Right wing blogger needed…

In the long list of our bloggers, we are probably slightly leaning over heavily to the left and to the green side of politics. Indeed I’ve had to knock back at least two potentially good bloggers, on the basis that they would have tipped the balance too far one way. We’re not looking at a Patten type 50/50 recruitment policy, but if you think you have an important contribution to make from unapologetic rightfield, then drop me a line with a short sample blog. The pay is crap, the hours can be long, and the audience fierce, but…

  • JR

    “Right wing blogger needed…”

    Surely you mean “Staunch Protestant Blogger Needed”?

  • Pete Baker

    “The pay is crap, the hours can be long, and the audience fierce, but…”

    OK, you have me convinced, Mick.. where do I apply? 😉

    But I have to register my objection to the idea that A) “we are probably slightly leaning over heavily to the left and to the green side of politics.”

    or B) we need a blogger with “an important contribution to make from unapologetic rightfield”

    IMHO, we need less partisan party-political blogging and more looking beyond the surface of the statements by the various parties – regardless of whether that’s left, or right, wing.

    Just a thought..

    *wanders off again.. whistling*

  • irishinuk

    “slightly leaning over heavily” ?

    Anyway, the center of politcs has move to the right dramatically. I assume you’re looking for someone who’s “center-right”, otherwise good luck in finding one that isn’t an extremist (ie a nutter).

  • Moochin photoman

    Ptang Yang Kipperbang irishinuk!

  • páid

    Molaim Darth.

    Not bigoted, rightish, Unionist, and damn good grasp of the Béarla.

  • So you looking for someone to talk about how the North needs to cut tax, cut state spending, support the war in Iraq, support Israel, and be against fair trade?

    I probably would be right wing but I am on other blogs(my own and Irishelection.com) and my writing is shite anyway. but there must be a few people to balance.

    Pete I am of the theory that everyone has a political bias and this is always going to come out in what they write. So you can either ignore this and the site slowly tilltes in a certain direction or you can simply accept it and just have a load of different view where everyone who reads the site has their views challanged. and surely that is the slugger aim.

  • Jo

    If it is possible to have a blogger from the Right who isnt abusive, contemptuous of all other viewpoints, sneering and capable of expressing their ideology in terms other than vitriolic detestation of different skin colours, religious, racial, cultural difference diversity..bring ’em on!

  • roundhouse

    I hear David Vance has offered his services.

  • Hey Jo,

    I think you’ve comprehensively answered Mick’s concern as to why Slugger lists to the left and green side. Congrats!

    Mick,

    Happily, Patten style discrimination ain’t the rule on the net! Yet. I rather go with Pete’s view (Sorry about that Pete) though don’t doubt your sincerity in dealing with the perceived problem on Slugger.

    Perhaps the issue lies not so much in the blogging itself – though from my stance it is undeniably leftist-leaning -as the respondents, who are overwhelmingly leftist leaning. Snd I’m not sure what you do about that.

    Over on ATW, we also get our mix – some incurable liberals and then the VRWC. Inevitably the tone of the writers impacts on this – Andrew and I are, as you well know, centre-field moderates who just love reciting the wise wordss of John Lennon, reflecting on the moral rectitude of Kofi Annan, musing on the profoiund wisdom of Seamus Heaney and embracing the exciting world of conflict resolution studies – but those who visit and post colour the site as much as we do!

  • Cato

    I will throw my hat into the ring Mick provided that if my real identity is known to any of the other administrators it is guarded as certainly as we guard our sources.
    It is interesting that in these circumstances the first reaction is ‘As long as he or she is centre-right’, with the implication that right-wing is somehow contemptible and it’ll be hard enough to keep down a dose of Blairism.
    The fact is that the right now dominates the political landscape across the Western World and was put there by the electorates. Howard, Merkel, Bush, Blair, Chirac….

  • Tochais Siorai

    ….The pay is crap….

    There’s pay?

    You crowd of sandal-wearing lentil-chewing soap dodgers should have to do a couple of years in the Army…..the British Army….in Basra…..God save Ulster

    Am I in?

  • Bushmills

    Jo

    You’re not above personal abuse yourself. What was it again? Oh aye, Peter Bowles the nerdish-looking rat. Classy stuff.

  • Padraig Óg
  • Jo

    Bushmills

    Thanks for reminding me of the other fascinating aspect of blogging – the near-total misrepresentation of what someone else posts in an attempt to discredit them….

  • Cato

    There is another perception on Slugger that when someone blogs or posts from a right-wing perspective, they are obviously unionists. I would consider myself right-wing but consider myself an Irish patriot and not unionist. I would like to see Ireland and Britain politely and quickly leave the EU and join the North American Free Trade Agreement. I think it is also incumbent upon an effective future Irish government to speed up the process of social liberalisation, free the psyche of the country from the grip of the Roman Catholic Church, and generally make the country a shining light for aspiring immigrants who want to live in a country which is economically and socially liberal.

  • Bushmills

    Jo

    So you didn’t say he looked like a nerd and the post wasn’t entitled “Rats”?

  • Jo

    The post was a reference to someone elected under one party affiliation changing that affiliation without resorting to the electorate that put them in office. The allusion to “rats” and “sinking ship” was obviously too subtle for some.

    Being a charitable wishy washy type, I put a lot of blog-misunderstandings down to the increasing no. of posters who are at their most active (in a blogging sense)between 1am and 6am these days. The other phrase that comes to mind on seeing such material is “get a life.”

