BNP’s Barnbrook endorses Anthony Browne


by Sunny
1st August, 2008 at 12:26 am    

5cc points me towards this blog post by the BNP London councillor Richard Barnbrook.

The lefties are out in force again today, despite the “civil war” that is about to break out within NuLabour, they are trying to use me to besmirch Anthony Browne. They cannot seem to come to grips with the fact that the Marxist Ken Livingstone was elected out of office and it simply has yet to sink in that somebody like Boris Johnson and of course myself now push the buttons.

I have not exactly been backward in coming forward to criticise some of the Mayor’s rather exotic appointments but in the case of Anthony Browne’s swift transfer to City Hall as head of policy I cannot help but think that this is at least a step in the right direction. Obviously there are people within the BNP that I would like to see there instead, but all things in good time.

All in good time indeed. Funny that Barnbrook thinks that Anthony Browne is a step in the right direction. Hmmm… I wonder why that would be. Could it be because racist websites like V Dare think he’s a hero? Could it be because, like the BNP, he believes ‘Islam does want to conquer the world’ and all Muslims are part of this conspiracy? Nice friends you have, Mr Browne.

Update: Dave Hill has written this spot-on article for CIF:

Is Mayor Johnson concerned about Browne’s off-message past? I’d say that in a certain way he is. I’d say it’s significant that the press release announcing Browne’s addition to Johnson’s team stresses his “expertise” in environmental, health and housing issues but makes no allusion whatsoever to his view – expounded in another Spectator article published under Johnson’s editorship – that the multi-ethnicity typical of inner London goes against the grain of basic human desires, let alone his seething contention, quoted above, that “there is little British left” about the city whose future, according to Johnson, Browne will be “helping to shape” in the next four years.


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  1. marvin — on 1st August, 2008 at 7:34 am  

    Ken Livingstone was supported by radical Islamists, people associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, that scum bag George Galloway, and people associated with terrorist groups.

    Nice friends there, Ken!

    I am pretty sure I remember you saying that you can’t judge Ken by his unsavoury supporters.

  2. DavidMWW — on 1st August, 2008 at 8:15 am  

    Back in the day when this blog was about self-appointed “community leaders” unjustifiably claiming to speak on behalf of a diverse population, it is quite plausible that you could have got an “endorsement” from the BNP.

    Just as well you didn’t. You’d have had to smear yourself in shit.

  3. Tom — on 1st August, 2008 at 8:59 am  

    “Ken Livingstone”

    That’ll be a different Ken Livingstone than the one people constantly tell us to ‘move on’ and ‘accept the reality of defeat’ about? Is it? Well, we’re moving on and part of moving on is examining the new Mayor and his team, marvin, in the kind of forensic detail you seem to lavish on what is now political history. Care to join us, or is the past somehow more comforting? Show some backbone, man.

    DavidMWW – again failing to come to grips with the issue of why an extremely stupid, unpleasant party is getting the impression that Boris Johnson is on his side in its racist war against reality, I note.

  4. Rumbold — on 1st August, 2008 at 9:09 am  

    I see that Obama has been endorsed by a man who calls women bitches and hopes McCain ends up in a wheelchair:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7534736.stm

    Yes Obama has angrily rejected this support, but on the Anthony Browne/BNP measure, it doesn’t matter- it’s enough that someone unsuitable supported a person.

    Criticise Anthony Browne all you want, but attacking him because someone else over whom he has no control is endorsing him is just wrong. As David MWW says, Pickled Politics has probably picked up the odd extremist endorsement along the way.

  5. MaidMarian — on 1st August, 2008 at 10:22 am  

    ‘Funny that Barnbrook thinks that Anthony Browne is a step in the right direction. Hmmm… I wonder why that would be.’

    Well, yes. I wonder that too. Seriously. Instead of all this he-said-she-said and overpersonalisaion why not have a hard-headed analysis of Browne and his actions rather than doing everything at third-hand?

    And for that matter why not have a hard-headed look at Barnbrook’s performance and voting record while we are at it?

  6. Sid — on 1st August, 2008 at 10:41 am  

    Rumbold

    And do you think there is a direct correlation with a man who “calls women bitches and hopes McCain ends up in a wheelchair” with the subtext of Obama’s message?

    Do you think there *isn’t* a tacit relationship between what Barnbrook stands for and the ideas Anthony Browne upholds?

