presumably Alawites as well. Khomeini, for example, referred to the Shah as “the Yazid of our time”. Angry Arab adds that ignorance of Arabic on the part of Western reporters or commentators means they miss sectarian stuff like this.

    Posted by Mark Victorystooge 4 March, 2012 at 12:53 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    @105It is a very good resolution.

    A very good, realistic and sensible resolution by Judith Orr on behalf of the SWP.

    I hope that some of the SWP’s friends on here take it to heart.

    Yes, let’s hope so.

    Posted by Jellytot 4 March, 2012 at 3:14 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]


    Posted by stuart 4 March, 2012 at 4:12 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    Sigh – read the SWP’s resolution. I agree with it. Hope others do too. Simples.

    Posted by Kevin Ovenden 4 March, 2012 at 4:23 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    “I hope that some of the SWP’s friends on here take it to heart.”

    I really don’t see any ‘friend of the SWP’ on here arguing a line that is not compatible with the motion. I think the motion is fine for the StWC to adopt doesn’t mean we can’t debate our differences alongside having a unitied position oppposing intervention. If any side needs to take anything to heart it those who have the the idea that supporting the uprising in Syria makes you a Pro-imperialist.

    Posted by stephen 4 March, 2012 at 5:12 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    A popular uprising of the people needs no justification-Trotsky. Simon Assaf’s position here strikes me as correct.

    Posted by johng 4 March, 2012 at 5:38 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    #111 – well said.

    Posted by cliff foot 4 March, 2012 at 5:42 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    Well that’s all good. The focus and emphasis of the SWP motion – and its action points – have broad support.

    End of.

    Posted by Kevin Ovenden 4 March, 2012 at 5:56 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    Kevin. Is there a difference between what Simon Assaf says in the link posted and what so-called ‘friends’ of SWP are arguing in these threads?

    Posted by stuart 4 March, 2012 at 7:31 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

    Thanks for your post at (105) Kevin – excellent to hear that the SWP motion to StWC was passed.

    Reassuring to receive confirmation that pro-imperialist lunatics like JohnG do not speak for the SWP.

    Let’s hope the successful passing of the resolution leads to some serious anti-intervention activity.

    JohnG – good luck in the AWL!

    Posted by Karl Stewart 4 March, 2012 at 8:02 pm [ Quote selected text ] [Reply]

  16. Jimmy said,

    Mr Denham. I do not mind at all being called a political imbecile. Cpl Jones mentioned the fuzzies and sticking a bayonet somewhere. But my comment on trade and oil are true and you know this. So stop being a prick. Well at least try.

  17. Jim Denham said,

    “But my comment on trade and oil are”… well, the kindest thing I can say is…banal.

    Glad to hear, though, that you accept that you’re an imbecile. Come to terms with being a racist yet?

  18. charliethechulo said,

    Here’s a good speech that Rees, German and the “Stop The War” people should update and use again (actually, I think they already have, many times, without knowing it):

    Des Moines Speech:

    It is now two years since this latest European war began. From that day in September, 1939, until the present moment, there has been an over-increasing effort to force the United States into the conflict.

    That effort has been carried on by foreign interests, and by a small minority of our own people; but it has been so successful that, today, our country stands on the verge of war.

    At this time, as the war is about to enter its third winter, it seems appropriate to review the circumstances that have led us to our present position. Why are we on the verge of war? Was it necessary for us to become so deeply involved? Who is responsible for changing our national policy from one of neutrality and independence to one of entanglement in European affairs?

    Personally, I believe there is no better argument against our intervention than a study of the causes and developments of the present war. I have often said that if the true facts and issues were placed before the American people, there would be no danger of our involvement.

    Here, I would like to point out to you a fundamental difference between the groups who advocate foreign war, and those who believe in an independent destiny for America.

    If you will look back over the record, you will find that those of us who oppose intervention have constantly tried to clarify facts and issues; while the interventionists have tried to hide facts and confuse issues.

    We ask you to read what we said last month, last year, and even before the war began. Our record is open and clear, and we are proud of it.

    We have not led you on by subterfuge and propaganda. We have not resorted to steps short of anything, in order to take the American people where they did not want to go.

    What we said before the elections, we say [illegible] and again, and again today. And we will not tell you tomorrow that it was just campaign oratory. Have you ever heard an interventionist, or a British agent, or a member of the administration in Washington ask you to go back and study a record of what they have said since the war started? Are their self-styled defenders of democracy willing to put the issue of war to a vote of our people? Do you find these crusaders for foreign freedom of speech, or the removal of censorship here in our own country?

    The subterfuge and propaganda that exists in our country is obvious on every side. Tonight, I shall try to pierce through a portion of it, to the naked facts which lie beneath.

    When this war started in Europe, it was clear that the American people were solidly opposed to entering it. Why shouldn’t we be? We had the best defensive position in the world; we had a tradition of independence from Europe; and the one time we did take part in a European war left European problems unsolved, and debts to America unpaid.

    National polls showed that when England and France declared war on Germany, in 1939, less than 10 percent of our population favored a similar course for America. But there were various groups of people, here and abroad, whose interests and beliefs necessitated the involvement of the United States in the war. I shall point out some of these groups tonight, and outline their methods of procedure. In doing this, I must speak with the utmost frankness, for in order to counteract their efforts, we must know exactly who they are.

    The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration.

    Behind these groups, but of lesser importance, are a number of capitalists, Anglophiles, and intellectuals who believe that the future of mankind depends upon the domination of the British empire. Add to these the Communistic groups who were opposed to intervention until a few weeks ago, and I believe I have named the major war agitators in this country.

    I am speaking here only of war agitators, not of those sincere but misguided men and women who, confused by misinformation and frightened by propaganda, follow the lead of the war agitators.

    As I have said, these war agitators comprise only a small minority of our people; but they control a tremendous influence. Against the determination of the American people to stay out of war, they have marshaled the power of their propaganda, their money, their patronage.

    Let us consider these groups, one at a time.

    First, the British: It is obvious and perfectly understandable that Great Britain wants the United States in the war on her side. England is now in a desperate position. Her population is not large enough and her armies are not strong enough to invade the continent of Europe and win the war she declared against Germany.

    Her geographical position is such that she cannot win the war by the use of aviation alone, regardless of how many planes we send her. Even if America entered the war, it is improbable that the Allied armies could invade Europe and overwhelm the Axis powers. But one thing is certain. If England can draw this country into the war, she can shift to our shoulders a large portion of the responsibility for waging it and for paying its cost.

