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Hysterical outrage roundup


6:20 pm - June 3rd 2008

by Justin McKeating    


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Mmmmmm. Is there a daintier dish than jerked right-wing knee? The Bishop of Stafford writes an article about climate change and rather unwisely uses Joseph Fritzl as an example of human selfishness. Watch the right-wingers hitch up their skirts and squeal like the housekeeper in the Tom and Jerry cartoons.

It could be argued what the Bishop said took the argument to the acceptable limits of taste. So. without further ado, let he who is without sin cast the first stone…

Here’s Andrew Ian Dodge getting high and mighty. Is it only a year since Andrew was calling supporters of the EU ‘federasts’? You know I rather think it is.

Here’s poor widdle Wonko, he of measured and tasteful Labour = Nazis logo fame, parading his bruised sensibilities exhorting us to join his letter writing campaign of complaint.

Here’s the never knowingly out-outraged Iain Dale, past master of the mass murder and Dachau jokes, getting uppity.

Here’s Devil’s Kitchen momentarily setting aside his not-at-all-disproportionate ‘socialists are evil/Nazis/cunts’ schtick to direct his Anglo-Saxon bludgeon at the Bishop. Poor Devil, whatever happened to ‘it is always fun being offensive to deeply unpleasant, vicious people’? It’s only fun if you’re not on the receiving end, that’s what.

The fact is they all think beyond-the-pale insults are fun for all the family until they’re turned on their own apparently delicate and so very easily bruised sensibilities. What’s the matter, lads? Cat got your swastika, death camp and federast/pederast jokes? Tell us another one about how us lefties are just like those blokes who murdered the Jews. Go on.

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About the author
Justin McKeating is an occasional contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is a Brighton-based writer and blogger who can also be found at Chicken Yoghurt and Nuclear Reaction.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Environment ,Libertarians

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Reader comments


I do wish people like the Bishop of Stafford would think before they spoke. Comparing doubters to Fritzl puts off those who doubt but might be persuaded, along with the hardened deniers…

And, of course, it opens all environmentalists to shallow slurs of being insane anti-humans – when, of course, they’re rather limited. Which makes it occasionally difficult to persuade the above doubters that you’re right…

There is absolutely no reason or need to wince over this.

Are we somehow saying that right-wingers aren’t liable to go OTT or exaggerate with comparisons? In fact I can’ even remember how many times the word Nazi has been used on the above mentioned blogs.

Climate Change deniers are fuckwits. They deserve all the abuse. I’m all for it.

Maybe, Sunny, but they’re hardly going to realise the error of their ways after being compared to an incestuous paedophile.

but they’re hardly going to realise the error of their ways after being compared to an incestuous paedophile.

They’re unlikely to realise the error of their ways even if you present them with all the evidence, and there is plenty of it.

It’s actually a fallcy to believe that certain people can be persuaded to change their minds. It forces the left to temper its language and thus allow the shrill right-wingnuts to make the most amount of noise and slowly force the conversation on to their agenda.

You make your point and show the evidence. If they still don’t buy it and keep conjuring up left wing conspiracies that apparently threaten their freedoms, then……. *shrug* ……they deserve all the abuse they get. And more.

Have the time some of these right-wingnuts spout off about speeches without even reading them.

No, I’m afraid I don’t buy into the view that everyone can be persuaded on the back of evidence and good arguments. That may work with some people, and on top of that you need the media agenda on your side to get the politicians and the broad opinion to follow.

But most of the time, if we keep conceding ground just to try and show them the ‘error of their ways’, then its a battle already lost. And the environment is too important for that.

I’m less concerned with shrieking Malkinites’ reactions – who I agree aren’t going to be persuaded – and more with those who are uncertain about climate change. They exist, and they’re hardly going to be persuaded when we engage in name-calling as much as our opponents. Surely it’s a matter of making our point, showing the evidence – and then contrasting it with the behaviour of climate change deniers? Their billious frothing simply acts as a mask for their lack of substance, and enaging them on those terms draws debate away from the actual issues involved. We need to shout louder to be heard, yes, but the only noise which will convince anyone not yet convinced either way is the evidence, not tit-for-tat abuse.

