Friday, September 01, 2006

This is pathetic

Via Nosemonkey, we see the results of the protest organised by (mildly amusing) Marxist Mark thomas. Some will hail it, no doubt, as a triumph; personally, I think that it is pathetic. According to the Beeb,
About 100 protesters gathered in Westminster earlier to protest against its "demo ban" zone.

Which is, I think that you will agree, rather sweet. Let us leave aside that 300,000 protesters against the hunting ban and a million against the Iraq war had precisely fuck-all effect on the fascists that rule us, and look at those wonderful bloggers who were involved.

First up is Rachel From North London, agitating once again for an enquiry. Rachel thinks that a vastly expensive public enquiry, rather than the security forces and emergency services adapting to what was then a new situation, would be beneficial to all of us; mainly, however, I suspect that it will allay her paranoia about the—admittedly awful—experience that she went through. No doubt next time she will be campaigning for an enquiry into the Warrington and Omagh bombings, or perhaps she has already? Or perhaps they just weren't immediate enough? Or maybe she supports the ludicrous suspicion that many British Muslims apparently have that the 7/7 bombings were arranged by the government? Anyway, you can see her on Nosemonkey's post. Essentially, she has an axe to grind.

Then we have our dear ChickenYoghurt, also to be seen on Nosemonkey's post. At least Justin seems to have encapsulated the pointlessnes of what they are undertaking, with his Ban Everything and Legalise Everything signs. However, let us not forget that Justin, whilst an entertaining writer, also tends to lean to the Left. [EDIT and apologies: I was sure that I recollected Justin writing an article in favour of Sure Start about a year ago, but I must have been mistaken as I have been unable to find it. Again, apologies.]

Then, of course, we have Tim Ireland, who looks to be the fat fool that I always took him for. This is a man whose campaign against Labour is based on the fact that Blair is still leader; presumably, if Chuckles were not leading the party, voting for the fascist shitbags would be perfectly OK. And that is quite apart from the fact that he writes one of the most tediously earnest 'blogs in the UK, and possibly the world. (This is why, devoted to activism though Tim is, people like Guido and Iain do far better traffic.) Yet more axes.

It's very lovely to see a bunch of disenfranchised Labour supporters and loony Marxists organising a lovely little protest to amuse themselves: I can't, however, stop myself from thinking of the old P J O'Rourke quote about why you never see people on the Right at protests, i.e. they have jobs.

Still, as long as it makes them happy, eh?

EDIT 2: I am sure that this article comes over as very sour and, yes, I was in a bad mood. It is partly, I think, that I can't see where the coherence might be in this particular piece of protesting. Could there not have been one issue decided, but everybody applying separately to campaign on that one issue? Possibly that would not have been allowed...?


Martin said...


By their friends shall ye know them....

The career of Mark Thomas has not been without some merit - however, in some ways it displays the very essence of both the good and bad of the British left.

Yes, the executives of certain large Mitteleuropean food combos should be strung up by their goolies from the nearest cuckoo clock for their systematic corporate abuse of Africa's suckling mothers.

Yes, there are those within the British death/weapons/defence industries for whose passing one would not shed a tear should they be tied to stakes and used as the bullseye on a bunkerbuster test.

Yet Thomas makes his case by harrassing and victimising those connected to these practices who are least able to defend themselves. Doormen. Teenage receptionists on work experience. Put upon PA's; in fact, the sort of people who know precisely how his targets work, who probably hate them more than he does and who, if he bothered to cultivate them instead of harrassing them, would be able to provide him with more real information on what actually goes on inside them than he seems capable of obtaining through his infantile stunts.

His attempts at the noble by achieving the cheap and nasty show him to be a bully of the working-class. His efforts are sold to the public as being well-intentioned, whereas to me they only seem mean-spirited. The resulting journalism may be middling, but it all makes for a hell of a show.

Yesterday's business seems to have been of precisely the same moral and intellectual calibre as his other work - not really very high.

Nosemonkey said...

Erm... While I (to an extent) agree about Thomas - never much of a fan, here, though have enjoyed some of his stuff - methinks you might well have missed the point a touch. Namely that the protests were SUPPOSED to be pointless and stupid, to point out the pointlessness and stupidity of the exclusion zone law.

As for jobs, it took place at 6:30 in central London - about an hour after several hundred thousand people had just finished work... Calm down, dear. A few posts above this you accuse "EUrophiles" of being about to dismiss figures simply because they're from the Bruges Group - it seems you've just dismissed this simply because it was organised by a lefty...

Anonymous said...

"...a man who supports the state-sponsored Sure Start programme essentially because he has a child..."

I want to see a link to any reference of my support for Sure Start. Come on, cough up.

Tim said...

I'm earnest! I have a high BMI!

Bloody hell, mate... you've made me cry now.

As for the only serious 'point' you raise...

Why Blair?: Because someone has to be called to account or the next batch of power-mad bastards - here or abroad - will think they can get away with exactly the same thing.

PS - You smell and your mother wears combat boots.

Anonymous said...

what a load of old rubbish dk - you protest at great length on your site about how tony and chums are moving us into real-life 1984; but here you are critising people for fighting exactly that type of thinking. and as for your specific attacks on the protestors, can anyone say straw man?

Anonymous said...

Come on, Polly, sorry, DK, I'm waiting.

Where's your facts to back up your assertion?

Anonymous said...

Apology accepted, Captain Needa.

MatGB said...

Mark Thomas, marxist? Last I looked, he was an avowed anarchist, and while a leftie, not close to a statist Marxist in many respects.

Also, bear in mind, comedian. I've enjoyed his comedy and stunts since he first launched the Mark Thomas Comedy Product, and especially enjoyed when he ran in a by election as the Mark Thomas Friday Nights Channel 4 party.

Taking him seriously and treating him like a 'real' campaigner is as bad as taking Moore seriously, they're not. Yes, they highlight issues, but the main job is to entertain.

I think the protest itself was funny; if I'd been able, I'd have been there myself. SOCPA isn't the worst of the Acts this lot have passed, but it is indicative of their hatred of criticism. As for BackingBlair being an anti-Blair specific? Well, yes, it is. That doesn't mean the next project will be.

As Rachel says in the Haloscan comment, the whole point was the ludicrous nature of the legislation, and to get publicity for the issue. This it did. It also allowed people who've been plotting online to actually meet up and then go to the pub afterwards.

Pretty good way to spend an evening really.

Besides, attacking people because they're generally a bit to the left, but also dislike authoritarianism, is to miss the point. If we're going to remove the authoritarian tendencies, which exist in bot of the Big Two parties, you need to make your alliances where you find them. Meh, YMMV

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