Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fascism watch: (South) London

I haven't been too closely following the twittering over the leaking of the BNP's membership list. The meme that seems to have emerged in the mainstream press: that the leak may have been a victory for the BNP, because it shows the membership to be a cross-section of society - "people like you and me". As Stan Moss notes
In the Guardian, you get Lola Adesioye writing this: "While I find BNP ideology abhorrent, the publishing of this list has brought home the fact that the people who belong to the party are ordinary British citizens [...] more understanding of the party and those who belong to it is, therefore, vital. This could be an opportunity for some open engagement and dialogue".
This line is idiotic. Duncan points out some of the BNP members "like you and me" revealed by the list:
  • A self-proclaimed witch.
  • The suggestion that a mental health nurse take a look at BNP legal 'expert' Lee Barnes.
  • One guy who loves England so much he emigrated to Poland.
  • Someone with suits of medieval armour offering to joust for rallies.
Malcolm Redfellow gives us some more:
  • Mr Chris M**, whose email is panzerm**
  • Mark S****, whose hobbies embrace “WWII re-enactment, military buildings”
  • Mr M***** who is listed as “HM Forces (3 tours N.I). Rho[d]esian Security Forces. Freelance security: Africa/South America/Europe. Hobbies: military history.”
  • the “Vera Lynn act” and her “military vehicles - owner of a WW2 jeep”
  • people with the following, and
  • Mr S**, who is an active Odinist/member of Pagan organisations.
  • Mr David W** is a member of the Manteca, California, cell of the BNP and has the e-mail address
Hardly people like you and me.

Closer to home, I am pleased that (as revealed by Transpontine) SE8 (Deptford) appears to be BNP-free zone, while Eltham, a little further out, is a stronghold (see helpful map here). In Greenwich, to cut and paste from Transpontine, one member is Sean Pearson, who stood for the Conservatives in a 2006 local election in Greenwich Glyndon Ward and was until last year chair of the Swinton Circle - a group on the far right of the Tory Party (Malcolm Redfellow has more on this as well).

More suprising are the BNP members who have stood for the Green Party, including Keith Bessant in Cheltenham and, very close to home for me, the Green candidate in Telegraph Hill ward. What does that say?

Meanwhile, the BNP's biggest electoral success so far, Richard Barnbrook in the London Assembley, has failed to make any kind of impact, as reported by Tory Troll. Dave Hill argues that Mayor Boris' policy of ignoring him is not the right one: he needs to take on a more robust line:
Johnson's problem is that in some parts of London the issue isn't receptive to being neutralised, not least because the BNP inflames it. Their work is made easier by the failure of a range of politicians to demonstrate to some white voters that they haven't been forgotten and are not being unfairly treated by comparison with other ethnic or cultural groups in the capital. Barnbrook and his ilk are eager to persuade them that they are, and to depict Johnson as being complicit.
The mayor needs to respond more positively, but how? He is inhibited by subscribing to a rightwing narrative about dominant "liberal elites" and "politically correct thought police" undermining "common-sense" values and national identity that the BNP has seized on too. Johnson's policy director Anthony Browne, the former Policy Exchange director, has been a conspicuous perpetrator of this emotive tripe, both in articles for the Spectator under Johnson's editorship and in a pamphlet that the BNP praised to the skies. [H/t to 853 for links]
The mainstream parties - Labour with its obsession about British jobs for British workers, the Tories with their lazy criticisms of multiculturalism - have helped fuel the rise of the BNP.

The left, on the other hand, doesn't help by countering it with a caricatured version of the political correctness the BNP talks up. Hence calls for people on the list to be sacked - calls Ian Bone rejects:

Does anyone seriously believe that sacking a BNP teacher in Dagenham at present would be a blow against fascism? Will the predictable parachuting in of chanting SWP ‘ANTI-NAZI’ lollipops outside the local school to get a teacher sacked do anything to advance the cause of anti-fascism? Perhaps while we’re at it we could sack BNP working classs supporters from the working class? That’d fuck ‘em. The much harder task is to defeat the BNP politically.
Answers on a post card please.

[P.S. Loads more links from Modernity.]

