Digging deeper into a hole of stupidity


by Sunny
19th November, 2009 at 2:55 am    

If you ever want to see another example of vile misogyny by someone who calls themselves a ‘leftie’, then Marcus’ pathetic respond to Laurie Penny today on Harry’s Place is it.

Poor Marcus must have been a bit stung by all the criticism he got elsewhere, and decided the best he was going to rescue his reputation was to write even more tripe. In fact, Laurie isn’t the only person who’s complained about the dire sexism over at HP. A long-standing commenter there, Judy, turns up in the thread to say:

This is an updated and edited version of the comment I’ve put up on Penny’s response to her treatment by HP:
Penny, well done for calling Harry’s Place on its bullying and for refusing to be put down by their usual abusive response techniques. In particular, thanks for going on pointing out the particular forms of misogynist and patronising abuse some members of the collective and a great many of the commenters invariably direct at women who challenge whatever particular piece of received wisdom they regard as beyond criticism.

Like you, I’ve been subjected to tirades of the sort of violent, childish and deeply personalised misogynist abuse, and gave examples on the thread which grew out of your blog. I see today’s response from Marcus is to put up yet another defensive blustering post which uses resorting to reductio ad absurdum and frivolity rather than dealing with these issues.

Guess how the boys in the comments respond? By calling them both ‘silly cows’. And poor ‘Brownie’ got so upset by Laurie Penny closing the thread at her place that he started crying that he was ‘banned’, also patent rubbish. Perhaps they’re among the 55% of people across the country who think white males are the most discriminated in the country. Life is so harsh in reality they have to take out their frustrations online.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Blog,Media






145 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Digging deeper into a hole of stupidity http://bit.ly/2em1sT


  2. tweeter909

    Pickled Politics » Digging deeper into a hole of stupidity http://ow.ly/162MZ9




  1. Brownie — on 18th November, 2009 at 6:11 pm  

    I sincerely hope that mine is the only comment from an HP editor or commenter that this pathetic attempt at baiting HP receives.

  2. Sunny H — on 18th November, 2009 at 7:14 pm  

    I sincerely hope that mine is the only comment from an HP editor or commenter that this pathetic attempt at baiting HP receives.

    I hope so too. I'm getting tired of you idiots whining and mocking.

  3. Binky — on 18th November, 2009 at 11:17 pm  

    Penny enjoys exhibiting every ancient scab and sore to the whole wide world and is then hurt if anyone makes fun of her.

    She is also ruthless at deleting non-PC comments on her site.

  4. Graham — on 18th November, 2009 at 11:38 pm  

    Interesting that Sunny relies on a quote from the very right-wing Judy here (rather than all the more liberal women who have supported HP.) Perhaps he can see vaguely through the mists the way that Ms Penny is heading. Building a “left-wing” on the shifting views of those barely out of their teens was the mistake Tony Cliff tried to make of course.

  5. majorplonquer — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:14 am  

    Surely you mean misterogyny. Or should that be Shirley?

  6. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:45 am  

    Of course. Trying to build a “left wing” by demeaning women and young folk is a brilliant strategy, don't you think? You do still see yourselves as left wing, don't you?

    Maybe not.

  7. Sunny H — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:52 am  

    Interesting that Sunny relies on a quote from the very right-wing Judy here

    I didn't realise that fighting sexism should depend on whether the person is left-wing or right-wing. I disagree with Judy on a lot of issues, but the way that thread reacted to her comment was shockingly bad. I encourage everyone to read it and make up their own minds.

  8. Karl — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:03 am  

    Good post, Sunny! I hope as a result of this more people will realise just how vile and bigoted HP has become, darkening the image of left wing politics, though we know they're about as left wing as the BNP.

  9. leon — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:14 am  

    I'm having de ja vu, haven't we done the 'HP is evil' meme before?

  10. katynewton — on 19th November, 2009 at 3:08 am  

    I generally like Harry's Place, and was inclined to think that this was all a fuss about nothing. I still do (no offence, Sunny, but you've written five articles about HP in the last two weeks – I am more than capable of forming my own view about their posts and I'm sure a lot of people who come here only go there because you've linked to them in a post).

    I really don't think that “silly cow” is the apogee of misogyny. I couldn't quite work out how it was said that she'd been called that anyway. I didn't agree with her original article, which conflated HP with its commenters and suggested effectively that if you're above the line you must agree with whatever's below the line, and given how incredibly upset people get here when they're accused of racism I can quite understand why people at HP were offended by her article, which I did think was pretty poorly thought out.

    However, I did spit out my coffee when I read Marcus's defence of the proud term “silly cow”, which apparently boils down to this: if only Laurie was a proud salt-of-the-earth Northern prole she'd have LOVED being called a silly cow and it's only because she's an up-her-own-arse rich kid that's she's got a problem. That, Marcus, if you are reading it, is not right. I don't think it's the worst thing you can call someone but sexist language is sexist language. The thing that Sunny has done very well on PP is to make it accessible for female commenters. I can't say I've ever been subject to sexist language on HP myself but I have seen it directed at other women. If you want more women to participate (and perhaps you don't, of course) then it might be an idea to dial back the machismo a bit.

  11. Fojee Punjabi — on 19th November, 2009 at 3:55 am  

    You know the score by now, Leon. Let Hundal keep barking..

    The div.

  12. Binky — on 19th November, 2009 at 3:56 am  

    Laurie probably had to ask her charwoman whether the expression 'silly cow' was or wasn't intended to be rude.

  13. Graham — on 19th November, 2009 at 4:38 am  

    “Of course. Trying to build a “left wing” by demeaning women and young folk is a brilliant strategy, don't you think?”

    You mean like suggesting that people are saying things like “I’ve been subjected to tirades of the sort of violent, childish and deeply personalised misogynist abuse”.?

    You are right. I don't think “childish” is a word we should use in polite society. Also Laurie's suggestion that white men are priveliged is surely terrible “classism” (whatever that is.)

    I didn't realise that fighting sexism should depend on whether the person is left-wing or right-wing

    But you are not “fighting sexism” you are just having a go at HP. It was “bullying” before you managed to elevate the “cow” aspect into a virtual gang-rape.

  14. Graham — on 19th November, 2009 at 4:59 am  

    “if only Laurie was a proud salt-of-the-earth Northern prole she'd have LOVED being called a silly cow and it's only because she's an up-her-own-arse rich kid that's she's got a problem.”

    I'm not sure that Marcus meant quite that (at least not literally.) Brownie's take on it is a little more sophisticated i.e.: that you can be as insulting and bigotted as you like in the comments boxes at most blogs if you have the language abilities and are able to dress your words up nicely enough. Now that would be an interesting debate to have but unfortunately it has been overshadowed by the wailings of people using all this as a stick to beat HP with.

  15. leon — on 19th November, 2009 at 5:12 am  

    If you're going to make a point about a flaw in strategy or tactics about Sunny please desist from the abuse. Sunny knows full well my views on the futility of attacking HP but he also knows I consider him a friend and political ally.

  16. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2009 at 5:21 am  

    Graham,

    It's your own comment up above.

    Building a “left-wing” on the shifting views of those barely out of their teens was the mistake Tony Cliff tried to make of course.

    Do you see Harrys Place as left wing or not?

  17. wasim — on 19th November, 2009 at 6:00 am  

    Harry’s place bullies and witch hunts Muslims with a political or cultural profile that fit any one of the below three criteria usually

    Against the Iraq war

    Actively support Palestinian human rights or self determination or have any sympathy what so ever with any issue to do with Palestinians

    Have any relationship with SWP or left groups involved in the above two issues.

    If you are a Muslim that does not fit that profile they leave you alone, given the majority of Muslims have a view on the above, that is not approved by HP, if you then go into the public sphere, they use their tried and tested formula involving making a link from any views on the above that your a sympathiser of hamas or hiz but etc etc, and a potential 5th columnist or traitor to the UK, by implication of being an islamist or apologist for Islamism, all then served to go mixed together with vitriol and abuse on their message boards.

    Many figures have got this treatment inc Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Mehdi Hasan and even a 17 year old girl who had the temerity to join the SWP. (Get her early I suppose) Laurie Penny piece (http://www.the.samosa.co.uk) pointed out this and the similairty with which MPAC demonise Jewish people.

    No one of these people have any sympathy with Islamism, Yasmin Alibhai Brown gets abused on the MPAC space for being a minority Muslim Ishmael and a powerful women’s rights campaigner and then gets abused on HP for standing up for Palestinian rights inc the rights of Palestinian women not to have phosperous and depleted uranium used against them in Gaza about sums up how sectarian both HP and MPAC are.

