Thursday, 27 November 2008

Changing Of The Guard At Buckingham Palace

Scandal Sheets have a long history in political discourse. Being fact free, to protect the author from libel action, they don't tell you a lot about the subject, but they do tell you a lot about the publishers. Interesting to note that the most recent incarnation of the genre was just yesterday in the form of Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads. It wasn't to long ago that it was Paul Staines of Guido Fawkes fame that was devoting his time to writing nonsense. Paul seems to have gone a lot more (yawn) political these days. Any minute I am expecting him to declare for a political party, something he always swore he wouldn't do.

Curiously, Tim seems to have published his own version upside down. He's a subversive subverter, which is surely always the very best kind.

So what message is Tim and his co-conspirators trying to send? Basically, Tim believes that Andrew Gilligan is lying when he denies "allegations" of "sock-puppetry". I use the double quotes advisedly because none are really brave enough to call Gilligan a liar. Half of me wishes they would, to push the whole sorry saga along a bit, but then again you could say why not just sit around and wait for the fireworks.

It's a strange kind of perversion that you are desperate to say something about something, but are just too frit to speak out. Events in your head take on a much stronger role, and events in the real world become unfathomable. I'm not postulating, I'm speaking from experience here. But eventually everything starts to sort itself out again, and you land straight back into reality with a thud.

Paul's own nemesis, back in his student days at Hull was the BNP. Too frightened to speak out about them, he descended into the absurd "anything goes" world of the libertarian. Interesting to spot just a few days ago that he believed quotations should be "exact". Precisely. But not for the reasons that you believe Paul. It's more about showing your subject proper respect, and acknowledging their influence on your own position. I'd love to discover any statement Staines has ever made which actually defines his libertarianism, for a proper forensic dissection. So far his career into philosophy has been nothing more than to hang around with a lot of sweary mates.

And so, just as it is that I am Staines' real-time Jake Balokowsky, Ireland is mine. So for my future biographer to untangle I should show my commitment to some cause, for him to ponder about as he heads for the Coke dispenser, maybe thinking "Christ, isn't Andrew Motion a bore?". Please enjoy this beautifully produced poster from the London Bulgarian Choir. I can totally assure you that their work is tremendous, and I have never had a free ticket off them in my life.

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