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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata gets more comments than the EU

The latest wheeze of the EU is an online forum, probably designed to replace Wallstrom’s blog, which decayed into a morass of anodyne tedium – another puffpiece for the Commission. When will politicians understand that blogs require authenticity?

The welcome message is inaccurate: the ideology of Europe, replacing the European Union. Balkans, Ukraine, Belarus, not part of the message:

Welcome to ‘Debate Europe’, our website for the wide debate on the future of the European Union. This website is our invitation to you to discuss with us your ideas, hopes and worries for Europe’s future. With this site, we want to make contact with you and listen to what you think and propose.

There are the usual blog contributorns, haunting the official space that the EU provides for us. But the whole project is an unmitigated failure. Here are the results for the “popular” English language pages after approximately a week:

Europe’s economic and social development: 64 comments.

Feelings towards Europe: 95 comments.

Europe’s borders and its role in the world: 63 comments.

Not a roaring success!

55 comments to Samizdata gets more comments than the EU

  • Julian Taylor

    Hmm,

    Welcome to ‘Debate Europe’, our website for the wide debate on the future of the European Union

    When a Eurocrat says that then surely they mean the exact opposite?

  • Verity

    What Julian Taylor said. Plus, This website is our invitation to you to discuss with us your ideas, hopes and worries for Europe’s future.

    See, here’s where these fascist types always fall down. They think we have “worries” for “Europe’s” future. This is the language of overlords.

    They imply we have “hopes” for “Europe’s” future. The impertinence is outrageous. “Hopes and ideas” for something no one was allowed to vote for, has no democratic provenance and has proved nightmarishly destructive to our societies.

  • Congratulations! Perhaps EUrocrats will join in the debate on their creation?

    I just posted a request a couple of threads down for referrals to everyone’s most recommended discussions and campaigns for stopping ID-card imposition.

    All suggestions most gratefuly received. Apologies for straying off topic on this thread.

  • Verity

    There goes the thread.

    (Not a mouse-eyelash of disrespect intended.) But there goes the thread.

  • Nick M

    They imply we have “hopes” for “Europe’s” future. The impertinence is outrageous. “Hopes and ideas” for something no one was allowed to vote for, has no democratic provenance and has proved nightmarishly destructive to our societies.

    Spot on Verity. it’s like handing a questionaire round Auschwitz asking, “Whither the Third Reich?”.

  • Verity

    “Whither the Third Reich?”

    Sez it all.

  • Patrick

    Actually, no, there goes the thread.

  • Chris Harper

    “Whither the Third Reich?”

    Much as I loath the EU, and all its works, it is not comparable to the Third Reich. This bit of wingnuttery deserves the the same level of respect as the moonbat insistence that Bush = Hitler.

    Undemocratic and paternalistically authoritarian as it may be, the EU has not invaded Poland, France, Russia or anywhere else with guns ablazing, nor does it lock up opponents in death camps or engage in premeditated genocide.

    This sort of tripe contributes nothing. Grow up.

  • Michael Taylor

    Hey, it’s a great forum – every Samizdatan should devote 10 minutes every day posting the EU’s blog, explaining again and again in great detail just how the EU has destroyed Europe’s economic prospects, eaten away at its democratic rights, and corrupted its political institutions.

    Let’s not suppose that all Europeans believe all the rubbish pumped out by the Commission. And where they do, let’s up and at ‘em. They want feedback, lets’ give ‘em feedback.

  • ian

    They want feedback, lets’ give ‘em feedback.

    Exactly – you can’t complain no one listens when you ignore an opportunity like this. Of course you can’t tell how many comments were deleted/not posted – but then only allowing favourable comment isn’t restricted to the EU.

  • I think some sensitive souls in Brussels noticed this post. It made them realise that only a small number of responses to all these mighty issues is rather a poor show for a wannabe superstate. So, they got out a big stick and told the assorted overpaid EUrocrats to wake up and hurriedly concoct comments to add to the forum – perhaps in return for actually doing some work, they will be allowed to have the rest of the year off. Anyhoo, the number of comments has shot through the roof! Currently standing at …

    Europe’s economic and social development: 209 comments.

