Monday, August 11, 2008

Daily Telegraph readers vs Denis Matyjaszek

It's always good to watch a neocon propagandist get the custard pie treatment from a newspaper's readers. In today's Daily Telegraph, there is a a foaming at the mouth Russophobic piece by the Henry Jacksonite Labour MP Denis Matyjaszek. (aka 'Denis McShane'-Matyjaszek is so proud of his Polish heritage that he prefers to use an Irish moniker). But the interesting thing is not so much Matyjaszek's entirely predictable article, but the reaction of Daily Telegraph readers to it. The neocons are trying their level best to turn British public opinion against Russia. But as you can see from the comments to Matyjaszek's piece, they are failing dismally.

Mind you, not every comment on the thread is sagacious: Bruce Barniston writes:
For Georgia, read Czechoslovakia. For South Ossetia read Sudentenland. For Russia read Germany. For Vladimir Putin, read Adolf Hitler. For 1938 read 2008.
I think I might add 'For Bruce Barniston, read Idiot'.


Anonymous said...

The comments are somewhat similar on Iain Dale's Diary where he has twice posted against "appeasing" the Russians.

A similar effect seems to be on unmoderated newspaper sites across the board & less unequivocally on US "right wing" sites.

I really do think that the net is putting a serious dent in the ability of those in charge to stir up fights. If the last few days have felt a little like 1914 or 1999 it is like a 1999 where citizens of the opposing countries would have been able to talk together in real time.

David Lindsay said...

Just as Telegraph readers have never really bought into the theory that a country with neither a European language nor a Christian majority is somehow part of the West at all, never mind the West's front line, so they have never really bought into hostility to post-Soviet Russia, rightly identifying her instead as, in common with all the Slavs (not least including the Serbs), the bulwark, against Islamic and other threats, of the civilisation defined by the Biblical-Classical synthesis.

And today, they have at last started to say so.

Perhaps they have finally realised that Russia's enemies are old Marxists from back in the day. See, for example, the Harry's Place website, which has its roots in Straight Left, the most unerringly pro-Soviet faction within the old Communist Party of Great Britain and among its nominally Labour fellow-travellers, and which therefore opposes the present Russian Government out of support for the only viable alternative, namely the totally unreconstructed Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Or see the BBC, uncritical cheerleaders for the National Bolsheviks, whose flag says it all: the Nazi flag with a black hammer and sickle in place of the swastika.

These are people who define themselves precisely by their opposition to the Biblical-Classical synthesis, which is the West.

And Telegraph-reading conservatives have either only just noticed, or only just started to say so. Either way, though, better late than never.

And welcome aboard.

KNaylor said...

@David Lindsay

But wasn't Seumas Milne an important contributor to Straight Left ? This is all very confusing. So Harry's Place is a faction of the old British Communist Party which opposes Putin and supports the neocons.

There must have been a schism at some stage within Straight Left. As far as I can make out, both Milne and others like Calvin Tucker, who writes propaganda for Chavez's government, are anti-neoconservative.

Maybe that's why I have been right all along that the remnants of the far left and unreconstructed supporters of Soviet Communism are not that different from neoconservatives.

A lot of neoconservatives seem to have had a Trotskyist background however but one the method of fitting the facts in with the prescriptions of the creed, the view of historical inevitability and the idea of staged revolutions and mass manipulation seem to have been continued on.

After all, wasn't Denis McShane a Trotskyist once ? His ideological contortions are worthy of a Communist. The way he sees the Budapest Uprising of 1956 as comparable to the invasion of Iraq is a classic example.

Neil Clark said...

I'm not sure if the HP-ers are from the old 'Straight-Left'. They seem to be highly critical of eastern european communist regimes to me- even labelling Kadar's Hungary Stalinist! Many of the neocons are ex-Trotkyists, not ex-Straight Left.

David Lindsay said...

Even the Wikipedia entry on Harry's Place states:

"Harry's Place was originally started by a writer using the nom de plume Harry Hatchet (aka "Harry" - none of Harry's Place writers use their full name), who was originally the sole writer. Harry was active in British anti-fascist and Marxist politics in the mid-to-late 1980s, and in this period was also a member of the Straight Left faction of the Communist Party of Great Britain. It is claimed that he took the pseudonym "Harry Steele" as a tribute to Harry Pollitt, former General Secretary of the CPGB, and the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (though Harry claims it was a "p**s-take" and "not a homage to anyone").

Under this name he contributed to a number of far-left message boards and mailing lists, including "UK Left Network" and "The Politburo", a discussion board for British Communists, the latter of which he set up. In this period he became well-known among fellow contributors for his support for "orthodox" Soviet Communism and his attacks on Trotskyists, in particular the Socialist Workers Party."

It is a feature of British neoconservatism that it warmly welcomes not only utterly unrepentant old Trotskyists (Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers, Tony McNulty, &c) as in the United States, but also, as in Southern and Eastern Europe, utterly unrepentant old Communists (John Reid, Peter Mandelson, the Miliband dynasty, &c) and fellow-travellers (Charles Clarke, Patricia Hewitt, Harriet Harman, Tony Blair).