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    18 Doughty Street

    by Sunny on 10th October, 2006 at 9:42 am    

    In case you don’t know already, prominent Conservative party bloggers including Iain Dale and Tim Montgomery’s new project 18 Doughty Street launches today. It will be Britain’s first internet-only political TV channel, broadcasting four hours a day. More on BBC magazine. In addition…

    As such, the channel is recruiting people to film their own three-minute reports - which will then be used to trigger debates. As an example, he says someone went to a petrol station to record conversations with drivers about taxation.

    I am one of the “citizen journalists” recruited by these political folk to make short films on a fairly regular basis. Ermm… any suggestions? I have a video camera, have the editing software, just need some victims. *evil laugh*

    Oh, and also worth reading this article by Ali Miraj.

    Print this page and comments   |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Party politics

    106 Comments below   |  

    1. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:30 am  

      Seeing as you’re British Asian, why not take a leaf out of the British Asian movie makers handbook. Must include the following:

      • An Asian gang
      • The gang leader shags teenage blonde girl called eileen
      • The gang leader’s sister falls in love with racist white boy
      • The gang leader threatens to kill sister’s racist white boyfriend
      • Sister calls brother hypocrite
      • A slightly mad father who chortles to himself as if mocking laughter itself
      • A homosexual liason between auntie bulbul and the local hairdresser, who turns out to be Eileen’s mother

    2. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:18 am  

      :-)ho ho ho

    3. Col.Mustafa — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:31 am  

      hmmmm, very interesting.

    4. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:52 am  

      How about this:
      Can someone who was educated in private school and relatively insulated from the social ills that befall the majority of the population (notably crime, pressure on social services, state education) ever be trusted to look after the interests of the people?
      Can upper middle-class liberals truly be trusted?

    5. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:53 am  

      It is very interesting - as a development of the blogging and politics interface it’s incredibly interesting. *better run off and write about it quick* Now of course what will be interesting is to see how it pans out. Iain Dale’s list of top 100 political blogs was interesting to me not just because of who was included but the idea behind the classifications, and who was left out. these are libdems these are labour blogs and these are tory blogs..blah blah.

      so politics within the confines of the party system?
      ( fair enough) some blogs were nominated who weren’t necessarily actually affiliated with the party as assumed - but we get the idea. it seems to be the usual obsession of ‘lay yourself out on the spectrum everyone’ okay fine. lots of people want to sit on that spectrum. but it seemed to me to imply that if one is a critic of party politics - or for whatever reason - out of that ‘organized politics’ context - somehow one isn’t part of the ‘political blogging’ world. Which is very interesting idea of course. I’d say some of the people i consider most political don’t ‘fit’ ‘within’ the system at all- we can disagree on the viability of such opinions - but that’s another matter. perhaps what it seems to me is if one were to go by Iain Dale’s idea of political blogging it all appears to be a rather conventional world.

      Should be fun to see to what extent this is all reflected in this Doughty world thing.

    6. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:59 am  

      i thought it’s all about ‘opinion’ which is fine - isn’t it. though i daresay they ought to look up in the dictionary the word ‘opinionated’ which they’re using as it has a quite a different connotation altogether :-)

    7. AsifB — on 10th October, 2006 at 12:04 pm  

      - Discussions with postgraduate students from the subcontinent are always interesting - comparing their life experiences and attitudes with British South Asians can be very illuminating.

      - Why are so many ‘right on’ organisations (with obvious exceptions like Shami C) so overwhelmingly white?

      - The Spectator (no 56 Doughty st) How randy/repulsive are they really?

      4 hours a day though and they’re only giving you 3 minutes. I’ll stick to Abbot and Portillo methinks.

    8. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 12:46 pm  

      Sunny why do you need Pickled Politics to give the Tories the veneer they are looking for?

      Are we to become a focus group?

      Logically that is where you are heading with this.

    9. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 12:58 pm  

      Yeah, and why are so many “right-on” organisations fronted by private school-educated people and why are so many prominent non-white spokespeople private-school educated?

    10. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

      Refresh, he won’t be the first “liberal progressive” or radical to sell out. Who knows, maybe I might be next.

    11. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:07 pm  

      EL Cid, I was avoiding the term sell out.

      A bigger concern I have is the future of PP.

      Give it time and we may find Sunny being approached to stand for the party. Perhaps the hint is already there in another thread.

      The point I am making is that if that is where its going then commenters may want to consider how much effort they wish to make in maintaining the site.

    12. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:08 pm  

      Pickled Politics should be a part of the ‘non-aligned’ blog movement.

    13. Leon — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:09 pm  

      Refresh, I understand your concerns regarding the show and lefties being used but I think you’re jumping the gun a little regarding the future of PP.

