Monday 13 April 2009

Please may Penny be excused from the blogosphere today?

...I've got a terrible case of pissiness, and just looking at all the flak that's gone down over the McBride/Draper scandal makes me want to vomit up my own pancreas in disgust. In case you've spent the whole day in a chocolate coma, it being the day on which we commemorate the baby jesus detonating into confectionary godhood, here's a useful rundown of the bitching, sniping and apologism. Together with yesterday's thoroughly rubbish performance by the black-mask protest gang, I have been taking a day solidly out from leftist writing, determinedly not getting involved in the squabbles, and instead reading comics and eating croissants in my grottiest underwear.

For the record, yes, I do write for Labour List, and I've had a lot of fun doing so: the stuff I do is quite far left for the site's audience and it's been gleeful and instructive to have an audience of crusty old recalcitrant quasi-libertarian dad-a-likes to smack down. The site has been a worthwhile project in that it brings together some real radicals in conversation with government policymakers, but it's been woefully on-message so far. This, in fact, was most of my reason for getting involved, and it'll be my reason for staying involved if the site manages to struggle through this fiasco.

I am appalled at the smear campaign plans, mainly because, as Sunder Katwala so rightly pointed out, the 'Red Rag' site was designed to be a *cough* leftist alternative to Guido Fawkes. Guido Fawkes (Paul Staines), in case you hadn't noticed, is a frothing right-wing anti-political arserag, a misogynist, a suspicious white stain on the face of the blogosphere. The last thing the left needs is to emulate him. Despite this, to most of us wanting to get involved in real ideas, Guido is irrelevant. So it's thoroughly shameful that Draper and co. have developed such a schoolboy obsession with his thoroughly mediocre work.

The political blogosphere is, in fact, more than a sleazy sideshow of arrogant white middle-aged men wanking angrily at each other. We are better than this.

Sunny has the best commentary I've seen on the whole shambles, over at Liberal Conspiracy:

If you’re pissed off by this whole episode - and everyone involved - then it’s obvious what the task ahead is. There’s no point complaining about it. If we want the left to succeed and not be killed off by the libertarians, conservatives or New Labour, then we have to do it ourselves. Otherwise the likes of Derek Draper and Guido Fawkes will end up dominating the conversations.

I'm sick and tired of having to listen to these guys, the shouty white male bullies on the internet and the shouty white male bullies at the back of the protest, just because they happen to shout the loudest. They're as bad as each other. Sniping and in-fighting is the worst quality of British politics, and when we allow ourselves to succumb to it we reduce ourselves to the lowest possible level of debate. We become bitter.

Today, I am ashamed of the British left, on and off the web. But I believe we can do better than this. I believe that - as long as certain almost universally male comrades learn to share the platform, drop their pointless schoolboy obsessions, understand that smears and violence acheive nothing, and grow the hell up sharpish - we can be better than this. Who's with me?


  1. "I'm sick and tired of having to listen to these guys, the shouty white male bullies on the internet and the shouty white male bullies at the back of the protest just because they happen to shout the loudest."

    I'm sick and tired of these wannabe-Guidos who are debasing the left too - but then this is dogma that the political left has run on for the last fifteen years; if you can't beat the right, then copy the hell out of it. If it's good enough for the politicians...

    Of course, what I'm just as sick and tired of are little girls who think that 'white' and 'male' are disparaging terms, because I happen to be both and yet somehow, Penny, I've managed to stop myself from being an unequivocal bastard.

    Thinking about it for a moment though, you may be right: Most white guys I know were clubbing seals and taking sweets from children by the time they reached their early twenties, but of course I stayed on the straight and narrow.

  2. Ms Penny, you write: "I'm sick and tired of having to listen to these guys, the shouty white male bullies on the internet [...] Sniping and in-fighting is the worst quality of British politics, and when we allow ourselves to succumb to it we reduce ourselves to the lowest possible level of debate."

    Interesting then that you also write that Staines is "a fascist arserag," reiterated in a comment on Is it me, or does this observation fail to lift the level of debate? ...Unless, that is, you planned to elaborate upon the accusation of fascism at a later date with some further information that we do not already know (please note that I'm already in agreement with your estimation that Staines is very possibly an arserag).

    I just dropped by to note that some of us believe that Fascism is a big word with a long history. The ample use of that word as a mere insult by many on the left (including yourself) is regrettable, largely because the use of it in such a paltry manner empties it of its vast and historic significance. Don't waste it on the likes of Staines. Those that scream fascism very often mean 'you tory shit' but they feel the need to up the stakes it seems. Why? What they in fact end up doing is simply sounding shrill, uninformed, and unable to form a measured response (which is kind of what you are driving at in your post about shouty white male bullies, I think).

