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Monday, April 09, 2007

Oliver Kamm carries on digging

Watching someone carry on digging when they are already in a deep hole is usually an unpleasant experience. But when the person in question is as odious- and malevolent- an individual as Oliver Kamm, it's an altogether different story. Regular readers will need no reminding of how Kamm set out- with extraordinary vindictiveness- to smear me after my critical review of his book on neo-conservatism was published in the Daily Telegraph in December 2005. (A resume of this very tawdry affair can be found here). Throughout our dispute, which resulted in my having to take legal action for the first time in my life, Kamm attempted to portray himself as the heroic defender of free speech, defending the rights of bloggers against a litigious journalist. Kamm's position was in fact a charade: as I revealed in February, the man who wrote:
“I consider it wrong in principle and self-defeating for a writer to threaten legal action against a blogger, and cannot imagine realistic circumstances in which I would do so”, had already made a legal threat of his own against a blogger, and made further threats of legal action to a website called Israpundit earlier this year.
Today in The Guardian, the blogger whose belief in free speech is so absolute that he does not allow comments on his own blog, and whose speciality has been engaging in abusive and poisonous vendettas with people who have the temerity to disagree with him, savages fellow bloggers for.. wait for it...... indulging in abuse and poisoning the political debate!!

It's good to see that Kamm's elitist, anti-democratic and breathtakingly hypocritical diatribe has been met with the contempt it deserves. Here's a great riposte by Tim Worstall, the comments in the Guardian after Kamm's post are excellent too).

I used to think the way to counter Kamm was to respond vigorously to his attacks. Now I know the best approach is to sit back and enjoy watching a despised and discredited man dig himself into an even deeper hole.


David Lindsay said...

Kamm is a very powerful man, embracing both The Henry Jackson Society and the Euston Manifesto, i.e., both halfs of the junta behind the merger of the political parties in all but name on the foreign, fringe and now failed basis that is neoconservatism.

Thus, Kamm is one of the great and the good of British journalism, who, in league with the great and the good of British politics, determine both what the rest of us are permitted to know in terms of political news, and what the rest of us are permitted to think in terms of political comment.

And that's exactly how he wants it to stay.

Yes, there's a lot of rubbish on blogs. There's also a lot of rubbish in the Press and on the BBC. And at least the rubbish on blogs varies. The rubbish in the traditional media is all the same, thanks to Kamm and his friends, our Straussian lords and masters.

Steven said...

This article is a typically Kamm-fisted attempt to be controversial. "Oooh, admire my modesty everyone. I'm a blogger yet I don't think much of the medium."

The Philosopher-King of the Times goes on to say:

"If, say, Polly Toynbee or Nick Cohen did not exist, a significant part of the blogosphere (a grimly pretentious neologism) would have no purpose and nothing to react to."

Incredible. Does he really believe we would all be staring at walls were it not for the pronouncements of the official liberal elite?

Anyway. it's unfair of Kamm to blame the blogosphere for his disastrous political choices. If he really wants to improve the quality of political debate then he should put his money where his big mouth is and open up his blog to comments.

Then we could really challenge his "expertise".

David Lindsay said...

To those listed on the website of the Euston Manifesto, I dare those of you who are British Citizens to stand for Parliament next time (for any party or none) on that basis and to seek out other such candidates, I dare The Observer or whatever to publish the definitive constituency-by-constituency list of such candidates, and I dare all of you (British or not) to campaign for them in every way available to you.

So, over to you, Norman Geras, Damian Counsell, Alan Johnson, Shalom Lappin, Jane Ashworth, Dave Bennett, Brian Brivati, Adrian Cohen, Nick Cohen, Anthony Cox, Neil Denny, Paul Evans, Paul Gamble, Eve Garrard, Harry Hatchet, David Hirsh, Dan Johnson, Gary Kent, Jon Pike, Simon Pottinger, Andrew Regan, Alexandra Simonon, Richard Sanderson, “David T”, Philip Spencer, Jeffrey Alexander, Paul Anderson, Joe Bailey, Ophelia Benson, Paul Berman, Pamela Bone, Robert Borsley, Michael Brennan, Chris Brown, Julie Burchill, Mitchell Cohen, Marc Cooper, Thomas Cushman, Heather Deegan, Jon Fasman, Luke Foley, Raimond Gaita, Marko Attila Hoare, Quintin HoareAnthony Julius, Oliver Kamm, Sunder Katwala, Jeffrey Ketland, Matthew Kramer, Mary Kreutzer, John Lloyd, Denis MacShane MP, Kanan Makiya, John Mann MP, Jim Nolan, Will Parbury, Greg Pope MP, Thomas Schmidinger, Milton Shain, Hillel Steiner, Gisela Stuart MP, George Szirtes, Michael Walzer, Bert Ward, Morton Weinfeld, Jeff Weintraub, Francis Wheen and Sami Zubaida.

And to those listed on the website on The Henry Jackson Society, either as Signatories or as members of the Organizing Committee, I dare those of you who are British Citzens and not Peers of the Realm to stand for Parliament next time (for any party or none) on that basis and to seek out other such candidates, I dare The Times or whatever to publish the definitive constituency-by-constituency list of such candidates, and I dare all of you (British or not, Peers or not) to campaign for them in every way available to you.

So, over to you, Rt. Hon. Michael Ancram QC MP, Gerard Baker, Paul Beaver, Prof. Paul Bew, Prof. Vernon Bogdanor, Nicholas Boles, Damian Collins MP, Colonel Tim Collins, Prof. Paul Cornish, Sir Richard Dearlove OBE, Major-General John Drewienkiewicz, Mark Etherington, Sir Philip Goodhart, Michael Gove MP, Jonny Gray, Robert Halfon, Fabian Hamilton MP, Oliver Kamm, Jackie Lawrence, Prof. Andrew Lever, Dr. Denis MacShane MP, Fionnuala Jay O'Boyle MBE, Stephen Pollard, Greg Pope MP, Lord Powell of Bayswater, Andrew Roberts, David Ruffley MP, Dr. Jamie Shea, Dr. Irwin Stelzer, Gisela Stuart MP, Rt. Hon. Lord Trimble, Edward Vaizey MP, David Willetts MP, Prof. Alan Lee Williams OBE, Brendan Simms, Alan Mendoza, James M. Rogers, Gideon A. Mailer and Matthew Jamison.

Go on, I dare you!