There’s a line in a recent Chris Dillow post that says:

Whereas social democrats try to work within the confines of what the public considers “fair”, and try to tweak those perceptions, we Marxists fear that this is a forlorn task because the power of ideology warps those perceptions.

I’m sure Chris know this is how non-Marxists often think of Marxists, that their ideology warps their perceptions. It’s more appropriate to talk of Marxists being indoctrinated than it is most people, who take less doctrinal, more experience-based and pragmatic approaches to issues.

Indeed, Marxism belongs with traditional religions to a bracket of improbable, dogma-based belief systems that require faith to maintain, in the teeth of what could politely be called conflicting data. As with traditional religions, you get ‘Why I am still a Marxist’ and ‘Why I am no longer a Marxist’ essays and columns – Chris himself wrote one – which are very similar to ‘Why I am still/no longer a Christian’ type pieces.

You don’t get ‘Why I am still a slightly conservative pragmatist’ essays in the same way.

So Chris is on very swampy ground, making charges against non-Marxists that are better, perhaps only appropriate if, aimed at Marxists like himself. It gets worse.

What does ‘fairness’ mean? In particular, what is the objective test for fairness?

Obviously, there isn’t one, for a very good reason: nobody agrees what ‘fair’ means. And it’s Chris’s fault.

Not just Chris, but the whole of the Marxist left that for a century or more has been trying to bludgeon through un-argued propositions by disguising them in wrappings labelled ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’. The egotism and narcissism involved in this approach are extraordinary: my views aren’t just me doing my best to understand the world and what’s best, they’re Objective Truth, Fairness and Justice!

But this is a wrapping for something genuinely vile. The argument being made is summed up in Chris’s final paragraph:

Public opinion might decide what is a successful political strategy, but it is more questionable whether it should decide what is a morally right one. One of my fears about Labour politics is that this distinction is often ignored.

Although people disagree with Chris – because of some mental deficiency in them and not because he might be wrong, or wrong for them as individuals – he feels entitled to impose his own preferred outcomes on them by force, because there’s no other way to do so. Indeed the point of this whole piece is that the failure of Marxists to persuade others of their ideas is because of the mental deficiency of the others, and not because Marxism is a peculiar mid-nineteenth century fallacy, like Homoeopathy  or the modern Druid movement.

This has nothing to do with fairness or justice. It is a form of psychopathy.

But so is being a Marxist at all, knowing what that particular faith has been responsible for in the past hundred years.

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Ominously, Libya’s chaos is spilling across the region. The country is awash with up to 15 million rifles and other weapons, and a report by the UN panel of experts this month found that “Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons“. These arms are fuelling chaos in 14 countries, including Somalia, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Niger. Qatar is helping to deliver Libyan armaments to Syria, where Russian-made weapons bought by Gaddafi’s regime are being given to fundamentalist Islamist rebels.

In what has all the hallmarks of mission creep, a small number of US soldiers are being sent to Tripoli to begin training troops. But a stable future for Libya seems remote, however much the country’s strife is safely hidden away from the headlines. It is dividing along every fracture line imaginable: whether it be ethnic, tribal, regional or political. Most Libyans have failed to even register for upcoming elections.

There is a real prospect of the country collapsing into civil war or even breaking up. Unless there are negotiated settlements to its multiple problems, Libya will surely continue its descent into mayhem, and the region could be dragged into the mire with it.

No wonder western governments and journalists who hailed the success of this intervention are so silent. But here are the consequences of their war, and they must take responsibility for them.

I give such a large quotation because it’s lovely to see Jones worrying about Libya being a source of illegal weapons as though this doesn’t go back to before the little lad was born, as though Libya didn’t turn into the IRA’s main weapons supplier, as though this didn’t extend to being a member of the Axis of Evil WMD-making tyrants – and as though Libya didn’t leave this select club as a result of the Western intervention in Iraq that Jones so strongly opposed.