    14. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:11 pm  

      Stop worrying everyone. Sunny won’t be abducted by anyone as a result of him and his esteemed blogosphere being deemed too important

      I’m here to ensure this

    15. Leon — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:12 pm  

      Pickled Politics should be a part of the ‘non-aligned’ blog movement.

      I agree with that whole heartedly, in my view blogs like this work better because they’re aren’t aligned/partisan.

      That said I really don’t think that Sunny is taking PP into a pro-[any] party position. I’m sure that if he did want to he’d come out and say it upfront (he’s been upfront about his wishes for PP in other areas so why not this?).

    16. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

      Leon, better to be aware of the many paths ahead. In the run up to the battle for control of UK Plc I expect to see greater risk of partisanship.

      Be happy to hear Sunny’s thoughts on the matter.

    17. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

      If the environment matters more to you than inequality and social justice, then the Tories are positioning themselves very well. If animals mean more to you than people, then the Tories could well be for you.

      Making the NHS independent is also a potential masterstroke, as it addresses the Tories’ Achilles heel, just as BOE independence did for Labour’s biggest weakness — the economy. It’s a less bitter pill to swallow, so they are def in with a strong shout. But make no mistake, at the margin they will be oh so different.

      Me? I will prob end up paying less taxes. So why should I — deep down — really give a shit. I may not like myself for it, but then that’s experience for you.

      Did someone mention Abbott?

    18. Leon — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:25 pm  

      better to be aware of the many paths ahead.

      Agreed I should have said anytime soon in my earlier comment. Anyway, either way it’s not the end of the world. If he does I’m sure PP will survive if he doesn’t what does it matter?

      I’m more interested in why you’re concerned about this? Why does it matter to you where PP goes politicaly?

    19. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

      “- Discussions with postgraduate students from the subcontinent are always interesting - comparing their life experiences and attitudes with British South Asians can be very illuminating.”

      that’s a good point. people are always thinking that ‘asians’ in britain will have the same issues/ - ( and obviously from everyone is an individual and will face different issues! and obviously different opinions on those issues) but having said that i think there are big differences based on if you’re from here and if you aren’t. maybe it’s participating in this forum - people assume one will have the same ‘issues’ as British Asians. I can’t say i share what appears to be a general preoccupation of being a ‘minority’.

    20. http://modernityblog.blogspot.com/ — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

      Cameron & co are trying to put on a trendy veneer to hide the underlying politics of the Conservative party: sell off what you can, give tax breaks to the rich, bread and circuses for the rest (although I suspect they will dispense with the bread)

      Would anyone here be working up a lather if David Davies or Kenneth Clarke had been elected Tory Party leader? Unlikely?

      So why are people conning themselves about David Cameron and the true nature of the Tories??

    21. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:49 pm  


      “Why does it matter to you where PP goes politicaly?”

      Shouldn’t it? I am equally intrigued why you ask.

      It isn’t the end of the world. But being incorporated into a party will take away whatever charm the site has.

      The other aspect, which I am sure Sunny is fully aware of, is that the value of the site (any ‘info’ website) is dependent on the subscribers.

      El Cid, as for the move ‘leftwards’ of the Tories is to be welcomed - but it is no more than removing the barriers to electability - public service being the top of the list. Having never really bought into the ethos, I do not trust them. The core of the party will still tilt the other way. Anti-europe, anti-immigration etc etc.

      Not suggesting for a minute we have any more to cheer if at least the rhetoric is considered from New Labour.

      But putting aside what any party offers, the value of PP is more to do with the capacity to have a reasonably open debate.

    22. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

      i mean i see myself as being in a minority but in another way - i.e. not being British - and living in countries where you’re not a citizen - and often being overlooked in any discussion - even by the ‘progressives’. which is fair enough given the premise of nation-states..

    23. Leon — on 10th October, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

      Shouldn’t it? I am equally intrigued why you ask.

      I’m just curious, I think it’s fairly obvious where PP sits.

      It isn’t the end of the world. But being incorporated into a party will take away whatever charm the site has.

      This is the line of thinking I don’t get; where has it been said that this site is being incorporated into a party? Why is it an issue now the Tories (activists etc) are behind Doughty?

      The other aspect, which I am sure Sunny is fully aware of, is that the value of the site (any ‘info’ website) is dependent on the subscribers.

      I agree to an extent. Are we really all that special? Wouldn’t PP just gain a new and maybe broader set of commentaters?

      Refresh, please don’t misconscrue my questions as an attack, I’m just genuinely curious about this.

    24. Utbah — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      1. The rising tide of racism
      2. I personally wouldn’t mind you coming up to Leeds and doing a documentary on the social cohesion between differant communities up here
      3. Lack of Cancer information in the Asian Community (Just basic health stuff)

    25. Vikrant — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      El Cid me man, when did ye join SWP? I’m tellin ya no more private school bashing thread over here… lest i’ll be forced to call Rohin.