    As you all know, we were left with the debts of the last European war; and unless we are more cautious in the future than we have been in the past, we will be left with the debts of the present case. If it were not for her hope that she can make us responsible for the war financially, as well as militarily, I believe England would have negotiated a peace in Europe many months ago, and be better off for doing so.

    England has devoted, and will continue to devote every effort to get us into the war. We know that she spent huge sums of money in this country during the last war in order to involve us. Englishmen have written books about the cleverness of its use.

    We know that England is spending great sums of money for propaganda in America during the present war. If we were Englishmen, we would do the same. But our interest is first in America; and as Americans, it is essential for us to realize the effort that British interests are making to draw us into their war.

    The second major group I mentioned is the Jewish.

    It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.

    No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy both for us and for them. Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences.

    Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not.

    Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.

    I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.

    We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.

    The Roosevelt administration is the third powerful group which has been carrying this country toward war. Its members have used the war emergency to obtain a third presidential term for the first time in American history. They have used the war to add unlimited billions to a debt which was already the highest we have ever known. And they have just used the war to justify the restriction of congressional power, and the assumption of dictatorial procedures on the part of the president and his appointees.

    The power of the Roosevelt administration depends upon the maintenance of a wartime emergency. The prestige of the Roosevelt administration depends upon the success of Great Britain to whom the president attached his political future at a time when most people thought that England and France would easily win the war. The danger of the Roosevelt administration lies in its subterfuge. While its members have promised us peace, they have led us to war heedless of the platform upon which they were elected.

    In selecting these three groups as the major agitators for war, I have included only those whose support is essential to the war party. If any one of these groups–the British, the Jewish, or the administration–stops agitating for war, I believe there will be little danger of our involvement.

    I do not believe that any two of them are powerful enough to carry this country to war without the support of the third. And to these three, as I have said, all other war groups are of secondary importance.

    When hostilities commenced in Europe, in 1939, it was realized by these groups that the American people had no intention of entering the war. They knew it would be worse than useless to ask us for a declaration of war at that time. But they believed that this country could be entered into the war in very much the same way we were entered into the last one.

    They planned: first, to prepare the United States for foreign war under the guise of American defense; second, to involve us in the war, step by step, without our realization; third, to create a series of incidents which would force us into the actual conflict. These plans were of course, to be covered and assisted by the full power of their propaganda.

    Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms “fifth columnist,” “traitor,” “Nazi,” “anti-Semitic” were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak.

    Before long, lecture halls that were open to the advocates of war were closed to speakers who opposed it. A fear campaign was inaugurated. We were told that aviation, which has held the British fleet off the continent of Europe, made America more vulnerable than ever before to invasion. Propaganda was in full swing.

    There was no difficulty in obtaining billions of dollars for arms under the guise of defending America. Our people stood united on a program of defense. Congress passed appropriation after appropriation for guns and planes and battleships, with the approval of the overwhelming majority of our citizens. That a large portion of these appropriations was to be used to build arms for Europe, we did not learn until later. That was another step.

    To use a specific example; in 1939, we were told that we should increase our air corps to a total of 5,000 planes. Congress passed the necessary legislation. A few months later, the administration told us that the United States should have at least 50,000 planes for our national safety. But almost as fast as fighting planes were turned out from our factories, they were sent abroad, although our own air corps was in the utmost need of new equipment; so that today, two years after the start of war, the American army has a few hundred thoroughly modern bombers and fighters–less in fact, than Germany is able to produce in a single month.

    Ever since its inception, our arms program has been laid out for the purpose of carrying on the war in Europe, far more than for the purpose of building an adequate defense for America.

    Now at the same time we were being prepared for a foreign war, it was necessary, as I have said, to involve us in the war. This was accomplished under that now famous phrase “steps short of war.”

    England and France would win if the United States would only repeal its arms embargo and sell munitions for cash, we were told. And then [illegible] began, a refrain that marked every step we took toward war for many months–“the best way to defend America and keep out of war.” we were told, was “by aiding the Allies.”

    First, we agreed to sell arms to Europe; next, we agreed to loan arms to Europe; then we agreed to patrol the ocean for Europe; then we occupied a European island in the war zone. Now, we have reached the verge of war.

    The war groups have succeeded in the first two of their three major steps into war. The greatest armament program in our history is under way.

    We have become involved in the war from practically every standpoint except actual shooting. Only the creation of sufficient “incidents” yet remains; and you see the first of these already taking place, according to plan [ill.]– a plan that was never laid before the American people for their approval.

    Men and women of Iowa; only one thing holds this country from war today. That is the rising opposition of the American people. Our system of democracy and representative government is on test today as it has never been before. We are on the verge of a war in which the only victor would be chaos and prostration.

    We are on the verge of a war for which we are still unprepared, and for which no one has offered a feasible plan for victory–a war which cannot be won without sending our soldiers across the ocean to force a landing on a hostile coast against armies stronger than our own.

    We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late to stay out. It is not too late to show that no amount of money, or propaganda, or patronage can force a free and independent people into war against its will. It is not yet too late to retrieve and to maintain the independent American destiny that our forefathers established in this new world.

    The entire future rests upon our shoulders. It depends upon our action, our courage, and our intelligence. If you oppose our intervention in the war, now is the time to make your voice heard.

    Help us to organize these meetings; and write to your representatives in Washington. I tell you that the last stronghold of democracy and representative government in this country is in our house of representatives and our senate.

    There, we can still make our will known. And if we, the American people, do that, independence and freedom will continue to live among us, and there will be no foreign war.

  19. Jimmy said,

    Mr Denholm goes on and on and on in a deliberate fashion ignoring fact Folowed by a long winded chuloooooooooo.

  20. Jim Denham said,

    What did you thiink of that speech, though, Jimmy?

    • Jimmy said,

      Lindbergh or Rees?

  21. modernity's ghost said,


    Neither you or the AWL have logically addressed the points I raised in my post of March 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm

  22. Clive said,

    Modernity (and to be clear I am not speaking here for the AWL, which I have no authority to do anyway):

    1. I think your argument is a kind of reductive syllogistic logic (‘this is the same as that, therefore…’) which isn’t very persuasive. I don’t think the SWP or people around it *are* the same as the BNP. (There are others who think they’re on the left who are worse, but I’ll stick here to talking about the SWP). Frankly I think it’s too daft an argument to have to refute.

