Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nothing to do with Brockley today

I have been meaning for some time to write a post about why you should be reading the blog radicalarchives. In the meantime, read this post, which extracts from A History of Zionism by Walter Laqueur, on the assassination of Arab advocates of binationalism in the late 1940s, a particularly tragic episode for those of my political orientation.

I feel that this post by Michael Berube on the rhetorical styles of the left says something important, but I found it too long and dense to work out exactly what. However, I did enjoy the addendum at the end on Chomsky and 9/11. [UPDATE: Linked to the wrong post; have amended to the right one.]

Alan Johnson's post on Zizek heavily references his hero and mine, Hal Draper.

Kellie Strøm makes some fascinating points about the glibness and insularity of the British "purple" voting reform movement, and also links to some interesting and important posts about Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan and voting reform. He has more must-click links on Iran, Islamism, dissidence and asylum here, including Johan Hari and Francis Sedgemore.

I often find Yasmin Alibhai-Brown irritating, but this piece is pretty good. Extract:
For me, the overwhelming argument against the burka (and various coverings for children, another growing abomination) is that there is such a thing as society. Community fetishes cannot override social communication, connection, obligations, equality, duties and understanding. Security and safety-measures too require facial identification. Politicians need to get assertive and argue that they believe in non-racist, universal human development. Effective policies to halt the spreading habit (in both senses) will then naturally follow.

And reformist Muslims too should speak up more frankly without fear or favour. A traditional Pakistani friend of mine – who always wears the shalwar kameez – recently refused service from a burka-ed librarian in one of our big libraries. The next time she went in, the face was no longer hidden. Maybe our new government should consult her. She could teach them how resistance, not acquiescence, gave us our past freedoms and will preserve our present ones.
A number of bloggers and commentators are looking at the topic of immigration and Labour party policy, including this strongly recommended two-parter (1, 2) from Paul in Lancashire*, John Harris, Andy Newman, Don Flynn (and also here), Sunny H, Enemies of Reason, and Left Futures.

Like me (maybe), Oliver Kamm is endorsing Oona King for Mayor of London, and explains exactly why she is excellent. (Although I like John Cruddas too.)

File under Jewish music: How an American saxophonist came to cut a record with a group of Ugandan Jews.

Lots more from TNC.

And finally here are some news items via New Politics Review, which between them give a good account of the state of the world today: Strikes Hit Venezuela’s Oil Industry; Arab Bank sacks 70 pct of its Gaza Strip employees; West Bank Fuel Stations Union threaten to strike; Palestinians working in settlements risk jail: minister; Histadrut signs up Thai workers - in Thailand; Internationally Recognised Core Labour Standards in China-ITUC report for the WTO General Council Review of the trade policies of the People’s Republic of China; Bangladesh: Over 150,000 River Vessel Workers Go On Strike Demanding Better WagesUprising in Cairo: A New Labor Movement Takes Shape; Chinese workers link sickness to n-hexane and Apple iPhone screens.

*And certainly not in Lincolnshire.

3 comments:

James Bloodworth said...

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has surprised me with that comment. I too always found her extremely annoying, especially if she ever became angry, when her voice would turn into a shrill shriek!

I would have predicted her coming down on the other side of the debate; but good stuff all the same :)

Dave Semple said...

Lancashire Paul. Definitely Lancashire.

bob said...

Oops! Lancs/Lincs. Clearly a big difference. Ignorant southerners... Will change it.