Friday, 23 August 2013

The Peter Hitchens of The Left

A long time ago, someone called me that.

But is Owen Jones now the titleholder, as suggested by Nick Cohen in the latest edition of The Spectator?

Well, why not?

They are both opponents of the neoconservative war agenda, unlike Nick Cohen.

They are both enemies of the erosion of civil liberties.

They are both hostile to the EU, or at the very least to any EU that is ever going to exist in actual fact.

They are both in favour of publicly owned railways and utilities.

And they are both defenders of council housing.

Call it the centre ground.


  1. “Speaking truth to power, standing up for the little guy and giving voice to those on the decent, commonsense, middle ground who find themselves marginalized by the gatekeepers of public discourse. That’s the mission of my new venture.”

    Looking forward to the Review and the Press from Lanchester’s finest, the Peter Hitchens of the Economic Left and Owen Jones of the Social Right.

  2. Less of the "Right", thank you very much.

    "For more than three decades, David Lindsay has served as Britain’s political conscience. Yes, since before he started school.

    Followed by members of the Royal Family as well as by homemakers, ubiquitous off radio and television as well as outside the print media, David Lindsay is widely regarded as an indispensable force for good in the battle to restore western civilization.

    David Lindsay’s relationship with his millions of followers has always been conducted through traditional media outlets: the First Post, the London Progressive Journal (which has pretty much told Oliver Kamm to f**k off, ha ha ha), and below the line on Coffee House (occasionally banned), Comment is Free (pre-moderated), Independent Voices, The Staggers, Right Minds (pre-moderated), Liberal Conspiracy, Labour Uncut, Left Futures, Left Foot Forward, Progress Online, Spiked Online, and also Telegaph Blogs and Harry's Place until they did him the honour of banning him.

    Now, he is reaching out beyond broadcasting and the world of print, because they have consistently refused to give him the time of day, to connect directly with his many supporters."

  3. Don't forget your comments on Trending Central and the Commentator, bellies of the neocon beast.

    And on the American Conservative where you are more at home and used to write for the much missed Post Right.

    Loving your tweets thanking Damian Thompson for sending people over to this site where they can encounter theological literacy and telling Oliver Kamm that he is the world's worst journalist apart from certain Telegraph Bloggers. Priceless.

  4. May I humbly point out that Owen Jones's fraudulent position on the EU ("stay in and reform it") is exactly the same as Ken Clarke's. And indeed Nick Clegg's.

    All Europhiles have always promised they'll "reform" it- that's how they keep us in.

    David Lindsay thinks Owen Jones is " hostile to the EU".

    No he is not.

    That view only exists now on the Right.

  5. You badly need to get out more. Or just talk to peter Hitchens, come to that.

    What now passes for the Right in this country cannot explain what it finds objectionable about anything that the EU does.

    But then, look at the people who have been allowed on to criticise it ever since Maastricht. They have been invited as a joke.

    Such is the right-wing opposition to the EU: comedy Tories and UKIP, which latter's Chief Executive has just resigned before he goes as mad as they are.

  6. I note (thankfully) that Mr Hitchens has responded to this comparison with Owen Jones (how shall I put this politely?) he doesn't quite share your elevated view of Mr Jones.

    Asked by a Twitter fan what he thought of the overrated Stockport boy, Mr Hitchens reply summed it up (see below).

    ""The G-Man ‏@_TheGMan 21h
    @ClarkeMicah Peter, have you heard this business of Owen Jones being called 'the Peter Hitchens of the Left'? What do you make of him?
    Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More""

    ""Peter Hitchens ‏@ClarkeMicah 2h
    @_TheGMan Not much.""

  7. David,

    In your comment timed 01.33, which came from your account, you quote a very positive and grand post about yourself, but do not say who wrote it. Might I enquire who wrote this glowing piece?


  8. That tweet is vintage Hitchens.

    Only Cohen really knows what the rather odd original statement meant.

    But I stand by this post. Hitchens and Jones do have these things in common. And they are the true centre ground of British politics.

    The "quotation" is a pastiche of Melanie Phillip's self-description on the website of her e-publishing company, which will be nowhere near as influential as mine. It was in reply to a direct quotation from that same site.

  9. I reckon Cohen's insult was directed more at Hitchens than at Jones.

    Anyway, further to my last post.

    Jones and Hitchens they don't have any of those things in common.

    Hitchens supported nuclear weapons when we needed them (he despises CND as a Soviet fifth column) and he isn't opposed to a cheaper airborne deterrent (it's merely the cost, not the principle, that he opposes).

    They do not agree at all on "erosion of civil liberties".

    Peter believes that Human Rights (deriving from the Constitutions of the Russian and French Revolutions) are enormous threats to liberty which undermine common law, greatly increasing state power by making those who draft and interpret these "rights" the arbiters of right and wrong and of freedom.

    Hitchens believes in our traditions (deriving from Magna Carta, common law the 1688 Bill of Rights and habeas corpus) not the Continental radical tradition.

    Hitchens believes the only way to restore civil liberties (as he argued in "The Abolition of Liberty") is to restore the death penalty, and make our prison system tough once again (in other words, its because of wet liberals like Jones taking over the justice system, that our civil liberties have been eroded).

    Hitchens says if we deterred potential criminals by seriously punishing convicted ones, we wouldnt need an armed police, firearm bans, CCTV cameras, curfews, ASBO's and DNA databases. You cannot combine liberty and order unless you severely punish those who breach a law designed to protect them, as well as everyone else.

