“An anti-brand is still a brand, as the proto-Corbynite “No logo” movement of the late 1990s discovered. The new politics doesn’t imply the death of spin: it is merely its next, logical step. Voters want a different, more distinct product to which they can better relate. It’s like the appeal of micro-breweries: the successful ones are smart, professional, well-managed businesses. People would never buy foul-tasting, dirty products from a disorganised, useless firm. Being authentic in the beer business is no guarantee of success, and neither is it in politics. The despicable BNP was authentic – but thankfully it has all but vanished.”
Allister Heath, writing about the supposedly “authentic” appeal of the new Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
It is an interesting read. When I see people claim they want politicians to be honest, “real” and “authentic”, I sometimes doubt it. An “authentic” Marxist, Fascist, Islamist fanatic or general thug is no better for the “authentic” bit. And in fact one detects that this word has become present-day cant expression, in much the same way that one sees the use of the word “natural” as a term of approbation or “artificial” as somehow bad. Or think how terms such as “organic farming”, “natural remedy” can disarm criticism and analysis. Much of human civilisation is about artifice – the paraodox being that it is human nature to create artificial things (property rights contracts, keyhole surgery and the complete works of Ludwig von Mises, etc).
As for honesty, one of the most honest politicians of recent times was the late Sir Keith Joseph, who, in the early 1970s, said out loud that he thought his previously-held mixed-economy, paternal Tory views were mistaken, and played a central part in advising Mrs Thatcher on moving in a different direction. He once, for example, said that Britain needed more millionaires. When he made comments that used the expression “national stock” he was lambasted and, given his strong character, said openly that he did not feel suited to lead the Tories, and stood aside. Such candour and general moral decency are unusual. For his efforts he was dubbed the “Mad Monk”.
The Scottish and the Welsh NHS are the closest thing to a counterfactual, because they are still more or less run like the old (and, if the Corbynistas get their way, the future) English NHS. Even though they are, in per capita terms, better funded and generally better staffed than their English counterpart, their performance lags on most measures. Rates of mortality amenable to healthcare are higher than in England, waiting times are longer, and hospital infections are more prevalent.
– Kristian Niemietz
The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is in trouble again – this time for publishing two cartoons about drowned Syrian refugees. And anybody who believes in unfettered free speech needs to stand up for Charlie’s liberty to offend the pro-refugee and anti-racist lobbies just as staunchly as its right to offend Islam.
– Mick Hume
Earlier today I was standing in line waiting for a teller in my local bank, when some chap who was clearly a few cards short of a full deck started complaining at the top of his voice:
“This is how a run on a bank starts! People see an unusual number of customers waiting line and become alarmed, and the next thing you know, it becomes a national crisis with banks collapsing!”
The rather well dressed fellow standing behind me immediately quipped:
“With a grasp of finance and human nature like that, this gentleman is clearly a contender for the Corbyn Shadow Cabinet.”
A great many people laughed. Made my day.
Jeremy Corbyn is happy to talk to Irish Republican Army men, avowed anti-Semites and Hezbollah militants; but he refuses “out of principle” to talk to the Sun newspaper, a right-wing tabloid.
He campaigns for the national rights of Venezuelans and Palestinians; but he opposes self-determination in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands.
He’d like to admit as many Syrian refugees as possible, but is curiously ambivalent about why they became refugees in the first place, telling RT that Assad’s chemical attacks may have been a Western hoax.
He is relaxed about Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, but he can’t stand the idea of Britain having one.
He says taxpayers should be able to opt out of funding the military, but not out of funding trade unions.
He wants to re-open coal mines that have been uneconomical since the 1960s; yet, oddly, he wants to wean us off fossil fuels.
– Daniel Hannan
If you engage with the work of art, you are entitled to an opinion about it.
If, instead, you refuse to read or view or listen to it — or taste the green eggs and ham — you don’t get to have an opinion. Knowing what you’re talking about is the bare minimum requirement for expecting other people to care about your opinion of a cultural product.
What is distressing to me — and to all lovers of art and of free expression — is that of late we appear to be taking seriously the opinions of those who have not ponied up even that very minimal buy-in. We wouldn’t pay attention to restaurant reviews written by someone who has never been to the restaurant in question. Why are we reading — and accepting — evaluations of literature by people who have never read the books they’re condemning?
It’s not a high standard. I’m not calling for a “critic’s license” or saying that one must have an advanced degree, or 25 years of experience, or a sheaf of academic articles and a stack of books to one’s name in order to have an opinion about art.
I’m just saying that if you want me to take you seriously when you tell me that something is great, or awful, or trash, or immoral, or pornography, you should probably have actually made contact with the thing you’re talking about.
– Sarah Skwire
The Nigel has said he would welcome a win by Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership contest, because it would mean anti-EU forces within Labour would come to the front.
