Why I (allegedly) changed my name “to seem Muslim”

April 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm (AWL, Jim D, perversity, sectarianism, secularism, stalinism, students, SWP, truth)

The following appears in the present issue of Solidarity & Workers Liberty. Until a few years ago I would have had difficulty believing the truth of what the writer claims (or at least suspected him of wild exaggeration), but sadly it rings all too true these days. And not just about the SWP, but also other degenerate, hysterical and petit bourgeois sections of the “left” including certain blogs:

Recently, someone I know through my student AWL comrades told me about a claim a prominent student SWP member had made about me. This SWPer had told her that I changed my name to Sacha Ismail in order to sound more Muslim: the implication being that I was seeking to cover up or mitigate the AWL’s supposedly “Islamophobic” – in fact secularist, anti-racist – politics. My original name, believe it or not, was John Smith.

(Just to be clear, Sacha Ismail is my real name. My father is Bangladeshi and my full name is Alexander Salim Ismail. Sacha is short for Alexander.)

In itself, this is just ludicrous and bit bizarre – not worth mentioning in print, let alone writing an article about. I am writing about it by way of introduction to a more general point, because it seems almost emblematic of the surreal torrent of lies which gets poured out against the AWL by some others on the left – particular the SWP, and particularly in the weird world of student politics.

Unfortunately, most of these lies are more significant than me changing my name. There are so many that it’s hard to know where to start. The AWL supports the presence of Israeli troops in the Occupied Territories; we support an Israeli attack on Iran; we think Islam is worse than other religions… I have even been told, on Facebook, that we drag Muslim people into bars in order to throw them out (yes, you read that right – that was from the same person who said my name is John Smith). The claims made by a small number of “left-wingers” run on and on, becoming more and more hysterical and implausible. God knows what gets said behind our backs, when we can’t respond.

Let’s take one example which is clear and instructive.

At the National Campaign and Fees and Cuts conference, there was a motion proposed by members of various left groups to oppose war and sanctions on Iran. It said nothing about the character of the Iranian regime or solidarity with its victims. We proposed a four line amendment stating our solidarity with the struggles of students, workers, women and national minorities in Iran (see here), which passed. Because of this, the SWP, Counterfire and others who had originally proposed the motion voted against it! That was bad enough. But it was not all.

SWP student leader Mark Bergfeld got up and told the conference AWL students had proposed the amendment because the AWL supports war on Iran! This was despite the fact that our amendment didn’t remove a single word from the original motion. And despite the fact that in his speech for the amendment our comrade Bob Sutton began with our opposition to war and sanctions and repeated it several times.

It so happened that the back page of our paper that week also included a headline: “No to war and sanctions” – pretty clear evidence of our position, you would think.

The point is that members of the SWP, rather than debating their real diffrences with opponents on the left, particularly the AWL, regularly slander them. In the case of the Iran debate, they probably felt under particular pressure to do so, because their position – opposing any solidarity with Iranian students, workers etc as pro-imperialist – is really pretty embarrassing. Easier to claim the AWL is pro-war than to defend that.

If SWPers made arguments along the lines of: “We think the AWL’s opposition to war on Iran is unreliable. Despite stating they oppose an attack, they published an article saying Israel had good reason to strike Iran’s nuclear program. Is that a record we can trust? In any case, this is why we believe their stance on solidarity, despite its good intentions, weakens the thrust of the anti-war position we are trying to put forward…” – that would be wrong (in our view, of course), but at least a respect-worthy attempt to actually debate us. Why don’t they do that? I think partly because many of them are not very confident in their own arguments, and partly because slandering opponents is increasingly part of their political DNA.

My student comrades also experienced this kind of nonsense in the election for University of London Union Vice President (see here). AWL member Daniel Lemberger Cooper, who won the election, was accused of all kinds of ridiculous things by campaigners for his opponent, SWP member Ross Speer, including being a racist and a sexist. (The large number of black, anti-racist and feminist activists who backed him across London, and particularly at his university Royal Holloway, obviously disagreed.)

I’m not sure why this kind of dishonesty and sectarianism is worse in the student movement than the labour movement. But I suspect it may be to do with the fact that people stay in the student movement for relatively brief periods of time. In the labour movement, where people often work together, in the same workplaces, industries and unions, for many years, there is a built-in tendency against this sort of behaviour. If SWPers in the NUT or Unison, for instance, regularly called us racist, they would much more quickly discredit themselves in the eyes of union activists. In the student movement too, though, the SWP’s behaviour alienates a lot of people: which is one of the reasons that most independent left activists, including many who disagree with us about issues like Palestine, backed Daniel Cooper in the ULU election.

