A bit of house-cleaning


by Sunny
7th December, 2006 at 11:41 pm    

The implication of my earlier post on blogging was not to say it is entirely useless. Just a year after PP launched New Generation Network was born out of the same ideals, and the arguments it encapsulates have been shaped and formed from discussions here. This has been a very enriching experience for me and I’m not about to throw it away. But maybe we need a more focused approach.

So for a start, I will be focusing more on building on ideas encapsulated in the NGN manifesto in the new year. These include: a) more feminism; b) challenging the assault on our civil liberties and demonisation of British Muslims and Jews; c) challenging the hard-left’s marriage with intolerant religious organisations; d) challenging racism and inequality (for ppl of all races). And advocating more love and peace and other hippy ideals of course.

I also feel we need a more UK-centric approach to editorial. World events may be important but those discussions are largely peripheral and have little impact. At least a more domestic focus has the potential to lead to action. Mentioning the launch of the Misjudging Rape dossier is a good example.

I’ll henceforth also be taking a stronger line against commenters hijacking articles with their own agenda or spouting abuse against other visitors. No mercy. Much of the recent bad blood has now been resolved and we are back to being a happy Pickled family. Clairwil, who is all over the Blog Digest (I’m envious) because she is a bloody good writer, is now also part of our family too, I’m proud to announce. Her and Katy will work out some arrangement on the weekend open threads while also contributing normally when and if they feel like it.

All this outbreak of love is handy for me as I’m off to Los Angeles next week (for a month) and will be posting very irregularly. I love you folks but, given I’ll be making short visits to San Fransisco and Mexico with some hardcore party people, that takes precedence. KnowwhaddaImean? I need a holiday. In the run up to Christmas and New Year, the Picklers will be posting lighter stories instead of hardcore political discussions. ‘Tis the time for light relief me thinks.

I leave you with this, part of a silly cartoon commissioned by Keith Vaz to publicise the Labour party’s Ethnic Minority Taskforce. Right… so a man tainted by corruption charges and firmly part of the old-skool Labour framework that loves self-appointed “community leaders” is going to endear the party to young British Asians? With this silly stereotypical cartoon? New Labour – same old rubbish.


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  1. Nyrone — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:10 am  

    I can’t work out how I feel looking at this cartoon. I think my blood is boiling and I’m going to explode in a fit of rage….

    hmmm..a spot of Wii sports should cool me down.

  2. Nick — on 8th December, 2006 at 8:16 am  

    I’m with Matthew Parris on this.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2490974,00.html

    Mr Vaz is no more or less representative of a black British voter in Brixton than I would be. A Bangladeshi Muslim in Tower Hamlets is unlikely to want Priti Patel (a new Tory candidate whose family origins are in India and Uganda) to speak for him on the dispute in Kashmir. Do British Indians consider themselves an oppressed minority any more? I doubt they would agree on this. Do prospering immigrants from Hong Kong feel common cause with refugees from Zimbabwe?

    A growing diversity — of race, outlook, culture, gender — among our representatives in Parliament is an excellent thing and the Tories and Labour are right to push hard for it. But quotas for skin-colour are surreptitiously insulting, and plain wrong about the category they presume to identify. It’s time we recognised the whole concept of “the ethnic minorities” as the sloppy and ignorant anachronism it is: a category that simply does not exist.

  3. El Cid — on 8th December, 2006 at 10:10 am  

    That’s fair and good, but I think Clairwill has to recognise that she can’t go around saying people have problems with jewishness without knowing anything about the person.

  4. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 10:35 am  

    I also feel we need a more UK-centric approach to editorial. World events may be important but those discussions are largely peripheral and have little impact.

    Agreed although sometimes the two are intertwined (the Iraq war being a perfect example). Personally I like writing about them and in the new year I intend to start looking into things like the arms industry and how it provokes conflict a bit more. That said I’m not touching the bloody I/P for sometime!

