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Sunday, 13 May 2007


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Equally, I am delighted if anyone with an opposite opinion visits here to test my views even if they express themselves with hyperbolic passion...

Very revealing sentence, that. It's proof of my theory, anyway - that the point of the backlash against modernity isn't to win the argument, but to keep the argument going forever.

That's why you harp on about crime, the corrosive influence of popular culture, treasonous lefties and the long decline of our beloved nation - because these subjects are utterly irresolvable, and will taunt you forever.

Which is precisely the point - you actually prefer it when one of your posts is fantastically incorrect, since it guarantees you an ever-wider gang of opponents.

All of which proves to me that you'll swallow any old nonsense, provided it gives you the opportunity to wrestle with liberal demons for eternity.

It looks like lunatic behaviour to me, but Chacun a son gut.

But, 'Ratty', the argument *does* go on for ever! Whether it be idealism vs. realism; progression vs. re-action; socialism vs. capitalism; Catholic vs. Protestant; Muslims vs. the rest. The *implication* behind your words, that there is in existence an answer to all these disputes, merely demonstrates your own incipient totalitarianism because if you truly believe that you do have the final solution, then, like every fanatic that ever was, you will strive for it through blood and bullets.

However, if you and Poole wish to follow the example of the 'Wee Frees' who, according to legend, are provided with a private, high-walled compound in heaven because, as St. Peter explains to newcomers, "They think they're the only ones here", then by all means continue your private discussions. I have no wish to stop you, but I remain free to poke fun at you.

(Actually, you don't believe any of that at all, otherwise you wouldn't keep coming over here and giving me grief!)

Congratulations, David, that was a Tour De Force of point-avoidance and sloppy ad hominems.

I keep coming here to give you grief because we are, as a nation, in the grip of a fierce culture war, and you're the perfect example of the unfocused anger of one faction.

Your complaints about snooty "experts" who disdain the homespun wisdom of the common man is a classic of the backlash genre - Those pointy-headed scientists think they're so damn smart!

Well, complaining that experts are dismissive of laymen's opinions is like complaining that the sun sets in the evening. It's yet another example of a simple, unavoidable and immovable fact of life, and another irresolvable point for you to tie yourself up into a knot of righteous indignation over.

I didn't imply that I had any solutions, in fact I said the opposite - I said that you deliberately choose problems that can never be resolved, so that you can complain about them forever.

It's grievance mongering of the first water, no different to any thin-skinned minority political group. It's an excuse to maintain your self-righteousness and sense of victimisation.

Which leaves me with my point - you don't care whether your arguments are correct, because you only want to keep the argument going. You're like a man who can't stop touching his sore tooth.

Like I say, totally pathological, but you must get some kind of entertainment out of it.

Para 1: I thought I had met your point head on, and I can't see any "ad hominems', sloppy or otherwise.

Para 2: My anger (as you call it) is very focused. Whilst I agree there is a "culture war", I do not accept that it is "fierce" because apart from a few lonely outposts, it's over and the barbarians have won.

Para 3: I assume this refers to my recent complaints concerning AGW. I do not rely entirely on my experience of the real life bloomers and bloopers of scientific experts, because there are a considerable number of scientists who also doubt the existence of AGW.

Para 4: My indignation stems entirely from my *opinion* that if these experts have their way they will cost me money and make life intolerable for many. Sorry. I thought you, as a socialist, cared about these things.

Para 5: But some disputes do have solutions - in the end. AGW is one example. Some say do something, others say do nothing until matters become clearer.

Para 6: So, we should all keep quiet, should we?

Para 7: Actually, I care very much about many of the matters over which I argue. I am often accused of simply being an 'agent provocateur' but those who do so are very mistaken.

Para 8: It's not pathological even if I do get some entertainment out of it. On certain subjects, of course, I feel more like weeping than laughing!

