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« Tidings (6) | Main | The Agonies of the Left: An Ocean of Tears »

December 27, 2012

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Sam

They saw this and exploited it ruthlessly.

Will Georgie ever grow up? And what the hell is twocking?

David

Sam,

Will Georgie ever grow up?

I doubt his politics will permit it. A certain unrealism is required to maintain the pretence.

And what the hell is twocking?

Taking without the owner’s consent, i.e., thieving. Usually cars.

The collision of worldviews is quite funny, as is the naiveté, but there’s also the tangle of redefined words. Mr Monbiot refers to himself as both an anarchist, which made me laugh, and a liberal, which is hilariously at odds with his authoritarian temperament. (Every other Monbiot article is an attempt to rationalise why other people should be imposed upon, taxed even more, or stopped from doing things of which George disapproves. Because he knows better.)

Self-knowledge seems likely to elude Mr Monbiot for quite some time.

Anna

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

At night they roamed the camp, staffies straining at the leash, cans of Special Brew in their free hands, shouting “fucking hippies, we’re going to burn you in your tents!”

But... but... we must show solidarity with every victim group!

David

Anna,

But... but... we must show solidarity with every victim group!

What’s almost – almost - touching is the implied revelation, i.e., that members of Designated Victim Groups, with which Guardianistas feel obliged to side whatever the particulars, can in fact be obnoxious and predatory scumbags. Apparently this thought hadn’t previously occurred to George. Which suggests a well-rehearsed imperviousness to reality. One commenter praises Mr Monbiot for his “refreshing honesty,” which rather gives the game away. Maybe George wrote the article to show us how difficult it is to be virtuous, indeed heroic, at least as he conceives such things. I suspect, though, that any moral lesson is quite different from the one intended.

It’s rather like when George’s colleague Zoe Williams wanted us to believe that the problem with ‘problem families’ is simply that they’re poor. The kind of people who terrorise their (equally poor) neighbours, who let their kids run wild, or who throw pets from tenth floor windows are, she says, being “shunted out of society for not being rich enough.” For Zoe, who is of course much more enlightened than us, their behaviour doesn’t count.

Evidence, if more were needed, that Marxoid class war politics does tend to blunt the mind.

sk60

Another lefty literally mugged by reality.

Sam

Taking without the owner’s consent, i.e., thieving. Usually cars.

Ah. I always learn something new here.

And then it dawned on me. He was wearing my coat.

I'm surprised Monbiot didn't try to get his coat back with another citizen's arrest.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/25/bounty-blair-war-criminal-chilcot

JuliaM

Oh, that's made my Christmas, despite this awful weather and my lousy cold!

Anna

I'm just shocked that George Monbiot "loves" staffies.

peter horne

As in similar articles the hilarious moonbat seems to have serious problems with the meanings of certain words. Anarchy, for example, is not the absence of the rule of law but the absence of the state..liberalism is allowing people as much personal freedom as possible so long as they don't hurt anybody else...social justice does not entail allowing designated victim groups to do whatever they like etc etc... still where would we be without his side splitting antics?

Steve

"Which suggests a well-rehearsed imperviousness to reality."

Today's nomination for prase of the year.

Sam

Peter, he's an 'anarchist' who wants a bigger state to tax the evil bourgeoisie until they repent.

rjmadden

liberalism is allowing people as much personal freedom as possible so long as they don't hurt anybody else...

And (as our host has shown) that’s exactly what Monbiot hates. He's not even close to being liberal, he's an authoritarian lefty who lies about what he is.

Karen M

Occupier gets occupied. Doesn't like it.

peter horne

'He's not even close to being liberal, he's an authoritarian lefty who lies about what he is.'

Of course there is a word that describes an authoritarian collectivist who worships the state, but we're perhaps too polite to use it here, though the left likes to use it to smear anyone who disagrees with them.Incidentally there's no such thing as a non-authoritarian lefty. Leftism must always be imposed by force.

David

rjmadden & Peter,

He’s not even close to being liberal, he’s an authoritarian lefty who lies about what he is.

Indeed. (And yes, the ‘authoritarian’ is pretty much redundant.) But maybe we should spare a thought for poor George, who seems forever troubled by personal demons, and for whom arrogance and envy are to be paraded as virtues. Which is why almost every Monbiot article starts with a display of his deep, deep compassion and ends with breathless, almost masturbatory authoritarianism. If only he could tax people enough and take away their stuff, if only he could control everything, the voices would stop.