  • Prince Eoghan

    I hear David Vance has offered his services.

    Posted by roundhouse on Jul 28, 2006 @ 10:22 AM

    Somehow I don’t think Mick meant that far to the right. Advocating bombing the shit out of Ireland and any country that annoys the fundamentalist US rabble may not go down too well. The psuedo-rascist talk concerning the Irish and Muslims also highlights the infamy. On the bright side some of his day release from care in the community posters may well slavishly follow their master here. Think how much fun we could have taking the piss out of them without DV being able to stop us. So for that reason alone it may not work out, unless he is given control of the red cards(bring back Rory)

    Bring it on, plastic Neo-Con.

  • Bushmills

    Yeah whatever Jo. Once again you demonstrate you double-standards, accusing right-wing commentators of engaging in personal abuse, when you yourself do it on a regular basis with people you disagree with. What was you reference to Willie Frazer again?

  • Bushmills

    I think you called him an “ugly fat sh*te”. Does that not constitute personal abuse? You see Jo like most leftists you can dish it out but run crying when asked to take it yourself.

  • na

    “get a life.”

    Is this the same Jo that wrote to interviewees of another blogger advising them that the blogger was a stalker, a potential rapist and threat to children? (all without basis)

    While off topic any new blogger should be aware that putting themselves forward can carry risks especially if they are expected to carry viewpoints that others will strongly disagree with.

  • Jo

    Some time ago I articulated those traits which I believe right wing perspective inevitably and without too much difficulty, can be reduced to:

    In the nature of things, those who have more of a Rightist view of the world clash with me. Undoubtedly, some oppose my views for serious reasons, not just to be flippant. I am unsure sometimes of how much genuine communication is possible in blogging, as distinct from sitting face to face over coffee, which is the sort of interchange which I fondly imagine my blogging and interaction with posters to resemble.

    All in all, I’d characterise some of the more forthright Right-wing views in the following terms:

    Uncaring – poor people are poor because it is their own fault. They are lazy or shiftless or deliberately intent on living on benefit rather than work and earn a decent wage.

    Violent – prison is too soft. If people are raped systematically while in jail, thats their problem. They did the crime they must take the consequences. In any case prison should be replaced by a gradual extention of capital punishment. But only for those who cannot afford top-flight legal representation.

    Sexist – women have a place in the world and that place is to assist in reproduction or at least attempts at reproduction. If successful and reproduction is achieved, the woman must take full responsibility for the “issue”.

    Hypocritical – crime when committed by someone with whom one shares a right-wing view is not a crime. Examples: Thatcher backing Pinochet, characterising Hitler as Left-wing (even though his fatal mistake was to attack Communist Russia)

    Uninformed – right-wing views are based on an extension of ones own situation to encompass all of humanity, however ill-favoured the birthplace genetics or status of others, all should do as well and be as self-determining as *oneself*

    Selfish – logically from taking the view that poverty is nothing to do with society (as there is no such thing) there is no need or indeed any moral obligation to help the less well-off. This disinclination to assist is usually supported when taking into account the consideration that many such people are of a different skin colour, which leads us to:

    Racist – the outgroup for all society ills, when all else fails is to blame people of a different colour for being in the land that they were not born in. When they WERE actually born here, that doesnt count because, really, their parents should not have been allowed to stay long enough to have reproduced.

    Hate – opposition from non-right wingers is ipso facto evidence of intellectual inferiority and abuse of the inferior is totally acceptable. Classically, the definition of being “stupid” is to oppose the Rightist (see Uninformed above)

    None of the above seem to me to be particularly positive qualities!

    The rightists who shout loudest in defence of free speech use that freedom to promote the above qualities which historically and personally I do not believe to have assisted in improving the lot of human beings.

    Hence, it is not simply that these views are opposed to what I believe, they are utterly negative and fundamentally obstructive to improving the common good.

    Furthermore, it seems that the articulation of a right-wing view must necessarily draw on one or more of the above characteristics.

    Prove me wrong.

  • Jo

    I do not think posts 19-21 above are anything other than personal and irrelevant attack…again.

  • Bushmills

    Yes Jo, the essay above is very interesting but it does not address my central point. You accuse right-wingers of being personally abusive, when you yourself have shown a great propensity for such personal abuse in the past.

    Did you or did you not refer to William Frazer as a “sh*te”. The standard right-wing insults, that I have heard over on ATW are “Vichy tendency”, “liberal kook”, “Dhiminni” etc. I have never seen or heard DV attacks anyone on the basis of their personal appearance.

    Don’t stamp your feet and cry persecution when your own double-standards are pointed out.

  • Rubicon

    Jo – you’ve a peculiar definition of “right wing” since it seems to have little to do with economics or wealth creation. For you “right wing” is a pejorative term relative to your self; i.e., “I disagree with you, I’m good, you bad – right-wing”.

    To take just one of your right-wing factors – that of “racist”. A right-wing view could interpret the immigration issue in very positive terms since it supplies needed labour that can have a controlling effect on labour costs.

    Using aspects of your own definition it seems your missive is perilously close to expressing a right-wing view 😉

  • Harry Flashman

    Ok Jo how about this then, the defintion of Left wing (according to your own simplistic notions which would embarass a fifth form schoolgirl’s diary never mind a serious political blog).

    Hypocritical – the left will work themselves into a frenzy of compassionate outrage about what Israel is doing but seem to go all gushy and misty eyed when they think about thugs like Castro, Che Guevara, Mao Tse Tung and Lenin.

