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This can be a one-term Tory government. Labour need to start raising the cash to fight them

Posted on 22 May 2012 | 12:05pm

I am becoming more and more convinced that this could be a one-term government, and that David Cameron will go down in history as a one-term Prime Minister who never won an election.

It is not just about the economy, stupid. It is the fact that the government appears to be so clueless about what to do about it; and that they appear happier blaming anyone and everyone for what goes wrong rather than devising a strategy to give themselves a chance of things going right; and that they seem to dislike all the people they are going to need to work hard for them if their plans are to come to anything.

With the idea of a one-term Tory government as a good goal to have, Labour need to raise money for the fight ahead and I been press-ganged by former sports minister Dick Caborn again to help the Party put together a sports fundraiser in London on July 11. The previous sports dinners we organised were among the most successul, in terms of money raised, in the Party’s history. As I tweeted yesterday, a fantastic after dinner musical performance from Robin Gibb RIP was one of the reasons.

With the Olympics upon us, and the nation about to go even more sports mad than usual, it is a good time to remind people that contrary to Tory and media propaganda, Labour had a good record on sport, and not just because of the campaign to win the Games for London. Tony and Cherie Blair, who both played a big part in that particular campaign, are Patrons of the dinner, as is Sir Alex Ferguson.

Since tweeting this link about the event, which sets out the details and the prices for tables, unsurprisingly some Labour supporters have suggested it is beyond their reach. I understand that. But it is important we are not defensive about trying to raise money. For all their faults and their uselessness, the Tories can call on a lot of very wealthy people to fund their campaigns and come the next election, they will have all the money they need. Labour must do all it can to try to match them.

It is all very well for people to say they don’t like politics, as all too often people do, but in the modern age a Party that does not run an effective and well-organised campaign will do itself real damage. So anyone who wants to see the back of this government, and a Labour government back in power, should think about how they can help – practically, financially, in any way they can.

So apologies to all those who would like to be there, and can’t afford it. But to all who might be able to, please take a look, think about buying tables, or recommending the event to people who might, or save for an individual ticket, or if you have access to good auction and raffle prizes, then get in touch via 020 7783 1545 or email

Table sales are going well, and I am easily winning the battle with Dick and John Prescott about who can sell the most. But I will be very happy if they overtake me in the coming weeks. Fat chance. In it to win it …

  • Katie

    Holy shit, £500 for an individual ticket? That’s an order of 10 higher than I could possibly afford.
    But best of luck with the dinner! It sounds like it’ll be a good one, and I agree that raising money for the fight is essential.

    (Also, psst, your proofreader should take a second look at the third paragraph of this post – 2 errors.)

  • Anonymous

    Ha Ha – Goebbels in full flow here. So, you want people to save money only to blow it…sorry…spend it on a Labour Party fundraiser? I rather save money for a rainy day. Just imagine what you could do if you had an extra £500.

  • reaguns

    “I am becoming more and more convinced that this could be a one-term government, and that David Cameron will go down in history as a one-term Prime Minister who never won an election.”

    Could happen alright. One of Mehdi Hasan’s last acts on the New Statesman was to point out to everyone that many of those who said Labour had handed the next election to the Tories by picking Ed Miliband, have now changed their tune. (Sorry can’t get link on this device.) Credit to those such as Peter Oborne and Alastair Campbell who have said all along that Ed Miliband is underrated. After all, the most likely outcome of the next election is another hung parliament, and either Tories or Labour will be slightly ahead of the other and have to persuade the lib dems to form another coalition, but it could well be with Ed.

    “It is not just about the economy, stupid. It is the fact that the government appears to be so clueless about what to do about it; and that they appear happier blaming anyone and everyone for what goes wrong rather than devising a strategy to give themselves a chance of things going right;”

    I think this is both true, and is seen as such by the vast majority of people I hear on the street. One thing I would say, Labour liked to blame the “Global ™ Financial Crisis”, even though there were plenty of countries within the ‘global’ system who weathered it infinitely better than us. Tories now like to blame the “mess the last labour government left us” and “the problems in the eurozone” for everything that has went wrong. I disagree with the blame game in all 3 of these, but I will say for certain that the circumstances of the financial crisis was certainly a bigger external impact on the Labour government than the situation left by them was for the Tories, or than the Eurozone has provided thus far. There could yet be a bigger eurozone calamity on the horizon, but doubtful if it could be as bad as the crash of 2008.

  • reaguns

    I thought the idea Alastair posted on Twitter was a good one re the fundraiser, have a raffle, winner gets to go to fundraiser.

  • Alex Gallagher

    Alastair, we need the money, we need organisation and we need policies.

    In Scotland we need all of these to win the “independence” referendum in 2014, otherwise 2015 in the UK is unpredictable…..

  • Libdem

    If you win independence then the ‘rump’ will probably be tory….not necessarily something to look forward to and we will no longer be the UK.

  • Michele

    Very funny episode on radio this afternoon, Robert Peston having the hots about Mrs Lagarde.

    It’s worth pointing out that her
    ‘ …. when I think of 2010 … something something ,,,,,,, and no plan  …. I shiver (or shudder)’
    cue Mr Peston needing a spray of Evian  …….

    Thing is there was a plan, a longer and shallower one and if that had been being implemented we would still be a long way out of our deficit by now as well as not having the horrendous lack of growth (and hope).  ]
    Stephanie Flanders was very objective about what the media is ignoring about what she said.

  • Michele

  • Michele

     I’m really really really sure that prospective attendees will all be glad to read of your promise.

  • Gilliebc

    I just knew this latest blog post of AC’s would bring you out of the woodwork again scrote, er scooke.  You are so predicable!   And before you answer by saying I’m predicable also, you would do well to remember that I’ve managed to ignore your last couple of posts.     
    Btw congrats. on being a non drinker or smoker.  Perhaps you are a bit of a control freak.  If you reckon AC is Goebbels, what does that make you I wonder.  Oswald Mosely perhaps?

  • Janiete

    It was quite amusing today listening to Osborne trying to spin a ‘things are not going very well’ message from Christine Lagarde into ‘the IMF supports our deficit reduction plan’ good news story. It sounded more like a ‘you’re making a bit of a bugger of it’ judgement to me!

    But it isn’t just the economy, as if that weren’t bad enough. It’s the more pervasive impression that they really haven’t got a clue at all, about anything. The teacher’s left the room and the kids are in charge. Cameron and Osborne especially, are just going through the motions, trying to look and sound the part, particularly when the cameras are around. But there is no depth, knowledge, intelligence or judgement in their policies. They are even bad at being Tories.

    Listening to evidence from the Leveson Inquiry today I was struck by something Alan Johnson said about needing to take a decision as Home Secretary, not as a Labour politician who could exploit opposition embarrassment over Coulson. This statesmanlike outlook contrasted markedly with so much we see from Cameron and Co. where party political considerations seem to drive so much of what they do. 

    Rather than introducing new initiatives to tackle today’s problems, they seem far more interested in undoing successful Labour initiatives, putting together renamed, cheaper, weaker alternatives which are basically addressing the same problems anyway. We’ve seen this with TPIMs, a weaker alternative to Control Orders, and now with CRIMBOs which will replace ASBOs. 

    It’s almost as if the rebranding is an objective in itself. Perhaps that’s not a surprise given Cameron’s PR background and the tendency we all have, when we are out of our depth, to fall back on things we think we know well. But that doesn’t address the needs of the country and  we have a right to expect much more from our leaders than the current incumbents seem able to give. 

    I think you’re right about the one-term government. They haven’t enough ideas to fill five years let alone ten. Good luck with your fundraising iniiatives, the country desperately needs a government that is fit for purpose.

  • Anonymous

     “…still be a long way out of our deficit by now..”  Do you actually mean that the deficit would be a LOT less? Wow, I know Macro economics is not your strong point, but there is no need to open your gob and prove it. Nobody has a clue as to how to get the economy growing. That’s why we’re in this mess.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the one, thanks.

    I meant to add, the only possible black swan would be if ukip could persuade some of the thatcherites who no longer vote for the ‘wets’ to come out and vote ukip, but I doubt that given as many of them are dead and replaced with non-thatcherites.

    Also I don’t see Ukip ever becoming the UK version of the GOP, ie a non-embarrassing conservative party, too many would be mussolinis and pinstriped godfreys for mass appeal. Even a decimated lib dems should see them off. So I’d expect fewer votes for Tories next time, fewer for lib dems and obviously more for labour. Doubt if there’ll be a labour majority, but they could be more than tories, or big enough along with lib dems to form a government.

  • Ehtch

    It certainly is going to be quite a job to raise the coin these days, but it can be done. Doing as many functions as possible is even more important now. It it will be up to as much as possible for those who can give more, to do so. And yes, it needs to really get up and running now.

    And when the time comes, as many volunteers as possible to help in the backrooms, too.

    It will be interesting to see what the LibDems will get up to, and how they perform doing such. As for the Torys, that goes without saying – their mates in the closed square mile will see them right, as well as their tax exiled friends.

  • Ehtch

    Don’t think Independence for Scotland will come in before 2015. It no doubt will take a few years after the referendum for the date. That is if they choose to do so.

    Ten less Welsh MP’s next time round, forty down to thirty. Have lost touch with that. I take it it is still going through for next GE?

  • Anonymous

    Been looking into Ken Livingstone’s anti-debt credentials. Rather impressive so far. Big association with Ann Pettifor, one of the honourable few economists who predicted the Financial crisis.

