“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for February 8th, 2011

Lazy Round Up.

with 4 comments

Whilst I am pondering things and which draft posts I should finish off, it is a good time to take a look at what others are saying.

Owen Jones has a good piece on The left needs to watch its language, and I liked this:

Drop the jargon. Seriously, you’re trying to convince people, not write a university seminar paper. Skim-read a left-wing paper (I dare you), and all too often it seems that only someone with at least one postgraduate qualification can really understand what’s been talked about. Other socialists seem to be consciously imitating the style of English translations of early-20th Century Russian revolutionaries. That doesn’t mean you have to be patronising: just accessible to people who are outside an educated, left-wing milieu. The golden rule should always be to use the simplest possible word that accurately puts your point across.

In the early 1990s, John Carey wrote a classic book called The Intellectuals and the Masses. Its basic argument was that middle-class intellectuals were threatened by the rise of mass literacy in the 19th century. The fact that everyone could potentially have access to ideas that were the preserve of the elite was, well, threatening. So to ‘keep the masses out’, they started using all sorts of jargon and complicated words. This remains a big cultural problem in academia: but I think parts of the intellectual left have been infected with it, too. “

Over at the Index on Censorship they post on Wikileaks, Belarus And Israel Shamir.

Sadly, the post is extremely opaque and does not make the issue clear, which is that Israel Shamir/Jöran Jermas is a Far Right activist and an active antisemite. Elsewhere they argue that Ben Ali And Mubarak: Brothers In Arms. Too right.

David Allen Green on The bizarre legal world of WikiLeaks, where he makes the point:

“Furthermore, WikiLeaks has not even specified the alleged libels. It has instead made a bare and vague threat, the very sort of corporate attempt to deter public scrutiny which has led many to support the libel reform campaign.

But, as the founder of WikiLeaks himself recently signed the Libel Reform petition, there is the question as to whether there is a lack of consistency with this threat to bring a libel claim against the Guardian.

In any event, the use of a libel threat makes it clear that although WikiLeaks promotes transparency and openness for others, it does not really enjoy being scrutinized itself.

This basic lack of intellectual and legal consistency can be seen elsewhere. For example, it is reported that Assange believes WikiLeaks has some form of legal ownership in the confidential and secret information which it proposes to publish. This is an astonishing and legally incorrect view, especially when a great deal of that information was provided in breach of civil and criminal law. Assange even threatened to sue the Guardian on this remarkable basis. “

Mystical Politics looks at “Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth” (!)

Your Friend in the North asks a few questions of the Socialist International:

“So, after a disgracefully unacceptable 22 years, the Socialist International has finally taken the decision to expel Hosni Mubarak’s Egyptian NDP. I know the heading to this item states ‘better late than never’ but perhaps ‘too little too late’ would be an equally accurate headline. The letter from the SI’s general secretary Luis Ayala does nothing to improve the situation. “

The obvious, next question is, what other scumbags and dictators are in the Socialist International and shouldn’t they too be thrown out?

Jim on the rebranding of the Labour Party, I won’t comment, lest my blood pressure explodes.

The CST blog on supposed spies, also arguing:

“This ‘Ziocentrism’, which insists on placing Israel at the centre of any Middle Eastern story, also leads people to assume their positions on any given crisis according to how it may affect Israel.”

Terry Glavin says Faisons La Révolution.

The Big Society gets an ear bashing and some questions from Chris Dillow.

Kellie on Endgame in Egypt?

Greater Surbiton on Egypt: The West faces another Bosnia moment and closer to home:

“The Egyptian crisis has already forced us to confront some painful truths. I have long greatly admired Tony Blair, but his praise for Mubarak as ‘immensely courageous and a force for good’ – even if it was in relation to Mubarak’s input into the Israeli-Palestinian peace-process rather than a general description – was simply disgraceful. Reminiscent, in fact, of Blair’s unfinest hour back in 1999, when he endorsed Vladimir Putin’s fledgling tyranny while its murderous assault on Chechnya was at its height. And look what that got us – a vicious autocracy more hostile to the West than any regime in Moscow since the Cold War.”

Written by modernityblog

08/02/2011 at 21:57

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