A predictable but pretty disgraceful (and untrue) attack on Peter Tatchell from Andy Newman of Socialist Unity:
Despite the fact that Scott Long was making a substantial contribution to an important political debate, he, and Human Rights Watch, have chosen to make a statement of apology and retraction in response to a libel threat from Peter Tatchell. This of course may be the wisest course for them to avoid risky litigation, whatever the merits of Scott Long’s arguments.
The danger of course is the retraction and apology means that this very useful article, which Peter Tatchell describes as “highly libellous and defamatory” will not be read, and its significant political content will be dismissed. Surely it would have been far better for Peter Tatchell to write a reasoned response to the political criticisms, rather than resorting to lawyers.
It goes without saying that Peter Tatchell did not employ lawyers or bring legal proceedings against Scott Long or Human Rights Watch – although he would have been well within his rights to have done so. Indeed, I think it likely that Scott Long knew that Peter was unlikely to sue – hence his shabby treatment of the man.
Andy Newman owes Peter Tatchell an apology. Will he get one? I very much doubt it.
No doubt, Newman’s conduct will win him friends among the disgusting section of the extreme Left in which he wallows. However, not everybody is prepared to wade through that sewer:
Another embarrassing attack from Andy on Peter Tatchell, I am ashamed to have ever worked with you Andy and this is the last time I will be on socialist unity…..you do immense damage to the left.
Comment by Derek Wall — 30 June, 2010 @ 4:31 pm
The rest of the thread consists of further defamation of Peter Tatchell. Just revolting.
… although this hits the nail on the head:
Oh but Andy the whole point of what I was saying is that you get involved in this stupid personal attack on Peter Tatchell by Scott Long simply because it suits the current turn of the Left’s agenda.
This site, and others like it, have hosted apologetics for states like Iran for some time, ever since the Left’s lash-up with the most reactionary parts of the muslim community in StW.
A few years ago, I would think you would have automatically sided with Tatchell, a principled, left-wing campaigner against a professional NGO leader like Long.
The actual arguments over LGBT oppression are completely secondary to you. Long agrees with your current agenda so you support him automatically, against Tatchell, against universal human rights.
Scott Long and HRW climbs down and apologises for getting it wrong and you bemoan them. That’s what’s “fucking stupid” as you eloquently put it.