Actually, as addendum to that post, I should point out that this post is valuable in pointing out deniers’ hypocrisy – whereas the Bishop himself chose his words unwisely…

“It forces the left to temper its language and thus allow the shrill right-wingnuts to make the most amount of noise and slowly force the conversation on to their agenda.”

But what merit is there to command and noise?

Certainly, there are those that whose views are unlikely to be altered by evidence, but those who have yet to decide are only going to be deterred by ‘incestuous paedophile characterisations.

One needs not only to shout louder but to shout things that are worth listening to.

(Excellent article by the way Justin.)

To be honest, I’d say the debate is dead with this stripe of denier. Holding up their rhetorical hypocrisy for the waverers is pretty much as far as it goes as far as I’m concerned. You might as well try and convince John Precott of the benefits of salad.

As to the unfortunate bishop, I think he underestimated his own power for inducing shame in people. Anyone sane can see that however misguided his choice of words he was trying to appeal to compassion rather than rain hellfire down on the unbelievers.

Give him his due, at least he resisted the graphic sexual imagery that some of the more popular right-wing blogs use to *ahem* ram home their point.

Justin,

I’ve wondered about you in past weeks (what was this hissy-fit all about?) But you’re not really this desperate to get a dig at your opponents in, are you?

Are you really comparing a silly pun (Dodge), a genuine observation of the similarity of a Labour logo with a swastika (Wonko) and jokes (Dale) with the Bishop of Stafford’s appalling column? Can you really not tell the difference between blogger hyperbole and the rhetoric of a Bishop with zero decency?

Finally, however much you’d like it to the facts that Nazi stood for National Socialist and the Nazis espoused collectivist, not individualist positions aren’t going to change anytime soon.

Nazi stood for National Socialist and the Nazis espoused collectivist, not individualist positions

10 out of 10 for historical accuracy, 0 out of 10 for rhetorical relevance, QT. Just where you think this sits in a modern political debate other than as a cheap shot to wind up the opposition needs to be explained. Modern British socialists are similar to 1940s fascists only in the minds of the likes of Chris Mounsey.

I think all this all sits easily with you QT because it’s not you and yours on the receiving end of such crap. As I’ve pointed you, your mob squeal like pigs the second the situation’s reversed.

On the one hand the Bishop’s comments were clearly not sensible or helpful. On the other hand, if he hadn’t made them then this post would never have been written, and I like this more than I object to them. So more please, my Lord.

Oh really QT, the Nazis = socialists shtick is about as tiresome as it gets. Perhaps if some of you picked up a history book once in a while you’d note that after Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and other assorted minorities, the groups the Nazis hated the next most were, err, communists, the socialists and the trade unions. How anyone can still claim the Nazis were socialists when one of their first actions in power was to ban the real socialists is approaching the ahistorical.

It’s true…

Hitler didn’t much like unionists, from what I can tell, anyway,

BTW. Justin.

Excellent. *scuttles off to read Precious Iain Dale’s piece.*

B.BTW

Larry Teabag

Has a point. It was a silly thing to say… What is it with these Bishops?

“10 out of 10 for historical accuracy, 0 out of 10 for rhetorical relevance, QT. Just where you think this sits in a modern political debate other than as a cheap shot to wind up the opposition needs to be explained.”

Sure, its a rhetorical device. But it’s worthwhile bringing out once in a while, especially against the type of people (admittedly you’re not one of them, Justin; I’m thinking more of, say, the DSTPFW lot) who frame the debate in terms of a useless left-right spectrum in which socialists are angels and fascists are devils.

In fact, both are authoritarian and collectivist, and both ideologies have in the recent past been shown in practice conduits to totalitarian hells. This is, I think, what DK is expressing by making the ‘National Socialist‘ shot, and he’s right. Authoritarian socialism and fascism are almost equally abhorrent to libertarians like DK and I, and almost equally diametrically opposed to small-state, individualist libertarianism.

It was clearly an absurd comparrison. Fritzl only screwed his family and cellar refurbishment specialists, climate change deniers will screw several low lying cities and countries.

QuestionThat,

I’ve always taken Devil’s Kitchen to be writing from a (stylistic) persona, so much of what he writes I take liberally sprinkled with salt.

Anyway, fascist states are necessarily autocratic, whereas there’s a broad spectrum of socialist philosophies that can’t be (but often are) generalised in such a manner. Obviously, they can’t be aligned with individualist politics but that doesn’t give one the excuse to be unnecessarily crass.