    Those of us that know something about what it is to actually live under and amidst true fascists feel let down by this kind of mudslinging on what is supposed to be (I'm told) a serious attempt to engage voters (I of course refer to Labourlist, not your own blog). Next time you feel the need to insult a blogger (that, after all, is all you're doing when you call Staines a fascist) think about how your comment will be read by those who lost love ones to fascism, and those who fought fascists with much more at stake than their bandwidth.

  3. I get what you're saying, Joe, I really do. And I'm not trying to imply that ALL people who happen to be white and male behave like shits. But nor, when people who happen to be white and male behave like shits, will I not draw attention to that fact for fear of causing offence.

    But quite a lot of people, particularly on the British left, who feel that they have an automatic right to be heard, a right to be heard that trumps everyone else's, happen to be both those things. And I think that deserves analysis, rather than dismissal.

    The idea that 'little girls' like me believe that 'white and male' is a term of offence is a straw man. I'm white, for chrissake, and I don't hate myself because of it, even though I've been a cluelesswhiteperson in my time and caused offence without thinking. I don't hate my boyfriend, my father, my best friend or my housemates for being male, even though they sometimes get it wrong - but when they get it wrong, I do tell them. Privilege is not cause for dismissal, and that's not what I'm doing here - but privilege does need interrogating.

    I hope you can accept that with a little less paranoia next time you come across it. We do not hate you. It seems that you're the ones who are afraid of us - hence the jumping to your own defence without actually listening.

    Keep up with the seal-clubbing though. Every seal I've ever met has been a Tory.

    I've been a

  4. Oops, strike out that last half-sentence.

    PB: I accept what you're saying, and will add to it - Guido's not a fascist at all, he's anti-political, something I find just as abhorrent. Right-wing anarchists implicitly believe that violence and patriarchy are the way forward. I'm actually going to change that now :)

    However, I do feel that the word 'fascist' is a valid one to use in contemporary debate, and I'm not going to stop monstering Tories with it if I feel I've got good reason to. You're right to call me out on lowering the tone whilst simultaneously pleading with the British Left not to lower the tone. However, my point was not that we should all always be nice to each other, but that debate rather than slander should be the reason we log on every day! That's why I'm apalled that Draper has lowered himself to even considering a rival smear site to Guido's.

  5. I with you, kiddo!

    We need a better politics to make a better world!

    I am especially sorry to see that godawful pseudo-psychologst Derek Draper visibly back in the Labour fold once again. He is to the Labour Party what his wife, Kate Garraway, is to ballroom dancing! To witness his on and offline feud with Guido Fox was ridiculous and unworthy. Draper's spite and petulance made Guido Fox's attack on him and issue and blew it out of all proportion; if he'd kept his cool the matter would have died the death and been forgotten about almost immediately. The idiot tried to douse the fire by pouring petrol on it!

    The fact that the Labour Party is stooping to this level in an effort to tarnish members of the opposition is rather worrying. We all know Gordon Brown is a control freak and so the idea that he didn't know these smear tactics were going on is absurd; Brown must have approved of what went on and given it the green light to proceed as far as it did.

    The whole sorry episode smacks of desperation on the part of the Labour Party in my view. With the European Elections coming up and a General Election about one year away this augurs ill for the prospect of the Labour Party's future.

  6. Tigon: I think calling Penny 'kiddo' is pretty bloody offensive and belittling tbh? :/ I agree with the rest of what you say though.

    Penny: I totally agree. I'm really fucked off with all of this. The blogosphere is incredibly right-leaning as it is, and I was hoping with LabourList that it would create a voice to respond and match it - Guido and his ilk print some of the most racist, mysogynist and homophobic nonsense I've ever read, and yet the right-wing press is going to take great glee in now trouncing anything left-leaning because of a stupid mistake from Draper - but I'm not excusing him - he was found completely out of his depth with the murky political backwater.

    I'm fucking angry for the grassroots activists, for those in the Labour party central and locally who have done so much good work, and yet some of our MPs and associates are bringing what appears to be the latter days of the Labour government into just more spin and sleaze. It was for us to stand above the dirty tricks and crap that the Tories have always stood for - that was part of how we were elected - to prove that the we would focus on making the country and the world a better place for the people, and not appear to line our own pockets

    I'm feeling very let down right now by people who should be on our side, and I can see it being the final damaging punch for Labour. Reading LabourList of late I've not even felt I could post there because of the mysogyny that is even shown by supposedly left leaning men too - I really fucking despair sometimes - one only has to see the comments that people make on your own blog Penny that gets me gasping at times.

