Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Devil is dead...

Yes, it's true.

Finally, Wiggy has claimed a scalp.

And it isn't that of some thieving politician or some overpaid, jack-booted jobsworth. It's mine. Or, rather, it is that of my ruder sibling, for I am his twin—identical in every respect except that I swear a little less and indulge in fewer violent fantasies.

As many of you will know, I think that it is fair to say that The Daily Politics today was not an unqualified success, with Andrew "Wiggy" Neil concentrating not on the Libertarian Party or its policies (as I had been briefed) but on one single post out of the 5,500 or so on The Kitchen.

But, let's face it, he could have picked any one of about half of those thousands of posts and come up with some pretty damning stuff.

Don't get me wrong—I meant every word of the sentiments expressed. But the way in which I put it was, sometimes, just not... er... politic. In fact, as in real life, I enjoyed conjuring up repulsive and offensive images: anyone who has heard me in the right mood and in full flow that I can be every bit as perverse as on The Kitchen.

But, additionally, my blogging was driven—at least in the early days—by a burning anger and righteous hatred of just about anyone in authority, and this ire was fuelled as much by the real life circumstances that I found myself in at the time as by the unpleasantness of those who rule us.

And so The Devil's Kitchen grew as a cathartic outlet for my anger—and the language and imagery were equally violent.

As long-term readers might have noticed, my language has become, in general, far less vicious and less sweary. This was not, as some implied, because I sold out—it was because I was generally calmer and happier. Don't get me wrong: I am still disgusted by those who rule us, and even more repulsed by the idea that anyone can rule me—but these days it is more of a low, simmering rage. As such, The Devil's Kitchen had already become more mild (bar the occasional outburst) than in earlier years.

In the early days of blogging, most of us guarded our anonymity very carefully and I have always been twitchy about people using my real name. I remember when Shot By Both Sides was removed because its author, John, made some comments that annoyed a particularly powerful lobby—a lobby that found his name and then threatened to damage the business for which he worked.

Whilst not quite the same, something similar happened tonight. My boss was phoned by a very unimpressed friend who had recognised me on The Daily Politics. My boss—who, whilst knowing that I blogged, has never let it concern him—phoned me and expressed some disquiet. I should point out that he did not tell me to do anything and nor has he tried, in any way, to force me to do anything about this situation other than talk it over tomorrow.

However, it took me only a few minutes to make this decision...

The simple fact is that I love my job and I am now in quite a high-profile position: as the company grows, I am going to become yet more exposed. And the fact is, I want to be exposed.

But I want to be exposed because I am part of a company that has created great products and made people's lives better—not because I let my nasty imagination run riot when writing about how a union hypocrite didn't have the courage of her professed convictions. And neither that nasty piece of work nor Wiggy are worth risking my job for.

It is very difficult to delete anything on the internet and I am not going to pretend that I can do so. However, gradually the caches will fade away, and those parts of The Devil's Kitchen that are most damaging—the incredibly violent (though fantastical) demises of various politicos and their grubby little hangers-on—will fade away eventually.

And so, here we are—with The Devil starting with a clean slate. The tone of the blog will not change much—I am still a passionate libertarian and loather of our illegitimate masters—but the language will be much like my latter, less vitriolic posts rather than my more unpleasant death wishes. In time, I may transfer some of my better, more relevant, writing over here too. I hope that some of the authors—especially those, like The Filthy Smoker, who quickly became as much part of the fabric of The Kitchen as myself—will also carry on contributing.

As you will have noticed, the URL is the same and, I hope, the RSS feed will still work. The template is, at present, pretty minimal but I have been meaning to revise the look and feel—as well as making the blog as Accessible as possible—for a little while now.

I hope that all of you—readers, commenters, and contributors—will continue to partake of The Devil. I, for one, am quite sanguine about archiving my old material; nor am I totally surprised—this day has been coming for a little while (it was one of the reasons that I switched to a custom URL some time ago).

The Kitchen is dead: long live The Devil!


Mr Civil Libertarian said...

Hmm, I was hoping for a reasonable explanation; and we got one.