(But let’s not start another ‘bloggertarians’ fandango).

QT – ‘Authoritarian socialism and fascism are almost equally abhorrent to libertarians like DK and I, and almost equally diametrically opposed to small-state, individualist libertarianism.’

Can you please give an example of what you would label an authoritarian socialist government, so we can compare their level of abhorrence?

Adam: Can you really not think of one? Or are you getting faux-confused because I said “socialist” instead of “communist”?

I just want to know if we’re talking Stalin or New Labour or somewhere in between?

Different people mean different things by Socialist. I wasn’t being faux-confused. Genuine question.

#17
> This is, I think, what DK is expressing by making the ‘National Socialist‘ shot, and he’s right

Given that Chris isn’t stupid, I’d suggest his ‘National Socialist’ shot is just a *joke*, no? One that you’ve obviously taken a little too seriously. Unless he’s also planning to lay into “democracy” based on the politics of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the German Democratic Republic.

Uh, yes. It’s a joke, of a kind. But it’s a joke that’s also, in a joking sort of way, making a point.

#25

Really? What point do you think that it’s making? Other than that you obviously know nothing beyond the banale about either socialism or national socialism, I’m struggling to think of one.

I assumed “socialism = national socialism” was just a joke. A bit like that “Democratic People’s Republic of …” thing. Nobody could be *that* credulous, could they?

It’s facetious, but it’s not just a joke.

The basic idea is that a more useful one-dimensional political scale than “left-wing——-right wing” would be “collectivist——-individualist”.

If you see viewpoints on the latter spectrum, it’d follow that authoritarian socialism and fascism would both occur on the left side of the spectrum.

If you look at the Political Compass, you’ll see that the people responsible for that two-dimensional visual representation of political viewpoints would concur with me.

If you look at the Political Compass, you’ll see that the people responsible for that two-dimensional visual representation of political viewpoints would concur with me.

Well, the Political Compass here puts Hitler on the right side of the spectrum, and I believe he was quite a high-up in the National Socialst party.

Doug:
We need to shout louder to be heard, yes, but the only noise which will convince anyone not yet convinced either way is the evidence, not tit-for-tat abuse.

I agree, of course. But sometimes abuse is also necessary, and sometimes you have to shout when the evidence simply doesn’t convince the deniers.

Their own hypocrisy, as Justin has illustrated nicely, just shows how lame the debate has become already.

BenSix: But what merit is there to command and noise?

Well, there is in certain cases. Especially if you want to raise a point that not many are paying attention to. In fact, the climate change consensus is being somewhat pulled in the other way precisely because these nutjobs are screaming “conspiracy” so hard (ignore the fact they scream that all the time anyway). The point is, properly directed anger can have an impact. LGF, Malkin, Coulter, Kos, etc all know this and have used it. I’ll come back to this theme another time.

QT:
a genuine observation of the similarity of a Labour logo with a swastika

Oh gimme a break, please. the Hindus have used the genuine swastika in this country for years – I wonder which dimwit is going to start calling them Nazis and have it banned. The whole thing is some party political willy-waving.

planeshift:
It was clearly an absurd comparrison. Fritzl only screwed his family and cellar refurbishment specialists, climate change deniers will screw several low lying cities and countries.

Love it.

#27 QT

> The basic idea is that a more useful one-dimensional political scale than “left-wing——-right wing” would be “collectivist——-individualist”.

Yes, that really is basic. What next, trades unionists, Rotarians and National Trusters all = fascists?

I don’t think it would take much digging, either, to find out that National Socialism was somewhat more sectarian than collectivist. But there’s probably a short book in this one… and I’m too busy, far happier thinking you’re all just joking. Then you don’t sound so silly.

Sunny,

They’re unlikely to realise the error of their ways even if you present them with all the evidence, and there is plenty of it.

I’m not going to get into this argument again (mainly because time will prove me correct) but here is an awful lot of evidence against anthropogenic climate change too (not least the fact that, despite rapidly accelerating CO2 output, there has been no warming for ten years. In fact, if you take 1998 into account, the severe drop after that year would indicate a cooling trend).

