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Pickled Polibollocks

I have, for very much the most part, stayed out of the recent quarrels between certain authors and frequenters of this blog and Sunny Hundal’s ‘Pickled Politics’, but things have now reach a stage where I have neither the desire nor inclination to keep my counsel. It seems that no misrepresentation of the political orientation of this blog nor the motivation of its authors is beneath Sunny.

Most recently, Sunny has cited a comment by ‘Field’ in one of the Hasan threads below and claims the fact this comment has not been challenged or deleted (I’ve checked neither claim by the way as it’s irrelevant whether either is true, as I shall show) is significant.

Here’s the comment from Field:

In the light of [Hasan-gate], can those of us who contribute to this site from the Islamosceptic wing please have an apology for being described as paranoid, racist, petty-minded, hateful, obsessed and all the rest when we have pointed out the nature of mainstream Islam and the taqqiya that goes with it.

And this is Sunny’s observation, his powers of reasoning in full flow:

As I said earlier, it’s obvious the sort of paranoia that Harry’s Place is deliberately feeding into.

As any visitor who can be described as remotely regular will testify, Field is well-known around these parts for what most of us here at HP would regard as his (I think it’s a he) reactionary views on, well, just about everything. He’s easily made in excess of a thousand comments over the years and I reckon I’ve probably agreed with 3 at most.

Now, the internet does crazy things to some people and it’s entirely possible that Field is a nice person in real life, but the point is that he’s a bad fit for HP given the our political centre of gravity, the balance of views on social issues, etc..

Specifically, Field’s view of Islam and its adherents sits uncomfortably with the vast majority of those of us who spend more time than we ought to refreshing this domain address. If you don’t believe me, look again at his comment reproduced by Sunny:

In the light of [Hasan-gate], can those of us who contribute to this site from the Islamosceptic wing please have an apology for being described as paranoid, racist, petty-minded, hateful, obsessed and all the rest when we have pointed out the nature of mainstream Islam and the taqqiya that goes with it.

It’s not just me, is it? Field is addressing HP commenters and authors and is demanding an apology for our having called him all those names he lists, isn’t he? Yet Sunny claims this is the “paranoia that Harry’s Place is *deliberately* feeding into” (my emphasis added). Not since I discovered Peter Crouch was a footballer have I seen logic so defied. If there is a Pantheon of illogical conclusions, this is surely Zeus (note to passing Classics scholars: this metaphor invokes the meaning of the original Greek and not *that* building in Rome, although the literary device “in the pantheon of…” may be sourced from that building in Rome, in which case I’m screwed).  How can HP be “feeding into this paranoia” if it is the HP commentariat and editors who are being asked to apologise for calling Field and his ilk all those nasty names?

I want to thank Sunny. The next time I read some hogwash about – not the handful of commenters who do shame this site – but a fictitious majority of correspondents who repeatedly exhibit anti-Muslim bigotry, I’ll grab this quote and ask our detractors from whom they think Field is seeking his apology.

Lastly, on the Hasangate thing…I think The New Statesman is garbage and therefore couldn’t give two hoots who edits it, at any level. Which is why it’s mostly irrelevant to me who or what Hasan is revealed or exposed as. Once upon a time I could have given more than two hoots, but not for some years now. This is a source of regret for me, not celebration. It’s not as if there is a surfeit of decent left-of-center, progressive publications, is there? Other than HP, I mean?

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