And on the other hand, there is lying and dishonesty on the left in the labour movement as well. In all cases, the willingness of the SWP and others on the left to tell lies about their opponents poisons the political atmosphere. Cut it out, comrades! Let’s debate our differences openly and honestly instead.

-Sacha Ismail, South London

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Atzmon is an antisemite, which is bad: at least we can agree on that

August 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm (Anti-Racism, anti-semitism, fascism, Jim D, mental health, perversity, wankers)

Above: Atzmon, saxist and racist

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From ‘Harry’s Place’:

Zero Books and Gilad Atzmon

Joseph W, August 5th 2011, 1:00 pm

Gilad Atzmon is a jazz musician, who promotes pretty much every single antisemitic theory of the neo Nazi Right, including Holocaust denial.

You can read some of his nastiest quotes here.

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Me (commenting at ‘Shiraz‘):

Some of us have been warning the left (and especially the “anti-Zionist” left) about Atzmon for years, with only limited success. The SWP no longer actively champions him, but (as far as I’m aware) have yet to account for their years of promoting him as both a performer and a “respectable” commentator on the Middle East, Zionism and related matters. The ‘Morning Star’ (notably their otherwise excellent jazz writer Chris Searle) continues to carry articles praising not just his music but his politics. People associated with the PSC and the BDS campaign recently organised a number of meetings at university campuses at which Atzmon was billed as a speaker (I’m not clear on whether the PCS itself endorsed these meetings; I know that some of the speakers billed to appear alongside Atzmon eventually pulled out). The ‘Guardian’ has repeatedly referred to Atzmon’s politics in such semi-approving terms as “provocative” , “anti-Zionist”, “outspoken”, etc.

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Nooman:

THERE MUST BE NO TOLERATION FOR ANTI-SEMITES

Filed under: anti-semitism — Andy Newman @ 11:27 am

I am concerned to learn that the anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, is writing a book on Jews for the Zero Books, as part of an otherwise entirely credible series of books by respected left figures such as Richard Seymour, Nina Power, Laurie Penny, and Owen Hatherley.

One can only can imagine what its content will be. Those who have been following Atzmon’s attempts to associate himself with the left will be in no doubt that Atzmon is a Jew-hater, and Zero books should urgently reconsider

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‘Harry’s Place’, ‘Shiraz Socialist’ and ‘Socialist Unity’ don’t have much in common, and are often in dispute with each other. But, it seems, we can all recognise the poison of antisemitism when we encounter it, and want to do something about it.

Write to Zero Books to demand that they refuse to publish Atzmon’s filth.

Zero books seems to be owned by John Hunt Publishers Ltd, a Christian publishers, whose address is: 46(a) West Street, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9AU and/or Laurel House
Station Approach, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 9JH; email: office1@o-books.net

We should also demand that  Zero Books’ trendy new ‘leftie’ signings Nina Power, Laurie Penny , Owen Hatherley and our old friend Lenny “Seymour” Tombstone (leninstombblog@googlemail.com), make representations.

Do it now!

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Larkin, Bechet and “the natural noise of good”

June 14, 2010 at 10:17 pm (BBC, jazz, Jim D, literature, music, perversity, Racism)

The City of Hull has just begun ‘Larkin 25’,  a 25-week-long event, marking the 25th anniversary of the poet’s death on 2nd December 1985.  BBC Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’ hosted by Mark Lawson, plugged the event, but spent at least half its time promoting the charges that Larkin was:

a/  a misogynist;

b/ a racist;

c/ a Nazi sympathiser.

No-one on the programme challenged these claims and even the suggestion (from one of the organisers of the Hull event) that we should separate the man from his work, came over as tacit acceptance that the allegations are true.

Alan Plater, a staunch defender of Larkin’s memory, did not feature in ‘Front Row’, but could have provided some balance. Plater wrote (in the Graun in 2002) about an incident in the 1970’s:

“I was on a selection panel with Larkin and a man from the Arts Council, given the task of selecting a poet-in-residence for a college in Hull. One of the applicants was black. After the interviews the man from the Arts Council said: ‘What did we think of our coloured cousin?’ To which Larkin and I replied, in synch: ‘We give him the job.’ Which we did, to the splendid Archie Markham.”