    Let’s argue on those terms instead of this refutation of Sunny’s article by the claim that third-hand endorsements does not maketh the man.

    I remember quite clearly that on these very pages, it was you who argued that Qaradawi’s endorsement of Ken Livinstone was sufficient cause for him to be unworthy of mayoral office.

    How about some consistency not to mention some honesty?

  7. MaidMarian — on 1st August, 2008 at 10:51 am  

    Sid –

    There is a difference between ‘tacit’ and wilfully reading the worst into things.

    A fine one, granted, but a difference no less.

  8. Rumbold — on 1st August, 2008 at 10:52 am  

    Sid:

    It was the other way around; I was complaining that Livingstone was endorsing Qaradawi, which is completly different. As for the Obama example, I don’t think that he does endorse that message by any strech of the imagination, but I was just pointing out that it is the same as criticising Anthony Browne because he has been endorsed by the BNP.

    “Do you think there *isn’t* a tacit relationship between what Barnbrook stands for and the ideas Anthony Browne upholds?”

    I haven’t examined everything Anthony Browne has said, and it might well be he deserves a lot of criticism, but then that criticism should be directed at what he has said and done, not who is endorsing him, unbidden.

  9. Sid — on 1st August, 2008 at 10:59 am  

    There is a difference between ‘tacit’ and wilfully reading the worst into things.

    The difference doesn’t seem to be important when insinuating the relationship between Obama and Ludacris.

  10. shariq — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:04 am  

    I think you guys are misinterpreting what Sunny is trying to do.

    When people on the left receive endorsements from disreputable people, the right jumps all over it. Marvin’s comment is a good example.

    See also Chris Hayes on McCain’s 500 dollar loafers
    http://www.chrishayes.org/blog/2008/jul/30/why-i-dont-care-john-mccain-wears-500-loafers/

    as well as his must read follow up post
    http://www.chrishayes.org/blog/2008/jul/31/rich-out-touch-elitist/

    Sunny, correct me if you are wrong but you are essentially trying to fight fire with fire and create different narratives to that which the right wing media and blogosphere does.

    I’m not sure I totally agree with this strategy right now, but I don’t see the harm if Sunny puts up these types of posts from time to time.

  11. Leon — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:08 am  

    Pickled Politics has probably picked up the odd extremist endorsement along the way.

    That’s true but once I’ve had my medicine I’m generally ok…:D

  12. El Cid — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:09 am  

    In protest at this seedy and dishonest new line I will withdraw from PP discussions. I know politics is a dirty game, but I don’t see why political blogging should be.

  13. Rumbold — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:14 am  

    Heh Leon.

    Don’t go El Cid. We need some more sane voices around here.

  14. cjcjc — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:29 am  

    When people on the left receive endorsements from disreputable people, the right jumps all over it. Marvin’s comment is a good example.

    If that’s what they do, then they shouldn’t.

    But the real problem (cf Ken) is when it is the disreputable people who receive endorsements from the left.

    Sunny, correct me if you are wrong but you are essentially trying to fight fire with fire and create different narratives to that which the right wing media and blogosphere does.

    Erm, how does fighting fire with fire create a different narrative?? It’s just the mirror image of the same narrative!

  15. soru — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:46 am  

    Generally, when they read an argument attacking some person or position, most people use a rule of thumb: that the argument they are hearing is the best available.

    So if the argument is bogus, they start to suspect the idea under attack has something to it. There are arguments against everything: the good ideas are those that have only bad arguments against them.

    That rule is probably valid when you look at major speeches that have had dozens of West Wing types poring over every sentence, focus grouping every nuance.

    In an era of blogs written by hobbyists who post the first thought that comes into their head, that rule works a lot less well.

    It is tempting to imagine that just because Sunny is talking nonsense about AB here, AB has something interesting, relevant or true to say. But that would be a mistake, based on the flawed assumption that Sunny had thought things through before writing this.

  16. Sid — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:57 am  

    Don’t go El Cid. We need some more insane voices around here.

  17. Ravi Naik — on 1st August, 2008 at 1:04 pm  

    Everyone here seems to understand the problem of Sunny’s new editorial direction. Indeed, he’s not creating a new direction or narrative that transcends petty “gotcha” politics, but merely following the right-wing narrative, style and techniques, and using it in the reverse direction. You are still in the same slimy road!

    Instead, I am glad that other PP bloggers are far more content in continuing to run on a far more honest road.