    Regarding moderation, glad you’re talking a stronger line Sunny, I think it’s needed. There are those that try and spoil things and they have to be dealt with.

    Getting rid of them wont cause the collapse of civilisation/end to liberty etc on here. It’ll just make the sensible and genuine people able to discuss, debate and share their ideas without the distraction.

  5. Chairwoman — on 8th December, 2006 at 10:42 am  

    Leon – Can we discuss Lady Thatcher, her family’s connections with the arms industry and how she sold the manufacturing sector of the UK down the river to facilitate her son’s business interests.

    Or have I already discussed it.

  6. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 10:58 am  

    Yup! I was also thinking about the UK selling arms etc to both Ind and Pak when they were on the verge of war a few years back. Or how the hidden hand in the Darfur tradegy is our country selling the jeeps etc specially fitted with machine guns to massacre people.

    There’s a great book by Mark Thomas which I’ve just started reading about all this: http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/925043/As_Used_on_the_Famous_Nelson_Mandela/Product.html

  7. El Cid — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:06 am  

    Leon, I’ll save Sunny the trouble.

  8. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:30 am  

    El Cid, what are you talking about? You want to leave? Why?

    Leon, unless you’re very clear this tougher strategy is going to backfire.

    I do not want you to leave, nor Katy, Chairwoman, Bananabrain. Certainly not Amir – who is very very right wing.

    Would you ban Jagdeep? His propensity to talk up ‘Islamic supremacist’ theories no bounds?

    Would you ban Miraxx who almost always finds an anti-muslim line – regardless of topic?

    Would you ban me, who has on occasions little patience with the thinly veiled islamophobia that passes for debate on here?

    Would you ban Sunny, who tends to bait people via CiF normally and then brings back to the lair that is PP?

    Think this through carefully. The failings are the approach to debate, not the debate itself.

    I too have taken long breaks from PP because of the anti-muslim hysteria, and the dismal failure of people who may have made their views/prejudices known and then repeat on every thread. That is not debating, that is feeling warm and comfortable in your surroundings – in other words remain unchallenged.

  9. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:35 am  

    Leon, unless you’re very clear this tougher strategy is going to backfire.

    Well it’s in Sunny’s hands as it’s his gig but I’m confident he’ll strike the right balance.

  10. Kismet Hardy — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:37 am  

    I’m going to re-invent myself as a sufi nazi

  11. Jagdeep — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:40 am  

    Refresh, you’re such a ridiculous and hysterical drama queen sometimes. It is very important for you to stick around so you can have your prejudices and denial challenged though — so I’m glad to know you’re staying! It is very important indeed.

  12. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:43 am  

    Jagdeep, but do you actually want to refute what I said?

    The problem is we’re likely to fall back into old habits.

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:51 am  

    Don’t try to ban fighting
    Because it’s only through writing
    If everyone pretends to play one big happy family
    You’ll only grow up to realise the truth then need therapy
    Everyone stand in your own file
    To sing songs you love and zeig heil

  14. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:52 am  

    Chairwoman, yes I agree entirely – I too want to discuss Thatcher. Her attack on the real values of the people of Britain is an excellent subject.

  15. Kismet Hardy — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:53 am  

    “It’ll just make the sensible and genuine people able to discuss, debate and share their ideas without the distraction.”

    Oh dear. Well, it’s been nice knowing ya kids…

    xX

  16. Jagdeep — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:54 am  

    It’s bollocks Refresh! You talk about ‘style of debate’, and then you assert a bunch of tendentious statements about individuals as a debating ploy yourself — nice move, but as transparent as clingfilm.

    “I, Refresh, despair of the style of debate here, but I will debate dirtily myself by caricaturing individuals based on my stark bollock naked hysterical position and prejudices, and humbly submit myself as the man whose shit smells of roses”

    Come on Refresh, let’s crack jokes, you have a special element of pomposity and self regard that’s too easy to skew — like taking candy from a baby.