In his role as self-appointed counsel for the defence, Plater has written elsewhere (the forward to Larkin’s Jazz, Continuum, 2001):

“This collection goes a long way towards reclaiming Philip from the demonologists (Chandler used to call them ‘primping second-guessers’) who fell on the Selected Letters and the (Andrew Motion) biography with evangelical zeal and pronounced him unfit for human consumption on the basis of racism, sexism and various other disorders lumped together under any other business on that day’s agenda.

“Well, here is our designated demon on the racist issue, writing in 1969:

“‘It is an irony almost too enormous to be noticed that the thorough penetration of Anglo-Saxon civilisation by Afro-American culture by means of popular music is a direct, though long-term, result of the abominable slave trade.’

“And on the sexist issue, at the end of a review of books about Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday in 1973, he writes:

“‘Different in their styles, similar in their quality, these two women gave the world more than it could ever have repaid, even if it had tried.’

“Here are two huge, compassionate truths wrapped up in a sentence apiece, each informed by decency and anger, and enough to start a revolution any day of the week.”

For what it’s worth, I personally believe that the charge of sexism/misogyny carries some weight (Plater’s dismissal of it – “How can anyone be a womaniser and a misogynist?” – is pretty weak); the charge of racism comes with enough (albeit conflicting) evidence to be at least worthy of consideration; the charge of Nazi sympathies is simply an outrageous slur disgracefully repeated by Mark Lawson, whose only evidence seems to be that Larkin kept a mechanical model of Hitler once owned by his father (who was a Nazi sympathiser).

If I don’t go all the way with Plater, I am certainly with him in giving Larkin’s love of jazz a lot of weight in the case for the defence. As Plater notes, “It is no coincidence that repressive regimes the world over, taking their cue from Hitler, have always hated jazz, the music that doesn’t play by the rules, or as Philip describes it: ‘that incredible argot that in the first half of the 20th century spoke to all nations and all intelligences equally’.”

And Larkin’s love of one jazz musician in particular is significant: the black New Orleans clarinetist and soprano sax master Sidney Bechet, for whom Larkin’s enthusiasm knew no bounds:

“There are not many perfect things in jazz, but Bechet playing the blues could be one of them“,  he wrote in the Guardian in 1960.

As a young jazz record collector in Oxford in 1941, he wrote to a friend about a Bechet record: “I rushed out on Monday and bought ‘Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning’. Fucking, cunting, bloody good! Bechet is a great artist. As soon as he starts playing you automatically stop thinking about anything else and listen. Power and glory!”

And, of course, in his 1964 collection ‘The Whitsun Weddings’, Larkin included this:

For Sidney Bechet

That note you hold, narrowing and rising, shakes
Like New Orleans reflected on the water,
And in all ears appropriate falsehood wakes,

Building for some a legendary Quarter
Of balconies, flower-baskets and quadrilles,
Everyone making love and going shares–

Oh, play that thing! Mute glorious Storyvilles
Others may license, grouping around their chairs
Sporting-house girls like circus tigers (priced

Far above rubies) to pretend their fads,
While scholars manqués nod around unnoticed
Wrapped up in personnels like old plaids.

On me your voice falls as they say love should,
Like an enormous yes.  My Crescent City
Is where your speech alone is understood,

And greeted as the natural noise of good,
Scattering long-haired grief and scored pity.

Here’s the record Larkin enthused over so colourfully in 1941:

…and here’s Larkin’s favourite jazz record of all  (the band, led by Alan Elsdon, at his Westminster Abbey memorial service recreated it): Bechet’s ‘Blue Horizon’:

I don’t believe that anyone who loved that piece of music (and the man who created it) so much, and called it “the natural noise of good”,  can have been all bad.

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Vanessa and the Prince

February 22, 2010 at 1:11 am (Champagne Charlie, cults, media, perversity, sectarianism, strange situations)

I don’t begrudge Vanessa Redgrave her Bafta award – she’s a fine actress. Nor do I wish her any personal ill, especially following the death of her daughter Natasha.