  7. And for those quick to jump at Penny's justified anger at white lefty males, it's about time that a lot of left-leaning guys make sure they check their own privileges and leave them at the front-door at times...

  8. I just wanted to thank you for this Penny, since otherwise I'd have had absolutely no idea what today's Daily Mash was all about...

  9. @ Steph

    I am a Polish immigrant now citizen of the UK but my English is not yet polished. I thought "kiddo" was a friendly salutation like "Hello" and am sorry if I was rude. Peolple call me "kiddo" all the time and I didn't know this wasn't nice. I will remember this in future.


  10. Sorry Tigron if I was abrupt - I might have been just been particularlty sensitive this morning :)

  11. "The political blogosphere is, in fact, more than a sleazy sideshow of arrogant white middle-aged men wanking angrily at each other."

    Well, we live in hope but so far in the UK it is mostly that.

    The ridiculous thing about this episode is the idea that it's remotely sensible for the left to try and beat Guido Fawkes at his own game.

    Guido's starting point is disdain and contempt for everyone involved in the democratic process.
    No one thinking with their brain should really need to be told who would win a race to the sewer. Unfortunately, those concerned apparently preferred to think with their cocks.

  12. The blogosphere is right-leaning because we pay attention to them. Stop paying attention to them. I have.

  13. There's a fine line between gross generalisation and prejudice. Some people here seem quite happy to be crossing it today.

    As for Guido,his politics and motivation don't really seem important. I'm just glad he outed this affair. Sometimes you have to accept what help you can get but it doesn't mean you have to cozy up to the person who helps you.

    Whatever happened to pragmatism?

  14. Tigon:

    It's hard not to like someone who can use "godawful pseudo-psychologist" and "petulance" properly, but isn't 100% sure of the use of "kiddo".

    "Kiddo" can be affectionate in some circumstances - probably a word not to use with someone you don't know well, though. It can be seen as a little patronising, although most people who use it (eg to a person younger than them in the workplace) mean well by it.

    I disagree with you about Gordon Brown probably knowing about the emails though - it strikes me as very unlikely. (I'm not trying to excuse the emails in any way, but the Tory call for an apology is a cynical political move to distract attention away from policy - an area they're weak on - as you can't personally apologise for something you had nothing to do with and didn't know about - you can condemn it, which is what Brown has already done.) Frankly right or wrong (and they're wrong, undoubtedly), the contents aren't important enough to merit his attention, and no advisor would wish to tarnish their boss by telling them about it anyway (though for the same reason it's astonishing a work email was used in this case).

  15. "As for Guido,his politics and motivation don't really seem important."

    My 'disdain and contempt' point isn't an insult directed at Guido. It's a paraphrasing of his own stated position.

    I also doubt he'd be insulted by the suggestion that he managed to engage Draper and McBride in a race to the sewer.

    It's a significant achievement for him and I get the impression he's extremely proud of it.

    I'm not sure whether this story is of much use (or even interest) to the wider public, though.

  16. @ tim_f

    Thank you.

    I know quite a lot of spoken and written English learned from classes at school back at home and from night school here, but am only beginning to learn colloquial English from the citizens of this country directly. Sometimes, when I try to use slang and colloquialisms in conversations I stumble and make stupid mistakes. But if I don't try to inject such things into my sentences I tend to sound even more foreign and odd than otherwise.

    Again, I am sorry if I have made any mistakes.

  17. @ David Floyd

    I'm not sure whether this story is of much use (or even interest) to the wider public, though.

    Oh, I'm not so naive as to think that none of the political parties is above such tactics, but such tactics, in my opinion, are wrong and if the massive scare that Labour has had from this affair results in all parties shunning them then that can only be a good thing for politics and democracy in general.
    And, let's face it, the heads that have rolled or are just about to have been attached to some rather oleagenous individuals...

  18. Penny -- your post have been bad recently. Less anger more thinking please.

  19. Don't be too hard on the lass. SHe has her GCSEs to take soon

  20. I think this precisely what Penny's post is getting at.

  21. What I think Penny fails to recognise is that just because you're all on the 'Left' it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to share the same principles.
    Labour are nominally left, but in terms of real socialism they're nowehere near - as the past 12 years have shown. That's why I'm no longer going to vote for them.
    I'm going for whoever I think is going to be the best MP for where I live - UKIP or BNP excepted.
    Believe me, the left on here can't rely on the left in the Labour party - they've done everyone up like a kipper.
    Forget any notions of 'solidarity' - Labour would sell their own grannies to stay in power and that would include suppressing the hard left if it suited them - like at the G20 protests...
    Depressing I know, but I think we're entering a period of 20 years or so when it really doesn't matter who gets into power - they're all shit and there won't be much money to spend on making this society any fairer.
    Time to form a new party...

