We know who you are

Or should that be “whom you are”? No, I don’t think so. Anyway, a blog I wasn’t previously aware of called Progressive Gold – which really ought to be the name of a compilation featuring songs by Yes, Camel, Gentle Giant, Focus and Gong – discusses Justin Horton’s recent post on Lenin’s Tomb about Harry’s Place.

“HP’s writers”, says Justin, “are, briefly, McCarthyites. Their practice and purpose is to support the Iraq War, Israel, and general warmongering, by throwing mud at their opponents: by slandering those who oppose them as terrorists and anti-Semites”. Apparently one of the ways we McCarthyite HP writers slander our opponents is a method that Justin names “Links, or Two Degrees of Separation”. The way this works is that “because X is connected with Y who is connected with Z – who is apparently an anti-Semite – therefore X is an anti-Semite too”.

It’s clearly a dishonest method, and one which publicansdecoy in the comments at Lenin’s Tomb suggests might not be confined to we McCarthyites at HP. He points out that much was made of the fact that the BNP apparently supported the right to publish cartoons of Mohammed, and therefore, the argument runs, anyone else who supported the right to publish these pictures was guilty of “sharing a platform” with the BNP. Well apparently the March for Free Expression – which to be absolutely honest was more of a huddle – was intrinsically racist “irrespective of the BNP”, and because “the whole idea was racist to start with”, its organisers and supporters – Mariam Namaze, Irshad Manji, Peter Tatchell – were racists, “regardless of whether or not the BNP attended”. So it’s nice to clear that up.

Anyway, as Progressive Gold says, the main problem with Harry’s Place isn’t simply the sinister McCarthyite silencing of heroic peace campaigners and anti-imperialists; no, it’s much worse:

What I think Justin underestimates though is the actual, physical danger these people could conceivably pose to those they consider ‘traitors’. They aren’t on the political fringe – these are the core supporters of a government that doesn’t think twice about suppressing dissent, that has already colluded in rendition and torture and that wants to lock people up indefinitely without charge or trial, for trumped up crimes like the ‘glorification of terrorism’.

Actual physical violence is unlikely, as I said, but if it does occur it’s much more likely to happen by proxy – one phone call could be all it would take to turn someone’s life into a Kafkaesque hell or even end it, and the putative HPer would have clean hands.

This kind of measured, reasoned analysis is of course sadly lacking here at Harry’s Place. As Justin rightly points out, because nobody is listening to us, we’ve adopted a “hysterical tone”, which – entirely non-hysterically – he compares to “Joe McCarthy’s America, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and Torquemada’s Spain”. And yet, in this thread, commenter Zin says that “85% of the Lebanese population – christian, sunni and shia – are now supporting Hezbollah”, and that it’s my own “proto-fascist warmongering” that has “created this new Cedar Revolution”. So it seems that I have no influence, and that nobody is listening to me, and yet my proto-fascist warmongering – evidence of which I’m yet to see – has created a new Cedar Revolution, and best of all, that one phone call from me could turn someone’s life into a Kafkaesque hell.

As I read out Progressive Gold’s post to Mrs wardytron, she suggested that there were too many men spending too much time taking the internet too seriously whilst hunched over keyboards, in their pants. I agreed, then put my clothes on.

Gene adds: Lovely. Now Lenin’s Tomb features the flag of the Jewhating Hezbollah (“If they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide”) and a link to a pro-Hezbollah website.