This may be true, but frankly I think it is not the main reason Farage truly wants to see Corbyn win: a far-left Labour Party makes it vastly more likely that within a few short years, the primary party of opposition facing the Tories will be… UKIP.
This is just too good not to share
A previously private exchange of messages on LinkedIn between a barrister*, Charlotte Proudman, and a solicitor*, Alexander Carter-Silk, disparate in age, has erupted into a ‘scandal’ after the barrister took umbrage at the solicitor’s comment on her photo, which he described as ‘stunning’. Not as stunning as her response, it seems, which we are told, set off a ‘Twitter storm’.
Miss Proudman said she found the message “offensive” as she was LinkedIn for “business purposes” and not “to be objectified by sexist men”.
She said: “The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women.
“Unacceptable and misogynic behaviour. Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message.”
It appears that she ‘connected’ with him on LinkedIn, he viewed her profile and made the offending comment, and she appears to be reporting Mr Carter-Silk for professional misconduct.
The Telegraph has piled in with some allegations about Ms Proudman having what one might call an ‘agenda’, being a member of the Fabian Society, and a feminist opposed to equality with men.
Earlier this year she used the left-wing website Left Foot Forward to explain that she was a campaigner for feminism, not equality, because: “Men live and work in a brutal society, which is maintained through stratified social order based on ritual humiliation, gentleman’s clubs, fights, rites of passage, sexism, and banter.
“When women enter the male realm whether law, politics, or a construction site, they find themselves in a repugnant world in which their only means of survival is by undergoing a fundamental transformation leaving them with little opportunity to make any change.”
If men and women were truly equal, she said, “men’s genitals would be sliced up” in the same way that some women are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).
She added: “Equality is harmful to women and most men, as they are required to replicate behaviours that are degrading and dehumanising.”
Some have suggested that the barrister may have ruined her career, after all, barristers work in the main comes from solicitors, and the message one might take from this is that if you offend Ms Proudperson, she would have no hesitation in seeking to a) disregard any convention as to privacy and confidence in communications and b) seek to publicise your wrong-doing as widely as possible, as part of her ‘jihad’ against misogyny. However, it should be pointed out that she was merely seeking to campaign against the ‘objectification’ of women by men, and no one should conflate private and public, indeed her Twitter feed appears to recognise the risk she runs, and frankly I suspect that she will be the ‘poor man’s Mrs Clooney go-to right-on lawyer of choice’ for a while, or perhaps in a while when she actually starts practising.
Will endure misogynistic backlash that accompanies calling out sexism in hope it encourages at least 1 woman2feel she doesn’t need 2 take it
Ms Proudman’s rationale for connecting with the solicitor appears to have been to make professional contacts, even though she is not actually practicing at the Bar as she is doing a Ph.D at Cambridge on
law, er, female genital mutilation.
And there I was thinking that LinkedIn was for recruitment consultants to fish around for prospective clients.
Now what if the solicitor accuses the barrister of sexism, after all, would she have reacted in the same way and taken the same steps had a woman of a similar age and standing to the man provided such a comment on her photo? Not to have done so would smack of ‘disparate treatment’, a cardinal sin to the true SJW.
Is this not an indication that Twitter is, as someone called Stewart Lee said: “The Stasi for the Angry Birds Generation“?
And Lenin was reputed to have said ‘We must teach the children to hate.‘. A lesson that appears to have been well-taught and well-learned.
* For those unfamiliar, the English legal profession is divided into barristers, who do in the main courtroom advocacy and specialist advice, and solicitors (who, unlike Mr Carter-Silk) in the main solicit barristers for their clients and pay them to argue a case in court, and do the preparation work for cases etc.
My impression (gained from the internet, where everybody in the developed world gets their impressions of popular feeling nowadays) is that hostility to Islam has taken root in the West. This did not happen overnight. It certainly did not happen over the night of September 11th / 12th 2001. On that first night of the new world, while there were calls for the nuking of Mecca and so on, most people wanted very much to separate “Islam” from “Whoever Did This”. Back then I was probably more hostile to Islam than most people. I stayed where I was and most people overtook me.
I was going to rabbit on about Whither Islam and Whither Western Civilization and whether both, either or neither are withering. But I think I’ll leave it at this one assertion: the West has come to despair of Islam in the last fourteen years and that change is not banal.
You may have recently seen that after Trump said the Bible is his favorite book, he couldn’t name a single Bible verse or passage that meant something to him. And we all know why, because it’s all just a show, and he hasn’t ever read the Bible. But you know why he hasn’t read the Bible? Because he’s not in it.
– Bobby Jindal, as quoted by Jay Nordlinger.
“When we celebrate, and it is a cause for celebration, the achievements of Venezuela, in jobs, in housing , in health, in education, but above all its role in the whole world as a completely different place, then we do that because we recognise what they have achieved.”
– Jeremy Corbyn
(For those who haven’t been on Samizdata before, this posting is designed to highlight the vileness of this man, not to imply approval.)