    2. If ‘No Platform’ applied to the SWP, it wouldn’t just be about when they say things which are anti-semitic or have anti-semitic implications. You don’t apply No Platform to fascists only when they might say something racist. But anyway the SWP are not fascists; the parallel is ridiculous.

    3. In any case, generally, the right to free speech is a very precious one which should only be curtailed in exceptional circumstances, ie fascists – because of the more general threat to democracy and the labour movement fascists pose. I’m in favour of some laws against racism, incitement to racial hatred and so on, but I think that’s a different issue.

    4. The SWP and people on that wavelength do not pose a physical threat to Jews. That’s not at all what’s at issue in this argument.

    5. Sadly, there is an argument about anti-semitism on the left which has yet to be won. There is no alternative to actually having that argument. Simply declaring it won – by banning everyone we think has an anti-semitic argument (which in any case raises questions, because some things are clearer than others) – won’t win the argument.

    6. I think the inability of some of the commenters here to see the anti-semitic implications of their arguments is pretty shocking. The apparent view of some that anti-semitism isn’t even an issue is also shocking. But that only shows how important the argument is. So we should have the argument. Shiraz Socialist is right to think it declare it over by fiat.

  23. Clive said,

    *can’t* declare it over, obviously.

    • modernity's ghost said,


      1. I tried to simplify the argument, so that it would be understood by Jim. However, you have misread my arguments I’m not talking about the SWP. I am talking about specific people.

      2. Just to be perfectly clear, I don’t believe that the SWP are antisemitic or should be no platform, that would be ridiculous.

      3. I’m talking about specific people and specific examples of when they articulate racism towards Jews.

      You are taking a point generalising it and then trying to defeat the generalisation, which has not been my argument

      4. I would agree that free speech is important, however, you are not compelled to invite people into your home and have then puke up on the carpet anymore then you are required to give people, who have a history of articulating anti-Jewish racism, a platform. As happens here.

      That is my distinction, the specifics.

      5. By all means argue all you like, but you can’t acknowledge that some people are impervious to arguments.

      If someone still shows serious hangups towards Jews (as Skidmarx & SteveH) after *three* years of debate here then it seems logical to suggest that another five years of arguments won’t make any difference to them

      Will you acknowledge that sometimes arguments are not enough?

      6. Don’t have arguments here you have shouting matches, and in doing so you provide racists with the platform, is that really what you want?

      Again, I believe argumentation is incredibly important, it only works with people who are able to listen and reason.

      Skidmarx and SteveH have shown consistently that they don’t acknowledge, understand take in any counterarguments. They have a history of articulating anti-Jewish racism, yet they are tolerated here.

      If the AWL is serious about tackling anti-Jewish racism then it should make this blog a fit place for socialist to discuss the issues, without the interference of cranks and racists.

      And this is the key point: by allowing such racists and cranks freedom to dominate discussions the AWL is tacitly acknowledging that they have a point, that their views are as valid as antiracists.

      Is that really a message that the AWL wish to convey?

      • Clive said,

        I haven’t paid enough attention to either Steve H or skidmarx to make a judgement. Also, this isn’t my blog!

        But ‘having the argument’ isn’t necessarily about convincing the people you are arguing with; it can also be about whoever might be listening.

        In general I think it’s confusing to treat comments policies in blogs as if they are matters of ‘no platform’ or what have you – or, for that matter, as issues of freedom of speech. Personally I don’t find the general atmosphere at Shiraz any worse than at any other internet debating place – far less ranty, intolerant and better-avoided than most, actually.

        The policy here is up to the people who run the blog – only one of whom, I think, is in the AWL, and I doubt if the AWL thinks it ought to dictate policy on these things. If Jim et al generally tolerate Steve H and skidmarx, it doesn’t seem to me it ‘tacitly acknowledges they have a point’, though. or that their views are valid.

      • skidmarx said,

        Here is a racist:

        If you see any Green Party members, tell them that less than a month ago we planted two pine trees close to Modiin, courtesy of the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael (JNF) on TuBishvat (we goat soaked wet and full of mud).
        Tell them also that I made myself sure, before planting the sapling, that there was a whole Palestinian village inside the hole.
        Fabian ben Israel
        29 February 2012, 8:46 am
        I take care of only planting trees over the land of former natives.
        It is a custom I picked up in Argentina.
        You should see the sacks of kumquats we got when they were fertilized by the bones of Tehuelche indians underneath. Yummy!

        Here is modernitybullyblog putting that racist straight:

        You’ll have to forgive me, but I am no longer willing to indulge Elf’s nonsense.

        No,sorry,my mistake, that’s modernitybullyblog apologising to the racist and attacking a Jewish anti-Zionist.

      • modernity's ghost said,


        1. Jim acknowledges that Skidmarx and SteveH have racist views, had apparently lets them off, year in year out, if they behave.

        If you wish to inform yourself of Skidmarx views then might I suggest searching Bob from Brockley’s blog via google with the keyword: Skidmarx, alison weir, seven Jewish children.

        You might also look up his views on Jews in Palestine and what Cliff said here in an earlier thread, from October 2009

        Equally, you could look up when Skidmarx pushes Alison Weir’s filth.

        As for SteveH, using google search this site or look up his comment:

        “I think Press Tv was superior to the racist kosher channels which you have no problem with.”

        2. Blogs where racist are welcome tend to become the pits, that’s what happens. I give you the example of Harry’s Place. There are many more.

        People walk away from blogs where racists are treated as if they have a valid point of views.

        It is a choice that blog owners have to make.

        Again to be clear, I don’t favour stringent censorship, only when people have proven themselves to the truculent and persistent racists.

        But that’s doesn’t happen here, time after time thread are filled with the vomit from racists and it ruins otherwise intelligent discussion.

        3. “But ‘having the argument’ isn’t necessarily about convincing the people you are arguing with; it can also be about whoever might be listening.”

        Wishful thinking?

        So what you’re saying is it’s perfectly acceptable to put the same arguments, monthly in month out, for 3+ years to racists like Skidmarx and SteveH, they ignore them and you keep on putting the arguments?

        Surely that’s a case of:

        insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

        The problem with this point is that it supposes other people are listening, or have they walked away by that time?

        I am afraid my background is in the trade unions, I believe the purpose of arguments is to win people over, not to hear the sound of your own voice, or in the remote possibility that someone else might take in that argument by osmosis.

        That all seems wishful thinking and not grounded in rationality. Hoping that something will happen, without any evidence of it.

