»   Irish govt wants everyone to pay other than bondholders. Angela Merkel is only one talking sense! http://reut.rs/gCLP0h 4 hrs ago

»   RT @torypresshq: Irish experience shows we should join the Euro! (says bonkers Labour MEP<< Good to see Tories staying professional 9 hrs ago

»   HAAAAAAH! RT @bensixesq: Blair up for bad sex awards! http://tinyurl.com/3x8qu3t 10 hrs ago

»   Govt has u-turned on Domestic Violence Control Orders according to statement by @edballsmp - retaining pilot projects. Good 11 hrs ago

»   I'm serious - Ireland needs to default on it's debt and stop punishing it's own people http://bit.ly/dPiMvn 12 hrs ago

» More updates...


  • Family

    • Earwicga
    • Liberal Conspiracy
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Statesman blogs
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shreen Ayob
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head



  • Technorati: graph / links

    Another neo-con jumps ship and abandons past


    by Sunny
    1st August, 2010 at 10:41 am    

    There’s an excellent post here by Michele Catalano, who writes about giving up the neo-con disease that she caught following 9/11:

    I was spending almost all my free time blogging. Blogging about war and terrorism and fear and death and sadness. A hatred welled up inside me. I knew what it was. I knew where the hate and blackness came from and what it was about. But in the post 9/11 world I found a convenient way to project all the bile without turning it back toward myself. I fell in step with the people who were known then as the warbloggers. I fell in step with people who knew how to sling mud and spew venom. We had our common enemy: terrorism. We had our common targets: anyone who wasn’t gung ho about eradicating our enemy from the face of the earth. And all the while I was doing this, all the time I was calling for war and praising our dear leader and calling my former friends - all the people who took about ten steps back from me when I fell off the ledge - traitors and other horrible name, all that time I knew. I knew I wasn’t being myself. I knew I didn’t believe half of what I was screaming about. All I knew was I found a venue in which to scream and god damn I needed to scream.

    Sounds very familiar. There are still a lot more wingnut neo-cons over in the US than in the UK, but the pool is shrinking rapidly everywhere. I think the biggest online conversion I was shocked by was that of Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. There was an excellent feature on him and “warblogs” in general at the NY Times earlier this year. And a similar post on Balloon Juice last year. The neo-cons are in retreat.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Current affairs,Media






    64 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: Another neo-con jumps ship and abandons past http://bit.ly/9bu8ZG


    2. Will Cameron

      RT @sunny_hundal Blog post: neo-con jumps ship & abandons past http://bit.ly/9bu8ZG >> interesting article re blogs & changing pov


    3. Will Cameron

      RT @sunny_hundal Blog post:: Another neo-con jumps ship and abandons past http://bit.ly/9bu8ZG >>author of article http://j.mp/cHs4RT


    4. Sophia R. Matheson

      Pickled Politics » Another neo-con jumps ship and abandons past: I think the biggest online conversion I was shock… http://bit.ly/dw23tk


    5. Noxi

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: Another neo-con jumps ship and abandons past http://bit.ly/9bu8ZG


    6. Sufisticat

      Another neo-con jumps ship and abandons past http://tinyurl.com/3xetu2s #tcot




    1. Obnoxio The Clown — on 1st August, 2010 at 10:59 am  

      Curious how it’s happening just as libertarianism is increasing its influence in the USA, eh?

    2. joe90 — on 1st August, 2010 at 2:17 pm  

      Unfortunately We have a bunch of neo cons running the United Kingdom in David cameron and crew, only by complete fluke they are having to tread carefully with the liberals on board.

    3. demonax — on 1st August, 2010 at 2:39 pm  

      Mr Geras is still bloodthirsty-socking all who do not believe in divine punishment.

    4. Sunny — on 1st August, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

      Obo - is it? What’s the evidence? And how are the two related?

    5. saeed — on 1st August, 2010 at 3:28 pm  

      hi sunny

      this is a great article on the bankruptcy of the decent left (WITH A focus on HP)

      http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/harrys-place-at-the-crossroads-anti-elitism-and-the-white-working-class/

    6. Sarah AB — on 1st August, 2010 at 4:25 pm  

      Saeed - thanks for that diverting link - I missed Graham’s (somewhat weird IMHO) post on HP because I was on holiday - ditto the response by MAH. I’m not sure he *does* demolish the decent left precisely?

      “whereas the Decent Left criticises the liberal mainstream because it doesn’t uphold liberal values properly, the new far right attacks the liberal mainstream because it does uphold liberal values. The Decent Left wants a better, tougher liberalism; the new far right opposes liberalism altogether”

      But he does say that HP comments sometimes get taken over by those with far right views, which is true, also that Graham can be a bit sneery about middle class women - which is also true I think. As someone who likes HP I sometimes can’t bring myself to comment because so many of the threads are dominated by very right wing commenters - but only sometimes. And I often agree with the actual posts - or at least think they’re thought provoking.

    7. johng — on 1st August, 2010 at 5:44 pm  

      Well Hoare is I think very much a member of the decent left, but I have to admit to being rather impressed with his diagnosis. What he says about breeding monsters is a point I made myself on HP very recently. Its good to know that some of those I disagree vehemently with about almost everything can see the same danger.

    8. douglas clark — on 1st August, 2010 at 6:03 pm  

      Saeed,

      Am I right in thinking that Grahams post on HP, entitled ‘Liars and Hoars’ or the like, has no comments?

      What is that all about?

    9. Sarah AB — on 1st August, 2010 at 7:14 pm  

      Douglas - HP’s moved to a system which means that comments disappear after a week or two. I assume there *were* some comments - I expect they were interesting too …

    10. Sunny — on 1st August, 2010 at 7:37 pm  

      Interesting blog post, although obviously I disagree about how the mainstream liberal-left apparently abandoned all their values.