Doubting Rich

"a stolen sleeping bag"

Wait, if this is a common treasury how can anyone steal anything? Surely these are held in common, for whomsoever needs them.

Monbiot initially seems to accept this (using the term "twocking" from the crime of "taking without the owner's consent" which allows the police to prosecute for car crime without having to prove theft and the intent "permanently to deprive" the owner) then starts talking about "stolen" items.

John D

As they were led away, my anarchist beliefs battled my bourgeois instincts, and lost.

George still doesn't understand that his 'bourgeois instincts' aren't the problem.

WTP

Anyone else find this story just a little contrived? Not that similar circumstances haven't happened to someone else, just odd that it would happen to a, uh, writer whose existence depends on having an "interesting" life. Coming as it does at Christmas time, it reads like an inverted/perverted Gift of the Magi. I suspect Mr. Moonbat is pining for an O. Henry award.

John West

As always, when the shine comes off the left wing idealist, a right wing realist with a gun is called to save the day. It goes that way every time.

By the way ... if you want to read original story of confiscation and redistribution of land and wealth, read the story of Solon and the king. It's Greek history. Nothing new has happened since the ancient Greeks led us into the wester world after defeating the Persians.

Watcher

It's always amusing when the Left meets real people. And no matter how reasonable your reasoning with them is, they often turn out not to be very reasonable.

Makara

Tellingly, Monbiot fails to specify which group these "travellers" actually hail from.... my guess would be Irish as my own negative experiences, uniquely with Irish Travellers, tally with those of many other poor souls from across the UK.

In fact, I'm not entirely sure whether Roma Gypsies (who seem to have had an infinitely better reputation than their Irish counterparts) really exist as a cohesive group in the UK anymore....

Regardless, I shouldn't laugh at George's story, but I did. And he should at least be credited for giving an apparently accurate account of events rather than simply trotting out the usual tired old cliches of blaming the Tories, 'Fatcha' and Capitalism for the reprehensible actions of scum.

P.S. The comments under the article were a veritable joy to read as well.... Guardian readers really do take themselves incredibly seriously, don't they?! (I suspect I'm not the first person to deduce this!)

rabbit

Such naivete within a grown man is unseemly. Monbiot and his associates prove themselves incapable of dealing with reality and acting like adults. Are we now supposed to look to such people for leadership?

Jack

Some one find out Monbiot's address and give it to as many Tinkers as they can. Then he can really have his liberal sensibilities offended. And serve him right it would.

Turkey Lurkey

Well, property reform is going to be the natural continuation of "land reform." Radio equipment, sleeping bags and coats for all of society's oppressed and dispossessed. Why does George Monbiot hate progress?

carbon based lifeform

A radio journalist left his equipment in his hire car. They smashed the side window. Someone saw them bundling the kit, wrapped in a stolen sleeping bag, into their lorry.

If only the Guardian hadn't banned the word 'chavscum'.

pst314

Ah, that story brings back memories, David. Many years ago some liberal friends took me to see a band that played various "progressive" songs including "Go Move Shift" (which was all about how oppressed the poor "Travelers" are, and which compared them to Jesus and Mary and Joseph for whom there was no room at the inn.) Over the years these liberals never learned (or admitted?) the truth about Traveller crime, and clung tenaciously to their socialist (dare I say communist?) illusions.

David

pst314,

Despite Mr Monbiot’s comical bewilderment, crime by so-called ‘travellers’ is hardly unheard of. I know of two people who’ve been robbed by ‘travellers’, and I know one who was in effect warned that his business had better make an ‘offering’ to prevent anything more valuable accidentally going missing during the night. Julia’s place has more than a few items on ‘traveller’ criminality and antisocial behaviour.

Wm T Sherman

There's an old and established Irish Traveller community in the U.S., based mostly in South Carolina. One of their specialties is home repair fraud, often the roof, usually victimizing old people. The largest concentration is in Murphy Village, SC.

http://ducknotes.blogspot.com/2008/09/murphys-village.html

They have a keen eye for suckers, are creative at contriving new cons, and thrive on secrecy.

pst314

David,
Yes, I've been reading about those crime problems for many years now--not just theft but squatting and vandalism. I think you are one of the bloggers can thank for opening my eyes to facts that never appear in the regular news.

