Darius Guppy is a convicted criminal whose sole claim to fame is that he attended Eton with Boris Johnson, and later attempted – unsuccessfully – to involve him in his plot to beat up a journalist. According to Boris’ biographer, Andrew Gimson, Boris and Guppy fell out because Guppy is from time to time an outspoken antisemite, at least among friends.
Guppy is half Iranian, and the grandson of a former Grand Ayatollah. This, of course, qualifies him to pose as an pub-expert of sorts on Iranian affairs.
Unfortunately, the Independent appears to believe that his views are worth sharing with its small readership. Here are a couple of extracts from a lengthy article he has written for them.
Hat tip: Potkin
On 21 March, The Independent published a letter in which I argued that there was no empirical evidence of the elections in Iran having been rigged, despite prolific assurances to the contrary. Driven by forces beholden to the corporate interest, nothing would please the West more than to have the Iranian masses emulate “the mindless McDonald’s-munching slaves of Mammon” of my last sentence.
Ignoring certain wholly predictable responses of a personal nature, two principal lines of reasoning have emerged that are intended to rebut my hypothesis. First, that recent events in Iran, notably large street demonstrations, are proof of election rigging, and second, that all the Iranian people really want is to enjoy “freedom” and “democracy” – just like us! A proposition that smacks as much of arrogance as of Fukuyaman hubris.
To suggest that two undeniably devout men, Ayatollah Khamenei and Mr Ahmadi-Nejad, should have engaged in such an un-Islamic conspiracy as cheating their own people (unnecessary, since the consensus of the opinion polls put Mr Ahmadi Nejad comfortably ahead) constitutes possibly the most serious allegation that one could level against them.
In supposedly civilised societies, the more serious the accusation the greater the burden of proof required to shore it up. Evidence is required; hand-in-the-till-captured-live-on-video type evidence. Nothing that I have seen or read comes close to this standard; something all the more surprising given the Iranian people’s inventiveness and tenacity.
If the death of a poor protester is able to be posted on YouTube within minutes of its occurrence, then one might have expected to see some footage perhaps of Revolutionary Guards intimidating voters or of a whistleblower with a blacked-out face claiming he was paid by the authorities to empty ballot boxes and refill them with voting slips he was handed.
Nor is the proposition that a hermetically sealed society has managed to contain evidence of wrongdoing convincing. Truth has an uncomfortable habit of getting out. Proper evidence, real smoking guns, have been regularly uncovered where genuinely repressive regimes such as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Stalinist Russia and so on are concerned.
The events in Iran of the past 30 years must be seen for what they really are, not a revolution at all, but a counter revolution; not a negation of a nation’s grand past as occurred in France or Russia or China, but an affirmation of it; a realisation that the experiment you call the Enlightenment, or secular liberalism, far from being the triumph of your comfortable certainties, has been the opposite – a bringing low of all that once made Europe great.
The planet has been brought to its knees by bourgeois greed. Scientists increasingly consider us to be in the midst of a “mass extinction event”, similar to that which gripped the world when a giant meteorite slammed into the Gulf of Mexico and extinguished the dinosaurs. Vast and increasing discrepancies in wealth cause massive social unrest that can but accelerate the apocalypse. Meanwhile, the value of your cultural output is zero, and in the West the family has all but disappeared.
1. Fuck you Guppy, you sleazy little crook.
2. What is the Indie playing at? Evidently, from the accompanying article, they think this is a great joke. Perhaps they think that allowing Guppy to put forward these arguments on its pages is the best way of discrediting them.
Frankly, considering the sad state of the Indie these days, who can say.
See Peter Risdon:
But it would be a mistake to get too drawn into his argument. Guppy’s theme is not, in fact, Iran. It’s Darius Guppy. Ever since being released from jail, he has been convinced that Britain’s failure to hail him as a warrior prince is a sign of its decadence.