  17. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 11:56 am  

    Oh dear. Well, it’s been nice knowing ya kids…

    Wha?! You’re one of the people I had in mind!:D

  18. Ravi Naik — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:04 pm  

    “You talk about ’style of debate’, and then you assert a bunch of tendentious statements about individuals as a debating ploy yourself — nice move, but as transparent as clingfilm.”

    That type of message is called a flame bait, Jagdeep. It usually starts with a personal attack against your opponent by calling him/her anti-muslim, anti-semitic, or whatnot. Which infuriates most of us, since we consider ourselves as progressives.

    This is the sort of messages that Sunny and Leon should remove or give a warning.

  19. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:08 pm  

    This is the sort of messages that Sunny and Leon should remove or give a warning.

    Heh, I aint admin so can only delete on threads I post. Anyway, I aint going down that route Ravi of deleting posts becuase one person says I should. Pull that thread and our whole world will unravel…

  20. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:09 pm  

    Jagdeep, there was a particular point to presenting it the way I did.

    Nothing dirty about it. Here we have El Cid feeling he is being willed off the stage, when there are plenty of others who need up their game.

    There’s nothing I’ve seen you or anyone else take off a fellow debater – because everything becomes entrenched.

    Would you say your views have changed from the day you joined the throng? If you have then great, share it because that is a plus for the forum. And of course I don’t mean whether you’ve become more partial to Prince (who I like, before the Prince brigade arrives), I mean on the topics that drew you in.

  21. justforfun — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:10 pm  

    Did El Cid slink off ?! No he strapped himeslf to his horse and rode out!

    I agree Refresh – Leon always seems to bring up the idea of a firmer moderation and like you I think it will backfire.

    Perhaps this ought to be on the “blogging” thread, but I think there is an underlying issue. Those who post anonymously and those who post with a known real life personality that can be tracked back. These two “camps” have two different needs when it comes to personal space and how personal attacks are handled, amplified , misconconstued etc etc…

    The anonymous amongst us do not have their personal integrity at stake and can perhaps take a insults and misconstued ideas more lightly. All we have at stake is our on-line personality – mine – Justforfun , is not really me and while I hope it is autobiographical, it is disposable and just a vehicle for bouncing ideas back and forth, but I fear with little success as my “first serve” seems to have to much reverse side swing on it ;-) – . The down side of posting anonomously is that we lack the ability to be too specific about our skills and personal experances and have to accept the occasional critism from non-anonomous commentators that we are cowards and so our views and arguement have a diminished merit. So be it – its not my loss.

    Non -Anonomous commentators have more at stake as they have their own personality at stake and so perhaps take things to heart more but are also easier targets and are easier to hurt and wound by those who have an opposite view.

    I think I have only been intentionally rude to one person and that was Raz – but I feel his avatar can take it and I bear no ill will to it as I am sure “Raz” has a multiple personality. I have been rude to Clairwil in the past and that was my error and I think I apologised. I tend to be more measured when I disagree with a real person and less measured when its an avatar.

    Personally I think people need to remain anonomous when posting so that we can just read the words and ideas, – but to keep our human desire to interact with people, we cannot help but give each other personalities that are always not true reflections of the real person.

    So these two camps need to come to some sort of accomodation, and I think the moderation of the anonomous poster will lead to a site that just has Boy Scouts sitting around a camp fire singing “Kumbi ya My Lord”. All very worthy but not very exploratory, unless of course it was Boy Scouts and Girl Guides plus alcohol, plus the script from a Carry On movie.

    By the way the voice of Jonathan Sacks – the Chief Rabbi , is still up for grabs. On “thought for today” he is the only one I listen to – (oh and the guy from the Iona commune, and the Sikh guy, and the Hindu priest) – Any takers – Refresh – how about it – shall I have you as “Jonathan Sacks”

    Justforfun

  22. Jagdeep — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

    Refresh, you really make me laugh – who are you to ask other people what they have taken off another debater as if you are the Grand Wizard of Pickled Politics? Get over your self-righteous pompous self!