        So if you’re having the same arguments for 3+ years and they are ignored, then clearly something is wrong.

        4. The AWL needs to decide if, it is all about talking the talk or walking the walk.

        If the latter, then I would suggest a slightly less tolerant approach to racists on the blog?

    • modernity's ghost said,

      For the benefit of AWL members, who might be undecided if Skidmarx and SteveH are racist towards Jews, then read and study this thread:

      By way of explanation, Churchill’s play Seven Jewish children is clearly racist, in the sense that it paints one specific ethnicity in a negative light, it uses theatre to drag up age-old stereotypes of Jews, etc

      Note the title, giveing the game away, it doesn’t say seven Zionist children, seven Israeli children, but Seven Jewish children.

      So ask yourself this question, would AWL members and supporters be happy if the play had been entitled “seven black children” then went on to attack that ethnicity and painted in a negative light? certainly not.

      As one intellectual pointed out at the time, the play Seven Jewish children is a litmus test for antiracists.

      If they can’t see the racism in the play then:

      1) they are not as anti racist as they think are
      2) they are chronically stupid.
      3) they hold racist sentiments, but can’t acknowledge it.

      I hope explains some of the issues.

  24. entdinglichung said,

  25. Jim Denham said,

    I’ve simplified the argument (on another thread) so that it can be understood by Geoff Collier. I hope it’s simple enough for you, Mod:

    I’ll answer your points more fully in the near future, Geoff: but for now I’ll just say that I’m astonished to read that you *don’t* support “free speech for all.” Free speech is indivisible: you’re either for it or against it. Socialists (including Marxists) have traditionally been *for* it – and vigorously so.

    The whole question of “no platform” is a relatively recent deviation. You won’t read anything calling for “no platform”, even with regard to fascists, in the classic Trotskyist literature of the 1930′s and 40′s. What the early Trotskyists (like Cannon) argued for was *working class self-defence* including pre-emptive self defence, which in practice meant preventing the fascists from organising by beaking up their meetings. It had nothing to do with denying freedom of speech.

    In the 1970′s and 80′s the concept of “no platform” evolved, almost imperceptibly, from workers’ self-defence into a moralistsic argument that certain views are simply too offensive to be allowed – quite a different position to that of Cannon and co. Logically it leads to to sort of lunacy you’ll read elsewhere in the comments, in which at least one of our commenters thinks that the SWP and others with similar views on “zionism” should be no platformed for antisemitism.

    • modernity's ghost said,


      That is a boilerplate reply, it doesn’t address the issue.

      Three broad points:

      One, I wish you would make the effort to understand what I’m getting at ,I believe this is aimed at me

      ” at least one of our commenters thinks that the SWP and others with similar views on “zionism” should be no platformed for antisemitism.”

      That being the case, it is not my view.

      I don’t believe they should be no platformed. Had I wanted to say that I would have, but I did NOT.

      Two, I would remark that Norm and many others have pointed out the fallacious notion that not giving racist a platform has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

      Skidmark & SteveH perfectly free to exercise that right on any Street corner, any pub. They can open their own blog. They can post whatever they want there.

      Their freedom of speech is not being denied,but like vomit it is not something which encourage people to throw around or do so on your carpet.

      It is a choice you make,whether to tolerate their racism and allowed to fester or not.

      Three, I don’t favour restricting freedom of speech, and this is not what I’m arguing.

      I am making the point that by allowing such people to freely post, you are tacitly acknowledging that you think they have a point.

      That their views are as valid as antiracists.

      If that’s not what you think then you might ponder why you allow racist to monopolise threads and ruin them, and what message that conveys to others.

      This is a multi year phenomena, year in year out, for years.

  26. Clive said,

    Mod, you did bring up ‘No Platform’, and I took you to be making a general case, too.

    • modernity's ghost said,


      Surely it is better to ASK people what they mean than make assumptions? Which in the end prove to be wrong.

      It’s not as if I’m shy with my opinions, granted I might use a bit of shorthand, so if there is a contentious point, it is normal to clarify it to ask someone is that really what they meant.

      I find it very hard to understand when I was talking about specifics.

      Specific individuals.

      For that to be transferred into some generalised statement of my views.

    • modernity's ghost said,

      PS: I am awaiting your reply to my arguments of March 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm.

      • Clive said,

        You said: “They [the AWL] go on about antisemitism. I assume they have a “No Platform” policy?

        Yet they let (even encourage) ex-Trots with serious hangups against Jews (Skidmarx, etc) to post on their blog.

        It is not as if any of the assorted anti-Jewish cranks (Skidmarx, SteveH, etc) here respond to arguments or reasoned

        Their hatred and loathings preclude that.

        Still the AWL members insist on trying to reason with them…”

        I was responding to that. That is, you brought up No Platform.

        I have to say, I thought skidmarx was in the SWP, which is why I assumed you were talking about the SWP. Apparently, I’m wrong, so my bad. But that was the train of thought. I didn’t know that they’d said much which was qualatatively worse than the SWP (JIm’s mentioned the SWP’s defence of Atzmon, which is quite bad). I’ll take your word for it that they are worse. But aren’t you really just saying that these commenters are especially irritating? The general point – ie they represent a band of opinion which is there whether we like it or not – seems to me to hold.

        Can I just say, though, mate, I don’t take particularly kindly to someone ‘awaiting a reply’ to something from less than three hours ago as if this proves some point or as if I am supposed to drop everything to attend to His Majesty. I don’t have to reply to you at all if I don’t feel like it, and if I’m busy, and if I think the argument is probably going nowhere.

      • modernity's ghost said,


        I am sorry if my remark was a bit sharp, but when my views are misrepresented I naturally, as you would, take umbrage.

        I had assumed (wrongly) an unwillingness to actually deal with the specific arguments that I was making.

        I assumed that techniques which I have noticed the last 40 years employed by people on the Left ‘misrepresent someone’s argument, characterise it as a strawman, then beat it to death’ was being employed.

        I apologise if that isn’t the case, this is an imperfect means of communication and I freely admit that sometimes I get the wrong end of the stick of other people’s arguments.

        My feeling is that this should be an important discussion for AWL members & supporters, given the emphasis that the AWL places on fighting antisemitism.

        So that’s where I’m coming from.

        I would freely admit I’m a bit exasperated when my comparatively simple arguments are misread.

        Shall we start again?

      • Clive said,

        “Shall we start again?”

        No doubt at some point. But I’m dropping out of this one for now.