Good luck with this, DK.

Anonyno said...

Aw, damn - well, good luck!

James said...

Keep giving us your take on things, and leave it to us to point out when a cunt's a cunt.

Mark said...

I won't say I'm not disappointed, but I understand. Best wishes.

Pogo said...

I guess that many of us regular readers will miss your "exotic" flights of terminal fancy. However, I for one, understand completely your reasons for the "New Look Kitchen", I felt that it was only a matter of time before your LPUK committments made it an inevitability.

Other than that, I agree with "James". (and Obo) :-)

Ray said...

What Charlotte said. In addition the Devil's Kitchen was the first libertarian blog I found and subscribed to, the one that made me realise that there were libertarians in the UK - I had only just found out what a libertarian was and that I had been one for a couple of decades and hadn't realised it.

So I am glad you are continuing, albeit with fewer swear words and suchlike.

Dick Puddlecote said...

As Charlotte said, get the book out.

There are many who Devil's Kitchen empowered and encouraged into voicing their own dissent. I know this as I'm one of them.

It's sad that an ignorant (of the blogosphere) dinosaur (OK, I'll concede) has effected this, but you're the boss and your reasons understandable.

Long live the Knife.

woman on a raft said...

It's a choice. If you want to reach the wider audience and disseminate these ideas further, then you have to do it in a way the readers can grasp. Not everyone can get past the style to the substance.

Personally I'll always prefer writing for its own sake but you'll always be able to go back to the beautiful individual prose if the politics doesn't work out.

Glad you've decided to walk this difficult path tho'; there is so much at stake. You can get public opinion shifted and the work starts now, having spent five years in rehearsal and development. Time to get the show on the road.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I had only just found out what a libertarian was and that I had been one for a couple of decades and hadn't realised it."

Ditto, Ray.

Wearysider said...

Disappointed, but understanding.

I enjoyed reading the off the deep end into the realms of demented fantasy rants a lot, but life goes on things move on and that includes you and your alter ego.

Norman said...

Very impressed. Well done - and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

DK, see if you can retain your climategate posts perhaps?

They were a bible for me and a few friends to keep track of everything going on, without disappearing into the compexities that were Bishop Hill and Climate Audit.

Other than of luck.

sconzey said...

I am still a bit pissed Wiggy nailed you for what was essentially the work of a persona. Like blaming an author for some particularly heinous phrase spouted by a character.

David said...

Long live the Knife!

I just sent off a missive:

"I must say I (and many others) were very disappointed with your treatment of LPUK leader Chris Mounsey. You had a precious few minutes to quiz him on the party's stances and policies and hence enlighten viewers about said "smaller party". However, the fact that you chose only to linger over the party's diminutive size and to admonish Chris about his style of blogging (perhaps both valid points had you had a much longer slot), constitutes a considerable betrayal (considering you promised Chris you would indeed talk about policies.)
I've often admired you as a presenter, however, you lost a lot of my respect yesterday."

Idle Pen Pusher said...

It's sad but understandable... all the best for the new DK. I was watching on the DP and found it a shame to see the wizened old hack take advantage of your generosity of spirit. But then, he's pretty rough with them all.

It's such a shame that he did have a point and that your decisions have been sensible. People are far too easily offended.

Spartan said...

Requests for apologies .... I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.

l wish you well DK with your new direction.

Steve said...

I only started reading 3 days ago, was it something I said?? ;) good luck, I'll still keep reading.

Truculent Sheep said...

I'm sorry to see your hand forced like this. Candour is once again reduced to a dirty word, and yet people wonder why the media is so banal and politicians are so false. It's simply because an honest opinion always comes second to a never-ending bullshit comedy of manners.

James Higham said...

I’ve nothing much to add to what people have already said. No one likes to see someone go down like that and so publicly too.

He was always a good friend to me until the recent inanity.

Now that names have been matched to pseudonyms in the public sphere, I’d just say that I hope Chris can wake up to his responsibility to the people of this land, as head of a party and can support the giving of a voice to the people in the form of the referendum they so desperately want.

Dominic Allkins said...

