Archive for October 2nd, 2013|Daily archive page

Reveries of a Solitary Walker (Day 21)

Reveries-Rousseau

Walking and thinking definitely go together well. I’ve always wanted my own personal cloisters – alongside a powder blue Mark 2 Jag, they (or is it an “it”)? are my main ‘If I were a rich man…’ fantasy. This morning I figured out, walking down to the Phoenix Cinema, where to go from the opening paragraph of the Paul Arden chapter I wrote a couple of nights ago to get into the meat of it. When I got back I put the plan into action and got momentum up which I can pick up from tomorrow. By the end of the week I should have broken the back of the Advertising chapter, ready to weave in some interview material.

A famous walker-thinker was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Swiss (or was he technically French?) philosopher who lived in Chambery where I went to university for a year (Universite de Savoie). He wrote Reveries of a Solitary Walker   between 1776 and 1778 which had Walks instead of Chapters. The walk out to his house, Les Charmettes, on the outskirts of Chambery has assumed semi-mythic status in my memory after all these years.

As a reward for the writing I treated myself to some film research – a documentary about Joe Papp and the Public Theatre in New York, lent to me by Jan Younghusband of BBC Music and Arts, to see if he’d make a good pairing with Joan Littlewood for the Theatre chapter – both poor working class roots, both radical socialist, only seven years between them in age – it could work… I’ll finish watching in the morning and make a decision.

les charmettes

Les Charmettes

Fantasy No. 1

Fantasy No. 1

Fantasy No. 2

Fantasy No. 2

 

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WBWA: Writing by wandering around (Day 20)

All Greek to me

All Greek to me

Not my most productive day given a range of distractions from the execrable TalkTalk to the admirable Save the Children. The former got me to the point of wanting to gnaw my own leg off in the quest to get my broadband to an acceptable level of service with the aid of an engineer of some kind (who, predictably enough, never materialised after a three week wait). I started by writing some British perspectives on the Beats into the Ginsberg chapter. Then had to write a draft agenda for a meeting at Arte in Paris next month with Channel 4 colleagues. Then back to the job at hand by working through the best part of 400 tributes to Paul Arden from the time of his death. I’d written the first paragraph of the Arden chapter the night before in a moment of inspiration after walking home from the Phoenix Cinema. Then it was up to town to see an old friend from NRK in Norway. Have Air, will travel – the Tube as office. Then Maison Bertaux, Greek Street as Bacon-inspired terrace office. Wander around Soho for some Shelley and Mod inspiration, past the site of Blake’s home, Ginsberg’s own big inspiration. Next up to Charlotte Street, by old Channel 4 at No. 60, with a quick look at the Saatchi & Saatchi offices which one online tribute saw as “Arden’s company with their name over the door”. Some more Air time (subject: Arden of Charlotte St) on an Italian cafe terrace opposite before heading  up through St Giles’s to The Hospital for an advisory board meeting with Save the Children. A pretty creative performance then a quick chat in a mild autumnal Endell Street with fellow member from Discovery who is linking me up with a Creative Leadership MBA outfit in Berlin. Rounding things off with Joan Littlewood research on the way home tube.

So a fractured day, but maybe more productive than I thought.

Their name over his joint

Their name over his joint

Reading between the lines

Today’s editorial in the Daily Mail [and some commentary]

Be careful of buying what Jewish intellectuals like Miliband and Hobsbawn are trying to peddle!

Be careful of buying those degenerate ideas Jewish intellectuals like Miliband and Hobsbawm are trying to peddle!

An evil legacy [“evil”: that familiar touch of religious irrationality] and why we won’t apologise [welcome to the angry world where apology, change of mind,  compromise and growth of understanding are not on the agenda]

By DAILY MAIL COMMENT [and Adam Gee Comment]

PUBLISHED: 00:11, 1 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:48, 1 October 2013

Red Ed’s [an improvement on Red Ken but still childish] in a strop with the Mail. Doubtless, [aren’t these the Lynn Truss school of zero-tolerance language fascists? if so, why the comma?] he’s miffed that his conference was overshadowed by the revelations of his former friend, the spin doctor Damian McBride, serialised in this paper, which exposed the poisonous heart of the Labour Party.