  18. wasim — on 19th November, 2009 at 6:01 am  

    Harry’s place bullies and witch hunts Muslims with a political or cultural profile that fit any one of the below three criteria usually

    Against the Iraq war

    Actively support Palestinian human rights or self determination or have any sympathy what so ever with any issue to do with Palestinians

    Have any relationship with SWP or left groups involved in the above two issues.

    If you are a Muslim that does not fit that profile they leave you alone, given the majority of Muslims have a view on the above, that is not approved by HP, if you then go into the public sphere, they use their tried and tested formula involving making a link from any views on the above that your a sympathiser of hamas or hiz but etc etc, and a potential 5th columnist or traitor to the UK, by implication of being an islamist or apologist for Islamism, all then served to go mixed together with vitriol and abuse on their message boards.

    Many figures have got this treatment inc Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Mehdi Hasan and even a 17 year old girl who had the temerity to join the SWP. (Get her early I suppose) Laurie Penny piece (http://www.thesamosa.co.uk) pointed out this and the similairty with which MPAC demonise Jewish people.

    No one of these people have any sympathy with Islamism, Yasmin Alibhai Brown gets abused on the MPAC space for being a minority Muslim Ishmael and a powerful women’s rights campaigner and then gets abused on HP for standing up for Palestinian rights inc the rights of Palestinian women not to have phosperous and depleted uranium used against them in Gaza about sums up how sectarian both HP and MPAC are.

    wasim

  19. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 6:29 am  

    Wasim sums it up very well. And it was always so, a stepping stone to and from Jihadwatch

    Its not even anything to do with left/right.

  20. Binky — on 19th November, 2009 at 6:32 am  

    Harry's Place is tragically wrong about Iraq.

    We should quit Iraq and Afghanistan at once, pausing only to loot the good stuff from the museums and offer it through Sotheby's, Plillips and Christie's.

    Harry's Place is right about a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. And VERY right about HAMAS and HIZBOLLAH and Syria.

    Harry's Place is right about yapping 'British' Muslims incessantly running their mouths and sounding like the inarticulate and ill-informed people who phone George Galloway on the 'Real Deal'. If they don't like British Foreign Policy, they ought to go and live in a country with a Foreign Policy of which they approve. I hear there are plenty of jobs going in the qat orchards of Yemen these days.

  21. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 6:53 am  

    If people think calling someone a silly cow is terrible and shouldn't happen, then GET OFF THE FUCKING INTERNETS!11!

    That Penny should suddenly become so thin skinned, after presumably years commenting and blogging, seems just a tad suspect. Blogging and the internet in general is a pretty sexist place, a fact of life.

    The first commenter on this Pickled Poltics post calls Ayaan Hirsi Ali a “silly bitch”.

    Whilst I agree it's not nice, I'm sure the majority of people here have had things said about them far, far worse and personally insulting. And got over it, and reminded themselves not to take these things to heart.

    This is a classic Hundal Hatchet Job (HHJ). Try not to get too riled. He enjoys winding people up. He'll be a long in a minute to call me a frothing rabid extremist. :p

    And he knows how to get his followers worked up in to a righteous lather against the REAL enemy to decent society; Harrys Place bloggers!

  22. Graham — on 19th November, 2009 at 7:12 am  

    “Do you see Harrys Place as left wing or not?”

    Some individuals at HP are left wing and some aren't. I mean, I have a lot of time for Ven and Wardy but left-wing? Doubtful.

    And Leon. I'm not going to abuse Sunny. I only abuse idiots.

  23. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 7:27 am  

    Blinky, the whole purpose of a democracy is to seek change through democratic means. Not exile people because you don't agree with them.

    Foreign policy is a major bone of contention with a lot of people, regardless of background or origin.

    It links in also with the Despatches program about pro-Israeli lobbying. Should all those lobbyists also be expelled or exiled?

  24. wankababy — on 19th November, 2009 at 8:22 am  

    HP is against Islamism and most other isms. To claim it picks on Islamism to the exlcusion of other targets is plain wrong. Many recent posts have been about the BNP. Using Judy in your defence is a tad silly – she can be sensible but a lot of the time her comments are self-pitying and hysterical. She sees insults where none exist. The original attaack by Laurie Penny was itself ad-hominem and full of misrepresentations. She clearly sees herself as the new Julie Burchill and aims to get there by whatever means possible. Some of the responses against her were fierce, but most were measured and robust.
    And why is Sunny wearing sunglasses??

  25. Sarah — on 19th November, 2009 at 8:56 am  

    Hi Katy – I very much agree with your analysis. I didn't agree with much in Laurie's original article but I felt she scored *some* points in the ensuing debates. If the response to Laurie's piece had stuck to the point and defended HP bloggers in a reasoned way (actually that would have been an easy thing to do) I'd have endorsed such a post wholeheartedly.

  26. Sarah — on 19th November, 2009 at 9:48 am  

    “Blogging and the internet in general is a prettty sexist place, a fact of life.” I don't see why one should just accept this – all sorts of disagreeable things are facts of life but personally I think we should try and improve them – what's wrong with speaking out against sexism?

  27. Brownie — on 19th November, 2009 at 10:08 am  

    Hi Katy – I very much agree with your analysis. I didn't agree with much in Laurie's original article but I felt she scored *some* points in the ensuing debates. If the response to Laurie's piece had stuck to the point and defended HP bloggers in a reasoned way (actually that would have been an easy thing to do) I'd have endorsed such a post wholeheartedly.

    I do take the point but I aslo think there's a significant rewriting of history going on here. Marcus's first post, for very much the large part, does exactly what it should have, which was to confront the notion we're anti-Muslim bigots head on and dismantles any suggestion we're the mirror image of MPACUK. Of course, someone called Laurie a “silly cow” in the comments and, whilst that shouldn't have happened, for Laurie to then fixate on that to the exclusion of all else is unfair. Just as it would have been unfair for us to lift the “Fucking racist scum” description of HP from the thread at her blog and make that the focus of all subsequent discussion. Unless, of course, as Sunny appears to believe, the comments and the posts are indivisible?

    To be clear, Laurie was entitled to be offended about “silly cow” and she's a right to voice her complaints. No question. But her posts are being contrasted with our comments (or a comment). This is exactly the tactic employed by Mehdi Hasan after the posts about him. His response on the NS blog was to zero in on the charge he was an “Islamist”. Who made that charge? Not an HP author (we explicitly stated that he was NOT an Islamist), but a commenter. Does Hasan have have right to defend himself against charges he's an Islamist? Of course he does. But it's entirely unfair to characterise the dispute between Hasan and HP as one where we levelled a charge of Islamist tendencies which he rebutted.

    The LP and HP dispute was either about our respective posts or it is a test of our respective moderation policies. It's either about whether HP=MPACUK or it's about whether Laurie is a “silly cow” and we're “fucking racist scum”. We either blur the lines between posts and comments for everything on both sides, or we don't do it at all.

  28. Graham — on 19th November, 2009 at 10:09 am  

    I don't think that there is anything wrong in speaking out about sexism as long as you realise that it comes in many forms. To attack a phrase which is in pretty-much non-pejorative usage amongst large communities in the UK whilst ignoring a commenter who persistantly “talks down” and patronises female commenters (for instance) seems to me rather silly.The whole imagined (and continually re-inforced by some)idea that the internet is representative of society as a whole is largely to blame. Marcus mentioned some young women who he knew who used highly sexist language amongst themselves (and Amie in turn talked about internalised oppression,) but the larger point is that such women (and men for that matter) arriving at a website and seeing such a fuss made about a phrase such as “silly cow” by a commenter at HP, or even the rather worse “silly bitch” by a commenter at PP, would just laugh and consider these sites were not for them – nothing like the world in which they live and exist and use such terms without a thought of what others perceive as their harmful nature. So what you do by turning the users of such terms into internet social pariahs is to drive them away and consolidate a virtual world where only those with the social advantages of language and education are allowed to be. And baring (as I said above) in mind that it is quite possible to be sexist (or racist) without being explicit you still don't get rid of actual sexism. Whereas if people arrive on websites using terms such as silly cow are gently confronted or are able to see that having a little more respect for people produces better and more fruitful outcomes to arguments then you actually ARE making a difference and not excluding large sections of society in the process.

  29. Brownie — on 19th November, 2009 at 10:17 am  

    Laurie opened one comment to me with:

    No darling

    I wasn't offended. I thought I was in.

  30. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 10:36 am  

    No I think that was the equivalent of your 'little man'. You will have to learn the language.

    —————————-

    HP is a bigot's paradise.

    And to be honest if I visited and found MPACUK to be a mirror of HP I would be horrified. As I said upthread, that is probably what hurt HP more than anything else.

    It would not surprise me if privately you don't accept the charge of anti-muslim bigotry as being particularly harmful. Although I can see why you would want to avoid being termed racist, for now. But, hey, give it a while longer and even that will be like water of a duck's back. Reza will explain.