A shame to see The Kitchen go as there was a vicariousness in reading the catharsis. But understandable.

It was from The Kitchen that I first became aware of LPUK and became a member.

Thrilled to hear that the job is going well and good luck with that, The Knife and leadership of LPUK.

Ditto re: the book. I'd buy it.


Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that you found the final decision surprisingly easy - I know that I did. There comes a point when it is time to throw in the towel

Best of luck going forward & hopefully see you at the chilli cook off

Yours aye

Mr formerly known as Mr Free Market

Wossat? said...

DK, the swearing was only part of it. It never detracted from the relevance of the subject, the killer observations and exceptional common sense your posts exude. Okay, so the knife will no longer be plunged so deeply. I can live with that. Your anger is our anger. You give us a voice. More power to your blog and thanks for saying what needs to be said, sweary or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

So yet another independent blogger goes down the tubes thanks to external pressure. Yup, we certainly do live in a 'free society', until you scratch the surface, or try to make waves of course....

Good luck to you DK, I'm now a member of the libertarian party thanks to you. I'll miss your blogs, not only for their vitriol (I thought I was the only one who was so disgusted with UK politics), but for their insight.

TheBigYin said...

Don't let the bastards grind you down mate, expecially follicle challenged fat untallented bastards like that shithead that went out of his way to ridicule you. School yard bullies have nothing on that shite.

Keep up the good work.

Gawain Towler said...

Onwards and upwards my dear, onwards and upwards

berenike said...

Great! The swearing was ignorable, but the obscenity was, erm, obscene. (though I'm still here, so evidently I coped:) )

Peter said...

The thing is, I can't believe Neil is quite so bumptious in real life. I mean, he didn't ask you about a single policy.

A sad day for the blogosphere. Still, onwards and upwards.

Kat said...

Small consolation but my own language watching DP yesterday had the potential to make even the Devil blush.

Don't blame you for making the decision but absolutely gutted one of my favourite feeds is no more, it was one of the few I would make a point of reading in full, compared to Wiggy's which I deleted as a waste of time after a couple of weeks.

You are streets ahead of that old dinosaur in terms of talent & readability with or without the er.. colourful imagery, nuff said.

RSS feed seems to work fine

Old Holborn said...

I'm with Frank

There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Letters From A Tory said...

The move here is nothing more than an inconvenience. In the blogosphere, it's your opinions that count, not your profanities.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Brillo treat someone like Gerry Adams like that...

Anonymous said...

Bummer...this is just like when Dylan went electric. :(

Generalfeldmarschall said...

DK is dead. Long live DK!

& wish something very unpleasant on Brillo.

(I'm sure the old DK[deceased] would have been able to supply a word)

Mike Rouse said...


I'm in a similar boat. Have to keep my head down. Understand entirely.

charkers said...

You did look like a prize tit...

I've been a member for just under a year now, and was really looking forward to our esteemed leader appearing. Very awkward...

Shame about the blog, but kudos for mending the weakness in your armour.

Onwards and upwards!

John Freeman Ⓥ said...

Best of luck for the new DK !

I am sure I will continue to enjoy the reading and think that was the right thing to do to continue growing the Libertarian Party.


Lee said...

The Kitchen made me a better person.

thanks DK and I look forward to reading your new work

Daniel1979 said...

Behind the rage was always someone worth reading so I will keep coming back; though I am sad that the old format is now lost.

Good luck with everything.


Tom Paine said...

Mrs Paine will be disappointed as your adept sweariness cracked her up, but since you took on the leadership of LPUK I have regarded it as inevitable. What a shame it will go down to the "credit" of that odious man. Good luck, DK, in all your endeavours.

righty right wing (mrs) said...

Thank you for the blog.

And many thanks for another good reason to despise Brillo.

Good luck.

Ben said...

I think Neil had probably been waiting for the chance to take you down since the Spectator inspired rant "the tagline of which could have been "the magazine that sucks Cameron's cock until the cum runs out". HA!
Real shame, loved the blog. All the best.

Chalcedon said...