    Racist – white men must ipso facto as a result of their XY chromosone and skin pigmentation be entirely to blame for all the ills of the world. Black people and Muslims according to the world view of the left are just simple childlike people with no responsibility for their own actions nor ability to function independently but rather react only to the “provocations” of white men.

    Hate – a simple one really, have you ever seen the reaction to even mildly right of centre political thinkers on university campuses? Shrieking mobs of hysterical left wingers will descend on the meeting to disrupt and censor the speaker screaming how the right winger is invariably a “FASCIST!!!!!”, this applies even if the speaker is merely suggesting school vouchers, you will see no comparible right wing mobs. Hatred of George Bush has now caused much of the left to descend into eye popping, violent, incoherent derangement again you will not see such fanaticism in opposition to left wing figures.

    Selfish – the same people who benefitted most from the grammar school system were the most committed to its abolition. The same people who live in enormous comfort in the developed west are the same people who want to stop the development of less well off nations (in the name of the environment of course). The same people who most benefit from the political freedoms of the west are the same people who would refuse the same freedoms to the people of Arab lands, China and Cuba, I could go on.

    Uninformed – the left is based mostly on “feelings”, they hate rational thought as that offends the idea that they might actually have to make tough decisions and that rationalism means that you can’t just emote but actually have to come up with concrete solutions.

    Violent – well the biggest mass murders in history were left wing regimes so that says all you need to know about the peace loving Left. As a simple matter of political fact Jo, Hitler led a National S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-T government, which fully endorsed state control and collectivism, that’s pretty left wing for me sweetheart. His war with the International Socialists of the USSR was a war between to forms of absolute, socialist, statist, collective totalitarianisms. I’m glad free market, western, liberal democracy eventually triumphed.

    Sexist and Racist are just terms of abuse that leftists hurl at people against whom they are losing arguments.

    Like I say Jo you started this childish name calling so I just took up the challenge, when you feel like debating issues in their proper political and philosophic manner I’ll be happy to raise my arguments.

  • Skintown lad

    “So you looking for someone to talk about how the North needs to cut tax, cut state spending, support the war in Iraq, support Israel, and be against fair trade?”

    No, just someone who is sensible enough to call it [i]Northern Ireland[/i]

  • ah jo I have to reply many of my views are right wing so I will reply to your views.

    poor people are poor because it is their own fault.
    The rights view on this would be that the state with its over regulation and high taxes stop poor people from being able to make the most of there lives.

    Violent – prison is too soft The view would be that the judicary and police needs to be more tough (not physically just catching people more).
    The right believes in personal responsiblity. If you shoot someone you shot some one and should take responsibility. It seems that many in the left would blame everyone other then the guilty person. AS for capital punishment. I think you will find that that is only an issue in the states. Which has cross party support. Name 1 democratic canidate for presidant in the last few years who has been against it.

    women have a place in the world The right believes in personal freedom. so the womans place in the world is where she wants it to be. Don’t confuse religion with the right

    Thatcher backing Pinochet ya and how many left wingers backed the castro and run around wearing t-shirts to the terrorist che. that is a nonsense point.

    however ill-favoured the birthplace genetics or status of others, all should do as well and be as self-determining as *oneself*
    What are you suggesting that if someone is of different genitics that they wouldn’t do as well. ?
    Selfish – logically from taking the view that poverty is nothing to do with society (as there is no such thing) there is no need or indeed any moral obligation to help the less well-off.
    No i think you find they do believe that they have to help people out they just differ on how to do it.

    Racist – the outgroup for all society ills Really and your proof of that is? Rasism is a disease of all politcal shades. Indeed the right believes in free movement of trade and people while the left believes in protectionism ie stopping the movement of trade and people. also condiering your previous point on genitics I have to wonder.

    opposition from non-right wingers is ipso facto evidence of intellectual inferiority again a nonsense point that could be equally applied to people of the left.

    Furthermore, it seems that the articulation of a right-wing view must necessarily draw on one or more of the above characteristics.

    Prove me wrong.
    Recently I wrote a post about fair trade. http://dossing.blogspot.com/2006/07/is-fair-trade-fair-on-future.html
    please point out where I was any of the above. (by the way there is a very good reply in the comments)

  • No, just someone who is sensible enough to call it Northern Ireland
    Does that actually matter. Seriously think about it. It is just a word. would someone get offended if I called the USA “the States”? Of course not.

  • Yokel

    Right wingers are too busy working in the private sector making money and securing their futures to have time for this blogging mullarkky………

  • Yokel

    If the verbals were bullets, Jo would be dead by now, thats some of the most accurate fire I’ve seen in some time.

  • Simon: While it is “just a name” there is a difference between using a colloquial alternative like “the States”, and studiously avoiding the official name of “Northern Irleland”.

    The latter is more likely to be read as a statement about its legitimacy, for instance.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Right wingers are too busy working in the private sector making money and securing their futures to have time for this blogging mullarkky

    There, beyond any doubt, lies the true reason why the left-right balance on this (and other) blogs, is as it is.