However, as with all scientific theories, scepticism is the correct attitude to have. That is how science advances: no theory can be proved, only disproved (see Karl Popper’s Theory of Empirical Falsifiability).

DK

P.S. It’s a silly article, but I’ve replied to Justin over at his place.

I’m not even going to bother getting into the Nazi/socialist debate, except to say that the fact that Nazi is short for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, trans. National Socialist German Workers’ Party, is a fact of history.

Whether you consider them to be actually socialist is another matter, but there are certainly similarities between some policies. I would say, however, that what the Nazis shared with e.g. Communists was authoritarianism.

DK

> Whether you consider them to be actually socialist is another matter

It’s not another matter. It’s the only important matter if you’re making a socialist = Nazis comparison, in seriousness. (If it’s just a gag to wind up lefties, then go for it. I’m neither a socialist nor a national socialist, so I’m unlikely to be offended either way.)

I mean you wouldn’t take seriously the suggestion that ‘Work Makes You Free’, nor that the DPRK was in fact Democratic, so why on earth just because a party calls itself ‘Nationalsocialist’ (not really National Socialist, though German can make those sorts of semantic distinctions tricky), you think that’s something worth believing (a fact of history),I have no idea.

[i]DonaldS[/i]: [b]Any[/b] one-dimensional scale is by definition going to be basic. Even the Political Compass (a 2D scale), while an improvement, is still pretty simplistic.

Either my proposed 1D scale or the Political Compass’ 2D scale are a vast improvement on the rule-of-thumb a lot of people I have the misfortune to butt heads with on the blogs seem to be using, i.e. left(nice)——————right(nasty).

Your countering with ‘you’re equating trades unionists/Rotarians with fascists’ doesn’t wash. I’m talking about political power, not individuals with similar worldviews forming a voluntary collective. If you can’t tell the difference that’s your problem.

[i]SunnyH[/i]: [i]”Oh gimme a break, please. the Hindus have used the genuine swastika in this country for years – I wonder which dimwit is going to start calling them Nazis and have it banned”[/i]

Ridiculous. The context this logo was used in was political (it was the logo of a ‘Progressive Governance Summit’, and nothing whatsoever to do with Hinduism (or religion in general). Plus, I’d wager that far more people across the UK associate the swastika with the Nazis before they think of the Hindu connection.

DK

“[T]here is an awful lot of evidence against anthropogenic climate change too (not least the fact that, despite rapidly accelerating CO2 output, there has been no warming for ten years. In fact, if you take 1998 into account, the severe drop after that year would indicate a cooling trend).”

Erm, that is categorically NOT evidence of a “cooling trend”. All the deniers have done is take as a reference point the year with the largest spike in mean global temperatures – 1998 – and started their dishonest trends from there. 1998 just happened to be the year which recorded the largest El Nino in a century.

To keep pushing this battered argument proves the Bishop right.

34. douglas clark

BenM,

There as an industry out there allied to casting doubt wherever it can.

This is an interesting read, I think:

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_manufacture_of_uncertainty

I’m not sure a name is proof of intent – in other words, the ‘socialist’ bit in ‘national socialist’ could have been spin.

That said, socialism is evil.

36. dsquared

This stuff about the Political Compass thing is rubbish, by the way. Chris Lightfoot proved, a couple of years ago that the first two principal components more or less exhaust the variance of answers to those kind of questions and the first PC explains about five times as much as the second.

Furthermore, the second (weakly significant) principal component is the laissez-faire/collective one on economics – vastly the most significant one-dimensional scale is one which Chris called “The Axis of UKIP”, which combines attitudes to crime and punishment, sexual morality, immigration and Europe versus America. In other words, to be frank, a one-dimensional scale of left(nice) ———————-right(nasty) describes the data really pretty well.

And that, by the way, is the reason, from actual science, why the debating point about the Nazis being socialists is bollocks. As Alex Harrowell said quite recently, “But I am a Libertarian!” is about as convincing in most cases as “But I am a lady!” – genuine principled libertarians do exist, but they’re about as common as genuine transexuals.

Chris’s data here

The context this logo was used in was political (it was the logo of a ‘Progressive Governance Summit’, and nothing whatsoever to do with Hinduism (or religion in general). Plus, I’d wager that far more people across the UK associate the swastika with the Nazis before they think of the Hindu connection.