Nor did he see the funny side when we ridiculed the yucky, lovey-dovey [boarding school sexual hang-ups emerging] photographs of him and his wife, behaving like a pair of hormonal teenagers in need of a private room.

But what has made him vent his spleen — indeed, he has stamped his feet and demanded a right of reply — is a Mail article by Geoffrey Levy on Saturday about the Labour leader’s late father, Ralph, under the arresting headline ‘The Man Who Hated Britain’. [for “arresting” read ‘bears little connection to the substance of the article’ / ‘attention grabbing’ without the need to substantiate its meaning]

Of course, it was not the Mail that first drew the prominent Marxist sociologist Professor Ralph Miliband — a man who was not averse to publicity — into the public arena. This was the decision of his son who, for two years running, has told Labour conferences how his refugee father fled Nazi persecution to Britain. [we wouldn’t want our politician’s showing any humanity would we?]

More pertinent still, McBride argues that Miliband Jnr is obsessed with maintaining Ralph’s legacy.

Winning the leadership, he writes, was Ed’s ‘ultimate tribute’ to his father — an attempt to ‘achieve his father’s vision’. [The son has made it clear the father did not agree with his politics or have any love for New Labour.]

With this testimony before us, [undue weight on the testimony of a  proven unscrupulous spin-merchant and a flimsy hook to hang a whole article like this on] from a former Labour spin doctor who knew Mr Miliband inside out, the Mail felt a duty [dishonourable behaviour dressed in fake duty and unmerited honour] to lay before our readers the father’s vision that is said to have inspired our would-be next Prime Minister.

How can Ralph Miliband’s vision be declared out of bounds for public discussion [no-one said that, it is the lie of the headline which is the problem – Ed Miliband explicitly stated in The Times (2/10/13): “It’s legitimate for the Mail to talk about my father’s politics”]  — particularly since he spent his entire life attempting to convert the impressionable young to his poisonous creed? [nobody mention Viscount Rothermere here or his treacherous attempts to “convert the impressionable young to his poisonous creed”]

Today, we stand by every word we published on Saturday, from the headline to our assertion that the beliefs of Miliband Snr ‘should disturb everyone who loves this country’.

In his tetchy and menacing response, which we publish in full on these pages, the Labour leader expresses just pride in his father’s war record as a volunteer in the Royal Navy.

But he cites this, and his father’s affection for his shipmates (which, as shown on these pages, was riven by class hatred), as if it were conclusive proof that he loved this country.

So how is it that shortly after his arrival in Britain, the 17-year-old Miliband senior had confided to his diary [the evidence of a teenage diary not in the child’s mother tongue, a bit low and flimsy?]: ‘The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. [The likes of Viscount Rothermere bear this out to a reasonable degree] They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world . . . you sometimes want them almost to lose [the war] to show them how things are’?
 Isn’t it permissible to surmise that a man who had expressed such views joined the Royal Navy not so much to fight for Britain as to fight, like the Soviet Union, against the Nazis? [It’s permissible to surmise but surmising isn’t worth a hill of beans.]

Yes, as his son argues, Mr Miliband Snr may have felt gratitude for the security, freedom and comfort he enjoyed in Britain.

