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  • Observer’s readers’ editor smacks down Nick Cohen


    by Sunny
    5th April, 2009 at 1:11 pm    

    The Observer’s readers’ editor Stephen Pritchard steps into the recent row between Nick Cohen and Sunder Katwala:

    It’s tempting to dismiss all this as just so much scrapping by a small clique, but let’s look a little closer at the detail. Shiraz Maher, Cohen’s “Muslim liberal”, is a former Islamist activist who associated with Glasgow bomber Bilal Abdulla, recently jailed for at least 32 years. Readers should have been told that.

    Maher wrote in the Mail on Sunday last month about government ministers being unwilling to promote the idea of Britishness, yet the concept of what it is to be British is central to Gordon Brown’s government and has been a major Fabian theme. If Maher really is this out of touch with democratic public debate, it calls into question his credibility on the subject of think-tanks.

    Katwala told me that Maher had never had any contact with the Fabians or the IPPR, but “his co-authored paper is quite good; it contains nothing we could not have published”, so it would appear that Maher and Cohen’s accusation of censorship is without foundation in this case.

    No doubt Nick Cohen will see this as example of the ‘vast leftwing conspiracy’ in action. Nevertheless, it is a shame Nick cannot engage in a proper debate other than accuse the left of being blind just because “noted lefties” such as the Queen apparently appease Islamists, and then saying everyone is trying to censor him.


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    1. pickles

      New blog post: Observer’s readers’ editor smacks down Nick Cohen http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4080




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