  • Jo

    Very little accuracy in any of the fire, actually, if you substract the personal attacks and whataboutery. But then, rightists have suuch a black and white view of the world. 😉

    Strange isnt it, that my argument, running to several hundred words, is classed as “name calling” when of course all of the reaction is “well-thought out male analysis” responding to “female hysteria.” You can almost touch the smugness. 🙂

  • Jo

    Rubicon/Simon

    At least you appear to have read my post. My point is that almost all substantive issues such as immigration, NI, rape, Israel, the ME, abortion, involve right-wingers demonstrating one of other of the qualities I have listed. Thats been my experience. It might be possible to have a rational discussion with someone of that persuasion who doesnt demonstarte any of those things. Whether or not anyone on the Left demonstrates the same qualities is simple wahtaboutery and doesnt really deserve any further recognition as an “argument”

    Anyway, the tone and content of Harry’s post “(“childish” “name calling” “fifth form schoolgirl”) above underlines underlines several of my points with even greater eloquence than my own original post. 🙂

  • Keith M

    Hmmm, now that I’ve discovered how to preview my posts (take off google accelerator) I might be tempted!

  • Bushmills

    So Jo

    Willie Frazer, what did you call him?

    You still haven’t answered, instead ypu’ve played a pathetic psuedo-feminist card to try and distract attention from your obvious double-standards.

    We don’t disagree with you or dismiss your views because you are a woman, we disagree because you are generally wrong.

  • Jo

    Bush

    If you Google “Willie Frazer” and “Shite” you get a link to……. “Balrog”! Go get on their case for a wee change.

    “you are generally wrong.”

    Ho hum.

  • Bushmills

    Did you say it or not? Straight question. Straight answer please?

  • Keith M

    Welcome back jo,
    Three weeks later I’m I’m still waiting for the slighest evidential support for your nonsense that Unionists were lucky to be allowed back into Stormont. Any chance of any substance to support this errant rant?

  • Jo

    Keith

    Nice to see you too, can I ask what you’re on about? 😉

  • Bushmills

    For goodness sake Jo, answer the question!

  • Bushmills

    Saith Jo, the great intellectual who despises the personal criticism metted out to leftists by the right:

    “I was going to put a pic of Willie at the head of this post but I try only to have beautiful people on my blog. Sorry, Willie, but youre one ugly fat wee shite. No offence!”

    Hmmmm….

    Or let’s not forget this gem driected at Paul Berry’s wife:

    “Dear Mrs Berry

    I watched your MLA husband on TV last evening trying to explain to a somewhat conciliatory and obsequious reporter about how his massive error of judgment in being lured to a Belfast hotel in the expectation of having gay sex with a masseur.

    He was asked, less than pointedly, about how he came to be in that hotel room, having admitted for the first time that he was in fact there on the day in question. He talked about “walking a different path” and becoming more interested in politics than in God. But of course he wasn’t gay. No. Not gay. Cherubically, his lips pursed in the denial. Nice boy.

    I wonder what you thought of that Mrs Berry?

    Did you feel assured that your husband was telling the truth? He didn’t actually answer the questions at all, my dear. Some of us were pounding the arms of our chairs shouting at the TV demanding a straight answer. Were you, my dear?

    I thought, Mrs Berry, given that the court case is still on, that it was rather unusual for him to speak on camera at all about these matters. In fact he didnt tell us very much at all. Was it too cynical of me perhaps to think that he was trying to ingratiate himself with the public again? After all, all of his public images convey extreme arrogance and, latterly a bullying confrontation with other more serious reporters who would like your husband to be honest. Wouldn’t you like him to be honest, Mrs Berry?”

    But of course it’s only right-wingers who engage in personalised abuse. Please.

  • Jo

    Keith

    Maybe you’d provide a link to the comment you mentioned? Ta.

  • studiously avoiding the official name of “Northern Irleland”.

    People you are reading to much into words. That is the problem with the north/northern Ireland/Ulster/6 counties/occupied terrioriries you are to caught up in the small trivial crap that means nothing and not looking at the big picture. and fill your days with petite squabbles about words as your economy goes down the drain and other issues go unnoticed.

    By the way just sho you know my views on the border because heck that is how one is identified in the north/northern Ireland/Ulster/6 counties/occupied terrioriries not by the ones own personal qualities.

    I am a democrate what the people vote for is what the people get. The majority vote for the border i am happy with that.

  • na

    Bushmills,

    I liked the hypocrisy of :

    ‘Sexist – women have a place in the world and that place is to assist in reproduction or at least attempts at reproduction. If successful and reproduction is achieved, the woman must take full responsibility for the “issue”. ‘

    From the only local blogger I’ve seen regularly sexually objectify women on their site.

  • Bushmills

    na

    It’s OK to objectify women, when its a “bisexual” doing it, but could you imagine the reaction if DV or AMcC had a “people I find attractive” section on their website profiling females – she’d being crying from the roof-tops about sexism and male chauvinism.

  • Bushmills

    You’ll notice also that she has refused to claim ownership of her delightful comments posted on her site.

  • Pete Baker

    The topics of posts on other blogs is of no concern here. If you want to discuss comments made there then do so – at that blog.

    While here.. Play the ball!

  • Bushmills

    Pete

    I was playing the ball by highlighting the inconsistency of someone saying one thing here but practicing quite another in a domain they control. Just coz’ someone throws a wobbler doesn’t mean they are being targetted.

  • Jo

    Pete

    my posts were to the effect that asking for more right wing contributions to Slugger is inevitably asking for more of the qualities which I outlined in my post, as it is my experience that right wing comment invariably contains one of more of those elements.

    I did not claim or argue that right wingers had a monopoly of those characteristics and the personalised attacks on me and my site, rather than my argument, have proven my point. I suppose it descends into ad homimen territory to highlight that some may be too stupid to realise that, so I wont make such a comment 😉

  • slugger is inevitably asking for more of the qualities which I outlined in my post

    No it is not. it is asking for someone to point out the benifits that a low tax system would have for Northern Ireland, calling for fewer the public service employees, reducing regulations. i.e doing everything that has made the south/Ireland/Mexico/free state/ROI/Eire/26 counties what it is today and not what it was in the 80s which northern Ireland is today. The only differance being that the south east English tax payer is there to cover the costs.

