BNP also a fan of Anthony Browne


by Sunny
31st July, 2008 at 8:32 am    

According to Dave Hill, the BNP people say Anthony Browne’s book, The Retreat of Reason, is:

A devastating expose of the effects of Political Correctness and its poisonous effect of public debate in modern Britain. The author shows how the media and government even resort to employing misleading statistical evidence to support their PC objectives. A far reaching book which has the left squealing in horror.

But apparently not everyone is convinced, as this review points out:

In similar vein, no council has ever banned black bin-bags as racist; this is another press-generated myth, as I demonstrate at some length in Culture Wars: the Media and the British Left (Edinburgh University Press 2005). When the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh was killed, Index on Censorship did not ‘automatically side with the comparatively powerless Islamic Dutch-Moroccan killer’, nor is it ‘on the brink of turning from an organisation that campaigns for freedom of speech to one that campaigns against it’. This is simply pernicious nonsense. School curricula have not ‘re-written’ history to portray Shakespeare and Florence Nightingale as homosexual, whatever the occasional individual school text may (or may not) contain. Multiculturalism does not require people ‘to give up feelings of tribalism and belonging and … to prefer “the other” to the familiar’, nor does it believe that those coming to this country should isolate themselves in ‘parallel societies’. Quite apart from the fact that both these claims are false, they’re also mutually contradictory. Again, it’s demonstrably untrue that ‘there are virtually no pressure groups that promote politically incorrect views’, still less that the ubiquitous Migrationwatch UK is ‘a lone group campaigning for less immigration’ which is ‘almost totally blackballed by the BBC’.

Need I go on?

But hey, this is Anthony Browne, why should facts stand in the way of a good rant? After all, the BNP likes it, so he must be doing something right. Right? At least Richard Barnbrook is likely to welcome Boris employing Browne as his policy director.


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  1. cjcjc — on 31st July, 2008 at 9:06 am  

    A far reaching book which has the left squealing in horror.

    QED!!

    the comparatively powerless Islamic Dutch-Moroccan killer

    Poor baby.

  2. MaidMarian — on 31st July, 2008 at 9:20 am  

    ‘why should facts stand in the way of a good rant?’

    Absolutely right. Very many of the ‘PC gone mad’ stories withstand absolutely no kind of scrutiny of any sort. Indeed, if hacks and the chatterati spent their time on real horror stories like the Council ban on athiest websites (on here a couple of days ago) then they may actually do some good instead of whipping up hate.

    But the stark reality Sunny is that if one says something often enough, people will start to believe it – both you and they know it.

  3. Ravi Naik — on 31st July, 2008 at 9:59 am  

    Attacking someone on the basis of whether the Sun or the BNP likes it, it is lame and somewhat cheap. If you have a case against Anthony Browne – and I believe you have – let’s focus solely on what he has to say.

    Islamists and the BNP are also against the Iraq War, so is that a legit attack against people like us who are also against it?

    Focus on the issues, not on third-party groups, specially those in the fringe.

  4. El Cid — on 31st July, 2008 at 10:09 am  

    That’s a very dirty ploy Sunny, which might have been effective in the 1980s but not now.

    I hear Nick Griffin likes cheese and pickle sandwiches too.

  5. Tom — on 31st July, 2008 at 10:29 am  

    “But the stark reality Sunny is that if one says something often enough, people will start to believe it – both you and they know it.”

    Agreed. I just can’t for the life of me see why – sooner or later there’ll be a clash between the entirely fantasy world created by Browne and co. and the reality of London, probably over policing. Frothing over imaginary multicultural insults is no substitute for proper public administration, and, when you get down to it, Boris and co. are just running a municipal administration, albeit a big one.

    As Alex Harrowell pointed out a few weeks back – ‘there is famously no Republican or Democratic way to pick up the garbage’. The same goes for PC-hating fantasy ideologues, too. We’ll just have to keep an eye out for the carnage and make sure blame is duly apportioned.

  6. DavidMWW — on 31st July, 2008 at 10:50 am  

    There are strong arguments to make against Anthony Browne, but argumentum ad BNP isn’t one of them.
    1) It isn’t an argument, it is a smear
    2) it is a logical fallacy
    3) it gives more importance to the opinions of the BNP than they deserve.

    People should stop doing it.