    26. Chairwoman — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      modernity - My late husband and I were delighted when New Labour were elected as we thought that they were masking real socialist policies behind a centrist manifesto. Were we ever doomed to disappointment. Based on that experience, I am expecting that Dave’s policies are Dave’s policies, and the net result will be rubbish collected less often, and that will be that.

    27. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

      “Are we really all that special?”

      I think pretty unique. Wouldn’t say special - no elite. A real mix.

      Politicos let loose will wreck it. Scoring points at every turn is not conducive to debate.

      In a way I almost see it as an online version of having the local MP come speak to the communities in their mosques, temples and gurdawaras - in the run up to the election.

    28. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:34 pm  

      I went to special school

    29. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      It’s true though Vikrant.
      The great dirty secret of the British liberal middle-classes (including all those of different hues that they have coopted over time).
      Don’t do as I do, do as I say. Sooner or later they succomb to the siren call of privilige.
      They don’t deal with the consequences of crime nor of overburdened social services, and yet they have the temerity to look down their noses at the chavs and their unrefined ways (even though they’re Burberry themselves on the inside).
      They also — I would add, in keeping with this thread — are less likely to appreciate the improvements Labour have made to people’s lives (but then the working classes have short-memories and get one-party fatigue too).

    30. Vikrant — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

      El Cid,

      Though i spent 4 (nightmarish) years at a ‘posh’ school i’m not upper class… pretty well in the middle class.

      you speak of upper classes as some sort of ‘Brahmins’ of British society whose social and econmic status cant be matched by working classes… well thats not true, there is social fluidity in Britain… I recommend you watch those ‘XXup’ documentaries rite from 7up to 49up…

    31. Vikrant — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

      Moreover EL Cid you should appreciate certain cultural traits of upper classes that have been the definition of British culture overseas…

    32. Chairwoman — on 10th October, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

      El Cid - Burberry’s meant to be on the inside :-)

    33. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

      Dear Vik… I think you are 50-100 years behind the curve. At no point did I mention “upper” classes.
      Nothing amuses me more than priviliged middle class people going on and on about the priviliged monarchy — makes them feel better about the priviliges that they depend on and some home gives them the illusion that they are so right on.

      Chairwoman — ha ha. on the inside, that’s true.

    34. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

      hey maybe Utbah can take some shots of leeds.

      how do people take a shot of social cohesion/or lack thereof on camera? ( i keep thinking of glue when people talk about social cohesion :-)) are we thinking United Benetton style ads ( heh heh)

      vikrant - i think that goes both ways - the culture overseas thing - what about Lanzarote? and other ‘package holiday’ destinations.

      of course people are much more socially mobile here than say the indian sub-continent. that’s for sure.

      so who is offering themselves up for Sunny’s evil experiments? :-)

    35. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 3:29 pm  

      Why do people get so worked up about class? There are so many otherwise sorted human beings who spend so long trying to convince everyone they’re working class, they make a mockery of themselves when mum pops the washing round in her jag.

      What’s so bastard wrong with being middle class? Or upper class even?

      Who cares what type of metal was used in the spoon you were born with? It’s how you choose to live your life, whether you’re piss poor or stinking rich, that counts.

      Class system is no different than the caste system, except in our case, it really doesn’t matter what creed we were born into

      Fuck class

    36. http://modernityblog.blogspot.com/ — on 10th October, 2006 at 3:48 pm  


      I hear you! but if we’re honest Blair is a Tory, just he ain’t an official Tory,

      I think for many people there may just be a hair’s width difference between ‘New Labour’ and Cameron’s “people friendly” Tories but that hair’s width is more than enough for me.

      I remember Tory Govts years prior to Thatcher, and the result is mostly always the same:
      underfund infrastructure,

      PR tricks to fool the general public (remember: kitemarks for excellency?),

      reorganise things (so you can blame inefficiency, because they’re about to be organised, have been organised or are waiting for the benefit of “reorganisation” - Sir Humphrey could not do better),

      throw a few bones at the middle classes (tax cuts, etc), etc

      I would expect Cameron’s government to be no different (the spectacle of Tories arguing about tax cuts whilst increasing government funding for the NHS was very revealing, just how they will square the reduction of government revenue was increasing government expenditure is anyone’s guess?)

      I expect Tories to be walking round with Ipods and proclaiming their youthful ideas, talking about the Internet, etc – it is all PR

      What is surprising, is that anyone should be taken in by them?

