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I blame the lazy liberal media


9:27 am - October 21st 2008

by Sunny Hundal    


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Both Polly Toynbee and Cath Elliott have written good pieces for the Guardian on this government’s failure to stand firm on HFE Bill amendments and follow through with a progressive pro-choice stance that should be the cornerstone of any vaguely left-wing government.

Instead, as Ms Toynbee rightly points out, New Labour has become scared of Nadine Dorries MP and the tons of supportive, misleading propaganda that has poured from the Daily Mail and Telegraph. Which begs me to wonder why the hell there wasn’t an equally vicious counter-attack in the left-liberal press. Why haven’t the Guardian or the Independent asked the sort of questions about Nadine Dorries MP and her campaign that we have on this blog?

Partly, I’m beginning to agree with the feminist complaint that the male-dominated left actually ends up saying very little on issues like abortion. They’re out there campaigning against the war in Iraq but when a bit of solidarity is needed with women from Northern Ireland, the comrades are busily inspecting their shoes. Liberals especially, too afraid to touch an issue like abortion for fear of offending anyone, have barely attempted to go on the counter-attack in the media.

The Channel 4 documentary that exposed Nadine Dorries’s close links to the bigoted, fundamentalist Christian organisation: Christian Concern For Our Nation, offered a veritable feast for an angle that could be used to ask questions about how was funding Ms Dorries’s campaign and why she was hiding her true agenda on abortion and smearing journalists like Ben Goldacre. What did we get? Uncomfortable silence, and some bleating now the vote has came up again. I admire the right on this regard: they have ideological positions and they’ll run happily run a quasi-propaganda campaign to support it. The left-liberal press is on the side of public opinion and has a ton of bullshit to shoot down, and they still can’t do a good enough job to push their case. No wonder New Labour is in retreat.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,e) Briefings ,Equality ,Feminism ,Nadine Dorries ,Sex equality

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Reader comments


There are a bunch of causes to this.

Labour are terrified of putting off the Daily Fail reader.
The left-wing press doesn’t know what to do now Labour is not left wing any more.
The male-dominated media and political establishment doesn’t understand why this is is important.

This all means that “more important things” like the war in Iraq still trump women’s rights. And thus it ever was.

I hate to admit it but I’m right with Polly Toynbee on this one – and I sent a nasty letter to Harriet Harman on my blog this morning to prove it.

http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

‘They’re out there campaigning against the war in Iraq but when a bit of solidarity is needed with women from Northern Ireland, the comrades are busily inspecting their shoes’

I’d go a bit further than that. Several years ago, when faffing round the edges of the great, failed Respect experiment, I was actively told to keep my complaints to myself when I complained that George Galloway – hero of the left that we were supposed to be leafleting to get into parliament, etc – was an anti-abortionist.

‘You’ll have to leave that kind of thing at the door, Kate,’ the great men of the far left told me. ‘The war is the only thing that matters.’

Needless to say, I am no longer a member of the far left in any formal sense, and limit myself only to taking the piss out of it on blogs.

Et cetera.

It’s my understanding that the same sort of shite went down in the 60s – women felt the anti (Vietnam) war movement tended to rather sideline equally important issues such as equalities for women, abortion rights, etc. I can see how that happened.

How about all you boys prove your commitment to us by linking to all the abortion stories LC has done thus far – I listed them in the Tim Ireland underpants story I posted yesterday, but we can list them again somewhere, and have everyone link. I have suggested this a couple of times over email but NO BLOKE HAS LISTENED TO ME.

Blah.

It’s my understanding that the same sort of shite went down in the 60s – women felt the anti (Vietnam) war movement tended to rather sideline equally important issues such as equalities for women, abortion rights, etc. I can see how that happened.

Think of it as the ‘jam tomorrow’ argument – first, The Revolution (or A United Ireland or whatever), then all that women’s stuff the men (allegedly) can’t be bothered with. That said, it may be that the left/liberals believe in reason, argument and persuasion – and that die-hard fanatics like Dorries by and large don’t, even (no make that especially) when they’ve lost the argument.

As for New Labour, well it’s hard to get mobilised when even Harman is running scared on this issue. Then allegations of a deal are typical of the last 10+ years.

Well, here’s one bloke over at CiF prepared to support you.

“I’d go a bit further than that. Several years ago, when faffing round the edges of the great, failed Respect experiment, I was actively told to keep my complaints to myself when I complained that George Galloway – hero of the left that we were supposed to be leafleting to get into parliament, etc – was an anti-abortionist.

‘You’ll have to leave that kind of thing at the door, Kate,’ the great men of the far left told me. ‘The war is the only thing that matters.’ ”

That is funny. I remember passing through Mornington Crescent tube a year or so ago when I was Respect leafleted by a somewhat half-hearted but well-dressed young middle class woman. Had I my wits about me, I would have said “That’s funny, you don’t LOOK anti-semitic”. Perhaps she was recruited similarly on dubious solidarity grounds.

I wonder if an alternative form of solidarity could be fostered along this front – right-leaning libertarians, left-leaning libertarians, feminists and anarchists who can all endorse complete self-ownership rather than the more negotiable form of individual rights that collectivists on the left and right endorse.

I wonder if an alternative form of solidarity could be fostered along this front – right-leaning libertarians, left-leaning libertarians, feminists and anarchists who can all endorse complete self-ownership rather than the more negotiable form of individual rights that collectivists on the left and right endorse.

I can say that’s pretty much how things used to go down on the US political forums I used to hang out in a few years ago, much to the confusion of mainstream Republicans and Democrats who never could work out why they were taking a hammering on all sides.

Had I my wits about me, I would have said “That’s funny, you don’t LOOK anti-semitic

What, if you *had* had your wits about you you’d have made a pathetic accusation of antisemitism? Lucky you were witless, then. I’m no fan of Respect’s social-conservative agenda, but slandering your opponents as Nazis is pretty much as dismal as it gets.

(I’m well up for the self-ownership solidarity front in principle, but only if Decentist idiots who think that anything short of signing up for the IDF and personally slaughtering Palestinians makes you an antisemite can be thoroughly excluded.)

The New Labour capitulation has been sickening. And the lack of support from the Guardian and Independent even more disappointing,

John, you are right. I should have said “totalitarian”: http://fountain.blogspot.com/2008/08/george-galloway-not-anti-semite-just.html

What is the media?


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