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Novara Media: Left and Right Unite and Fight! (“Against Big Tec Censorship”).

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Yesterday this happened.

Novara Media is, frankly, not a must-read.

A glance at its site today (the first for a long time) reveals no doubt worthy articles on the German SPD (Germany’s SPD Is About to Take Power. Can It Stick to Leftwing Principles?), Green stuff (Planet B: Everything Must Change – Land and The Green Transition is Already Underway – And It’s Not Looking Pretty), a link to tele Sour with an interview with John McDonnell about the Budget. a long piece by the late David Graeber and David Wengrow taken from their widely reviewed and much-talked about book The Dawn of Everything (Forget ‘Liberté’ – 17th-Century Indigenous Americans Knew a Lot More About Freedom Than Their French Colonisers) Cde James Meadway (The Government’s Net Zero Strategy Is Beyond Disappointing) and something by Noam Chomsky.

That took fourteen minutes.

All worthy stuff.

But I’ve lost interest already.

Apparently they have a YouTube Channel as well.

Lo!

Novara Media’s press statement

According to Novara’s senior editor Ash Sarkar, Novara had received no prior warning and one ‘strike’ (YouTube operates a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy) before the channel was removed:We could only appeal in the way that everyone else can, which is that you reply to this anonymous email. You’re not even sure if there’s a human on the other side of it. And that’s why we thought that the only means that we have for getting an explanation is by going public and drumming up support. – ASH SARKAR, UNHERDTV

On the role of Big Tech:It’s a bad thing that private companies have got so much influence, but the fact is they do. And so when they do play such a key role in our democracy, and when they play such a key role in making sure that journalism can reach an audience, there needs to be some kind of democratically decided regulation of those platforms, because it has an impact on our democracy. – ASH SARKAR, UNHERDTV

On lessons she has learned:Well, I think that what you see there are people trying to make sense of a rapidly changing landscape and they’re kind of grasping for arguments which suit the thing that they’re trying to focus on at the time. And I know that I’ve certainly been guilty of doing that…we don’t have a political framework of treating these as public utilities, having some kind of democratic oversight, and people grasp for the nearest available argument… And I think that that is something which has been a weakness in my own politics, right. This is something which I’ve gotten wrong. – ASH SARKAR, UNHERDTV

On the Left’s attitude to free speech:There has been a censorious turn to the left. It’s no good denying it. And there has been, I think, a tendency to say, because this conversation has the potential to bring in viewpoints which we deem hateful and harmful, that this conversation shouldn’t be happening at all. That is something which I disagree with. – ASH SARKAR, UNHERDTV

On Novara’s cross-political support:What was really great is that support came from all sides of the political spectrum. Because it doesn’t matter where you are on some of the big issues of the day, we can all agree that an unaccountable American tech company having this much control of whether a fully regulated, British journalistic outfit is allowed to operate — that’s an incredibly sinister thing. – ASH SARKAR, UNHERDTV

On the Trump ban:Well, one of the things that I was saying at the time is that this isn’t something to celebrate. This is not something to just sort of go ‘woo, Trump, we don’t like him, he’s a racist, he’s a fascist. He’s currently corroding democratic norms. It’s a good thing that Twitter is able to just kick him off’, because I was like ‘well, what if next time, it’s a socialist president? What if next time it’s somebody on the left?’ – ASH SARKAR, UNHERDTV

Would Ash interview Anjem Choudray?No, I absolutely would not. And the reason why I wouldn’t is because Anjem Choudary does not need to win the debate in order to have effects which I think are incredibly harmful in order to be able to recruit, in order to radicalise, and potentially turn people towards violence. He doesn’t need to win the debate. – ASH SARKAR, UNHERDTV

On moving beyond the political divide:

