Late again, I know, sorry, but it’s taken me a few days to work out what the angle (there’s always an angle) was from Dave’s little travelogue. Most of it is just how-jolly-it-is-to-be-me-ha-ha stuff, plus the little whimsy of “Norwegian terrorists! Imagine!” (actually this is a bit misleading; because of its generous political asylum laws, Norway plays host to quite a few Muslim terrorists; the founder of Ansar-al-Islam, Mullah Krekar is currently under house arrest in Oslo). The rest of it, on the surface, looks like a quite enlightened plea for tolerance and I was mentally preparing a “well done fella” award for Dave and wondering whether it wasn’t time to give up on this watching lark and leave it to the Furediites (btw, we wrote ourselves last week that Decent Dave’s Srebenica analogy is very misleading indeed but the fucking Revolutionary Communist Party are the absolute last people we would expect to be making a big deal of it).
But there is an angle after all; again, this is the purpose of this site – Aaro is very good and very subtle and you need to be as cynical as a thrice-married showgirl to spot what he’s up to. It seems to me that what this col is all about is preparing the ground for future, less harmless columns, via the old strategy of the via media.
If you’re trying to sell an unpopular product like toytown authoritarianism then you can’t sell it on its own merits. What you need to do is to propose it as a sensible solution to a problem; the considered, careful middle path. So that’s the purpose of this column. On the one hand, you have the mad mullahs who want us all to fall under the iron heel of sharia. On the other, you have crypto-BNP members who want to send all the brown people back home and have a completely white country. In the middle, you have David Aaronovitch with a fistful of identity cards. He’s working the frame.
Update: And here’s the double tap. Banned political parties, banned nonviolent speech, deportation to regimes which torture. The frame has been set up, so all we need to wait for is next week’s Aaro column painting a picture to hang in it. I even have the opening sentence: “There are two kinds of fascist who have been making hay in the month since the London bombings …”
Update Update: And the closing one: “The trouble with the left [if it’s Cohen, the “liberal-left”] is that while concentrating on ‘fascism’ which is nothing of the sort, they have missed the real fascists who they are now allied with”.
Update Update Update: “What he and a large part of the mainstream liberal-left don’t and won’t confront is that they have become the fellow travellers of the psychopathic far-right.”, from Nick Cohen. Oh yeh baby. I think that this “Friday Forecast” might become a regular feature.
Currently listening to:
Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song “Ah, ah, We come from the land of the ice and snow, From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow”