Daily Archives: 26 November 2007

Another YouGov survey on the Lib Dem leadership contest

…and this one was more in depth, suggesting it was probably commissioned by a newspaper or other media outlet.

Lots of leading questions that pissed me off, but there you go. One question is factually wrong. The Liberal Democrats have not had four leaders since their formation. They have either had three or five depending on whether you include Acting Leaders Vince Cable and Robert Maclennan. To leave off the latter is rank ignorance. He may not have set the world on fire, but he made more impact in six months than Iain Duncan Smith made in two years.

Blincoe-ing idiot

As people know, I’ve now come out as a Nick Clegg supporter (indeed I’ve already voted for him). Speaking therefore in the spirit of collegiality, could Team Clegg please lean on their “advisor” Nicolas Blincoe and get him to shut the fuck up?

Apart from anything else, his latest intervention is a week out of date. We’d actually nipped this one in the bud; surely the last thing that either campaign team needs right now is to turn the temperature up again?

That he is one of the people who before last week’s Politics Show was actively trying to lower the tone of debate is one thing; for him to suggest that Huhne is a liar is quite another. I would personally gain no small amount of personal satisfaction in seeing Huhne go on to sue him for libel (I’m surprised the Guardian is confident enough of his claims to publish).

If blinking idiots like this are the brains behind the Clegg campaign, it is no surprise that it has been widely criticised for its ineptitude. Definitely time to Move On, folks.

Why does the Oxford Union think that freedom of speech only applies to fascists?

One thing I didn’t realise regarding the latest Oxford Union debacle is that this comes just a month after those heroic defenders of free speech denied Norman Finklestein a platform to criticise Israel:

Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians surely cannot be described as balanced by any stretch of the imagination. The Biblical injunction of “an eye for an eye” is grisly enough, but Israel goes even farther by its habitual practice of exacting an eye for an eyelash! As Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians becomes more heavy-handed and violent, the very notion of balance needs to be re-examined. Luke Tryl displayed neither wisdom nor courage in dealing with these broader issues and he eventually caved in to the pressure. On 19 October, four days before the debate, he curtly informed Finkelstein that his invitation was rescinded.

Perhaps Jonny or someone could explain to me why they appear to be supporting one rule for Jewish anti-Zionists but another rule for people who would happily march them into the gas chambers?

UPDATE: Mea culpa – I goofed. In the original version of this article I portrayed Norman Finkelstein as a Zionist, which was completely, 180 degree arse-over-backwards, something which I knew at the back of my mind but at the time had my mind on another article (ahem). With that said, far from weakening my argument, this actually makes it stronger as it shows how the Oxford Union is only a fair weather friend of freedom of speech. Thanks to Barry Stocker for pointing this out and letting me minimise the degree by which I managed to make a tit out of myself.