    Feelings towards Europe: 327 comments.

    Europe’s borders and its role in the world: 313 comments.

    To infinity and beyond!

  • ian

    Try reading some of them. I didn’t find many sympathetic to the idea of the EU, although I confess I didn’t read very far because I have a very low boredom threshold…

  • Nick M

    I like the EU forum, so easy to navigate, such concise threads…

  • Nick M

    I don’t like the EU forum because I just got “all posts are moderated and will not appear immediately”. I suspect they don’t even see the irony of that alongside a claim of “open debate”.

  • Michael Taylor

    I highly recommend the site. It’s a hoot: so many idiots gathered in one spot. I know it’s unattractive of me to mock the afflicted, but honestly, you forget the feebleness of the EU’s apologists until you stumble across something like this.

    Anyway, I heartly invite you all to descend like wolves upon the fold, and eviscerate their preconceptions. Politely, of course.

  • Verity

    chris harper – I would support Nick M’s “Whither the Third Reich?” and think it is perfect. The Third Reich was an absolute dictatorship. I feel that is rather a scorching comparison. The Third Reich intended to conquer Britain, which is why we fought the war. Yes? I think it’s a perfect comparison.

    That comments are moderated says it all. I realise that dictators can’t see irony, but this one hits you over the head. “Send us your comments and make sure they’re pretty, otherwise, we know who you are and we know where you live.”

  • Julian Taylor

    Oh dear,

    The Treaty of Maastricht enshrined, for the first time, the ‘principle of subsidiarity’, which is essential to the way the European Union works. It means that the EU and its institutions act only if action is more effective at EU level than at national or local level. This principle ensures that the EU does not interfere unnecessarily in its citizens’ daily lives. European identity is a valuable asset to be preserved: it must never be confused with uniformity – which is something Europeans definitely reject.

    Of course the EU does not interfere unnecessarily in its citizens’ daily lives, to do so, such as regulating the size of applegrowers orchards in Somerset or even telling grocers in Tyneside how they must now calculate everything metrically would be unthinkable, wouldn’t it?

    I suppose that means that they only interfere necessarily instead.

  • Pete_London

    Someone hold me back. Or remove sharp objects from in reach. From that site you can go straight to the Europa Go! site. Yes, it’s really called that and is clearly propaganda for children. Yes, depressingly, schools appear to sign up to this shit. What shit? This shit:

    Did you know that railways were invented in Europe? George Stephenson introduced the first passenger train in 1825. It was called ‘the Rocket’ and it reached a speed of 25 kilometres per hour (km/h) – which was really fast for those days.

    The next war in Europe can’t come soon enough.

  • Verity

    The steam engine was invented in Europe? And this is to indoctrinate schoolchildren? Aaaaarrrggghhh! Hand me the knife when you’re finished with it Pete_London!

  • Eurostatistician

    Forget about The EU online forum.

    As it happens, I am quite familiar with Wallstrom’s blog — indeed I’m a virtual acquaintance of the moderator, a jovial Irishman. It is moderated but really they don’t seem to ban anything whatsoever — just read some of the raving crap
    posted by Greg Lance-Watkins, the Europhobe who made it to the Daily Telegraph over two years ago for approving the assassination of Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh. At any rate her blog certainly didn’t “decay into a morass of anodyne tedium” – it’s quite lively and you can say what you want.

    The only snag is that it takes them hours to publish a posting, so cut and thrust is virtually impossible unless you sit around all day waiting for the occasional update. It also took them over a year to activate their HTML.

    Some of the contributions are of high quality indeed, but I’m sure you smart guys at Samizdata could raise its intellectual level quite a bit if you were to chip in every now and then. I’m a moderate Euroskeptic myself — but unfortunately that political proclivity does attract the occasional wacko and they have a free run on Wallstrom’s site. Intellectuals like you lot would be very welcome.

    At any rate Commissioner Wallstrom is far less censorious than Samizdata. To get IP banned from her blog is probably impossible – though perhaps they just aren’t computer-savvy enough to know how to it. At least the European Commission respects free speech — they don’t go banging on about all that ‘private property’ business whenever any of their commenters write something deemed insulting.