  22. SteveShark is right.

    New Labour are far, far to the right of Ted Heath or Harold McMillan's Conservative Party. They should be ejected at the next election because even a narrow win would give them and the awful Gordon Brown the mandate and confidence to proceed with their own right wing agenda. Then we'd see loathsome individuals like the camp limp-wristed James Purnell and haggard washed-out Caroline Flint rise through the ranks and come into their own. Too awful a prospect to contemplate. If they lose and have a period in opposition perhaps they may be able to discover something of what they were pre Blair and Brown, when they believed in something and stood for something. The party may split post general election or even die altogether if the unions abandon it and stop bankrolling it, but better that than to see it stagger on steamrolling over and stamping on the heads of the people it was created to elevate out of poverty and to help. Blair, Brown and a parliamentary party of sycophants and suck-ups destroyed the Labour Party post 1997. SteveShark is right. I believe that Brown would champion a bill to legalise paedophilia if he thought it would guarantee him another five years of power post 2010. What a wretch!

  23. Hi Penny, I met you at The Indelicates gig on Saturday night. [I was outside, tipsy, and smoking]

    I suppose it is a good thing that this attempted smear campaign was outed - not that it is particularly surprising, or that anyone should think the tories, or any other political party, are above this.

    I'm sure that scurrilous stories/rumours and ad hominem attacks are always being prepared by press officers/spin doctors etc.

    When I told one of my teachers I was going to study politics at university, he told me that politics is the art of the possible. I've also been told that it is not some abstract, theoretical struggle between different ideologies attempting to develop the world in their ideology's image. Especially not since the fall of Communism - now all we have left is two (or three) teams fighting it out, trying to get elected by extreme populism and the constant leaking of examples of each others' moral turpitude.

    Also, can they stop demanding apologies from each other all the time? It's so sanctimonious.

    Armando Iannucci is talking about it on the today programme now - I think his new film will be a great illumination of the inner workings of the political system.

    But I think something on Liberal Conspiracy sums it up pretty well:

    "The Public:

    Who the fuck is this Damian McBride twat and why is news so boring and shit?"

  24. Do you think that being on the left entitles you to be a blatant racist?. I refer to your obvious pointy finger aiming directly at 'White Males', and just to add a little XXXtra venom you add 'Middle aged'. Three times you say this, and you wonder why the left will be utterly destroyed at the next GE.

    FYI, the left was never about what you and your ilk bang on about. In days not long past the socialist movement was inclusive, it didnt discriminate or hate on any group and we certainly weren't racists. We were out there saving the world and keeping true to the cause of socialist ideals without bias. But now you lot revel in a sort of fascist doctrine, you know best, we know best, the party knows best, resistance is futile!

    I suggest you grow up, open your eyes and realise that as a hater of men (specifically white men) you will only harm your self in the long run. You absolutely do harm the party with such blatant references. You may think the general public dont notice but be assured that they do. Fearing them in to submissive silence as the Nu Left have done will come back and bite very hard. But then again we always push the self destruct button dont we.

  25. Oh, for fuck's sake.

    What, so now in order not to be labelled a 'hater of men', I've got to not ever, ever mention race and gender as long as it's white men making idiots of themselves?

    Come off it. Race and gender inform a great deal more than many on the centre-right would like to believe. Just because you happen to be a member of a privileged group doesn't mean your race, your gender are invisible. They aren't invisible, and the privilege, the disadvantages (yes, there are disadvantages to being white and male) and the socialisation they confer do inform the behaviour of those in power.

    But as soon as I even mention the coincidence of race and gender here, I'm a misandrist and a racist. Great.

    New post coming about this, methinks.

  26. Penny: Don't anonymous piss you off, I'm tired of those with white, male privilege entitlement trying to reduce issues by simply calling someone a 'man hater'. Y'know, women, people of colour, gay/lesbian/trans have to put up all the time with shit thrown at them (whether it be in real life or online) from mostly white men (sorry, that's just a reality). Yet, dare you even re-address the balance and try to call out them on it, they automatically call you everything under the sun...

    White men who shout racist/sexist really need to understand how their privilege actually works in society and favours them over every other group.