  • Bushmills

    How is pointing out the glaring double-standard you exhibit attacking you?

  • fionn

    Harry F:

    “The same people who most benefit from the political freedoms of the west are the same people who would refuse the same freedoms to the people of Arab lands, China and Cuba, I could go on.”

    while i accept most of what you say … i don’t get the above. how is it the left “would refuse” freedom to China etc?

    [hi all, haven’t posted for a while. hear it’s hot at home these days :)]

  • fionn

    that should read; ..some of what you say .. 🙂

  • Harry Flashman

    Fionn

    China is a vast communist prison camp in which a select few are enriching themselves at the expense of the enslaved masses. However many on the Left are positively salivating at the prospect of China becoming a superpower to rival the US, they never demand reforms or freedom for the Chinese people (and the Tibetans -Christ don’t get me started on Tibet, I mean when the Israelis occupy foreign countries the shrieks of the Left can be heard from the rooftops, Tibet? Nary a whisper). No all the Left wants is another totalitarian superpower to replace their long lamented Soviet Union.

    [By the way Fionn, you weren’t at TCD in the 1980’s were you?]

    Jo

    Your contribution to the debate so far has been pretty much “Right wingers are yucky, they have bad breath and greasey hair. Not like us way cool left wingers with our cool T-shirts and hip slogans”.

    It’s pathetic and infantile, try political debate some time, I’m pretty sure that if you tried you could come up with some proper arguments against my political positions beyond name calling but so far you have signally failed to do so.

    By the way this post will probably show me posting at 3am. No Jo this does not mean as you previously alleged that I haven’t got a life, it’s just that it might come as a shock to you but not all of us live in your little comfort zone of wee Belfast. Some of us actually have a life outside of the saloon bar of the Wellington Park Hotel knocking back Bacardi Breezers in the wild gay abandon which you strive so desperately to achieve.

    I live seven time zones away from wee norn iron, right now I’m having my morning coffee and catching up on the UK and Irish papers before I go out into the glorious sun in this beautiful tropical land which I am very fortunate to call my new home.

  • Harry Flashman

    Make that six time zones then, boy I need another coffee!

  • Garibaldy

    Harry F,

    Free Tibet with every packet

  • Bushmills

    Now Harry, don’t get carried away or Jo wil scweam and scweam and scweam!

    Note to Ed. Sorry, I know its blatant (wo)man playing but I couldnae resist it.

  • marty

    Jo,
    my posts were to the effect that asking for more right wing contributions to Slugger is inevitably asking for more of the qualities which I outlined in my post, as it is my experience that right wing comment invariably contains one of more of those elements.

    So best not bother to have any blogging that in anyway fails to conform to your world view?

    Don’t you enjoy having your views challenged? Maybe you might read something right-wing that you agree with? Do you worry about how that would make you feel?

    I’ve seen numerous examples on Slugger (e.g. the threads re: the Danish cartoons and most recently Lebanon) where posters who I’d consider to be on the left are taking a more “right” position. Ultimately it’s refreshing to have a mix of views…

    (I’d consider myself on the centre BTW).

  • fionn

    harry,

    just got home with a few on me, I live in China so i’m a fair few time zones away from the lot of ya.

    if you don’t mind i’ll formulate a response for you in the morning, with a clearer head as it were.

    BTW, Used to feck about TCD occasionally in the early 90’s, if you were there you may have seen a bunch of lads with mohicans hanging around the back of the cricket pitch drinking cider. That’s the closest I got to a University. I hope not having a formal education does not preclude me from having an opinion?

    talk t’ya tomorrow 🙂

  • Aislingeach

    I don’t know, Mick, but maybe you should just look for someone who can take a position without denigrating those who take an alternative view. That might be enough of a novelty in blogging to add to your balance. Toss in the ability to avoid whataboutery and ….you might be mistaken for Diogenes and his lantern.

    It would, however, rule out quite a few of the posters on this thread…

  • Harry Flashman

    Fionn

    You’re not that many time zones ahead of me, I’m a bit further south.

    Look forward to hearing your China observations.

    Oh, I was well out of TCD by then, cider drinking dens are the best use that can be made of cricket pitches I find.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Garibaldy: “Free Tibet with every packet ”

    Isn’t it amazing how morally superior some folks feel for putting a damned bumper-sticker on the back of their Volvo?

  • fionn

    Harry,

    I have lived happily in China for 5 years now,and I must say I love the country and the people. I have learned the language since being here (I never intended to stay, I just could not bring myself to leave). I find the people very open in their views, both political and religious (my Fiance is Chinese, a practicing Buddhist –so there goes any idea you may have about religious persecution). As a background; I live in Yunnan Province, an Autonomous Prefecture and an area populated by Minority groups – not Hanzu.

    You have made a few statements about China which appear at best uninformed. I wonder if you have any experience with China or Chinese people to back up these statements?

    To deal with your points:

    “China is a vast communist prison camp in which a select few are enriching themselves at the expense of the enslaved masses”

    Prison Camp? – Can you explain what you mean? My Chinese friends are free to travel, indeed a lot of them have traveled to Europe and the States (Asia being the most popular travel destination for most Chinese). What may seem surprising to you, is that they all wanted to return to China. Some did not enjoy the experience abroad. Chinese culture is very strong and very peculiar to China, they simply did not feel comfortable (something Westerners may understand when they visit the East).

