February 23, 2011
Jonathan Tobin on Wisconsin, double standards and the New York Times.
The portrayal of the unions and their Democratic Party allies, who have attempted not so much to defeat the Republican program but to prevent the legislature from even meeting to vote, as the progressive movement that represents the will of the people is absurd. […] Contrary to the Times, the governor of Wisconsin and the Republicans in the legislature there are not the moral equivalent of Tunisian or Egyptian autocrats. They were voted into office by the people and what they are doing is exactly what they promised the electorate they would do once they gained office. It is the unions and the Democrats who are the reactionary defenders of an untenable and frankly undemocratic status quo, not the Republicans who advocate change.
Heresy Corner on the statist ‘radicalism’ of UK Uncut.
In many English villages there was a tradition known as “rough music.” If a resident had offended against the suffocating norms of rural life - typically a local woman who had begun an irregular sexual liaison - the neighbours would gather night after night under her window banging pots and pans. People would blow horns and shout insults. Effigies of the guilty parties would be paraded through the streets and then burnt. Eventually they would be forced to leave. Rough music was anarchic, democratic (or at least demotic), legally dubious and, at least in appearance, had the spontaneity and anti-authoritarianism of a popular revolt. But the message was resolutely reactionary and conformist.
UK Uncut’s demonstrators share rough music’s self-righteousness and have equally “conservative” aims - shoring up a threatened social model based on high state spending in which the highest expression of morality consists in handing over your money to the government… By choosing tax-avoidance as its Big Issue, the group expresses an abiding and paradoxical attachment to the conventional political institutions, a belief that if the state is no longer central then at least it should be, that its irrelevance is something to be regretted, because the best way to restore balance to politics and to society is to make sure that politicians get More Of Our Money.
And Guido Fawkes has a question for Alan Rusbridger.
What Guido and many confused Guardian readers would like to know is how the use of these opaque investment vehicles is compatible with the public positions taken by the [Guardian Media Group] newspapers and even members of the board. Will Hutton for example is a former editor of the Observer who sits alongside Alan Rusbridger on the board of the Scott Trust Foundation. Is Hutton, a noted campaigner against hedge funds, comfortable with GMG having hundreds of millions in assets both offshore and invested in hedge funds? Are the perennially loss making Guardian newspaper’s columnists like Polly Toynbee happy to have their six-figure salaries paid out of the profits of hedge fund raids on the currencies of emerging market countries? Isn’t it about time the Guardian’s senior executives explained openly and honestly to its readers how it really survives despite losing money every year?
As usual, feel free to add your own.