  23. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:17 pm  

    Jagdeep, sorry.

    I was responding to your comment:

    “like taking candy from a baby”

  24. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:19 pm  

    Justforfun, Jonathan Sacks will do just fine. Thanks.

  25. Jai — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:20 pm  

    =>”Sunny and Leon”

    Hands up everyone who thought exactly the same thing as me when reading the above.

    Sorry folks, just attempting some light relief (no pun intended). Carry on with the verbal tennis match.

  26. Jagdeep — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:20 pm  

    Oh I can’t be bothered Refresh. I apologise if I offended you. I like you. I like locking horns with you. Plus, this debate is at risk of becoming a navel gazing hell — basically the atmosphere of the place is like it is because of how it is moderated and so we should just leave it to whoever is in charge top get on with it.

    *hugs Refresh*

  27. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:21 pm  

    Jagdeep

    “self-righteous pompous self”, prefer lofty – I’ll give you that.

  28. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:24 pm  

    Jagdeep, I like hugs. But don’t tell Jai.

    No apology needed, I just want us to move forwards.

    There’s too much at stake, from where I am sitting.

  29. justforfun — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:25 pm  

    Refresh – I’ve re-read your posts and you will be glad to know they already make much more sense !!!

    Justforfun

  30. Jai — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:25 pm  

    Hug it out, yaaron, hug it out.

    Jagdeep — watch out though, cos Refresh’s hands tend to wander. He says he doesn’t place a premium on “manliness” when he does this, as indicated by his lower left leg coyly bending at the knee while he balances on one leg and goes “Mmmmmmmm” ;)

  31. miraxx — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

    >>Would you ban Miraxx who almost always finds an anti-muslim line – regardless of topic?

    Are you a hysterical little queen or what? Prove me polluting the threads with off-topic “anti-muslim” rants please. What is ‘anti muslim’ mean by the way?

    If anything it is you with your precious grievance seeking attitude that sees islamophobes everywhere. FYI there are a ton of fucking muslim threads that i don’t even go near cause i am heartily sick of them and people like you, to be honest.

  32. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:28 pm  

    Ravi,

    No flame-bait.

    “Which infuriates most of us, since we consider ourselves as progressives.”

    That’s exactly where I am coming from – I often wonder what it means.

  33. Kismet Hardy — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:31 pm  

    Cheers Leon. I was only fishing for attention. Cheers for the fish. As a Bangladeshi that means a lot

    Who’s up for a swim?

  34. Kismet Hardy — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

    Ooh i know what progressive means. It’s like the opposite of backward. Do I win €5?

  35. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:48 pm  

    @ Jai; eh?

    @ Kisy, you’re welcome matey

    I agree Refresh – Leon always seems to bring up the idea of a firmer moderation and like you I think it will backfire.

    Yeah I’m a real tyrant me. *wishes there was a rolls eyes emoticon*

    Anyway, I’ve been involved with a online forums over the years, I’ve seen terrible moderation (like you wouldn’t believe) and I’ve seen some excellent moderation (like Urban75).

    I’ve also moderated a number of boards too (been admin on one or two) so I think I have some experience to draw from.

    The whole point of moderation is to encourage a community, to develop its capacity for self regulation and occasionally weed out the trouble makers (trolls). It’s not about having power over other people, censoring or creating police states.

    In some way’s it’s much like gardening…

  36. Jagdeep — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:50 pm  

    No Refresh, it’s not lofty, it’s self righteous pomposity :-)

  37. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

    No, Jagdeep. We can agree to disagree or withdraw from that hug.

  38. Jagdeep — on 8th December, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    Refresh, your posts on this thread are exemplars of self righteous pomposity, especially the one in which you indulge in crass flame-baiting then ‘loftily’ proclaim that you are only interested in cleaning up the style of debate. Sorry Refresh! It’s too easy to see through. Keep the hug though, don’t be such a camp drama queen :-)

  39. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

    Ah well – hug kept.