    A select few enriching themselves? – Which country do you come from? Is that not (sadly) the case in ALL countries? I can argue that the Chinese government have at least begun to take action against party officials found to be corrupt. Watch for more of these cases, as the government here is currently sending a clear message to corrupt local officials (the TRUE scourge of modern day China).

    “they never demand reforms or freedom for the Chinese people (and the Tibetans -Christ don’t get me started on Tibet, I mean when the Israelis occupy foreign countries the shrieks of the Left can be heard from the rooftops, Tibet? Nary a whisper).”

    Tibet I agree with you on, the government acts as though it is a ‘natural’ part of China, and indeed a lot of people here maintain that is so. But the Tibetans obviously do not agree. What has happened there is terrible and I abhor it. Sadly on this issue I can see no change, as the population here is not against the government. I would say that IMHO western ‘pressure’ will not change the status of Tibet. The only thing that can do so is the opinion of the Chinese people.

    Your comparison with Israel is erroneous, the Chinese occupation of Tibet is nowhere near as brutal as the Israeli occupation of Palestine and now, Lebannon.

    “However many on the Left are positively salivating at the prospect of China becoming a superpower to rival the US”

    I feel the right in the US are ‘positively salivating’ over the prospect of a ‘free market’ in China, where the larger, better organized US firms could drive the Chinese worker out of the market completely. The biggest threat to the Chinese way of life is Western interference. That is a fact, if you don’t believe it come and see.

    “. No all the Left wants is another totalitarian superpower to replace their long lamented Soviet Union”

    There IS no more Communism. The Chinese are working their way out of it while saving face for all involved. And that, in China, means the Whole Country. The only superpower left is the US. Does the US appear totalitarian? Would it be bad to have another large power to counter-balance the US?

    I will finish by saying that our (western) opinion matters not a bit here. The Chinese are a proud and ancient people and they will take their own counsel on these and all other matters. And of course, all of this is IMHO 🙂

    Slan (no fada on my foreign keyboard).

  • harpo

    ‘In the long list of our bloggers, we are probably slightly leaning over heavily to the left and to the green side of politics. Indeed I’ve had to knock back at least two potentially good bloggers, on the basis that they would have tipped the balance too far one way. We’re not looking at a Patten type 50/50 recruitment policy, but if you think you have an important contribution to make from unapologetic rightfield, then drop me a line with a short sample blog. The pay is crap, the hours can be long, and the audience fierce, but…’

    What do you mean by ‘right wing’?

    From the looks of your description of that this peron has to balance out, it would seem to be someone who is the opposite of the left and green politics.

    Of course this leads to asking what you mean by left and green. Did you mean Irish green or environmental green? And what sort of leftyness is it that is on here already?

    If I was to ignore your asking for someone to balance out this green leftyness, and just go on the pure ‘right wing blogger needed’ description, I’d have to ask ‘what sort of a right winger do you mean’. A fiscal right winger? A social right winger? A jingoistic/militaristic right winger?

    Or maybe you meant one of those stereotypical modern day US right wingers – the supposed Christian, jingoistic/militaristic, fiscal, social right wingers, who hate everything of even a centrist nature. The whole ball of wax in other words.

    Before anyone applies for the job, wouldn’t a job description be in order? Just so that people know what is expected.

    I’ve met all sorts of folks over the years who describe themselves as right wing, and a mixed bunch they are. I’ve met the fiscal sort, who don’t want a penny more than necessary spent on social programmes, and who hold no views on issues of social policy beyond that. They have no morals so far as I could see, and money was everything to them. So the less government as possible.

    I’ve seen the social right wingers who basically want ‘traditional family values’ endorsed. They don’t care about fiscal issues so long as their view of morality is agreed to and imposed on society.

    I’ve seen the jingoistic/militaristic type, where everything is about defence of the country/nation. Again, no concern about money, and in fact the government should be spending oodles of money protecting the country from ‘them’.

    What sort of right winger do you want? The whole ball of wax US type, complete with contradictions – fiscal prudence and as little government as possible, except when it comes to missile defence etc – or a particular sort of right winger?

  • harpo

    Mick:

    You claim that there is a left/green imbalance.

    What is this based on?

    I can see the list of official bloggers on this site, and I’d like to know how you come to this conclusion.

    Could you split the official bloggers into wherever you see them on the right/left divide, so that I can assess them.

    To be honest given that this is a board about NI, I tend to think of those on here as either being nationalist or unionist, since that is the split that just about every issue ends up at.

    I honestly don’t know if the unionist bloggers are capitalists, socialists, tree huggers or whatever. Nor in most cases do I care. Most issues end up as unionism v nationalism anyway.

    But that’s just a reflection of NI, isn’t it? When I lived in NI I knew folks in both the DUP and the UUP who had the most contrary ‘real politics’ views, and they were only bound together wihin the DUP or UUP by their unionism. On the left-right scale they wouldn’t have been natural political mates. So you had working class folks in the DUp along with conservative Christian types. You had socialists in the UUP along with big house unionism social stabilty types.

    For my part I’m a natural contrarian. I oppose conventional nonsense where I see it. Whether it comes from despotic right-wingers of any stripe or despotic left-wingers of any stripe.

  • Harry Flashman

    Fionn

    Thanks for your informative post, I have actually been to China, though obviously not as much as you and found it a fascinating country.