    37. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

      heh heh good one Kismet. why are people so worked up about class. methinks its all these inferiority complexes around.

      i personally think what would be good viewing on doughty street is how much everyone disagrees :-) especially since there’s all this oh why do people think why are minorities represented as such a monolithic block. if PP does one thing it shows how everyone disagrees on almost everything.

      for example - take the issue around the biggest issue of our generation thread. people may have agreed there was an issue but had strong opinions on different aspects.

      anyway why do people always talk about privilege when they refer to the middle classes? what priveleges are we talking about? a lot of what are the middle classes now used to be working class ( or what is considered working class) - so what’s with all the big grudges? anyways everyone’s privileged to a certain extent in different ways -some have nice families and what have you. it’s all relative innit. i’d say the fact that Brits don’t have to get visas to go lots of places is a big fat privilege! or get evacuated out when wars start. class hasn’t got anything to do with that - but citizenship does. when it comes down to it, cliques of one kind of other. this business of the glass ceiling - just another clique. cliques cliques everywhere we go.

    38. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:00 pm  

      I’m middle class and nonplussed about it. I have a university education after all. That’s not the point. Your views of the world to a great extent are defined by the environment in which you were brought up. How can someone who is privately educated and brought up in comfy suburb understand what it’s like to live, be educated and grow up in the innercity where most of us are.

      Fuck privilege, fuck middle-class hypocrisy, fuck conservatism dressed up as liberalism.
      I believe in equality of opportunity and in meritocracy.. until oxbridge et al are forced to take a higher quota of comp kids, you will not get full and fair social mobility, including more people of different ilks. Unless of course you’re into tokenism and creating another strata of privilege.

    39. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:27 pm  

      yeah undercutting infrastructure - so silly. how does anyone expect business and the economy to improve if you undercut infrastructure? dumb - individuals and people on benefits aren’t the only ones using strong>public infrastructure. but mention public spending and everyone thinks ooh if we’re Conservative we must have less of that thanks.

      i don’t agree with the blanket assumption that if you haven’t lived in the inner city you don’t know what it’s like. you might have a good idea. or even if you don’t - why should you know what it’s like? why do you have to have personal experience of something in order to talk about it? so anyone who hasn’t been raped can’t talk about the problem of rape?

    40. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:28 pm  

      It’s a bit muddy these days. Once, you met a tory and you’d know he/she has rich parents, a priviledged education that’ll lead to a cushy job, hasn’t had much call to come by foreigners and shoots deer and quaffs champers

      But since new labour ballsed it up for so many, there are plenty of people leaning towards conservatism that can’t relate to any of the above. Hell many tories these days are even Asian…

      Maggie must be wanking and weeping at the same time

    41. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

      anyway the way i see it there’s always this hoo ha about lack of ‘authenticity’ and then at the same time if people just stuck to their own ‘realm of experience’ whatever the hell that is then there are complaints of ‘oh those people aren’t doing anything for us.

    42. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      i can’t see why people think Asians can’t be Tory. After all a lot of asians are conservative and don’t have any concept of socialism past their extended family. sounds just about right to me.

    43. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

      after all - where’s the welfare state in india/bangladesh/pakistan? it’s look after your own and no one else

    44. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

      yeah, that’s what my friend the labour mp says (and she’s private educated) and my friend the wannabe tory mp (ditto)… and so on… it’s just a ruse for cretinous privilege…. you can talk about it, sure, but do you have a right to look down your nose at those whose views have been hardened by the experience and do you really think you can represent them when wish to live apart from them at the earliest opportunity?

      as for infrastructure .. what are you on about? when it comes to economics i’ll kick your sorry ass all over the damn place

    45. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:36 pm  

      Bored, so some possible headlines regarding Doughty Street in the future

      Ian Dale caught with his pants down: Naughty Doughty

      They’re accused of only attracting toffs: Hoity Doughty

      They’re accused of being dull: Doughty Winks

      Ali Miraj gets done for plagarism: Ali Miraj & the Doughty Thieves

      They get sued: Nightmare on Doughty Street

      Tim Montgomery caught smoking crack: Pete Doughty

    46. Chairwoman — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

      We’re all middles class now :-)

    47. Chairwoman — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

      Damn MIDDLE class

    48. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:40 pm  

      no, there is no reason why an asia can’t be tory, on that at least i agree

    49. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

      either which way people just seem to want everyone to be selfish and grappling. that’s fine then..we get the message :-) anything else and oh you’re just a bleedin’ heart liberal.

      what’s so bad about that anyway. no worse than minding your own business and making lots of profit is it now. everyone’s gotta have their kicks some way or the other ;-)

    50. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

      and i can’t see who’s gets more conservative about race matters than your traditional asians.

    51. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

      Conservative means to holding on to what you have and doing what you have to stop anyone else getting it.

      Its the politics of the small-minded.

      The same types would sneer at those beneath them and be extra nice to those above.

