Friday, 30 October 2009

Company Kept

Denis MacShane, though a valiant campaigner against prostitution and against obscenity in the media, is a signatory both to the Euston Manifesto (old Stalinists and Trotskyists from the Seventies) and to the Henry Jackson Society (old hired help of Pretoria and Santiago from the Eighties). He is in no position to comment.


  1. None of the Tories' new allies are *that* bad.

  2. Czechs who resist climate change hysteria, Polish Catholic social conservatives, and Latvians who weren't too happy about being signed over to Stalin


    Paid agents of (or, perhaps even worse, unpaid apologists for) the Soviet Union, apartheid South Africa and Pinochet's Chile

    No contest.

  3. The Euston Manifesto writers are not remotely apologists for the Soviet Union, for South Africa or for Pinochet. As you would know if you knew any of them.

  4. If he's right, he's right. It doesn't matter what else he might be right or wrong about. Or rather, what else people he agrees with about different things might be right or wrong about.

  5. Just do a bit of digging. Old Communists and Trots from back when it mattered even more than it does now. Never said that it had been wrong at the time. Congratulations to them for uniting everyone from Straight Left to Trotskyism, but even so. And we all know who was paying for the Communist Party, at least. Paying many of its members directly, in fact.

    Over at the Henry Jackson Society are the Euston lot's new best friends, who spent the Eighties taking the shilling and toeing the line of Chile and South Africa. Despite adopting, and living out, positions on chemical, sexual and other matters decidely removed from those of Pinochet or of any Afrikaner Calvinist ever known to have gone on record.

    MacShane is one of the small number to have signed up both to the Euston Manifesto and to the Henry Jackson Society. He has mitigating characteristics, I suppose. But that is not true of all those Red-Browns, those Molotov-Ribbentrops.

  6. Russell, he is specifically attacking the Tories for those with whom they are now allied. Well, motes and beams.

  7. Motes and beams nothing. Just because (say) Nick Griffin says it's raining, doesn't mean I won't need an umbrella. Either MacShane is right, or he is wrong. If you think he's right, say so. If you don't, argue with the point he makes. Don't try and claim that he's somehow barred from having an opinion just because you don't like his cosignatories on an unrelated document.

    This is just the Ad Hominem fallacy.

  8. It isn't any such thing. Nothing that these people do is "unrelated". They will all be in on MacShane's campaign on this issue. That's how they operate. They are The Borg. Well, what about their old alliances? What about their old, unrecanted selves? What about their current alliances?

    Not for the first time on here, it is my view that the Tories' new allies are too good for them. The Czech Civic Democrats deserve British allies like the trade unionists who have spent decades defending the high-waged, high-skilled, high-status jobs of the working class. Not for us the restriction of travel to the rich, or the arresting of economic development in the poorer parts of the world.

    The Polish Law and Justice Party deserves British allies like the Catholic and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against abortion and easier divorce. Like the Methodist and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against deregulated drinking and gambling. Like those, including John Smith, who successfully organised (especially through USDAW) against Thatcher's and Major's attempts to destroy the special character of Sunday and of Christmas Day. And like the trade unionists who battled to secure paternal authority in families and communities by securing its economic base, frequently marching behind banners that depicted Biblical scenes and characters.

    And the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party deserves British allies with deep roots in the former mining communities, in the women's suffrage movement, in the 1945 General Election victory, and elsewhere. We are unsullied by the weird cult of Winston Churchill. Instead, we can and do condemn his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin. Just as we condemn genocidal terrorism against Balts no less than genocidal terrorism against Arabs.

    They all deserve British allies like the Labour MPs who mostly voted against Heath's Treaty of Rome. Who all voted against Thatcher's Single European Act. And who voted against Major's Maastricht Treaty in far greater numbers than the Tories.

    And they need those allies in order to call them away from neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy. Nothing could be more destructive of national self-government, or traditional family values, or the historical consciousness of a people. Cameron is completely signed up to both.