    Of course no one in modern labour wants to hear any of that, they want us to believe that no one saw the crash coming (the bookshelves of amazon and waterstones prove that wrong with many economists both of right and left predicting it) and of course they really don’t want to hear that debt is bad.

  • Anonymous

    Apparently both Osborne and Balls feel totally vindicated by Lagarde’s words today! No wonder seeing as their is only a cigarette paper between them anyway, ie Osborne doesn’t really believe in austerity and Balls doesn’t really believe in Keynes.

  • Anonymous

    Ps You may be aware already, but we were talking a while back about Gillian Tett, and you were saying about how her wider experience outside of pure economics had informed and enhanced her understanding of economics, we were talking about her travels around the world etc.

    Anyway tonight I was watching an interview with Ann Pettifor, former Ken Livingstone adviser supposedly, and she was talking about how she used to go round the world to advise countries on their debt problems, from African nations, to Hong Kong, to Indonesia, and this gave her an overview of the world, which then enabled her to predict the next nations to suffer the most serious debt problems: US and UK.
    Thats how she predicted the crash.

    Anyway, just thought it was interesting, similar to the Gillian Tett situation.

  • Tony St. George

    Here’s hoping, Alastair …

  • At 500 quid per ticket you are not going to have many laboures at the fuction. Certianly not those without a job at the present moment. If you want to win elections on the backs of the poor and unemployed this is srtange thing to do. Labour..ppfft. They are Consertives in all
    but tho brown shoes. 
    Des Currie

  • Anonymous

    I really was not going to say anything…but predicable? Not once but twice? As in adjective of predicate? Which by the way mean logical conclusion. So what you’re saying is that my posts are logical. Thank you very much!
    So, being a non-drinker & non-smoker makes me a control freak? No wonder this country is a mess. Are you jealous that I’m able to do this & you aren’t? Awww, poor thing.

  • Michele

     There is five years between them, first five years in which the cuts would not be so deep, growth would not be negative (silly phrase eh?). VAT would not have been raised, spending would not have almost stopped and the NHS etc would not be being ravaged by foreign ‘investors’ thinking only of their own capital and asset growth. 
    See the info I’ve placed for your Klingon fgs about how much US patients are charged for pacemakers compared to what OUR NHS USED to supply them to PCTs for. 
    Think about which lobbyists will be leeching off our EX-NHS via its new owners and think which other lobbyists (trained by Mrs Lansley) will be competing with them.

    Second five years would be boring and seem interminable but we would only on our knees by then (instead of the many that look like dying on trolleys in hospital corridors as they used to in ’97 – I know).

  • Michele

     Oh heck, the genius is on thread.

    Which pot do you suppose this coalesced mess is placing the bank repayments in to?  Debt or deficit?

    Sooooo funny that Chloe Smith (she of the English Lit degree immediately followed by a career as an ‘investments adviser’ at Deloitte Touche) asked presenter for a 1:1 Q&A rather than risk a debate with fellow guest Rachel Reade last night …….  Ernie or Osbo might have put the wrong friend on the fast track, she sooo needs the nursery slopes before repping govt on TV or radio (just as I would).

  • Michele

     You seem to be presuming that nobody else forecast what would happen, that nobody else understands the laws of physics. 
    Very few things can keep going up forever and that includes most wealth … it’s not in the ether, it’s actual …… and I’m sure GB / AD were not taken by surprise as you seem to have presumed. 

    There’s no point having it if not using it before it’s evaporated anyway by whatever other countries are doing in the one world as it is now.
    If GB and AD had tried to stifle spending (irresponsible spending) that some people indulged in, said people could have done the same anyway. 
    The internet has changed so much.

    A large cause of house-prices rising as they did was the arrival, only about 12 or so yrs ago, of buy to let mortgages. 
    People being financed/lent to, to buy more properties than their own residence or holiday home was an awful development. 
    People being funded to become landlords was often the same as people being funded to rip off DSS. 
    Yep, I’m back to my fave target of landlords as benefit scroungers.

  • Michele

     I’ve always really really liked Mehdi Hasan but must confess am confused by a video linked in to the blog beneath his article from AndyPijkujik  on 21st.
    I don’t know how old it is and whether it starts with a snip from a drama he was acting in or it’s ever been  his own beliefs or what ?!

    It ends with him advising what various people and govts have said that is anti-weapons (especially nuclear) – which comes as a relief after what had gone before.

    If anyone knows the context of the first part it would be very welcome, these things, if distortions should be stifled before they become the stuff of manipulated  legend (as with KL).

  • Gilliebc

    Just for your information I have no interest whatsoever in alcohol and I never have.   

    It’s a lovely sunny day scooke, so go and enjoy it 🙂   That’s what I intend on doing.

  • reaguns

    Congrats on the new job Alastair!

  • reaguns

    Thats simply not true, either through being misinformed, or through unstoppable arrogance, Brown did absolutely not see the bubble coming, not when those economists did anyway. If he had, the solution was simple – higher interest rates. Deflate the bubble before it got too big. We all know the BOE is not really independent anyway. They didn’t see it coming either, despite Kings weasel words now.

    Now I am not a fan of Gordon Brown but I will give him some credit – he knows what to do if you see a bubble coming, and he knows what to do (in mainstream thinking) once a bust has arrived. He is also not an evil man. He would not have deliberately allowed the crisis to happen if he had foreseen it in time to stop it.

    I am in some way in agreement about the buy-to-lets, and other housing matters, however again without artificially low interest rates, this would have happened on a vastly smaller scale. Change whatever laws you want, if it was 20% downpayment and 10% interest, there would have been a lot less of them and the end result would have been cheaper house prices, which is what’s best for the country and best for the majority of the people. (And there is a clear way to help the minority its not best for – mortgage union (another “uber-rightist” policy eh?))

  • Michele

     You don’t get it do you?

    Labour is about levelling UP.
    It’s the mess (looking less messy today eh with Vincie and others detaching themselves?)  that want others trodden down.
    Wonder what their Klingons think of ‘muttering idiots’?

    Do you seriously think Labour has no rich supporters? 
    Why would that be?
    I’m not sure that becoming better off has a requirement to be or become selfish and greedy, would such a word as ‘philanthropist’ even exist if so?

    I’m puzzled by the dual-ID but always-single siggie; is it to be taken for granted that Gill would agree with your every post?

  • Ehtch

    Get the tombola out.

  • Ehtch

    As long as Nige Farge keeps his feet on the ground next time around, or gets a smaller banner to tow.

    Would be quite funny seeing Nigel Farage taking Clegg’s place next time around. Can you imagine him standing in at PMQ’s? It would be hilarious, and certainly a “have another glass of wine” moment. But it won’t happen, we hope.

  • Michele

     Did GB have control over international (Spanish, Icelandic and American) banks then?

    The first buy to let mortgages were from US banks setting up in UK.

    You’ve never heard of dominoes?

  • Cameron Gideon & his merry band of Ministers’ policy seems to be:
    Plan A: A is for Austerity
    Cuts Cuts Cuts Cuts. Cuts To Social Care, NHS, Local Government, Central Government anywhere where it takes money from those most in need and help of Public Services. Whilst at the same time demonising  and demoralising those that strive to continue to deliver these services, by attacking their pay, pensions, working conditions, calling them wealth-sucking parasites, whilst supporting the rich by increasing their standards of living in the vain excuse it creates growth and enterprise.
    Make large numbers of ordinary people unemployed. thinking it drives down wages inflation and interest rates, whilst actually increasing inflation and randomly forgetting it increases benefit payouts and reduces the tax take.  Answer – cut benefits to the most deprived in society.
    Keep blaming the previous government for as long as possible. It is two years in Cameron, how much longer can you blame Labour. Today’s shambolic “Idiot” jibe at Ed Balls shows both Cameron’s arrogance and ineptitude –  all he can do is resort to cheap jibes and anger.  Witness his “calm down dear” etc, Iain Duncan Smith’s performance on Question Time a few weeks ago, he looked angry and annoyed, at the majority of the audience who dared to question his party’s policies and clapped his opponents points.  If this is all Labour’s fault why is the whole of €urope suffering?  The reason UKplc does not suffer as much as €urope is through the actions Gordon Brown completed, efforts Cameron attempts to replicate, but fails, yet blames Brown Balls etc.

    Lecture the ordinary people about behavior, witness last years riots where people are jailed for 6 months for stealing a bottle of water, but resort to personal insults and blame everyone else except for the rich. Who’m it’s allegedly OK to accept £250,000 from to meet.  See the irony there Dave?

    Come up with mad policies like making it easier to sack people / reduce Employee rights, to create more wealth, growth etc (really to make more money for his cronies so they can have a revolving door policy, no fault, no redundancy pay, no rights.)

    Plan B: B is for NO BLOODY PLAN B Because
    1. Dave & Gideon do not have the intellect to consider alternatives
    2. The Plan A suits their ideological needs
    3. It is a Tory Wet Dream with an alleged excuse Blame Labour blame €urope

  • Ehtch

    Furthermore, on the fifty MP reduction in Westminster that is supposed to happen, not much discussion on fixed Parliaments that Clegg was so LibDem pathetically working for, what with our supposed vast deficit.