  27. Antipodean Bruce14 April 2009 at 11:07

    @ Penny Red & Steph

    Were you brace of Sheilas born on Krypton? How'd ya know Anonymous waz white and male? XRay vision? Or what? And why'd ya both hate guys? And if ya don't hate guys why'd ya work overtime pretending to?

    Shape up or ship out ya drongos!

  28. I think Steph and Penny are right. Horrible old men with those great big veiny hosepipe things hanging down ruling the world and stuff. Yeuch!

  29. Let Penny Red alone you anomymouses!

    (I know anonymous is an adjective by the way.)

    Ms. Red is obviously simply a little jealous of the talent of the late Sergei Rachmaninoff. The poor girl is clearly suffering from a temporary bout of pianist envy as a consequence!

    Leave her alone!

  30. Penny - why don't you just excuse yourself from the 'blogosphere' permannently instead of just one day. Having read your entries at LL and here, it is quite clear you possess the skill of a faux outraged idiot - with your faux expletives - it really is quite pathetic and naive....and completely insincere. Do grow up child!

  31. I have to say that the 'middle aged' thing tends to irritate me somewhat.
    I dunno if being 57 makes me middle aged but it's an irrelevance in a mature discussion, surely?
    And it's not as if people here are going to avoid being middle aged.
    OK, I'm white, male and of a certain age.
    The first two qualities are something that I know some people are never going to be, but middle age is something everyone can be as it's not dependent on gender or genetics.
    Just as 'kiddo' might be considered offensive by some, some remarks concerning age can be as well.
    If people want an inclusive society then stop excluding people by referring to qualities that they cannot avoid having.

  32. And they wonder why women don't feel comfortable making their voices heard on the internet! :rolleyes:

  33. (that's directed at the numerous 'anonymous' idiots, not you SteveShark).

  34. Funny Steph and Red.

    Just to help you out I'm one of the 'anonymous' idiots to which you refer.....

    ....I'm also female, socialist and feminist but realise my place here on earth was the product of both a man and a woman. I am also nearly middle aged. Although I may hold feminist views, I don't hate anyone....for their views.

    I will therefore repeat what I said above: Do grow up!

  35. I somehow doubt you're female, socialist and feminist tbh, otherwise you wouldn't be telling other women to 'grow up', but I'll give you the benefit of doubt. Are you sure you shouldn't be on the Daily Male website?

  36. "Do you think that being on the left entitles you to be a blatant racist?. I refer to your obvious pointy finger aiming directly at 'White Males'"

    There's nothing specifically racist (or otherwise discriminatory) about claiming accurately that a particular form of behaviour or attitude is typical of a particular category of people.

    White men are proportionately more likely to be active in the blogosphere and are far are more likely to engage in the form of discourse that Penny objects to. I don't think there's any serious suggestion that this is not true in itself.

    Your position that it's a co-incidence.

    I imagine Penny's position is that it's not a co-incidence and it's related to wider issues of power relationships within society.

  37. Such a narrow, blinkered and bigoted view you hold. Oh, YOU will give ME the benefit of doubt will you...sorry, it appears I don't conform to the hood then.

    Incredibly weak.

    I'll point out also that I am a mother - to a daughter. In your view I therefore should not administer a ticking off to my child to grow up - in your view I could only do this if I am referring to a male....oh, do grow.....

    Daily Male website? ...and that was supposed to be funny, oh the irony!

  38. "White men are proportionately more likely to be active in the blogosphere and are far are more likely to engage in the form of discourse that Penny objects to. I don't think there's any serious suggestion that this is not true in itself."

    Clearly they're disproportionately active. But are they more likely to be assholes per se, or are there just more white male assholes because there are more white males, period?

    Personally my view is that anyone can be an asshole, of whatever age, race or gender, but young white guys are more likely to be assholes on the internet as opposed to over coffee or in the pub, because, well, we have less exciting social lives.

  39. Interesting how many people here are absolutist.
    Feminist and socialist aren't constants like white or male, they're intellectual variables and differ from person to person according to what they believe. Of course, feminists and socialists will share broadly similar views but to view something like socialism as being homogenous is just nonsense.
    You only have to look at past and present socialist parties and organisations to see a constant thread of dispute and internal strife.

  40. @Anonymous
    I'll point out also that I am a mother - to a daughter. In your view I therefore should not administer a ticking off to my child to grow up

    But Penny's not your daughter.
    BIG difference.
    Actually, telling someone of 22 to grow up is a bit crap.
    What it means is that you don't like what they say and shows zero respect for their views.
    Discussion and debate are what mature people do - not pull the 'rank' of age.
    FFS...I'm defending an ANARCHIST here! ;)

  41. Exactly SteveShark... but then I don't think we're really convinced about 'anonymous' Must be the first feminist I've ever met who wouldn't understand the context of Penny's post.