  31. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2009 at 10:38 am  

    Brownie, Sorry to see Harrys Place is down.

    However.

    It is becoming increasingly unclear to me how you actually think Harrys' Place works.

    Is it a place where anyone can blog? Clearly not, you would not – sensibly, it has to be said – accept me as a commentator. So what criteria applies? Why is someone encouraged to have a go at Osama Saeed? Why does he get a guest post with you? There is some sort of criteria being applied. Who decides who guests and who doesn't? Who does it, and what are the criteria?

    Obviously that doesn't apply to the core bloggers such as Graham and your good self. But you are a fairly popular site and you must get submissions from people all the time. So maybe you know nothing about Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, or why his post was favoured, but somebody does.

    I'd appreciate some clarity on this.

  32. Brownie — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:19 am  

    Douglas,

    There is no policy on guests posts. Individual authors make their own choices and it really is the case we don't always agree. I thought 3 posts on Mehdi Hasan was over the top and I said so at the time. There have been guest posts that have left me scratching my head. I was never and still am not a fan of Chas Newkey-Burden. Frankly, some of his stuff made me cringe.

    Anyway, I think the sniping between HP and PP ought to stop. That doesn't mean we have to start pretending there aren't things we don't like about each blog, but we ought to be able to agree to disagree. In that spirit, I'm happy to offer you the opportunity to do a guest post on moderation standards and policies, arguing why you think a different approach by HP editors would be more conducive to informed debate. Consider it an open invitation.

  33. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:24 am  

    Refresh,

    Hmm…

    I know I keep banging on about this and Brownie is unable to answer, through a lack of knowledge or summat, and Graham, well, Grahams' Graham.

    But is puzzles me how they select their targets.

    IIRC some idiotic astronomer thought that there was doubt over Nazi death camps. He produced 'evidence' of a spurious kind that that was so. It is easy to comprehensively debunk his bullshit.

    But that wasn't enough for Harrys' Place. They got him sacked out of his real world, unpaid, post.

    And he wasn't anyone. He had a bee in his bonnet, and that was about it.

    The screams of delight from the denizens of Harrys' Den left a foul taste in my mouth, let me tell you.

    It seems to me that a free speech arguement has never been tolerated amongst the jackals that scream around Harry's Place. And finding, reasonably easy targets like that guy, well….

    He lost a lot. And Harry's Place had another notch on it's gun.

    Dirty Harry…..

  34. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:26 am  

    Nothing. This is a political spat, however. And a mediumly vicious one at that rate.

    Sexism on the web. The biggest factor in combatting sexism on blogging sites, for example, is to have more female bloggers and commenters. I suspect 80% of bloggers and commenters are male. If not more. 'The internet' is a male dominated environment..

  35. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:36 am  

    Oh Douglas get off your hobby horse. You are capable of reasoned posts so why the vitriol against anything Harry's Place related? You appear to be an extreme partisan. I don't think you are but that's the way you are acting. Common ground anyone?

  36. CathElliott — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:45 am  

    Actually marvin more women go online than men, so theoretically t'Internet is a female dominated environment. Hard to believe I know, but that's because most of us here confine ourselves to the political blogosphere, which is decidedly more macho and male dominated than the rest of the www.

    But I totally agree that places like PP, HP and LC need more female bloggers and commenters.

  37. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:52 am  

    Brownie,

    Sadly, I shall have to refuse your kind offer. If you look into the dim and distant past of Harry's Place, you'll find me. For I did think the Euston Manifesto had merit, and for a while I supported it. And then I didn't. Perhaps if you recall, you probably won't, I suggested to you back then that you were an honourable man that I admired and that you were, unfortunately, on the wrong end of an arguement. I asked you to walk away from it, and I think you more or less have. Not because of me, but because you are a decent person.

    I may have said that you'd be far better posting here. Although that did not gain universal approval.

    If you stay at Harry's Place, which I suspect you will, why don't you write the post you wanted me to write?

    You'd have far more clout than me.

    Peace.

  38. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:53 am  

    Douglas, I still wonder if anyone lost their job or was disciplined over HP's nasty campaign against that London public swimming pool.

    BTW I hadn't known about an astronomer getting the sack due to HP's campaigning prowess.

    Maybe we need the BBC R4 'You and Yours' team, John Waite or even C4 'Dispatches' to check this blog out.

  39. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:01 pm  

    any evidence? all evidence does, unfortunately, point otherwise, by quite some.

  40. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

    What?

  41. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:05 pm  

    Refresh you are f***ing lunatic. Even Sunny, repeatedly, reposes that you talk utter, utter shite.

  42. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:08 pm  

    Refresh,

    He was a retired astronomer, and given an honourary position for his work in, err…, astronomy.

    He said some very bad things about concentration camps, basically around the idea that they 'never happened'.

    It was completely wrong to link that idiocy, for idiocy it is, with his ex-professional life.

    And that is what they did, and that is what they revelled in.

    It was McCarthyite lite.

    If you were a member of, I dunno, a bowling club or somesuch, would you expect Harry's Place to be able to get you black balled?

    No, neither would I.

  43. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

    I bloody love this new meme:

    Even Sunny

    Ta Ra.

    Sunny Hundal, you are now the mainstream. Even Marvin tells you so.

  44. CathElliott — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:33 pm  

    Here you go:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/aug/23/dig

    http://advertising.microsoft.com/uk/EIAA-women-

    Apparently women dominate the social networking sites, whereas men dominate the blogosphere – apparently around 67% of bloggers are men:

    http://tech.bitchbuzz.com/women-too-afraid-of-i

  45. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

    cuntning hell

  46. Don — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:43 pm  

    I have no evidence, but I suspect mumsnet may count for more votes than either PP or HP, or any other male dominated shouty blog.

    (A quick google suggests that men were a couple of percentage points ahead in internet usage, depending on how you chose to parse the demographics, but the gap was closing. So, yes, stats would be nice, although probably meaningless. The numbers I glanced at didn't distinguish between being a user and frequency of logging on. )

    I got a hint that a lot of the male usage was for ,um, entertainment while female was more for social networking. It's open to a lot of interpretation, which I can't be arsed to do. But I think Cath could have a point.

    The internet is a big place.

  47. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 12:43 pm  

    pathetic cunts are npt lie

  48. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 1:32 pm  

    Well! Sunny's gone down in my estimation then. He must be saying all these things behind my back. Never had him down as a sneak. As far as I know PP has only ever been 'manned' by one sneak, and it was never Sunny.

    As for your repulsive language, there is something seriously wrong when you use *** in one place and not in a more egregious case.

  49. KB Player — on 19th November, 2009 at 1:33 pm  

    I was pretty cross about the original Samosa piece because Laurie had been very idle, assessing the blogs HP & MPACUK by hearsay. Second-hand information is unavoidable when you’re writing about Iran or Westminster or practically everything, but there are two blogs, you can go and read a portion of them, and there’s no excuse for offering a judgement based on the blogs’ reputation.

    Marcus, however, attacked Laurie for her background, which then gave her a bit of the high ground. An unwise tactic.

    As for “silly cow” – I’d be bloody annoyed if someone called me that & I certainly wouldn’t engage with anyone who did. I’d tell them to piss off. Never mind if it’s used as light banter in some circles – it’s insulting on a blog. I have a friend who calls me “you dumb bitch” and that’s fine from her, she’s a friend and she’s teasing me, but that’s no way to address a stranger in any circumstances, on a blog or off it. If you spoke like that to someone in a heated debate in a pub you’d get a drink in your face.

    I’m an HP stalwart but I’ve certainly had some problems with the occasional sexist language there. I’ve taken people to task as rudely as possible but sexist posts should simply be deleted immediately, as racist ones are..

    Katynewton – Sarah –good points both of you and more reason to wish that there were more women on political blogs. Political blogs are male dominated as much as rock music is. The kind of language on some threads can be intimidating – sometimes it’s like a pub in the less nice parts of Glasgow at 11:30pm. You don’t want to go in there.

  50. Sarah — on 19th November, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

    I agree with much of what you say – I certainly don't think HP is the mirror of MPACUK or that the writers are anti-Muslim bigots – but I really found the tone of Marcus' post pretty unhelpful. I think HP is still down so I can't provide a link but a commenter called Ben put the case against Laurie's original blog in a pretty cogent and measured way. I feel HP should be winning this one by the way – I don't think Laurie responded convincingly to the substantive criticisms against her original article.

  51. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 19th November, 2009 at 1:41 pm  

    all the endless arguing and drama of the blog world is what made me loose interest. I prefer real conversations with real people.

  52. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 1:50 pm  

    Now then Marvin, care to explain why I am a lunatic? Is it because I suggested HP-The Blog should form an episode in the Dispatches series? I would have thought that would be a badge of honour.

