Category Archives: Guardian (newspaper)

Hauteur and haughtiness at the Guardian

Leafing through a copy of the London newspaper the Guardian, Dalrymple comes across the following sentence written by a woman called Bunting:

When a girl at 17 decides to go ahead and have a baby, there is no tragedy of lost opportunity other than the local checkout till waiting for her low-paid labour.

Dalrymple comments:

This sentence breathes snobbery and disdain for those who actually do such work; it assumes, moreover, that once a supermarket checkout cashier, always a supermarket checkout cashier, a fate worse than death. That there might actually be people for whom such work is suitable, and potentially not odious, does not occur to the writer.

What makes the work odious, Dalrymple points out,

is not the work itself, but those who communicate their disdain of it.

Thus snobbery, of the kind expressed by the Guardian,

makes the import of labour necessary.

Het eenzame hart: curlygirl24

Dalrymple schrijft:

De Britse krant de Guardian, ongeveer vergelijkbaar met de Volkskrant, heeft een website voor mensen die een partner zoeken. Die mensen krijgen de gelegenheid zichzelf te beschrijven om zich voor anderen aantrekkelijk te maken. Hoewel zo’n beschrijving niet helemaal waar hoeft te zijn – zo zegt iedereen een goed gevoel voor humor te hebben – geven deze zelfportretjes ons toch enig inzicht in wat mensen denken dat anderen aantrekkelijk vinden.

Onlangs las ik zo’n zelfportretje van een vrouw van 30 die als nom d’internet had gekozen voor ‘curlygirl24’. Laat ik hieraan toevoegen dat de Guardian voornamelijk wordt gelezen door mensen die tot de 5 procent hoogstopgeleiden van de bevolking horen. Inderdaad hebben alle gebruikers van de datingwebsite een beroep in de artistieke, intellectuele of wetenschappelijke sfeer, althans dat beweren ze.

Dit had curlygirl24 over zichzelf te melden, en bedenk dat ze hier probeert aantrekkelijk te zijn voor anderen: ‘Ze zeggen wel over mij dat ik een paradox ben: ik heb de emotionele vaagheid die je als meisje nu eenmaal hebt, naast het vermogen om heel veel te drinken zonder om te vallen en daarbij mijn vrienden en willekeurige onbekenden in de zeik te nemen.’

Anders gezegd: ze veronderstelt dat een man zich tot haar aangetrokken zal voelen door haar vermogen of bereidheid om wildvreemde mensen grof te bejegenen. Dat is toch een interessant commentaar op de cultuur waarin zij denkt te leven. In dezelfde beschrijving van zichzelf zegt ze dat ze financieel journalist is, toch geen betrekking voor iemand zonder opleiding. Curlygirl24 behoort dus tot de intellectuele elite. Wat voor cultuur kun je verwachten van een elite die bewust prat gaat op het in dronken toestand beledigen van onbekenden?

The Guardian’s four-legs-good, two-legs-bad worldview

The newspaper’s deafening silence on South Africa

Dalrymple writes that when the South African parliament passed a motion, by 241 votes to 83, to change the nation’s constitution to allow white-owned land to be expropriated without compensation, the Guardian

was coy about reporting it. Even now, it has not mentioned the measure on its website, except indirectly.

Dalrymple asks:

Why the silence on this important development? Perhaps because it is an embarrassment to the paper’s view of the world. How is one to report the near-genocidal and famine-promoting wishes of people whose rôle in life for so many years has been that of victims of injustice?

‘None of the news that disturbs our smugness’ is the Guardian’s motto

Not only, writes Dalrymple, is the Guardian

the sole remaining daily newspaper in Britain whose content is mostly devoted to serious matters, it is the only one that the unacknowledged legislators of the world, the intelligentsia, take seriously.

This, he explains,

is a disaster for the country. Though it occasionally allows a dissenting voice, the Guardian has consistently advocated a demoralisation of the population, followed by increased state intervention and, of course, public spending to alleviate the consequences of that demoralisation. No wonder the BBC [the British state broadcaster] advertises for personnel exclusively in its pages.

Surrounding the newspaper’s content is

an aura of dishonesty and evasiveness.

Its writers aim to avoid

something they had rather not acknowledge: the need to think, in particular about the unrealistic presuppositions of their worldview. Not ‘All the news that’s fit to print’ but ‘None of the news that disturbs our liberal smugness and sense of moral superiority’ is the motto of the Guardian.

Infantile political mania

To give way to political mania is, writes Dalrymple,

to ascribe to politicians more directive power over society than they possess, except under circumstances that, thankfully, are unusual in the West.