As a regular reader for 2 years or so I must say I did enjoy your swearing rants and interesting scenarios conjored up regarding whole host of politicians. However, I do understand your position. I hope you will still be challenging and expose and comment upon corrupt politicians and their ilk as you find them. I will watch the next phase with interest. Just have to keep reading what that bastard clown dishes up for the swearing.

Doctor Why said...

I bore witness to the appalling elephant trap set by Wiggy, but I have only just discovered your response.

A long time reader of the Kitchen, I am most saddened to see it go. That being said, I fully appreciate the reason given. I definitely will be looking in on the Devil in future, just to ensure he hasn't given up the fight.

You are needed, CM.

LPUK is needed.

Please keep buggering on!

Anonymous said...

Normal evolution for your blog, considering your new roles, and which you had already started anyway.

You made me chuckle quite a few times, so thank you for that.

I watched the DP, and I was a little disappointed by your reaction. But then again, I was not in your shoes so it is easy for me to say.

It could be a good idea however to invest a bit of the LPUK's funds in getting yourself some training so that next time, you could give the likes of wiggy some of his own medicine!

Dick the Prick said...

All the best DK. As mentioned, the swearing can be funny but it's only tinsel on the Christmas tree. Keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

You should compile the best posts of your old blog into a book.

Anonymous said...

Hi DK,

I'm very sorry to hear you're "archiving" your blog history and plan to moderate the vitriol in future.

I've thoroughly enjoyed your writing in the several years I've been visiting your site, and it genuinely moved me to investigate libertarianism in all its forms (I'm now a pretty complete convert). Your constant evisceration of the pomposity, self-importance and utter misanthropy of the Righteous and our political and media elites, as well as thorough investigations into issues like the CRU emails, has been something of an inspiration.

However when the Righteous start threatening your livelihood then decisions need to be made and stock taken. I understand your reasons for archiving and moderating the blog and hope any employment issues are swiftly resolved.

I look forward to continue to visit the site and read the latest, though I will miss some of your more creative profanity. Few could spew a sweary soliloquy like yourself.


A long time reader, first time commenter ...

Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed by Neil's complete contempt of a smaller party. I thought it a disgrace not to ask of the party's ideas and ideals. In that respect the programme lost at least as much in respect as the party did in opportunity.

I will greatly miss The Kitchen. I am a regular reader and like many others realise that I too am Libertarian by nature. (I admit that I have to rethink some of my ideas to fit the bill but that is an ongoing self education and is to my advantage.)

I will continue to read. I think that yours was always one of the best written blogs around as far as getting to the heart of the issues and explaining Libertarianism.

The Knife will be to the benefit of LPUK as I have explained the principles to many people without feeling sure to send them to the Kitchen due to some of the language.

Keep the spirit, keep your chin up and keep fighting.

Thank you for being my voice even when others would not have it heard.

JonnyB said...

Count me in as one of those who were interested in the ideas rather than the language.

Yes - it was a car crash, and hope you've recovered by now. But a dignified response, and good luck.

Kudos to you for not going down the 'boo hoo it isn't fair' route.

Ed P said...

Keep up the good posts! With or without the expletives, you always have insightful and thoughtful things to say, being one of the very best Libertarian bloggers. I've noticed your more mellow attitude since hitching up with the lovely Bella, but it hasn't diminished your clarity.

Mr Eugenides said...

Also, is this the same BBC that are so proud of The Thick Of It? Since when did swearing and politics not mix?

tipple said...

The time slot allocated was far too short for you to even begin to explain any policy. The beeb set you up!
Good luck with the new venture. I'll keep on reading.

RodneyTheRabidHamster said...

On behalf of everyone, bring The Kitchen back!

indigomyth said...

As Ray above said, the Kitchen was the first libertarian blog I started reading, and first that led me to libertarian thought, eventually encouraging me to join LPUK.

Good luck with the new format.

steves said...

don't care if you swear or not just keep blogging.

you were one of the first blogs (or people) I came across that who had a similar outlook on our masters and what they get up to.

Corvus Corax said...