  18. Leon — on 1st August, 2008 at 1:15 pm  

    Re El Cid

    Why is this the last straw? Why not before now when it was plainly obvious Sunny’s newer bolshy leftism is going to become more pronounced the worse Labour do?

    I aint gonna join the chorus of ‘don’t go El Cid’ simply because if someone makes their mind up to leave based on one entry on a blog that has 2005 entries I find it a bit odd.

    If El Cid has a bigger, more substantial claim to make about PP generally I’d like to hear it.

    Otherwise it just looks like attention seeking.

  19. MaidMarian — on 1st August, 2008 at 1:43 pm  

    Ravi Naik (17) –

    ‘he’s not creating a new direction or narrative that transcends petty “gotcha” politics, but merely following the right-wing narrative, style and techniques, and using it in the reverse direction.’

    That may well be true, but the problem is that (with all respect) it is making for a dumbed down website and lousy comment.

    What we are seeing is a slew of ‘police-state’ hysterics, tenuous smears and personalisation of events. All of which is tiresomely preaching to the converted.

    Granted, PP has never been per se about changing people’s views but even so…. It should be obvious that Sunny is not a knock-about polemicist and his writing suffers when he tries to be.

    El Cid may or may not be attention-seeking, I don’t know his/her motives but s/he is right. PP looks rather like it has jumped the shark in a big way.

  20. Leon — on 1st August, 2008 at 2:01 pm  

    Jumped the shark? Heh I’ve been wondering how long it would take for phrases like that to be bandied about.

    A few people are coalescing round a convenient (and dare I say rather conniving) narrative about Sunny and suddenly PP has gone down the drain, needs more sane people around, and should be thankful a few of it’s ‘other’ bloggers are so good…

    I feel like we’ve all just time traveled to primary school!

  21. Leon — on 1st August, 2008 at 2:04 pm  

    But anyway, this is a nice little game but can we at least attempt to get back within the vicinity of the topic at hand?

    If you want to discuss Sunny or his alleged slide into the evils of power politics check out the new thread on trolling. I reckon that’d be the ideal place to derail…;)

  22. Sid — on 1st August, 2008 at 2:08 pm  

    What we are seeing is a slew of ‘police-state’ hysterics, tenuous smears and personalisation of events. All of which is tiresomely preaching to the converted.

    If only people who preach to their *own* converted would be more honest about dealing in the same games of guilt-by-association then we’d all be golden.

    Otherwise the intellectual dishonesty and the ugly use of insinuation does get rather tiresome. By all means use that tactic, but to pretend that people from the right are guilt-free of that kind of thing is pure BS.

  23. Sunny — on 1st August, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

    Criticise Anthony Browne all you want, but attacking him because someone else over whom he has no control is endorsing him is just wrong.

    This is rather naive.

    As I will soon show, Anthony Browne’s views on immigration are very similar to those of the BNP. They both believe for example that people of difference cannot live together, which is why he’s so anti-immigration.

    The guy has built his career on cussing Muslims, cussing immigration and cussing the left. And I’m not allowed to say anything bad about him? hah!
    This is why the left is so bloody weak.

  24. MaidMarian — on 1st August, 2008 at 2:27 pm  

    Leon (20) – What’s wrong with ‘jump the shark?’ One of the finest sites on the web and a perfectly valid pop-culture allusion.

    Sunny (23) – ‘And I’m not allowed to say anything bad about him?’ Absolutely, you feel free by all means. But at least do the quality job you are eminently capable of doing rather than this wannabe stuff. Sorry.

    The left is so bloody weak because of its pathological desire to eat its young. Say what you like about the Conservatives and their governments – over the course of the last century the party faithful was just that -through the rough and the smooth.

  25. Sunny — on 1st August, 2008 at 2:38 pm  

    The left is so bloody weak because of its pathological desire to eat its young.

    Yes, it attacks itself more than it attacks its political opponents. And I’m doing exactly what I always planned to do – take on political opponents. I haven’t focused on Anthony Browne much in the past simply because he wasn’t working for an elected official. But now he is. And yes, I’m preparing something bigger on him too (a briefing document).

    See the Dave Hill article above for context.

  26. MaidMarian — on 1st August, 2008 at 2:45 pm  

    Sunny (25) – Thanks for the reply. I will look forward to your dossier, one con only hope it does not turn out to be dodgey!