    I may be a Euroskeptic but I admire anybody – even semi-socialists like Wallstrom – who are passionately in favour of an open society. One certainly cannot imagine Margot sneering at Frank Ellis and concocting the absurd argument that because he is a civil servant he should subscribe to the taxpayers’ world views (since at least a large minority of taxpayers support Ellis’s views).

    And I’d certainly prefer Margot to be running the UK than the likes of ….shhhhhh .. no, no, I don’t want to be IP-banned for offending nice people on their private property .

  • Eurostatistician

    Sorry, gave the wrong link – click here to learn more about the raving maniac Greg Lance-Watkins.

  • Simon

    An earlier poster wrote that no-one was allowed to vote on the EU. There was a referendum in Britain on this in 1975 and the vote was 2 to 1 in favour

  • Julian Taylor

    Why does the Europa Go! site have a magpie sitting in the window making noises? Is the official bird of the EU now this symbol of thieving miscreants everywhere, or shall we best leave it to Wikipedia to describe it ..

    The magpie is common in European folklore. Generally speaking, the bird is associated with unhappiness and trouble. This may be because of its well known tendency to “steal” shiny objects, as well as its harsh, chittering call.

    On second thoughts – it’s the ideal bird as a symbol for the EU.

  • Julian Taylor

    Eurostatistician,

    The Wallstrom blog is published by the EU on her behalf as well as maintained and moderated by EU staff, most likely at your and my expense. As such do you really, seriously think that her blog is freer than something like Samizdata? Perhaps, as a statistician, you might like to supply us with the average costs to European taxpayers of providing this service for EU freeloaders bloggers to post their own self-serving egotistical views online?

    As a PR exercise, which is what the vast majority of Ms Wallstrom’s blog appears to be, it is a dismal failure. If this woman had at least opened a weblog on blogger.com (at no cost to taxpayers, I might add) I might have reserved some shred of sympathy for her since we might actually have viewed some of her own opinions and not those carefully vetted and monitored ones inline with Brussels dictat.

    As her ‘blog’ stands now … pass the sickbag please Alice.

  • Verity

    Simon – No. The British voted for a European free trade zone. They did not vote for the European Union. Like the rest of the citizens of European countries, they were tricked.

  • Verity

    Actually, someone ought to take a case to the much beloved European Court of Human Rights charging the EU of stealing citizenship by false pretence.

  • Eurostatistician

    Julian,

    Margot is damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t. As far as I know she is free to express her own views — as a Commissioner, she runs her own show. Many Commissioners have radically different views on many issues — for example, some are free-market advocates, others are old-school welfare statists, and all are pretty cool operators, since otherwise they wouldn’t be where they are, in clover.

    Margot’s website may not be of the same intellectual quality as Samizdata, but at least it is open to Euroskeptics and Europhobes and Europhiles.

    I am afraid some of the Euroskeptics who write there are an embarrassment — that’s why I am ‘appealing’ to you lot to give a helping hand in promoting the idea of a less centripetal Europe. Here you are preaching to the converted — at Wallstrom’s site you might win over a few lost souls.

    People who knock at the door …

    BTW I am not a statistician — it’s just that many friends and acquaintances of mine work at Eurostat, so I though I’d do them a favour and raise awareness about the existence of the Commission’s statistical service to the Samizdata general public.

  • Tim

    They’re certainly not insisting that you agree with them. Both Pavel Kohout and I have got pretty eurosceptic comments in there.

  • Eurostatistician

    Addendum:

    Julian, you ask:

    As such do you really, seriously think that her blog is freer than something like Samizdata?

    Yes, it is — go and check it out yourself, if you have time. Wallstrom’s blog is actually amazingly open — so much so one might say it is under-moderated, and hence open not only to loonies but also to the online equivalent of pub bores, who drone on and on with their endless boilerplate.

    Why can’t you accept the fact that other people, even ‘socialists’ such as Wallstrom, might also cherish freedom of speech? I’m a quasi-libertarian myself, but we’re not the only liberty-lovers on the planet.

  • Eurostatistician

    Tim, BTW, is Tim Worstall, or he is impersonating Tim Worstall — and I think he has made some first-rate contributions to Margot’s blog.