More relevant reading (clarifying some of the comments below).
  • Transpontine updates the Telegraph Hill Green story, and defends pagans.
  • Another local, Brett, voted Green on the Hill, worries that he may have voted for a Nazi accidentally.
  • Dave Hill on Boris Johnson's welcome support for amnesty for illegal migrants in London (aligning him with John Cruddas, one of the most consistently anti-fascist of New Labour MPs, and against Phil Woolas, the New Labour MP who most consistently feeds at the BNP policy trough).

Save Farzad!

Farzad Kamangar, a teacher, trade unionist and rights activist from Iran's Kordistan province (who I posted about here), was due to be executed yesterday, on charges of "endangering national security" and "enmity against God". According to this site, he was not executed. However, it is is still inclear what will happen to him. Information on the case - and how to act - from Incognito/JimJay/ShirazS/WW4.

Meanwhile, 10 other people were executed in Iran yesterday. Fatemeh Pajouh was executed, convicted of murdering her husband. According to Amnesty,
Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh murdered her husband in 1997. At her trial she alleged that her husband, identified as a 30 year old man named Bahman, was a drug addict, who had been overtly interested in her 15-year-old daughter. She also told the trial judge that Bahman had said he had lost the girl in a gambling match. When she later discovered that he had tried to rape the girl, she killed him.

Stories of resistance

Freedom of speech in Europe's Muslim world, from Max Dunbar

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday linktastica

As discerning regulars will have noticed, I haven't had much surfing or blogging time lately, so I've been spending a pleasant post-prandial moment catching up a bit. (Lunch: hearty fare at a formica table in a Turkish greasy spoon with my loved one.) I bring back assorted things for you, in alphabetical order by author. (Apologies to those of you with names after I in the alphabet.) A lot of it seems to relate to Jews and Israel, but not all of it.

1. Airforce Amazons: Against a false choice
Kellie appreciates David Miliband's acknowledgement that situations like the Congo do not pose the choice of political or military intervention, but require multiple solutions. (Also, follow the link to this striking map which I managed to miss at Jeff's place.)

2. Baggage Reclaim: No Music Day
Like me, Richard managed to abuse No Music Day this year. I managed last year, but this year I utterly failed. In fact, I recall starting the day at work with Calexico, and in the late afternoon I was in charge of music at a party (among other things: "Enjoy Yourself" by the Specials and "Reggae Merengue" by Tommy McCook & the Supersonics (as sampled by Lily Allen)).

3. Christopher Hitchens: The new anti-Semitism?
Both Will and Noga led me to this interesting review essay a propos of Denis MacShane. Sample:
“You catch it on the edge of a remark”, as Harold Isaacs phrases it in Chariots of Fire. I have felt myself “catching” it quite a few times of late, as when chaps from the BBC insisted despite repeated correction on saying Paul “Vulfovitz” with a special emphasis, instead of pronouncing the name correctly the first time round, as the BBC used to train people to do.
Eammon McD takes issue here with Hitchens' disagreement with the hardcore new antisemitism line (as espoused by, in his example, Abe Foxman). Eammon argues that "The idea that opposition to the existence of Israel can’t be classed as antisemitic doesn’t stand up to a little serious thought." I am completely with Hitchens on this. My position is summed by David in the comments thread: "Why does a Leftist who adopts coherent and consistent positions opposed to Zionism and other forms of nationalism have to be an antisemite...?" (my italics) Opposition to Israel's right to exist antisemitic if and when (and only if and when) it denies the right to national self-determination to Jews alone. For example, if you believe in an Arab state (or an Irish state etc) but not a Jewish state, you're objectively antisemitic. If, however, you are against the idea of ethnically exclusive states in general, you may be right or wrong, but you are not being antisemitic.

Where Eammon is right (a point Flesh is Grass regularly makes) is to distinguish (if I may paraphrase) between being antisemitic and doing antisemitic: one need not be "an antisemite" (indeed, one may be a Jew) in order to say or believe something that is antisemitic in content.

4. Daniel: The sad truth about Nazis
Depressing mages from Europe and Hebron. The first illustrates MacShane's argument all too well. The second illustrates something at least as bad.

5. Eamonn McDonagh: More Speaking Out
Eamonn skewers Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's ridiculous claim that the West doesn't pay enough attention to Gaza compared to other situations.

