Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Socialist Unity: Worst Political Blog, We Wonder why…..

with 8 comments


Thus Spake the Strop.

Phil has published the eagerly awaited list of “Worst Political Blogs 2013“.

Socialist Unity comes tops,

Andy Newman comments,

Over the past several years I have detected a slight hint that this blog, and me personally, are not universally popular, and obviously this has caused me many sleepless nights, and I often burst spontaneously into tears. However, I soldier on, and despite the risk of further damage to my delicate and sensitive ego, it is worth perhaps considering the state of blogging, as revealed by this poll.

Newman is to be saluted as the brave little soldier he is.

He then says (accurately),

The phenomenon of “blogging” has moved on, and probably declined, compared to a few years ago. It has to an extent been overtaken by Twitter and Facebook, and it is rarer for new blogs to be able to break through into the public consciousness. There is certainly less of a sense of a blogging “community”, that used to be evidenced through “memes” and “carnivals” by blogs with shared affinities.

This means that “blogging” has in a sense transformed into a form of hybrid online publishing, whereas it used to be more of a peer to peer exchange. Blogging has ceased to be a “social scene”, and the heroic era has settled down into a much more staid and even formulaic collection of fairly well defined websites, who produce few surprises. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a different thing.

This is not only true but the debate on the veil on this Blog has been carried out in more detail on Facebook.

For reference (Hat-Tip Rosie), most of the arguments, for or against,  are covered here.

Yes but… the Niqab debate

In its own entry into these complex issues Socialist Unity has helpfully reminded us of its mettle.

A certain ‘John’ – no doubt related to John Wight the roaring apologist for the Iranian regime – comments on this post,

“Fascism in our midst courtesy of the Sun”

This is on the Sun’s hostile views on the face-veil.

A certain ‘John’ comments,

there are some on the ‘left’ who will approve of the Sun’s campaign. They need to be spurned and unveiled as the racists they truly are.

Who approves of the ‘Sun’s views’ is left unsaid.

But we can guess that this inaccurate claim is aimed somewhere.

Is it Jean-Luc Mélenchon?

Or somebody closer to home?

Whatabout the women?

These are John Wight’s views on women’s rights in Iran,

Following the Revolution the status of women changed. The main social group to inherit political power– the traditional middle class – valued most highly the traditional role of women in a segregated society. Accordingly, laws were enacted to restrict the role of women in public life; these laws affected primarily women of the secularized middle and upper classes. The attire of women became a major issue. Although it was not mandated that women who had never worn a chador would have to wear this garment, it was required that whenever women appeared in public they had to have their hair and skin covered, except for the face and hands. The law has been controversial among secularised women, although for the majority of women, who had worn the chador even before the Revolution, the law had only a negligible impact.

No democracy is without its imperfections. Under the Islamic Republic, Iranians, no matter where they happen to live throughout the world, have the right to vote in elections. Women are debarred from standing for office, which is certainly regressive in itself. However, this differs from democratic elections in the West only in the sense that debarment here is based on economic status rather than gender. In effect this ensures that only the wealthy within western societies have any meaningful chance of holding high office.

Furthermore, while women in the US and Britain can stand for election, even sit at the heads of their respective governments, the reality is that both of the aforementioned nations have been responsible for depriving women throughout the Middle East and beyond of a far more fundamental right – namely the right not to be slaughtered or see their families slaughtered in the cause of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’.


8 Responses

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  1. Tony Greenstein and. CyberBoris shouldn’t have made the list. They’re good blogs.Con Home is hit and miss, so it maybe deserved. Guido got there by jealousy. Why isn’t Ipswich Spy in the top 50?

    Kevin Algar

    September 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm

  2. Nick Cohen comments elsewhere, “Newman manages the laughably named “Socialist Unity” website: laughable, not just because it engages in vicious factionalism, but because it indulges the religious strain of far-right thinking. He has campaigned against Anne Marie Waters of One Law for All , which opposes the imposition of Sharia law in the UK. In other words, he has put himself on the wrong side of the struggle between religion and women’s rights. Socialist Unity praises the Iranian theocracy, which as well as subjugating women, denying democratic rights, persecuting minorities and murdering homosexuals, jails the leaders of the Iranian left, who might have hoped for support from their western comrades. ” http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/nick-cohen/2013/09/extremists-and-the-mainstream-the-case-of-comrade-newman/

    Andrew Coates

    September 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  3. I think that socialism is a terrible system which erodes liberty but theocracy is the most oppressive system there is.

    Kevin Algar

    September 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm

  4. In a field encompassing Harry’s Place and similar outfits (including Nick Cohen and other Eustonites), Socialist Unity can hardly be considered as amongst the worst political sites.

    Nonetheless, it does have its problems, which I put down to Andy Newman’s peculiar sliding towards modern-day and retrospective Stalinism, most clearly expressed by John Wight, who at times seems to think that one still needs to justify whatever unpleasant things governments in Moscow might be doing, considers China to be a socialist country, and who also has sorry illusions in ‘progressive’ Third World countries whose progressive features — if they ever had them to begin with, which most didn’t — have long gone.

    Nevertheless, it must be said that Socialist Unity, even if as a result of these peculiar attitude towards certain regimes, has taken a far less enthusiastic and far more discriminating attitude towards the opposition in Syria, a topic which, so it seems, for some left-wingers is such that any mention of the growing influence of vicious jihadism is either to insult a pristine revolution or a severe case of Islamophobia.

    Credit, if only a little and perhaps rather grudging, should be given when it is due.

    Dr Paul

    September 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm

  5. The reason they are pro-Assad in Syria is because Russia is. Simples.

    Sue r

    September 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

  6. The main problem with SU is that a lot (by no means all) is dead boring, wooden, and cardboard-cut-out stuff (see Wight).

    It gets fewer comments that Ipswich Unemployed Action these days!

    Andrew Coates

    September 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm

  7. Their regime of political censorship has much in common with Bashar al-Assad’s and Vladimir Putin’s. Counter-revolutionaries of a feather flock together.

    G. Sabra Jr.

    September 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm

  8. Reblogged this on oogenhand.


    September 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

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