    Lets face it Online will be everything soon enough, and if a blog thinks its acquired sufficient power and influence to shutdown or shut-out voices; if it preens itself after an uncomprehending swimming pool manager gets a good kicking; if it sets its sight on influencing elections campaigns by bringing people low – all with no more than distant and tenuous spidery links – then we should be told. We should understand it and we should prepare for such tactics for the future.

    Consider it a public service.

  53. Sunny H — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:05 pm  

    hold on. this isn't a male dominated shouty blog – we have plenty of female commenters and contributors and sexist language gets deleted quickly (though sometimes, admittedly, we miss it).

    LC even more so. It has more women contributors than most group political blogs. But we run a range of feminist articles regularly and the discussion is always good.

  54. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:11 pm  

    And Marvin, right on cue – something to complement your foul language

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/jul

  55. Graham — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:12 pm  

    If you spoke like that to someone in a heated debate in a pub you’d get a drink in your face.

    What would be the appropriate response to being called a paedophile? The glass?

  56. Graham — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:13 pm  

    Lets face it Online will be everything soon enough

    God. let's hope not.

  57. KB Player — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:31 pm  

    hold on. this isn't a male dominated shouty blog – we have plenty of female commenters and contributors and sexist language gets deleted quickly

    Fair play to you Sunny, both LC & PP are more female friendly than HP. I prefer HP in other ways, but you definitely score on that aspect.

  58. elaine — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:34 pm  

    I would remind Sunny that last summer/autumn a Liberal Conspiracy contributor headed up his comment on Hilary Clinton with a large photo-shopped picture of her with C*NT behind her. Several of us objected to this as sexist and as particularly politically problematic given the license with which many left/liberal opponents of Clinton and supporters of Obama used sexist and misogynistic language and imagery to attack her. Many of the commentators (mostly male, but one woman) argued that it was defensible because c#nt was so widely used and/or Clinton deserved it ie that it has lost its sexist moorings and meaning (I totally disagree with that, but that would be another argument). Others (mostly female, but some males) disagreed. Sunny shut down the thread saying it was and 'unproductive' discussion, and if I recall correctly, that it was an example of 'puerile pub humour' (this may have been someone else).
    It wasn't a comment, it was a contribution and it had a high profile . Sunny – as editor – did not make a statement about whether it was in line with their blog policy. It was a long time before I bothered to return to LC (and I have always been more of a lurker than participant) despite finding it and PP very good UK political blogs.

    I know this may well dismissed as 'whataboutery,' but it is partly about confusion about where Sunny stands. There is a lot of casual sexist language/imagery on the left blogosphere and for some of us, it is an issue that we sometimes choose to confront. Both silly cow and c#nt are pretty well-established as paternalist (silly cow) and misogynist (c#nt – I have never really seen it used as a Vagina Monologue-type celebration of womanhood).

  59. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:34 pm  

    Online will be everything soon enough …. ?

    God I hope not!
    There seems to be be two separate wolds – online and offline.

    I belong to a philosophy group that meets once a month.
    We do talk about the topic before hand on a bloggy type board thing- but then we are gonna have to meet face to face, it makes a big difference when you actually know the person. Internet comments are so easy to misread –
    you can say and do what ever you want with out a face to make it human there are no social rules.

  60. The Queen of fiddlesticks — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:38 pm  

    I'm a female and you are all a bunch of cunts.
    marvin is 100% correct

  61. The Queen of fiddlesticks — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:39 pm  

    haha :P

  62. Brownie — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

    Brownie I thought you weren't gonna respond to this blog any more huh?</i.

    My own playground is shut.

    Also, I posted this because Laurie is a friend and a comrade, and if another blog attacked her on the same grounds I'd respond similarly.

    Why didn't you defend us when she wrote a post calling the authors anti-Muslim bigots, put a flaming Nazi skull next to the post and compared us – unfavourably, I might add – to MPACUK? Is it because you think she's right, or because you're not our friend?

    I’m an HP stalwart but I’ve certainly had some problems with the occasional sexist language there. I’ve taken people to task as rudely as possible but sexist posts should simply be deleted immediately, as racist ones are..

    Can't argue with that. I'd say that on the overtly racist comments we're pretty good. Reactionary right-wing nuttery isn't deleted, but isn't the same thing, either. But yes, you're right, too much sexist stuff does pass without being deleted (bad enough) and oftern isn't even challenged (worse). We should, and will, do better.

  63. Graham — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

    I used to have an obsessive stalker who called himself “Graham is a cunt”.

    It was always the sexism of it that shocked me.

  64. Sunny H — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

    elaine – ah yes I remember that. You're right though, I should have deleted that or at least pointed out that it was sexist. I remember thinking that afterwards but didn't do anything about it after the whole incident had passed. I did however point out several times that I thought a fair bit of vitriol directed at Clinton was sexist.

  65. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

    ahem

  66. Don — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:48 pm  

    Fair enough. But for the last couple of days this place has been mostly about HP's integrity and Reza's identity and mostly shouty. Can we get on with stuff that matters and drop the tedious obsessive bloody macho hissy-fits?

  67. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    I should have deleted that or at least pointed out that it was sexist

    Pointing out sexism is one thing, but deletion is the sign pointer of a totalitarian mindset.

    Freedom of speech trumps bigotry. (unless it incites violence, of course)

  68. elaine — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:53 pm  

    I would remind Sunny that last summer/autumn a Liberal Conspiracy contributor headed up his comment on Hilary Clinton with a large photo-shopped picture of her with C*NT behind her. Several of us objected to this as sexist and as particularly politically problematic given the license with which many left/liberal opponents of Clinton and supporters of Obama used sexist and misogynistic language and imagery to attack her. Many of the commentators (mostly male, but one woman) argued that it was defensible because c#nt was so widely used and/or Clinton deserved it ie that it has lost its sexist moorings and meaning (I totally disagree with that, but that would be another argument). Others (mostly female, but some males) disagreed. Sunny shut down the thread saying it was and 'unproductive' discussion, and if I recall correctly, that it was an example of 'puerile pub humour' (this may have been someone else).
    It wasn't a comment, it was a contribution and it had a high profile . Sunny – as editor – did not make a statement about whether it was in line with their blog policy. It was a long time before I bothered to return to LC (and I have always been more of a lurker than participant) despite finding it and PP very good UK political blogs.

    I know this may well dismissed as 'whataboutery,' but it is partly about confusion about where Sunny stands. There is a lot of casual sexist language/imagery on the left blogosphere and for some of us, it is an issue that we sometimes choose to confront. Both silly cow and c#nt are pretty well-established as paternalist (silly cow) and misogynist (c#nt – I have never really seen it used as a Vagina Monologue-type celebration of womanhood).

  69. raymondterrific — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

    Wow

    You do seem to be obsessed with Harry's Place here. As far as I can see the site is mostly reasonable people, making mostly reasonble comments, not quite as knee-jerk as some on here and I suspect the average poster there is slightly older than on here.

    Mind you, that Laura Penny really is a bit dense. I mean, really.

  70. The Queen of fiddlesticks — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

    why is everything sexist? just like why is everything racist? I know this will be labled whataboutary ..but what about if you call a man wanker or some other male word … is it still sexist?

  71. Sunny H — on 19th November, 2009 at 2:59 pm  

    Why didn't you defend us when she wrote a post calling the authors anti-Muslim bigots, put a flaming Nazi skull next to the post and compared us – unfavourably, I might add – to MPACUK? Is it because you think she's right, or because you're not our friend?

    I'm no longer regard HP as a left-wing blog but I do think we share a lot of similar attitudes to certain topics.

    I don't believe Laurie said all of you are anti-Muslim bigots but there is enough anti-Muslim bigotry on the site for everyone to wonder whether your principles are indeed intact as you claim.
    Various writers for the blogs make disgusting accusations and generalisations (about Guardian CIF, BBC, Amnesty, HRW etc etc) that are as bad if not worse than what Laurie said. So perhaps you should be more interested in putting your house in order before trying to claim there's no legitimate concerns.

    And lastly, Neil Robertson's criticism of HP once MArcus attacked Laurie initially was spot on. I suggest you read that again.

  72. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

    Elaine you're absolutely correct, Sunny knows full well he's no angel. And, every time so far, whatabouttery turns out to be doublestandardsdenialism…

  73. marvin — on 19th November, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

    I'm no longer regard HP as a left-wing blog but I do think we share a lot of similar attitudes to certain topics.

    Interesting.

    So why the attack?

    Their series on the BNP engages the fuckwits repeatedly and out in the open. Join in.

  74. Refresh — on 19th November, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

    Something is not right. Why are people over from HP becoming all conciliatory? Douglas Clark gets a trial as a HP writer; Marvin and others want PP not to attack but join in.