    Whether it will reach 2025 with its current borders intact I very much doubt but I hope the dreadful social and political turmoil which is just over the horizon will not involve too much chaos and bloodshed but I fear otherwise. Be assured the situation prevailing today cannot be sustained and China will soon find itself once more “living in interesting times”.

    I disagree with your comments re Palestine and Tibet, what the Chinese have doen there is much worse than what the Israelis have done but the Chinese are clever enough to keep the western media away (and the western media don’t seem as interested in persecution carried out by non-Jewish communists).

    Well on these points we’ll agree to disagree, enjoy China, we can at least agree that Asia is the place to be these days.

    All the best

  • fionn

    Hi Harry,

    I am inclined to agree to disagree (if only to avoid bloodshed 🙂 but you have made a few generalisations which I must question.

    “Whether it will reach 2025 with its current borders intact I very much doubt”

    Interesting. Which borders? What will be the catalyst for change?

    “the dreadful social and political turmoil which is just over the horizon”

    Wow! What do you base this on?

    “Be assured the situation prevailing today cannot be sustained ”

    Why should I ‘be assured’? I am assured by what I see here, and what Chinese people tell me. Afraid I cannot ‘be assured’ by a total stranger on a blogsite who states (as fact) opinion which totally jars with the reality on the ground as I experience it every day.

    And which ‘situation prevailing’ are you referring to? If you mean the pseudo-communist system then I agree. (Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the official line, nice ring to it don’t you think? 🙂 China is opening and becoming more liberal every day.

    I will repeat my view that there is no comparison between Palestine and Tibet. I have been to Tibet, twice. There are no air strikes, there are no tanks, there are no checkpoints where locals are humiliated daily as they try to continue with their lives. I could go on …

    I WILL however agree that Asia is the place to be!

    on that note, Man Man Zou.

  • Harry Flashman

    Hi Fionn

    We seem to be manning a dead thread but I am enjoying our discussion. First of all let me apologise for the “be assured” bit, that was just a pompous way of saying “I think”.

    My line on China is a simple one; I’ve seen it all before. The sudden growth, the flashy new office buildings, the massive investment and the belief that it will go on forever, but it won’t. I have a solid belief that has been borne out by history – that without true political freedom you can not have true economic freedom, you can have all the glitzy trappings of wealth but it’s all a sham and when the chickens come home to roost, as chickens invariably do, then there will be tears before bedtime.

    Let me give you some examples, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Kruschev confidently asserted that the USSR would “bury” the USA and to be honest at the time it looked like he had a point. Back then the growth rate of the USSR was phenomenal, flashy new office blocks (well if you can call Soviet Brutal concrete “flashy”) sprang up in Russian cities along with the great symbol of post war communist development; telecom towers. The Soviets were hammering the Americans at the space race as they sent up satellites and manned missions. The Kremlin was staffed by new confident young men, different from the old Stalinists we were assured. Meanwhile the US was bogged down in racial strife. It seemed clear who was going to win that struggle then, didn’t it? How’s the Soviet Union looking these days?

    Or another example closer to China, Suharto’s Indonesia. During the 1990’s Jakarta’s skyline bristled with cranes as the new gleaming office blocks soared into the sky. Indonesia was one of the “Tiger” economies, back then I’m sure if you’d been hanging round the plush bars in the 5* hotels watching western companies falling over themselves to invest in Indonesia’s thriving economic development you’d have heard Indonesians congratulating themselves on how well they were doing and how this boom would last for ever. Political development? Oh never mind about that, we’re all getting rich, it doesn’t matter that we are ruled by a corrupt elite which deals brutally with any opposition.

    So what happened in Indonesia? Well pretty much the same as I suspect will happen in China. I am absolutely certain that a huge percentage of the current boom is based on massive corruption and fraud, big contracts are being stuffed, corrupt members of the government are enriching themselves and cooking the books on an enormous scale. I wouldn’t like to look too closely at the accounts of many of the banks financing this boom, meanwhile in the backstreets and slums where the impoverished millions live in squalor a lot of discontent is brewing.

    When things go bad as they will – every economy has ups and downs – and the true nature of the beast is exposed, what happens? Well like I say have a look at what happened to Suharto and his buddies when the monetary crisis hit SE Asia in 1998. No one talks about the Indonesian tiger economy any more, the skeletal remains of uncompleted luxury shopping malls and apartment complexes still dot the urban landscape, and memories are still raw of the horrific inter communal violence that erupted as the seething masses who we had been confidently assured didn’t exist (I have seen, as I am sure you have, the blank screen that appears on CNN in China when any report of internal dissent in China comes on) erupted in anger on to the streets.

    When economies go through downturns, as all economies do, unless there is the means to change the government peacefully, as there is not in China, then there is only one option; violent upheaval. It has been the same since time immemorial, the Chinese communists have not changed human nature. Maybe you believe that China’s current unsustainable and massively overinflated boom will last forever (as many people throughout history have believed booms last forever – they are usually poorer and wiser now), I’m a bit more cynical.

    Even Japan’s phenomenal post war boom proved in the 1990’s to be based to a large extent on inflated hype and corrupt bank lending, they are only now coming out of their slump. What saved Japan however was a sustainable and fairly mature democratic government, with a free press, incorrupt judiciary and human rights legislation. When the first fissures appear in China’s facade, and it will be a relatively minor thing, like a riot over some clumsy corrupt local official (there have been dozens of these already – one last week led by a 14 year old girl – but like I say you won’t read about them in the Chinese news services) there will be nothing to shore up the Chinese government kleptocrats except the old fall back of tanks, guns and mass arrests, the international investors won’t stick around when that happens, just ask the Indonesians, and then the whole edifice will come crashing down.

