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April 26, 2006



Seems like your stance against the EM is hardening. I don't know where I stand on it to be honest, there are many arguments to be made for and against signing it. This only serves to madden me even more. If you don't mind me asking, what is your principle reason for not being a signatory?


I'm in two minds about the EM. If it's a description of liberal democratic egalitarian ideals, I'm with it. But I worry that the EM is more concerned to bash Galloway and his types, rather than to advance egalitarian projects (either within the UK or by making the case for more effective overseas aid) or to oppose New Labour's attacks on freedom. That's not because Galloway shouldn't be criticized. It's just that he's too trivial a target.


I was a young man* back in the 1970s, and I have actually been asked why I didn't go and live in Russia if I liked the way they did things so much. And that atmosphere is what the EM reminds me of, as I said here:

In other words, it's a call to unite against the official enemy, who hardly anybody on the Left actually *supports* but who most of us leave alone (since opposition to the official enemy can easily be mistaken for support for the state). I find it hard to see anything valuable in it at all.


*Free-floating footnote: actually I was a *kid* back in the 1970s, but that wouldn't work so well. (And I mean, we still used the wheel.)

James Hamilton

"..there is something admirable about working in a futile cause." There certainly is, and you should know, ploughing as you are a terribly lonely furrow in producing sane, measured criticism of the content and context of the EM. I almost hope you DON'T sign - if you do, there'll be virtually no worthwhile reflection-from-the-outside on the EM at all.

Fisking Central

I am all for working in a futile cause, if necessary, but I don't think the EM cause is an entirely futile one, yet would argue that the EM crowd have resigned themselves far too easily to the idea that it is.

This may not be entirely fair - they may turn into a professional, ambitious political fighting force over the next few months. I hope they do.

laika the space dog

As the EM was founded in a pub, and is discussed online and in the newspapers, I don't really see how it can be a gigantic waste of time and energy.

If its writers, supporters and detractors were spending a decade building an icebreaker out of lollypop sticks then it would be both, but it's not like those arguing for and against it would otherwise be inventing a cure for cancer or discovering life on Mars.

I don't think it is a waste of time to point out that those who marched so bravely against the 'war' were actually marching in support of evil tyrants and vicious terrorists bent on our destruction. It needs to be said every time the 'anti-war' position is stated because that position is seldom challenged on the BBC or in the Guardian, indeed it's seen as the default opinion.

Far too many 'anti-war' people are simply on the other side. They actively want a defeat for democracy in Iraq, would happily see Iran develop nuclear weapons and nuke Tel Aviv and, in their hearts, cheered when those planes hit the world trade centre.

Any attempt to call the anti-American left on its support for head lopping terrorists has to be a good one. It seems a lot less futile than all that marching in the first place. For all those millions of moonbats who carried their banners we still liberated Iraq, Bush, Blair and Howard got re-elected and it's Saddam on trial for his life not George W. Bush.

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