    And finally the penny (no pun) is dropping, the most damaging of all the allegations that MPACUK and HP are mirrors is actually the battleground.

    The sexist stuff, vile language, denials and now the conciliatory tone will be nothing compared to that! Because HP needs MPACUK for it to feel relevant.

  75. Sunny H — on 19th November, 2009 at 5:19 pm  

    Their series on the BNP engages the fuckwits repeatedly and out in the open. Join in

    Errr, the MCB write a lot criticising the BNP too. Somehow I doubt you'll join them in any crusade anytime soon Marvin. I'm saying I share outlooks with some of the writers on HP. But that doesn't mean I can't criticise, as they do with PP on occasion.

  76. Katy Newton — on 19th November, 2009 at 5:26 pm  

    Thanks Sarah and KBPlayer.

    I find this quite an interesting topic, actually. A lot of me thinks that to some extent being a feminist involves knowing what battles to pick and what to leave. “Silly cow” is misogynistic, undoubtedly, but very low level, as I've said – although I have also seen far more unpleasant comments; I seem to remember a comments thread at HP that at one stage degenerated into locker-room jokes about sanitary towels, forgive me for not going back to find it. As a feminist, it's the sort of insult that I personally wouldn't have allowed to distract me from the meat of whatever argument I was having, and I think that the fact that Laurie focussed on that comment – particularly as she did so having first somewhat twisted the context of it – rather than justifying her remarks about HP (which I thought were unjustified) was rather telling. I was therefore a bit disappointed to see a post apparently devoted to minimising the term “silly cow”. Like Sarah, I thought that HP should have won the debate on racism easily.

    But as I say, the feminist in me thinks that part of the strength of being a feminist is to shrug off diversionary insults anyway. There's a tension between a display of strength as a woman (not acknowledging the petty jibe or allowing it to distract you from the matter in hand) and a display of solidarity (challenging misogynistic language when it is used against you) that I find difficult to reconcile.

  77. Katy Newton — on 19th November, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

    See, I read back over that and it sounds as if I'm saying that being a feminist means not challenging misogynistic language. I don't mean that at all. It's just that sometimes you have to say to yourself: should I let myself be distracted by that remark, or should I just press on with the argument? Generally speaking I'd probably point out that the remark was sexist and ask if that meant that there wasn't any response to my arguments, I suppose. As I say, it isn't something I've really had to deal with personally on the interwebs, although I've certainly seen it directed at others.

  78. dave bones — on 19th November, 2009 at 5:47 pm  

    Is Harrys place an important blog? Are comments on blogs important? Is qat grown in orchards?

  79. SarahAB — on 19th November, 2009 at 11:39 pm  

    I find it interesting that Katy (whom I *think* I have seen commenting on HP but who is not a frequent commenter) is writing frequently and at length on this blog thread, as are quite a few other women. I find that siginficant, particularly as she clearly broadly likes HP, and think it backs up my feeling that HP works collectively (primarily through the commenters rather than the bloggers) to alienate many women. What's sad is that people who seem quite decent and congenial suddenly come out with something sexist or refuse to accept that women might justly feel offended by some comments. Personally I really didn't like the way some women also completely trivialise these issues on HP. I was amused to note on a thread focused on anti-semitism that there was an earnest emphasis on the right of the victim to decide whether something was racist or not. In so far as that rule is true I think it should be applied to women too.

    PS I have made a mental note to come back to PP, which I haven't visited for a while, even when HP isn't down!

  80. Binky — on 20th November, 2009 at 12:49 am  

    DAVE BONES -

    Harry's Place attracts interesting comments, as do a number of other blogs. Contributors to HP seem better-informed than most.

    Comments on blogs are like building sandcastles; instant ephemera.

    Traditionally, qat is grown on terraces in Yemen, shaded from the withering direct heat of the noon sun by the leaves of banana plants [the banana plant looks like a tree but it is not a true tree; if you slice into the trunk with parang, cutlass or machete you will see that it is made up of concentric rings of fibre, not a woody structure.]

    Interestingly enough, qat is still legal in the U.K., although I have yet to hear of anyone trying to grow it. The people at Kew would probably have a few handy tips.

    ELAINE – Calling someone a cunt, twat, prick, dick or even arsehole is as silly as calling them an elbow or a knee or a thumb. You nipple!

    There are plenty of good reasons to hate La Clinton politically, but the fact that she is a woman with a vagina is not one of them. Incidentally, it is amusing that the American Christian Right seems increasingly inclined to look favourably on wimmin leaders at present.

    ONE LAST POINT BEFORE I DOZE OFF:
    The actually apppearance of this blog is not as attractive as it ought to be. The extremist blog SOCIALIST UNITY is far more attractive and easy-t-read.

    Just saying!

  81. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 1:07 am  

    I still think that Wardy's idea that there should be a protest in response to Laurie Penny being so greiviously insulted and that the protestors should carry placards saying “we are all silly cows now” was the best reaction.

  82. Elaine — on 20th November, 2009 at 1:55 am  

    Sunny – thanks for the reply. Yes, if you thought it was sexist you should have clarified your policy on contributors (ie not commentators). It was a prominent post that became cited as an example of the left's recourse to sexism. However, I also recall that you did point out/argue againts some of the sexist vitriol. Although most of us worked very hard for Obama's election, its impact on our 'trust' of our liberal/left 'friends' has been pretty profound.

  83. organiccheeseboard — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:00 am  

    Individual authors make their own choices and it really is the case we don't always agree. [...] I was never and still am not a fan of Chas Newkey-Burden. Frankly, some of his stuff made me cringe.

    It's worse than cringeworthy, though. The guy is on record as admiring fascists.

    I know the bloke who wrote this probably isn't reading this any more, but still – I'd genuinely like to know what criteria you need to write for HP Sauce. I mean, it's a site that opposes fascism but seems to give Chas 'I love Lieberman, there is no such thing as an illegal settlement, Arabs attack Israel because they are evil' Newkey-Burden carte blanche to post – and when his dodgy views are highlighted it's the person doing the highlighting that gets personally attacked, not just by commenters but David Toube. Often guest posts are commissioned via the comments which is also problematic – see 'IsraeliNurse', who lives in an illegal settlement, being given posting rights.

    you claim 'not to agree on everything' but this kind of thing is surely more serious than a matter of editorial disagreement – and if counterpunch is designted a 'Neo-Nazi magazine' as a result of one of its contributors being a bit dodgy, I don't quite understand how that logic is meant to not work when it comes to HP Sauce. Quite frankly I think the collective approach to editing and commisioning has led to a loss of accountability (if there ever was any), and also to a weird siege mentality where despite there being no clear sense of a criteria for someone being accepted as a contributor, once someone posts on HP Sauce they deserve full support no matter what.

    That's the reason why Mehdi Hasan got it in the neck – he exposed one of the people who runs the site as the numbskull he is (Brett Lock), and that's why Hasan was smeared as an islamist (by insinuation, before you run off to the usual defence of 'that only appeared in the comments').

  84. Refresh — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:23 am  

    Why is everyone acting as a media consultant to a dead parrot? Why doesn't it just go quietly? I cannot see that HP wanting now to appear the victim is going to recover any of its 'clout'. Its 'high-tide mark' should have been the Euston Manifesto, but fortunately for the rest of us that proclamation laid bare its agenda completely.

    All this 'advice' on that blog's 'atmosphere' was offered to HP in bucketloads on PP a couple of years ago – with a HP representative in attendance (in the form of David Toube). Seemingly impossible, but It only got worse.

    Imagine the reaction from HP if similar 'advice' was to be offered to MPACUK.

    Again, both are ghettoes of the mind.

  85. Katy Newton — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:25 am  

    Sarah – I've commented on HP occasionally. It's interesting, because whereas with HP I like the posts but get lost in the comments, here I really enjoy the commenting as much as the material above the line. I do think things are a bit more orderly here, even when people are angry with each other. But also, I think I comment more here because I used to write here regularly, and because I know a lot of the commenters and writers in real life, as it were.

    I also know David T, and like and respect him very much, which is why I get annoyed when people start laying into him here.

  86. organiccheeseboard — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:30 am  

    i do find it weird how someone who gets universal praise for his character and pleasantness in the flesh, like toube, can come across as such an agressive, inconsiderate, irrational and generally unpleasant person online.

  87. MoreMediaNonsense — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:53 am  

    oc – what is this stuff about Brett Lock and Mehdi Hasan, you keep coming out with it here and on LC, but my googling fails to find what you're talking about. Where did Hasan make a fool of Brett which supposedly led to this campaign ?

    “I do find it weird how someone who gets universal praise for his character and pleasantness in the flesh, like toube, can come across as such an agressive, inconsiderate, irrational and generally unpleasant person online.”