"Your complaints about snooty "experts" who disdain the homespun wisdom of the common man is a classic of the backlash genre": but on many topics that concern the common man, there isn't all that much expertise even among "experts". Economists have a small collection of persuasive arguments that Fred Bloggs finds too difficult, and, in spite of wild swings of opinion, medics do have some expertise about health. (As distinct from their huge reservoir of expertise about ill-health.) The greatest well of expertise is the property of experimental scientists, who often get fewer headlines than the non-experimentalists who opine about, for example, Global Warming. And it is as well to remember that some "scholarship" consists of plain lies. It's a rough old world.

"For example, libel and the tedious repetition of expletives would be contrary to both those aims."

That's almost correct, David - tedious repetition is what gets you get banned.

And listen to this:

"Actually, I care very much about many of the matters over which I argue. I am often accused of simply being an 'agent provocateur' but those who do so are very mistaken."

God, David, you're so *brave*. Where would we be without Men like you?

Dave considering your recent post on Rachel North London, I'm surprised that there are any blogs which allow you to post comments.

Seriously if you want to be an agent provocateur say something interesting and true. Tedious gripes about global warming being a conspiracy by lefties and Greens to tax you to death are laughable.

For the record I believe you are making reference to the recent channel four polemic "The Great Global warming swindle" sorry But George Monbiot gave that a damn good fisking. Also one of the contributers has complained about being mis-represented.

Seriously Dave, read Michel Houellebecq now thats a provocateur.

...your own incipient totalitarianism ...if you truly believe that you do have the final solution, then, like every fanatic that ever was, you will strive for it through blood and bullets.

Despite never having pretended to have a solution for the complex issues I mentioned, I'm apparently a fanatic, a Bolshevik and a Nazi.

Those look like ad hominems to me, David, and it's that style of argument that gets you banned from blogs. It's certainly not your razor-sharp analysis.

Keep backlashing away though, I'm sure that if you continue to command reality to sit still and behave it'll obey eventually.

David, how about this. Next time you're directing a play, I'll come along. Once proceedings are underway, I'll stand up and shout "But there is some doubt this play was actually written by Shakespeare!"

And when told to 'shush', I'll shout it again. And again. And again. And again.

And once I've thoroughly ruined everyone's evening, I'll go home and write a series of increasingly unpleasant blog posts about what a 'spineless shit' you are for not taking up my 'conversation', and how you are Objectively Worse Than Hitler for having me thrown out by your band of sycophants.

The day you rise above the level of sneering and heckling is the day you'll stop getting yourself banned.

Dearieme, in my experience doctors have a considerable expertise in 'health', judging by the amount of time they spend lecturing me on how to be healthy, but when you actually approach them in a state of ill-health they, or to be precise, GPs, are worse than useless, despite their £200k a year salaries!

Zinzin, instructs me to "say something interesting and true" in order to stop myself from being banned here, there and everywhere. He is young and must be forgiven for not realising that there are apparently rational people 'out there' whose definition of "interesting and true" is that which complies completely with their own already formed opinions. He will learn - we hope!

Ratty, on re-reading your comments I was unfair in assuming that you considered what I might call the 'Big Arguments' to be resolvable, but in that case, why do you take such umbrage when I argue them? Or, again to be fair and precise, why do you sympathise with a narrow-minded twerp like Poole who swoons at the merest hint of a contrary opinion? You, at least, come over here to fight your corner. Why can't he? Or, if he can't be bothered why not ignore me instead of banning me? (Friendly advice, Ratty, for which I expect no gratitude, never bother too much with what people say, talk is cheap, but watch what they do like a hawk! A censor is a censor and it tells you much about him.)

NIB, your analogy is so stretched that I can only congratulate you on your suppleness but tell you that it advances whatever point you are trying to make no further than the full stop at the end of this sentence.

Patronising and a straw man argument.

He is young and must be forgiven for not realising that there are apparently rational people 'out there' whose definition of "interesting and true" is that which complies completely with their own already formed opinions. He will learn - we hope!