    Also, "my place here on earth was the product of both a man and a woman" was a bit of an odd thing to write ;)

  42. @SteveShark

    Taking something out of context to use for an argument is also a 'bit crap'. Please, if you are going to quote, keep it in context - I should not have to explain, but your view suggests I do - it was in the context that I, as a female and feminist (viewpoint) do not have the right to tell another female to grow up...

    It does not mean what you say - it means, if you read what I said originally, that the use of profanity and outrgae appears completely false - which does not add to value of the debate.

    Why people need to use profanity in a completely false way, to have bigoted views complaining at bigioted men make them just as bad as the bigots to which they are complaining.

  43. Oh, you've got me. I'm male and a troll - happy now...

    Actually I'm neither, although that dissapoints you, but tell me is there a manual I have to conform to in order to have the 'correct' view point?

  44. Hey Laurie,

    As someone over the age of 40 (you know one of those middle aged types) that still has a reasonably functional memory and knows him of old, I have to say that Derek Draper has never, never, never been part of the genuine left.

    Ever since he reappeared late last year, I've been wondering how long it would take him to finish off whatever remains of a Labour government.

  45. @Steph

    "Must be the first feminist I've ever met who wouldn't understand the context of Penny's post."

    But I do. Does it mean I HAVE to agree though?

    Furthermore, to use your context properly - I suggest you read what I said originally again.

    At no point have I said I don't understand, nor have I given that view. My complaint was the faux alarm and faux profanity. However, in your view (because I don't agree with false vanity I therefore do not conform and I should say nothing which is the correct version) because I have not praised it in total, I do not conform and I should say nothing.

  46. Who's the bigger bigot: the bigot or the bigot who is bigoted at the bigot?

    Try saying that drunk. Or when you're foaming at the mouth with rage.

  47. Profanity...there's a word that you don't hear too often these days apart from when people like 'Outarged of Godalming' use it.
    But it's just a word - a word that's actually come to mean something different now from its original meaning of 'not belonging to the Church'.
    Language changes and what was once acceptable is unacceptable and vice versa.
    Swearing is now part of everyday speech and acceptable in some circles.
    To me, such words are just words to be used as and when I feel that they express something that couldn't be expressed better in any other way - that doesn't mean to say I have to use them all the time though.


  49. Anonymous Three14 April 2009 at 15:39

    Why don't you all take a cold shower?

  50. Why has everybody got a beef with me all of a sudden?!

  51. Win One for the Gipper!!!

  52. ... the...

  53. Anonymous Three14 April 2009 at 17:24

    ... fuck...

  54. If you want to locate Derek Draper just follow the trail of slime he leaves behind him like a slug. How utterly desperate must the Labour Party be to enlist that dishonest, disreputable, disgraced and useless sack of shit to run LabourList for them? Gordon Brown has become a truly abject character in this play of shadows hasn't he? Hopeless.

  55. Anything that Draper has a hand in is suspicious. I too remember the Draper of old and his recruitment back into the labour fold probably sounded alarm bells for all of us that remember him from the first time around - one of the benefits of being one of the scorned "middleaged", Ms Red. Also agree with "Wash 'n' go" and couldn't put it better myself - staggering that Labour got him to run labourlists. How deluded were they not to know that Draper's recruitment was basically a death warrant signed, sealed and now delivered for Labour.

  56. I think Labour's rush to combat the right-wing bloggers must have been the main factor in taking back Draper.
    He can also talk - even though he never actually says anything very significant.
    You have to question somebody's judgement in the decision to let Draper loose to play with matches and an oil tanker but I bet we never find out who it was.

  57. It's really sad to see the abuse Penny's been getting here and on LL over this. First off, as noted by someone above, shouting 'man hater' at every instance of 'white male' is a smokescreen, an issue-dodger - whilst I'm at it, can I just point out that as a white male I really don't give a toss if someone uses the phrase white male? It's the faux-outrage of the wannabe Jezza Clarksons which does it for me.

    The thing is, pointing out the white maleness of the actors in this particular farce is perfectly valid: Smear politics like this reeks of distorted alpha male jockeying. It's telling that Penny pointing this out provokes such a reaction.

  58. Right, that's told everyone Ian...good show. Abuse you say - cant think I've seen anything so funny since, well lunchtime - are you the attack dog Ian - here fido, go fetch.

