Thursday, November 29, 2007


Monday's demonstration at the so-called Oxford Union Society's building against its invitation to Nick Griffin and David Irving was a great success - though of course I heartily wish it had not been necessary. I reiterate my utter condemnation of the puerile Tory-boys who organised this self-indulgent shambles, and of the idiot Evan Harris who spoke alongside the fascists in the name of the "free speech" they want to crush. My still greater condemnation of the speakers themselves is, I hope, taken as read.

I was rather bemused by the two TV news vans outside and the number of journalists. I can't imagine why they are so interested in the "Oxford Union" and its doings. Still, it does reinforce my previous point that that organisation is often taken far too seriously, rather than being presented as the small group of inbred undergraduate wankers it is, and the invitations do therefore give the fascists publicity and lend them credibility.

My own report of the protest is here; other interesting reports and comments are here, here, here, here and here. Deborah Lipstadt, the historian unsuccessfully sued for libel by Irving, leading to his descriprtion by the court as a racist and anti-Semite, gives her take here.

Meanwhile, I'm very pleased to see that the noxious (ex!) Tory government of Australia got smashed in last week's general election, with (ex!) prime minister John Howard, surely a good candiate for the most unpleasant head of government in the developed world, losing his seat in Parliament. I'm especially pleased to see that their reactionary election propaganda attacking trade unions actually persuaded more people to vote Labor. It's Heath all over again!

One of the most important things that motivated Labor voters was trade union rights, and it is now up to the new Labor government to deliver. Unfortunately, despite their rhetoric about smashing the Howard anti-union laws, they don't look like doing so - so now it's over to the unions themselves to force the government's hand. They are fighting against anti-union laws that make Britain's look almost moderate by comparison; they have just won a great victory in getting rid of the government that brought those laws in, and they deserve our support in their continuing struggle.

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