Crowing over Brian Haw’s death


by Sunny
22nd June, 2011 at 10:30 am    

You may have heard that peace campaigner Brian Haw died last week. Haw wasn’t a perfect man by any stretch of the imagination. But he had good ideals, he was campaigning for peace and he stuck by his mission. I deeply respect him for that. LBC radio regularly called me for a comment on why Haw should have the right to occupy that space and I resolutely defended his right every time.

Far from showing any sympathy however, Harry’s Place regular contributor “Libby T” is crowing over his death, calling him “insane to the end”, a “nut”, “lunatic”, “mad” and a “political quack”. I’m sure the fact that Haw opposed a war in Iraq that bloggers at Harry’s Place keep defending (like a bunch of inbred disease-ridden rats) has nothing to do with it.

Gimpy, who blogged about Brian Haw’s condition is right when he says:

Mr Haw’s cancer was almost certainly incurable, but rather than spending his final days being cared for by medical professionals in the UK, he was sent to Germany by conspiracy theorists, offered the false prospect of a cure, and was subjected to unnecessary and ineffective treatments.

There is certain to be a resurgence of debate about Mr Haw’s principles, politics and behaviour as a result of his death, but probably little on the circumstances surrounding it. Regardless of what you may think of Mr Haw, perhaps the greatest injustice he has undergone in the last decade is not the disruption, court actions and parliamentary discussion surrounding his protest, all of which have been debated and ruled on by a transparent democratic and legal system, but the falsities told to him by supporters of alternative medicine in denial of the facts.

Homoeopathy is dangerous when it gives people false hope. Maybe Haw believed that it could help him where conventional medicine couldn’t. Desperate people do desperate things.

But all this is irrelevant to bloggers at Harry’s Place. What matters there is the willingness to use the death of a person to advance the convoluted argument that people who opposed the war were “mad”.

Fellow blogger Neil D defends the blog-post in the comments below by asking: “Are we to remain silent while Penny and Benn wax lyrical about him?“. No, clearly you’re meant to react by dancing on his grave. Just wow.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  2. ?ø???? ??

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  3. Mabel Horrocks

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  4. Kate Harris

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  5. neil lambert

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  6. Michael Bater

    RT @sunny_hundal: Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://t.co/h51Of1a


  7. Graham Linehan

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  8. Roger Bliss

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  9. Dean

    Good post. Haw may have been eccentric but he had right to protest RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  10. RScandle

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  11. Graham Lowell

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C


  12. Robert Hesketh

    Blogged: : Crowing over Brian Haw's death http://bit.ly/k6bL7C




  1. David Harney — on 22nd June, 2011 at 10:45 am  

    Brian Haw may have been many things, but he was of this country, & believed passionately in his principles, & his cause. He believed in democracy. But democracy didnt always believe in him! Good Blog thank you!

  2. Alvin lucier — on 22nd June, 2011 at 10:54 am  

    Did he arse believe in democracy.

  3. Webbo — on 22nd June, 2011 at 11:06 am  

    Spot on Alvin.

  4. Ravi Naik — on 22nd June, 2011 at 11:16 am  

    Homoeopathy is dangerous when it gives people false hope. Maybe Haw believed that it could help him where conventional medicine couldn’t. Desperate people do desperate things. But all this is irrelevant to bloggers at Harry’s Place. What matters there is the willingness to use the death of a person to advance the convoluted argument that people who opposed the war were “mad”.

    This is beyond ideology or politics. It is dishonest and totally heartless.

  5. Optimist — on 22nd June, 2011 at 12:29 pm  

    I met Brian Haw many times during my trips to London and always stopped to have a chat. He was always very polite and never tried to preach but people could not fail to be influenced by him from the example that he sat.

    Looking into his eyes you could see the calm and steely determination that he possessed which was inspiring for anyone who had the privilege to meet him. Soon after last Christmas I was passing by again and stopped to check him out but was told by others at the camp that unfortunately he is in Germany having treatment.

    Whatever the merits of his chosen treatment, the people crowing over his untimely death are no more than maggots who are defiling his memory!

  6. Dr Paul — on 22nd June, 2011 at 12:52 pm  

    If the Harry Place ‘Decents’ had any integrity, they would have mounted a ‘War Now!’ picket outside the Houses of Parliament, demanding war against all and sundry countries that did not meet their level of democracy and general decency.

  7. jon BG — on 22nd June, 2011 at 12:52 pm  

    It is odd for you to take the moral high ground in this way while referring to those who simply had a different view as a bunch of inbred disease-ridden rats. (Unless I’m missing something and this was someone else’s epithet turned on them, of course, the only excuse I can imagine for such bile). That said, Haw was clearly borderline insane, was a signed-on truther nutjob and everything Libby T says he was. And let’s be very careful about denouncing ‘grave dancing’. Let’s face it, this rather nasty trend has been kicked off by those of your tedious persuasion who await the death of Margaret Thatcher with undenied glee.