      • modernity's ghost said,


        Thanks, fine, but could you suggest to other AWLers that they think long and hard on this issue.

        It ain’t going away.

  27. Jim Denham said,

    “I am making the point that by allowing such people to freely post, you are tacitly acknowledging that you think they have a point”…eh??

    Now that doesn’t even follow in terms of formal logic. Are you *seriously* suggesting that I (and other less frequent Shiraz contributors) have not made our views on Skidmarx, SteveH and others crystal clear?

    Btw, you have made your position of the SWP clear, since I first wrote the comment to Geoff C. I don’t think your position on the SWP makes sense, given your position on no-platforming antisemiites and I thought about changing the comment accordingly – but then you or someone else would have accused me of re-writing my own comment. Anyway, it doesn’t change the essential point I’m making about freedom of speech.

    If Norm thinks fighting fascists, breaking up their meetings, etc, is incompatible with upholding the principle of “freedom of speech” then I don’t agree with him.

    Btw: although I don’t like the term “no platform” I wouldn’t argue against it in the case of fascists, or people as near to being fascists as it is a merely terminological argument as to whether they are or are not, strictly speaking, fascists. I am not in favour of no platforming most non-fascist racists.

    There comes a point when I (and/or Rosie) decide, on grounds of taste, that we don’t want to hear from them again (ie: we try to block them from commenting here), but in general I think allowing these idiots to condemn themselves out of their own mouths/keyboards, serves a useful and educative purpose.

    PS just to return to the SWP for a moment: would you have “no platformed” their numerous statements, until quite recently, defending Gilad Atzmon?

    • modernity's ghost said,

      No Jim, I am not having it.

      You are trying to re-frame the terms of the debate on this point.

      It is a rather old political maneuver and I wish you wouldn’t try it.

      I am talking about specifics, specific issues, specific points and that’s what I’d like to deal with rather than sweeping generalisations, which you seem to indulge in but don’t see the conclusion of.

      I am talking about this blog’s tolerance of anti-Jewish racists.

      Let’s stick with that particular point for the moment.

      So let me ask you a question, and please do think on the answer:

      as an AWL supporter, do you believe in freedom of speech for persistent and incorrigible racists on the blog?

  28. skidmarx said,

    I’ve repeatedly asked this, but once again, can you give me a specific example of an anti Jewish remark from Skidmarx?
    Mo’dishonesty had no answer to this question, so if I haven’t actually said anything racist, what does his claim rely on?
    Ah yes, “pushing links to racist sites”.

  29. Rosie said,

    There comes a point when I (and/or Rosie) decide, on grounds of taste, that we don’t want to hear from them again (ie: we try to block them from commenting here), but in general I think allowing these idiots to condemn themselves out of their own mouths/keyboards, serves a useful and educative purpose.

    That’s pretty much my feeling about it. I have certainly found it enlightening to see how SteveH elides from wondering why there aren’t more “pro-Palestinian” plays to suggesting that dark, unnamed forces are preventing them from being written/produced. Also how when we were gloating over the kicking the Murdoch press was/is getting, Skidmarx’s only concern that these are “Zionist” newspapers. Though I find them both fairly repellent they are educational in showing how the great Israel obsession of one section of the left turns their brains rancid. Neither of them has any ability in debate – so they do their cause nothing but harm. Though I can see where Modernity is coming from, I’m okay about letting them make idiots of themselves here.

    • skidmarx said,

      You make an idiot of yourself when you claim Skidmarx’s only concern [was/is] that these are “Zionist” newspapers.

  30. modernity's ghost said,


    “I’m okay about letting them make idiots of themselves here.”

    I get that. It is a fair point, once or twice. Maybe at a third time.

    But is there some cutoff ? one year? two years, four? six?

    What point do you say “Yes, I have heard enough of their racism, their obsessions, their ranting. It would be nice to have a thread without their caustic contributions?”

    Jim did an excellent post on Churchill’s Seven Jewish children, and that play is really the red line.

    Yet Skidmarx & SteveH walked up, crossed it, ran around and ignored all of the antiracist arguments.

    The essential part of spotting racist arguments, is to see in it focuses on one particular ethnicity and how it portrays it, in a positive, neutral, or negative fashion.

    SteveH & Skidmarx couldn’t even understand that elementary antiracism.

    You’ve been arguing with them for years.

    Yet nothing registers, they have no sensitivity to anti-Jewish racism.

    So why continue, year in year out? That’s my question, Rosie, to what purpose?

  31. Rosie said,

    Modernity – I don’t “argue” with SteveH & Skidmarx – that’s a waste of time. I ridicule them. I think they show themselves up. They condemn themselves out of their mouths. Give them enough rope and they hang themselves. If they’re in a hole they keep digging. And so on.

    • modernity's ghost said,

      Ahh Rosie,

      By now they must have enough rope to encircle the planet, or perhaps reach Saturn? And they still come back for more.

  32. Pinkie said,

    OK, Modernitiy’s Ghost, can you give a clear example of Skidmark’s anti-Semitism or his anti-Jewish racism (is there a difference?)?

    It superficially seems to be the case that the arguments between the site owners and its supporters versus Modernity resolve around when it is OK to give putative anti-Jewish racist a ‘platform’.

    The site owners are copping out, they say that by publishing these apparent anti-Semites, they will expose themselves. Modernity is copping out by not showing how his targets are anti-Semitic or insufficiently aware of anti-Semitism.

    It is all a mess. It is assumed by both sides that certain commentators are in some way anti-Jewish, but neither side shows why they think so. This is an argument between people who share a common dislike of a third person totally remote from the nature of that third person.

    I’ve seen more rational arguments in a drunken pub fight.

  33. Sarah AB said,

    I thought that skidmarx’ use of the word lebensraum in the thread linked to above was antisemitic. But I remember he defended it later, when I brought it up, though I can’t remember what his argument was.

    I see skidmarx’ problem in terms of having a very low sensitivity to antisemtiism rather than being actively, crudely antisemitic.

    He does remind me a bit of Efnisien in the Mabinogian – I don’t mean all the really violent aspects of that character – just his delight in stirring up trouble.

  34. Sarah AB said,

    Sorry – meant to comment on Fabian’s post which Skidmarx quotes. I did both notice it and pause on it. I decided the combination of obvious hyperbole/apparent caustic comment on double standards WRT Israel/South America made it acceptable. However I do also think it would have been legitimate to delete it, as it was doubtful. But I don’t tend to delete much – and I don’t *think* I’ve ever deleted any of skidmarx’ comments.