But what is blindingly clear from everything he wrote throughout his life is that he had nothing but hatred [strong word – where do they get that from? Isn’t it permissible for an academic in a democracy to question its institutions? We are talking about a country in a period where the Police have been proven to have lied on a mass scale over Hillsborough; the Journalists have been proven to have breached the privacy of all manner of citizens; the Members of Parliament have been proven to feather their own nests with public money; etc. etc.]  for the values, traditions and institutions — including our great schools [that must mean the private ones e.g. ‘One in four boys is labelled as having special educational needs as state schools rake in funds’ (Mail headline 31 July 2013)], the Church [oh, is that this Church? ‘Church of England to admit ‘deep grief and shame’ in an historic apology for child sex abuse’ (Mail headline 6 July 2013)], the Army and even the Sunday papers [like The News of the World?] — that made Britain the safe and free nation in which he and his family flourished.

The constitutional monarchy, the bicameral legislature, property rights, common law . . . even ‘respectability’ and ‘good taste’ — all were anathema to this lifelong, unreconstructed Marxist who craved a workers’ revolution.

Significantly, when he defended students for silencing a visiting speaker with whom they disagreed, he wrote: ‘Freedom of speech is not always the overriding criterion.’

As for the Falklands war, our defence of British sovereignty so appalled him that it moved him to four-letter words of disgust.

At the London School of Economics, he was taught and heavily influenced by the extremist Left-winger Harold Laski, who said the use of violence was legitimate in British elections. One of his closest friends was Eric Hobsbawm (though, as we reported, at least Miliband wouldn’t join his fellow Marxist in refusing to condemn Stalinism’s mass murders or the brutal Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956). [According to Ralph Miliband’s obituary in that known hothouse of left-wing views, The Times of London: “he was in no sense a rigid Marxist, never a member of the Communist Party and a strong anti-authoritarian”]

It is all too easy today to forget that Marxism supplied the philosophical underpinning to a monstrously evil regime.

Under Stalin’s Communism, countless millions were murdered, tortured, starved to death, executed or sent to endure a sub-human existence in the gulags.

Religion, the family and the very spirit of the individual were brutally crushed. The arts, newspapers — justice itself — were ruthlessly controlled by the commissars.

Freedom of expression was purged. Even as late as the Seventies, dissidents were locked in mental asylums, while the Press was controlled by the State for another two decades.

Truly, Ralph Miliband and Hobsbawm were, in the withering phrase often attributed to Lenin, the ‘useful idiots’ who validated this most pernicious doctrine, which has spread poverty and misery wherever it has triumphed.

That’s why the Mail — which is not Pravda — said that readers who love this country would be truly disturbed if they understood about Miliband’s father’s views.

We do not maintain, like the jealous God of Deuteronomy, [not so subtle Jewish reference] that the iniquity of the fathers should be visited on the sons. But when a son with prime ministerial ambitions swallows his father’s teachings, as the younger Miliband appears to have done [no evidence, in fact signs to the contrary], the case is different.

Indeed, his son’s own Marxist values can be seen all too clearly in his plans for state seizures of private land held by builders and for fixing energy prices by government diktat. [better to let them get fixed by fakely competitive semi-monopolies and cartel-like behaviour, with a bit of mis-selling and deliberate obfuscation of pricing thrown in for good measure?]

More chillingly, the father’s disdain for freedom of expression can be seen in his son’s determination to place the British Press under statutory control. [ah, so that’s what this is all really about…]

Next week the Privy Council, itself an arm of the state, will meet to discuss plans — following a stitch-up with Hacked Off over late-night pizzas [the Mail must be miffed they didn’t have the obligatory Byron burgers] in Mr Miliband’s office — for what will ultimately be a politically controlled body to oversee what papers are allowed to publish.

Put to one side that Mr Miliband’s close involvement with degenerates [the degenerate  whose testimony is the rationale for this whole article? “degenerate” “entartet” a good Nazi word]  such as Damian McBride gives him scant right to claim the moral high ground on anything.

If he crushes the freedom of the Press, no doubt his father will be proud of him from beyond the grave, where he lies 12 yards from the remains of Karl Marx.

But he will have driven a hammer [a bit too blunt?] and sickle through the heart of the nation so many of us [“us” – now there’s a poser] genuinely love. [hate masquerading as love – the essence of the Mail]

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