We’re used to this sort of amoral and cynical banking on the ignorance of the reader from what a friend calls the Justin Bieber of the British left and, as the comments show, he has not underestimated the readership of Comment is Free.

But yes, there will be some consequences of the intervention and some of those consequences will be bad – some will be good, like the eradication of a sadistic, rape-fuelled, torturer state – not that I expect Owen to care very much about this. As a supporter of the Libyan intervention I completely accept this responsibility.

But Jones has never shown any sign of accepting his responsibility for the consequences of his campaigning, and that of others like him: more than 140,000 dead SO FAR, no sign of an end to the violence, all the sectarian division and violence of Iraq but no possibility of removing the tyrant, no possibility of peace, the certainty of genocidal reprisals when Assad regains control, no prospect of the introduction of democracy or the rule of law.


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The bar has been set very high indeed, but this clears it comfortably: Warren Mundine, of course science needs an Indigenous perspective.

The argument, which seeks to place indigenous Australians in a special little box of people who can’t understand or relate to maths or science directly, ends as follows:

To go back to a time when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture was put into an ethnographic box, as some sort of anthropological curiosity, and excluded from the breadth of mainstream knowledge, including maths and science, is to disadvantage all Australians.

Bless her race-hustling little heart. She’ll have non-white scientists being interviewed about ‘what gravity waves mean for my community and how they make me feel’ next.

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Israel was hit by 50 missiles today, fired from Gaza just days after a ship carrying a consignment of missiles from Iran, in effect, was captured.

I write this at 21:00 on Wednesday 12th March.

The Telegraph has Cameron in Israel while 50 missiles hit as top story on its front page right now.

The Guardian mentions Cameron’s visit but no missiles, not on the front page, not on the World News Page, nor in the Middle East section nor in the Israel section.

The Independent doesn’t mention the missiles on its front page but does trail a story about a suicide bomber’s brother saying the bomber should receive a VC. Its Middle East page doesn’t mention it, but does mention Israeli soldiers shooting someone at a border crossing.

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Last year David Thompson warned us of the dangers of racist hair. Today, I bring you news of racist dance.

Or, as the headline put it,

Why I can’t stand white belly dancers

This isn’t racist, mind. The writer is a Woman of Colour and, as such, is entitled to use any racial epithets and repeat any racial tropes she cares to. Her complaint is summed up in the phrase ‘cultural appropriation’, or as she puts it:

[White] Women I have confronted about this have said, “But I have been dancing for 15 years! This is something I have built a huge community on.” These women are more interested in their investment in belly dancing than in questioning and examining how their appropriation of the art causes others harm. To them, I can only say, I’m sure there are people who have been unwittingly racist for 15 years. It’s not too late. Find another form of self-expression. Make sure you’re not appropriating someone else’s.

Only Arab women can belly dance.

Only ethnic Indians can cook with garam masala.

Only English people can Morris dance.

Only Hindus can use the number zero.

I’m pleased to report that even at Salon where this was published, she’s getting monstered in the comments.


UPDATE: Volokh also discusses this.

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Adams wheedles on. He talks with unintended irony of the ‘obvious futility of militarism’ in Syria and the Central African Republic. People wonder how he ever thought there was a need for it here. Ann Travers, tweeting ‘I love you Mary’ onto the website, wonders at the futility of the IRA putting a deadly bullet in her sister’s back on her way home from mass. The litany proceeds – Bloody Friday, La Mon, Kingsmills, the sheer number betraying the futility of the ‘war’ as a whole more than mere tragic exception.

Excellent piece here.


UPDATE: See also Suicide rates reveal true legacy of Provo violence

Both via Padraig Colman on Facebook.