      Its regressive and its demeaning. It cannot ever approach or pretend to be egalitarian.

      Don’t rely on Cameron’s self-delusion about conservative to mean conserving the environment as he seems to be saying. The question is more likely to be what is in it for his party and supporters by going ‘green’. Similar to, but not quite like, Mr Bush’s stand on Kyoto.

    52. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

      anyways el cid lots of people would rail on at you as being privileged to go to university and all that sort of thing oh and isnt it shocking how they get all the jobs.

      ( though that’s not quite true as the last audit or whatever showed all these shameless univ. graduates only go travelling and live off the state and don’t get themselves into gainful employment and isn’t that terrible)one reason why they were so happy to up the fees as they’d convinced some people that why should they pay for the privilege of some one else to go to univ when they didn’t want to go themselves) :-)

    53. Jagdeep — on 10th October, 2006 at 5:08 pm  

      Refresh #51

      Don’t they eat children, rape grandmothers, and plot to put working class people in gas chambers too?

    54. Refresh — on 10th October, 2006 at 5:45 pm  

      Jagdeep, now that is a slur.

      From the same ancestors that put working class people up chimneys.

    55. raz — on 10th October, 2006 at 5:47 pm  

      I think we need a video about Asian men growing dodgy goatees :)

    56. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 6:11 pm  


      “either which way people just seem to want everyone to be selfish and grappling. that’s fine then..we get the message anything else and oh you’re just a bleedin’ heart liberal.”

      The tragic and demoralising thing — which is why I’m beginning to think if you can’t beat them join them — is that 90% of privately educated liberals that I know are conservative defenders of privilege and of the unmeritocratic status quo when it comes to the education of their kids.

    57. Nyrone — on 10th October, 2006 at 6:16 pm  

      How about a short film exploring the root causes of British-Asian political apathy?

    58. Chairwoman — on 10th October, 2006 at 6:18 pm  

      How about a short film exploring the root causes of British political apathy, period. I think it’s osmosis.

    59. Vikrant — on 10th October, 2006 at 7:59 pm  

      I know are conservative defenders of privilege and of the unmeritocratic status quo when it comes to the education of their kids.

      Are you suggesting a centralised admission procedure to univesity with quotas for underclasses like in India? Think again…

      Neeways, El Cid, you have been away a long time. Newsflash: This private-school-educated-tory-supporting-teen has been deported to India by his parents… I’m doing IB here in… DBAIS Bombay’s…nay India’s… poshest school! *puffs chests*

    60. El Cid — on 10th October, 2006 at 8:41 pm  

      I just wrote a very long post explaining my views on private schools, the economic and social context, why it should not be taken personally, what should be done, for the good of the country, but it din’t make it, even when I was warned that I had made a duplicate comment. I give up! (*relief all round*)

    61. Vikrant — on 10th October, 2006 at 9:07 pm  

      Dont worry it must be trapped somewhere in the bowels of PP RSS… Maybe some mod could come to your rescue…

    62. Clairwil — on 10th October, 2006 at 9:53 pm  

      Nip up to a former mining village and see if they’ve forgiven the tories yet?

    63. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:24 pm  

      yah good point Chairwoman - 58. {everything doesn’tconstantly have to be bound up with asian ness does it?} the apathy’s pretty much across the board.

      i was going to say this earlier with all the talk of privilege and private schools :-) free education’s pretty privileged if you ask me! {yeah it’s a ‘right’ but how many people are privileged enough to have rights ?} :-) its silly to pay for what you could get free…! if people wanted to turn things on their heads they could point that out..

      in any case - ive no idea since i never went to school here - only university, but ive heard lots of horror stories. but the point is if governments don’t pay teachers enough schools are going to be crap and who can blame parents who aren’t satisfied. if they feel there aren’t good state schools then they’ll be tempted to send their kids to private schools. and it’s just the same thing like the public transport problem - if there ain’t good enough buses/trains etc. then people are going to drive! we all do what’s convenient for us.

      so let’s get some good public schools and some decent public transport and then there won’t have to be all this nasty resentment going around…

    64. Amir — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:28 pm  


      ‘Oh, and also worth reading this article by Ali Miraj.’

      This is one of the funniest things I have read in a long while. Don’t get me wrong: Mr Miraj’s article is a tour-de-force. Which is why I find your generous plug so perplexing.

      As Desmond would put it, ‘Why the change of heart brother?’


    65. Clairwil — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:27 pm  

      Or why not come along to my stamping ground and show how well (mostly) the native community and asylum seekers are getting on?

    66. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:15 am  

      To be honest Refresh, I’ve always thought of you as quite conservative.