6. The Fat Man: Tripe and bollocks
...are absolutely delicious. One of my abiding memories is of eating fried goats' testicles with a deaf mute Greek goatherd on the island of Tilos, whilst he gesticulated about what it would do for my libido. But what does this have to do with the credit crunch?
Just read the rest!

7. Flesh is Grass: Not forgetting the Saudi hunger strikers
A great post, which starts with Arthur Koestler, moves through a critique of the defenders of totalitarianism who pose as human rights advocates, and finishes with an inspiring rallying call for solidarity with some very brave people.

6. George Szirtes: Domain 1, 2, 3
I visited the Poetry Library at the Royal Festival Hall at the weekend, for the first time. What a wonderful place. I took the opportunity to spend some time with George Szirtes' wonderful poetry, and then with Charles Simic's new volume. So, back on line today, I visited George's blog, and read three beautiful micro-essays on his mother.

7. Ignoblus: On the power of complaining 1 & 2
Two incisive posts on a topic that is depressingly close to home for me in my place of work, where complaining about the demonisation of Israel/Jews is all too great a part of my week to week life.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Martin times two times two

I don't link to either Martin often enough. Two of the most thoughtful and perceptive bloggers on my blogroll. Here's two from each of them.

Martin Meenagh:

1. Just two questions: On the disparity between the capitalist mainstream's response to the banking and auto industries

2. Sarah Palin should Keep On Trucking: A lovely appreciation of Sarah Palin, that I particularly recommend to Jogo. I liked these bits:
    "I do get annoyed with those in desperate search of the righteousness that sometimes is invested in religion, and who follow the bourgeois tribes that own and operate this country whilst pretending to radicalism. You probably have an idea of the kit and caboose they drive; global warming-without-the-science, yearning for anti-apartheid, Israeli boycott, bombing people for out-of-proportion rights-based ideologies, that sort of thing. I'm afraid that I could never hitch a lift on that...

    [Palin] also tended to expose something that is never really acknowledged in the USA, which is the reality of class, and of class attitudes. Palin's demographic was a group who generally are asked to fight America's wars and then patronised or socially regulated by people who often have lower personal morals than them but who have more money, albeit on credit.

    Any whiff of association with things trailed as working class--guns, patriotism, churches, McDonalds, and so on--and those educated at the mills of conformity and licensees of acceptable radicalism that great western universities are will get snide quickly."

    Martin also links to Camille Paglia, a fantastic essay that Jogo also sent me, which I'd strongly recommend, even though I don't agree with all of it.
Martin in the Margins:

1. Lazy anti-Americanism in charity's reaction to Obama win: including a great footnote about the idea of a "Muslim country".

2. The limits of blowback theory: on the white "backlash" against Obama, concluding:
"To be consistent, the Guardian's comment pages will need to cover this story in the following manner. Madeleine Bunting will have to write a hand-wringing explanation of how the attacks are an inevitable reaction to the 'provocation' of Obama's election, while urging us to understand the hurt feelings of a minority that has experienced systematic discrimination against its white supremacist beliefs. Jonathan Steele will surely need to remind us that these incidents have nothing to do with a supposed racist 'ideology', but instead have their root cause in the complex interplay of disadvantage and prejudice suffered by white people. And Seamus Milne will conclude that we shouldn't blame the perpetrators of the attacks but rather the American people, for having dared to elect a black president: in other words, as always, America is to blame."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fascism watch: Iran

From LabourStart:

Iran: Protest intensified repression against labour activists - No to whippings and executions!
Sousan Razani and Shiva Kheirabadi.Repression against labour activists in Iran is intensifying. In recent weeks, there have been numerous cases of arrests and jailings. Most shocking perhaps was the sentencing of two women labour activists (Sousan Razani and Shiva Kheirabadi, pictured) to 15 lashes and four months in prison -- for the "crime" of participating in a May Day celebration.

Additional cases which concern us include:

Mr. Abdullah Khani, 40 lashes and 91 days in prison
Mr. Seyed Qaleb Hosseini, 50 lashes and 6 months in prison
Mr. Khaled Hosseini, 30 lashes and suspended prison sentence
Mr. Farzad Kamangar, a Kurdish teacher, sentenced to death
Mr. Afshin Shams, arrested
Mr. Mansour Osanloo, leader of Tehran's bus workers, in prison since July 2007

Puncturing lies

Terry punctures lies about Afghanistan

And Graeme on a similar subject. (The disgusting Jonathan Steele, who once said the Taliban were flexible and girl-friendly, is one of his targets; the less disgusting Johann Hari is his other.)

