Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mankind cannot bear too much reality

As Matthew has pointed out, although the Euston Manifesto is now ready for the real world, some of it's signatories perhaps aren't. Quite apart from the numerous signatories who used the opportunity to plug their books, mention their blogs or announce to the world that they are gay, there are quite a lot of signatures on that list where it is quite hard to see the connection between the stated rationale for signing and the Manifesto itself. Here are a few of my favourites; you can see the context for these excerpts here in order to check I'm not being too unfair:
[...] (in Catalonia) Spanish has now the same status as any other foreign language at school although 60% of the population has Spanish as their mother tongue among other outrageous policies [...]

(actually this is more or less comprehensible; as far as I can see about a dozen of the signatures come from people who appear to have split with the Socialist party over the issue of Catalan nationalism)
[...] How many people here have lost friends, because we just couldn't sit at a dinner table where toasts were made to Osama Bin Laden? [...]

(just you then, apparently. I hope this bloke doesn't show up to the real world launch; fair do's he didn't drink a toast to Osama himself but even attending one of those parties might land you up in Gitmo and I for one wouldn't like to take the chance)
[...] Overheard at Normandy two days ago a conversation between the French tour guide and a Dutch tourist at a colossal WWII concrete German Bunker (defending France from Allied invasion...) Dutch Tourist: " How do you feel about giving tours here?" French Tour Guide: " It is important to show that not all Germans were bad. You know some of the Allies were not so good." [...]

("French Tour Guides Say The Darndest Things!" actually lots of French people can't tell the difference between Dutch and Germans and the guy was probably trying to be polite)
[...] - We must stop the fascist neo cons from taking over the world somehow, so I am willing to try anything that might have a chance of success.

(ooh. mate. bad news mate. about that manifesto.)
[...] The Left needs to relearn the meaning of the words comprimise, core values, and practicality. Lets throw civility in there too. I can't tell you how many times I turn on the news(CNN, FOX, NBC, etc) and see some red faced liberal trying to sell his ideas, while the calm conservative sits there and lays forth a rational viewpoint. [...]

(I promise you I didn't take this one out of context. Basically, this guy quite literally signed the Euston Manifesto because Michael Moore is fat).
[...] In the 2005 UK General Election I set up and stood for a new 'political' party called 'FIT For Integrity and Trust' - I stood against Tessa Jowell because I felt her support for more casinos, 24 hour drinking, resisting smoking bans and her links to shady dealings with Berlusconi reflected the lack of integrity which the Labour party in power were now associated with. I only got 57 votes but on the streets I found that people really liked what we were saying. Prior to registering as a political party I was working with a group of friends to campaign for a proper and appropriately empowered second chamber which would not be sullied by the shady appointment system rewarding donations and political expediency. The FIT initiative has been hibernating since the election, your initiative could give it new life - it has certainly given me something to wholeheartedly support. [...]

[...] I have become so angry about the erosion of our civil liberties that I typed in 'how to start a revolution' on google and came up with Nick Cohen's website, and consequently the Euston Manifesto. [...]

(what the hell? did you used to throw a lot of drinks parties where there was one guy who wouldn't join in the toasts?)
[...] Humanity stands teetering on the edge of a dark abyss. We are on the cusp of World War III -- and unlike no. 2, the bad guys have an exceedingly strong chance of winning ... The only remaining hope for positive change is the Left .... And yet in this time of crisis, the Left has seemed content to be irrelevant. The more thoughtful Leftists discuss Marx over drinks in pubs while the world collapses [...]

(discussing politics in a pub? you say that like it's a bad thing?)
[...]Lamentable lack of vision from the left, viz: the Today programme, during the 2004 Athens Olympics: J Humphreys:" George Galloway, describe life on board Uday Hussein's yacht in the Olympic Harbour?" GG:" Sorry, didn't catch that, bit of a din from the dock gates- a few thousand Iraqi worries, Athens riot police are on top of things" JH : " and that knocking sound?" GG : " oh, just some athletes relaxing below after losing their races. Uday says he'll let them go once we put out to sea" [...]

(apparently someone became confused between the EM and radio 4's search for new light entertainment scriptwriters)

There are more out there if you want to look for them.

Update: no, lads, as a matter of fact I did "engage with your ideas". I do both, serious argument and light-hearted badinage. Until one of those "platforms" starts giving some specific details about the criteria for starting those humanitarian wars you are so fond of, I consider the engagey-ideasey ball to be in your court.
0 comments this item posted by the management 5/24/2006 06:32:00 AM

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