    Why doesn’t at least The Guardian discuss fixed Parialment Government and fifty less MP’s dyspropotionally across our land, at least? London thing, as I have been suggesting Islington to them recently? Are they sleep walking on actions underhand by this nonsense comming politically corrupt set-up, in their sleep? Too Many Islington LibDems in The Guardian? Ahhhhh, yes, that is it, I get it now.

    Oh gawd.

  • Janiete

    As with so many of today’s problems, you can go further back to the early/mid 80s Michele, when Thatcher facilitated a fundamental change to the way Building Societies were regulated. Once they were allowed to operate as banks, established sensible lending limits were relaxed to feed the rapid rise in house prices.

    As a result it has become the norm to encourage people to take out far larger morgage debts than they can reasonably repay. The result: outrageously overblown house prices, which will blight the lives of our young people for years to come.

  • Ehtch

    Off topic again, but celtic league Rabodiect final on Sunday Alastair, heads up, unless you want to watch basketball from the US or something, baseball god forbid, Swansea Ospreys visiting Dublin Leinster to win the league, a must watch.

    Here is how Ospreys put away Munster the spawny ones in success in the semi final play off. Poiter the french ref behind the whistle on Sunday, thank the lord,

    4pm kick-off, BST. Gawd knows whatt channel it is on England. S4C it looks, live online, as usual, 3:25 start, in well welsh, sunday, dydd sul,

  • Anonymous

    Well, I guess you’ll be meeting the kind of guys who can afford these prices through Portland.  And I hope you bring some on board.  Cheers (with a coca-cola).  

  • Michele

     Further to the above I’ve read around and now understand that since the horrible video of Mehdi Hasan was made he joined Quilliam  some time ago.

    If he or fellow members there can forever be misrepresented on the web, by videos that can’t be removed like the one on the NS blog, it can’t be helpful for them or anyone else. 

    Quilliam is a force for good but I’m sure that its membership not
    being listed prominently on the site can’t help anyone (especially not high
    profile people like MH). 

    It needs some time and some motivation / faith to trawl to find details ….. rather than
    swallowing any old bit of propaganda from right wing fanatics.

  • reaguns

    Yes, if George Soros or Warren Buffet were British they might well back Labour. Dunno who the british equivalents are… Alan Sugar?

  • reaguns

    To be honest I think Nigel Farage would be a natural at PMQs! He knows his economics, he’s got the humour and he is very clear on his policies and positions. I happen to think he is much more likeable than Clegg, Cameron or Osborne for example. He can overdo the shouty blustery populist rhetoric of course, but that seems to go down well in forums like Question Time and PMQs! Perhaps in another time he would have been a high ranking Tory but they have just moved too far away from right wing thatcherite values for him, despite the nonsense often spouted by the likes of Andy Burnham, and last week by Peter Hain that this government is “very right wing!” There are a lot of valid criticisms that can be made of david cameron, but right wing is not one.

  • Ehtch

    twenty minutes to newsnight, the clock ticks down, who is on it tonight, not Paxo since he is preoccupied, one of the ladies> Or Gavin Esler, but what is the differnece, hate deciding which shop to visit with him…
    Kirsty was out in France the other dat, wotsername last night. Looks like Gavin then, who looks as if he wants to get into my pants.

    Song for Gavin, even if you are either,

    (took me quarter of an hour to find the above track – I am stuborn, five minutes to go)

  • Ehtch

    WHAT WORK!!!!!!

  • Ehtch

    knew newsnight would be london suddenly sensing it tonight pathetically, beebwise, i yes did, sense,
    another song true time social engineering blue sky fantacising, twits,

    Shove off london shepherds little england world beeb, off my isle p[lease, we will be better for it, truely honestly. Go fuck to the US to be plastic jurnos, good god please.

  • mightytmark

    I suppose the best interpretation that can be put on it is that he was addressing an audience of “the faithful” and felt the need to pander to their presumed prejudices. I’ve commented on this sort of thing before here and described the practice as insulting to many if not most Muslims.

    If that interpretation if right what does that say about Mehdi Hassan as a person – and that of course, is before you start to consider worse interpretations.

  • Ehtch

    ‘king it, an european song, whe napolean bothered north western Spain, after enchroaching it hysterical moors unrealised times in past, celtic type people, and all that, I have several european songs for sense, today,
    down the west atlantic coast of friends, sea travelling, time in immorial old.

  • Michele

    ‘……  you’re making a bit of a bugger of it’ 
    Snigger …… which I know I shouldn’t use for fear of people searching for part of it!!!!

    I so like that summation, compared to my usual boring equivalent of ‘they’ve got to put a positive spin on things’.
    Yep, Ms Lagarde has definitely called time for Plan B.

  • reaguns

    Newsnight brilliant tonight. Welfare debate.

    Ken Livingstone was frighteningly good, as he always is on tv, just like George Galloway.He spoke against mean testing because its too bureaucratic – where was he when we needed him!Spoke of reducing benefits bill, by reducing housing benefit by capping rent. Thats not a silly idea, though probably too socialist even for modern labour. The good news is that capping housing benefit will achieve the same aim.

    It would be easy to reduce benefits, the economics and the morals are clear, but for every suggestion Gavin Esler kept asking “But is it politically possible.” And it probably isn’t. That’s the bit thats hard. Then again keep going as we are and we’ll slide so far down that people will demand another Thatcher – people should understand this and act to avoid it.

    Either that or we need a “Nixon in China” labour government to reduce benefits. There was a lot of praise for Clinton’s very tough welfare reforms in 1996.

  • reaguns

    Great documentary tonight “China vs USA: Empires at War”.
    More of this, along with people like John McCain and Mitt Romney stating that Russia remains USA’s number one geopolitical enemy, might remind people that Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan/Al Qaeda = relatively small beer.

  • reaguns

    Just saw top analyst from China say that the 3 likely possible future powers are USA, USE (United States of Europe), and Greater China.

    He said USA will remain the top power, the chances of USE becoming a power “are (then he giggled) very slim!”
    China is the unknown he said, somewhere in between the two. 

  • You are a sign of the times.Do you not remember a age when those at the tables with wanton appetites said of those hungry on the outside, “Let them eat cake”. It is the principle. Or don’t you think the economic crisis is realy real?
    Philanthropists don’t need to pay for dinner, only wanabee philanthropists.
    Gill seldom agrees with me on anything. Such is life when you have been together for 48 years.
    Des Currie  

  • Michele

     ……………….. “The good news is that capping housing benefit will achieve the same aim………………..”

    Nope, the good news would be the govt having the wherewithalls to say that it’s landlords they’re tapping back.
    Oh silly me noooo ….. said voters are theirs!

    It’s so much easier and more populist to blame their hapless tenants.
    No need to worry about the effect on society and opinions between groups of people so that even more of ‘us’ look down on claimants.

  • Michele

    I’ve subsequently searched around and find that he is an admitted past radical.
    He is now a member of Quilliam Foundation.

  • Michele

     I’m also not sure which is worst Mark. 
    Hmmmmm, being called ‘cattle’ by someone repeating another’s words while clearly temporarily under the influence of people he subsequently spurns OR being called prejudiced by someone that will never have the independence to reject the brainwashing in themself.

  • reaguns

    I agree the building site reorganisation was a crucial factor. But as with so many things, people say “We/They shouldn’t have done that” yet refuse to put things back like they were.

    Another crucial factor was the movement away from Trustee Savings Banks (TSBs) and our adoption of deposit insurance for the first time. I think I’m right in saying both of these happened under Maggie’s watch too (just about… in 1979) so she must take some blame, though the main reason was that the enormous inflation of the 1970s made so many people run from these safe accounts, making TSBs unviable, and deposit insurance a necessity. Deposit insurance in turn provided the main moral hazard behind the crash.

    If we had had our deposits in TSBs and our mortgages under the control of old fashioned Building Societies, this “crisis” would have been no such thing for us, we would have weathered the storm just fine.

  • reaguns

    I have but see my post above.

    Anyway, increasing interest rates would still have popped our bubble, it would actually have made us less exposed to Spanish/Icelandic/American banks, higher rates here would have meant the banks had more incentive to lend to here rather than to there. And if those foreign banks owe us less money, then its less of a concern.

  • mightymark

    If I might be allowed a religeous quote “there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repentetyh etc” and for Hassan, Quilliam at  least looks like he doth repenteth.

    Odd that you needed to dig though – I’d have thought given his “past” he’d want to trumpet it. Mind you  I can think of one pretty good reason why not all Quilliam supporters would want to be too high profile about it – can’t you?

  • Ehtch

    Not a track to watch if you are epileptic, by the way, or a witch or a vampire/bat.

    Got a bit worked up with Newsnight last night, you may have noiced – they too many times come across as too comfortable, and tend to be rarely hard hitting these days. Too coffee morning polite, eats and nibbles and biscuits, and tennis court.

  • Ehtch

    Come on reaguns, this coalition is so right-wing, it is on a par with Attila the Hun, mun!

  • Michele

     For all you and I know he did trumpet it …. at the time he joined.  Perhaps he hasn’t trumpeted it continuously since then for the same reasons that other people don’t echo their mea culpa ad infinitum or perhaps even because of modesty or the dilligaf reactions of certain cynical types (naming no names Mark)

    Wonder if there’s anything inate to about the media and ihis move not being broadcast more widely?  It can’t be that the media is biased can it?   Surely not.