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More on the effects of Swedish criminalisation of prostitutes’ clients:


The biggest overall result is the increased stigma. Practical results have to do with the police going after clients. Street workers have lost valuable assessment time they need before getting into a client’s car [because the clients are too nervous about arrest to stop and talk.—ed.]  Also, their clients have more control and can say, ” Don’t drive to that spot, I know a better one the police don’t know about.” Police target  indoor workers too, trying to catch their clients. That means the focus is now on making clients feel safe enough to see us, rather than us focusing on our own safety.  In addition, the pimping laws force us to work alone. It’s also illegal to rent out premises to us. Many work from home, and if the landlord finds out, he is forced to evict you. So they want to save us, but they punish us until we are willing to be saved. And if we say we want to be “saved,” all they offer is therapy [rather than economic alternatives—ed.]

The context?

On Friday, Swedish sex workers’ rights organization Rose Alliance released this statement on Facebook: “Our board member, fierce activist, and friend Petite Jasmine got brutally murdered yesterday (11 July 2013). Several years ago she lost custody of her children as she was considered to be an unfit parent due to being a sex worker. The children were placed with their father regardless of him being abusive towards Jasmine. They told her she didn’t know what was good for her and that she was “romanticizing” prostitution, they said she lacked insight and didn’t realise sex work was a form of self-harm. He threatened and stalked her on numerous occasions.  She was never offered any protection. She fought the system through four trials and had finally started seeing her children again. Yesterday the father of her children killed her. She always said, “Even if I can’t get my kids back I will make sure this never happens to any other sex worker.” We will continue her fight. Justice for Jasmine!”

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I haven’t been posting because I’ve been far too busy with work – which now includes lambing in the coldest March for 30 years. But I can’t let this pass without a brief comment.

Congratulations to The Speccie for a masterpiece of car crash journalism, in Darius Guppy’s defence of Boris Johnson. BoJo absolutely needed the “he’s a liar but hey, aren’t they all?” defence right now. I can’t remember anything causing more hilarity in social media.

But let me draw your attention to one short part of Delerious’s rant, one that refers to me:

A police informer planting listening devices in someone’s home – an offence for which he was arrested. He admitted guilt, only to sell the recordings to the press at a later stage.

This, from a man who is involved in a grotesque example of lawfare against me at the moment, libel trolling with a completely baseless, vexatious action in South Africa where the most important point in the dispute – the allegation he showed me shipping documents that he said were for the illegal export of armoured vehicles to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war – boils down to my word against his.

If you were involved in such a dispute and if you were already facing a counter-suit for libel, would you go out of your way to publish a paragraph of new libel against your opponent?

Would you publish a lie that not only isn’t true, but also can’t possibly be true?

You see, in 1990 and 1991, when I tapped Guppy’s phone, telephone tapping wasn’t illegal.

It wasn’t made illegal for the best part of a decade afterwards.

So of course I wasn’t arrested for it or for anything related to it. Of course I didn’t ‘admit guilt’; there was no crime to be guilty of.

And as for the ‘police informer’ bit, if I had given evidence against Guppy as an informant he’d be back in jail by now. Informants have very strong protection from harassment by the people they give evidence against. Instead, because I was just one of 60 odd witnesses, I have to spend money paying a criminal investigation consultancy to put together a detailed complaint of what is colloquially known as ‘stalking’ before Guppy can be arrested and jailed for his six year (and counting) campaign of on- and offline stalking against me.

The real reason for this dispute remains the same. Guppy framed me for robbing him in New York and I had no choice but to give evidence against him – as a witness not an informant. Here’s a video of me discussing the framing with Ray Berke, the detective who investigated the ‘robbery’ in New York. If you’re interested, there are a further two videos of discussion about the incident. You’ll be amazed, but it turns out Guppy wasn’t the Master Criminal he’s made out, and the police saw through him.


More to follow when I have a bit more time.


UPDATE: Well I’ll be jiggered! It was illegal. Guppy’s still lying, of course – he knows quite well I wasn’t arrested – but I’m posting this to correct the claim the tap wasn’t illegal.

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