    Tim Worstall is bad, mad and dangerous to know from the Europhile perspective.

    And I doubt if any posting he has ever sent to Margot’s blog has been censored.

  • Julian Taylor

    I am not for one second doubting Ms Wallstrom’s politics or indeed her sincerity in her views or the work she does, however much I grudge my taxes being used to pay for a ‘Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication’.

    I just don’t think that I, or anyone else for that matter, should be paying for the EU to run a blog out of my (or anyone else’s) taxes, and I just bet it is not either moderated or maintained as cheaply or as well as Samizdata is. Surely that must an inhibitor to any of views that Ms Wallstrom might want to freely express, in the knowledge that such views would be overseen, oops, ‘moderated’ by a eurocrat tasked with vetting her posts and no doubt compiling statistical reports on the Europhilic/phobic commentators?

    If you do truly believe that their system is completely free of any eurocratic interference, apart from blatting the occasional blogroach or troll, then of course I stand corrected, but being the eurosceptocynic that I am I regret that I somewhat doubt it.

  • Euan Gray

    The steam engine was invented in Europe?

    For once I agree with Verity. The steam engine was, of course, NOT invented in Europe.

    It was invented in Africa, by Heron of Alexandria.

    EG

  • Well, I added my agreement with Pavel to their site, just so they know he’s not the only one. What I found interesting, though, was the list of professions I had to choose from:

    Managers; other white collar workers; manual workers; house person; self-employed; artist; farmer; media; student; researcher; public service; local/regional authority; seeking work; retired.

    Because that’s obviously all there is…

  • Euan Gray

    Because that’s obviously all there is…

    What others are there, then?

    EG

  • Verity

    “Media” gets a look-in as a nod to all the Media Studies graduates (although they could equally be slotted in under “seeking work”) but no slot for medical? Or maybe being a bone surgeon or a children’s oncologist counts as “white collar”? And no slot for “on welfare”.

    God, they’re stupid people – although smart enough to be rolling in gravy.

  • Julian Taylor

    God, they’re stupid people – although smart enough to be rolling in gravy

    Verity, it doesn’t take brains to steal money from people – otherwise all politicians would be poor.

  • EG wrote: “What others are there, then?”

    I’m a software engineer for a technology company, and I suppose I fit under the generalisation of “white collar” (even though I wear jeans and a T-shirt to work), but it’s the generalisation that’s my point, bearing in mind that it’s my profession they’re asking for.

    There is a certain view of the world revealed in the emphasis of those categories. If you’re a farmer getting subsidies, a retiree getting a pension, on the dole, on a government research grant, having your education paid for by the government or just working for the government, you have an explicit category all your own.

    Meanwhile, the entire private sector of thousands of interacting specialisations filling their particular niche boils down to “white collar” or “manual worker”. Even “self-employed” says more about a person’s tax status than anything else.

    It’s probably not surprising that someone working in an EU office sees the world in a way that is so alien to me, but these people are making all kinds of decisions that affect those thousands of privately interacting specialisations I mentioned. I find that a bit unnerving.

  • Euan Gray

    Meanwhile, the entire private sector of thousands of interacting specialisations filling their particular niche boils down to “white collar” or “manual worker”

    Indeed, but to be fair the entire public sector of thousands of interacting specialisations filling their particular niche boils down to “public service” or “local/regional authority”

    EG

  • Nick M

    As ever EG kills the thread…

    I mean, what the hell was that about?

  • I can back up Eurostatistician’s comment about none of my comments to Margot’s blog being censored. Nary a one. In fact, Margot actually quoted one of them in a speech of hers. An interesting moment that. And this?