    I posted when I’d first found the link asking why MH would not have such horrible yutubes taken down but you know what?  I’ve realised it was a bit ingenuous or a lot stupid of me.  After all won’t there always be someone like Rod Liddle or Andrew Gilligan (both on the Spectator) to constantly and always dredge it up again with no explanation or updating (real info not actually being the name of their game).

  • Michele

     It’s one ‘s’ btw Marc, think you can remember that in future?

    Thanks awfully old bean  xxx

  • Michele

    I think the Labour Party needs funds Des, are you really not able to understand that that is what the table price AND the dinner AND the meet’n’greet AND the brave face (coming out if you like) is about?

  • Michele

     Interesting programme here, way over my head, about the responsibility of the ‘big 4’ auditing companies and their lack of foresight re the dominoes.

    I’m still hoping to hear the IMF cop some of the blame …. nasty aren’t I? 

  • Michele

    Ooops, think I flunked the link, should be on iPlayer later :

    Perhaps you’ll start blaming someone/thing other than those looking after the nitty gritty of one country!

  • Dave Simons

    By the way, speaking of a sunny day,  did you know Shakespeare was a Yorkshireman?

    Shall a compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Tha’ moor luvely an’ moor temperet.
    Rough winds do sheck  ‘ darlin’ buds o’ May,
    an’ summer’s lease ‘as all too short a date.
    Sometimes too ‘ot, ‘ eye o’ ‘eaven shines,
    etcetra, etcetra…..

  • mightymark


    I speak as someone who has a very unusual name (not my blog name) and I have lived my entire life with people getting it wrong both spelling and pronunciation – sometimes hilariously so. So it is a matter of total bewilderment to me why people get so het up about this sort of thing.

    My most charitable response is usually to think they must have something missing from their lives.

  • Ehtch

    money for old rope….

  • Mark

    I am aware of  a number of sites and sources that have been monitoring MH for years – some of which have a fairly soft spot for Quilliam. I  think it unlikely (though not perhaps impossible) that had he trumpeted it none of these would have picked it up.

    You yourself say the videos were “horrible” so I imagine you have seen them – so have I. You also say you have “always really liked”  MH.

    Would it not be very admirable of him to come clean about these videos and explain what the hell he was doing in them? As I said/implied above everyone can repent and should be respected when they do so, but confession is sometimes necessary too when one wishes to be taken seriously. That is what for example, Ed Hussain has done.

    It would also in the eyes of most fair minded people defang anyone who in bad faith  wanted to “constantly and always dredge it up again”.   

    I note in passing above that you suggest that my veiws are the result of ” brainwashing”.
    Don’t you think it the height of arrogance to assume that someone you disagree with must be “brainwashed”?  What price now all your sanctimonious “we are only all equal” stuff – out of the window isn’t it.

    I always pay poeple to compliment of assuming their views are genuine – especially when I barely know them. I pay you the same compliment. I am sure for example that the apologism for Islamist extremism that I detect running through many of your posts is thoroughly heartfelt, however I am forced to depart from my ususal practice in my suspicion that your thinly veiled attempts to call out those who draw attention to it as “islamophobes” is as disingenuous as it is oppportunistic

  • reaguns

    I believe it would shake out to the same effect, roughly. If you own two houses, should you be forced to rent one of them out, and if so should you not be allowed to charge what you like / what you can get?

  • reaguns

    Pt 2, you are going to say something about landlords, or buy to let or whatever – now you are into the tory and new labour voters, who over committed themselves to daft mortgages in the boom, and now govt is using QE to keep the prices artificially high (whilst devaluing them in real terms – sleakit). The government shoul not be helping such folk, but it is.

  • reaguns

    Wasn’t Attila the Hun a socialist lol 🙂

    I’d be a lot more likely to vote for Attila the Hun than this lot… know where you stand with him…

  • mightymark

     A final thought on “prejudice” ( I comment on  “brainwashing” below). What MH says int he “horrible videos” can not really be desscribed as “prejudice” other perhaps than in a competition for the understatement of the year.

  • reaguns

    You were saying that Brown saw it coming, I say he didn’t.

    There were external shocks, but only our organisation, our own personal housing and credit bubble meant the shock hit us.

    Thats not to blame brown and co too much, for the simple reason that though it was a UK problem, it was one shared with US, and would have been the same under the current Democrat, Republican, Tory or Labour parties.

  • reaguns

    You were saying that Brown saw it coming, I say he didn’t.

    There were external shocks, but only our organisation, our own personal housing and credit bubble meant the shock hit us.

    Thats not to blame brown and co too much, for the simple reason that though it was a UK problem, it was one shared with US, and would have been the same under the current Democrat, Republican, Tory or Labour parties.

  • Do  what Obama did. Gather a penny from every supporter.
    Des Currie 

  • Anonymous

    That’s as maybe, but if your actions (as, I assume, still a Labour person) are anything to go by, Labour will not be any different. How can you even consider working for a company that advises the most blatant tax avoiders in this country? Shame on you!

  • Michele

    I am not an apologist for radical Islam in the same way I don’t excuse extremist politicos pretending to be motivated by any religion, yours included.  Easy enough for you?

    Extremist political views riding on that  are repellent, fact, just as are the -ist tendencies (as opposed to -ic) on Islam. 

    What sort of people do you imagine have sullied the blog on NS?  The same (sort?) that have been found out for racist, sexist posts elsewhere but have claimed IDs had been nicked … LOL?  It’s amazing what one misses for months on end  ……..

  • Michele

     Some examples here of MH’s stand.

    Seems to me he has a lot more honesty about the aberrations committed ‘in the name of’ his religion than have members of so many others.
    MH seems more willing than some to  separate and disown the political add-ons to their religion from the core of it.

  • Michele

     Wow, take that to its extreme and anyone with the cash or the loan or the investor  should be able to go shopping, buy the whole stall then flog it on for as much as they can get. 
    Get outside the money fgs, the world isn’t there just for those with the energy to rape it.

  • Michele

     I think it’s a sign of respect to use someone’s ACTUAL name once one knows it. 
    Spelling variations are even a feature used to cover their trails used by some people so you surprise me :-s

  • Michele
  • Michele

     ……..”Would it not be very admirable of him to come clean about these videos and explain what the hell he was doing in them?……….”

    He has done so, link placed.
     Given your ‘monitoring’ of him that goes  back a few years I assume your excuse might be that you  wore blinkers (or a blindfold) or don’t fully grasp how to be objective.

    My excuse?  None.

  • Michele

    May must have been reading the Wail or Express with the tosh about kids treating asbos as ‘status symbols’ or be stupid enough to place faith in silly yatter.

    A persistent petty criminal that could not be jailed for their petty crimes could be jailed for breaching their asbo.  Once jailed their ill-gotten gains could be impounded, their cannabis factories in spare bedrooms be poisoned.

    This is yet another instance of her just not getting the detail (something so well-proved at Heathrow).

  • Michele

     The laws of what goes up must come down are known to most adults.  Preparations have to be made in all examples of it, there is no (and would have been no) point at all in anyone pre-empting any of it when it was on its way in economics arenas.

    I don’t believe that GB could have handled things better than he did you will not persuade me otherwise, you have no way of proving your ‘theories’ WERE at the time any better than those of GB and AD (latter brill on Hardtalk this week).

    Chill out fgs.

  • Whatifs

     Think you’re getting confused with Robin Hood.

  • Michele
  • Michele

     The word ‘prejudice’  wasn’t describing MH though was it?

    Most of us come in to contact with all sorts of influences during our lives and reach the other end of all the newness, make a choice about which theories we’ll adopt.

    Some of us can’t, those that are bound, owned (as in trapped) or blackmailed.  I’m not envious of them. 

    It looks to me as if MH came to his own decision as a human.

    In finding the article to link for reaguns and not realising it was followed by something I found dislikeable I then looked for more info. 

    I was ignorant at the time of how far back this scandalous pillorying goes ….. stalking and defaming of someone’s temporary belief in distortions of his religion.

    How old does anyone else need to be to reach such maturity?

    I notice that the IJV petition is growing btw. 
    Re your dismissal of its quantity the other week …… to reverse an old colloquialism ….. never mind that, look at the quality :

  • reaguns

    Absolutely, thats why its called the free market. Do you think that people like me believe that would be good because then all the rich people could just own everything? Or do you think we might just believe it because free market policies will turn out to be the best way to help the poor? You might think we are wrong, but its odd to question motives so.

  • reaguns

    Yeah but he deserves that after the hard yards he’s put in up till now lol. Hope he still has time for blogging though.

  • reaguns

    Then that indicates that you are a True Believer, and of course no one can ever persuade one of those. It has become psychological at that point, your ‘tribe’ or ‘guru’ becomes Our Dear Leader and can do no wrong.

    I don’t expect you to be able to do this, but imagine britain had no crisis and you just had George Bush bailing out the banker gamblers, and not punishing them for risking people’s savings or ruining the economy. What would you think then? If it had been David Cameron or John Major in power doing what Brown did, what would you think then? You won’t know so I’ll tell you: you’d think they were taking money off poor taxpayers to give to rich bankers, and you’d be right.

    Do you disagree with Tony Blair then who said that Brown’s response was too statist and Keynesian, that he should have taken a New Labour route out of the crisis?

    And there are countless examples throughout history of bubbles being popped by those who see them coming, or dealing with them in fairer ways. But then evidence means nothing to a True Believer.