      What’s funny is the authors from HP (especially Graham, who I’ve lost all respect for) going on about how they want to stand up for women (esp Muslim women!) while referring to them with such obvious sexism.

    11. Brownie — on 1st August, 2010 at 8:19 pm  

      Who are the HP authors referring to women with “obvious sexism”, and where are the examples of such?

    12. BenSix — on 1st August, 2010 at 9:42 pm  

      I think the biggest online conversion I was shocked by was that of Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs.

      I’m all for people changing views - I’ve done it more than most - but to “convert” one’s obliged, I think, to show a bit of contrition. Johnson, however, just deleted his egregious past.

    13. substantiation is not progressive, innit — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:07 am  

      Who are the HP authors referring to women with “obvious sexism”, and where are the examples of such?

      Oh, look at that tumbleweed passing by.

    14. Sunny — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:37 am  

      Who are the HP authors referring to women with “obvious sexism”, and where are the examples of such?

      I wish I had the time to dig up the constant jibes made at Laurie Penny and even Judy.

      When someone like SarahAB, a big fan of HP points out there’s a problem - perhaps you idiots should spend a bit more time on introspection instead of smearing others.

      Johnson, however, just deleted his egregious past.

      Mmm.. but he also said that the war-bloggers had been taken over by racist loons who had a clear agenda. I think it’s obvious he said he’d been had.

    15. johng — on 2nd August, 2010 at 7:12 am  

      Graham got hysterically upset by the proposition that most at HP supported the war on terror. This was apparently a LIE or something like that. He then, as far as I can see, went bananas censoring Fauvet of all people, again, as far as I can see, for agreeing with Hoare.

    16. johng — on 2nd August, 2010 at 7:25 am  

      Oh he’s definately censoring now. He seems terribly upset by the critique of right wing populism levelled at him by hoare and fauvet.

    17. ¬AFAR — on 2nd August, 2010 at 7:57 am  

      not that johng has an axe to grind, or anything…

    18. Sarah AB — on 2nd August, 2010 at 8:29 am  

      I think, as far as I remember, Graham was quite reasonably irritated by some accusations about HP in her article - but I agreed that the comments about her (and I don’t mean just Graham’s) focused in a snarky way on her class, sex and comparative youth. I don’t think a rather young middle class man (unless he was conspicuously posh perhaps - which LP isn’t) would have been treated in quite this way. Here according to Marko AH in the article saeed linked to are some of the things Graham said. As it’s no longer possible to access these comments in the original context I obviously apologise in advance if any of these are inaccurate or misattributed.

      ‘Oh well looks like a silly little girl demanded the right not to be called a silly little girl, stamped her feet a bit and ended up looking more like a silly little girl than ever.’

      ‘I’d be less disposed to sneer not at someone’s class but rather at the idiots that turned up in vast numbers to defend this rather stupid spoilt little girl when they realised how ridiculous her article was…’

      ‘Speaking personally, I would never call Judy or Amie a “silly cow” (however silly they may get) because they have both earned my respect. I feel no such problem with calling someone that I have never seen before such a name.’

      [In response to the following comment: 'As is Marcus, the sole basis of whose argument seems to be “it’s alright to call people silly cows round my way, so quit complaining”. It’s the pub misogynist line. We’re close to “only having a laugh love” and then on to “stuck up bitch”.']

      ‘This is all a bit silly but even to get the analogy to hold water you would have to concede that “the pub misogynist” would only be behaving that way because a silly little middle class girl flounced into the bar and called him a racist.’

      ’This Penny is also an absolute out and out racist.’

      ‘Couldn’t she have asked daddy to buy her a newspaper to edit ?’

      ‘Spoilt little girl seems to me to be a simple description which does exactly what it says on the tin.’

      ‘I will criticise this spoilt little girl in any way I want.’

    19. Sarah AB — on 2nd August, 2010 at 8:47 am  

      Not that a few slightly iffy remarks by Graham invalidate the ‘decent left’ of course. Norman Geras always seems to be actively antsexist.

      http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2010/07/writing-about-relationships.html

    20. johng — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:27 am  

      we all have axes to grind. i’m just interested that within the decent camp there is some recognition of the increasingly dangerous game HP is playing. I think this is a good thing not a bad thing.

    21. dmra — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:29 am  

      Well it’s good to see that people here are rusihg to defend somebody attacked on another blog in sexist and patronising terms.

      After all it’s not as those you’ll ever see that kind of thing appearing on this site!

      “Nirpal Dhaliwal, the man (and I use this term loosely)”
      “Nirpal needs to move into advertising skin-lightening cream, it is the next logical step in his pathetic excuse for a career.”

      “Keep brown-nosing Nirpal, while you’re such a stranger to talent, it’s the only way you’re going to get paid! You can’t live off your white wife any longer.”
      “Nirpal’s tongue has a curious relationship with white arse?”
      “Nirpal is the archetype of what happens when a little Asian boy grows up bullied by white people for being different, and rejected by Asians for being a cock,”

      Can’t wait to see the rush of people condeming these comments.

    22. Cauldron — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:57 am  

      Somewhat off topic, I would like to commend PP for being genuinely open to publishing opposing views in its comments section. Bravo.

      This site comes as a welcome relief after watching the “moderator” over at CiF delete every single critical comment in response to an article by one Gerry Adams. It would appear that the Grauniad’s website is being moderated from some house on the Falls Road.

    23. Brownie — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:37 pm  

      I wish I had the time to dig up the constant jibes made at Laurie Penny and even Judy.

      This is the crux. It’s become obseved fact in places like PP that Laurie Penny was called a “silly cow” by a HP author when in fact this happened in the comments box. I, for one, called this what it was - sexism - albeit Laurie Penny had just labelled me and everyone else who writes for HP a racist.