  40. soru — on 8th December, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    How about a voluntary code of standards, based a bit on NGN principles (i.e. treat people as individuals, not group members, focus on here and now and what you can do, attack the argument not the person)?

    If you sign up to it, then you don’t get posts arbitrarily deleted, and get the benifit of the doubt in any case where you are close to the rules. If you persistently break or abuse the rules, you get removed from the signup list, and so may get future posts deleted without argument.

  41. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

    Soru, spot on.

    Question over who is or isn’t breaking the code would be debate itself.

  42. Jai — on 8th December, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

    Leon,

    =>”@ Jai; eh?”

    There’s an (in)famous pornstar over in the US of Indian Punjabi extraction who goes by the “stage name” of Sunny Leone.

    Ask Mr Hundal and Rohin. They’ll tell you all about her.

  43. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 3:29 pm  

    I see. Sunny and Rohin seem to have a bit of a rep for porn I see…;P

  44. Kismet Hardy — on 8th December, 2006 at 3:43 pm  

    I lost to Rohin on The Greatest Porn Addict on PP Award? I lose to him at everything. I hate him god I hate him so much why must he always be better at everything I hate him

  45. Sunny — on 8th December, 2006 at 4:41 pm  

    Refresh, I didn’t realise that flaming people had become your newest hobby.

    Anyway, Leon and I will know from experience is that you can never win on moderation. Some people will always complain regardless. It’s best to plough ahead regardless.

    Hi soru – sounds like an interesting idea… though I’m not sure how easy it would be implement in practice. Why don’t you guys list some principles? I’d be interested.

    I’m exhausted of writing articles today. Finished one last night for Monday’s Media Guardian, and one just now on Blair’s speech today. And have more to do tonight. No rest for the wicked.

  46. Leon — on 8th December, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

    It’s best to plough ahead regardless.

    Nail on the head bro.

  47. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

    Sunny

    Good to see you back.

    “Refresh, I didn’t realise that flaming people had become your newest hobby.”

    I hate it – it is a new experience for me. But its somethings I read on another of the threads, that made me realise how some things just aren’t changing. And I am/was seriously irritated.

  48. Sid — on 8th December, 2006 at 4:49 pm  

    Sunny – refresh the blog list old bean.

  49. Sid — on 8th December, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

    Off topic, but John Lennon was shot 26 years ago today:

  50. Sunny — on 8th December, 2006 at 5:03 pm  

    Refresh, it depends on what you want to achieve. I’m a very goals focused person. The aim of PP was to try and bring people of different backgrounds together, share our concerns and see if we can build common ground. I think we’ve had some success there. Of course not everything will go according to everyone’s liking. Some Muslims are unhappy, some Jews are unhappy, most Sikhs accuse me of being anti-Sikh, Hindus such as Sunray accuse me of having an anti-Hindu agenda and so on.

    The point about having to break a few eggs to make an omlette applies very much here. As I said above, PP has helped build NGN and I know there is a lot of support out there for those universal values. There are other campaigns and intiatives I’m getting involved in that will be revealed here in due course. What exactly would you like to see?

    Sid – all done! It should now refresh the diary list on its own cached timing.

  51. Douglas Clark — on 8th December, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

    Just out of curiosity, has everyone signed the NGN?

  52. Refresh — on 8th December, 2006 at 5:30 pm  

    Stunned silence.

    Sunny, I agree with all you’ve said in #50.

    I will respond, give me a little bit of time.

    Just done the washing up and now I am having to prepare a meal, its either that or get banned from PP by someone who really would.

    Anybody got a recipe for egg and chips?

  53. sonia — on 8th December, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

    Have a brilliant xmas break Sunny in the land of not so much sunshine over xmas ( ha ha) yep you need a HOLIDAY ( like all of us!)