    • modernity's ghost said,

      “I see skidmarx’ problem in terms of having a very low sensitivity to antisemtiism rather than being actively, crudely antisemitic.”


      Why would you expect him to articulate a crude form of antisemitism?

      He wouldn’t.

      That’s not his style.

      Skidmarx is the product of an Oxbridge education, so he’s not going to argue like a thick skinhead or Far Right thug.

      And that is the issue, how language changes, how once vulgar ideas take on new forms, and how racism is full of innuendo and implied meanings.

      The quest for modern antiracists is to be able to discern which is which, bearing in mind that racists are often insensitive to their own racism, that’s one indicator of them.

  35. Yosser Hughes said,

    I see Sarah thinks the use of ‘lebensraum’ in the context of Israel was antisemitic. Perhaps she should take a look at this article in Haartez by Yossi Sarid.

    ‘Suddenly we are short of space here in Israel, which has become full to capacity and needs lebensraum. Every cultured person knows that this is a despicable German concept, banned from use because of the associations it brings up. Still, people are starting to use it, if not outright then with a clear implication: We are short of land, we are short of air, let us breathe in this country.’

    Perhaps Yossi Sarid has merely a ‘a very low sensitivity to antisemtism’.

  36. modernity's ghost said,

    As others have explained in a similar light.

    There is a complete difference when a white European Oxbridge graduate (Skidmarx) uses the expression “lebensraum”, than when a columnist in an Israeli newspaper employs it.

    In a similar fashion to how rap singers will use the N word, and when people on the Far Right is it.

    It is not merely the word but how it is employed and by whom.

    If we were to believe Yosser Hughes then simply because rap singers use the N word, it becomes acceptable for others to use it?

    An exceedingly dodgy line of reasoning. One that should be rejected.

    As I have said if you wish to educate yourself on Skidmarx’s racism then look at his reaction to the play, Seven Jewish children and then look how he pushed Alison Weir’s views, etc etc

    But please refresh yourself with his terminology:

    “skidmarx said, July 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t tend to think that one people should be allowed to steal the land of others to establish their divinely-granted lebensraum, “

    • skidmarx said,

      Look at his reaction to the play, Seven Jewish children
      [Precisely because modernitybully insisted that I read it, so that he could use it as a litmus test of whether I could be condemned as an anti-semite; I thought fuck this for a game of soldiers, what’s on the telly?]
      Look how he pushed Alison Weir’s views
      “skidmarx said…
      Bob – obviously the WVWN link was inadvertent. No I didn’t see Alison Weir’s name on “If Americans Knew” when I saw some graphs from it. I don’t know what you mean by “once again”, but to compare my inadvertent linking to Jogo’s blatant racism is insulting, and not in the spirit of politeness you welcomed.Does you apology for Jogo’s racism as “irony” mean that you are incapable of judging when something is racist?
      The Weir article is about organ trafficking, not about the ritual use of blood, with just a small reference at the end to the medieval blood libel. If she is supporting the blood libel then she’s wrong and offensive, but thus far I don’t see it, particularly when even Holland admits that she has denied doing so repeatedly.
      09 May, 2011 10:30″.
      I think I saw Tony Greenstein say much the same as that last bit recently, if so is he an anti-semite?[Of course he is, because he’s an anti-zionist]
      “Having done a quick search I see that JFJFP has five references to her, several positive ones in passing, and a broadside from Andy Newman against both the ritual murder and the organ trafficking propositions.
      Again I think I said before that the allegations about Israelis in Haiti seemed like nonsense, but that other cases (such as with the KLA) seemed more plausible.
      As I said before, I wouldn’t link to any associate with Counterpunch here without damn good reason, so let’s hope Bob can distinguish between inadvertent linking, and the unapologetic direct use of racist language.”

      “Bob and Levi – the Weir article does look worse each time I look at it (though I’m not sure I ever read Counterpunch before, be careful you’re not adding to their readership)”?

      You are a liar. Each time you lose an argument about getting me banned from somewhere you promise to go away, yet you keep coming back. This time why don’t you just keep a promise.

  37. modernity's ghost said,

    The problem with Skidmarx’s defence for readers who haven’t followed his antics (and how fortunate you are), is that he claims not to read Seven Jewish children, the play.

    Yet he chooses to comment prolifically on a post specifically detailing the problem with Churchill’s racist artistry.

    Shiraz Socialist ably covered the matter in this thread,

    Skidmarx was the first commenter in the thread, whereupon he argues against a negative interpretation of the play, using Churchills own words.

    Hard to believe he didn’t read the play, but was content to vigorously defended?

    He comments some 30 other times in that thread, *if* have you believe him he hasn’t read the play, then why defend it?

    And so on….

  38. skidmarx said,

    And let’s see some of those comments:
    I still haven’t really bothered reading it. When somebody like modernity comes along and repeatedly abuses you for allegedly expressing a view on a play you haven’t read, then demands that you read the play so that he can argue about it, a basic cost-benefit analysis would suggest that as his accusations in any future are likely to be as ill-informed and stupid at those that went before, learning to play his game isn’t worth the candle.
    then almost as if I had a premonition:
    I was generally commenting on everything but the play.
    And modernitybully followed by my answer:
    Otherwise he can avoid addressing the question of WHY he can’t be troubled to read Seven Jewish Children and make an informed comment on it.

    skidmarx said,
    March 8, 2011 at 11:26 am
    To wind you up.

    It’s actually Flying Rodent who makes a sensible point about modernitybully’s hysteria:
    I like a good read myself but I’m not the theatre type, so I don’t really know who Caryl Churchill is or what the rest of her output is like.
    On this play though, I do have to ask – why is it, do you think, that Churchill’s critics have been beating her up on and off for over two years, and yet their criticisms haven’t gained any wider traction?*
    I mean, the play’s been performed countless times across the country, yet complaints are largely restricted to a few blogs. If the racism in the play is so utterly stark and clearly blatant, how come it’s only a tiny gaggle of internet types who have noticed?
    The open-and-shut case by definition doesn’t take more than seven hundred days to prosecute, try and convict. It should be at least fairly obvious to the casual observer – that’s why they call it an “Open-and-shut” case. That suggests that the issue is a little less cut and dried than Jim etc. are leading us to believe.

    *Unless you count ‘a mention by Jonathan Freedland’ as wider traction, of course.

    • skidmarx said,

      What of ” he argues against a negative interpretation of the play, using Churchills own words”?

