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Saturday, September 12, 2009 

Weekend links.

A few distinct themes this week.

The English "Defence League" demonstrations: Lenin is predictably praiseworthy of the response to them, Sunny thinks that they do no one any good.

Labour's travails and politics in general: Don Paskini notes factionalism raising its ugly head again, Paul Linford thinks the weather has failed to change despite the improvements in the economy, Dave Osler wonders whether Jon Cruddas can reinvent social democracy, Peter Oborne warns against David Cameron being all things to all people, which Sunder Katwala picks up on for its claims that there will be 30% cuts as soon as the Tories get in, Polly Toynbee argues that the Tory mania for cuts will backfire and Andrew Grice queries what Labour has to lose by getting rid of Gordo.

The new quango vetting almost everyone to make sure they're not a paedophile: Craig Murray says we're all sex offenders now, Matthew Parris thinks much the same and Anthony Seldon makes the case for trust, not more checks.

Miscellaneous: Tim Ireland is interviewed by a troll, Jim D argues against the "Stalinist" attempt to lie about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Christina Patterson says society isn't broken, just self-centred, Tom Freeman notes the emergence of 9/12ers, the Heresiarch celebrates two years of blogging, Claude sees Melanie Phillips is being openly endorsed by the BNP, Third Estate steps into the Caster Semenya furore, Splintered Sunrise reviews BBC 4's following of Lindsay Honey, better known as Ben Dover, jihadica wonders about the significance of "11" to al-Qaida and Peter Beaumont defends unembedded reporters after the botched rescue of Stephen Farrell.

As for the worst tabloid article, after a few weeks of next to no contenders, we have a complete surfeit of candidates. First has to be the Sun's attempts to make a scandal out of absolutely anything involving Haringey and the "Baby P bunglers", as it is mortified that a child was placed in the same home as "liquid bomber" Abdulla Ahmed Ali. It doesn't seem to matter that it wasn't placed with him but the family he was living with and that the other people in the house had no connection whatsoever to his extremism, and just to make matters worse, it brings up the completely unproved claims that they might have taken children on the planes with them as a further distraction. Nothing in Ali's notes even begins to suggest that he was going to.

Any other week that might have won, but we have not one, not two but three articles from the Daily Mail which are arguably worse. First there's Sue Reid, with the hardly new claims that Osama bin Laden might be, gulp, dead. This could be worthy of a piece if she had anything new to bring to the party, but instead of relying on the comments of politicians, including the Pakistani president that bin Laden is dead, she instead sources David Ray Griffin, a key member of the 9/11 Truth Movement, without of course mentioning this rather salient fact. Next is A.N Wilson, who wonders what kind of country we've become when everyone is treated as a potential paedophile. This is of course the same A.N Wilson who just a few weeks back openly endorsed the sterilisation of the underclass. It's always fascinating that the likes of Wilson are horrified at the nanny state falling on their honest, hard-working middle class heads but are fully supportive of it when it can be put to such "good" as sterilisation.

Finally we have the automatically qualifying each week Amanda Platell. According to her, the children which Lesley Ward suggested suffered from Dickensian levels of poverty aren't the result of such deprivation but in fact bad parenting. It doesn't seem to occur to her that perhaps poverty and bad parenting go together, but then seeing she claims that the welfare state is so generous that it's actually often better to be on the dole than in work it's not surprising that such thoughts are beyond her. It's not that though but her views on why Speech Debelle really won the Mercury prize that show just what sort of person she is:

But even so, it's hard not to feel that her victory owes more to our obsession with victimhood than with any musical skills.

Debelle used to be a pot-smoking, homeless girl living in hostels with drug addicts and alcoholics, whose absentee father had nine kids by seven mothers.

She was suspended from school 11 times and suffers from clinical depression.

We are told that music helped turn her life around. Really?

Or did the music business simply seize on her hard-luck story as an easy sell?

At least Amy Winehouse had genuine talent.

It doesn't matter that up until this week Debelle had only sold 3,000 copies of her album and that she's on a distinctly indie label, the fact that someone making such an awful racket as Debelle won simply must be because of our obsession with victimhood. There is only word to describe Ms Platell, and it begins with c.

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No, I give up.

I think you jest, Mr Heresiarch.

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