Fascism watch: Italy

Marko AH sent me an appeal from Italian activists fighting the ad personam laws proposed by the Berlusconi government in Italy. Basically, the government wants to make its leading members immune from prosecution. (The context being the on-going investigations into Silvio Berlusconi for corruption, bribery and attempts to pervert the course of justice.) The proposed law puts the executive above the law, and is another step by this heinous government towards fascism.

To sign the petition, click here. I notice my comrades Big Norm and Shalom Lappin among the early signatories.

UPDATE: More on Italy's disturbing blend of apathy, racism and authoritarianism (via Claude in the bulging comments box here.)

Previous: Mr Alemanno strikes again, On anti-Roma racism and creping fascism in Italy; Italy's fascist revival; Fascism in Italy and anti-fascism in Britain; Anti-Gypsyism in Italy; Something for the weekend: Roma hate

Fascism watch: New Zealand

A while back I posted on Reading the Maps' exposé of antisemitic conspiracy theorising on New Zealand talk radio, eliciting a fairly vigorous response from readers in the comments thread. Maps continues the good work, exposing the racist psuedo-science circulating from the NZ neo-Nazi scene, claiming a pre-Maori white presence in New Zealand. This stuff is fascinating. See here, here and here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bob and Jesus

From Jogo:
From The Forward, a review of a new documentary about Bob Dylan's Jesus years. The director, Joel Gilbert (interesting fellow), sells the DVD on his own website. I'd like to buy it, it's only $15.

Also read about Gilbert's apocalyptic film Farewell, Israel.

Monday morning links

Just four for the moment. Maybe more later

Transpontine says: Cherish your local
On the rough pleasures of the pub

Setting the Woods on Fire: One last post
One of my favourite music bloggers is killed by the corporate proprietorial juggernaut

Someday I'l treat you good: A break
One of my favourite local local bloggers signs out, for the moment

David Hirsh on the Israelis = Nazis meme
Thanks to Toby E for the shout in the comments!

More links from ED Kain, mainly in the aftermath of the Obama victory.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Los Desterrados

The fantastic Sephardic band, Los Desterrados, interviewed by Jewish Socialist.

Keywords: Ladino music

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Punishment for self hating anti-Israel Jewish traitors

I had to read this (from Ami Isseroff at ZioNation) twice before I got it's point, which I agree with. Sly.

(H/T: TNC)

UPDATE: (a) Jogo gives Bob a demerit for linking to this. If the irony is too subtle to get, it's too subtle to be worth it. (b) Here, Flesh is Grass explains it, for those who don't get it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Israeli bossa nova

One more for my Jew-ish music series: Yehudit Ravitz. I'm not sure who wrote "Samba Para Dos". Was it Lalo Schifren, Argentinian Jewish genius?

Previous: Fly Varig to Tel Aviv

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11th

Paul Stott writes:

At last years Bash the Rich march in Notting Hill, I think Ian Bone and I were probably the only people wearing Poppies.

I can't see anything wrong with supporting ex-servicemen's charities, so make no apologies for mentioning this years Poppy Appeal.

Earlier this year Ian got a very mixed response when he argued in favour of the old fashioned red poppy on his blog. When you think of some of the shit people on the left and in the Anarchist movement support - from the Al- Sadr Brigade to Hezbollah or even the Unabomber - wearing a poppy is hardly a crime.

Just do it.
Also: Flesh is Grass 1 & 2

And one more: Barnsdale CW.


I love this image

H/t: Darren

A land without people for a people without land

The Maldives are one of the lands in the frontline of global climate change. A small rise in the sea level brought on by the melting of the polar ice caps will lead to 80% of the islands disappearing under water. Last month, the Maldives held their first democratic election, and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, dictator since 1978 (and a Muslim Brotherhood follower) was replaced by Mohamed Nasheed, a democratic activist imprisoned several times under Gayoom, was sworn in yesterday.

Interestingly, one of Nasheed's first public statements suggested the country's tourism income would be saved up to buy a new homeland for the Maldivian people. He mentioned a few places that might sell land - and, crucially, sovereignty over that land - but has not yet negotatiated with those countries.