      The way I see it, you’re socially fairly on the left. As in, you want equality, social justice, statism etc.
      But in your value system and way you see the world I think you’re quite conservative. You don’t come across as embracing change easily. You’re loath to having your values challenged (don’t mean this in a bad way), you like to keep things constant - living in a bubble kind of thing. I think that’s quite conservative.

      To me, liberal progressivism embraces change and a constant march to enlightened values (as a society) and rejecting excessive state influence (which is where the libertarianism comes in).

      I just generally think you’re more conservative than I am - like most British Asians.

      I think there are some points to be made in favour of the Conservatives. Shariq made some on Monday and I wholeheartedly stand by his stance. I think there are other positive reasons that I will outline tomorrow or so.

      Even Sonia is a bit of an libertarian anarchist - every person empowering themselves and banishing the state to be as small as possible. That is somewhat also how Conservatives think.

    67. Clairwil — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:40 am  

      I’ve tried to make suggestions. Other than the above you could film my post Darbyshires trauma, my thousand yard stare must be worth a minute or two.

    68. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:08 am  


      Sounds like I am all on my own.

      Is everyone becoming New Wave Tory?

    69. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:15 am  

      Thank you for suggestions too folks, keep them coming in and I will take some on board. Clairwil, I’d love to film you but you gotta come down to London-town!

      To assauge other fears. I am not throwing in the towel with any party as yet. If anything, we’ve been closest, ideaologically, to the lib-dems. I still remain on the left and hope to bring those sorts of issues to DS. We’ll see…

    70. Clairwil — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:16 am  

      Refresh don’t be silly. I’d sooner goose my mother than vote Tory. Perhaps we could be friends?

      Failing that where is Kismet?

    71. Clairwil — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:18 am  

      Tee hee!
      I shall be in London after New Year. I’m ready for my close up.

    72. Utbah — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:19 am  

      How about the power of the “Jewish Fundamentalists” who just stopped a talk, http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1892627,00.html

      Let’s look into other communities where free speech does not exist.

      Also, Sunny I’m hoping from some kind of response to this matter. As whenever it happens with Asians your the first to jump up from the crowd to be heard, so lets hear you roar

    73. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:21 am  

      The ONE thing that appealed to me about Blair was the thought we could destroy the Tories permanently, ushering in a new era. But of course Tony forgot and ‘had to’ become one. Thank you Mr Clinton and your ****** triangulations.

      And as clairwil reminds us, and Chairwoman elaborates - the Tory period was so appalling that to even consider that all over again is to will oneself into a coma.

      Sunny, have fun.

    74. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:39 am  

      The thought of it all is so bad, I’ve had to put on Dr Feelgood - something I’ve not seen since the mid-70s. Yes, with flairs!

      ps. Sunny, you are an honourable fellow in all other respects, so can I assume any information provided to the site (such as contact information) will not be passed over to Mr Toyota Camry. Of course any junk mail from the party of junk will be passed directly to you.

      pps. I know you had nothing to do with them at the time - but somehow you really do not understand what the ******* bastards did to this country!!!!!!!!

    75. justforfun — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:55 am  

      Refresh - are you mad?

      The ONE thing that appealed to me about Blair was the thought we could destroy the Tories permanently, ushering in a new era.

      I know you are jesting, but this sort of thing just leads to totalitarian states. Every country needs an effective opposition. Personnally I never vote for the party in power. Completely unprincipled.

      As I see it the usual pattern in Post war Britain - Labour provide the ideology for 5 years, appealing to the British sense of justice and fair play. The Conservatives provide the raw popularism of what is required by circumstance to correct whatever mistakes our hearts have made; and they stay in power longer because it takes longer to fix things than it takes to break. They fix Labour’s mistakes then start implementing their own ideas, - then we wake up and boot them out. Labour then come in and immediately break everything and we boot them out immediately. etc etc etc..

      The Conservatives have a use, just like vultures, to clean up the dead ideas and carcasses that we inflict on ourselves.

      The last 10 years have been unusual because at heart TB is a conservative so this pattern has been disrupted. To be honest, the English don’t know quite which way to go with him. Like a rabbit, caught half way accross the road - mmm - cross to the green grass or run back to mummy. We can’t make up our minds.

      If the 80s were bad , my god the 70’s were worse. How long was the waiting list for a ‘phone install’ from the Post Office? I remember the avocado trim phones, wow - what a revalation, a new product was offered in 20 years. The 70s were a crash dive to oblivion from which we just pulled out. We’re still not on a even flight but at least we have some altitude with which to playwith.


    76. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:23 am  

      Anywaaaay, in attempt to drag this thread back to something in the area of the topic at hand:

      Did anyone watch last night? What did you think? Is it all it’s cracked up to be (anti establishment etc) or just Tory TV? Thoughts…?

    77. justforfun — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:34 am  

      Sorry - how do we watch exactly - I only have freeview.

