Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some comments on the UCU list's David Duke link

I have just changed the title of this post, after a chat with Ms Flesh is Grass, because I think that it is important to be clear that Janna Delich is not the issue here. Delich may either be a racist and conspiracy theorist, or very ignorant. Either way, she's not that important. What is more important is that, supported/goaded by Mike Cushman, an experienced socialist trade unionist (who also makes a big deal of his Jewishness), she, or a UCU activist acting "in solidarity" her, attempted (successsfully - for the moment at least) to shut down Harry's Place, simply for exposing her.

A couple of other points worth stressing. The sane anti-Zionist left - and even some Indecent leftists I might think of as irredeemable - have come out in solidarity with Harry's Place. For example, Andy Newman, to his great credit, asked Phil (AVPS) to repost his statement of solidarity on the widely read Socialist Unity. Some of these anti-Zionists have expressed solidarity with a large pinch of salt - that they are doing so despite HP being "imperialist", a member of the "B52 left", etc. That's fair enough; HP - and especially its comment posters - are open to criticism on plenty of topics.

But some of the pinches of salt are pretty big. The Exile talks about HP's "smear machine", which I am evidently part of. Dave The Void's support is similarly qualified, e.g. by mentioning an anti-Jenna witchhunt and pointing out the undeniability of a Zionist lobby and . Richard Seymour ("Lenin") does not even go this far. His attitude is basically: fuck the Zionists, they've had it coming.

The SWP and its supporters made a big deal of Engage and its supporters using anti-racist law to "muzzle" pro-boycott voices in UCU; now they are using, or supporting the use of, libel laws actually (though thankfully not literalyl) muzzle anti-boycotters. And Britain's libel laws are among the worst examples of Britain's antiquated "bourgeois" (or, actually, semi-feudal) legal system.


The Contentious Centrist said...

I totally agree that Delich's racism, whether proclamative or esoteric, is irrelevant to the gist of this manufactured kerfuffle. By the same token, so is HP's "smear machine" (a description I don't find inaccurate), irrelevant, that is.

The Contentious Centrist said...

BTW, something I just wanted to get off my chest: I find the trick of going to an Internet Server of a blog and threatening to sue them, instead of dealing directly with the allegedly offending blog itself too much like mafia tactics, and just as efficient. It's really a fascist kind of thinking, bullying the weakest and least resistant link.

ModernityBlog said...

ah Bob,

you notice that same tendency of the usual suspects to cloud the issue, I think how people react to this is telling about their attitude towards anti-Jewish racism, see SU blog and lenin's appaling stuff and whoever that complexsystemsofpipes is

I think engage should run training seminars for politicos!

Exile said...

Are you a part of the smear machine, Bob? I didn't say that you were, did I? What I said was 'That was all the smear machine needed, because now other sites are claiming that she "cites David Duke in support of a boycott of Israel," and that is just not the case.' It could be argued that you are an HP stooge, but not a full part of the machine itself.

As for the HP machine, I will blog about it tonight while you are tucked up with Teddie, and the gist of that posting will be to remind people about Johann Hari, Neil Clark and how attempts were made to smear them.

It is not the case that I don't like HP's content. That isn't the issue. What I don't like are the campaigns of denigration that HP mounts against people it doesn't like.

By the by, HP is now back on-line and I shall write and congratulate them. Off the cuff, do you really think that if it had happened to one of the socialist blogs they would have lifted a finger other than to engage in public school japery?

Inna said...


I for one am positive that if something like that had happened to you, HP would express its solidarity with you.

But then if I didn't believe that, I wouldn't hang out there as much as I do.