In a world tightly packed with nation states, to use Zygmunt Bauman's phrase, every state needs a nation and every nation needs a state. Although people might sympathise with the Maldives' plight, how many countries are willing to transfer land? Of course, the nation-states of today were often built on the mass transfer of people in order to create ethnically homogeneous nations - the huge forced migration of Christian people out of "Turkey" and of "Turkish" people out of the Balkans as the Ottoman Empire gave way to the nation-state order, the trauma of Partition in Indian sub-continent, the much smaller scale displacement of the people who came to be known as Palestinians when Israel was created and subsequent transfer/purging of Jewish Arabs to the new state. But now the patchwork quilt is filled up, will there be room for the people of the Maldives.

It brings to mind the various utopian Territorialist hopes that flourished in the margins of the Jewish nationalist movement from the late 19th century until the creation of the state of Israel: Herzl's Argentina plan, the British "Uganda" Programme, the Galveston Project supported by Israel Zangwill, the Kimberley Project, Birobidzhan the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in Manchuria, the Japanese Fugu Plot also for Manchuria, and sundry other plans for Ecuador, Suriname and elsewhere...

For a no state solution!

For those killed at Haymarket 121 years ago today

David Edelshtat. "Der 11-ter November".
Translated from Yiddish by Ori Kiritz
Again the blood-red banners are fluttering !
Freedom’s holy voice is ringing !
Again the people are reminded
Of the fighters who lived and died for them !
In world history again we will
Turn over and find the page of martyrs
Which is still fresh with the blood of our brothers,
Murdered by money-sacks, church and state !
Five spirits stained with blood will hover
Over the people’s-tribune among suffering slaves ;
And they will give us invincible courage
To live and die for freedom and justice !
They will remind us of the will
Which they left for the workers :
"Fight for your freedom ! No evil beast
Should drive you away from the holy post !"
"Don’t be afraid of the hangmen and their gallows !
Fight and ring the freedom-bell !
And announce to the slaves of all the world
That that very day would be the day of liberation !"
And on both shores of the great ocean
The slaves of all the nations
Will give each other in friendship a brother-hand
And swear to annihilate chains and thrones...

H/t: Arieh. From: Kiritz, Ori. The Poetics of Anarchy : David Edelshtat’s Revolutionary Poetry. Vol. 88. Frankfurt : Lang, Europaischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1997

Friday, November 07, 2008


Not sure what I think of this:
Baruch atah ha-shem... Mark Kleiman on Barack Obama

John McCain

In Britain, most people started following the US election campaign fairly late. Obama was an exciting, interesting star, Palin was a hate figure, plugging into all of the European prejudices and stereotypes about "Americans", but McCain was never perceived by the general public here as anything other than a slightly better version of GW Bush. Because they started following the campaign around when he morphed into some sort of Reaganite low-tax-strong-defence bruiser, most British people had no idea of the previous McCain, who I had admired. I haven't spoken to enough people since, but many were suprised at what nice guy he seemed when he made his fantastic concession speech.

Stateside, Jeff W gets that right:
The Mac is Back: John McCain's concession speech last night was impressively gracious, unusually eloquent, visibly heartfelt, and (how else can one put it?) genuinely patriotic. This sounded like the John McCain whom many had come to admire over the years (as opposed to the John McCain who, over the past several months, has increasingly sounded like a jerk).

For those of you who didn't hear McCain's concession speech last night, I recommend listening to it now. It was an honorable and valuable end to a campaign that (honesty compels me to add) deserved to lose.

P.S. Talking of big-hearted conservatives, a shockingly nice David Horowitz. (H/t jogo)

P.P.S. This from the ever-wise Victor Davis Hanson:
Let me understand the current media analysis of John McCain: 2000—“Old” John McCain runs against the more conservative George Bush and loses, so he’s declared principled and good; mid-2008—“new” John McCain runs against a messianic Barack Obama and could win, so he’s ruthless, quasi-racist, and bad; late 2008—“new-old” John McCain loses against Obama and makes a typically gracious speech, so suddenly he’s the new ‘old’ John McCain again?

