Sunday, 4 February 2007

Shut Up, I Don't Like You

Iain Dale notes, but rather pulls his punches away from, another arrogant, selfish column from Polly Toynbee. This time she rails against - mainly right wing - bloggers, whom she accuses of rudeness and vitriol. This is rather rich, coming from someone who has earned plenty of money making unsubstantiated accusations and vituperative rantings, directed in part at people of my religion. She believed herself to be a greater moral authority than a man who worked underground in Nazi-occupied Krakow, and thought she knew a great deal more about the world than he did. Whatever. That's not my point here.

Iain quotes her thusly:

I have around 50 arch-enemies who seem to get up at about five in the morning — they have obviously never bought The Guardian, they wouldn't contaminate their fingers with it, and they are right-wingers who hate The Guardian and everything it stands for. Letters used to be quite polite, emails were a bit ruder, but this is of another dimension because you can't answer back unless in public because they're anonymous. I think that's wrong — they should have to put their own names up there. It would make them stop and think twice if they thought their colleagues and families would see what they wrote. Anonymity brings out real mischief in us. It is a debased discourse.

My two-pennorth on the anonymity issue is: so what? Writers and hacks have used pseudonyms and written anonymously for thousands of years: we've no idea who wrote most Anglo Saxon poetry. Doesn't stop it being good poetry though. Polly evidently thinks that rudeness should be the province of the left (read some leftist blogs to see what I mean), and that for rightists to be rude is beyond the pale. The fact is that with a left-dominated government, left ideals becoming law in various areas of public discourse and civil society (my school anti-racism policy reminds me - in bold print- that a racist incident is one defined as such by a victim or any other party - a total regression from basic notions of justice or ethics); with Labour's brazen hypocrisy on matters of human rights among other things being totally unhighlighted by the BBC and even the right media (the Telegraph is bloody useless) the right blogosphere needs to shout to be heard. And it's worked so far, though judging from the recent blogwars the left is starting to get its act together.

Another noise is getting louder though: from the government advisors we roundly fisked months ago, to left bloggers, to left columnists now - the movement seems to be on to shut the right blogosphere down or restrict it (the implication being that some kind of code of practice might need to be introduced). I've no stomach for fights myself, and I can quite easily be the good man who does nothing but I'd implore other right-leaning bloggers to get hold of this article and vigorously refute its premises and conclusions.

UPDATE: 4.30PM. As usual I'm very slow on the uptake. See the Devil for rather more substance on the idea of controlling blog-speech.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Great post. I couldn't get into Ian's article but if it's any comfort, tin drummer, I can't stand the woman - and I am not exactly a right-winger,as you know. It's just her assumption that she alone holds the moral high ground that gets to me. She seems to have no tolerance for any views other than her own and I thought her article after the Pope's death in 2005 showed this most clearly.

CityUnslicker said...

Yours is a well composed post nonetheless.

The Tin Drummer said...

Thanks chaps. I know of some other left-writers who also dislike Toynbee by the way WL- it's the shrill aggression coupled with the dumb self-righteousness that really gets my goat I suppose. I don't like Simon Heffer either and he's Toynbee's near opposite.