      However I did see Mrs Whatshername?

      It was Luvvie TV at its best - banal “what if?” fantasing - abit like UltimateForce with Ross Kemp and Spooks. Was it on ITV or BBC? - I can’t remember seeing any good adverts so I assume it was on the Beeb.


    78. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:44 am  

      It’s net tv. You can watch the archive here (as soon as they get it online that is): http://18doughtystreet.com/blog/

    79. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:08 am  

      yeah how does one watch this channel/ to start off with i haven’t got a tv ! do you need satellite or cable or something. should be - what’s an ‘internet-only’ tv channel in any case?

      i don’t see how it could possibly be anti-establishment to be honest with you. it’s fun and probably good for as an opportunity for some blogger types. it could be a way to establishment-ize the blogosphere to some degree :-) of course it doesn’t have to but…

    80. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:09 am  

      erm - i don’t know were the stray ’should be’ in my post up above came from..

    81. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:10 am  

      well just for fun maybe the reason the British public can’t make up their minds is because there’s not a lot to make their minds up on.

    82. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:26 am  

      You watch it on your PC. Anyway at least one US and very influential blogger isn’t impressed:

      I have been trying all day to watch 18 Doughty Street, the new British online political network. I have installed no end of needless crap on my Mac and on Firefox. I have tried to watch it in Firefox, Safari, and IE. And nothing works. I tried to leave them a comment but they made me go through some complex registration process. I tried to send them email but the link was broken. Arrrrggghhh. They have made this needlessly, stupidly complicated. I just one a few seconds to play. But it made a horrible buzzing noise, then lost its sound, then froze. Never put technology in the hands of pols. Damned disaster.


    83. justforfun — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:22 pm  

      Sonia #81 - you’re right.

      I try and steer clear of politics. I always guess the wrong winner and have no real feeling for what the great unwashed think - (strange that, because it is I get paid to anticipate what people will want).

      Even at the last election, my Labour MP was booted out. My constituency has always been a Labour/Conservative battleground for 50 years - and what do you know the Lib Dem won. I think the candidate was just as surprised as everyone else!!

      Personnally I think David Cameron is highly dubious because he has too many old Eatonians in his cabinet. Shows a lack of immagination and not being able to mix well on a deep level. He should be able to find others.


    84. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:41 pm  

      Sonia @ 63 - The level of political awareness and interest among the population at large is so small, that everyone else picks it up by osmosis. It would be a very short film. Sunny could face the camera and say ‘The reason Asians are politically apathetic is because everybody else here is’. And that would be that.

    85. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:42 pm  


      My intemperate comments were made as the memories of the Thatcher years came flooding back.

      When I said about destroying the Tories, I meant it. If they were not around then others would fill the space. The Lib Dems (as an example) as the opposition would have been preferable.

      Watching Portillo self-combust on election night 1997 was the great highlight - it showed how hated they really were. For me I thought the memories had faded, but this thread made me realise they had simply been filed away. And this morning reading what I had posted late last night, made me also realise they would never fade.

    86. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:53 pm  

      Where can I send in links for stories?

      I’d like to get Harry’s Place and Norm Geras’s take on this:


    87. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:13 pm  

      @ Jagdeep, hehe don’t hold your breath about them two covering that. I was in the middle of writing a piece about it for PP but figured I couldn’t be bothered with the whole thing again. It is starting to feel as though we talk about a very small number of things on here…

    88. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

      Leon it would be interesting to read your and their take on it though. =Maybe you could write a post specifically asking them to comment on it and structure the post around their conspicuous silence on it, and the reasons why Norma Geras and Harrys Place are silent about it. Surely they can put a positive spin on it.

    89. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      Not worth my time I’m afraid. I put up a post anyway because it is something PP discusses from time to time. That said I don’t expect much to come from it, cue rabid Israel/Palestine “debate”…

      Anyway, anyone else watch last night?

    90. Sid — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      Wonder why we don’t hear anything too clever from our gung-ho “Leftie” pro-war hawks, inclusive of Geras, Cohen, Aaronovitch anymore.

      Expect to hear lots of “whatabout (Iran/N Korea/Darfur)” arguments as rebuttal for their support of the Iraqi war instead.

      They must feel sooooooo vindicated now.

    91. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:33 pm  

      Watch what last night Leon? Yeah I’m with you on the Israel/Palestine thing. But the silence from Geras and Harry’s Place is deafening.

    92. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

      Watch what last night Leon? Yeah I’m with you on the Israel/Palestine thing. But the silence from Geras and Harry’s Place is deafening.

      The 18 Doughty Street broadcast.