But the sight of this former West End Revolutionary Party dogmatist and sectarian, who covered up the crimes of Gerry Healy,  denounced critics as “Zionists” and supported the WRP’s  spying on Libyan and Iraqi dissidents, bowing and scraping before Prince William last night…

 

Vanessa Redgrave curtseys to Prince William at the Bafta awards
Congratulations: Self-confessed republican Vanessa Redgrave greeted the Prince warmly 
.
…would have been hilarious, if it wasn’t simply nauseating.
.
Sean Matgamna on Gerry Healy and the collapse of the WRP in the 1980’s:
” With Vanessa Redgrave—a splendid actress politically short of more than a few of the pages necessary for a full shooting script—playing Cordelia to his Lear, Healy fled from the wrath of his political children. He died in December 1989, by now an enthusiastic supporter of Russia’s reforming Stalinist Tzar, Gorbachev. Asserting to the end his right to believe what he wanted to believe, he imagined that he saw Gorbachev carrying out Trotsky’s programme in the USSR! Thus the “Gerry Healy story” would have a happy ending!”

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Lest we forget: CND Stalinist Hudson supports Iran’s nuke programme, Socialist Worker 2006

September 27, 2009 at 1:01 am (Champagne Charlie, Iran, Middle East, perversity, stalinism, SWP)

From Socialist Worker, 18 March 2006:

“The US and Britain are nuclear hypocrites

“The US and Britain are threatening Iran, accusing the regime of developing a nuclear weapons programme. Kate Hudson, the chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), spoke to Socialist Worker, exposing the Western powers’ hypocrisy

“Iran is being accused of breaking the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) by the West. The NPT is designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. It was originally signed by the US, the Soviet Union and Britain in 1968, and since by over 180 states.

“All of the states that signed the NPT have a number of obligations. There are three parts to the treaty.

“Firstly, the countries that already had nuclear weaponry when the treaty was signed, such as Britain and the US, pledged to disarm.

“Secondly, countries that signed up to the treaty and did not already have nuclear weapons pledged not to build them. The stated aim was to end the age of nuclear weaponry.

“The third part of the treaty is that states complying can develop nuclear power, and will be helped by the other states that have the technology and resources.

“Inspection systems, set up by the International Atomic Energy Authority, are designed to make sure no one cheats. As a signatory of the NPT, Iran is entitled to develop nuclear power.

“It has had a nuclear power programme since the 1970s. It has been helped at times by both the US and Britain.

“Iran maintains that it is pursuing a programme of civilian nuclear power, while the US says it is developing nuclear weapons.

“There is no evidence that Iran is doing anything other than pursuing a programme to develop nuclear power. So why is it being condemned?

“Iran has signed up to a part of the NPT which means that it is subjected to more frequent and more intrusive inspections.

“This an indignity that neither the US or Britain put themselves through.

“These rigorous inspections have found nothing to suggest that Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons.

“The one area where Iran can be called into question is that prior to 2003 it did not acknowledge the full scale of its nuclear development.

“But that was resolved three years ago. The stories coming out now are pure spin.

“There is a very great danger that this spin over Iran’s nuclear power programme will be used in the same way as the claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction was used over Iraq in 2003.

“Governments are playing on people’s concerns about the regime in Iran.

“But the issue is not really about nuclear weapons. It is about who controls Iran’s oil and gas.

“The spin is part of the US plan for regional dominance.

“I don’t think that the US and Britain are going to invade Iran. It seems more likely that they will use air strikes. Iran is a much stronger country than Iraq was three years ago.

“The external rhetoric has united groups in the country who might previously been divided, and Iran has not suffered years of sanctions.

“It is also possible that the US will use tactical nuclear weapons or that Israel – the only nuclear power in the Middle East – will act.

“Israel is supported by the US. Despite many resolutions being passed by the United Nations calling for an end to nuclear weapons in the region no action has been taken to force Israel to get rid of its nuclear weapons.

“Everything about the current situation is hypocritical. Both the US and Britain have built new nuclear weapons since signing the NPT.

“Tony Blair is currently in the process of deciding whether to replace the Trident nuclear misille system.

“North Korea is now in a position where its government feels that nuclear weapons are necessary.

“We need to pursue a path internationally that will bring an end to the dependance on nuclear weapons.

“The current path that the US and Britain are pursuing could have disastrous consequences for us all.”