      It’s got to a point when this conflation of above the line posts and below the line comments at HP looks more and more deliberate with each passing day.

      And it has nothing to do with how much or little time you have on your hands. The evidence to support your claim about HP authors just isn’t there.

      (I tried to have a reasoned disucssion with LP about this on her blog. I doubt anyone is interested, but as that thread amply demosntrates, LP is no blushing flower and not above being abusive herself.)

      When someone like SarahAB, a big fan of HP points out there’s a problem – perhaps you idiots should spend a bit more time on introspection instead of smearing others.

      SarahAB’s criticisms - some of which I share - are self-evidently different to your own. That there is legitimate criticism to be made of HP has never been something I’ve tried to deny. For you, however, this has never been enough, which is why you continually just make shit up.

      As it’s no longer possible to access these comments in the original context I obviously apologise in advance if any of these are inaccurate or misattributed.

      For those with flaky memories - and without defending the sexism that LP did encounter - the context is that she’d just written an aritcle promoting the notion that HP authors were racists.

      LP shouldn’t have been called a “silly cow”, but if I’d just maliciously smeared a dozen people I’d never met with one of the worst accusations you can make about someone, I might have been tempted to rein in the indignation about being called a “silly cow”.

      Maybe we should have restricted ourselves to “hysterical”?

    24. Brownie — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:40 pm  

      I don’t think a rather young middle class man (unless he was conspicuously posh perhaps – which LP isn’t) would have been treated in quite this way.

      Well, anyone familiar with Graham’s posts and comments will know that this isn’t quite right.

      As for LP not being “conspicuously posh”…

    25. cjcjc — on 2nd August, 2010 at 1:25 pm  

      “the increasingly dangerous game HP is playing”

      Ooo-errr missus.

      Just what “dangerous game” would that be?

      NB - it’s a BLOG !

    26. Marko Attila Hoare — on 2nd August, 2010 at 1:28 pm  

      ‘LP shouldn’t have been called a “silly cow”, but if I’d just maliciously smeared a dozen people I’d never met with one of the worst accusations you can make about someone, I might have been tempted to rein in the indignation about being called a “silly cow”.’

      HP’s regular bloggers are not racist. However, an accusation of racism made against any given individual or group may or may not be valid. If Laurie Penny believes the HP bloggers (or anyone else) are racist, she has the right to make that allegation.

      Unlike ‘racist’, however, ‘silly cow’ is never a legitimate term. To call someone a ‘racist’ is to attack them for their views, whereas to call someone a ‘silly cow’ is to attack them for their gender.

      In this case, the sort of sexist, ageist and anti-middle-class sneering directed against Penny in the HP comments boxes represented an attempt to delegitimise her as a critic of HP, on the grounds of her gender, age and social background.

      So yes, Penny had every right to be outraged.

      PS I’ve never heard of the person in question and have no idea of the context, but assuming that Dmra has cited the comments about Nirpal Dhaliwal accurately, then they are indeed vicious, racist and disgusting, whoever made them.

    27. dmra — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

      “assuming that Dmra has cited the comments about Nirpal Dhaliwal accurately”

      All of the comments were cut and pasted from the post here about Nirpal Dhaliwal.

      This one “Nirpal Dhaliwal, the man (and I use this term loosely)” was made by Sunny as part of the original post. The others were all made below the line by other commentators.

      For the record I don’t think that Sunny is particularly sexist. Simply that he wanted to be insulting and chose some rather loose language to do it.

      It just seemed to me to be a touch ironic that Sunny was being damning about the nature of comments on another blog while at the same time seeming to be happy to either make, or allow to be made, these kinds of posts on his.

    28. Brownie — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:35 pm  

      Marko,

      Have you ever heard of anyone being dismissed from their job for being called “a silly cow”?

      It is not to defend “silly cow” to point out that someone having just laid false acucsations of racism in a post might want to consider the appropriate level of outrage to express at being sligted in a comment.

      So yes, Penny had every right to be outraged.

      No, she had a right to call out this statement and that’s about it. I had no trouble and have no toruble agreeing it is sexist and disassociate myself from anyone saying it. But whatever the potential validity of the ‘racist’ epithet, it was not - as you agree - merited in this instance and therefore we’ll just have to agree to disagree about who has the right to feel more aggrieved.

      Moreover, LP’s comments were her own in the body of a post she wrote, not the witterings of a commenter in one of her threads. Like for like would before me to take the most egregious example of slander against HP in one of her threads and ensure any discussion focused on that and only that instead of any opinions she was volunteering. But that would be a transparent attempt to change the subject, wouldn’t it?

      Lastly, we never received any apology from Laurie for basically lying about our MO and she never apologised to me for a claim that I had made the “silly cow” comment myself - see here.

      You’ll note one comment to me where she begins:

      “No, darling…”

      Obviously, I’m greatly offended and until I can get every last one of you to validate my hurt and the oppression I feel, I don’t think I’m capable of engaging on the more substantive matters under discussion.

      Final point as I’m going on holiday tomorrow and have packing to do…

      HP is easy game for this sort of thing. We have a completely open comments policy and are strong advocates for free speech in blogging. Our comments policy is simultaneously the best thing and worst thing about HP and there is no shortage threads that leave me cringing with embarrassment. If people want to criticise our moderation policy then of course they are free to; there’s an interesting debate to be had about the de/merits of completely open comments. I’m conflicted on this myself. But conflation of comments with our above the line writing is just a deliberate attempt to misrepresent and delegitimise our blog by people who can’t fathom a way to tackle the arguments of the HP authors.

      BTW, I think LP is a talented, albeit self-referential writer and at least one of her posts since this initial suqabble has been favourably featured at HP.

      We don’t bear grudges.