    ‘I haven’t focused on Anthony Browne much in the past simply because he wasn’t working for an elected official.’ Legitimate point, but I fear the unelected right wingers rather more than I do the elected officials. The elected ones have the profile, but it is the drip-drip from the right wing media I worry about most.

    As to the left, it is not a great thought that the most progressive I am likely to see in my life is New Labour c1997-1999. Say what you like about the Conservative Party, historically at least division is not something they have done and there is a lesson there.

    Best of luck to you.

  27. AsifB — on 1st August, 2008 at 3:19 pm  

    No surprises as Mr Yorke would say… Take a look at the quotes below relating to Mr Browne’s support of Migration Watch and the OPT.

    “Guardian 1 December 2002 – The turning point for Migrationwatch, came in June, when the environment editor of the Times, Anthony Browne, wrote an article arguing for tighter immigration controls. ‘He said the economic reasons for mass immigration were as bogus as any asylum seeker. I thought that was brave,’ said Green. ”

    Or Browne’s own article in the New Statesman the same year “Who’s afraid of falling populations” – which clearly puts him on the Malthusian side of the Green movement, with an unhealthy interest in scaring people rigid with ‘reducing human numbers’ as the professed ultimate solution to the problem.

    Interesting question here for Picklers on the ‘population bomb’ debate that has perennially been splitting Greens apart since the 70s – between environmentalists committed to global social justice on the Green Left and wealthy landowning types that at the end of the day don’t really like human beings (like Zac Goldsmith’s uncle) who fellow travel with Malthusian/ Blood and Soil ‘humans area a pest’ sociopaths.

    This debate has been partly reflected in the Guardian letters page this week with a flurry of comment about the Optimum Population Trust – OPT thinks the UK’s optimum population should be 17 million, it cites Porrit and Attenborough as supporters and denies supporting ‘state control’ of procreation – but there’s no denying OPT also appeals to those who are ‘scared of rising developing country populations’

    - An unscientific position to take given the generally proven correltation between rising wealth and population stabilisation – we are in the middle of a big spike now as improving sanitation reduces death rates and socio-political differences play a huge part in the take up of contraception (eg; since 1972, the population of former East Pakistan has gone up from 75million to c.145m with fertitlity rates falling while (west)Pakistan’s population has easily overtaked the former majority province by spiralling from 50m to over 160m)

    Anyway – look I’ve not looked at PP for weeks – so apologise for length of post – but to cut to the chase – and I don’t mean ever to criticise David Attenborough so do allow exceptions to the rule – but I reckon for what it’s worth that Population Bombery is often a good litmus test for latent racism.

    So no surprises in BNP endorsement or the fact that Browne has supported Migration Watch in the past.

    .. By way of contrast to ‘liberals’ like Brown, Green and Cohen – it’s worth digging out PJ O Rourke’s chapter on population in ‘All the trouble in the world’ – he plays around with stats to suggest the world’s population could fit into Yugoslavia if it accepted Singapore/Manhatten type liviing which is interesting enough but it’s worth reading for the way he skewers greens like Elrich for ‘chicken licken’ thinking and an apparent fear of’brown masses’ lurking not too far in their writing.

    So yes the world’s got problems, contraception is a public good, but reducing numbers is a by product of doing good – anyone who prioritises population reduction as a goal – has other issues.

    Hence no surprise from the BNP support for Browne

  28. Ravi Naik — on 1st August, 2008 at 3:20 pm  

    That may well be true, but the problem is that (with all respect) it is making for a dumbed down website and lousy comment.

    That’s one of the consequences. The other, is that it gives the opposite side easy fodder to attack, and an excuse not to engage in a deeper discussion on the issues, and gasp… even find common ground. All you accomplish is noise from both sides – and yes, I agree, we dumb down the discourse. No resolution is achieved, and we move to the next issue looking for gotcha points.

    The reason why the BNP and Islamophobes in general piss me off is not the racist/xenophobic ideology, but the dishonesty in which they transmit their message. And if they need dishonesty, it means that the truth is not on their side.That’s their Achilles heel, and that’s how we beat them: by pointing out the smears and the half-truths. If we engage in the same style, then we lose that point of attack. And that’s stupid – and I for one refuse to engage in that.

    If Anthony Browne is a racist little BNP hack as Sunny wants to insinuate, then his words and opus should be enough to frame him as such. If you need to bring the BNP and Barnbrook twice to attack Browne, then you are in real shaky ground.