  • mightymark

    Michelle (rrelying to yuour posts below) – I think you you misunderstand me. I don’t  think MH is an Islamist – had I thought so I
    would hardly have asked what the hell he was doing in the “horrible” (your word
    Michelle) videos.

    I don’t know what exactly he is up to but I suspect it fits
    in somewhere to the very ugly post 1980’s phenomenon that has gripped parts of
    the left fully and influenced others markedly. 
    I should not need to explain this here but it seems central so I’ll
    outline it as briefly as I can.

    Around the 1960s-70s by way of explaining the failure of
    revolution in the West a number of Marxist theorists (Herbert Marcuse was one)
    noted the way that capitalism covered its tracks by giving people better living
    standards and welfare (I’m heavily summarising by the way). The expression
    “repressive tolerance” rings a bell as a description of this – possibly
    Marcuse’s.  Rather than consider whether
    that meant there was some fundamental flaw in Marxism some of the followers of
    these thinkers instead drew the conclusion that the Western  working class had become politically “flabby”
    and since parts of it (dangerously) had been simultaneously written off as
    “racist” decided they were no longer of use as a functioning potentially
    revolutionary proletariat. So arose the concept of the “rainbow coalition”. The
    hope was that by gathering together various racial, gender and other more or
    less disgruntled minorities it might be possible to replace the (mainly white)
    working class – first, as a revolutionary bloc for the revolutionary minority,
    and second as an electoral bloc for those still interested in the Parliamentary
    route to socialism. Through groups like the RSL and Militant and more
    substantively in academe, there was some cross fertilisation between the two. As
    a young man in the Labour party, particularly  its youth and student wings at the time it was
    clear to me that many who knew not of the real programme of Militant –
    particularly its passion for impossibilist demands –  were nevertheless influenced by its ideas. Thatcher’s
    “successes” largely defeated such ideas, while Neil Kinnock did for the Militant.
    However even worse was to come. By the late 1980s the USA emerged triumphant in
    the cold war. Even for those Trotskyists and others who despised the USSR as
    state capitalist this was a appalling thing to contemplate. What was the
    further left to do?

    Some time in the 1990’s a potential saviour emerged. The
    Islamic world had not managed to repeat its huge medieval intellectual and
    other advances for about 500 years and while other formerly “third world”
    cultures were starting to come to terms with modernity such that today some are
    giving the West a very good run for its money, the Islamic world remained
    largely mired in stasis. This resulted in huge anger among burgeoning and
    especially young male populations when they failed to get jobs and the lifestyles
    they not unreasonably wanted. In the Arab world much had been tried from
    nationalism and (Quasi fascist) Baathism to socialism (of sorts) and found
    wanting. Islamism was not new having been product of the interwar years but its
    time was coming as it influenced both extreme terrorist groups like Al Quaeda
    and rather more moderate groupings like the current governing party in Turkey.
    What they had in common was the idea that Islam itself more conservatively
    observed, was the way out of the problems of the Islamic world.  The associated militancy was of use to the
    left not just in the way it could be turned against the “Great Satan” – the USA
    and its allies, but later could be used to turn the growing Muslim populations
    of the Western countries themselves into a force to be used by the left. In its
    most extreme form this force became the Respect Party but others in the Labour
    Party also wanted to use it. The kind of thing I objected to previously in Ken
    Livingstone’s campaign some posts back are examples of this. So out of the
    window went the Rainbow Alliance – with gays and feminists for example, because
    they offended particularly  the more
    conservative elements within the Muslim clerisy who as communal leaders needed
    to be wooed (again Livingstone is a past master here) and the Jews who had not
    been a corporate part of the Rainbow Alliance were really set to get it in the
    neck as buttering up extreme elements within the community (the moderate
    majority was of little interest other than as possible voting fodder) led to
    extreme antipathy towards the world’s only Jewish state without too great a discrimination
    between such antipathy and downright anti Semitism.  Your posts some time back are a “good” example
    of how influential this phenomenon has been on the left.  So one finds parts of the once secular left in
    thrall to everything from advocates of wife beating (lightly of course) and FGM
    to gay bashing (erm, sorry, that should have read hanging actually).

    Somewhere in this morass we can discern a role for MH. It
    comes somewhere between the Islamic community from which he comes and his
    adopted leftism. He is a kind of link man whether as true believer or useful

    Now it is very important to understand that the left is in
    this situation partly because it has to deal with those more militant “communal
    leaders” (not all are, including the local Imam in my area who gets a lot of
    grief from Jihadists and others but these are of no interest to the leftists)
    rather than ordinary Muslims who may be more or less pious but whose
    fundamental aim in being in the west where they are not of Western origin, is not
    unreasonably to better themselves and their families. Once that happens of
    course they would simply join the flabby mainly white working class and be no
    longer of interest to the further left.  So the window of opportunity to use (abuse?)
    the Muslim community in this way is limited. 
    There is some suggestion in Galloway’s recent election victory and
    Livingstone’s vote in the City and East area of London that it works in a
    limited way.

    The prognosis for the left in all this is not good. After
    the Iranian revolution many who had joined the Khomenists were discovered
    hanging from  lamp posts and only this
    morning I read of a plaintive cry from the leftist candidate in the Egyptian
    elections of unfairness – the Military and Moslem Brotherhood candidates having
    seemingly sewn things up between them. I remain utterly mystified as to why
    parts of the left continue down this road.

    Now , coming at last to you specifically, one of the most
    egregious aspects of this is the need for those who are into this way of
    thinking to whatever degree (there are many shades of it) to blur the
    distinction between anti Muslim prejudice (which largely shades into “standard”
    racism – unless you are daft enough think those e.g. BNP types who attack say,
    Asians are overly choosy about what religion they are)  and those who are justly critical of Islamist
    extremism. Your posts are classics of the type and in that respect alone
    justify the label “apologist”.

    This has been long post but I just want to deal briefly with
    the NS article you link to.  I’m not
    going to consider every aspect but just choosing a few of MH’s pleas there is
    nothing here inconsistent with what I have said.

    Of course, in contrast with the more strict conservative
    religious taboo on democracy as opposing the will of G-d,  he is going to encourage people to
    participate in democratic politics. That’s a no brainer – there is no deal and
    no point of they don’t.  Similarly for
    cooperation between Muslims and non Muslims.

    AV like other forms of PR would be beneficial to extremist parties
    of left and right – so nothing special there either.  As for violence against civilians many Islamists
    along with their apologists play fast and loose with this concept especially
    where Israeli civilians are concerned. You simply have to redefine “civilian”
    to mean whatever is convenient and not what isn’t and away you go on whatever
    killing spree takes your fancy. They needn’t of course be non Muslims – Assad –
    a non Islamist – has cottoned onto this game and effectively redfined all his
    opponents including their children as “extremists”.

    So, all in all, no, I’m not at all impressed with the article
    you link to.

    In conclusion on the names thing you havn’t told me what is missing
    from your life that leads you to this virtually anal obsession.



  • mightymark

    See resp-onse to all above.

  • Michele

     You’re quite vain reaguns.  I don’t believe your experoience could possibly be equal or better than GB’s or AD’s.  THAT is why YOU won’t change my mind.

    Grow up fgs, you’re not here hoping to convert are you?

  • Michele

     The world has finite resources, your ‘one hat’ approach to life is soulless imhoo but hey, you’re happy with that so carry/dream on.

  • Michele

     Good grief, no time for that all at the mo.

    Perhaps you need to take some account of your own activity and why I (as yet) think as I do about your attitude to MH (yet to be revised ….. see first line).

    You were very interesting last week in a convo you had to leave part-way through. 
    On your return from your days away in northern Europe you haven’t re-posted in to that long blog, you posted in to another but not on its titled topic, you posted to me and about MH. 
    It feels spooky.

    Bearing in mind some posts you made in the past and your statement that you have been ‘watching’ MH for some time :-s   < quizzical face) I think you have a phobia.  Who knows, when it's less pleasant outside I might read through your post. Oooops, just glanced upwards and seen your ref to what you call my 'virtually anal obsession' ... shouldn't you have (couldn't you have) taken a longer holiday?

  • Ehtch

    Ospreys wom 31-30. To say that game was a classic is a complete and utter total understatement. Absolutley classic game. The ref was on Leinsters side, and I thought he would be fair. What a fool I was. Shane Williams scored two incredible tries in his last game before retirement – what is he retiring for, is what I would like to ask him – he still has at 35. I think he could very well change his mind.

    Incredible match, and Dublin is miffed, which is nice.

  • reaguns

    1. Finite in some cases, but plentiful.

    2. Even if 1 were not true, you can have growth even if the resources were finite. We in UK have had plenty of growth without increasing our resources, agreed?

    3. Even if 1 and 2 were not true, ie even if resources were finite and unplentiful, free market pricing is the most efficient way to distribute them.

    4. Even 1, 2, and 3 were not true, we have democracy and use that to distribute resources instead.

    But tell me what you think is finite – tell me what resources you think we do not have enough of and cannot replace with alternatives? I’m not worried about energy for example because nuclear is unlimited. And the funny thing is… I’m against nuclear power! But there are ways to get around nuclear power, oil, and our current pitiful attempts at renewables, so no biggie…

  • reaguns

    Michele (if you are still reading this) of course I don’t expect you to take my experience or my word over GBs or ADs but it is not me you should be comparing to them, it is other world leaders, both contemporary and from history, and the economists whose thought underpins most such decisions (ie Mr Roosevelt and Mr Attlee were great men but they would defer to Mr Keynes on economics, likewise Reagan with Friedman and Hayek.)