    “Tim Worstall is bad, mad and dangerous to know from the Europhile perspective”

    How kind of you to say so. Best thing anyone’s said about me all week

  • Joe

    Interesting. Where to start? First, the Debate Europe site is not a replacement for Margot Wallstrom’s blog (which by the way has 15,000 readers per day and still rising). It has nothing to do with Margot’s blog, although I moderate both sites.
    The number of comments up to last night was 2600 – have you really had more than that in the past 10 days? You’re only looking at the English comments of course.
    It’s not censored (I see on your site you have the message “If you have an article, comment, rant or smart-arse rejoinder that you would like to contribute to Samizdata.net, e-mail it to us and we might publish it suitably edited. Or not.”). We don’t. Comments are delayed because we have to read comments in languages we might not understand. 21 of them.
    It doesn’t cost a fortune – it’s actually very cheap and the Moderators (like me) do it along with their other jobs.
    As for recruiting an army of Eurocrats to contribute to it and boost the numbers – don’t make me laugh.
    All views are published, however Eurosceptic. Instead of sneering from the sidelines why don’t you just take part?

  • Joe,

    Your comments on Samizdata are fair enough – though when their editors write “if you have an article, comment, rant or smart-arse rejoinder that you would like to contribute to Samizdata.net, e-mail it to us and we might publish it suitably edited. Or not.” they are not referring to the comments section as such, but to the leading articles that set the ‘comment’ ball rolling. Obviously, they cannot accept every contribution as a leader.

    Samizdata is a kind of libertarian period piece – run by intelligent people who have got stuck in a groove. It seems that they never read ‘the other side’ – either to the left or to the right. They are textbook examples of the closed mind on such issues as anthropogenic forcing, immigration policy, population genetics, and of course the Sacred Neocon Government of the Holy United States which is spreading democracy with the sword to the Arab world – and then wondering why so many people hate them, along with Israel.

    A Samizdatarian will not read ‘The Guardian’ or the ‘London Review of Books’ (since as every libertarian knows these publications are master-minded by left-wing conspirators who wish to impose a quasi-communist state). A Samizdatarian will not be seen dead even with scientific publications such as ‘Science’ or ‘Nature’ (since as every libertarian knows these peer-reviewed journals engineer their findings to fit in with their left-wing ideologies). A Samizdatarian will vilify every environmentalist as a ‘tree-hugger’, every anti-immigrationist as a ‘racist’, everybody who criticises fanatical Zionism as an ‘anti-Semite’, everybody who recommends long-term birth control for Sub-Saharan Africans as an acolyte of Goebbels, everybody who even whispers that race differences in intelligence might be partly due to heredity as a NeoNazi in spe.

    They are experts at name-calling and stigmatization – apparently unable to understand that political life is a continuum, that not everybody who supports ‘free’ education is a quasi-Communist and not everybody who criticizes Zionist support for open immigration (except for Israel) is a wannabe stormtrooper or Holocaust denier.

    Still, they’re good fun – bigoted, but in a smart-assed way. Perhaps some day they might even read an article by George Monbiot and admit to themselves: “well, the guy has a point after all”.

    Perhaps I am being uncharitable – I still see them as defenders of freedom in terms of their good intentions. It is just that many of them also defend the freedom of those who call for the destruction of our civilisation and its replacement by the Caliphate, such as the vast majority of the Muslim community. They call it ‘free speech’, I believe.

    Nevertheless, since they are reasonably sophisticated Euroskeptics, they could (as I have suggested before) do some good by defending their ideas on a site where they are not simply preaching to the converted.

    But they prefer the joys of the libertarian mutual admiration society, I reckon. And the last thing the Samizdatarians want to do is to refute their own misconception that the European Commission is an instantiation of intolerance on stilts. Imagine how their editors would feel if their postings were actually to be published on a Commission site whose management costs a couple of euros a day which they have to pay for themselves as taxpayers…..

    Oops, sorry – as every Samizdatarian knows, Commissioner Wallstrom’s site is run by 500 overpaid underworked paper-pushers ….

  • Michael Taylor

    Eurostatistician,

    Actually, I’d be most surprised if most Samizdatans don’t keep an eye on the Guardian (it pays to know what tunes the devil it humming), but even more surprised if they were impressed by anything argued by George “Muddle-head” Monbiot.

    As for the London Review of Books, if they’ve any sense they’d have just cancelled their subscription in protest over the way it devoted its first 10 pages to the Mearsheimer and Wait “Protocols of Zion” update. This piece gained rave-reviews from klansman David Duke: I suspect Samizdatans don’t want to keep company with David Duke – and neither should you.

    You probably think that makes me an expert name-caller. Far less sophistsicated, I fear, than the LRB on its current form.