    Does he ? I really don't think so. I might be biased though. What do others think ?

  88. SarahAB — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:17 am  

    I agree with plenty of what David T writes – he's written some really good articles for HP. But I can think offhand of two pieces where I thought he was being spiteful. One was the one about Yasmin Alibhai Brown peeing in her pants which wasn't *really* horrible in itself but elicited – and was I felt deliberately designed to elicit – some absolutely disgusting and misogynist comments. Another piece about Lauren Booth doing an article about her husband being in a coma (silly woman though she seems to be) also seemed really unnecessary.

  89. marvin — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:25 am  

    Arrogant people who have their point of view opposed often feel that the other is an “aggressive, inconsiderate, irrational and generally unpleasant person”. For them, disagreeing is inherently rude and aggressive, probably because they see their world view as an unalterable reality.

  90. Binky — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:41 am  

    It all depends what one means by SEXISM, dunnit?

    I recall posting on a blog – NOT this one – suggesting that the appalling destroyer of our liberties and sworn foe of humanity Jackie Jackboots ought to wear a black leather catsuit and sport a leather strap-on dildo, but the puritanical tightarsed Presbyterian killjoys running the site erased so carefully-considered an opinion in a matter of minutes, the swines!

  91. Binky — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:45 am  

    I totally forgot: one fetishist B&D / S&M toysite offers or used to offer handmade boarhide scourges for discerning customers with extraordinary requirements.

    Jackie Jackboots would have looked utterly splendid carrying such an item as a Badge of Office.

  92. organiccheeseboard — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:46 am  

    the lock/hasan stuff is very easy to find, it was over media coverage of right-wing extremism. Hasan made Brett look a fool so the HP Sauce witch-hunt began.

    Toube can come across as measured in the stuff he posts at the top, but in comments he comes across very often as a boorish oaf given to unneccessary name-calling and swearing. it's not a question of finding any disagreement offensive, but that his disagreement usually a) ignores what the other person is actually saying and b) usually involves a lot of sweary mudslinging.

    and yes, his treatment of Shami Chakrabati generally seems irrational ('fuck off, Shami' as the TITLE of a piece?); and at times pretty offensive.

  93. Binky — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:48 am  

    If Don wants to gauge the percentage of female readers on a blog he ought to adopt a female nom-de-plume and write a review of the sort of book wimmin like under the said nom-de-plume:

    “Reading Your Cat's Horoscope” by Suzanne Milkwood
    Rosewater Press
    Reviewed by Louise Silk

    See how easy it is?

  94. dave bones — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:52 am  

    This is a bit amusing I suppose but it sounds like everyone is being a bit over sensitive. What does it matter if someone abuses you on a blog? I think it is quite funny.What harm does it do? We are very very lucky people. Stupidly stupidly lucky compared to 90 percent of the world, and that is a lot of people. I quite like a bit of abuse. sure I get on my high horse and get offended from time to time but it doesn't leave any lasting scars.

  95. MoreMediaNonsense — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:53 am  

    “Hasan made Brett look a fool so the HP Sauce witch-hunt began.”

    Just looked in HP archives, for the record I presume you mean it started with :

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/07/15/a-cracke

    where Brett says from the outset he dislikes Hasan :

    “Hasan is clearly a cheap propagandist and grievance-monger.”

    Here is an HP post which shows Hasan's reply :

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/07/16/the-poli

    Its a matter of opinion who wins the argument, see eg a comment from Ben Cohen :

    “My God – how the New Statesman has fallen. What absolute twaddle. And, yes, I have worked in several newsrooms – mainly at the BBC, also American ABC – and I’m married to a someone who works for a leading national newspaper, so I also know what I’m talking about.

    Brett, your piece was excellent.”

  96. Binky — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:56 am  

    I wrote something about the well-reviewed book

    “Reading Your Cat's Horoscope”

    and it seems to have disappeared into the Fourth Dimension. Can anyone account for this odd occurence?

  97. Brownie — on 20th November, 2009 at 6:01 am  

    Don't want to flog a dead horse, but some quick points:

    Marcus could have replied reasonably to the weird and clearly wrong point about only liking apolitical muslims – instead he gave us two weird and clearly offensive, highly personal attacks. Penny's point was proven.

    Once more, being accused of bigotry is what, if not a “highly personal attack”? But anyway, look at Marcus's first post in its entirety; I'm not saying he doesn't mention LP's background and privilege (and we can argue about relevancy separately) but he absolutely does confront the central charge of anti-Muslim bigotry head-on. It's just not true to say he doesn't.

    Marcus'ssecond post does focus on the allegations/refutations of sexism angle, but this comes AFTER LP's own response to Marcus' first article that picked up the original Samosa piece. It was in the post on LP's own blog, before Marcus's second post, that the sexism shitstorm was whipped up. The thread spawned lies about me and suggestions that anyone connected with HP was a “violent misogynist”. Marcus wrote his scond post the morning after reading that tripe.

    I'm not saying we are absolved of all blame for the way things degenerated or that we couldn't have argued our position better, but the chronology is being forgotten here and it's absolutely central to any clear understanding of how things played out.

    That's the reason why Mehdi Hasan got it in the neck – he exposed one of the people who runs the site as the numbskull he is (Brett Lock), and that's why Hasan was smeared as an islamist (by insinuation, before you run off to the usual defence of 'that only appeared in the comments').

    I'd say the fact the line “Mehdi Hasan is not an Islamist” appeared in the posts is a pretty decent defence against claims we were guilty of even an “insinuation” to the contrary. We categorically and explicitly rejected such a claim.

    Quite frankly I think the collective approach to editing and commisioning has led to a loss of accountability

    There's probably something in that. If nothing else, I think there are too many posts some days and I agree there have been people invited to write guest posts whom I wouldn't let near the place, but this just reinforces the point that there really isn't an editorial line.

    and also to a weird siege mentality where despite there being no clear sense of a criteria for someone being accepted as a contributor, once someone posts on HP Sauce they deserve full support no matter what.

    This is manifestly wrong. Witness DT arguing against IsraeliNurse, Chas N-B. I've done the same, although I'm far less active in I/P threads than some. I regularly opposed Johan Hari's stuff when he wrote at HP.

    Haven't you noticed what's been happening recently? DT has been getting it in the neck from IsraeliNurse, Judy and similar for what they see as a blatant attempt to rebalance the political centre of the blog on Israel/Palestine. They claim he is guilty of the precise opposite of what is claimed here, namely that he's pandering to the critics rather than sticking to his beliefs. They don't seem to have realised that these were his beliefs all along.

  98. Binky — on 20th November, 2009 at 6:04 am  

    MEA CULPA!

    Binky was squealing before he was hit!

  99. Katy Newton — on 20th November, 2009 at 6:13 am  

    @SarahAB: yes, I think the YAB post was the one that descended into jokes about incontinence pads, and I don't think I liked it very much either.

  100. organiccheeseboard — on 20th November, 2009 at 6:48 am  

    all points taken on board brownie but i can't agree over Toube and Newkey-Burden, he's specfiically voiced his support of CNB in the past.

    see eg a comment from Ben Cohen

    Ben Cohen is not exactly impartial on these matters – to put it mildly.

    Just as a final contribution – yes, Brownie, the fact that so many contributors are peopel you wouldn't let near the place might show that there's not an editorial line. But that surely highlights the fact that there is no real 'we' at HP Sauce, so your using that phtrase earlier when discussing the Marcus posts is misplaced.

    And just to reiterate – there is an abdication of responsibility from those who run the site, and that's resulted in its having no clear direction, and thus hosting so much really very dodgy stuff and attacting so many commenters who are, to put it mildly, not the kind of people you'd normally see being given space at a supposedly left-wing blog.

    also i don't think Penny was accusing HP of bigotry in her piece. She accused HP of only liking muslims who are apolitical which isn't true. but as i said, she also accused your site of going for the player and not the ball and marcus proved that conclusively – and very hypocritically i might add.

  101. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 7:10 am  

    Refresh,

    Nail on the head. This is damage limitation.

  102. The Queen of fiddlesticks — on 20th November, 2009 at 7:46 am  

    kathy
    I does make a big difference when you know the people!
    I think it's ok to say in real life I know the Marvin commenter, and get a good laugh out of the reaction to his comments here on PP.
    Only because I KNOW what he is trying to say … and sometimes people comment back as if they read his words backwards.
    How and why is that?

  103. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 9:07 am  

    The Queen of fiddlesticks,

    I do, I really do, try to act here as if it was the real world.

    But it becomes very hard when anything you have to say is judged as though you were appearing in some sort of Grand Guignol. In other words, you are not who you say you are, you are not even what you think.

    The spin off from that is that certain voices become, frankly, people you'd hate to meet in real life.