Wm T Sherman

And Murphy Village SC, in case you missed it, has a number of mansions. These marginalized victims have done pretty damn well for themselves.

bobbymike

The left always has these folks in the fringes just waiting to be given 'official' government sanction for violence.

Greg

Let's not be too harsh on old George. He wants nothing more than all handsomely remunerated egalitarians want: special treatment, special privileges, and special status.

JuliaM

I can't help feeling that, if Lyndsey isn't careful where she chooses to take her next perambulation, she might provide the next chapter in this ongoing saga:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/27/walk-antidote-ignorance-empower

David

Julia,

Blimey. The guff is strong with this one. I particularly like how Ms Hanley drops in these grandiose claims – “the free market, as envisaged by big businesses and their supporters in government, relies on ignorance” – without offering any evidence at all or even a coherent explanation. In her mind, these things just are because… well, because. And this: “There is a vested interest at work in capitalism that ensures we do as little [walking] as possible.” Really? How so? Alas, she doesn’t say. Because she doesn’t know.

It’s not a rational argument; it’s an incantation.

jones

The allegory of the cave comes to mind I must confess.

David

Oh dear. Mr Monbiot is now being assailed on Twitter for writing such a “racist” article. Strangely, the people doing the chastising – chiefly Occupiers and self-described “agitators” - have yet to explain exactly why the article is racist, despite being asked. One of the chastisers is a “Marxist, knitter and student of critical theory.”

Our moral and intellectual betters, obviously.

JuliaM

"One of the chastisers is a “Marxist, knitter and student of critical theory.”.."

Oh, how I wish that apostrophe wasn't there!

DensityDuck

I thought Monbiot was already persona non grata due to his decision (admittance) that nuclear power was better than all those pie-in-the-sky "renewable" things...

Anna

One of the chastisers is a “Marxist, knitter and student of critical theory.”

They don't need to explain why it's racist because you're supposed to shut up at this point. Plus, critical theory!

rxc

And they still really want to arrange it so that an entire country, nay, the entire world, would work like this. When are people going to realize that all of this posturing about saving the world is all just word games and a hobby for people who don't really have to work, or make anything really useful?

David

They don’t need to explain why it’s racist because you’re supposed to shut up at this point.

That’s often the preferred approach. Or The Laurie Penny Method™, as I believe it’s called.

Ethan

Funniest thing I've read in years.
Thanks but I was drinking coffee when I read this...you sir owe me a new keyboard

Mr. X

"Will Georgie ever grow up?"

"The aging former radical and the present-day adolescent are intellectually indistinguishable. This is an objection to them both." -- Mark Anderson

David

George still doesn’t understand that his ‘bourgeois instincts’ aren’t the problem.

No, I doubt he does. He comes quite close, though… then shies away in a mental tangle of hand-wringing and shame. Or pseudo-shame, anyway. When George’s pretensions of “anarchism” and “social justice” once again collide with reality, the problem, we’re to believe, lies with his “bourgeois instincts.” By which I assume he means the objection to being robbed by predatory thugs. But spare a thought for poor George. His politics don’t permit the usual apprehension of reality. It’s a little tragicomic.

Rich Rostrom

the tattooed Neanderthal burgling his house

That's unfair to Neanderthals!

David

Occupier gets occupied. Doesn’t like it.

It’s practically a Christmas morality play, just not the one Mr Monbiot had in mind. You see, George believes in sharing, by which of course he means taking other people’s stuff. Yet he’s remarkably unprepared for that favour being returned. Say, by two burly chaps with neck tattoos and ill-tempered dogs. And as these burly chaps were members of a “marginalised group,” and therefore righteous by default, George was expecting noble savages. Alas, ‘twas not to be.

Rafi

I can't wait for George to leave his bike on a rough council estate and then wonder why he can't find it two days later.

One of the chastisers is a “Marxist, knitter and student of critical theory.”

They still call themselves Marxists like it's a good thing instead of a sure sign of moral retardation.

David

Rafi,

They still call themselves Marxists like it’s a good thing instead of a sure sign of moral retardation.

Unrealism is pretty much a signature of Marxoid thinking. As is vindictiveness.