  8. Sunny — on 22nd June, 2011 at 2:37 pm  

    That said, Haw was clearly borderline insane

    Yeah, CLEARLY you and your mate Libby T are certified doctors. fuck off.

  9. Refresh — on 22nd June, 2011 at 4:37 pm  

    RIP Brian.

    He acted for many many millions.

  10. Refresh — on 22nd June, 2011 at 4:56 pm  

    Has anyone established why HP are keen on war and more wars? Democracy and ‘decency’ is a red herring.

  11. damon — on 22nd June, 2011 at 5:01 pm  

    I don’t think he deserved much attention really. An excentric who put himself in such a public place that you couldn’t ignore him, but his message was too simplistic I think.
    What was his analysis of Britain and NATO’s role in Afghanistan? Just ”troops out”?
    Of course, mocking the dead is not on if that’s what’s being done by some bloggers.

  12. Rumbold — on 22nd June, 2011 at 9:27 pm  

    Whatever one thought of Brian Haw’s politics/views, there was something quietly inspiring about one unkempt man, protesting day and night for years, defying the power and pomposity of parliament. All the laws they passed, all the court orders, couldn’t get rid of him. He was an irrelevance, an eyesore and a menace to tourism we were told. He was protesting about something which had already happened. Yet there he stayed.

    It also says a lot good about the foundations of the rule of law in this country- in many others places he would just have been thrown out and nobody would have cared.

    The HP attack is an example of what happens when people put hatred of views ahead of basic decency. I look forward to an article this robust when Margaret Thatcher dies.

  13. Boyo — on 22nd June, 2011 at 9:54 pm  

    well said sunny.

    @10 – because none of them have actually been in one

  14. David O'Keefe — on 22nd June, 2011 at 10:18 pm  

    Rummy, when Thatcher dies there will be some absolutely vile bile poured forth. Understandable in some quarters, for reasons that I won’t go into; but in the case of Pinter and Haw, individuals that have done no harm, it is undeserved.

  15. Sunny — on 22nd June, 2011 at 10:26 pm  

    If Thatcher dies, I bet some people will dance on her grave. I won’t join them and will probably think of them as idiots. But Brian Haw did not destroy anyone else’s life either.

  16. Vic — on 23rd June, 2011 at 12:40 am  

    Brian Haw was a man of great conviction, and he exemplified that conviction for years by his protests.

    As Damon says, his message was too simplistic, and yoking Afghanistan to Iraq just weakened it, as it weakens the argument of all who do so. Afghanistan is not a war started by the west, anymore than the US started the Pacific war in 1941. I do think his argument was so simplistic as to be not much use politically. And in view of his fondness for 911 conspiracy theories, suggesting he was a bit barmy at least implies he wasn’t led to such theories by mere malice, which is surely the case with many.

    I do respect him for carrying on saying what he believed in despite the hard conditions and mockery – now that IS a worthy and useful example – and I do feel sorry for the suffering he must have undergone through the cancer. I hope he is at peace now.

  17. douglas clark — on 23rd June, 2011 at 1:43 am  

    It is a good thing, is it not, that the pomposity of the States pretentions can be deflated by a single citizen? So what if he was wrong. We should celebrate a culture that allowed him to be wrong. I would rather that than the assumptions of senatorial excess by MPs, and it has to be said, a certain PM.

  18. Vic — on 23rd June, 2011 at 10:39 am  

    I agree with that Douglas. It’s important that people such as Brian haw should be able to say and do what they say and do and not be bundled away or ‘disappeared’. It’s part and parcel of a reasonably healthy democratic society. And whatever one thinks of the validity of his arguments, he was not a hatemonger.

  19. Ravi Naik — on 23rd June, 2011 at 11:30 am  

    The HP attack is an example of what happens when people put hatred of views ahead of basic decency. I look forward to an article this robust when Margaret Thatcher dies.

    To be honest, I don’t see a problem in people becoming overjoyed because someone they perceived to have done great harm is dead. As long as, of course, they don’t literally dance on someone’s grave.

    What I find disgusting about Libby T is that he used the last days of a terminally ill person to score points. An absolute disgrace.

  20. anon — on 23rd June, 2011 at 4:20 pm  

    “But Brian Haw did not destroy anyone else’s life either”

    What about his wife and seven children?

  21. douglas clark — on 23rd June, 2011 at 11:06 pm  

    Ravi Naik,

    To be honest, I don’t see a problem in people becoming overjoyed because someone they perceived to have done great harm is dead.

    Well, yes. Maybe.

    But you’d assume that that would be restricted to people who have actually done great harm?

    What actual harm did Brian Haw do?

    Offended the great and the good of Westminster? What else?

  22. Don — on 23rd June, 2011 at 11:19 pm  

    anon,

    That’s slimy. Creepy, creepy anon.

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