    I know where I stand on certain subjects, and that is fine. Often, I have no idea whatsoever what other folks positions are. You have to scrabble about the place to find common ground, and then, after that allow difference in viewpoint.

    Rumbold and I – Withnail and I – agree on almost everything here. Sometimes he is more aggresive on a topic than I, and vice versa. Our politics are miles apart. But, on the issues that are discussed here ad infinitum, you would be hard put to place a Rizla paper between us.

    What I am trying to say to you is that politics is only a part of it, ethics counts for a bit more.

    This is probably not the thread to be talking about raising standards of internet debate, wouldn't you say?

  104. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 9:49 am  

    “The spin off from that is that certain voices become, frankly, people you'd hate to meet in real life.”

    Fancy a pint? :-)

  105. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 10:10 am  

    Graham,

    Sure.

    I do not think you are quite the persona you'd like to portray, Although I suspect, much as Refresh does, that you are on a damage limitation exercise.

    And the softness, almost Lenor, that you exude makes me a bit suspicious about what would be in my pint.

    I'd really like to attend a Pickled Politics meet up, and it has been my mere financial disasters that have stopped me. See you there…

  106. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 10:26 am  

    The simplified version:

    Yes. I'd love to meet you.

  107. KB Player — on 20th November, 2009 at 10:43 am  

    Pointing out sexism is one thing, but deletion is the sign pointer of a totalitarian mindset.

    Freedom of speech trumps bigotry. (unless it incites violence, of course)

    No, you’re wrong. A totalitarian mindset would say that no-one should make such comments anywhere, even on their own blog. If someone wants to go on like Father Jack and say Feck! Arse! ad nauseam on their own blog they should be left alone to get on with it. If they want to fill up threads with Feck! Arse! on someone else’s blog the owner of that blog is perfectly within their rights to delete them if they think they are making the thread look repulsive. There is no rule which says that someone who runs a blog should put up with any old crap. If the blog owner deletes everyone who disagrees with him, however mildly, then he makes himself and his blog look like an echo chamber. But it’s his space and he can do what he wants with it.

    Katy @ 1:32am

    I see what you mean. However, I must say if someone on a thread says Anne Widdicombe/Germaine Greer/Hillary Clinton et any other female needs a good shag I have to spit at them. Like you I haven’t had that kind of thing directed at me but I have seen it directed at other women, and the red mist descends.

    Organicheeseboard@10am

    that's why Hasan was smeared as an islamist (by insinuation, before you run off to the usual defence of 'that only appeared in the comments').

    It was explicitly stated that he is not an islamist. I can’t see how an explicit statement works as an insinuation of the opposite. If I say the Cheeseboard is organic, do you take it as meaning that I’m hinting that the Cheeseboard is full of chemicals?

  108. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 10:49 am  

    “I do not think you are quite the persona you'd like to portray, Although I suspect, much as Refresh does, that you are on a damage limitation exercise.”

    Personally I don't see any damage done and actually see a lot of positives . (but I'm not going to repeat what i said at the end of Marcus' thread just before I had my cocoa.)

    On the “totalitarian mindset” thing I wouldn't go quite as far. I'd just quote what “astateofdenmark” says on one of Laurie's threads at “Liberal Conspiracy”:

    “Spontaneous progress is anathema to those who seek to assert their own power.”

  109. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 11:22 am  

    Graham,

    Again, I don't know who we are that you are replying to. You say this:

    Personally I don't see any damage done and actually see a lot of positives . (but I'm not going to repeat what i said at the end of Marcus' thread just before I had my cocoa.),

    Frankly I have no idea what you are talking about. What the fuck did you say at the end of Marcus's two threads? And how does that differentaite you exactly? We have has Brownie more or less admit that Harry's Place has no editorial standards.

    So, Graham, is Brownie wrong, and if so, who approved the tit that tried to attack Osama Saeed?

    I think we should be told.

  110. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 11:31 am  

    I'm talking about the idea we are on “a damage limitation exercise”.

    Quite why that would have anything to do with Osama Saeed and how we would know who approved anything (if, as you say, there are “no editorial standards”) is quite beyond me.

  111. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 11:47 am  

    I know.

    You are on a damage limitation exercise..

    And your complete ignorance, shared with Brownie, about how Osama Saeed became yet another target for your lack of editorial standards, suggests that you you have no editorial standards whatsoever.

    Your contrary arguement is quite beyond understanding.

    But, that is what you do Graham, isn't it? You talk pish and expect it to be treated as gold.

    What is your criteria for your attack mode? Pray tell.

    For there is no defence of your right to be a couple of apologists for ignorant and stupid people. Perhaps that is what you and Brownie are. Apologists for tits.

  112. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 11:55 am  

    I am suggesting to you that Alexandrou Hitchins or whatever his real name is has an agenda. I do not think he has a healthy agenda. I think he is a bad person.

    Lets see Alexandrou try to defend himself here.

  113. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 11:55 am  

    Tch I find being called a tit a bit sexist.

    Language Douglas!

  114. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 12:02 pm  

    Can you just remind me who this Alexandrou Higgins is?

  115. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 12:14 pm  

    Graham, For the absence of doubt, I think you are a tit, but I think if you were able to read the post in question, you'd find it existed because of some tit called Alexander whateverhisnamewas.. You are very good at hiding things, as is the Spittoon, Who is Alexander whateverhisnamewas and why do you love him so?

  116. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 12:58 pm  

    Douglas.

    I honestly don't know who he is in any sense. I vaguely remember some fuss about Osama Saeed and HP, but I took little notice at the time. Sorry and all that.

  117. Brownie — on 20th November, 2009 at 12:59 pm  

    We have has Brownie more or less admit that Harry's Place has no editorial standards.

    Er, line. No “editorial line“, not no “editorial standards“.

    And Douglas, on the Saeed thing, what do you suppose happens? An author gets an idea for a post/guest post and runs it past all the other authors before submission? There is no steering committee at HP. I have no more idea what's coming down the pipe than you do. We're not in permanent correspondence with each other. If you think Graham and I know more about the Saeed posts and the motivation for them than we're letting on, I have to tell you now that you're just plain wrong. I have absolutely no need or desire to lie about this.*

    *Other things, yes, but not this.

  118. Brownie — on 20th November, 2009 at 1:06 pm  

    For there is no defence of your right to be a couple of apologists for ignorant and stupid people. Perhaps that is what you and Brownie are. Apologists for tits.

    So let me see. The HP commenter stereotype as promoted at PP is a loud, aggressive, foul-mouthed bore. Graham and I show that up for the myth it is and we're in “defence mode”, it's “damage limitation”.

    Meanwhile, Douglas suggests we're “apologists for tits”.

    See you later.

  119. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 1:42 pm  

    Oh Joy!

    Graham doesn't know what he is defending either, or attacking either. This is like punching a marshmallow, Denial of responsibility beats honesty beats truth. For this is shite, both from Graham and Brownie. Either they admit that they do not know what the heck goes on on Harry's Place, which appears to be their default position, or they say that they do.

    So far, the delightful Graham points in all sorts of directions at once:

    I honestly don't know who he is in any sense. I vaguely remember some fuss about Osama Saeed and HP, but I took little notice at the time. Sorry and all that.

    I find it, well I do, next to impossible to understand either Graham or Brownie on this.

    If you are completely ignorant of what is said on your web site, then why the fuck are either of you defending it?

    You claim to no nought.

    It is as though, I said here, “Hitler, well he had his good points.”, and everyone forgot that I said that.

    What level of denialism does that take? What level of ignorance would that take?

    Over to you,

  120. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:15 pm  

    “If you are completely ignorant of what is said on your web site, then why the fuck are either of you defending it?”

    Well quite obviously we are defending something we have seen and not defending something we have not. It is best to do things that way – or you will find yourself coming out with all sorts of mad evidence-free conspiracy theories and accusing everyone of plotting against you. And hey. That was one of Hitler's problems and could never be defended as a good point.

  121. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:16 pm  

    Brownie,

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. You have already admitted that many commentators on Harry's Place meet no criteria. Your good friend, Alexandre whassisname is unknown to you. You have no idea what he said, and neither has Graham. But you both defend him, as though your very lives depended on it, without knowing what he said.

    It is like me defending mumsnet and have never even been there…

    Get a grip.

  122. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    “Your good friend, Alexandre whassisname is unknown to you.”

    That's Oxymoronic you know.

  123. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    Graham, Either you are twisting the truth here:

    I honestly don't know who he is in any sense. I vaguely remember some fuss about Osama Saeed and HP, but I took little notice at the time. Sorry and all that.

    Or you don't.

    It would be a lie for you to then go on and say:

    Well quite obviously we are defending something we have seen and not defending something we have not.

    Which is it?

