Wednesday 8 July 2009

The latest humbug of "Comrade Neil Clark"

I might have to rename this blog "Neil Clark Watch" at some future juncture.

At The First Post Clark defends the comments of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone in his recent Times interview, in which Ecclestone defended despotism, spoke positively of Adolf Hitler and disparaged democracy. A self-proclaimed "socialist", Clark sides with a billionaire:
The procedure is usually works like this [sic]: a public figure expresses opinions to which the New McCarthyites take exception. The public figure, fearing his livelihood will be threatened by the whipped-up hysteria his comments have generated, is pressurised into making an embarrassing - and completely unwarranted - apology for what they have said.
For Clark then it alright to make positive comments about Hitler, and no one can say anything in response. Clark, in this case and Bryan Ferry's comments two years ago, is rather exercised by Jewish groups and individuals expressing an opinion. Clearly people Clark disapproves of, like Denis MacShane and Greville Janner, should shut up. Particularly people "outside the UK" who dare to criticise a British national in charge of companies with an international reach.

Perhaps someone who came close to defending the assassination of Zoran Djindjic or the potential murder of Iraqi translators had himself in mind when he typed the following:
Democracy should mean encouraging people to voice opinions freely and without fear. And it certainly shouldn't mean only being allowed to express opinions which the political elite or certain lobbies and pressure groups deem to be 'acceptable'.
So who stopped Ecclestone from expressing his nonsense? The Times published it. The First Post website publishes Clark. The man protests too much. Clark needless to say is totally incapable of tolerating criticism of himself.

Following the European Parliamentary elections last month, when the British National Party gained two MEPs, Clark the "socialist" identified some of his own hobby horses with the other side:
It's clear that a large percentage of working-class protest votes across Europe have gone to populist parties of the 'far-Right', [note the scare quotes as though Clark disputes the tag] who combine traditional left-wing anti-capitalist and anti-globalist economic policies, with unequivocal opposition to mass immigration and an uncompromising stance on law and order.
Clark in practice advocates that the Left should be like the Right, and proposes his own version of Blairite 'triangulation':
If the European Left is to claw back working-class votes from the far-Right, it not only needs to oppose the neo-liberal model of globalisation, but to jettison its politically correct approach to issues like immigration and law and order and adopt policies which are popular with its core constituency - the working class.
Note how Clark projects his bigotry on to a large section of the population; we are still talking about a small minority who voted BNP. Mixed-origin couples are disproportionately from lower income groups

Clark continues:
Since the 1960s, as European Left parties have gradually become more middle class, they have gradually lost their link with their indigenous [ie, white] working-class voters. ... [The Left] has to acknowledge the innate social conservatism of most working-class voters and drop its aggressively liberal approach to social issues which anger so many.
Well Neil Clark and contributors to the Conservative Daily Mail and the Conservative Daily Telegraph anyway. But in reality this is another case of Clark's capacity for projection. A report in The Times last month gave an encouraging indication of how public attitudes to homosexuality are changing for the better.

Clark might condemn neo-conservative lies, but he is quite capable of his own deceit in backing the worst kind of elite discourse.

Update July 9: I posted the following on Clark's comment page yesterday evening: "Has anyone suggested Ecclestone & co. belong in a police cell? Now who, claiming 'harassment', has advocated his critics belong in custody?" Clark has now allowed the first comments to the posting of his First Post article on Ecclestone, with my submission unsurprisingly omitted, as is his right as blog moderator. He has issued threats of a "police cell" in copy and paste responses at 3:41 PM (comments to 20 May post) and 3:32 PM (comments to 26 May post). Charming man. While Clark may well have suffered unjust abuse, the law on harassment he cites relates to the stalking of individuals, and not at all to the internet.

Looking over the article just now, I found the earlier First Post article had not been directly cited. This has been corrected; two minor changes over last night's posting have also been made.