    Faux-outrage of Wannabe Jezza Clarksons - when have they come into this conversation...actually what is a wannabe jezza clarkson?

    Reeks of distorted alpha male jockying?? WTF - so Harpie and Jackboots are erm, ever so nice people are they?

    Ian, Penny has a blog - like countless others have, if you don't want to see 'abuse' (in your words only) of the author, I suggest you ask the author to moderate comments - or like it and lump it that if someone like Penny, who has a good blog makes controversial postings - will attract controversial replies.

    In your bed Fido, no walkies for you tonight..

  59. Steph, and Ian the first: thank you so much for your support today.

  60. Ian (the second) oh for crying out lood...14 April 2009 at 20:08

    I rest my case

    ...can dish the dirt, but can't do the washing up.

  61. @ Ian.

    Hey, man! You throwing a curved ball or what?

    Does anybody actually want to be like that mouthy aging boy-racer Jeremy Clarkson? You have to be kidding me surely? No? Well, you learn a little something every day. The next thing you'll be telling us is that to some people Michael Jackson - he's middle aged but is he black or white? - is a hero and a role model!

  62. Ian (the second) oh for crying out lood14 April 2009 at 20:29

    @Canadian Mike

    Ummm - is that directed at Ian the first or Ian (the second)

    Oh and @ Ian the first (attack dog) - regarding alpha male jockying - perhaps you'd like to comment on the arse kicking Jackboots has had from the EU regarding PHORM - the fact that she wanted to shaft the British sheeple (in fact the only country in the EU where this has taken place)...whilst at the same time pontificating about protecting you...what kind of protracted, decent policy is that then...?

    Fido, here boy..

  63. Um, I'll shamefacedly admit that I've been repeatedly checking in on this trollfest, but I'm having trouble keeping track of what they're on about. Is this really a thread with 60 odd comments about how evil Penny is to use the word 'white' and 'male' next to each other?

    If so, I think this may be final clinching proof of the non-existence of god...

  64. Ian (the second)15 April 2009 at 01:48


    Ummm, no but it is just a bit of tit for tat (no pun intended)...

    Damn I wish I could sleep - over 72 hrs now and not a wink, work, do somethng else, work, do something else...even tried inane you can see no luck. Listening to Pink Floyd only wants to make me pick up my guitar...even tried listening to whales siging...which I find fascinating. Tried the Kettle thing - switch it on see how long it takes to boil, switch it on luck...painted a luck, the dog is sick of going for walks...have even tried Horlicks which makes me sick usually - and it made me sick. I have even tried to spot when the daffodil on my windowsil turns it head to the Sun (as they do)...and bloody missed it. I watched for the new shoot on the Yukka to open...never moved - I swear I only blinked and it was open. Did some more work....nothing, kicked my dog out of his bed and tried that...hmm, I must wash that thing..and the dog.

    Anyway, this was a diversion from the subject matter on 66 posts above (for a change)...and I am still not asleep.....

    No Christie, there is no God!!

  65. Ian the Confessor, Blood Prince of the Web15 April 2009 at 07:58

    What's with all these Ians? What have we got here? A situation similar to the dynastic Caesars or Pharaohs? Or what? I think this silliness is completely untoward. Can't we all behave like adults in the method of our means?

  66. Ian the Fifth of the Clan McTavish15 April 2009 at 08:18

    It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom... tell our enemies that they may take our lives, may take the mickey, may take the piss but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

    Paraphrase from Braveheart 1985.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander and if Penny Red can repeatedly steal and use lines from the cinema and literature, without attribution, then so can I. Och eye the noo!

  67. Ian (the second)15 April 2009 at 10:20

    Ah-ha McTavish oh Laird...just glad ye neat a MacGregor..

    I'm from the clan Colquhoun...

    Time for a wee dram Sir..

  68. Ian the Fifth of the Clan McTavish15 April 2009 at 10:56

    Obliged for the invitation to tipple a bumper of finest malt with ye, kinsman of the Clan Colquhoun. Och! Speck not to me of the MacGregors. The only goode MacGregor is a deed MacGregor, as tae sae! Three centuries on and we still remember the bloody perfidy that occurred at their hands on the fields of Luss.

    Ah am proud to raise ma glass to you, sir.

    Here's to ye and the clan Colquhoun!

    Slàinte maith, h-uile latha, na chi 'snach fhaic!

  69. Ian MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod15 April 2009 at 11:05


  70. Ian Duncan Smith15 April 2009 at 11:07

    And they say I'm a fuddy-duddy because I want to favour married couples in the tax system and try to promote Victorian family values. Gracious!