  124. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:36 pm  

    Simple. We saw Marcus' threads and we didn't see (or alternatively read, take notice of) the one you are on about which was written by this author who's name you can't remember.

    Got it now?

  125. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    Graham.

    It will not do.

    What is the point of bringing Marcus into this? He is irrelevant to the point.

    You cannot say this:

    Well quite obviously we are defending something we have seen and not defending something we have not.

    when you follow it up with this:

    We saw Marcus' threads and we didn't see (or alternatively read, take notice of) the one you are on about which was written by this author who's name you can't remember.

    Either you are twisting the English language beyond belief, which appears to be your modus operandi, or you are what I say you are.

  126. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 3:15 pm  

    What point? I thought we were discussing Marcus' threads on Laurie Penny (that seems to be what Sunny is talking about above – but perhaps there is a secret code.)

    You however want to discuss a thread that I have told you that I have not seen by an author who's name you cannot remember.

    It would be very curious if I didn't already know you were completely nuts.

  127. Brownie — on 20th November, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

    Douglas, I'm sorry, but this feels a little like Graham and I have wandered onto the set of a David Lynch film. I'm going to go now before a backwards-talking dwarf appears.

    Eybdoog.

  128. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

    No, we weren't discussing the brain dead Marcus. We were discussing you editorial policy. I'd have thought that that was obvious?

    For fucks sake:

    I don't think that there is anything wrong in speaking out about sexism as long as you realise that it comes in many forms. To attack a phrase which is in pretty-much non-pejorative usage amongst large communities in the UK whilst ignoring a commenter who persistantly “talks down” and patronises female commenters (for instance) seems to me rather silly.The whole imagined (and continually re-inforced by some)idea that the internet is representative of society as a whole is largely to blame. Marcus mentioned some young women who he knew who used highly sexist language amongst themselves (and Amie in turn talked about internalised oppression,) but the larger point is that such women (and men for that matter) arriving at a website and seeing such a fuss made about a phrase such as “silly cow” by a commenter at HP, or even the rather worse “silly bitch” by a commenter at PP, would just laugh and consider these sites were not for them – nothing like the world in which they live and exist and use such terms without a thought of what others perceive as their harmful nature. So what you do by turning the users of such terms into internet social pariahs is to drive them away and consolidate a virtual world where only those with the social advantages of language and education are allowed to be. And baring (as I said above) in mind that it is quite possible to be sexist (or racist) without being explicit you still don't get rid of actual sexism. Whereas if people arrive on websites using terms such as silly cow are gently confronted or are able to see that having a little more respect for people produces better and more fruitful outcomes to arguments then you actually ARE making a difference and not excluding large sections of society in the process.

    In what way would you think that expressed anything other than your stupidity? It has nothing to do with Marcus, it has everything to do with a defence of Harry's Place…

    Which I think is ignorant and stupid.

    Still, Graham, you stand on that side of the debate and I don't.

    Bet you signed the Euston Manifesto, you wally…

  129. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 3:44 pm  

    . “We were discussing you editorial policy. I'd have thought that that was obvious?”

    Er? What editorial policy?

  130. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 3:45 pm  

    I put it to you that HP editorial policy in an invention of your fevered imagination.

  131. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

    I get it. Douglas is acting like a complete loony in order to get us to loosen up and admit that HP editorial policy is agreed beforehand with Gordon Brown, Sarah Palin and Daffy Duck in a dark-smoke filled room above a Little Chef near the Watford gap.

    Its a damned fiendishly clever ploy.

    Foiled again!

  132. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:32 pm  

    Hmm..

    I am really quite annoyed that I now have to post a second time, as my failure to log on would make me anonymous….

    Anyway:

    The complete lack of an editorial stance by Harry's Place allows what?

    It allows both Brownie and Graham to deny any responsibility for a post, one by Alexander Melegrue Hitchins, to pass any understanding or concept of decency. It allows them to come on here and lecture us on the mere idea of standards.

    For Harry's Place doesn't have them, and thus, no-one should.

    It is ridiculous.

    Graham says:

    Douglas is acting like a complete loony in order to get us to loosen up and admit that HP editorial policy is agreed beforehand with Gordon Brown, Sarah Palin and Daffy Duck in a dark-smoke filled room above a Little Chef near the Watford gap.

    Well, hardly.

    I think that there is a genuine problem with what Harry's Place tends to publish. I'd assume that their judgement there assumes that Daffy Duck is worth a laugh. Although one can not be too sure…

    It is pretty obvious that Alexandre Meligrou whatever his name is has an axe to grind. That is beyond Graham or Brownie to see.

    Indeed they are completely innocent of publishing this sort of shite and have no responsibility for it.

    Why, then do they defend it?

    Why indeed?

  133. Refresh — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:39 pm  

    Let me help.

    Douglas is saying that denying that there is NO editorial policy is a very poor defence, and in fact it could be reasonably be argued is a policy in itself.

    However, the 'no editorial' policy cannot be true given that people invited to post have the propensity to mobilise the pit. As for whathisname is concerned, he must have been given the space because it targetted an individual in this case Osama Saeed, a candidate for the SNP.

    Given the nature of HP, it would seem to an observer that the target fitted the profile HP seeks to undermine.

    Claiming, 'nothing to do with me guv' is a tactic, but not a good one. If you claim what you claim, then it would be better to name and shame the hidden hand that did authorise the attack. Otherwise you are doing what Douglas says, defending HP come what may. But still asking for everyone to be nice.

    One thing Douglas is not is a loony, what he can be though is stubborn on points of principle.

  134. Refresh — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:42 pm  

    I have a question of my own. Is The Spittoon a HP franchise? There is a very good reason for the question and it dovetails in with the point Douglas raises.

  135. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

    “Douglas is saying that denying that there is NO editorial policy is a very poor defence, and in fact it could be reasonably be argued is a policy in itself.”

    Could also be argued that it is just the trueh – then you could counter-argue that we were just dupes of some higher power that had an editorial policy. Pretty soon we would have written a science fiction novel (and that would be a much better use of typing than this!

    “Given the nature of HP, it would seem to an observer that the target fitted the profile HP seeks to undermine.”

    Only it is you who has both defined nature of HP and decided the profile it seeks to undermine – so given that there is no room for anyone to have a meaningful discussion with you.

    “Claiming, 'nothing to do with me guv' is a tactic, but not a good one.”

    It is however honest and a slightly better tactic than inventing straw men and then trying to get others to agree with you that they are in fact real.

    And I am afraid Douglas is a loony.

  136. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

    When DID you last beat your wife by the way?

  137. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

    “I have a question of my own. Is The Spittoon a HP franchise? “

    Dunno, never read it (and the only time I ever conversed with Sid he was doing a very poor impression of an interagtor which was not dissimilar to your own.

  138. Refresh — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:54 pm  

    'When DID you last beat your wife by the way?'

    I would not dare. And you wouldn't harm a hair on yours if she was around! She'd have your nuts thrust down your throat without a second thought. So do you really want to tell me when you beat yours?

    You now Douglas is loony, and yet only few short comments back you were inviting him to be your best buddy. And even invited him to address the Pit with your blessing.

    Name and shame, I say.

  139. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

    I didn't realise however that sid was quite such a wine expert.

    http://www.spittoon.biz/

  140. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:00 pm  

    he he that particular lesson from philosophy 101 went right over your head

    “You now Douglas is loony, and yet only few short comments back you were inviting him to be your best buddy. And even invited him to address the Pit with your blessing.”

    Well the buddy thing was obviously ironic and it was Brownie who offered him a post so I gues you get about half a point right from the two available.

  141. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

    here:

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

    Anyway I'm bored now – off for some intellectual stimulation – tara

  142. Refresh — on 20th November, 2009 at 5:14 pm  

    'he he that particular lesson from philosophy 101 went right over your head'

    For a loaded question, I thought I responded directly and to the point. BTW I do think that would be the response you'd get if we thought your were being 'difficult' with your wife.

    Coming back to the question of plausible deniability – would it not make sense to actually insist that you have a say in editorial policy than be left holding the baby. Or resign.

  143. Graham — on 20th November, 2009 at 6:10 pm  

    Well, that might make sense if it had been me rather than you who was throwing out the loaded questions.

    As for having a say in editorial policy why would I want that? I just blog occasionally (you are not part of some incredible world-historical event here you know – you are just typing a few words on a screen). So who cares if I am “left holding the baby” (always given there is a baby to hold) but since you have not defined what you think the baby is we are still communicating in the abstract – which is pointless. You may have some great metanarrative about what is going on in your mind but I don't so it is probably best the rest of us leave you to thinking up great punishments for what is going to happen to bloggers when the terrible hand of justice strikes for whatever “crimes” you have imagined up.

    Anyway it has been ….diverting.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.