    29. Marko Attila Hoare — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:53 pm  

      ‘Have you ever heard of anyone being dismissed from their job for being called “a silly cow”?’

      Certainly, this sort of sexist language has frequently been used to demean and bully women in the workplace. It isn’t just a question of a few hurt feelings; sexism and sexist language can be a serious problem for women in their professional lives.

      It was also not just a matter of one isolated ‘silly cow’ comment, but of an extremely nasty group assault in which Graham fully participated - see Sarah AB’s comment above.

      ‘HP is easy game for this sort of thing. We have a completely open comments policy and are strong advocates for free speech in blogging.’

      As a former HP guest poster, I can personally testify that this is not true, as my responses to personal attacks on me made by HP bloggers and groupies have been deleted, while the original attacks were allowed to stand.

      ‘But conflation of comments with our above the line writing is just a deliberate attempt to misrepresent and delegitimise our blog by people who can’t fathom a way to tackle the arguments of the HP authors.’

      If you allow vicious bigots and trolls to post an unending stream of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Palestinian hate-speech on your blog, interspersed with disgusting and violent personal attacks against those they disagree with, and if you can hardly ever be bothered to argue against them, so that they generally dominate the discussion, then outside observers can be forgiven for thinking that you don’t object to the hate speech in question very strongly.

      Because if you did, you would presumably devote a fraction of the effort to tackling the bigots and trolls in your comments threads, that you devote to fine-combing your opponents’ writings for the vaguest hint of softness toward Muslim wrong-doing, or of anti-Semitism or anti-Israeli bias.

    30. saeed — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:59 pm  

      the bigger question, brownie is why does HP attract so many knuckle dragger’s?

      answer that question for me please…

    31. saeed — on 2nd August, 2010 at 5:03 pm  

      Have you ever heard of anyone being dismissed from their job for being called “a silly cow”?

      are you being serious?

      if i was to call any of my female subordinates a silly cow i would be sacked on the spot (and rightly so)

      you browine think its acceptable to compare a woman to an animal?

    32. saeed — on 2nd August, 2010 at 9:01 pm  

      it would be interesting to continue this discussion esp. with contributions from Marko and Brownie who both seem like intelligent chaps

    33. Bill — on 2nd August, 2010 at 9:49 pm  

      you browine think its acceptable to compare a woman to an animal?

      What about a fox?

    34. Brownie — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:23 pm  

      I think both Marko and saeed have completely misunderstood what I meant by the question:

      Have you ever heard of anyone being dismissed from their job for being called “a silly cow”?

      The point is that some of the HP authors are identifiable people with real jobs who have been outed online, such that accusations of racism are actually pretty serious and not just the rough and tumble of blogging debate. I believe Marko has actually made similar points in the past following what he feels to be unjustifiable attacks on his character. LP, a freelance writer, being labelled a ‘silly cow’ - however unpleassant and personally upsetting that was - simply doesn’t carry the same potential consequences.

      Sorry, but it doesn’t.

      As a former HP guest poster, I can personally testify that this is not true, as my responses to personal attacks on me made by HP bloggers and groupies have been deleted, while the original attacks were allowed to stand.

      To use your specific experience over what shall henceforth be known as the ‘Mettaculture incident’ and claim this as somehow representative of general HP policy is so disingenuous it’s not funny. You could got to any thread at HP right now and moan your balls off about pretty much anything and the chances of you being deleted are about the same as Dougie being inducted into Mensa.

      It’s funny. The main criticism of HP is that we’re too laissez-faire with comments moderation and allow all sorts of nutters to say what they want, and here you are claiming that we delete anyone who fails to toe the party line.

      It’s horseshit, and you know it’s horseshit.

      If you allow vicious bigots and trolls to post an unending stream of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Palestinian hate-speech on your blog, interspersed with disgusting and violent personal attacks against those they disagree with,

      I give you 9 out of 10 for hyperbole, Marko. That’s about the most absurdly over-the-top description of HP I’ve ever read, and that’s saying something. I appreciate you feel wronged, but just making stuff up really won’t do.

      and if you can hardly ever be bothered to argue against them, so that they generally dominate the discussion, then outside observers can be forgiven for thinking that you don’t object to the hate speech in question very strongly.

      Firstly, anyone who infers anything about me or the other authors on the basis of what we’re not saying to certain commenters or in response to specific comments is, frankly, an idiot. We have lives and families outside of blogging, you know?

      Secondly, this is a crock anyway. As it happens, the one person at HP who expends most energy arguing against the extremists and right-wing nutbars who do comment at HP is, by a country mile, Graham. In second place I would say it’s me, but not because I care more, rather because I prefer commenting to posting and therefore have more time to confront the loons. Most HP authors actually don’t comment. It’s rare to see Marcus, or Gene or DT in the threads.

      Of course, if you only ever read HP when someone there is talking about MAH, then you wouldn’t know any of this. But the fact you’re spectacularly ignorant about the extent to which the extremists are challenged is no defence for talking pap on the issue.

      Because if you did, you would presumably devote a fraction of the effort to tackling the bigots and trolls in your comments threads, that you devote to fine-combing your opponents’ writings for the vaguest hint of softness toward Muslim wrong-doing, or of anti-Semitism or anti-Israeli bias.

      As Graham and I have pointed out many times, it’s funny how you and other HP detractors can find all this time to bemoan the presence of some nutters in the comments threads at HP but, whenever Graham or I are going at it with the wingnuts, we invariably find oursevles on our own. Presumably, you and others like you are sitting there with your ovaltine reading these exchanges every time they happen - hence you’ve become such experts on the extent of extremist commentary at HP - but don’t both to actually type a word of protest and/or join Graham and me in our fights. Why is that, I wonder?

      Perhaps, like you with us, I can infer something from your silence?

