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April 06, 2006



>Everyone this side of lunacy has known this for decades<

Which obviously excludes Neil Clark.


You make a good point Chris. The problem is that many people we may consider loons (such as Hizb ut Tahrir, MPAC etc) are regularly invited on Newsnight to give their opinion since the media is too lazy to understand religious politics properly.

There are tons of issues the Left has to deal with, and we have an assault on our civil liberties like never before (I reckon anyway). But there are a few smaller battles also to be fought... specially when they're part of the bigger terrorism debate/problem.


"in the early 80s .... hardly any serious person thought it a remotely acceptable model for socialism" - well, except in the universities.


Which universities did you have in mind, dearieme?


Well there was that Soviet agent at, was it, Bradford? And Cambridge still had its, um, tradition. There was a Czech I knew, a postdoc at Edinburgh, who was pretty scathing about the fellow-travellers there. So there's two ancient, one modern, and no doubt plenty more.


Oops, silly me. Was "Dr" John Reid still at Stirling, for he was a commie was he not?


I ran up against quite a few Communists back when I was an active Leftie (which tells you how long ago that was); I always found them irritatingly moderate on any question relating to class politics or the ownership of the means of production. You see, once upon a time there was something called Third Period Communism, and after that there was something called the Popular Front, and Popular Front Communism became Communist Party orthodoxy, in most places that the USSR didn't actually rule directly, in about 1933 - and it remained Communist Party orthodoxy (in most places that the USSR didn't actually rule directly) from then until the close of play. The great majority of Western Communists didn't believe in a planned economy - most of them were less enthusiastic for nationalisation than the average Labour leftie. Western Communists who did believe in the planned economy were *dissenters*.

You could look all this up, you know.


There were loads of apologists/supporters for the then USSR and communism when I was at Oxford in the 80s. Indeed my experience was that those who were strongly opposed to communism's evils were treated as odd if not completely out of time. Mind you we were still being given a daily dose of the Morning Star on the beeb then. And as for some of the left's suggested struggles, they are not the preserve of the left which in any event strikes me as increasingly authoritarian. But then again perhaps as in the case of the USSR and elswhere the left has always been authortarian once it gets it hands on power.

James Hamilton

The loons ARE significant, in that they dominate the political shelves of every bookshop in the country, and are still taken as serious spokespersons by current affairs broadcasting.

There's a new adult generation now with no memory of the Cold War; the generation that fought WW2 is dying out fast. Those of us who don't hate the US and believe internationalism and universal human rights score over communal politics are losing right now, and the demographics aren't in our favour.

Backword Dave

Help! The loons are breeding! Chin strokers and Decents of the world, it is your duty to raise large families.


As said before, the problem is that these loons are being taken seriously. it doesn't matter (in the population at large) whether or not HP take Galloway seriously enough, too seriously etc. It *does* matter that he's given a largely uncritical ride in popular debate fora (Guardian, Talksport, most TV bulletins of his Senate 'Appearance' etc) Discrediting him, although an exercise in barrel shooting, is hardly 'kicking the village idiot', it's stopping the village idiot from being seen as a credible leader of the whole village.


"Those of us who don't hate the US"

According to Pew 75% of Britons had a favourable view of the US in 2002, and 58% in 2004. I can't decide if it was just the great effort by the US-hating left in 2003 that caused this sharp decline, or their greater breeding skills.

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