    Do you really believe GB and AD did nothing wrong, nothing at all? If so then at least I now know you don’t like Tony Blair (and Alastair) all that much as Tony disagreed with their position (and I agree with him.) Also, Alistair Darling did not agree with Gordon Brown, nor indeed Ed Balls on the handling of the crisis (don’t you guys read the memoirs) so its not quite right to talk about AD ‘and’ GBs actions.

    Again, of course you should trust them over me, but I think you should question them too. I am a fan of a lot of political leaders, but there are none that I think were perfect. Some I suppose made the best decisions they could make at the time, even if in hindsight some things would have been done differently.

  • Michele


    The youtube video was uploaded in July ’09, there is no info
    re when it was made.

    It was uploaded by ‘harrysplacevids’, their website’s  policy statement disowns any attempt at
    accuracy or answerability.

    Having watched it a few times now (ie: having got past the
    [manipulated] shock of the start of it) and seen past the rest of the out of
    context editing it occurs to me that the words ‘non-Muslims’ is used by MH in
    the same way some people might use (or even spit) ‘atheists’. 
    Think about the US’s  Westboro Baptist ‘Christians’.

    He is reading, dramatising someone else’s words, we have no
    reason to suspect he was doing so with approval or even that he wasn’t in a
    performance of some kind.

    We DO know, for there it is in the video, that he
    DISapproves of Islamic-ruled countries having nuclear weapons, he stated that
    even Khomeini disapproved of them and he mocks a certain country that parades theirs.

    Despite the many blogs the manipulated video has ‘inspired’
    and hate-filled posts with insinuations on NS and elsewhere I don’t hear MH use
    the word ‘kaffir’ once.

    I know from my own experience that smears are very very easy things to have made on one and it must
    be something of  a burden for him (just
    as might be my own post ‘approving’ his having joined QF – erm like he needs to
    be justified by others). 

    I think we all know that accusing someone of extremism,
    forcing them forever to defend themselves against such claims can sometimes
    cause people to wonder why the hell they bother.   Is it possible that sometimes it even drives people the other way, becomes a self-fulfilling thing?  Eh?
    He has stated that he does not believe in
    even the concept of Islamic states …. that makes him one up on certain other
    religionists imhoo (once again naming no names Mark).

    I noticed that in your summary of Islam you mention FGM (as
    well as wife beating, sighhhh – like that’s not a very very common widespread
    cheap type of brutality ).   Take a look :

    and I can confirm it happens in non-Muslim non-Jewish
    households too – I doubt I need to pick you off the floor as I’d place a bet you already know.

    FGM is no part of Islam. 
    It was a cultural practice still used in the hot dry countries that
    Muslims spread to in earlier centuries, it was for hygiene reasons where water
    was too rare for use as anything but drinking . 
    It is still performed on girls of various religions including
    Christianity, it has been performed in UK among various communities for many

    I don’t suppose you’re interested to know of concerns around
    the world about MGM (as in that procedure conducted on Jewish and Muslim boys
    at a very tender age – 6/7 days?) and the refusal in certain communities to
    allow even a local anaesthetic. 
    are yet other concerns about the out of date-ness of the procedure, it’s having
    also been about hygiene in dry countries. 

    Lots of women like a peeled one but we also wonder about the
    loss of all those 000s of pleasure points for the man.

    Thanks for your history of world leftism :-s

  • Michele

     PS: Before you start on another opus Mark, please note you aren’t the first I’ve come across IRL or cyber that feels they’re on a mission.  I’ve been reading the sickening Daniel Pipes and Pamela Geller and listening to the oh-so-saddening Phillips for years and years and years.

    You won’t convince me re which lot is worst in this whole horrible tawdry religionist mess but I certainly don’t think it’s the atheists.

  • mightymark

    I await with bated breath  –  not. Just to correct you -the second time you have made the error – I didn’t say I had been wthing him for some time. My wors were “I am aware of a number of sites and sources that have been monitoring MH for years”.

    You’re slipping Mich – maybe as you imply, its the nice weather taking your mind off things. Its allowed! 

  • mightymark

    We’ll start with
    “Thanks for your history of world leftism :-s”
    Don’t mention it! It wasn’t of course, indeed I sometimes wonder whether the aspect I describe isn’t actually “leftist” at all rather an ugly mutationof it.
    Since you have chosen, rather predictably, to make it your pitch I am well aware as you suggest, that violence against women exists in households of all faiths and none. The point I was making of course which you seem have conveniently overlooked is that only the justification for it by Islamic clerics and others seems to be the subject of blind eyeing and apologetics by the so called leftists  – and, I would  add, cultural reltivists, that I criticise. Similarly for FGM. (On the subject of apologetics I see that it crops up in the article you posted which I will read with interest. Thanks. It seems mainly concerned with the ability of Jewish women to get a “get” or divorce from a wife beater – not with its justification – though I have yet to read the whole thing. Just to be quite clear were I an Israeli I would support the introduction of civil divorce the absence of which in that country is scandalous – there, I’ve criticised Israel for you! What a bumper pack you’re getting here!).
    I am also well aware of the issues around male circumcision and other religious practices (Kashrut/Halal) that seem to some to  many have no place in the modern world. These are matters of genuine sensitivity in a diverse and tolerant society as is the wearing of the Hijab for example – unlike the way the French treated it. They need decision in a calm non politicised environment that balances the fundamentally secular nature of modern Western societies but also the quite proper wish of those societies to grant maximum religious freedom to minorities – and of course majorities too.
    All this is light years away form the opportunistic wooing of particular groups to which my post referred.
    “We DO know, for there it is in the video, that heDISapproves of Islamic-ruled countries having nuclear weapons, he stated thateven Khomeini disapproved of them and he mocks a certain country that parades theirs.”
    Back to micro inerpreting MH’s words! (thank goodness he’s gone to Huffington where we won’t be troubled by him any more!)
    There is, just to deal first with another of his points, nothing necesarilly anti Islamist about not believing in an Islamic state. The real head bangers don’t believe in it either as they want a unified Islamic world ruled by clerics on behalf of G-d/Allah. I am not suggesting this is MHs belief but simply that the concepts involved here are very slippery. Neither do I doubt MH’s oppostion to nuclear weapons however are you aware of his views on upholding the NPT – if so I’d like to know. Now in conclusion I am going to take a real stab in the dark and guess that the “certain country” is – yeahhh Israel? Mmm? Do I get a prize?
    Well since Israel does not say whether they actually have nuclear weapons at all it is very hard to see how they can “parade” them. By the way I have no doubt that Israel does have nukes and is very probaby the one country in the entire world with a real justification for doing so,.

  • reaguns

    1. I notice you use the same snidely lines of argument no matter who you are talking with, your previous post in particular was full of that bitchy put down type of argument. You seem to have a bit of knowledge – so why resort to that type of argument? Don’t you trust your facts / logic enough to debate on those alone?

    2. “is very probaby the one country in the entire world with a real justification for doing so” Absolute tripe.

    The smartest, most logical and most convincing argument I have ever heard against the west having nukes came from Enoch Powell. It still wasn’t very smart or convincing, and was missing a couple of crucial pieces of logic. I suspect had we (the west) listened to him on that issue, then we really would have “rivers of blood” but not in the way he imagined.

  • Michele

     Oh yep Mark, being the beacon of human rights that they aren’t, Israel has ‘justification’ LOL.

    It’s a stunning shame that so many otherwise decent people of all faiths are so shackled to uninformed ignorant legislation (not through any fault of those long dead, their simple uninformed uneducated primitive ignorant pretence of knowledge and what the world would become was all it could be).  There really isn’t any virtue in swallowing ancient lore and pretending it’s reliable for a very different world.

    We can move on to yet another level of saddening with someone like you that MUST know the hadiths were not checked against what was actually said, their translations were often wonky.  Why exploit it all when you have experienced religious persecution too?

    It’s even more saddening that civilised modern people can pretend there
    is no difference between Israel / Judaism, pretend they are as one …..
    hence we had Maureen Lipman hyperventilating on radio today about
    Habima at the Globe and asserting that criticism of Israel’s human
    rights is criticism of Jews.  That is crap,

    If you were not so keen to defame others’ religion you’d have the right to not want (dare I say, re the above?) an eye for an eye.

  • mightymark

    “IRL or cyber ”
    Sorry – what is this about?

  • Michele

    Gawd I hate Disqus 🙁

    …. especially when combined with such protracted upload, despite that it might be down to our host enjoying himself about the great day at RCJ !!  
    grrrrrrrrrr 🙂   and I can’t remember what I’ve already posted as I’m not all that organised so I might repeat myself  🙁

    I wonder whether the eggs thrown at TB’s / his team’s vehicles were especially aged and smelly or just any eggs bought nearby, as in fresh wholesome potentially nourishing ones?
    They just don’t make protestors like they used to do they !? 
    We should know about these things, did they smel, were they green and have maggots or what ?


    Someone seems mainly concerned with the ability of Jewish women
    to obtain a “get” (divorce) from a wife-beater – though I have yet to read the whole thing. 
    I’m not sure a ‘get’ has anything more demanding than the man just not liking his wife’s looks or habits any more …. rather like wotsisnam who’s just done a report about being able to dismiss staff for similar reason ……. wotsit Beecroft?