    I hope that the BNP never supports Sunny’s opposition to HuT and even MCB…. ;)

  29. Boyo — on 1st August, 2008 at 3:57 pm  

    The reason the left is week is because it has become disengaged from Socialism and fragmented in to single-issueism, however the hell that’s spelt.

    Sunny does not represent the traditional left, only his single-issue, which has increasingly been positioned as a kind of replacement for the “old” left, which suffered a slow death in the 1980s and 90s.

    Hence the obsession with Islam here and at HP: one seeing it as a race, the other as a choice. Have you noticed? No one talks about economics anymore!

    It seems to me HPers cling to the old, while Sunny seeks to build the new – the “new left” is about race and oppositionalism, the old over at HP, well, without its economics it seems suspiciously like liberalism… or conservatism.

    Which is all very well Sunny, but the question has to be asked – what is your new left actually for? ;-)

  30. Sunny — on 1st August, 2008 at 4:08 pm  

    Hence the obsession with Islam here and at HP: one seeing it as a race, the other as a choice. Have you noticed? No one talks about economics anymore!

    Erm, who says I’m not? What I wite on PP isn’t the total sum of all my thinking. This blog is specially around identity/progressive politics.

  31. Sid — on 1st August, 2008 at 4:23 pm  

    Sunny, stop playing with your single-issue. You know you’ll only go blind.

  32. Rumbold — on 1st August, 2008 at 8:12 pm  

    Sunny:

    Has anyone said that you shouldn’t criticise Anthony Browne? You have yet to explain why being endorsed by the BNP means a person should be criticised for it.

  33. Roger — on 1st August, 2008 at 9:19 pm  

    Dave Hill gives very good reasons to have a low opinion of Browne’s suitability for his post: the nonsense he writes and presumably believes. If that is what Browne thinks, it doesn’t matter who endorses him. In fact, Barnbrook’s post gives the impression that he is trying to make himself look more important and influential than he actually is- latching onto Johnson’s coattails.

  34. Sunny — on 1st August, 2008 at 9:34 pm  

    You have yet to explain why being endorsed by the BNP means a person should be criticised for it.

    He’s not being criticised merely for being endorsed by the BNP… but because his policies on immigration and his justification (that people of difference are better separate) are remarkably similar to that of the BNP.

  35. sonia — on 1st August, 2008 at 9:40 pm  

    ah sod all this. never mind this who said what business, the main problem with anthony browne should be as far as i can see -is what is he going to do as the mayor’s director of policy. never mind what mr. bambrook had to say about him.

    if what we are worried about is the man is going to push his particular think-tank’s ideas, then lets’ hear about the problems those ideas may or may not hold.

  36. sonia — on 1st August, 2008 at 9:42 pm  

    boris johnson has apparently endorsed obama..

  37. soru — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:01 pm  

    Sunny has just apparently disappeared in a puff of logic…

  38. Amrit — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:32 pm  

    ‘ah sod all this. never mind this who said what business, the main problem with anthony browne should be as far as i can see -is what is he going to do as the mayor’s director of policy. never mind what mr. bambrook had to say about him.’

    Ah, sonia, you just stole the words right out of my head.

    ‘boris johnson has apparently endorsed obama..’

    Yeah, probably because everybody’s more or less certain he’s going to win! :-P

  39. douglas clark — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:45 pm  

    soru,

    I hear what you are saying. But I do happen to think that Policy Exchange set out an agenda with their propoganda piece against Muslims. See here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2008/05/policy_exchange_dispute_update.html

    which was possibly Newsnights’ finest hour.

    Policy Exchange then huffed and puffed that they were going to take legal action, but never did. Still, they got their odious and fact free views into the public sphere. It is hardly surprising that the BNP admire that sort of organisation, as they appear completely incapable of even that simple propoganda. (Barnbroke’s huffing and puffing about his own role is so transparent)

    It seems that these folk – Policy Exchange – are agenda driven – the somewhat usual way it is with political folk – and have an idea: and then find ‘evidence’ to support it, and hang any doubts about the accuracy out to dry. Which is, frankly arse from elbow.

    The Dean Godsons’ of this world come across as scary folk:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Godson

    Theirs is the world of Dr Strangelove, the American Dream and the like.

    I think Sunny is quite right to try to take them on.

