Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Orwell Prize

Orwell is good. He is important. But he is still overrated. Not least, his depiction of Wigan is still resented in the town to this day. His famous remark about the goosestep was just plain wrong, like many of his others. And everyone should read Scott Lucas’s The Betrayal of Dissent, London: Pluto Press, 2004, ISBN 0-7453-2197-6.

However, Orwell’s patriotism, his social conservatism and his anti-Communism are vitally important in reminding the British Left that those are indispensable, and indeed definitive, aspects of our own tradition. All three, though perhaps especially the last, make him a particularly significant figure when set alongside Christopher Hill and E P Thompson in rescuing demotic culture from what Thompson called “the enormous condescension of posterity”, even though Orwell himself was not above condescension.

So any prize in his honour should be awarded for contribution to the patriotic, socially conservative, anti-Communist Left that was the best of him, and also, therefore, to ensuring that demotic culture is taken with high seriousness. Would Johann Hari, who has at least recanted his support for the Iraq War and who wrote a very important denunciation of Dubai, win such a prize? I only ask.

11 comments:

  1. When the cry for blood is being led by Toby Young and Harry's Place, I know where my sympathies lie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Toby Young ate my hamster28 June 2011 21:52

    But isn't it fun to see the lying little Pope-baiter get his comeuppance? And not just him. Mabel Thompson and the man who ate my hamster are being torn to shreds for daring to comment on someone else's low journalistic standards.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lucky old hamster, to have been eaten by Toby Young rather than had done to it whatever Mabel Thompson had in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is Harry's Place still functioning? Where? I have not been able to access it at its most recent address for about a month.

    Hari may be "a lying little Pope-baiter" and indeed he is but he has never employed a paedophile priest at a paper with the word Catholic in the title and mostly distributed on church premises. I shudder to think who writes for "Attitude" and what is in it, thankfully I have no idea where to buy it. If Mabel used to be the centrefold I think we can safely say she won't be after today. But at least no-one buying "Attitude" can be in any doubt what they are letting themselves in for.

    Low standards of journalism? From Toby Young? From Damian Thompson in himself? From the Damian Thompson who employs Toby Young, Nile Gardiner, James Corum, Con Coughlin, Michael Weiss, Neil O'Brien, old Uncle Janet Daley and all? The nerve! The sheer bloody gall!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hari made his name pretending, as we know see, to have seduced a male neo-Nazi at a convention and me, a male Islamist, at Finsbury Park mosque. Has he ever seduced the pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war voice of an economically social democratic, morally and socially conservative patriotism towards the North of England, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and Christendom?

    ReplyDelete
  6. And Gilligan of course. Can't forget Gilligan.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mo, not to the best of my knowledge. Nor am I aware that he has ever claimed to have done so.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Winston Smith28 June 2011 22:42

    If anyone deserves the prize you describe, it is you. I do not know anything that does more than this blog for the good causes you describe. Once the books are out and your profile goes up a bit the prize could even be invented in real life for you. Or we could wait for it to be the David Lindsay Prize eventually. You are not going to put this comment up because you are going to think it is a joke. But it is not, I promise it is not.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Whatever strokes you may or may not have pulled in your time, you have never copied and pasted something out of a famous person's book and claimed that they told it to your face. You have to laugh: public school, Cambridge, star columnist at 23, exposed plaigarist at 32. That'll teach 'em. Never employ anyone younger than David Lindsay.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree about Hari's piece on Dubai. It was one of the few media pieces I forwarded to friends (I usually don't thrust things I think they should read in their faces), and these were people who spent time in the Gulf. The problem with the Gulf is general, though the UAE seems to be the worst in this respect, is that you are going to wind up using slave labor no matter how much care you take. Better to steer clear of that area altogether.

    ReplyDelete