Yet more Goldsmiths events

If you are around New Cross, London, next week:

The Invisibility of the Commons A talk by Peter Linebaugh Organised by the Xenos Research Group, Department of Sociology, and the Department of Anthropology 5.00pm - 7.00pm, Tuesday, 11 November Lecture Theatre, Ben Pimlott Building, Goldsmiths.
If you wish to attend please contact Alberto Toscano:

Peter Linebaugh is Professor of History at the University of Toledo. He is the author of The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century and coauthor (with Marcus Rediker) of Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic [find out more].
Saroj Giri, Xenos Visiting Fellow, gives two talks on communalism, secularism and the Left in India: Critique as Ideology: The Dissident Left and Maoists in India (organised with the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Politics) Wednesday 12 November, 6.00-7.00pm. Room 307, Richard Hoggart Building.

Hegemonic Secularism, Dominant Communalism: Imagining Social Transformation in India (organised by the Xenos Research Group) Thursday 13 November, 6.00-7.00pm. Room 307, Richard Hoggart Building.

These events are free - all are welcome. Please email for further details.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Levantine folk, Cantorial music and surf rock

I never knew that surf rock legend Tarantino favourite Dick Dale is Lebanese-American, or that his classic "Misirlou" is basically a Greek/Middle Eastern rembetika/folk song about relationships across ethno-religious lines. Nor did I know that the great Harry Smith recorded a version of it by the Lower East Side rabbi, Naftali Zvi Margolies Abulafia (grandfather of the fascinating Lionel Ziprin). Nor did I know anything about the Yiddish version by radio crooner Seymour Rexite and his wife Mirim Kressyn. Nor did I know that the Klezmer Conservatory Band (including Don Byron) and Pete Seeger both did versions.

Read about and listen to some of these here and here.

Previous: Afro-Semitic, Jewish vinyl culture, Persia/Al-Andalus, Music for Maniacs/Jewish exotica, Arab musics, Baghdadi and Armenian shellac/Moe Asch

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

This website is brilliant. (H/t Jogo)

All Hungary 1956 posts

And a couple more

And here's two blogs I've never visited before but certainly will again: the Institute of Conjunctural Research (h/t Max) and Left Hawk (h/t TNC)

Fall foliage

The New Centrist has a great round-up of some excellent blog posts from around the 'sphere. I am stealing it and pasting it here, as every link is worth a click.

P.S. (from Bob) I'm probably not going to have time to write my final US election day post I've been meaning to write all week. Check out this post and the discussions in the comment thread.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Immigrant songs 2

Reposted here.

Following this post, Martin M has posted this, with Christy Moore's gorgeous version of Woodie Guthrie's "Deportee", Martin's favourite version.

I have nearly half a dozen versions on the computer I'm typing this on, and a couple more on vinyl at my mum and dad's house. Some of the best are Cisco Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Danes and Arlo Guthrie. Although I was exposed to Woody Guthrie at a young age (folkie Communist fellow travelling family), the first version I heard, as a teenager, was that on The Byrds' Ballad of Easy Rider, one of the best albums ever. It was made after Gene Clark (whose version featured in this post).

If you're into this stuff, check this. Oh, and if you're American, you probably don't need me (or him, or him) to tell you to go and vote.

All Woody Guthrie posts here.

Keywords: folk music, mp3

Reggae and the National Front

Not sure if I've already linked to this.

Keywords: fascism, anti-fascism, music

Feel the power! (Now with even more power)

I haven't checked my Wikio rating since July, when I was the 160th most influential UK blogger, above Johan Hari. (Well, I guess he's not exactly a blogger is he.) Well, even though I feel my blogging has declined rather in the last month or two, I am now at no.87, one point ahead of my friend Neil Clark, eight points ahead of Derek Wall, ahead of Peter Hitchens and the Guardian's theatre blog, ahead, even, of Pub Philosopher and Craig Murray (whose top post right now is called "The Balding Butt Plug", which probably explains that). There is clearly no standard of measuring influence more scientific and objective than Wikio's.*

Incidentally, thanks to Ms Flesh is Grass for pointing this out to me. Her e-mail told me I am ahead of Harry's Place, which isn't true, but she sent her e-mail as November was just being born, so maybe I fared even better last month.

*Of course, linking to all of these people now I am probably boosting their wikio ratings so they pull ahead of me. That's the kind of selfless blogger I am.