    ” ……..there, I’ve criticised Israel for you! What a bumper
    pack you’re getting here!)………”

    You don’t need to criticise Israel FOR me Mark, you just need to realise wtf /WTF they are doing to fellow human beings, realise it FOR yourself, not for me.
    NObody enjoys seeing any of this, why would they?
    Israel is completely imbued with panic, suspicion, defensiveness and retaliation.
    NObody wants that to be the atmosphere.



    ” ……….. Back to micro inerpreting MH’s words! (thank goodness he’s
    gone to Huffington where we won’t be troubled by him any more!) …..”

    Hasn’t he joined HP in its UK version?  
    Isn’t he representing the modern voice, the notion that we can believe in any god or prophet we want to or none? 
    He’s not going to make me believe in anything but the latter. 
    I like him, I like TB, I like AC, whoever any of them pray to or don’t is of absolutely no concern to me, their human-ness is all I think about. 
    Nobody’s perfect and I hope that godbotherers won’t think I must be an awful person for not bothering their god …. I can still like the person  can’t I? 
    I like Rory Stewart, he’s right posh but he’s got soul (I don’t think I’d ever vote his way but so what?) he lurves Afghanistan, I’m sure he lurves it more than Tory-dom.


    ……… “Well since Israel does not say whether they actually have
    nuclear weapons at all it is very hard to see how they can “parade”
    them. By the way I have no doubt that Israel does have nukes and is very
    probaby the one country in the entire world with a real justification for doing
    so,.    ……………………….”

    You’ve completely misunderstood the post Mark ….. feel free to put it down to me being confusing …..
    ……. in the video MH is mocking countries like Pakistan that parade their bombs and label them as ‘Islamic Bombs’ …..
    ———– he is mocking the very notion of bombs being so-described.  They are NOT ‘Islamic’ bombs ….
    …….  You don’t gain anything by even pretending to believe the claims that they are.

  • TB at Leveson – Hey,Cameron, Watch and Weep! Whatever u think of TB he is GOOD. Makes DC look like the bottom end of mediocre! Even Leveson fell under his spell and was drawn by his charisma. I thought it was funny when Leveson was asking TB about doing a written piece on his views on the media etc. I thought he was going to ask him to write the report, at one point. Mr Jay realised early on, when Tony went on a ‘journey’ back to before he won G.E. 1997, that he wasnt going to catch any fish today and discretion became the better part of valour,lol! What a star, eh? I did wonder, though, if Murdoch might have hired the protester to interrupt the hearing as it seemed to work in his favour when he got a shaving foam ‘pie’ in the face at the HoC Committee! That pie changed Murdoch from the Evil Mr Burns character into a fragile pensioner.( I don’t believe for one minute that Murdoch has ever felt humble in his life). 
    Tony is still solid gold.Tin-pot Dave is no heir to Blair.The Posh Boy has got the front but he doesn’t have the substance, the depth and breadth of intellect or the emotional intelligence. Tony is a class act. Dave is like a toddler stuck in the terrible twos. 
    Come back Tony, all is forgiven! meanwhile that book you can write about The Media, after you’ve done your piece for The Inquiry, might even have an intro by Mr Justice Leveson!

  • mightymark


    Well what about what the “fellow human beings” do to them? the answer
    of course is peace and a two state solution. Since you simply to want one side
    – Israel – to disappear (it won’t) you can’t be on the only side likely to end
    suffering on both sides. Insofar as you have any influence at all you actually
    are simply prolonging suffering on both sides. I’d say the same by the way
    about any Israeli who rejected a Palestinian state.

    “I’m not sure a ‘get’ has anything more demanding than the man just not
    liking his wife’s looks or habits any more …. ”

    I’m no expert but I am pretty sure from those – menand women – I’ve known who
    have been through it that its about much more than that. The very article you linked
    to suggests that.

    And if you really believe that:

    “Israel is completely imbued with panic, suspicion, defensiveness and

    I’m afraid It just shows how out of touch you are about one of the most
    vibrant, advanced and exciting countries on earth. Leave aside for a moment,
    the rights and wrongs of the international apect “I/P” etc.
    Domestically Israel is a great place to live in or visit and plenty of people,
    Jews and non Jews simply love its “atmosphere”. Lose the blinkers –
    as you would say.

    You refer somewhere down thread again to the IJV

    You’ve changed your tune here haven’t you? A few weeks ago it was all
    “I don’t care if they are minuscule” – which is just as well, as they
    still are. I am in fact quite sure that there are more Jews in the UK who are anti
    Israel and maybe anti Zionist than have signed up with the IJV. I reckon it’s
    about 5% so when it reaches 15000 (about 5% of the UK Jewish population) wake
    me up. Some of the names are outside the UK – you yourself said it as an
    international movement I think – so the real pool is more like 13 million.
    Maybe better wake me up when it tops 650,000!

    I had a look at it (not my first by the way) – as I expected all the usual
    suspects. One lady I actually knew through my then local Labour Party. As the
    Middle East never came up when we were at the same meeting I had no idea of her
    views and later I moved to another constituency. It wasn’t until I began
    subscribing to a Jewish community journal that I realised that the person
    spouting anti Israel hate material (she’d give you a ride for your money there
    Mich) was the person I had known. And wasn’t she just persistent – and the
    editor, quite rightly, indulgent. Every month you’d turn to the letters and
    there she’d be. Two points. First, I’ll add in passing that she was pretty
    elderly when I knew her and I haven’t read anything by her for a long time now.
    As I can’t believe that would be voluntary on her part maybe she has gone to
    the great IJV in the sky – so perhaps that’s at least one less for the IJV down
    here! More significantly, the letters against her ran at a rate of about 10 or
    20 to one which rather supports my para one above.

    Now if you look at the kind of people who are on the list two features
    emerge. First, that they are very articulate and prominent people in their
    fields – just the sort of people who one would expect, disproportionately to
    make their views known. Secondly a considerable numbeer come from academe and the arts – the very areas most targeted by the Israel Hate and BDS movements. It must take a lot to stand up that kind of pressure when
    jobs and commissions are on the line. It would not be surprising if some people buckled saying, and even signing up to
    what they did not truly believe in a latter day “traison de clercs”. I’ll just
    add briefly that without getting into another magnum opus there is a considerable
    history to Jews who have turned against their own people. It runs from roughly
    “St” Paul through the guy who converted to Catholicism in the Spanish
    Inquisition (name escapes me) and turned into one of its main prosecutors, up
    to people like Marx and ends with Jacqueline Rose and Norman Finkelstein. I
    need hardly add that the Jews have survived them all – as has – and will –

    People often say you have to be “brave” to stand out against Israel. The
    truth is that the real bravery today is by those who actively support it. And
    in case you think this keyboard warrior is bigging himself up here what I do is
    nothing compared to the 19 year old girl working on the Israel Society stall at
    a UK University when Israel and Jewish society stalls at Uni. Freshers weeks
    have been wrecked and violence has been actual with more threatened. I only hope
    I’d have her bravery if I were younger.

    In conclusion I can’t but agree with you on Disqus and accept of course that
    I misunderstood you on the nukes! I’m not sure however that writing on
    Huffington – even its UK version – carries quite the cachet of being political
    editor of the venerable NS so I continue to believe – for good or ill – we
    shall be hearing less of MH


  • mightymark

    See response to this and variously above in new box

  • Michele

     Quote  ” …………… Now in conclusion I am going to take a real stab in the dark and guess
    that the “certain country” is – yeahhh Israel? Mmm? Do I get a prize?…………………”

    You’d certainly get any prizes going for willingness (even for trying too hard) to take offence where there is none and to pretend there are any grounds for ‘guessing’ wrongly.

    In fact the country that MH was mocking for calling its bomb ‘Islamic’ was …… ermmmm an Islamic one. 
    Why do you find that so hard to grasp,  why presume victimisation with no evidence, why do you look for what’s not there and smear / offend people?

    It is NOT true sensitivity, it is not something that anyone can go ‘Aw, poor fella, he’s so easily hurt, aw diddums come here pet so I can comfort you’.  It is exploitative demanding babyish-ness.

    Here is MH on nuclear weaponry :

  • mightymark

    “If you were not so keen to defame others’ religion”
    A virually classic forrmulationof what I describe here:
    “one of the most egregious aspects of this is the need for those who are into this way of thinking to whatever degree (there are many shades of it) to blur thedistinction between anti Muslim prejudice …….and those who are justly critical of Islamist extremism.”.

    On this

    “It’s a stunning shame that so many otherwise decent people of all faiths are so shackled to uninformed ignorant legislation (not through any fault of those long dead, their simple uninformed uneducated primitive ignorant pretence of knowledge and what the world would become was all it could be). There really isn’t any virtue in swallowing ancient lore and pretending it’s reliable for a very different world.”

    I tried very hard to explain on a previous thread that Israel was at least as much about the Jews as a people as a religion. You chose not to accept that so your view is accordingly warped. That is your problem not mine.

    PS I wonder if that is really what Maureen said. I could see circumstances in which what she said might be true (e.g. if the criticism were in bad faith) but doubt of she would put it as broadly as you have.

  • Michele

     Are you calling me a liar?
    Are you doing so with no evidence that I am one?
    Why are you so prejudiced?

    Part of the dialogue is in the JC, look it up.
    Unfortunately the author or the publication have not printed all of it, wouldn’t it be funny if that was because she sounded so far out on a limb?

  • Michele

     In real life or on cyber.
    Face to face or across the ether.