    I think he is wrong not to see Policy Exchange as the Madrasa for young Turks such as Anthony Browne.

    Anthony Browne seems to be yet another example of the golden fish who trawl around the Westminster feeding bowl. Where, if you have the morals of a jackal, your ascendancy is assured.

    These folk are just as happy to forment violence as your average Al-Quida representative. And are driven by a similar love of conflict.

    They just do it in a suit.

  40. douglas clark — on 1st August, 2008 at 11:57 pm  

    Amrit,

    So far, there are only small leads for Obama over McCain. Margin of error type stuff. It certainly isn’t a done deal. :-(

    Hopefully he’ll blow McCain away in the head to heads.

  41. soru — on 2nd August, 2008 at 12:06 am  

    DC: That’s good stuff.

    maybe I’ve just got old-fashioned assumptions about who does the legwork to gather the info and write it up persuasive language, and who gets to kick back and make snarky comments without worrying if they are going to alienate the unconvinced.

    Cos I wanna be snarky guy, not Mr Linktastic…

  42. Ravi Naik — on 2nd August, 2008 at 12:16 am  

    So far, there are only small leads for Obama over McCain.

    Where it counts – the electoral college, not the popular vote – if the election was today, Obama would win by a landslide.

    Of course, the popular vote is used by the US media to make it appear as the race is a “statistical tie”. Still, I never underestimate the stupidity of the American public, and I have to say that if McCain is elected, they will deserve everything they will get. It is a pity that we will be dragged with them.

  43. douglas clark — on 2nd August, 2008 at 12:33 am  

    soru,

    Could we agree that there are two political models?

    1: Evidence driven.

    2: Idealogically driven.

    ?

    I’d have thought that you, of all people, could figure out how ’1′ results in something pragmatic, and how ’2′ contains the roots of it’s own destruction.

    That reason why ’2′ is a failure is that it cannot adapt. It would, frankly, be to admit that it’s central precept was wrong. Thus, they either build lies, or propoganda or outright denial to support it. Whatever it takes. But it does not matter, events have overtaken the lies, and their idea is dead.

    Unfortunately, this model works itself out over decades. So the neo-cons retain an ascendancy far beyond their sell by date.

  44. Amrit — on 2nd August, 2008 at 12:42 am  

    ‘Amrit,

    So far, there are only small leads for Obama over McCain. Margin of error type stuff. It certainly isn’t a done deal. :-(

    Hopefully he’ll blow McCain away in the head to heads.’

    Yup, that doesn’t surprise me. Being the eternal pessimist I am, I still fear that his overly-positive, almost Messianic (did I spell that right?!) reception is going to cause a backlash if people don’t watch out.

    Then there’s the age-old problem of ‘whoever votes, matters.’ Obie’s only home free once he turns that Tiger Woods resemblance, er, popular appeal into VOTES. We all know that loonies tend to be dogged, and lefties unfortunately not always as much as they should be.

    I hate the game, but I suppose I’m starting to ‘get’ it a bit more…

  45. douglas clark — on 2nd August, 2008 at 12:44 am  

    Ravi,

    Yeh! Hay! Is that right?

    I’d just judged it on the popular poll.

    That is incredibly good news.

    dougie.

  46. Sunny — on 2nd August, 2008 at 4:28 am  

    Douggie / Amrit,

    Ravi is right – the nationwide statistical poll matters for little. Its the Electoral College vote that counts. Here, Obama is very ahead. He could still lose it, but right now its his to win.

    See here:
    http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/whos-ahead/key-states/map.html

    douglas at #39 – that’s spot on.

    Soru – That is what the briefing is for. But that doesn’t mean in the meantime I can’t snipe.. does it?

  47. Bert Rustle — on 2nd August, 2008 at 9:01 am  

    douglas clark 43 wrote … Could we agree that there are two political models? 1: Evidence driven. 2: Idealogically driven. ? …

    …[the] reason why ‘2′ is a failure is that it cannot adapt. It would, frankly, be to admit that it’s central precept was wrong. Thus, they either build lies, or propoganda or outright denial to support it. Whatever it takes. But it does not matter, events have overtaken the lies, and their idea is dead.

    Unfortunately, this model works itself out over decades. …

    Good point. How about Diversity Is Good? In my opinion this is presented as a revealed truth, such as the immaculate conception, and that it is categorically not “consistent with the statistical analysis of empirical data”. Peter Wood’s Diversity: The Invention of a Concept details how it arose. A survey of the empirical data regarding Ethnic Conflicts Explained by Ethnic Nepotism was the subject of an illuminating review by Johan M.G. van der Dennen, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, which can be found here.