It is

to regress to childhood, a time when one believes in the omnipotence of one’s parents who, as adults, seem as if they can do whatever they like—a power to which the child believes he will accede merely by adding years to his age.

Dalrymple doubts, for instance, whether anyone other than an intellectual or, say, the London newspaper the Guardian

ever thought that America had changed utterly and unrecognisably overnight with the election of Mr Trump.

With regard to political apathy, Dalrymple says that it can

give rise to gusts of irrational hope, particularly among the young, who then invest their favored political figure with the power, or the aura of having the power, to remove the source of all their frustrations (real as these might be).

The rise of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn,

who thrill the young with their preposterous and dangerous notions, is proof of this.

Call this a mass execution? Don’t make me laugh

The London newspaper the Guardian, which Dalrymple points out is

the left-liberal mouthpiece of the pensée unique,

recently ran the headline ‘The Arkansas mass executions on Easter Monday must be stopped.’ Dalrymple comments:

The emotive words ‘mass execution’ conjure up in my mind considerably more than the eight executions the state planned to perform over the course of 11 days, two of which, as far as I am aware, had been carried out at the time the headline appeared. Che Guevara would have laughed at the idea that a mere eight people put to death, let alone two, constituted a mass execution. He would have taken the use of the word as further proof of the decadence of late capitalist society and its ripeness for overthrow.

Circuses

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-23-03-17

Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer, 1863-83. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. Circuses, writes Dalrymple, are now what Britain ‘is really about, even in the eyes of a publication destined for the upper 20th of intellectual interest and perhaps accomplishment. This would not have been so only two or three decades ago’.

 

Richard Gott’s perverted KGB view of history

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-23-17-38

Richard Gott: Guardian writer and onetime KGB agent

Richard Willoughby Gott, the upper-class English journalist and spy for the Soviet Union, was educated at Winchester and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. A communist, Gott was recruited by the KGB in the late 1970s and writes for the London Guardian newspaper.

Dalrymple observes that although Gott

accepted trips paid for by the KGB, that didn’t harm his journalistic reputation anything like taking them from the CIA would have.

The traitor Gott, Dalrymple points out, is

always on the lookout for a left-wing economic experiment to laud, preferably in the tropics,

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-23-24-51and one of his

more recent enthusiasms was for the late Hugo Chávez, about whom he wrote a book. Chávez’s policies could have produced a shortage of saltwater in the Pacific.

As for Fidel Castro, Western intellectuals have long retained a soft spot for the Cuban dictator, and Gott is one of his leading European champions, being entirely uninterested in

the economic effects of Castro’s regime. When Castro seized power, Cuba was at the economic level of Italy, and richer than Spain. It had a poor peasantry, but so did Spain and Italy. Like Perón in Argentina, but even more dramatically, Castro undeveloped his country.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-23-23-58Nor is Gott interested in Cuba’s

  • mass emigration, or why it took place
  • executions
  • imprisonment of dissidents
  • censorship
  • constant surveillance
  • arbitrary arrest
  • omnipresent propaganda

Gott, says Dalrymple,

is now an elderly man, but he is still adolescent at heart, as so many intellectuals are.

Criminal malversation of funds

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 15.08.39Is British cycling success the consequence of superior pharmacology?

Great Britain, writes Dalrymple,

to its eternal disgrace, has done extremely well in the latest games. Per capita it has far outperformed the USA. By the same token, New Zealand, to its great and everlasting shame, has outperformed even it by as great a margin.

Picking up the London Guardian newspaper, which he calls the Izvestia of British liberals (liberals in the US sense), Dalrymple comes across an article that praises

the glories of central planning, in witness whereof was the success—not to say, world dominance—of the British cycling team. This was attributed to the government’s ‘investment’, in my view a criminal malversation of funds, in facilities for racing cyclists.

Let us admit for a moment, says Dalrymple,

what yet has to be proved, that the British success in this sphere was not the consequence of superior pharmacology. We may justly ask what kind of person would rejoice in such a victory for his country. Surely only a moron, though it must be admitted that such imbecility is pretty evenly spread around the globe.

Reticence and delicacy of the Guardian

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 08.21.17Dalrymple reads a report in the London Guardian newspaper of the 2016 Russell Square knife attack. There was, he writes,

no mention in the article of the origin of the perpetrator, a Somali. Even the next day, the article devoted to the subject mentioned it only sotto voce, halfway through the article, which until then was mostly about how excellent a woman the victim had been.

Dalrymple says it

could hardly be because the Guardian imagined that its readers would go out and lynch Somalis wherever they found them. Rather, it was a manifestation of what Freudians call reaction-formation, that is to say a response to its own deep-seated, and therefore much feared, racism, another manifestation of which is its obsession with race politics.