21 November 2012

How to tell it like it is

An interesting item from anneinpt's blog. For those who don't her work (though I cross-posted an item from there some time ago), Anne is a Brit who made aliyah some years ago. Her politics and mine are somewhat different, though she paid me the gracious compliment of dubbing me as coming from the "sane left". I treasure that sentence. It also puts me in the same camp as Nick ("What's Left?" "You Can't Read This Book") Cohen, a place I find most congenial.

Much of the entry is a series of extended quotes from William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, demonstrating his (let's me nice and polite here) inability to appreciate the full subtlety of the situation for Israel in the region. And no, I do not mean to imply that Hague is an Anti-Zionist or worse, just that he fails to understand the whole picture. That, or he's under pressure from those who really don't understand.

Actually, the real meat of the article is the open letter to Hague from Anne's cousin-in-law, which is reproduced in full. Anne invites every who wishes to disseminate that letter as widely as possible, and especially into the twitter accounts of UK Coalition politicians, and especially William Hague's, as at least one person has done already.

The full article is here:

By: Brian Goldfarb


Dick Stanley said...

The sane left? Wow. News to me. I didn't know there was one. Sane liberals, yes, I know a few, but not lefties.

As one of the commenters there puts it, clowns like Hague prefer their Jews weak and downtrodden. Confronted by strong Jews in a successful, armed state, they don't know what to do except sputter.

Brian Goldfarb said...

Dick, I'm sorry that you don't appreciate the intricacies of British (and, indeed, West European) politics. Here, Liberal denotes someone in the centre of the political spectrum, while Left indicates those believing in a fairer society, with a higher degree of both redistribution and control of the economy than that usually favoured by those in both the centre and, indeed, the "sane right" of conventional European politics.

I have supported the (British) Labour Party all my thinking life (i.e., from my early teens), and was a member for many of those years. Any political party that can win at free elections for 30 of the 72 years since the end of World War 2 must be doing something right, and must be regarded by sufficient of the electorate (in the UK, close to 100% of the adult population, which is more than can be said for the US, where only about 50% of the adult population are registered to vote) as eminently sane.

Or are you going to impugn their sanity as well?

The Labour Party might, more accurately, be dubbed a Democratic Socialist party. That others might not see it as the answer to the political and economic problems of the UK (or the equivalents in other parliamentary democracies) is part of the nature of such polities. However, without evidence, argument and reasoning, no-one has the right to dismiss others' political philosophies as other than sane.

I have yet to see anyone here on this site dismiss as not sane, sensible or allowable political philosophies such as those you, Dick, seem to favour. I actually resent the imputation that my views are not sane, sight unseen.

Funny how Anne, of anneinpt's blog, appreciates my position, as I appreciate hers.

But then we're both from this European tradition, even if our personal politics differ in certain significant respects.

Of course, there are individuals on the broadly defined left with whom I have no wish to be associated (those in the BDS movement, various PSC groupings, and so forth, to say nothing of the totalitarian left, such as still exists). But then there are plenty on the right, even within conventional democratic parties, who are similarly anathema to me and, i would hope, to you, Dick, so far to the right as to risk becoming indistinguishable from genuine fascists and other racists.

But as I noted in the original post, I'm happy to be associated with the likes of Nick Cohen. Do you regard him as similarly lacking in sanity, Dick?

Dick Stanley said...

You're right, Brian, I have no understanding of (and for that matter zero interest) in the European political tradition. From where I sit, there doesn't seem to be any future in it, for them or for us.

Besides, the American one is confusing enough for me and liberal and left do mean different things to us, especially us Libertarians with small-government Tea Party colleagues.

To us, well, me, at any rate, liberals are sane but lefties are quite insane and ours currently seem determined to turn us into Greece, bankruptcy and all. And any diminishment of American individualism and liberty, certainly any "redistribution" and further control of the economy such as our mad president is imposing, is to be opposed in any way possible. Short of armed conflict, that is. But I doubt it will come to that, since many of us already are armed. And armed society is a polite society, as they say. But I doubt you would understand.

Although I was really only joking in commenting on your post. I had no idea you were so touchy. Mea culpa. Or, as they say nowadays, my bad.

As for the Labor Party, I'm no expert, but from what I've seen (particularly during W's time in office when many Brits seemed practically hysterical about our cowboy, which is a compliment here in Texas, BTW) and read via the likes of Theodore Dalrymple (you probably don't like him much), they've done the Brits no favors with their welfare state, which seems quite headed for the dumper. I hope we can avoid going in the same direction for more than another four years.

Meanwhile, you might want to give a little more thought to old Morsi, who suddenly looks a lot less of a democrat than he may have previously appeared.

Brian Goldfarb said...

Dick, I'm not "touchy", I just feel that if one, anyone, is going to comment on anything, one should be able to do so from a position of knowledge, which is far from agreement with that standpoint. This, after all, is what debate is all about. I wouldn't dream of commenting on, for example, French politics, because I have little understanding of the intricacies of it. I have some (possibly insufficient) understanding of US politics, just enough to avoid commenting too deeply about it.

Maybe it's my near 4 decades of teaching in the social sciences, and/or battling with no-nothing and care-less anti-Zionists (to be polite about them) for the past near decade.