    An amusing Clinton-Obama TV “debate” can be found here.

  48. El Cid — on 2nd August, 2008 at 10:03 am  

    I AM taking time out after this but Leon’s post merits a response.
    Leon, why don’t you look at my recent, previous posts, eh? You will see that I tried to engage Sunny directly to work out what was going on. There’s nothing isolated or odd about it.
    Attention seeking? If you are going to get personal Leon, then I would retort that you should stop behaving as simply Sunny’s side-kick. I know you are a bit wet behind the ears but it’s time to be your own man. I rarely see you kicking around ideas directly, unless it involves quoting someone else, and your articles are mainly about political tittle-tattle. A political version of Top Gear or Gok on Fashion

    My main criticism about the all new PP is that it lacks gravitas, lacks orginality, lacks inspiration, and is strictly old school. Rather than setting a radically new agenda, it follows a tired old formula of me-me-me identity politics and mercenary left-wing shock tactics. People want more.

    The Tories may well be coming. This kind of shit ain’t going to stop them. In fact, it makes me — a Labourite — not want to vote. Most importantly — since party politics isn’t everything — it ain’t going to make a better tomorrow.

    I can only assume that PP’s new Bolshie durr-brain look is a matter of political expediency. Sunny has political ambitions, is eyeing a career as a Labour politician, and is looking to establish his left-wing credentials to win over local party members and unions. It might make sense then. But if/once he ever gets there, I hope he thinks BIG. Coz this is shit.

    Byeeee

  49. Rumbold — on 2nd August, 2008 at 10:12 am  

    Funniest article of the week:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/01/johnmccain.uselections2008

    It really is a gem of an article. Apparently when a McCain ad suggested Obama was a bit like Britney and Paris that was a racist message about black men having sex with white women. I haven’t laughed that much in ages.

  50. Ravi Naik — on 2nd August, 2008 at 10:45 am  

    Sunny has political ambitions, is eyeing a career as a Labour politician, and is looking to establish his left-wing credentials to win over local party members and unions. It might make sense then. But if/once he ever gets there, I hope he thinks BIG. Coz this is shit.

    I have been castigating Sunny for sometime for the reasons you’ve pointed out, but I believe we should give him credit for creating one of the best political blogs in Britain, where I – and I believe you as well – have learnt from it, and in some ways changed our positions and understanding because of it. That’s no easy feat. I just want PP to continue that way.

  51. soru — on 2nd August, 2008 at 11:45 am  

    @dc:
    “The aide (a senior adviser to President Bush) said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    – Ron Suskind, New York Times Magazine, Oct. 17, 2004.

    Thing is, the essence of that attitude is applicable way beyond some anonymous (and by now, probably fired) aide of the current lame duck US administration.

    Those guys have been judiciously studied, and empirically proven to be idiots.

    The essence of the quote is not just someone who stops asking ‘what are the facts of the matter’? It’s the way the guy sees himself as part of a ‘side’, a group, and indulges in power fantasies about how strong that makes them. Your fists are tank divisions, your eyes spit missiles: mere facts are then just obstacles to be smashed through.

    Some people do it with the US (or whichever) Army, but others do it with the Working Class, the Invisible Hand, Nature, the Future, …

    I am Weak but Thou Art Strong, and Together we will Rend Asunder our Foes, Delivering unto Them Great Lamentations.

    Pretty much everyone thinks that way to some extent – it is not a matter of _about what_ you do it, but:

    - how much?
    - can you stop?.

    Any time you set things up so that ‘things that make you feel good when you say them’ and ‘things that are observable facts about the world’ get a bit too much tangled up together, you are going to have a problem.

    As we walked through Fullerton’s downtown, Weev told me about his day — he’d lost $10,000 on the commodities market, he claimed — and summarized his philosophy of “global ruin.” “We are headed for a Malthusian crisis,” he said, with professorial confidence. “Plankton levels are dropping. Bees are dying. There are tortilla riots in Mexico, the highest wheat prices in 30-odd years.” He paused. “The question we have to answer is: How do we kill four of the world’s six billion people in the most just way possible?” He seemed excited to have said this aloud.

    Mattathias Schwartz, NY Times

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