Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mike Blogger, The Game is Up

This piece of mine, on the weird and not-so-wonderful-world of Mike Blogger, lap-top bombadier, appears in the Morning Star.

Mike Blogger is not a happy man. Despite all his blogging efforts, the US and Britain have not yet launched military strikes against Sudan, or the 'Islamofascist dictatorship' in Iran. Mike is also alarmed at talk of a British withdrawal from Iraq. An enthusiastic supporter of the 2003 invasion, (on 'human rights' grounds), he believes British troops should stay in Iraq indefinitely, until "democracy" is firmly established. Mike, suffice to say has never served in the armed forces: the nearest he has ever been to a war zone was when he visited Prague on a long weekend break with university friends during the conflict in the Balkans. But Mike's lack of military experience does not prevent him from urging yet more military interventions-a strong supporter of both the Euston Manifesto and the Henry Jackson Society, he believes the British Army should be deployed throughout the globe in a bid to rid the world of dictators- (or more particularly dictators that the US and Britain don't like).

Mike rejects charges that he is an Islamophobe, pointing out that he was a staunch supporter of both the Bosnian and Kosovan separatist cause in the Balkans. But although he regularly denounces the "human-rights abusing dictatorships" in Syria and Iran, eagled eyed readers of his blog have noticed that he has yet to write a word of criticism of the repressive Wahabi regime in Saudi Arabia.
Mike also denies that he is a warmonger, frequently arguing that the only way 'peace' can be spread is "at the barrel of a gun".

Mike got his taste for military intervention in 1999, when NATO bombed Yugoslavia. To this day he talks of "Milosevic's genocidal campaign" but when asked by his readers to produce evidence to back up his assertion, he angrily denounces them as "genocide deniers" and "apologists for mass murder".

Mike claims to be "passionately concerned" about the fate of 91 Iraqi interpreters, who he believes ought be granted asylum in Britain, yet to date, has shown next to no concern for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed in the war, nor the thousands of refugees who have fled their destroyed country.

Although he calls himself a 'leftist', Mike shows no enthusiasm for public ownership or introducing higher taxes on the wealthy. A member of the Labour Party since 1994, he regards Tony Blair as the greatest Prime Minister Britain has ever had.

Mike says he abhors racism and often boasts of how he took part on anti-apartheid marches while at university. Yet at the same he believes that the US and Britain have a inherent right to "civilise" the Arab and Muslim world, and that all Iraqis who resist the occupation are " barbarians".
Mike writes regularly about his concern for striking bus drivers in Iran, and his commitment to trade union rights in Iraq, but he has never been known to expresses any support for striking workers back home in Britain.

Although Mike campaigns for democracy to be spread around the globe, he doesn't accept the electorate's decision when they vote in leaders he doesn't like. He calls Hugo Chavez a "dictator" despite his regular election victories- a label he also uses when writing about the former democratically-elected leader of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic.

Neither is Mike too keen on democracy back home, believing that decisions are best made to enlightened middle-class university-educated people like himself and not to the "man in the street". Mike's heroes, aside from Tony Blair, are Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen and "the courageous" Salman Rushdie. He has read Cohen's book What's Left' twice from cover to cover- (unlike 'Satantic Verses' which he only pretends to have read). He claims to be passionate defender of free speech, yet he frequently urges people to write in to newspaper editors to sack anti-war columnists whose views he disagrees with.

Mike has few friends and spends most of his time in front of his computer, writing diatribes against those "Stalinists" on the left who don't share his enthusiasm for military interventions. Mike is rather keen on the word "Stalinist", using it to describe all the countries of eastern europe under communism, even the most liberal, progressive regimes such as Janos Kadar's Hungary.

Around 95% of the entries on Mike's blog concern foreign policy: "bread and butter issues", such as old age pensions, the state of NHS dentistry and rising utility bills are simply of interest to him.

Mike's views on foreign policy are held by a tiny proportion of the electorate. Yet, on the blogosphere he is not alone. In the strange world known as cyberspace- there are many, many people like Mike. But the world- and the blogosphere is changing. For far too long the Mike Bloggers of this world have had it all their own way. They got their war in Iraq. They got their interventionist foreign policy. And, because of it, nearly 1 million people have died.