  7. cjcjc — on 31st July, 2008 at 12:13 pm  

    there is famously no Republican or Democratic way to pick up the garbage

    The garbage is of course the responsibility of the individual boroughs…

    But you are right. Let’s see how things have changed in a year or so.

    I think the anti-Boris camp is so stung by Ken’s loss that they are piling in so far on relatively trivial issues, eg Rise.

    If he’s as incompetent as they think, that should be manifest more widely soon enough and there’ll be plenty to pile in on!

  8. Tom — on 31st July, 2008 at 12:28 pm  

    “The garbage is of course the responsibility of the individual boroughs…”

    Er, it’s an analogy? There’s no Democrat or Republican way to run a bus service, either, but that’s a far more important part of the Mayor’s job than running festivals or employing intellectual pygmies who like wanking on about the evils of multiculturalism.

    Boris watching at present has two main strands – chronicaling what he’s doing and who he’s appointing, and attempting to predict the results – how London will change and whether it’ll be better or worse for various parts of the community.

  9. Herb — on 31st July, 2008 at 2:16 pm  

    ‘why should facts stand in the way of a good rant?’

    Indeed, that’s why you read the quoran.

    Our time soon.

  10. Bert Rustle — on 31st July, 2008 at 2:23 pm  

    In my opinion, Anthony Browne’s book itself suffers from Political Correctness, for example by the omission from the references of Political Correctness and the Theoretical Struggle, authored by Frank Ellis and which merits study.

    I would hazard a guess that one reason for this omission would be the interview of Frank Ellis by Matt Kennard, which I believe appeared in a Leeds University student publication.

  11. Sunny — on 31st July, 2008 at 3:36 pm  

    Attacking someone on the basis of whether the Sun or the BNP likes it, it is lame and somewhat cheap.

    Not really, its a fact. One has to wonder what endears him to the BNP so much. Is it because he perpetuates bullshit that they also believe in? Is it because they have common enemies? Is it because they believe in his view of society??

    This isn’t smear by association – there are serious questions to ask.

  12. MaidMarian — on 31st July, 2008 at 3:59 pm  

    Sunny (11) –

    They may well be serious question, but it is smear by association.

    If you look at the BNP manifesto their bizarre motherhood and apple pie view of the world makes them fans of many things.

    Browne’s work needs to stand and/or fall on its own merits. Not who agrees with him.

  13. cjcjc — on 31st July, 2008 at 4:26 pm  

    They may well be serious question, but it is smear by association.

    Indeed.

    The BNP is jumping on those things with which they agree. Surprise surprise.

    I doubt whether they allow black people the agency to which Browne refers when he refers to personal responsibility, for example. They probably believe that they are “naturally” criminal, or some such BS.

    Which is kind of what some on the left believe of course, though they express it differently!

  14. Boyo — on 31st July, 2008 at 4:40 pm  

    I noticed you being referred to approvingly on Islamophobia Watch the other day Sunny. Does that make you a Leninist agitator?

  15. Sunny — on 31st July, 2008 at 5:07 pm  

    Does that make you a Leninist agitator?

    Dunno, but it sounds counter-revolutionary.

  16. DavidMWW — on 31st July, 2008 at 9:13 pm  

    This isn’t smear by association – there are serious questions to ask.

    This is true, if the object of the questions is to find out about the BNP. But it is not an intelligent way to find out anything about Anthony Browne.

  17. 5cc — on 31st July, 2008 at 10:22 pm  

    “At least Richard Barnbrook is likely to welcome Boris employing Browne as his policy director.”

    Why, I do believe he just has:

    Common Sense Starting To Break Out In London

  18. Amrit — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:20 pm  

    So in short, Anthony Browne is a liar, and a deluded one at that?

  19. Dave Cole — on 8th August, 2008 at 12:05 pm  

    Sorry, Sunny, but this is beneath you. If Anthony Browne had someway accepted or promoted the BNP’s review you could make a case for a link. As it stands, you’ve just said that we must join the Euro because the BNP oppose it.

    A common theme on teh blogosphere is the poor quality of journalism and commentary in the press. If we sink to logical fallacies like this – a mixture of questionable cause and association fallacy – we rapidly become the Sun et al.

    Now, it may be that Browne is not a good person to have any sort of political power. That doesn’t mean all methods are justified in attacking him.

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