Incidentally, the Tweeter accusing Mr Monbiot of racism is a fellow ‘occupier’ from the encampment in his article. This “Marxist, knitter and student of critical theory” doesn’t dispute any of the details in the article, but he wants George to know that “some of us haven’t swung to the right.” Yes, for some people, George – a yardstick of leftist idiocy and collectivist spite - is too rightwing. It’s a giddying thought.

Connor

George was expecting noble savages. Alas, ‘twas not to be.

Thanks for that, David. It made my evening.

David

Connor,

Well, it is a recurrent theme of Monbiot’s blatherings. He really does love to romanticise The Other, especially if The Other is brown and poor, and unable to challenge his bizarre worldview. In 2002 George was the chap who told us, quite earnestly,

It is impossible not to notice that, in some of the poorest parts of the world, most people, most of the time, appear to be happier than we are. In southern Ethiopia, for example, the poorest half of the poorest nation on earth, the streets and fields crackle with laughter. In homes constructed from packing cases and palm leaves, people engage more freely, smile more often, express more affection than we do behind our double glazing, surrounded by remote controls.

That’s right. Forget about the disease and Stone Age sanitation, the squalor and child mortality, the stunted average lifespan, the limited options in life and subsequent tedium. Think instead of how happy these Ethiopian peasants are, with their quaint little shelters made of leaves and packing cases! Isn’t it just adorable? George just knows this, you see. He knows these happy brown people are so much better off than “us” – that’s thee and me - in every way that counts. Because they aren’t “isolated” by material trappings, see? Like sanitation, antibiotics, double glazing and all those awful remote controls.

So come on, people – how about it? Let’s do what George says.

AC1

>Let’s do what George says.

Not what he himself does.

dicentra

ANARCHIST, n. A moonbat (especially the Ur-bat himself) who blithely and self-righteously ignores the laws that inconvenience him.

LIBERAL, n. A moonbat who believes that self-identification with a group automatically imbues him with that group's positive (perceived) characteristics.

LEFTIST, n. What moonbats call themselves while amongst themselves but vehemently deny being in public.

MARXIST, n. See LEFTIST.

FASCIST, n. A moonbat who is comfortable with crony capitalism (often secretly benefiting from it) but who publicly insists that the gubmint is a necessary control on the excesses of the free market, as the control rods are to a nuclear reaction.

WTP

Think instead of how happy these Ethiopian peasants are, with their quaint little shelters made of leaves and packing cases! Isn’t it just adorable? George just knows this, you see.

I dunno, I'd throw the moonbat a bone and say he may be right, if only because the primitive societies are incapable of seeing a better way, thus their imperviousness to change. I recall something Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent Of Man concerning nomadic societies, the only literal quote I could find being:

“It is not possible in a nomad life to make things that will not be needed for several weeks. They could not be carried. And in fact [nomads] did not know how to make them… There is no room for innovation because there is not time, on the move, between evening and morning, coming and going all their lives, to develop a new device or a new thought – or even a new tune. The only habits that survive are the old habits. The only ambition of the son is is to be like the father.”

Ignorance is bliss, but then Lenin's advice, "Learn, learn, learn" is it any wonder George is confused. Happiness is a choice, though not always the best one.

DensityDuck

"Forget about the disease and Stone Age sanitation, the squalor and child mortality, the stunted average lifespan, the limited options in life and subsequent tedium."

I always love it when someone starts telling us about how healthy everyone was back before we had all these processed factory-farmed GMO pesticide-slathered blah, blah, blah.

You know why so few people before the 20th century had problems like morbid obesity and gastric reflux and gluten allergies and arterial blockages? Because before the 20th century, if you got any of those things you died.

David

You do have to marvel at George’s readiness to tell other people how happy they really are, what with the terrible alienation caused by double glazing. Like his Guardian colleague Oliver James - another anhedonic hypocrite stressed by the contradictions of being a well-heeled middle-class lefty – Mr Monbiot wants us to believe that “wealth causes misery.” Yes, wealth is bad for “us” – by which he means bad for you.