That’s not my point. My point is that imagery is about intention. Not only did that logo look nothing like the Swastika, but making a big big deal about it and then crowing about it like kids in candy shop is exactly why the level of political debate is so shite in this country. If they’re not making a big deal about Hindu swastikas, what is the point of making a big deal about some symbol that has some vague resemblance. Does it achieve anything? Is there any point to it?

@dsquared/john b: Interesting. I will come back to this, maybe on my own blog in the next few days.

@Sunny: No. That doesn’t wash. a) The logo blatantly did look like a swastika and b) right-wing bloggers made a lot of hay out of it because it was an astounding case of incompetence and was very funny indeed.

It has nothing to do with the standard of political debate, which I think is harmed much more by pseuds and wilful deceivers than by straight-talking political bloggers with a sense of humour.

It also has, I repeat from my previous comment, nothing whatsoever to do with religion. A swastika that appears in a political context is inevitably going to evoke thoughts of Nazis, not Hindus.

Ah…… the tedious Nazi-socialist cannard. By your actions shall ye be known – and who you support. The fact that the political conservative Right in the 30s were as generally, vaguely, pro-fascist as the political Left were, generally, vaguely pro-communist is the key distinction here. Both were in error, but lets not pretend to be confused as to which side was the one which can with any degree of accuracy be called “socialist”. Everything else is vacuous bluster.

Getting back (slightly) nearer to the point here, is that comparing people to Nazis, without a great deal of evidence (ie exclusing parties led by someone who has spent a great deal of his life denying the existence of the Holocaust) is a childish and wanky debating tactic, whether used by the left or by the right. I think the left probably used to be more guilty of it (think Young Ones Rick shouting “Fascist!”), but it seems the right appear to be the main abusers these days, on pseudo-libertarian grounds. And as dsquared says, it -is- pseudo (Robert Nozick et al are the only ones principled to take libertarianism to its true – barmy – logical conclusions)

Geting back nearer the point still, Justin has nailed a very key truth – that those who glory in their own offensiveness (“gloriously politially incorrect” blah de yawning blah) are very often those quickest to have their own delicate little flower sensitivities offended. Fuck these rancid bullies. Up the arse with a rusty tent-pole.

Socialism is evil.

42. Dodgy Geezer

“DK

“[T]here is an awful lot of evidence against anthropogenic climate change too (not least the fact that, despite rapidly accelerating CO2 output, there has been no warming for ten years. In fact, if you take 1998 into account, the severe drop after that year would indicate a cooling trend).”

Erm, that is categorically NOT evidence of a “cooling trend”. All the deniers have done is take as a reference point the year with the largest spike in mean global temperatures – 1998 – and started their dishonest trends from there. 1998 just happened to be the year which recorded the largest El Nino in a century.

To keep pushing this battered argument proves the Bishop right.”
BenM

Umm… Ben, if you take 2000 as a reference point you still see a cooling. And the original point was that there should have been a huge WARMING. Where is it?

Of course, if it is ‘dishonest’ to ask these questions I apologise. But does it make me far worse than Fritzl for just wanting to know why we should close our entire civilisation down?

The impression I get is that I am told ‘science’ proves that Global Warming exists, but that it has now been proved, and mustn’t be questioned. In my book, that is not science.

Interestingly, from what I can see, ALL the original ‘proofs’ of Global Warming are beginning to crumble. The ‘hockey-stick’ maths is now comprehensively disproven, and even the base data on which all of this hypothesis is founded is now looking dodgy. See http://www.surfacestations.org/ . So perhaps calling people names is the only defence left for the Global Warming believers?


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  1. Hysterical outrage roundup - Chicken Yoghurt

    […] at Liberal Conspiracy) Posted on June 3rd, 2008 at 6:02 […]

  2. Longrider » Nazis and Socialists

    […] His blog, his rules. However, I can’t help but smile – after all, he is now doing exactly what he castigated the Devil’s Kitchen for doing only a few days previously (i.e. dishing it out, but getting all po-faced when it comes flying back). It was in that discussion (about the rather unpleasant and stupid remarks made by the Bishop of Stafford) that the Nazi/socialist comments reared their head. Justin and his co-conspirators took exception and argued the semantics ad nauseum. […]





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