      Here’s the comment in question:
      skidmarx said,
      March 5, 2011 at 11:29 am
      More stupidity from Norm here.

      The whole anti-semitic tropes thing seems to be extended from actual stereotypes to any negative description or use of adjectives applied to the Israeli state and its agents. AS Caryl Churchill notes “When people hear of babies killed in a war, they don’t usually think of medieval accusations of Jews consuming Christian children’s blood, but of babies killed in a war.”
      If the IDF doesn’t want anyone writing plays that refer to dead babies in Gaza, not killing Palestinian kids might be a good way to go.
      Of course JIm, with his simple equation Opposition to State of Israel = Racism doesn’t need to go through the circumlocution of rope-a-tropes to declare illegitimate any support or sympathy for the Palestinian national struggle.

      Only a passing reference to “If the IDF doesn’t want anyone writing plays that refer to dead babies in Gaza”. Modernitybully is a liar. And why do I call him modernitybully?

      This is the same “modernity”, who in response to a West Dunbartonshire councillor’s complaint of a
      torrent of vile abuse and threats of violence against our families from “modernity” and his pro-Israel friends with this suggestion:
      Furthermore, if councillors are receiving abuse/threats then such a move [convening “a meeting between the council and an organisation able to represent the Israeli perspectives”] would go a long way to stopping that.
      There’s a myth that teachers tell bullied kids that if only they saw the point of view of their bully then the bullying will stop, but it’s rare to hear the words from the mouth of the bully himself.

      Someone has to stand up to bullies.

  39. skidmarx said,

    He comments some 30 other times in that thread
    Modernitybully commented 18 times on this thread, yet despite the title:
    “Assad’s friends, apologists, collaborators and useful idiots”, he hasn’t mentioned Syria once. Mo’dishonesty doesn’t care about Syrians, he just thinks of them as a useful stick to beat the left with.
    My views can be found at comments 103 and 104 of the SUN thread Jimbo quotes at 16. above (why he only reproduced comments after mine I’ll never know), and further on that and other SUN threads. Of course modernitybully says he read SUN:

    Sure enough there is a bit, as at SU blog, Russia/China Dual Veto Designed To Promote Peaceful Outcome and Events In The Middle East Are Reaching The Point Of No Return.
    However, they come across as Stalinist and largely apologetic for the dictatorship in Syria.

    On the first I made the comment:
    Alternatively perhaps South Africa’s vote in favour of the Arab League plan is a product of its own history in which minority rule and state terror was excused by the claim that dark foreign forces and criminals would destroy the country if the regime’s grip on power was weakened.
    It’s no wonder there’s Cynicism around Syria.
    Cracker of a headline by the way.

    Posted by skidmarx 5 February, 2012 at 8:29 pm
    but that wasn’t until later the same day. On the second I said:

    I’m glad that John Wight can acknowledge some faults with the Syrian government but the idea that this is a “zero-sum” game is to suggest that there is no difference between them and the Syrians they are killing.
    The spectre of sectarian war is propaganda that the regime has used to keep itself in power, why do you not support SCAF in Egypt for the same reason? Perhaps some actual assessment or evidence should be produced before such is repeated.

    Are you really suggesting that the Syrian people should allow Assad to escape responsibility for his crimes in the name of a peaceful transition?

    Posted by skidmarx 4 February, 2012 at 10:56 am

    and three more comments the previous day.
    Maybe mo’dishonesty can’t read too good, or maybe he’s wilfully blind.

  40. SteveH said,


    This thread goes on and on and on and you lot ask me about my social life!

    Look you lot don’t have to tell me again how big an idiot I am, how I can’t debate and how I am a far right Nazi. Let us say all that is true and move on. When responding to me in future just call me Adolf for shorthand.

    On No platform, I for once agree with JimD. You cannot no platform on moral issues or you no platform the bloody working class!!

    Modernity is a joke. He attacks anti Zionist leftists as being racists, far right supporters so I take Rosie’s example and merely reply with ridicule. Hence the kosher channel comment and just call me Adolf. Modernity then lets off real racists because he knows that if he talked to real racists liked he talked to me he would have to insult the majority of the nation. So he provides himself with a get out clause! He lives in his own little world, where he writes all the rules!

    I don’t come here to debate btw, that is an impossibility. This site is either the sensible posse agreeing how great they all are or the shiraz posse calling others retards, morons, mentally backward, far right or any other insult you care to mention. I now simply come here to feed your sneering snobbishness and to kill time between parties

  41. modernity's ghost said,

    This is an example, Skidmarx, educated but can’t read 50-60 lines and tell if there is any racism there.

    He’s not interested in opposing anti-Jewish racism. That’s why. he still hasn’t read that play.

    And now SteveH, incoherent to the last, using racism language and calls himself a Marxist. He’s a joke and an offensive one at that.

    Still, the AWL doesn’t seem to have any problem with them posting their filth here.

  42. skidmarx said,

    And now SteveH, incoherent to the last, using racism language

  43. modernity's ghost said,

    I will leave it to readers to study the above remarks, but they will note the unaltering stream of irrationality from Skidmarx and SteveH.

    It is a constant with racists, one of the ways that we spot them, their inability to engage rationally with the subject of their own racism.

    Be it, a Daily Mail bigot blustering about “house prices and immigrants” to harder core specimens. They are almost incapable of expressing themselves reasonably on these topics.

  44. sackcloth and ashes said,

    Just been cheered up by the UCU election results. The swankers took a sound kicking, and are whinging about the outcome. Fuck them. There’s no place in the union for red-brown scum.

  45. Yosser Hughes said,

    Moronity’s ghost writes, ‘There is a complete difference when a white European Oxbridge graduate (Skidmarx) uses the expression “lebensraum”, than when a columnist in an Israeli newspaper employs it.’

    Not when it’s used to describe exactly the same policy.

    ‘In a similar fashion to how rap singers will use the N word, and when people on the Far Right is it.’

    Oh yeah?

    As for the play, ‘Seven Jewish children’ the original cast consisted of Ben Caplan, Jack Chissick, David Horovitch, Daisy Lewis, Ruth Posner, Samuel Roukin, Jennie Stoller, Susannah Wise, and Alexis Zegerman; and was was directed by Dominic Cooke. A reading of the play was later given by Miriam Margoyles. I suppose that Moronity would say what attracted them all to the play was their anti-semitism, but do you know what they really have in common?

    ps On a humorous note,

    ‘The study also found that 70 percent of respondents believe the Jews are the “Chosen People,” ‘

    I think that’s shot one of your foxes.