Another Guardianista Edward Skidelsky made similar noises recently, fretting at length about pre-washed salad before telling us that the state should “create conditions favourable to simpler, less acquisitive modes of living.” Pre-washed salad is bad for our souls or something, says this sociology lecturer, and so the state should make more of an effort to tell “us” how to live. And then there’s Madeleine Bunting, the Guardian’s Saint of Perpetual Sorrow, who weeps and wails about “hyper-frantic consumerism” and “our preoccupation with things; our ever more desperate dependence on stimulants from alcohol to porn.” The presumptuous “we” is a Guardianista staple. They can’t resist speaking on our behalf and telling us how terrible and empty we feel. Because they, our betters, just know these things.

In February, Mr Monbiot belched his contempt for those who dare to disagree with him, dismissing such people as morally and mentally inferior. It’s what professed egalitarians do. “The other side,” he told us, is “on average more stupid than our own.” “Conservative ideology,” he added, “is the critical pathway from low intelligence to racism.” And all of this in contrast with noble liberals like himself, who are apparently “self-deprecating” and “too liberal for their own good.”

Mags

Let me get this straight. Monbiot is a leftist, an anarchist and a liberal. Will someone send him a dictionary?

Jacob

Oh dear. Mr Monbiot is now being assailed on Twitter for writing such a “racist” article.

I don't see any racism, just a lot of stupid.

David

Jacob,

I don’t see any racism, just a lot of stupid.

If you follow the various indignant Tweeters, you’ll find plenty of self-flattery: “So, presumably George Monbiot decided to be a bourgeois liberal because anarchist circles would be constantly calling out his racism.” But as yet, five days later, there’s still no clear explanation of why George’s article is “racist.” Apparently it just is. Why, one Tweeter wonders, couldn’t Monbiot’s story “just stay untold”? Another priggish soul tweets that the story should only have been aired “in the appropriate setting and not for personal financial gain.” The nearest thing to an argument seems to be this: If you’re, say, mugged by a gang of black youths, you shouldn’t write about it – ever - for fear that everyone will immediately assume that every single black youth is actually a mugger. (In that respect, it’s rather like Laurie’s ostentatious fretting over how to mention a rude lesbian waitress without leading us to believe that all lesbian waitresses are surly and obnoxious.)

Evidently, the brave new world of identity politics and “social justice” requires a certain amount of euphemism, evasion and dishonesty. There are endless qualifiers to add and Things We Must Not Mention™. For the Greater Good.

mojo

Is "Chav" a race?

Ross

Monbiot's Twitter assailants remind of the reaction to Viz when they published a strip called the "Thieving Gypsy Bastards".

From Wikipedia:

"The comic was reprimanded by the United Nations after featuring a strip called "The Thieving Gypsy Bastards"[19] During the resulting court case, UK newspaper The Sun ran a story revealing that the principal Roma man who initiated the action against them was in fact also being tried for (and was later found guilty of) handling stolen property.

El Golfo

I'm still surprised he didn't simply blame the capitalist system for exploiting these hoods. We all know that the capitalist system creates unnecessary demand that fuels "property crimes" like the ones described, right?

sackcloth and ashes

'Another lefty literally mugged by reality'.

Except in this case I don't think he'd be able to spot reality at the police ID parade afterwards, assuming he wants to participate in an oppressive bourgeois spectacle such as 'law enforcement'.

Oh how this latest drivel from Moonbat made me laugh ...

Mr Grumpy

No, please don't be more than almost touched. His anguish over having heaved a sigh of relief when the boys and girls in blue did their job is still amply sufficient to make him special and superior. And I suspect the Guardian pays him enough to enable him to weather a fair amount of twocking.

I wouldn't rule out the possibilty of him one day announcing out of the blue that he's turned conservative. Let's hope not, he's much more fum as he is.

Mr Grumpy

He may also be fum but I meant fun.

Mr Grumpy

And what the hell is twocking?

It's George's way of saying "thieving" whilst simultaneously distancing himself from the bourgeois judgementalism implicit in such language. Like I said, special and superior.

geoffchambers

My, you are a vindictive lot. The article is a kind of confession, after all.
For anyone who doesn’t think George has suffered enough...
http://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/apocalypse-close-an-amusement-chapter-one/

sackcloth and ashes

'I wouldn't rule out the possibilty of him one day announcing out of the blue that he's turned conservative'.

Well his parents were Tories, and I get the feeling that his 'green' activism is just a surreptitious way of keeping the hoi polloi in check.

You can't have that cheap flight for your two-week family holiday, because that will kill the planet, sir. But I can have all my transatlantic jaunts to promote my books because I care.

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