Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bunny Ears

And continuing my recent trend of poking Telegraph bloggers with a stick, here's excitable, self-promoting Tory windbag Dan Hannan explaining that us lefties have been far too successful in ensuring that the people of Britain are protected from the excesses of an overly-powerful state.

Don't believe me?  Well, Dan wonders "why the courts have a leftist bias", his evidence for this baleful judicial socialism being that judges strike down unlawful deportation orders; that they restrict ministers' ability to impose maximum tariffs on prison sentences and that they overturn ministerial decisions on prisoner releases.

Now this is a pretty odd thing for a self-professed libertarian to be stressing about, since it's theoretically Dan's own political tendency who are supposed to big on restricting ministerial diktats over individuals, but if he's giving away the British liberty flags for free, I'll take 'em. 

I don't recall e.g. early release for prisoners featuring heavily in Capital*, nor do I remember anyone saying that the spectre haunting Europe was "judicial activism".  Still, I suppose that if Tory libertarians are now bashing the gavel for centralised authority and rule by decree, we should probably leave them to their daydreams of gleaming, freshly-painted panopticons. 

Anyway, Dan also somehow manages to confuse "some activist fannies petitioning a court to arrest George Bush" with "George Bush being arrested";  Blames Labour for deliberately encouraging judges to massively inconvenience Labour ministers, and claims that "diversity" is a scam designed to pack the benches with Commies, thus keeping the red flag flying over Britain even while the Tories occupy Number Ten.  It's all wacky, tinfoil-hatted stuff but then, this is the Telegraph.

But I do like these claims that the judiciary is full of socialists.  They'll probably come as news to the judges themselves, of course - having spent years around lawyers, I can confirm that the only kind of politics most have any interest at all in are green politics, if you know what I'm getting at.  

It's all about as serious and dignified as a big rubber dick at a Hen Night but then, I've always thought that if you strapped a pair of vibrating bunny ears to Dan Hannan's feet, he'd closely resemble a gigantic pink sex toy, so it's all in character. 

*Mainly because I haven't read it.  Have you seen the size of that book?  Life's too short.


ejh said...

Try this

Organic cheeseboard said...

Have commented on this over at bensix'so gaff but you're gonna want to have a look.

Alan NTM in full-on bezerk mode in a piece endorsed by Our Nick among others:

flyingrodent said...

Jesus. God knows, I'm not much of a fan of e.g. invoking genocide against the Israelis when no actual genocide is happening, but that is just hilarious.

Perhaps it represents progress that Alan Not The Minister Johnson is now saying that students are being led astray by academic fanatics, rather than just being a big bunch of Nazis.

Nonetheless, I note that there may be another explanation. For instance, whenever some raging studenty twat uses e.g. "concentration camp" to describe Gaza - a phrasing that I think is extremely unhelpful, by the way - it may not be because some professor has buckled his/her fragile, eggshell mind. It may be because, you know, Gaza is basically a large population, mostly civilian, interred and segregated from society for a period of years, due to some characteristic of racial or political undesirability, generally under harsh or oppressive conditions, with ingress and egress of people, supplies, humanitarian aid, and so on strictly curtailed or suspended altogether, and frequently assailed by blockades and periodic, punitive raids.

Now, whose fault is it that this looks a bit concentration-campy, to a bunch of youngsters? According to our Alan, it's extremist professors, but I'd insist that this probably isn't the case. There are more obvious explanations.

And it really is very, very noticeable how comfortable even the most high-profile Decents are in fannying around in the obscure world of student politics. You'd think many of them had never left student politics, in fact.

All this said, I don't think it's on to go about stridently telling Alan Johnson to fuck off in a loud voice. On the other hand, I'm aware of the difference between this and, you know, Nazism.

(Also worth noting here that Ireland holds a special role in the Decent bestiary, since its residents generally take a dimmer view of colonial behaviours, for some reason. And for some, the issue of Catholicism has a bit of a feeding-a-Mogwai-after-midnight effect).

organic cheeseboard said...

The bloke shouting at him was obviously a dickhead, i agree, but even a cursory google tells you that he's one of those people who stays at one Uni from BA to PhD, involving himself in the Students' Union to an insane degree (I'm always wary of postgrads who are overly active in SU politics - that LSE atheist bloke Chris Moos is another one) and is hardly representative of the student body in general. There will alwatys be a few hardliners in student politics, especially on the subject of Israel/Palestine. Alan NTM has been painting it as if this one postgrad (if he's even that - not sure he's even a student any more) represents all students, essentially because it's politically useful for him to do so. I also tried and I couldn't find any examples of said 'extremist professors' in Galway (I know at least 2 people who teach there and they're anything but). The University probably have grounds to sue him there I reckon...

On the Crimea situation, Nick Cohen retweets this from a Newsnight bod:

Have just attended press conf of #Crimea vote 'observers'. Far right, communists, conspiracists and ppl with business interest in Russia.

The last of these interests me the most. I wonder if Nick would've approvingly cited someone pointing out the crossover between, say, people who advocated war against Iraq and people whose businesses had something to gain from there being a war there? I wonder what line he took on the 'no war for oil' shenanigans for instance. (also worth noting that these 'Communists' won almost 14% of the vote in the last Ukranian elections and have 32 seats in parliament, though these commies might be different from the Crimea observers since the main Communist party in Ukraine was involved in the Maidan protests).