This is much bigger than right versus left, UnHerd versus Novara, or anything else. What this is about is the ability of journalism to function, unimpeded by unaccountable tech giants. And that is something, it does matter where you are on the political spectrum, we all rely on journalism in order to make sense of ourselves socially, culturally, politically, it’s the lifeblood of a democracy. And if YouTube or Google or whoever else it is can just shut it off, no explanation, no justification, no warning. That is something incredibly dangerous indeed. –


Unherd is a predominantly (Cde James Bloodworth excepted and I have no idea or care what Bindel’s views are) ‘Euro-sceptic’ site – an antre from which a variety of national populists emerge to rant and rave against the Europen Union, liberal elitists, and ‘anywhere’ people. Giles FraserEd WestTanya GoldJohn GrayJames BloodworthMatthew GoodwinMaurice GlasmanJulie BindelMichael Tracey and Douglas Murray.

A post in August by anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner Paul Embery…

“While Labour was preaching the gospel of a militant cosmopolitan liberalism, post-industrial Britain was mourning the weakening of common cultural bonds and a lost sense of community and belonging. “

Embery is entitled to his opinions. But he is thin-skinned, and seized with the undeflectable belief that he has a special bond with the real working class wrapped up in mourning for the golden threaded neighbourhood ties- nay bonds ! -of yore.

I for one feel personally insulted by one of his latest sorties. Embery suggested that left-wingers has no shown enough sadness pr tributes after the murder of Southend MP David Amess, that we thought, at bottom, that he was ‘really’ human – The Left’s shameful tribalism Reaction to the death of Sir David Amess has been dispiriting

There is worse.

A lot worse.

The Red-Brown Front grows:

Steerpike doesn’t browse Novara Media much these days. The Corbynista website has ceased to have much in the way of news value since the Magic Grandpa stood down as Labour leader early last year. Nowadays the unholy trinity of literal communist Ash Sarkar, under-employed YouTuber Michael Walker and David Brent tribute act Aaron Bastani spend most of their time moaning on Twitter about Keir Starmer’s beastliness to their comrades on the left. 

(Note: pretty accurate summary)

But now Mr S has found an unlikely common cause with the Trotskyite trio. Novara has today announced that Google-owned YouTube has deleted their channel, supposedly without warning or explanation. This follows the news a fortnight ago that a speech by Tory stalwart to Big Brother Watch on vaccine passports had been unceremoniously purged from the same site – again with no prior warning.

The Red-Brown Front Spiked:

The deletion of Novara Media is an outrage

YouTube’s censorship of political discussion has got to stop.

Novara is demanding the channel be reinstated immediately, and anyone who believes in free speech should support this. Free speech is for cringey pseuds, too. We at spiked may disagree with their identitarian, jargon-laden word salads, but we will defend to the death their right to say them.

YouTube is not just any platform. With over two billion monthly active users it is essentially the video platform. If journalists or activists or filmmakers are deprived access to it, simply because YouTube bigwigs take a dislike to their opinions or output, this has a profound impact on their ability to get their ideas out there and to express themselves.

New Statesman: (a serious article by Sarah Manavis which has to be read).

Is Novara’s channel back up now? 

Yes. After two hours of public outcry – including from right-wing outlets and commentators, such as Guido Fawkes and Mail on Sunday columnist Dan Hodges – the account was reinstated, at around 1:30pm on Tuesday afternoon, the same day.

 

So why did YouTube do this? 

It’s not entirely clear. A YouTube spokesperson told the New Statesman: “Novara Media’s channel was briefly removed after it was flagged, but upon review, it was then immediately reinstated. We work quickly to review all flagged content, but with millions of hours of video uploaded on YouTube every day, on occasion we make the wrong call.” YouTube did not give details as to why the account was initially flagged.

What does this mean for the media’s relationship with Big Tech? 

Even if it was a mistake, it is concerning that one of the UK’s biggest left-leaning media voices could be erased from a major platform so abruptly. In the past two years, Big Tech has been increasingly scrutinised for the power it holds over a free and fair press, and this incident should serve as a reminder of the outsize influence online platforms have in deciding whose voices are the most valuable in the digital media landscape.”