Dave I am brighter than you think and your political posts are nothing more than the typical right-wing whinging that is omnipresent in the media. As I say read Houllebecq if you want to be an provocateur.

Dave if you want anyone to come around to your point of view put together a coherent argument.

Dave the reason blogs have moderators is because people like yourself and I must include myself in this can not moderate themselves. Thats it in a nutshell. Now stop whinging take this criticism on board and learn from it.

Zinzin, it was *you* who instructed *me* to say something "interesting and true", a fatuous instruction when one considers that both those qualities are subjective. Also, in your hustle and bustle to score points off me, you have obviously forgotten that my banishment was the result of asking questions, not making statements. For example, if a writer insults some one else for their alleged scientific ignorance one is entitled to ask him what his qualifications are.

If you do not wish to be patronised I suggest that you think first before you write; and if you are, as you claim, "brighter" than I think (although I passed no judgement on that, I simply suggested you were young) then prove it by saying something sensible.

Finally, I have no wish to be 'moderated' and, for the last time, I do not and have not complained of "criticism", just the opposite, I *welcome* it. It's wets like Poole who shrivel at a contrary word who I despise. (And if 'Andy M' from Barmgate, or anyone else, reads that last sentence and wishes to tell me that I should have used 'whom' not 'who', feel free to write in and explain - again - why!)

David, it's *exactly* the kind of heckling you indulge in - bring up some irrelevant, ignorant 'oh aren't I clever to have noticed this even though it's a cliche' point, and hammer away at it until someone gets annoyed.

It's telling that the best reply you have is a dismissive sneer. Yet again one of these 'conversations' you *claim* you want to have has got no further than 'I'm right, all the rest of you are stupid and I'll start insulting you'.

It's pretty obvious why you blog, David, and it's not because you want a discussion, or to learn anything, or to have your mind changed on any subject. Nope - you already know it all, and you're just seeking confirmation, like the legend-in-your-own-lunchtime that you are, of this 'fact'.

Dave I gave some sensible advice regarding conducting yourself on other peoples blogs, if you don't accept it fine.

References to myself being young (I presume you have checked my blogger profile as i have not given my age away on any Blog) are patronising. He is young therefore his opinions lack validity is the subtext. Deal with what i say this is an ad-hominem attack.

As for my "interesting and true" remark Dave i wrote this because your opinions regarding global warming as well as being untrue are typical of the paranoid ostrich in the sand approach taken by Clarkson and other deniers.

The tag line on your blog is an indication of your intellectual ambitions unfortunately you are lacking in intellectual capabilities. To sum up you blog because you want us to bow down to your superior intellect which as the comments posted here indicate is not going to happen.

"To sum up you blog because you want us to bow down to your superior intellect".

An odd sort of accusation when one considers that I have been blogging for 3 years and I can barely recall anyone ever agreeing with me let alone bowing to my superior intellect; and to say nothing of my *frequent* admissions concerning my abysmal scholastic record which I freely admit could be summed as not so much "Could do better" as "Could try *doing* something"!

You are a touch too sensitive, Zinzin. Being young is no crime otherwise we'd all be in jail, and I have no idea how old you are but the way you debate indicates an excess of youth over experience. Incidentally, I do not believe that age confers wisdom. If you are a damn fool at 20 you are likely to be damn fool at 80, however, if like me, you stumble through life constantly tripping over yourself then a modicum of common-sense will warn you of future pitfalls. For example, when you have spent a lifetime of 68 years listening to one batch of 'experts' warning of this or that definite, not-to-be-argued-with danger only for them to be proved wrong, or for another batch of 'experts' to come up with yet another danger, one can be forgiven, I feel, for developing galloping scepticism - it's called 'experience'!

NIB can huff and puff but cannot avoid the *fact* that I never ban people from *my* blog - even if they Bore for Britain the way he does!

Well, apart from when they use one of your banned words, David. But that's 'uncivil' of course, wheras being rude and patronising as possible without actually crossing into slander is just fine.