      The alternative - and to my mind far more likely expalantion - is that none of you is the HP officianado you like to present yourself as and you simply choose to misreprsent our blog because you either dislike our politics or, as in your case, have an axe to grind.

      All a bit sad, really, not least because I like and respect you and your work.

      As above, these arguments about the differences between HP, PP and most other political blogs can be distilled to a debate about the de/merits of open comments policies. The more open the policy, the more extreme some of the comments you’ll see. It’s not rocket science. But the only thing you can infer from that is that the authors support open comments; no-one can legitimately claim the comments reflect the political orientation of the authors or indeed represent the blog.

      The key word here is “legitimately”.

    35. Refresh — on 2nd August, 2010 at 11:36 pm  

      Brownie,

      ‘That’s about the most absurdly over-the-top description of HP I’ve ever read, and that’s saying something. I appreciate you feel wronged, but just making stuff up really won’t do.’

      Its not making it up. Many others share that view. Some of us recognised HP for what it was and its purpose very early on.

      You could even say that it serves the purposes of the EDL and kindred spirits better than it ever did liberalism.

      The ‘open comments policies’ are admirable if the bigotry and racism betrayed is challenged - even feebly would be a sign.

    36. Brownie — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:02 am  

      Refresh,

      Here’s what Marko wrote and what you agree with:

      If you allow vicious bigots and trolls to post an unending stream of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Palestinian hate-speech on your blog, interspersed with disgusting and violent personal attacks against those they disagree with

      That’s “unending stream of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Palestinian hate-speech” and “disgusting and violent personal attacks”.

      There are currently 10 posts on the homepage of HP. Here’s a chalenge: cite from the threads of those ten posts in a manner that supports the assertion that any of what you say above is true. With an “unending stream” an’ all, that ought not to be too difficult, eh?

      Put up or shut up.

      You could even say that it serves the purposes of the EDL and kindred spirits better than it ever did liberalism.

      Which explains why the BNP tried to get us turned off, eh? You couldn’t make this stuff up, but you do anyway.

      We must be the only blog known to man that hosts “unending anti-immigrant hate-speech” that the BNP has ever tried to shutdown. Funny that. I guess jealousy can make you believe anything.

    37. Marko Attila Hoare — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:20 am  

      Brownie, it really is not the responsibility of myself or any other outsider to clear up the mess you make with your misguided comments policy. Before I stopped commenting at HP, I spent a lot of time fighting it out with the bigots there, and more often than not found myself alone (or, in the Mettaculture incident, I was up against the bigots AND HP blogger Graham). How on earth can you expect outsiders like myself to spend hours of our lives tackling bigots given space by HP’s misguided comments policy, when the HP bloggers themselves not only won’t do the job, but give no support to those of us who do try to do it, or even undermine us ??

      The conclusion I came to, after actually trying over an extended period to do what you’re saying I should be doing, is that HP didn’t want the bigots to lose. I don’t know whether this is because you appreciate their traffic, or because you want to keep the anti-Islamist/pro-Israel front as broad as possible, or because some of them, like Mettaculture, are your darling pet trolls. But in such circumstances, I’d be a sucker to go on fighting them.

      I know David T, Gene, Marcus and others don’t comment much - why is that ? Despite their apparently very busy work and family lives, they manage to find time to post frequently on issues they care about, so I’m skeptical that they don’t have the time.

      If you really don’t have time to respond to the bigots and trolls, I’d suggest either a) you post fewer posts; b) you keep the comments switched off most of the time; or c) you delete many more comments than you do. Other bloggers do manage to come down hard on trolls - e.g. Chris Bertram at Crooked Timber. So it’s not as if it can’t be done.

      There’s no contradiction whatever between pointing out that HP allows far too many bigoted or abusive comments, yet also is entirely ready to delete comments when it feels like it. I’m scarcely the only person to point this out - e.g. see johng’s comments in this very thread.

      You simply can’t get away with pretending the comments that appear on your blog are nothing to do with you, or not your responsibility. So many people have made similar criticisms of HP, that instead of trying to dismiss them all as people who are either politically hostile or personally aggrieved - which covers pretty much anybody - you might do better actually to look at yourselves and think about where you’re going wrong.

    38. Marko Attila Hoare — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:29 am  

      HP is anti-BNP. The SWP is anti-BNP. HP (quite rightly) does not give the SWP a free pass on the charge of collusion with bigots, simply because the SWP is anti-BNP. Therefore, HP cannot claim a similar free pass, simply because it is also anti-BNP.

    39. Sunny — on 3rd August, 2010 at 1:08 am  

      HP is easy game for this sort of thing. We have a completely open comments policy and are strong advocates for free speech in blogging

      This really is bollocks and Marko nails it above.

      Which explains why the BNP tried to get us turned off, eh?

      Oh that’s right, you hate the BNP. Well done to you. So does the fucking Daily Mail.

      You also publish stuff regularly by Edmund Standing, who has worked with Douglas Murray. In fact you guys frequently publish stuff from the CSC or their people.

      When I ask if any of those would be willing to endorse Douglas Murray’s speech at the Pim Fortuyn memorial, then suddenly you lot go quiet.

      I’ve also asked previously about blogs on HP praising Patrick Sookhdeo - the guy who collaborated with and wrote for Robert Spencer.

      When asked about this, once again David T and your writers go silent.

      I wonder why that is.

    40. Brownie — on 3rd August, 2010 at 1:15 am  

      HP is anti-BNP. The SWP is anti-BNP. HP (quite rightly) does not give the SWP a free pass on the charge of collusion with bigots, simply because the SWP is anti-BNP. Therefore, HP cannot claim a similar free pass, simply because it is also anti-BNP.

      Nice try, Marko, but you simply cannot reoncile “an unending stream of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Palestinian hate-speech on your blog” and “anti-BNP” or explain why the BNP would try to shutdown a blog that hosts “an unending stream of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Palestinian hate-speech”.

