What do the fascist Nick Griffin (BNP), the totalitarian pro-Islamist George Galloway (RESPECT) and the neo-liberal Douglas Murray all have in common? They all oppose NATO intervention in Syria. A curious and diverse set of opinio-makers all converging on the same point.
On close examination, there are bound to be other points where the three doyennes of British illiberalism will converge, partly because, as any political theorist will tell you, in politics the points of extremism will always meet. In the case of our three protagonists, it is their inherent illiberalism that corrals them together.
Here is a catalogue of reasons why the Labour Party should cut ties with the illiberal Henry Jackson society by James Bloodworth:
The associate director of the HJS is Douglas Murray, a columnist for the Spectator and Standpoint, who joined the organisation in April 2011. In March, Murray wrote an article following the release of the results of the 2011 census in which he bemoaned the fact that in “23 of London’s 33 boroughs ‘white Britons’ are now in a minority”.
Because the left doesn’t police its borders in the way that the right has learned to do – social democrats like to pretend the far-left are on the same side as them – extremists regularly sneak into the mainstream on the back of ostensibly progressive front groups.
A good example is Unite Against Fascism.
Launched in 2003 as a response to the electoral activity of the British National Party, UAF spends most of its time these days organising counter demonstrations against the EDL.
An honourable way to pass the time, you might think.
UAF’s definition of what constitutes fascism, however, is a peculiar one. Not only are those advocating the resurrection of a fascistic Islamic caliphate seemingly not worth opposing, they have been actively welcomed into the UAF fold by the leadership.
In a recent piece for the New Statesman, Quilliam’s Maajid Nawaz made the point that government should bypass Islamist front groups such as MAB, IFE and the MCB when engaging with Muslims. Rather Muslims should seek representation through their elected politicians, just like all other citizens, and Islamist inspired organisations should not be allowed to monopolise Muslim representation. Quite a straight forward argument you may think, who could possibly be upset with a challenge to anti-democratic means to representation and extremism?
Welcome to the world of Bob Pitt. Bob is an ageing and outmoded far-left blogger who has developed a reputation for making mind-bending and logic-stretching arguments in order to contort reality to his fit his cynical far-left worldview. In Bob’s world, Islamophobia is not a societal scourge to be challenged, but rather something to be exploited and manipulated for short-term political point scoring. His website www.Islamaphobiawatch.com’ is less about Islamophobia and more about attacking his political opponents, many of whom are Muslim.
Last week SpinWatch gave Bob Lambert space on their website to apologise for his “former” career as a Police spy. But that was then. It now transpires that SpinWatch has retracted its support for Lambert in a new statement. The reasons for their abrupt turnaround are these:
The delay of the publication coincided with the publication of the SpinWatch open letter and a comment piece by Lambert himself. This was followed by a flurry of stories in the Guardian featuring further details about his infiltration and the damage done by the 18 month relationship he pursued as part of his cover (for an overview see the Lewis and Evans’ Undercover blog).
On David Miller’s SpinWatch site is an open letter to spy master Bob Lambert, soliciting him with an opportunity to clear his name in the face of recent “allegations”.
Miller opens the letter with some boilerplate text about being firmly opposed to “the infiltration of activist groups by the forces of the state, corporations and the private security industry”:
Spinwatch has – from the very beginning in 2004 – been involved in investigating the infiltration of activist groups by the forces of the state, corporations and the private security industry. One of the earliest cases we examined was the infiltration of London Greenpeace, with which you have reportedly been associated. Since then we have done extended work on the infiltration of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (The Threat Response Spy Files) and most recently on the 2010/11 case of police spy Mark Kennedy. We have done this work in close collaboration with the activists who have been infiltrated, destabilized and betrayed. Spinwatch stands in solidarity with the infiltrated.
In Pakistan, drone strikes have killed hundreds of non-combatant civilians. This means many more victims than have been previously reported, including the deaths of 168 children. The deaths of these non-combatant civilians should be challenged by every sensible person.