  54. Desi Italiana for Sunny — on 8th December, 2006 at 10:56 pm  

    “I’m off to Los Angeles next week (for a month) and will be posting very irregularly. I love you folks but, given I’ll be making short visits to San Fransisco and Mexico with some hardcore party people”

    Sunny, I’m in LA! AND, to top it off, I’ll be moving to SF after New Years to start a job.

    Want to meet up? We can have a drink.

    Also, I suggest that you bring lots of moisterizer. Currently in LA we’ve been having dry hot winds with the wind velocity being similar to tornados. It’s probably the Santa Ana winds, I think. Spend 10 minutes outside and your skin feels so parched that you feel like a crocodile. Or you think you are in the desert. LA is like Phoenix with a coastline, they say.

    *********************************

    Re: banning, will threads also be closed when things get too hot and rough?

  55. Sunny — on 9th December, 2006 at 12:20 am  

    Of course, lets. I’ll email you.

  56. Anas — on 9th December, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

    Hi everyone, just thought I’d get my two cents in.

    I also feel we need a more UK-centric approach to editorial. World events may be important but those discussions are largely peripheral and have little impact.
    Sorry, but I disagree. I’ve noticed this theme popping up in much of your writing: you try to neatly compartmentalise FP issues into a separate category from domestic issues, something you can occasionally refer to as background to UK issues. This leads you to minimalise the role of FP in radicalising young Muslims and to question the motivations of Muslims who feel incensed with Western FP in I/P or Iraq, etc. But, this is an extremely short-sighted and even delusional attitude to take, especially when it comes to analysing just why some portions of the UK Muslim community (which PP seems to focus on disproportionately) are having difficulties integrating.

    For one thing, like you argue in your NGN manifesto and in your many impassioned defenses of the core ideas behind it, any progressive movement that wants to challenge forms of prejudice must be consistent in its anti-prejudice stance across the board, even if this means disassociating with potential allies. To illustrate this you give the example of mainstream anti-racist groups marching alongside HuT in common cause, or the MCB which has connections with anti-Hindu, anti-semitic organisations/figures abroad. Think about it this way, if this were a few decades ago wouldn’t your criticisms be equally valid, if not more so, when it came to apologists for South African aparthied? Would you march alongside an Afrikaaner who supported aparthied, or who had an indifferent or slightly ambigious attitude towards it in a progressive rally? No. Fuck that, you’d say. And yet, we do have pro-Israeli regulars on PP who maintain such an attitude towards a situation that is far worse and far more inhumane. Your response? Let’s not discuss it. Let’s not disturb our big happy Pickled family, eh? Bullshit..and maybee a leetle hypocritical, no?

    I’m glad I wasn’t involved in the big argument on the Hezbollah thread, cause I’d probably have gotten the blame for it. But it was satisfying to see El Cid (my new hero) and Sid call bullshit on some of the other regs, and depressing to see the resort to the usual threats and emotional blackmail from the other regs who knew they couldn’t defend their apologetics in any other way.

    Sunny, I think you’re scared of upsetting some of the PP regulars, and perhaps even of accusations of anti-semitism, accusations that befall anyone who goes over this terrain (you’re certainly not afraid of offending Muslim sensibilities, calling MPACuk a racist organisation in another thread — no happy family to explain yourself to there, eh?). I recall a few weeks back on the day of the Beit Hanoun massacre when your main story on the frontpage was about Ali Miraj. I’m sorry, whatever way you look at it, the Beit Hanoun story resonated with far, far more Asians than bloody Ali Miraj. But then I thought, if Sunny had put that up we’d have the usual laments from the usual suspects about everybody’s piling on Israel. Why not have a thread about the utter hypocrisy in the treatment of prominent Jews who excuse Israeli terrorism compared with Muslims who try to excuse Islamic terrorism?

    np Public Enemy – Fight the Power

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