But I guess it's safe to assume that since you've ignored my point, then insulted me, that everything I just said was dead right, because, as you say, 'We shall know them by their silence'.

That's another of your tricks I'm throwing back at you there, by the way - glad to see you're noticing how boring and irritating they are! Somewhat puts the lie to your assertion that 'all you have to do is ignore them which is a way of indicating your desire not to continue the conversation' though doesn't it?

Nope, in Duffthink 'ignoring you' means 'guilty as charged' - usually some trumped-up charge of Stalinist sympathies, or worse.

One blogger, very occasionally and only after due warning, removes obscenities from his commenter's text. Another blogger, when faced with some questions containing implied criticism, bans the commenter.
Compare and contrast.

Implied criticism? Well that certainly demonstrates the gulf between what you think you're writing and what actually ends up on the screen. That's vanity for you.

David you must have been told this a hundred times, but still you stick your fingers in your ears.

The overwhelming number of blogs who have banned you have not done so simply because they do not agree with your opinion.

You get banned from places because (a) you have nothing of interest to say; and (b) you conduct yourself in such an obnoxious fashion. Why would anyone with a genuine interest in discussing politics want someone like that filling their comment boxes with sewage? (Of course you'll always be welcome at my place, but then the shit's knee-depth there anyway, and I'm confident of my ability to out-crap you.)

Indeed it often seems that you deliberately annoy and provoke people until they ban you, so that you can run back here and write triumphalist posts about totalitarian lefties suppressing your freedom of speech.

It really is pathetic behaviour.

And your insistence that other people should behave "in a way that is... conducive to further conversation", when read in the light of your recent despicable post about Rachel North, is such outrageous hypocrisy as to be nothing more than a sick joke.

You deserve every banning and comment-deletion you get David.

And your talk about "personal anecdotes mixed with social and political commentary" indicates to me that you're in denial about the nature of this place. I used to enjoy coming here and watch you play to the gallery, tie yourself in hopeless knots, and generally buffoon around.

But as of late your posts have been little more than spiteful personal attacks on other bloggers you've taken a dislike to. You are the last person on the entire internet with any right to lecture others about about civility, or how to conduct themselves in conversation.

I suggest you set your own house in order, David.

Larry, NIB, Zinzin and Ratty:
May I suggest that you re-read the thread above in which all of you have lambasted me several times over in fairly fierce language, all of which I have taken with equanimity whilst giving back as good as I got, and ask yourselves, how long you think you would have lasted on the sites of, say, 'lenin', 'BionOc', 'Ed the Dim of York', 'Jews sans frontieres', Steven Poole - to name but a few?

I say again, watch what people *do* which tells you much more about them than anything they might say!

Sorry, I forgot to mention 'Meaders', an SWP/Respect supporter whose blog has now, sadly, disappeared. I loathed and detested just about everything he ever wrote on that blog and as a regular visitor I dislayed all of my very worst rottweiller tendencies. To his enormous credit he never once edited me or banned me. For that, he has my respect.

So much for 'discussion', so much for being 'delighted' at having your position challenged - just stick your fingers in your ears and keep repeating your little moral-high ground mantra: "I don't ban people, so I'm immune to criticism."

ask yourselves, how long you think you would have lasted on the sites of, say, 'lenin', 'BionOc', 'Ed the Dim of York', 'Jews sans frontieres'

I'd guess about the same length of time I'd have lasted at Guido Fawkes, Iain Dale, or Genghisblog, to name but a few right-wing blogs who are every bit as trigger happy with their delete buttons as the left-wing ones you're always obssessing about.

But then, I wasn't talking about them.

I was talking about you. And specifically how you're the least well-qualified person I can think of to type the words: "To converse is to be civilised".

I suggest you re-read my comment and think about it.

And what's wrong with being a totalitarian leftie? hmm?

I'll have you toiling in my salt mines and repairing tractors yet, by gum!

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