    Critically, if the justice system behaves as if circumstances (and not people) cause crime, then it must treat us all as potential criminals and endlessly pre-empt our potential crimes with powerful social workers, CCTV cameras, blanket gun bans, drug 'rehab' etc.

    Hitchens supports council housing- but he doesn't support the mass immigration that is driving much of the demand for it (as Owen Jones does).

    And Owen Jones, as discussed earlier, is not "hostile to the EU" -but Peter Hitchens is.

    And that means Jones also isn't hostile to the three biggest threats to our civil liberties- the European Arrest Warrant, open-border immigration and the European Court of Human Rights.

    Even where Hitchens and Jones appear to agree, it's for wildly different reasons.

    Hitchens opposes "the neocon war agenda " precisely because he knows these are Left- wing wars (which do not respect national sovereignty) and the neocons are ex- Marxists, not conservatives.

    Whereas Jones hilariously thinks the neocons are "extreme Right"-which means his poor little head must struggle to comprehend why real Right-wingers like William Buckley, Pat Buchanan and Peter Hitchens opposed the neocon wars.

    Or why the US Republican Party opposed the Kosovo War and even opposed joining NATO, as well as opposing entry to World War Two ( through the Right-wing 'America First' campaign) and being elected to end the Korean War and the Vietnam War...both of which were started by Democrats.

    But people like Jones just don't know anything about the Right.

    Hitchens and Jones should never be mentioned in the same breath.

    That silly kid can't hold a candle to the great man.

  10. You can hardly blame a man born in 1984 for the position that anyone took in the 1980s. (It turned out to be correct, anyway: we never "needed" nuclear weapons, it is now a matter of record that soviet military threat to Western Europe never existed, exactly as Enoch Powell said at the time.)

    They do not agree at all on "erosion of civil liberties".

    They agree on every detail of it. For that matter, Nick Cohen is also surprisingly good on this one.

    As for the rest, laughable. And you cannot be an admirer of Buckley while decrying "the Continental radical tradition". America did it first, and Buckley was entirely in that tradition.

  11. Everything I said reflects accurately the arguments in Peter's Abolition of Liberty-he wouldn't disagree with a word of it.

    The fact that you clearly do, shows you don't even know anything about him or his views.

    They don't agree on any "detail" of it.

    Jones supports 'gun control', a liberal justice system, Continental Human Rights and EU membership-so he cannot support civil liberties, by definition.

    They are completely opposed.

    The "Rights of man" adopted in radical Constitutions, were the precursor to the world's worst tyrannies, from the French Revolution to the Soviet Union.

    And I never said I was an admirer of Buckley-simply that he (alongside other real Republicans like Pat Buchanan) opposed the neocon wars.

    And people like Jones wouldn't understand why. Because they don't know what the Right actually is.

  12. Hitchens and Jones are both often done few favours by their professing followers.

    The Clinton Administration was hardly well-liked on the Left, either. The prospect of another one fills it with horror.

  13. Ah, that's just because the Left never likes to admit when it's in power- they prefer perpetual teen rebellion.

    Cuba's state radio station still to this day calls itself 'Rebel Radio'. That sums up the Left.

  14. That's the Right these days. Or what passes for it. Convinced that they are insurrections. Against what? The persecution of rich people?

  15. Anyone old class-warrior who still thinks the dividing line between the 21st-century Left and the modern Right is between "poor and rich" must have been in a perpetual coma since about 1945.

    That simply isn't where the battle lines are drawn any more.

    As Hitchens has been trying to explain to people like you for decades, the Left now cares far more about sexual, moral and cultural revolution than it does about "trades unions" or "the poor".

    Crosland understood that back in 1958-when he wrote "The Future of Socialism"-Jenkins and company grasped it long before New Labour did.

  16. That only works if you define any and everyone who holds those views as "the Left", and if you therefore define any and everyone who does not hold those views as "the Right". Just think about that for a while.

    Of course it is still about the money. You must have an eye-watering amount of the stuff, and you must have had that since the cradle, if you could possibly imagine that it isn't, or that it ever won't be, or ever that it couldn't be.

  17. Peter Hitchens' (Hitch Minor?!) is, indeed:

    "in favour of publicly owned railways".

    But as for:

    "the erosion of civil liberties"

    "Call it the centre ground"

    He is adamant that:

    "cars and roads destroy settled societies, wreck landscapes, divide and distort cities, by subjecting non-drivers to the needs of cars and abolishing the walkable, human spaces which existed before"

    And that motorists benefit from a:

    "subsidised road network"

    And that this is:

    "a country which bases its transport system, and its town and country planning on roads and cars, as we have done now for nearly 60 years"

    And has a:

    "road obsessed transport policy"

    But, strangely, for someone who also believes that:

    "I am simply a vocal defender of objective truth against propaganda......"

    Whenever I've tried to post any objective truths on his Daily Wail website, which prove that his articles on transport are nothing more than propaganda, his PC IT Gremlins manage to prevent them seeing the light of day!

    Even more strangely he's not totally anti-car or anti-driver:

    "I’m all in favour of tradesmen who need to carry heavy tools being able to own private vehicles"

    Though he insists:

    "that driving licences should be far harder to obtain"

    So, he's prepared to permit a few of the workers the "freedom" of the roads.

    Not much of a leap from that to "papers please" if you want to cycle or ride the bus or train though, is it.

    So he's really still, deep down, an unreconstructed Trot!

    - Mr B.J.Mann, "the living successor of Peter Simple’s J.Bonington Jagworth, the great Friend of the Motor Car"