      The fact is, the BNP would never try to shutdown a blog that met the desciprtion you proffer. Why would they?

      You’re now implicitly acknowledging that your earlier representation of HP was the hyperbolic twadlle I said it was.

      Brownie, it really is not the responsibility of myself or any other outsider to clear up the mess you make with your misguided comments policy. Before I stopped commenting at HP, I spent a lot of time fighting it out with the bigots there, and more often than not found myself alone (or, in the Mettaculture incident, I was up against the bigots AND HP blogger Graham). How on earth can you expect outsiders like myself to spend hours of our lives tackling bigots given space by HP’s misguided comments policy, when the HP bloggers themselves not only won’t do the job, but give no support to those of us who do try to do it, or even undermine us ??

      You miss my point. I’m not claiming it is your responsibility to do anything. I am remarking, however, that if you and others are as familiar with our comments as you claim to be, it would be impossible for you to have failed to notice that Graham, myself and other commenters regularly challenge the nutters. It’s simply inaccurate to claim this doesn’t happen. Either your memory is selective, or you’re not the avid reader you claim to be.

      And I’m afraid “I spent a lot of time fighting it out with the bigots there” doesn’t ring any bells with me. I certainly do recall you doing some of this, but “spent a lot of time” is stretching things a bit IIRC.

      And again with the Mettaculture thing.

      I know David T, Gene, Marcus and others don’t comment much – why is that ? Despite their apparently very busy work and family lives, they manage to find time to post frequently on issues they care about, so I’m skeptical that they don’t have the time.

      Er, maybe they don’t have the time to comment because they prefer to expend whatever free time they do have to post? It’s like saying, “Bob spends loads of time birdwatching, so I’m sceptical he doesn’t have the time to do some train-spotting”.

      If you really don’t have time to respond to the bigots and trolls, I’d suggest either a) you post fewer posts; b) you keep the comments switched off most of the time; or c) you delete many more comments than you do. Other bloggers do manage to come down hard on trolls – e.g. Chris Bertram at Crooked Timber. So it’s not as if it can’t be done.

      Ha, well, as much as I enjoy some of the discussions at CT, I don’t think they’ll win any prizes for the consistency of their approach to moderation. You can be deleted on CT for disagreeing with the author. I should know. I’m not interested in being part of a blog that takes that line, although to be fair they’ve lightened up a little recently.

      You pays your money and takes your choice, Marko. Of course it would be possible for us to be more aggressive with the worst of our commenters - that’s not denied. The point is, we don’t want to be. We want to host a blog where free speech reigns, within acceptable limits of course. But we certainly don’t give the extremists a free pass as you suggest here.

      There’s no contradiction whatever between pointing out that HP allows far too many bigoted or abusive comments, yet also is entirely ready to delete comments when it feels like it. I’m scarcely the only person to point this out – e.g. see johng’s comments in this very thread.

      Christ on a bike, I’ve seen a pile of comments on HP from johng in recent days. Go to the site now and check a couple of the threads and you’ll see them yourself. Moreoever, johng is a prime example of an extremist who is regulalry confronted. Ask johng. Or didn’t you mean that *sort* of extremist?

      You simply can’t get away with pretending the comments that appear on your blog are nothing to do with you, or not your responsibility.

      You still don’t get it. I’m pretending no such thing. Of course they have something to do with us/the blog and ultimately they are our responsibility. I’ve never tried to deny that we have more than our fair share of extremists, but:

      1 - They are not as rampant as you claim
      2 - They are regulalry confronted, contrary to your assertion
      3 - Their presence is a function of HP operating a very light moderation policy and not because the authors share their political sympathies
      4 - The fact of their existence doesn’t give detractors a right to deliberately misrepresent HP or the authors by maliciously conflating the comments and the posts.

      Right, I’m now officially on holiday. Just remember that whatever you say next is wrong.

    41. Brownie — on 3rd August, 2010 at 1:24 am  

      When I ask if any of those would be willing to endorse Douglas Murray’s speech at the Pim Fortuyn memorial, then suddenly you lot go quiet.

      Excrement as usual. And as for Standing, you must have missed Graham’s comment at PP earlier today where he mentioned he has disagreed with nearly every word Edmund Standing has ever written.

      You still haven’t worked out that the authors at HP have different views about quite a lot of people and things. You saw the protracted discussions over Livingstone and his campaign for Mayor, I take it?

      Oh that’s right, you hate the BNP. Well done to you.

      Well, it’s not just that we hate it, but that we’ve written more about and against the BNP than PP, Liberal Conspiracy and just about all other left-liberal blogs put together. That’s why they tried to shut us down and not you, see?

    42. Sunny — on 3rd August, 2010 at 1:45 am  

      And as for Standing, you must have missed Graham’s comment at PP earlier today where he mentioned he has disagreed with nearly every word Edmund Standing has ever written.

      I did miss that comment, but you guys still publish his bollocks. Presumably that means you think its ok.

      but that we’ve written more about and against the BNP than PP, Liberal Conspiracy and just about all other left-liberal blogs put together.

      Nice try, but please stop chatting out of your arse any more than is necessary.

    43. Sunny — on 3rd August, 2010 at 1:50 am  

      You still haven’t worked out that the authors at HP have different views about quite a lot of people and things.

      Mmm… yeah, that’s a nice get-out clause isn’t it.

      It would make more sense if you idiots didn’t spend half your time publishing blog posts trying to tenuously link people you hate to some other random extremists (via nth degree of associations) and then calling them bigots ad infinitum. Does that seriously ever not occur to you or are you completely irony free?

      the attempted hit-job on Mehdi Hasan, the one on Ajmal Masroor, the one on OBV etc… I could go on.