    • sackcloth and ashes said,

      ‘I think that’s shot one of your foxes’.

      It would help if you actually read your source material. The Haaretz article refers to religious observance, which is what Jews actually refer to when they talk about being ‘the chosen people’. The idea that this sentiment actually represents racial supremacism by Jews arises from anti-Semitic propaganda, which you’ve fallen for hook, line and sinker.

      Now look who’s being a moron.

      • Yosser Hughes said,

        ‘The idea that this sentiment actually represents racial supremacism…’

        Since I never suggested it did

        ‘Now look who’s being a moron.’


      • modernity's ghost said,

        As pointed out, the far and extreme right bang on endlessly about the “Chosen people”, readers should inform themselves how it is used as more latterly we’ve seen it seep into mainstream discourse.

        Readers interested in combating should study its usage in Far Right forums/bulletin boards or look at the background to the Guardian’s apology about Deborah Orr’s comments and why.

      • modernity's ghost said,


        Readers interested in combating such racism should study

  46. modernity's ghost said,

    Readers will notice how the contributor here, Yosser Hughes, has provided us with another example of the tactics employed by racists.

    Rather than addressing the content of the play, Yosser Hughes invokes the “some of my best friends are…” defence.

    That supposedly because you have some connections to said social or ethnic group that you can’t contribute, amplifier or articulate loathing towards them.

    Utter nonsense, of course, because it means an aberration of the evidence and personalises it along the lines of “I’m a decent chap I couldn’t possibly do that…”.

    Older readers will remember this tawdry excuse being employed by Jim Davison in the 1970s. Davidson would invariably say “My mate, chalky. said…..” and then proceed to conjure up racist jokes against blacks.

    It was an incredibly weak excuse even in the Seventies with the prevalence of antiblack racism in Britain, but now like so many racist ideas and excuses it doesn’t die merely morph into a new form.

    It is employed in various forms but normally along the lines of “Some of my best friends are Jewish, I am not a racist, *but*…” then the bile pours out.

    It’s not a static tactic, changing its employment and wordage, but the essential argument is the same, “ignore the contents of the racism think of the people and what how nice they are, they couldn’t possibly condone racism, because they are jolly, sniffing, chaps and chapettes, etc”

    You might even consider it is as variation on the appeal to authority fallacy.

    Nonsense all the same, and use by racists extensively.

  47. Yosser Hughes said,

    None of the names listed are my friends – although I have met one of them – I just trust their judgement of the play over a vicious little warmonger who screams ‘racist’ or ‘anti-semite’ at anyone who points out his stupidity.

  48. modernity's ghost said,

    Yosser Hughes clearly isn’t the sharpest screwdriver in the toolbox.

    He tries literalism, a common resort of racist, readers will have heard used many times.

    I remember one example, again in a pub when a bigot said “I’ve got nothing against blacks, it’s the Jamaicans I can’t stand….” but even the inebriated drunks of the bar could see through that transparent argument.

    Yosser Hughes employs the argument that because some Jewish actors condoned, participated and even supported that awful play, Seven Jewish Children, therefore it can’t be racist.

    Yosser Hughes, himself, makes no qualitative judgement on the contents of the play, which he could read here,

    He makes no judgement because he’s more interested in personalities than the contents of play, the negative connotations and the pointed way it is aimed squarely at Jews. To discuss the contents is about analysing racism, and that something that racists don’t like doing.

    It’s a bit too close to home. It reminds them of the bitterness they keep inside.

    So we are meant to forget the contents of the play and trust to the people in authority that vouch for it. How fallacious. How predictable.

    • skidmarx said,

      modernitybully has nothing against socialists;it’s the left-wingers he can’t stand.

      • sackcloth and ashes said,

        What makes you think you’re either a socialist or a left-winger, you Interahamwe-loving piece of shit?

  49. sackcloth and ashes said,

    Notice also his remark about Margoyles, Caplan et al. I presume Yosser would argue that early 20th century Hollywood wasn’t racist, because it gave Stepin Fetchit a career.

    He also thinks that the motives of a writer (in this case, Caryl Churchill) are irrelevant to the discussion, which is a rather shabby trick on his part.

    But since he doesn’t even understand the contrast between what a Jew and a Jew-hater are referring to when they use the term ‘chosen people’, this is probably a consequence of preternatural stupidity.

  50. Yosser Hughes said,

    I would prefer the opinions of intelligent, respected actors and directors over the rantings of a pair of smear merchants. To compare these people to Stepin Fetchit is disgusting, but typical of those who denigrate Jews who don’t share their love of the IDF. If you want to find anti-semites you don’t need to look any further than Moronity and Binbag.

  51. sackcloth and ashes said,

    ‘To compare these people to Stepin Fetchit is disgusting, but typical of those who denigrate Jews who don’t share their love of the IDF. If you want to find anti-semites you don’t need to look any further than Moronity and Binbag’.

    I would try to respond to that remark, but it’s so deranged that it renders any attempt at a rational retort pointless. There are tramps pissed up on Special Brew who can express themselves more eloquently and persuasively than you.

  52. modernity's ghost said,

    I wonder what other techniques Yosser Hughes will go for?

    After all we have had him employing:

    1) a variation of the “some of this play best friends are Jewish” defence

    2) the “Chosen people” sneer.

    I suppose he will try a hat trick and start droning on about “The Lobby”? Or Perhaps Khazars?

  53. blerehgc ocmaomnetareyr said,

    Mooralitey blrergggG anD shitcloth&arses vs shitskidders and StEEVE Haitch for steps. ALL CuRRNTS.

    • sackcloth and ashes said,

      Talking of tramps on Special Brew …

      • blerrgggHHHHHH CKomentaryERER said,

        SHAASHC<LLOTH AND ashes = liberal piece of human excrement.

  54. blerehgc ocmaomnetareyr said,

    0oPPPS shUD hEV rED ‘StEEVE Haitch *from* steps’. vERHYY sloppy ooof me IO apologerize four mai erra

    • Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

      blergHH CcOmnetaytoR: also yoU forgoT to mention that JAyMES Bloodwerth who blerGhS at this Shiraz playce Is also a member ov an A Ha tribute band.

  55. sackcloth and ashes said,

    I’ve got no spare change. Sorry.

  56. Law Practice Professionals said,

    This is a fantastic web site, will you be involved with doing a job interview about how exactly a person designed this? If so e-mail me personally!

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