Brendan O’ Neill, whitewashing the Chinese regime

by Sunny
8th August, 2008 at 4:43 pm    

Firstly there was the big dig against the Dalai Lama as a nasty man, then there was the view that the Chinese love their governmentDa peepules loves tha guvverment.. LOLZ!!? Stop hatin’, U orientalishts!!
And now Brendan O’ Neill from Spiked Online is saying on CIF that we shouldn’t be so harsh on the Chinese over the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. On Spiked Online he is busy exposing “the mad mix of moral disdain and moral relativism behind China-bashing.”

We shouldn’t be so harsh though, running online magazines is an expensive business. I’m sure Spiked’s funders (I’ve not many appeals for cash donations lately) are in tune with the new editorial line. Brothas gotta do what a brothas gotta do, right? Its also just coincidence, I’m sure, that as the Chinese are building a new coal station every week, that Spiked Online and friends are challenging the assertion that human activity is affecting the environment. Pure coincidence. Just dont hate on the Chinese government – you’ll be guilty of cultural relativism or something like that.

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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,China,Current affairs,Humour,Media

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  1. Roger — on 8th August, 2008 at 4:53 pm  

    Actually, O’Neill is being sensible for once. He’s pointing out that as well as the students at Tiananmen Square members of the working class the C.C.P. claims to represent were actively trying to overthrow the C.C.P.’s absolute power in 1989 and that they posed a bigger threat to Party domination and were even more ruthlessly suppressed.
    Hardly a whitewash.

  2. Don — on 8th August, 2008 at 5:54 pm  

    The CiF article makes the point that the massacre was more widespread and bloody than just the events in the Square.

  3. Amrit — on 8th August, 2008 at 6:45 pm  

    Da peepules loves tha guvverment.. LOLZ!!? Stop hatin’, U orientalishts!!

    Haha, Glenda Slagg goes Hounslow! I love it.

    I’m a bit troubled by O’Neill’s articles because his tone makes him appear very reasonable, while he simultaneously tries to pitch his ideas as something really ‘radical’. Ooh, you’re advocating more support and optimism for China? I’M SCARED!

    And he’s hardly one to talk about ‘self-loathing’ – what is he if not a prime example of ‘the western elite’?! He’s a frickin’ Guardian-published journo with his own online magazine!

    I also find his continual denigration of ‘western observers’ as twisting the facts for their own agenda hilariously hypocritical. I had the fortune to meet a Hong Kong journalist earlier this year, and she told us that most Chinese simply don’t have even the basic facts on many topics, such as Tibet, so they end up taking the government line – and the strong mutual dependence between the ever-growing middle classes and the regime, mean that few dare to criticise it. She actually went so far as to say she thinks China will NEVER be a democracy, because of the sophisticated use of economic pressure to control the population.

    Tut tut, Brendan, you’re whitewashing in order to support your ‘fairytale’ of China, and your wannabe-maverick attitude is souring any reason in your writing. Put down the pom-poms and step away from the hypocrisy!

  4. asquith — on 8th August, 2008 at 7:01 pm  

    Spiked portray yourself as radical and challenging, but everything on their site sticks to the same turgid and grimly predictable party line.

    They claim to want this wide-reaching “debate”, yet they don’t even allow comments on your site, presumably because anyone who did comment would point out what nonsense they “write” and they can’t take that.

    Their support (and that it not too strong a word) for the Chinese regime and near-hysterical hatred of its critics shows their true colours. They don’t want to challenge the orthodoxy so much as to become the orthodoxy themselves, in the best tradition of their far-left roots which they’ve never quite managed to outgrow.

  5. asquith — on 8th August, 2008 at 7:05 pm  

    NB: I copied & pasted this & altered the tenses, apparently forgetting to do so every time. But it’s all true.

    Lies like “The Great Global Warming Swindle” become more and more discredited every time they put their heads above the parapet. Like the BNP, they need to be given as much publicity as possible so they can hang themselves.

  6. Rumbold — on 8th August, 2008 at 8:39 pm  

    The article is about the distortion of history; if anything it condemns China more strongly then most, by pointing out that this was not an isolated incident but systematic repression. One of the best articles on CiF in ages.


    “Haha, Glenda Slagg goes Hounslow! I love it.”


  7. Amrit — on 8th August, 2008 at 11:41 pm  


    With regards to the Tiananmen Square article, I totally agree with you (and Roger and Don). What I was saying was based on ALL the articles Sunny linked to, not just that one. I think he (O’Neill) blunted the impact of his rather sensible words in that article with what he said in the others, and he came across as a real hypocrite.

    Oh c’mon, you know you love Glenda Slagg, dontcha?!! She’ll ALWAYS BE in fashion?!!


    That Glenda Slagg’s column?!! Why is it even still being published?!!


  8. Rumbold — on 9th August, 2008 at 10:10 am  


    I would agree that in general Brendan O’Neill is pro-China, but I suspect that is because he enjoys being peverse, rather than any sort of dodgy funding. I do enjoy the Glenda Slagg column in Private Eye- I think that it sums up some commentators rather well (none from here obviously).

  9. Amrit — on 10th August, 2008 at 12:36 am  


    Oh, I know he’s just being perverse, but he IS getting further publicity mileage out of all this, one must remember…

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