      Regarding Iraq, the thread is up—->:)

    93. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:40 pm  

      Cheers Leon - nah mate I didnt get to watch that broadcast! I will when I get the time and keep an eye on the site. I thought you meant a football match or something and was scratching my head ;-)

    94. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

      Leon - Not from me. Sitting on hands in anticipation :-)

      Refresh - Intemperate remarks about Thatcher? The late Chairman always said that if he found that he had a terminal illness, he would find away to assassinate her. Unfortunately, he had a heart attack so was denied the pleasure.

    95. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:45 pm  

      LOL! And there was me thinking people actually read the thread titles…:P

    96. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:50 pm  


      I was trying to remain calm - and reasoned. OK on the second but failed on the first.

    97. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

      Leon - These threads are like conversation, people digress, but eventually come back to the original point. I like it.

    98. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

      Digressiong is cool but this one barely got past post six before going off on an odd tangent. This is a significant development in social media…

    99. justforfun — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      Refresh - fair enough.

      It is strange how the Lib Dems have not been able to replace either Labour or the Conservatives when both were out for the count.

      In the 90s till 97 why could the LIb Dems not replace Labour?

      Since 2001 why have the Lib Dems failed to replace the Conservatives?

      It seems that balancing on the centre ground takes alot of unprincipled political skill, rather than principled ideology; and have the Lib Dems got that? Unprincipled political skill does not mean one can’t be an honest polititian, its just that dis-honesty is not so easily unmasked as a failing when on the centre ground, as we have seen with Tony Blair, as political skills are used to mask the dishonesty. There is a greater correcting force on the pendelum if the dishonesty occurs in leaders who are at either end of the spectrum.

      Summary - extreme politians have to be honest or they are easily opposed. Centre ground politians are more adept at politics because to occupy the centre ground takes political skill. The politically skillfull can be honest or dishonest, but the dishonest ones use their political skills to mask their dishonesty.

      Forget the above - its a load of waffle. As I say - slow work day.


    100. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      hah ha its a bit of an oxymoron re: the Conservatives wanting a small a state as possible - not really so -that might be what they want others to think. in any case it all depends on what we understand the state to be. Difficult area this but not wanting to spend money on certain things seem to translate as ’small a state as possible’ but why? that appears to be accepted in our current paradigm of thinking but..why would they be a political party trying to get into power if that’s the case? Sure they want power - centralized power - they want to govern, they want to regulate according to their ideas. different ideas perhaps but in terms of what people understand by government - all these political parties seem to have exactly the same idea. we’re all so hung up on the word government it doesn’t seem to occur to people that you can different types of governance. my objection to the state is simply in most cases it’s taken for granted that it will be what people take for granted as government - coercive, top down, hierarchical, power grabbing and virtual dictatorship for the term in office. it’s a particular form of governance - it doesn’t have to be that way does it? who said that’s the only form of governance and social organization we can have? that’s what im interested in and damn difficult questions they are too. i question the assumption that the state has to be that way . there isn’t any focus on power - just oh what different set of policies can we come up with. there are more significant structural flaws - questions which haven’t even been accepted generally. the point is that there are a lot of aspects to this whole hoo-ha - e.g. the linear thinking to regulate or not to regulate in the same context. ‘government’ ‘regulation’ can all be red herrings. you can have no government and no regulation as we know it and still have powerful groups and social institutions and unwritten rules. i find it more useful to think in terms of those social realities.

    101. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

      i blame economists for trying to keep us firmly inside the box with this sort of thing.

    102. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

      erm..typos -100 - i meant..’there are different types of governance’

      ( i didn’t mean there’s option a b or c and you can pick one - but simply that existing governments are actually a type of governance mechanism rather)

    103. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

      so i should probably clarify that when i have issues with ‘the State’ i mean i have issues with those who’ve set themselves up in power in that particular kind of way and expect us all to just accept it. Yeah too damn right i have issues with that. if that makes me an anarchist - fine. i don’t know and i don’t care what labels people come up with. without governments, without the ‘State’ you can still have the kind of social problems we see today and in the past - obviously - and that’s the social reality im interested in. the other thing about the State that ive railed on before is the point about social legitimacy - and that’s what’s significant to me. without the social legitimacy there’s nothing much interesting about it. it would just be another set of people trying to exert power over others.

    104. ravi — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:07 pm  


    105. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:37 pm  

      oh yeah and before i forget the other main problem with national governments as they exist - the monopoly on violence. why should this be the case? you don’t see local government doing the same - no standing army no LB Lambeth and Southwark going to war with each other.

    106. justforfun — on 12th October, 2006 at 9:14 am  

      Sonia - I did read your reply. I just have to think of something to say :-), but the debate on the nation state is interesting. Some say the EU is a the next rise in the never ending rollercoaster of history, as this is the development on from the nation state.

      I fear it will not be a slow work day today.


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