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Seymour and Yoshie hail fascism

June 14, 2009 at 12:53 am (fascism, Human rights, Iran, Jim D, perversity, stalinism, SWP)

Lennie “Seymour” Tombstone and his Islamofascist -cum- Stalinist pal Yoshie Furuhasmi gloat over the victory of clerical fascism in Iran:

Of course: after the fascists, come us…said the third-period Stalinists…Yoshie goes so far as to call it a “class vote”: well, I suppose you can argue that, just like Hitler’s 1933 election victory, it was was a “class vote”…by the lumpen proletariat and the peasantry…

Ahmadinejad Won posted by Yoshie

 

Iran’s election commission still hasn’t counted all the votes (roughly 32 million votes in total), but, according to the official results based on about 28 million votes counted so far, Ahmadinejad (18,302,924 votes) defeated Mousavi (8,929,232 votes).

Most of the Western media were predicting a close race, and some were even suggesting that a landslide for Mousavi might be possible. But the actual results were presaged by those of the telephone survey of Iranian voters conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow: The Center for Public Opinion, the New America Foundation, and KA Europe SPRL about a month before election day.

TFT/NAF/KA Survey
Who Will You Vote for in Presidential Elections?

Official Results as Reported by BBC Persian
2009 Presidential Election in Iran

IMHO, it’s a class vote again.

UPDATE

Based on the counting of nearly 31 million votes, the results are 19,761,433 votes for Ahmadinejad, 9,841,056 votes for Mousavi, 633,048 votes for Mohsen Rezaei, and 270,885 votes for Mehdi Karrubi.

Official Results as Reported by BBC Persian
2009 Presidential Election in Iran

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RCP hegemonise The Moral Maze

June 25, 2008 at 10:21 pm (cults, Jim D, media, perversity, rcp, serbia, strange situations, Uncategorized)

I’ve just been listening to Radio 4’s The Moral Maze – supposedly an up-market, intellekshul discussion of matters ethical. This week the debate was supposed to be about Zimbabwe and “who’s to blame?”

It was crap. Mainly because (in the absence of  “Mad Mel“) the programme was dominated by longstanding Moral Maze ethics girl Claire Fox of the so-called ‘Institute of Ideas’, backed up by new boy Kenan Malik, whose qualifications and affiliations were not divulged (the other two panellists were Catholic theologian Clifford Longley and ex-Tory cabinet minister Michael Portillo) .

Kanan Malik is a very interesting fellow, who has written some good stuff about racism, secularism and equality. So why was he lamely (and, it seemed to me, embarrassedly) backing up Claire Fox’s crass “anti-imperialist” excuses for Mugabe? Could it possibly be because Malik, for all his erudition, is a member of the same organisation as Claire Fox? They’re both members of the bizarre ex-Marxist outfit led by Professor Frank Furedi (University of Kent), that started out as the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), became ‘Living Marxism’ (LM Group) and now operates as an ostensibly ‘libertarian’ outfit  through such front organisations as The ‘Institute of Ideas’, ‘Spiked-online’ , ‘Sense about Science’ (who famously upset George Monbiot by denying the reality of global warming) and the ‘Manifesto Club’ (now much favoured by London Mayor Boris Johnson).

Their other claim to fame is (for all their proclaimed ‘libertarianism’) acting as opologists for some of the vilest and most genocidal regimes and dictators in recent history – notably in 1992 when (operating as ‘Living Marxism’) they attempted to defend Serb ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and claimed that ITN journalists had fabricated a report and photographs of the Serb concentraton camp at Trpopolje. ‘Living Marxism’ and its editor, Mick Hulme (now a columnist on Murdoch’s Times, but still part of the ex-RCP organisation), lost a libel action brought by ITN, closed down the magazine and went online as Spiked online.

Since then the ex-RCP has renounced the remnance of its Marxist/Trotskyist past, positioned itself as ‘libertarian’ and ‘iconoclastic’ (actually, its claim to be ‘iconoclastic’ is mainly pretence, as Claire Fox’s banal standard-issue “anti imperialism” – aka defence of national sovereignty as an absolute principle – on the Moral Maze regularly demonstrates) and concentrated upon infiltrating the bourgeois media. They’ve had some success, what with Mick Hulme’s column in the Times , Living Marxism’s former Science Correspondent John Gillott conning Channel 4 into giving him and fellow RCP’er Martin Durkin a series, and Prof Ferudi popping up all over the place on Radio 4 to comment on such matters as the excesses of Health and Safety legislation and the dangers of mollycoddling your kids.