  71. Ian Dury and the Blockheads15 April 2009 at 11:37

    *shakes head*

    What a waste.

  72. @Ian the second - would you mind explaining how incompatibility with an EC directive relates to alpha male jockeying or, for that matter, anything I or anyone else in this thread has said?

    If you're going to ramble on incoherently about random subjects, use silly nicknames and make allusions to Naziism may I introduce you to the wonderful world of Comment is Free? I'm sure you'll fit in...

  73. Christ almighty. Ians, please control yourselves.

  74. I was going to make a comment on the current security abuses and the Labour Party but just realised that I can't because I'm dead! Rats!

  75. I'd didn't turn belly up and surrender you bastards!

  76. Ian (the second)15 April 2009 at 12:52

    Ah Penny, I'm having a dram as I still can't sleep!

    Ian (the first) Nah, can't be bothered right now, maybe later, in fact can't be bothered then, said what I wanted to say before...

    I have now tried whisky and I still can't sleep...time for another plan...

  77. Ian (the second): have you tried putting a gun to your head, that should get you some sleep.

  78. Ian the Jongleur, Lutist and Baloon Sculptor15 April 2009 at 15:02

    If you wanted to blow your brains out, Anonymous, you'd need to point the gun at your arse not at your temple!

  79. Ah'm frae Scoatland!

  80. Ian (the second)15 April 2009 at 15:29


    ...err, the one who said: "Ian (the second): have you tried putting a gun to your head, that should get you some sleep."

    No I havn't but I guess you tried given your wisdom and and thoughful response, perhaps you missed - next time please aim correctly as Ian the Jongleur suggested....and report back.

  81. Ian McIan, Son of Jock Strap McIan15 April 2009 at 15:32

    Och! Ah lurved yey Crow Road, Ian!

  82. Hi Ian (the second), I did as suggested, the bullet bounced off my butt cheek and straight into your heart.

    Shit happens eh?!

  83. Ianthe Stephanopoulos15 April 2009 at 15:35

    Is Ian a popular name in the UK or something?

  84. Ian (the second)15 April 2009 at 15:50


    Oh god, the one who said: "Hi Ian (the second), I did as suggested, the bullet bounced off my butt cheek and straight into your heart.

    Shit happens eh?!"

    No, in your case not, missed again. It would help if your reply was...well in anyway amusing, but(t) I fear, the Clan of Ians are going to find it hard to touche - thenagain, we don't touche, we run people through...

    Dram anyone, sounds like a kipper for supper.

  85. Ian the Jongleur, Lutist and Baloon Sculptor15 April 2009 at 15:50

    @ Anonymous

    If you have inadvertently killed Ian (the second) by means of a bullet's ricochet from your obviously inhumanely firm, taut and well armoured buttocks... and if you were to get charged with manslaughter as a consequence would you call it a bum rap?

  86. Lay off the MacGregors folks or I'll make a sequel to my movie "Down With Love". Let that be a lesson to you!

  87. フ~


  88. Ian (the second)15 April 2009 at 16:08

    MacGregor...get ye back to Glenfruin laddy, we've unfinished matters...

    ...a bottle of finest to finish (just don't tell Perk and pensions Secretary - James Smirkwell).

  89. Och! Your are clearly a scholar and a gentleman, Colquhoun. I will take a drink offered from your hand and be proud to do so with ancient animosities forgiven and forgotten. How I pine to see again the White Heart in the Glen and be far removed from the churlish Sassenach. As for that girly-boy wee Jamie Purnell... well, I say let him share the bottle with us but after we have passed its contents through our bodies!

    But what do you say were Ms. Penny Red to be another guest at you hearth. The girl seems weary and low in spirits. Surely, if anything could revive her, a dram of mist from the valleys would work its witchery upon her?

    What say you, Ian (the second)?

    Will ye extend your hospitality to the lassie?

    Slàinte mhath!

  90. Ian (the second)15 April 2009 at 19:34

    Feasgar math Euan.

    Yer a fine heart for a laddie, and a kindly word for a lassie, a gentleman of tru spirit with no misdeeds. Sir yer the Laird of the Glen we both share.

    Ms Penny Red would be most welcome, for she seems in need of pick up and kindly word. Ms Penny yer most welcome to share the mist..

    In fact ye all are welcome to share the mist.

    Then wee girly-boy can share it's copntents when we have all passed it's contents thru our bodies. Euan Sir, yer wicked streak remains still strong to this day...



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