Willam of Ockham had his well-known razor, and now the Devil has a knife. Let's hope it separates the truth from falsehood equally as well.

AndrewSouthLondon said...

Andrew Neil is a media prostitute, complete utter scum, who shoots the good guys to get a byline.

Shame on him. You blog has given us hope to stand up against the media boot stamping on the human face.

Its that "Spartacus moment" - I'm Devils kitchen, No, I'm Devils Kitchen. No, I'm Devils Kitchen. You gave swearing a good name.

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

A book? Yes please!

As for title, perhaps The Devil's Kitchen Knife. Sharper than a two-edged sword.

You should never give way to our lords and masters, it will only make 'em think they have won.

Foxy Brown said...

I'm a bit of a repressed prude, and of the "Swearing demonstrates a poverty of vocabulary" mindset. However, I grew to love your old blog, and it became one of my favourite political forums.

I've since exorcised my inner Jean Brodie, because your use of profanity was elegant and quite beautiful. It showed that "bad" language serves a useful social and psychological purpose.

Also, Brillo is wrong. I identify quite strongly with libertarian principles. Before the advent of the Web, I had no idea that other people were also concerned about state interference in the affairs of the individual. Or that Polly Toynbee was deranged (allegedly), the NHS was bureaucratically mad and the BBC journalistically lazy. I thought I was just weird.

Terry said...

DK, I don't like swearing, but I love the way you express yourself so openly and forcefully - basically as a real human being not as a clone - completely understandable what you're doing but keep that independence of mind!

Craig R said...

DK - I've lurked for a long time, enjoying your posts but never commenting. You and your fellow libertarian bloggers have had a huge impact on me and my political thinking, and I thank you for that. And it wasn't because of the swearing. It was your willingness to challenge, and your willingness to stand up and be counted for what you believe in. Whatever you do, don't lose faith in yourself because of this.

All the best,

Anonymous said...

I always enjoyed the argument but found the swearing wearing. Maybe that just proves what an old fart I am, but just maybe I'm not wrong. You could have used other tactics in the interview, but so far as the great mass of people are concerned the scarier flights of DK language were too far out ever to be covered by creative licence. I fear that your credibility has now been damaged for a long time with the mainstream audience. Either you mean the stuff, defend it to the hilt and come over as quite weird - who genuinely wishes that those things would happen to real people? - or you recant, back-pedal and apologise, and look like a naughty schoolboy getting a dressing-down from Sir. You know full well that no great number would ever pay serious attention to a political speech written by DK on a good/bad day. With luck you will escape the worst potential outcomes but stepping over from celebrity blogger to serious politics just got a lot harder and will take longer.

Anonymous said...

Pretty boy from private school gets told off so runs away. Cunt.

Gandhi said...

@Anonymous "pretty boy" I'm with you brother, it's the eyebrows isn't it? Positively majestic. Almost enough to turn a Mahatma.

Man this blog changed.

Middle Seaxe said...

Keep on keeping on DK, those twats over at Liberal Conspiracy are stroking themselves into a spunk covered frenzy, they really, really don't like anything you have to say.

That's worth carrying on for alone. To see them gnash and froth.

I've always seen these blogs as a continuation in the pamphleteering tradition of those great agitators of the 17th century The Levellers.

Yes, so you were tongue lashed on tv by old Brillo, but he's establishment, Freeborn John Lilburne was lashed for pamphleteering by the establishment too, only his lashing left real physical scars. He doggedly carried on though, and they changed the course of history.

Take heart from them, I say.

Anonymous said...

get some media training, grow a thicker skin & get back on the horse

Anonymous said...

This is such a shame. I, for one, will miss your vitriolic outbursts. I suspect a very large number of the General Public would relate to them far better than the sanitised bullshit we put up with in the mainstream press.

johnny nunsuch said...

Look at it this way my children know it's serious when I'm not swearing, so lets get serious

Henry North London 2.0 said...

Thank the Lord The Devil is back!

Old Holborn said...

I refer all readers to the title of this post

Dave said...

Excellent blog please keep up the good work, nice to here you are happier and calmer now but don't loose the edge.