The responsibility is on the US and Pakistan governments, together, to try and reduce the numbers of these deaths; a point made by Christopher Rogers of CIVIC:
In a recent study by the Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict (CIVIC), report author Christopher Rogers said: “It’s almost certain that US drone strikes are causing more civilian casualties than the US has thus far admitted”.
He told Channel 4 News “faulty intelligence” could be leading to civilian deaths.
He said: “In our research… in a number of instances there was no doubt that faulty ‘intel’ was to blame – hitting a pro-government peace committee member’s house, for instance. In other cases, though victims stated that militants were indeed killed in the strike, non-combatant civilians were hit collaterally. i.e. a militant car passing by a house that collapsed from the blast.”
This is essential viewing. It is a distillation of the wholly reprehensible phenomenon of Jew-hatred dressed up as legitimate criticism of Israel. Criticism of Israel is fair game, but accusing it of “sucking the blood of the people of the world” is undiluted Jew hatred, not political critique.
Here Tarek Fatah is interviewed by Brian Lilley on Sun TV, a Canadian tv channel, on the Al-Quds rally held in Queens Park in Toronto which was little more than a racist hatefest, where President Obama was referred to as “this Black man in the White House” and there was talk of raising an Islamic Army to wipe out Israel.
The same phenomenon is happening in the UK. Politicians such as Ken Livingstone will kowtow to Islamic Jew hatred propagated by “representive” Islamist political groups because it will win them a handful of votes from their South Asian constituents.
we at the spittoon have for some time been a target for the not-very-impressive “spinwatch” site, which appears to be the hobby-horse of strathclyde university’s answer to bob pitt, dr david miller. dr miller, we hardly need remind you, appears to think that spittoon authors are without exception rabid “neo-cons”, by which he appears to mean some sort of catch-all imperialism of liberal democracy imposed by force of arms on the bucolic, picaresque and entirely pacifist natives of the middle-east and south asia. as if this wasn’t bad (or inaccurate) enough, we are also supposed to be apostles of islamophobia; apparently it isn’t clear enough to someone who is supposed to be an academic that what we oppose is the virulent political ideology known as islamism – as well as other forms of religious and political extremism; jewish, christian, atheist, muslim, ethnicity-based – we are equal-opportunity anti-extremists, or we certainly try to be.
obviously, a great deal has been written about the riots to date and a great deal of predictable outpouring has also taken place. what i wanted to offer to this debate is, however, along more behavioural lines.
i have for some time been aware of the powerful analytical frameworks for bio-psycho-social systems developed by the american psychologist dr clare graves and systematised for practical application by don beck and chris cowan in the excellent book “spiral dynamics” (i’m not affiliated with anyone concerned, incidentally). at the risk of sounding like somewhat of a “fanboy”, as i believe it is called on teh interwebs, i am convinced it constitutes an important piece of intellectual real estate for the understanding of complex socio-political systems, particularly in behavioural terms.
Hours before Anders B Breivik, dressed in police uniform, prowled Utoeya, calmly massacring teenagers, he posted a 1,500-word “manifesto” online which he titled a European declaration of independence. In amongst the anti-Muslim screed, of which it is redolent, is this appalling insight into his murderous plan:
I’m pretty sure I will pray to God as I’m rushing through my city, guns blazing, with 100 armed system protectors pursuing me with the intention to stop and/or kill. I know there is a 80%+ chance I am going to die during the operation as I have no intention to surrender to them until I have completed all three primary objectives AND the bonus mission. When I initiate (providing I haven’t been apprehended before then), there is a 70% chance that I will complete the first objective, 40% for the second, 20% for the third and less than 5% chance that I will be able to complete the bonus mission. It is likely that I will pray to God for strength at one point during that operation, as I think most people in that situation would….If praying will act as an additional mental boost/soothing it is the pragmatical thing to do. I guess I will find out… If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past.