    44. Brownie — on 3rd August, 2010 at 2:48 am  

      I did miss that comment, but you guys still publish his bollocks. Presumably that means you think its ok.

      No, it means the individual HP author who cross-posted his article thinks it’s ok.

      See how it works yet?

      Nice try, but please stop chatting out of your arse any more than is necessary.

      Haha. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? HP’s record on confronting BNP bigotry in our posts is unmatched by anything PP, LibCon or any combination of left-liberal blogs has been able to muster. Even our fiercest critic would concede this. PP doesn’t even come close. You don’t even register on the BNP’s radar, yet they try to close us down.

      Ever think you might have the wrong target in your sights, Sunny?

      Mmm… yeah, that’s a nice get-out clause isn’t it.

      No Sunny, it’s the frickin’ truth.

      The one on OBV…

      Jaysus, you had your arse handed to you on that one. Half of you own commenters didn’t agree with you.

      I didn’t think a whole lot about the Mehdi Hasan posts, even though what he said in that recorded speech was pretty vile and the excuses made for it risible. But we sometimes have 15 posts a day on HP and you lot are continually referencing the same handful of examples from the archives to support whatever wild accusation you happen to be making that day, as if the exception proves the rule.

      It’s desperate stuff. Nearly as desperate as I am for my bed. Night night.

    45. Sunny — on 3rd August, 2010 at 5:06 am  

      Haha. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? HP’s record on confronting BNP bigotry in our posts is unmatched by anything PP, LibCon or any combination of left-liberal blogs has been able to muster.

      You sound like a pathetic school kid trying to make out he’s got a big cock. And you don’t even have any proof to back this up. And the only reason the BNP can take you down is because I’ve had secure hosting and you guys are numpties. You really think they haven’t tried to take me down? You’re more stupid than I thought.

      Jaysus, you had your arse handed to you on that one. Half of you own commenters didn’t agree with you.

      Erm, do you think I care for HP fanboys that come here?

      But we sometimes have 15 posts a day on HP and

      Oh that makes it ok does it? As I’ve repeatedly pointed out - your blog keeps throwing smears at other people for vague damned-by-association links, and yet your only pathetic response is that all of you have different opinions? Does it never enter your tiny mind that the Muslims who you point fingers at whole day long might also have differing opinions on issues?

      You guys get more desperate every day. There will come a point when all of you will be too too ashamed to associate with each other and the whole thing will combust in acrimony. As it is, most have stopped taking that snakepit seriously any more.

    46. Sarah AB — on 3rd August, 2010 at 7:57 am  

      Brownie – though I expect you’re on holiday now - I agree that Marko’s account of HP is exaggerated – but in relation to a few threads it’s only a bit exaggerated. Some are absolutely fine of course. Obviously it’s up to HP what kind of comments policy it wants to have, and there’s a lot to be said for a free for all. But I also, as someone who is more sympathetic to HP’s line than most commenting here, regret it sometimes because it actively distracts from and distorts what HP is trying to say – perhaps this is why Sunny seems to think HP treats Muslims as a monolithic group (45). I think it’s inevitable that pieces criticizing, say, a radical Muslim preacher attract anti Muslim biogots and someone new to HP is going to be tempted to conflate a valid, unbigoted post on such an issue with some of the bigoted comments. Having open comments doesn’t just mean that a small number of comments get through which wouldn’t go through on PP – it also has an ongoing impact on who comes along – people who get a kick out of being offensive for example – and thus puts other people off who might otherwise like to join in.
      Here’s an example of a very recent post which has comments which aren’t as bad as Marko’s sketch but which certainly aren’t in the spirit of the post itself or the first comment by an HP writer.
      http://hurryupharry.org/2010/08/02/clarification-of-abodes-a-primer-of-islamic-jurisprudence/
      I often wish more commenters on PP also commented on HP.
      I agree with some of what Marko says but I really don’t think this is true – “The conclusion I came to, after actually trying over an extended period to do what you’re saying I should be doing, is that HP didn’t want the bigots to lose. I don’t know whether this is because you appreciate their traffic, or because you want to keep the anti-Islamist/pro-Israel front as broad as possible”.
      I sympathise with HP bloggers who don’t have time to moderate/join in – I’ve had a few posts published myself there (and I don’t endorse Murray’s speech FWIW Sunny!) and was a bit bewildered when commenters grumbled that I wasn’t replying to them quickly enough – within office hours when I was busy teaching.

    47. Rumbold — on 3rd August, 2010 at 9:15 am  

      HP deserves (as does PP, etc.) to be attacked over a number of things. But not on its comment policy. It has a completly open comments policy- this inevitably produces a completly open comments box. Nobody is obliged to read or comment in the HP comments box. We moderate a bit more then them, others moderate a lot more then them. It is a bit like going into a shoe shop and complaining that the shop sells shoes. That is the beauty of the blogosphere- you don’t have to read anything you don’t like.

    48. Marko Attila Hoare — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:06 am  

      Rumbold, it’s not a matter of a harmless little parlour game. The HP comments policy gives enormous publicity to virulent bigots, particularly anti-Muslim bigots. It makes acceptable and respectable a kind of hate-speech that not so long ago would not have been tolerated by any forum or publication not controlled by the far right. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry is a very live issue in Europe today, and HP’s comments policy is effectively feeding it. So no, none of us is obliged to read HP, but we are forced to live with the result of a rising tide of bigotry and a strengthened far-right.

      For the record, I don’t think the HP bloggers are anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant, nor that they share the views of the below-the-line bigoted commenters. But I do think they’re incredibly complacent about the type of poison their comments policy is inadvertently disseminating. I put this down to the fact that they’re fundamentally not concerned with anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant or anti-Palestinian bigotry to even remotely the same extent that they’re concerned with Muslim extremism, or with anti-Semitism.