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    What saved Japan, like south Korea, was massive intervention on their behalf by the US. What saved Vietnam was action by the government.

  • Harry Flashman

    Ooops, my long winded rant had to be cut short as I went over the word limit. So I won’t bore you with my views on Tibet you’ll be relieved to hear!

    Well apologies for droning on Fionn, I imagine you still don’t agree with me but rather subscribe to the conventional world view regarding China. I just hope you don’t invest everything in this shiny new China, I hope you keep some little pension in Ireland as a fall back for when things turn nasty.

    I am not predicting an immediate collapse of the Chinese bubble, but I am predicting it will happen and alot sooner than most people expect and that when it happens it will be very messy indeed.

    Good luck.

  • mickhall

    God save us from balanced reporting,

  • DK

    In somuch as you can do these things, can I propose Harry Flashman for the new blogger?

  • Prince Eoghan

    DK.

    Don’t you think that he is a bit too far to the right. Definately orange enough though;¬)

  • Harry Flashman

    DK

    Thank you for your compliment, however I doubt if I am technically proficient enough to be a blogger.

    Prince Eoghan

    Do you just insult people without reason or do you base it on facts? “Orange”, I’m debating the situation in China fer fuxake! Or does your monotone worldview prevent you from seeing beyond Orange and Green and wee norn iron? (For your information I’m a former Derry Catholic – former in both senses of the world – who now resides in Asia, how does that make me orange?)

    Too right wing because I believe the current Chinese boom is overhyped, wow, you have a fairly limited understanding of politics and economics don’t you, best just to stick to your little fantasy world of heroic Irish warriors and 1916 and all that I think.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Flashy old bhoy, only joking calm the orses. Although you do seem to be making the same leaps of judgement as me. Only difference is that mine was NOT infantile.

  • Jo

    “Do you just insult people without reason”???

    You have to laff, really you do… 😉

  • Bushmills

    No Jo, we usually have good reason to insult you!

    😉

  • inuit_goddess

    Maybe Mick should add two new bloggers – a rightist nationalist and a leftist unionist?

    Now that would be interesting…

  • Jo

    Bush

    You appear to have something in your eye, perhaps that chip from your shoulder? ;o)

  • fionn

    Hi harry,

    well that was certainly a more substantial post. you’ll forgive me if I don’t address each point, i need to get to bed 🙂 i notice though that you have toned down slightly from China being a ‘massive prison camp’. you seem more interested in the economy now?

    far as the economy goes, i agree to some extent. it is being hyped up, for many reasons. not least to convince the people that the current leadership are a grand bunch of lads.

    however the government are not stupid. they recognise the economy as being the single biggest threat to their leadership. if they mess it up, we could indeed be looking at a new revolution here.
    they have brought in some measures to help cool the economy though in all honesty they have not much experience in these matters, so it remains to be seen. there are more positive examples of history you could draw on though. i still read about the coming crash in Ireland, the property bubble and so on. there will always be prophets of doom. (not suggesting for a minute .. :O)

    As for the media, sites have been banned, though i can always get to whatever it is i want to see. they are usually banned due to perceived slights causing a loss of face, rather than as a way of controlling Chinese peoples access to world news – the vast majority of Chinese cannot read English and have no intention of learning. the government controlled media does what you might expect it to. but there are also amazing things happening. the (young) people now believe they have the right to intellectual freedoms GUARANTEED to them by their own constitution (a fantastic peice of work – i would dearly love to live in any country actually bound by such laws – seriously!). indeed there may be interesting times ahead, but I am a lot more optimistic about what that might entail.

    annyhoo, i’m guessing you’re in Thailand? must be hot thereabouts

    ..for a moment there it was quiet, and then our tribes burst back onto the thread with a big ‘whatabout..er..ME?’ 🙂 can never quite get away from the auld sod eh? :O)

  • fionn

    oh and harry,

    i disagree completely with the ‘conventional world view on China’ simply becuase I don’t think the world has the faintest grasp of what makes China tick. An ex-pat saying here (oh god, am i really an ex-feckin-pat?), is the longer you stay, the less you understand. i think the world is just guessin’ and the Chinese ain’t tellin’

    watch this space :O)

  • harpo

    ‘God save us from balanced reporting’

    mickhall:

    Well he was kind enough to provide you to make sure that the possibility was reduced to near zero.

    I’ve never seen a balanced post from you.

  • Harry Flashman

    Ok Fionn

    Thanks for the reply, I have enjoyed this discussion immensely (notwithstanding the desire by certain elements of Erin’s finest to drag Orange and Green into it, now aren’t you glad you’re well out of it).

    No not Thailand though that too is a beautiful country, but you’re close.

    All the best.

    Harry

  • fionn

    sin e, all the best Harry, nice chattin with you 🙂

  • Prince Eoghan

    “No not Thailand though that too is a beautiful country, but you’re close.”

    Flashy old boy, you’r not normally so reticent with the ladies according to your memoirs that is. What’s changed?

    “(notwithstanding the desire by certain elements of Erin’s finest to drag Orange and Green into it)”

    It was a joke old boy, all that time in the colonies fleeing from the murderous natives seems to have affected you. Best get back to Elspeth and all her Daddy’s money. That’ll cheer you up on both counts.