*****

Sarkar continues being Sarkar.

The CC of the Tendance is concerned about Ash Sarkar.

Like the other mourning ‘Corbynistas’ who run Novara Media she seems lost politically. Perhaps she thinks that issuing statements into the aether about left and right uniting against ‘big tech’ have no real consequences.

With the likes of Douglass Murray and oleaginous Priest of Brexit Gilles Fraser.

Not to mention the backing of Spiked…

This looks like one set of Identitarians (Novara Media) uniting with another gang of National Populist Identitarians.

In short, red-brown confusionism.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 27, 2021 at 9:51 am

No Sign of a Cease-Fire: the Gender Culture Wars Continue.

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Trans rights protest at the LGB Alliance conference | Dazed

There are rankles and rages crawling around the Internet. They may be called “”symbolic issues and questions of identity”. Politics has always been soaked in antipathies. Without something to hate, we would lose the very spring of thought and action. Debate would turn to a stagnant pool, were it not ruffled by the” jarring interests and unruly passions”.

For Dominic Sandbrook culture wars have always been around. But “What is certainly true,” he says, “is there are moments in history when disputes about history, identity, symbols, images and so on loom very large. Think about so much of 17th-century politics, for example, when people would die over the wording of a prayer book.” The same applies, he believes, to any number of periods, including the arrival of the permissive society in the 1960s, in which there is an attempt to establish new mores.” (Everything you wanted to know about the culture wars – but were afraid to ask. Andrew Anthony. June 2021)

This excellent ‘long read’ gives a glimpse into a overhanging feature, “if we look at America, where the modern incarnation of the culture wars was first identified, the conflicts over abortion and gay marriage have been fought, at least by one side, from an explicitly religious perspective.” In this respect nobody needs Carl Schmitt’s philosophy of the distinction between Friend and Enemy to explain the springs that exist in people and politics that seem to reoccur in multiple disputes. Seeing this through the faith dimension lets us peer inside more clearly

The Essayist and free-thinker William Hazlitt (1778 – 1830), a warrior in the cause of revolutionary liberty, had the measure of those rowing about the details of these moral codes, “They fortify themselves within the narrow circle of their new-fangled prejudices; the whole exercise of their right of private judgment is after a time reduced to the repetition of a set of watchwords, which have been adopted as the Shibboleth of the party; and their extremest points of faith pass as current as the beadroll and legends of the Catholics, or St. Athanasius’s Creed, and the Thirty-nine Articles. ” (On The Tendency Of Sects. 1815)

Culture wars do not need a direct religious infusion to resemble this structure of feeling. The godless and god-fearing “heirs of Puritanism”, the matrix of sectarianism in the English speaking world, are both now rampant, and nowhere more so than in the skirmishes and pitched battles over Gender. Above all “between trans activists and gender-critical feminists.” As Anthony continues, ” At almost the same time last week that Maya Forstater was winning her appeal against an employment tribunal, after saying that people cannot change their biological sex, the Labour leader Keir Starmer was reaffirming the party’s commitment to introducing self-identification for trans people.”

Some engaged in this fight do not just believe in a set of laws extending gender recognition, gender fluidity, rights at work and elsewhere, or, for their critics, that such legislation (either in principle or in its present form) is flawed. It is that their are many who stand as judgemental Deities, out to punish their rivals, and that they expect others to live by their scriptures. Or get cast out as fascists by Judith Butler. Or, should the other side have the upper hand, as misogynists. To add one more ‘Or’, as one of the worst articles ever written on the whole issue says – “negated by trans dogma, democracy itself is in peril.” (Frank Furedi)

“Nature seems (the more we look into it) made up of antipathies” wrote Hazlitt:” without something to hate, we should lose the very spring of thought and action. Life would turn to a stagnant pool, were it not ruffled by the jarring interests, the unruly passion… (On the Pleasure of Hating. 1826) Yet…..”They would gain proselytes by proscribing all those who do not take their Shibboleth, and advance a cause by shutting out all that can adorn or strengthen it. (On Jealousy and Spleen of Party. 1826)

Can one also interpret this aspect of the culture war in the way Engels compared the rival chapels and sects of the early socialists to the founding Christians?

Everybody who has known by experience the European working-class movement in its beginnings will remember dozens of similar examples. Today such extreme cases, at least in the large centres, have become impossible; but in remote districts where the movement has won new ground a small Peregrinus of this kind can still count on a temporary limited success. And just as all those who have nothing to look forward to from the official world or have come to the end of their tether with it – opponents of inoculation, supporters of abstemiousness, vegetarians, anti-vivisectionists, nature-healers, free-community preachers whose communities have fallen to pieces, authors of new theories on the origin of the universe, unsuccessful or unfortunate inventors, victims of real or imaginary injustice who are termed “good-for-nothing pettifoggers” by all bureaucracy, honest fools and dishonest swindlers – all throng to the working-class parties in all countries – so it was with the first Christians.

On the History of Early Christianity Frederick Engels 1894.

This suggestion can be left standing...

And, oh yes, it’s not just in the English speaking world that this is happening:

Entre “TERF” et “transactivistes”, féministes et militants LGBT se déchirent sur la question trans Marianne 2020.

Today’s reports from the Front Line:

Written by Andrew Coates

October 26, 2021 at 1:39 pm

Far Right Fellow Traveller Douglas Murray Attacks Cde Owen Jones.

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Image

The above is a major part of a pile-in against Owen Jones on Twitter today,

Douglas Murray is associate editor of The Spectator and author of The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity, among other books.

The far right comes in from the cold

By Andrew Coates Chartist Magazine 2019.

The Christchurch Mosque massacre of March 2019 brought some of the ideas of the far right to international attention. The murderer of 51 people had published a manifesto, The Great Replacement. This echoes the ideas of the European ‘identitarian’ movement, and the French far-right writer Renaud Camus (Le grand Remplacement (2011)). Douglas Murray had written in The Strange Death of Europe (2017) that European civilisation is “committing suicide”.

The Spectator writer continued that both a lack of faith in Europe’s traditional values and the “mass movement of peoples into Europe” were at fault. Murray is far from advocating violence to halt “white genocide”. Yet he cited Camus and rejected the idea that our homelands could be “great melting pots”.

More:

Douglas Murray’s The Madness of Crowds avoids developing views on the threat of migration. The idea that “the mass movement of peoples into Europe” is happening as Europe has “lost faith in its beliefs, traditions and legitimacy.” (The Strange Death of Europe. 2017).

An authority on this, Yves Camus, and his theory of the Great Replacement, cited at length in that work, does not pop up in the present volume. It is not the suicide of a Continent that preoccupies The Madness, but ‘“a great crowd derangement”. This new Tulip Mania is ‘Identity politics’. “It atomises society into different interest groups according to sex (or gender), race, sexual preferences and more.” (Page 3) These “rights issues have moved from being a product of a system to being the foundations of a new one.” (Page 7). These “destabilising foundation of liberalism” lead to “ugliness” to “believe things that are unbelievable”. This “crowd madness” needs, like a minefield, to be “cleared”.

One could be forgiven for thinking that Murray was a contributor to Spiked, and an acolyte of Frank Furedi. Yet the former Revolutionary Communist Party guru is absent from his pages; his warnings about the post-68 left’s turn to a “bitter conflict between competing lifestyles – symbolic struggles”, the “culture wars”, are unmentioned. (4)

The Madness of Crowds. Gender, Race and Identity. Douglas Murray. Culture Wars seen from the Right.

From today’s pile on:

The view of this Blog is that Owen Jones is a good thing, and anybody attacking him – not disagreeing with him attacking him – is a class enemy.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 5, 2021 at 11:41 am