But the crowning triumph – so far – of the RCP is their colonisation of Radio 4’s Moral Maze. Not only is Claire Fox an established permanent panel member, but she now seems to be able to bring on ‘deps’ like Kanan Malik whenever one of the other regulars is away. So, this week, 50 per cent of the Moral Maze panel was RCP! I must get on to Mad Mel about this…

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“No To This Sort Of Thing!”

June 22, 2008 at 6:55 pm (abortion, Europe, insanity, Jim D, perversity, strange situations, truth)

The political basis of the “No to Lisbon” campaign:

John Palmer talks sense about the profoundly reactionary nature of the “No” campaign,  here

…or, as Ollie says: “Thanks for the cash: now feck off!”

Unfortunately, the anti-Lisbon “Down With This Sort Of Thing” campaign succeeded.

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Who’s laughing now?

June 15, 2008 at 11:00 pm (Civil liberties, democracy, elections, Human rights, labour party, perversity, political groups, politics, strange situations, voltairespriest)

PhotobucketDavid Davis’ decision to resign his seat in Haltemprice and Howden in order to force a by-election over the 42 day detention issue has predictably caused an absolute furore in the media. Initially it was felt that Davis had overstepped the mark, that David Cameron was furious as a consequence, that the Tories were in disarray and that therefore Gordon Brown was off the hook. Government advisors were swarming around journalists crowing that the Conservative Party had once again shown that it was unfit for office, and that therefore There Is No Alternative to Gordon. None of the other parties planned to stand against Davis.

Except that three days later it doesn’t all look quite so rosy, does it? Davis has effectively kept the 42 day issue in the public press, has constantly come back to the issue on which he is wanting to fight the election, and now appears to have a growing base of support, including cross-party backing from Medway MP Bob Marshall-Andrews. His staff claim to have been flooded with endorsements from ordinary members of the public across the political spectrum. And finally it looks like he will have some kind of pro-42 days, high profile opponent, possibly in the form of gurning circus side-show Kelvin MacKenzie, who is being backed by the Australian-American Rupert Murdoch. Further, if rumours of Downing Street involvement in MacKenzie’s candidacy are true, then No 10 staffers will effectively have been complicit in putting up a candidate in Haltemprice and Howden who is to Davis’ right, thus enabling him to come at a government backed candidate from the left. Lest we forget, trying to attack the Tories from the right did Tamsin Dunwoody no good in Crewe and Nantwich, and Davis’ constituency sure ain’t as Labour-friendly as Crewe. Either way I think it’s possible to be sure that Davis has at least a reasonable chance of beating the creator of News Bunny.

What are the implications of all this? Davis has certainly set the cat among the pigeons, both stealing the limelight spectacularly from Cameron and (although they didn’t realise it at first) really putting the scews on the Government. But does the situation also not raise the issue of a wider realignment in politics between on the one hand those who believe in freedom within the law and in the law as a guarantor of freedom, and on the other hand those who believe that the law should be a kind of giant behaviour regulator which directs our life choices towards those which a (presumably benevolent, at least in intent) powerful state knows to be right for us? I know which one ofthose beliefs brought me on to the left in the first place: I have always been a social libertarian who believes that state non-interference in private beliefs and practices is the best way of ensuring that people of all lifestyles and beliefs may live in equality under the law. I could never understand why anyone would want to use the law as a tool of oppression, and for me that belief has never wavered.

We are faced with a situation whereby a Tory candidate is standing for election on a platform as fundamental as “save Magna Carta”, and whereby also it is entirely probable that a Labour candidate (or a surrogate candidate taking the government’s view) will stand to abolish it. Not an easy call for a left that means what it says by freedom under the law.

I have never voted Tory in my life. But I can’t simply put my hand on my heart and say I hope Davis loses.

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The world turn’d upside down…

June 12, 2008 at 6:50 pm (Civil liberties, Human rights, Jim D, perversity, Tory scum, truth)

I admit it: I nearly choked on my lunchtime bitter shandy and just for a moment I was impressed:

OK: for more than a a moment, if you want the truth.

And there was this in today’s Graun

“The differences between socialism, conservatism and liberalism were (the late W H Greenleaf) argued, like differences between people, and what mattered was not some one-dimensional essence, but the particular mix, or mixes, just as a person was characterised not by one doctrine or belief, but by all the traits that made them an individual.”

I was close to cracking up, I can tell you.

So thank gawd for good ol’ Dave (Osler, not Davis!), sanity and some eternal truths.

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