  • Michele

    BBC iPlayer, safe to download software if you haven’t already.
    The interview was on Sunday, not yesterday and starts around 25mins in (poss to FF with  the slide-along knob).

    FYI I don’t happen to agree with the attempted boycott but I also hope you won’t try to invoke your ‘unless it was in bad faith’ catch-all re RL-P.

  • Michele

     You need to stop lying Mark.  I have
    never, not once, posted or even hinted that I  …..” want one side – Israel – to disappear…..”  (simply or otherwise).  I told you that when you so accused me

    What I SIMPLY want is for the Knesset of NOW to obey the UN Mandate that was
    drawn up late 40s.  Surely their
    forebears read it?  Didn’t they have to
    sign as such?  
    Perhaps they’d even be
    ashamed of their descendants reneging on the deal; surely they would?

    Your simplistic dismissal of my words ‘panic and hysteria’ (surely the
    only way to ‘explain’ – even try to excuse – the military overreactions) is
    Yes of course Israel is wonderful
    fun for those that aren’t persecuted there, for the 72% of the population that
    share over 98% of the territory (I notice you haven’t responded to the fact-filled
    post that that snippet comes from).  The
    blinkers are not on my eyes.

    Yep, I’ve said I wouldn’t care if the qty of signatories on IJV was miniscule
    …. I’d be immensely proud of someone so honest and brave if it had only one. 
    I’m especially proud that I know several who’ve
    signed it and empathise with those too bothered about what their friends, parents or
    grandparents would think of them if they did.
    Later in your post when you describe the woman
    who might now be dead, you display just the type of mindless disloyalty to those
    simply daring to have their own opinion that they dare not even express.

    Yep I’ve also said it’s an international organisation – had you not known of
    it?  I only ask as you seem to have
    assumed I meant that that one set of pages is itself international. 
    Nope, that is simply the UK-site’s list.  If it has actually got any signatures from
    people ‘outside UK’ I hope you aren’t hinting they might have signed more than
    one country’s list? 

    I’m sure there are many other UK Jews who would sign the document if they knew
    of it,  there are humane people
    everywhere.  Surely the JC has covered

    It’s paranoid of you to claim that my stance is about hate; the land
    previously called Palestine and now called Israel is supposed to be (was mandated to be) shared
    by two communities with various tiny other groups. 
    It’s a very common
    cheap tactic, try to control yourself.  I don’t hate you.  
    Do try to control the glee about the woman that might be dead, it’s not a very attractive trait.  Try to be objective about the 10:1 ratio, it’s about brave faces and akin to
    coming out.  Get over it.

    Your next paragraph goes in to that territory that got your heckles up
    earlier today.  YOU, more than I, should
    be able to regard Israel/is as being discrete from Jewry.  When you doubted my post that M Lipman had
    said criticism of Israel is criticism of Jews it’s bizarre that you have done
    the same with your own words.

    ‘Jew’ is NOT synonymous with ‘Zionist’ and I also know that there Israelis
    that are not anti-Semitic to their Arab / other fellow-citizens. 
    Your ‘turning against their own people’ is
    exactly why some Jewish people feel bullied (oh yes they do). 
    Norman Finkelstein has not turned against his
    own people, he is a proud American Jew that hates what is being done in the
    name of his religion.  He has been banned
    from Israel, what irony, what idiocy, what paranoia.

    It’s wrong if the ‘Israeli and Jewish’ stalls at Freshers’ Week were
    wrecked, it just shows the abysmal state of info/misinfo.  Do you draw no parallel between those thugs
    and your own behaviour?  Relying on the cynical
    old trick of calling anyone at all that has a different opinion to your own an
    anti-Semite.  It’s cowardly, babyish and
    It’s also quite spiteful of
    you to wish a reduced future on MH.  Spite
    …. so nasty.

  • Michele

     We obviously don’t have enough housing, why else have prices gone five-fold in only 20yrs?

    Oh I know, it’s because mortgages were too cheap (which must mean when they weren’t at 18% as in the early 90s!).

  • Mark

    At one point she says “Drawing attention to Israel is jolly well ….” and I couldn’t catch the exact final word. If that is what you are referring to, and I
    couldn’t find anything else earlier that might equate to it, then it is clear that the context is a discussion about why people obsess about Israel rather than regimes with far worse HR and other records. I could certainly see circumstances in which that might signal anti semitism – it would depend on the individual concerned – and yes, the good faith in which remarks were made.
    I actually though Maureen made an excelent fist of her argument. Roger sounded as dim as some of his stereotyped TV characters. He certainly was arguing in bad faith in suggesting it was merely about “drawing attention” and that he was glad the invitation had been extended. After the Israel haters exhibition at the Proms last year we know exactly what they are bent on – disruption of perfomances by Jewish performers. Fortunately they didn’t manage that kind of disruption at the Globe. I only wish I hadn’t been so shortsighted in turning .down a ticket myself.

  • mightymark

    If you are talking about what I call blurring the;

    ” distinction between anti Muslim prejudice …….and those who are justly critical of Islamist extremism.”.

    then I am certainly saying you are being dishonest and disingenuous (“if you were not so keen  to defame others religion”) and like the many others that do it, playing with fire.

    I see yet again you betray your claims to treat people dececently and as equals by referring to views you disagree with as “prejudice”.

    I note in passing that you have also called me a liar above.

    Can’t say i’m terribly worried by that as it says much more about you than me.

  • mightymark

    I’m not going to deal with all this turgid nonsense in detail. It betrays a degree of hysteria that even I would not have exected of you.  I’ll just point out the usual pathetic attempts to wrong foot (I actually rather liked the lady in question and certainly don’t wish her dead – the “joke”which was evidently too subtle for you, was on IJV, not her) and the oh so inevitable goalpost shifting. This

    “Your simplistic dismissal of my words ‘panic and hysteria’ (surely the only way to ‘explain’ – even try to excuse – the military overreactions) ispathetic.” 

    after your original 

    “”Israel is completely imbued with panic, suspicion, defensiveness and retaliation”

    is just pathetic. However it IS relevant because this is the kind of ordure that is used by those attempting to delegitimise Israel all the time. Say something outrageous about Israel – if it isn’t challenged and the mud sticks good, withdraw (for which read “lie”) if you have to.

    Most of the rest simply betrays for instance the “fingers in the ears shouting la la la” approach e.g. on your repeated and obviously disingenuous misunderstanding of anti semitism and the usual insistence that the only good Jew is one who is anti Israel. In your presumtuousnes you have put us all on “good behaviour”.

    It stinks but then maybe your nose is made of stronger stuff than mine.

  • Michele

     Aw don’t sulk Mark.

    Seen my fact-filled post of the weekend yet? 
    A messy read, full of non-intended non-input line-feeds that don’t denote anything so the layout isn’t beneficial so I don’t blame you if you have seen it but decided to use ‘Ignore’.

    Accept that the coercion and emotional blackmail doesn’t work on everyone.

    BTW, re the much more interesting topic that you had to leave part way through the other week, this is another iPlayer gem. 
    She’s so sweet :

  • Michele

     The context, as you know, is that Habima, an Israeli theatre company is playing at
    The Globe.

    Starting at around 24m45s, the news turns to the topic of a group of people
    including Roger Lloyd-Pack signing a request for a boycott
    against their performances.  The grounds
    are that the company have played the West Bank. 
    As posted before, I don’t support such a boycott. Maureen Lipman objects to his suggestion and she sounds genuinely very hurt.  Her
    grounds are that there are so many other abuses of human rights abuse and claims that
    no such boycott has been arranged against them. 

    She names Burma ….. we actually had actual full-blown complete utter trade
    embargo against that country for decades, some companies got round it by
    sending their orders for finishing and naturalising in neighbouring countries.  The fact stands of that embargo, her not knowing about them doesn’t mean they don’t/didn’t exist.  Another fact is that few of us know about all
    the embargos that do exist if we aren’t in the respective industry or are
    obsessed in our own ways.  RL-P mentions that some Israeli actors have refused to play in the West Bank

    ML is saying that as there are so many other HR issues RL-P must be ‘obsessed’
    about WB as it is all he is protesting about and says ‘I only ask that people
    that pitch out against Israel do the same for ………’ and gives examples.

    She claims that actors ‘are not there to politicise art’ and to mention that
    roles as Jews or gays are not always played by Jews or gay actors.  She also talks about countries persecuting ‘their own people’ – Israel’s
    Arabs are their own people, their different religions do not make them any

    Near the end we get ‘you are obsessed about the Israeli issue’ and shortly
    after that, at around 27m25s we get ‘maybe just maybe this will change people’s
    hearts against prejudice against the Jews’.

    There MUST be more care taken against this conflating of ‘Jew’ with ‘Israel/i’,
    they are NOT the same as each other.  I notice it was not included in the JC’s report of the discussion.

    There are Jewish people that do not support Zionism and there are Israelis
    that are not Jewish.  For heaven’s sake 28% of them are
    currently confined to less than 2% of Israel’s territory and when their idiotic criminals commit violence the retribution is Israel’s air force bombing the crap out of their population.

  • Michele

    Understand that ‘above’ is meaningless. 
    I don’t know the ‘Sort’ you have chosen for your display and doubt you know which I have.
    I wish we just had consecutive chronological ordering using  post numbers but have only seen that on one forum.

  • Ehtch

    good highlights here, Alastair,

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