    And yes, we probably are “stuck in a groove” about the importance of freedom. We should be too, Eurostatistician, because although you may not have noticed it, personal freedom in Britain and Europe is under massive attack right now. For the first time in human history, the technology exists for the state to track evey individual’s every action in minute detail. And they want to use it.

    Do you care about your personal privacy and freedom? I think you do, Eurostatistician. If only because you choose to hide behind a non-de-blog. Who knows? Maybe having the balls to contribute under your own name might prove the first step in regaining your personal independence.

  • Michael,

    you write that although you may not have noticed it, personal freedom in Britain and Europe is under massive attack right now.

    You may be right on this, though coming from somebody who virtually declares the LRB to be a breeding ground for Jew-baiting is a bit rich. I’ve had a glance at Mearsheimer’s article and at least to me it seems that he was stating the obvious — David Duke is beside the point. David Duke also believes that the world goes round. That does not mean it is flat.

    Can you find any errors in Mearsheimer’s essay? Perhaps you know more about the subject than I do and if I am mistaken I would like to be corrected.

    His core claim seems to be that US foreign policy is pretty deferential to Israeli interests — and that though that may be a good thing for Israel, it is not necessarily a good thing for the rest of us. I reckon that most educated Jews would actually agree with that — they certainly do in Europe, where the ambiguity of Bush’s motives for ‘spreading democracy’
    has been scrutinised carefully right across the political spectrum. I don’t wish to indulge in Israel-bashing — the Israelis are merely acting in what they deem to be their own best interests. It’s just that I don’t see why the rest of the USA should foot the bill.

    What has all that got to do with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Mearsheimer isn’t subscribing to a conspiracy theory or bullshit about Jews being at the root of all evil or whatever ridiculous claims are made by malevolent anti-Semites.

    You are driving me off-topic, Michael, but anyhow.

    What embarrasses me is when my Jewish friends insist on apologising for Israel’s misdeeds — it’s not their fault that Israel is run by democratically elected thugs who dig themselves ever deeper into the grave by driving another people from their land — the Palestinians may be total bastards but that’s not a good reason for ethnic cleansing. Of course Hamas are maniacs and I’m not putting the Likudniks on the same level, BTW.

    And yes, I do care about privacy and freedom — freedom for decent people like myself and yourself and for moderate Christians and secularists, for moderate and benign race realists and anti-racists, for supporters of the humane repatriation of undigestible third-world criminals, for libertarians, socialists, for Zionists and anti-Zionists etc. etc.

    But I draw the line at Nazism, Communism, Islam and the freedom-of-speech and open-border wackos who pave the way to our own destruction.

    In fact, at the risk of sounding bathetic, the question we should ask ourselves is:

    What would Enoch say?

  • PS:

    Examples of statements I would criminalise in my utopian gated-community state:

    1. The bourgeoisie should be slaughtered.
    2. Black people should be enslaved.
    3. Jews should be slaughtered.
    4. Sharia law should be imposed on Europe.
    5. All Arab women should be forcibly sterilised.

    Just in case Michael is about to pop up with the Nazi smear — Samizdata’s party piece, of course.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    They are textbook examples of the closed mind on such issues as anthropogenic forcing, immigration policy, population genetics, and of course the Sacred Neocon Government of the Holy United States which is spreading democracy with the sword to the Arab world – and then wondering why so many people hate them, along with Israel.

    “genetics”; “anthropogenic forcing”, “Sacred Necon”; “Israel” — yep, we have got the full barking Moonbat collection of hot-button issues in one paragraph.

    Eurostatistician, you are a civil servant, you say? What department do you work in? I’m dying to know.

    I wish that crazy French nutter commenter would return, at least he was funny, if unintentionally.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    PS, for those race “realists” out there, here is a strong take-down on the Charles Murray and Herrnstein book(Link), the Bell Curve. It seems a very fair assessment of what is a flawed but interesting book, and points to the dubious nature of the financial backers of that publication. I must say that if only half of this article is correct, then Charles Murray, whom I respect, has sunk in my estimation.

  • Eurostatistician

    Johnathan,

    As a post-Christian follower of Jesus Christ, I forgive you.

    Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you …

    You’re are bit of an embarrassment for Samizdata, aren’t you?

    They must rue the day they let you loose.

    Where are all the smart Samizdata guys, BTW? Brian Micklethwait, David Carr, Andy Duncan etc.?

    Gone to join the white supremacist movement?

  • Eurostatistician:

    I was considering an articulate rejoinder, but I think a large slice of simple Australian-style observation hits the mark just as well…

    Mate, you’re a dickhead.

  • Euan Gray

    As a post-Christian follower of Jesus Christ

    ?

    EG

  • Michael Taylor

    Eurostatistician,

    I’m not sure why my objection to the LRB’s editorial policy makes it “at bit rich” for me to be worried about the current British onslaught on liberty. Perhaps you could explain.

    As for the LRB issue: you know, I’ve really neither the time nor energy, nor knowledge to be quite frank, to go through Mearshemier and Walt’s article. Others more qualified – Alan Dershowitz for example – have done that. His conclusion: “the challenge is to find a single idea in the piece that does not already appear in hate-sites. There is no scholarship here whatsoever.”

    What bothers me about the LRB’s editorial policy, and what suggests to me that it has crossed the line from anti-Zionist to fully-fledged anti-Semitism, is the quite extraordinary concentration, issue after issue, on the alleged evils of Israeli policy, and the energetic latitude in language and argument it allows (encourages?) in those writing on the issue. The energy it expends on elaborating the errors and cruelties of this single nation seems to me to be out of all proportion, and call for an explanation.

    One possible, and indeed likely, explanation is, I’m afraid, they just don’t like Jews. Which delivers us back to Protocols of Zion territory.

    Finally, I’m not quite sure why anyone would want to ask “What would Enoch say?” as a touchstone of their political views. I was a small boy when Enoch Powell meant anything politically, if he ever did. Was he a genuine political thinker, or a lightening rod? I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t much care. There are plenty of other political thinkers out there – and hell, if desperate you can always think for yourself! – and what’s more, are the political challenges of the day identical to those of the mid-1960s?

  • Michael,

    Thanks for the data. You are clearly capable of rational debate and you are obviously very well informed — and I mean it. I don’t actually read the LRB regularly, and you may well be right about its anti-Semitic trend.

    Just to make it quite clear before the ‘Nazi’ smear appears again: I detest the dual morality of many of Israel’s critics, just as much as I detest the dual morality of those who blindly support that country through thick and thin. But you should have resisted the temptation to play the ‘Protocols’ card against Mearsheimer. It’s at the same level as calling Robert Fisk a ‘wannabe towel-head’ or whatever the terminology is.

    I apologise for my lack of logic about your being a ‘bit rich’ — don’t know what I meant either, quite frankly. I dashed off the stuff in a hurry.

    Anyway, it’s good to encounter a Samizdatarian commenter who can conduct a civilised, flame-free discussion.

    Thanks. You are a rara avis.

    Johnathan — I haven’t yet had time to check the Murray critique. Thanks in advance for the reference. Be nice to me the next time or I’ll never be back and then you will me miss me and you will be sorry that you said such unkind things and you will cry all your way to the confession box and you will have to say ten hail maries and ten our fathers and stop playing with your willie …,

  • P.S.

    Michael: Re Enoch Powell — don’t have time to debate this. But – psssst — I was a teeny-weeny bit in trolling mode when I asked “What would Enoch say?”

    Curiously, Enoch never wrote (or said) anything about the differential psychology dimension. Allow me to terminate this thread with:

    IQ. Africa: 70 points. Japan: 110 points … same again, same again.

    As Dale Amon recently said, the topic does seem somewhat done to death. But you ask for it by denying race realities.

    My inner teacher tells me:

    A good Eurostatistician can and will not troll. A good Eurostatistician does not try to get up other people’s noses on their private property. A good Eurostatistician does not wander off topic.

    Write it out fifty times.

    And six of the best on your bare bottom if you don’t toe the line!

    Oooooh!! Teacher! Yummy! Yummy!

    Have a nice weekend, folks.

    May the road rise before, and Christ be with you and the wind behind you ….

    Slan agus beannacht!