      So I beg to differ with Sarah - if HP really wanted the bigots in their comments boxes to lose, they’d make sure that they did, one way or another. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to argue a case on a blog when the proprietors are hostile to one. The bigots turn up at HP knowing they’ll get an easy ride.

      It all boils down to what you see as the purpose of your blog. If the point is to have a discussion forum as an end in itself, or as a game, and you don’t care about the political consequences, then HP’s comments policy is absolutely fine. But if you’re trying to put forward a particular, progressive left-wing political vision, it makes no sense to adopt a comments policy that publicises far-right views, and makes them respectable.

    49. saeed — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:08 pm  

      WELL SAID MARKO

    50. dmra — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:41 pm  

      Marko,
      at 1.28 on 2/8 you said this about some comments I’d drawn attention to
      “I’ve never heard of the person in question and have no idea of the context, but assuming that Dmra has cited the comments about Nirpal Dhaliwal accurately, then they are indeed vicious, racist and disgusting, whoever made them.”
      All those comments were made on this blog. Nobody other than me has chosen to draw any attention to them or to challenge them. Am I to assume from this silence that the moderators and posters here are happy to accept or encourage disgusting and vicious racism?

      If that conclusion is true (and so far I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary) why are you choosing to post at such a site?

    51. sonia — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:51 pm  

      I don’t think its just neocons to be honest with you. they are ‘one side’ of the spectrum, but there are just as many on the other side, if they were honest, who could say much the same sort of thing. face it, if you spend too long on the internet arguing with faceless people, it can easily wind you up!

    52. sonia — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:55 pm  

      well said rumbold.

      this HP obsession is getting silly: look there are opinionated people on the internet, deal with. I quite like the site HP myself, it amuses me, so perhaps i should say it out loud and be called a right-wing neocon.

      there’s a certain ‘smug righteousness’ one can detect in many people, that they are fond of dissing, (amongst others) and i think quite rightly too. we all need to be taken down a peg or two sometimes, we should be mature enough to laugh when that happens and take it gracefully. the role of satire is very important in this way/

      no one should get cocky that they are ‘in the right’ - that’s the end of the world when that happens. you join the religious clergy,the authoritarian (left or right don’t matter) fascists all that sort of thing.

    53. sonia — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:56 pm  

      why commentators get worked up about each other, rather than societal issues, i never know. take yourselves too seriously perhaps.

    54. Marko Attila Hoare — on 3rd August, 2010 at 2:57 pm  

      ‘If that conclusion is true (and so far I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary) why are you choosing to post at such a site?’

      Because a link was posted here to one of my articles, and a discussion arose about some of the issues I’d raised.

      I’m not sufficiently familiar with Pickled Politics to draw an informed conclusion about it, or about its comments policy. But in any case, I wouldn’t wholly boycott a blog just because I have issues with it; I still post the occasional comment at HP.

    55. Sunny — on 3rd August, 2010 at 5:43 pm  

      Rumbold: It has a completly open comments policy- this inevitably produces a completly open comments box

      No it doesn’t. It has a selective comments policy.

      And the idea that comments don’t matter is quite bollocks for reasons pointed out above.

      But I don’t even care much for HP comments - I rarely read the blog. What annoys me is this horsehit that they can publish articles promoting and supporting bigots because they don’t have one line across the site. But when some Muslim group vaguely endorses some other Muslim group they don’t like - the bloggers go apeshit.

    56. Sunny — on 3rd August, 2010 at 5:46 pm  

      Also sonia, I think you’re being naive here about ‘societal issues’.

      The way HP works is that it tries to marginalise and attack and smear specific people or organisations. Mehdi Hasan, various Muslim orgs or people usually, or even lefties. So for example, they happily promoted CIF Watch - a blog which exclusively focuses on attacking left-wing Jews that don’t agree with neo-con views on Israel.

      The impact of that smear machine is that it creates disunity among those people, and that it creates a climate where the govt finds it harder to work with those people.

      Their continuous and sudden attacks on Operation Black Vote are similarly part of this agenda. Look at the sudden obsession with Nation of Islam and their pathetic attempts to tie it with OBV.

      If you think these blogs don’t matter I’m afraid you’re being quite naive.

    57. organic cheeseboard — on 3rd August, 2010 at 6:09 pm  

      We don’t bear grudges.

      mehdi hasan, and the new statesman in general. lee jasper. these people are targetted irrationally by hp sauce. and laurie penny - well you might have praised a ‘stopped clock is right twice a day’ post but considering the financial and social background of a lot of your writers, the bile that other hp sauce moderators spew at her for being vaguely rich and posh is just ridiculous., it’s not a question of whether ‘she can take it’, it’s a question of hypocrisy and a tendency to let debate slip to absolute lowest common denominator namecalling, all the time.

      and brownie - just to reiterate - you are continually, atm, publishing a man who directly works for douglas murray, an outright anti-muslim bigot - i can report his comments that ‘all muslim immigration into Britain must stop now’ if you’d like?

      and, guess what, you’ve still not addressed the problem of this. if you’re going to allow stuff onto your posts that implies guilt by associaiton, you’d better be purer than pure, but your site isn’t. it’d hosted some utterly reprehensible posters in the past.

      if your blog is going to trade in smears by assciation, at least have a look at some of the people your site has promoted - douglas murray and chas newkey burden spring to mind.

      and you wonder why the comments are populated by right-wing racists.

    58. Rumbold — on 3rd August, 2010 at 9:21 pm  

      Marko and Sunny:

      My point is not to defend what HP say, but just note they have an open comments box. I don’t think that this gives a massive space to extremists, as it is a blog’s comment box- it is not that influential. As I said, attack HP all you want for what its writers write, but there is no point attacking comments left in the comments- that’s their policy.

    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.