They have every cause to feel unhappy. But they're unhappy not because of the death and destruction which these pro-war foreign policies have caused. They're unhappy because they knows that this time, the game for laptop bombadiers like themselves, is well and truly up.


Anonymous said...

Since 'Mike Blogger' is clearly and unmistakably identifiable from that diatribe, how about doing him the courtesy of supplying a link to his blog?

Or don't you want him to read this?

Neil Clark said...

Sorry to disappoint you mcguffin but "Mike Blogger" is not based on any one particular person, he is a portrait of the average pro-war "left" blogger.

Anonymous said...

I'd be a lot more convinced by that if you hadn't called him "Mike" and if the description didn't happen to chime almost 100% with that of a real-life blogger who just happens to be called Mike. And as he's also a prolific Harry's Place commenter, it's simply not credible that you've never heard of him before.

So why did you pick that particular name out of the thousands that you could have chosen?

(Incidentally, is he any relation?)

Neil Clark said...

"as he's also a prolific Harry's Place commenter, it's simply not credible that you've never heard of him before."
Wow, so HP commenters are as famous as international footballers and pop stars are they?
Sorry to disappoint you again, but I have never heard of a HP commenter called "Mike". That probably has something to do with the fact that I very rarely bother to read the comments section at HP..... Life is far too short...etc

Why did I chose the name "Mike"? Precisely because it's an average, everyday kind of name. "Tarquin Blogger" just wouldn't have the same ring.....

Martin Meenagh said...

aha! By 'Blogger' you obviously mean me. I am mortally offended. But you have disguised it by my name not being mike, you dastard! (thats a proper nineteenth century word, which by the way, clearly identifies me too). Oh grow up you silly mad bombers, its not Neils fault if you all have a hive mind

Anonymous said...

Actually Neil, "Stalinist" is generally used to distinguish the former Eastern bloc countries from 'mind's eye' socialism or communism, without discrediting the outlook itself, by those on the 'hard' or 'far left'. Social democrats, in post-1945 usage, do not make the distinction between Stalinists and Communists, as you must know. Others use of the word as a description of yourself colours the account. Why do so, some people will gain satisfaction from this? Me for instance.

You write that: "[Mike] frequently [argues] that the only way 'peace' can be spread is 'at the barrel of a gun'". Really? The Mao quote is so well known that other bloggers would make themselves look ridiculous in being so direct, but you imply that *they* do.

Your wholly mythical blogger: "frequently urges people to write in to newspaper editors to sack anti-war columnists whose views he disagrees with". This is only your assumption, and generally what you refer to is doubtless very common. Well at the beginning of this year, another blogger urged his readers to join 'Citylightsgirl' in removing 'libels' from his Wikipedia entry. Such was 'Citylightsgirl' success in removing any 'third party' reference, or criticisms, to this person that his article was ultimarely discarded for violating Wikipedia policies. A pity really because you are notorious enough to merit a Wikipedia article, but going down the memory hole is fair enough when you are unable to control an article on yourself. Catalonia come to mind anyone?

I'll stick with 'anonymous' because you will think I am Oliver Kamm or Stephen Pollard anyway. ('Anonymous' is not always this user.)

Censor away! Although you criticize bloggers who do not allow comments, it is satisfying when my comments do not appear and your hypocrisy is exposed.

Neil Clark said...
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Neil Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Clark said...

Neil Clark said...
"you are notorious enough"....

Really? In what way am I notorious? For opposing, unequivocally, the illegal wars of aggression against Yugoslavia and Iraq- wars which have caused the deaths of almost 1m people? For saying, all along that the "genocide" in Kosovo was a fabrication? For being one of the very few western journalists who said that Milosevic was innocent of the highly politicised charges laid against him at The Hague? And for ridiculing, in print, the claim that Iraq possessed WMDs? And for warning that any US/UK invasion of Iraq would be a disaster?
If you label 'notorious' someone who has been proved right on every major foreign policy position they have taken in the past ten years, what word do you use to describe those (and there are many, many of them), who have been proved totally wrong?

Ken said...

On the subject of "Mike Blogger," it's about 3.00am your time and word is coming over the wires that the British are cutting and running from the Basra Palace base.

I posted my gloat and then went and left a comment at Harry's Place - just being nice, as I'm sure you would yourself had to no been tucked up in bed.

Anyway, Gene, the resident weekend webmong, deleted my comment twice!

That's the icing on my cake, that is.