Showing posts from April, 2016

Anti-Semitism and bad faith

I don't have the personal experience or the historical knowledge of British politics to say anything especially insightful about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. But I'm going to tell a very limited story from my Facebook feed.

Among my Facebook friends, people have been talking about the relationship between criticism of Israel (or 'Zionism', if we must) and anti-Semitism for several years. Everyone recognised that criticism of Israel could take anti-Semitic form. But people, largely, only saw this connection playing out in really extreme cases. I have a very clear memory of a friend posting a status arguing against the idea that criticism of Israel could never be anti-Semitic, by citing actual attacks on Jewish people and vandalism of synagogues in London. Pretty soft conclusion, from the most strong and incontrovertible evidence anyone could ask for.

The only people who drew a broader connection, between strident anti-Israel politics generally and anti-Semitism, w…

A collection of bad reasons relating to Bernie Sanders

#1: a bad reason to vote for Hillary Clinton
This article has been pretty popular at least among my Facebook friends. It's pretty funny, and has the combination of decent-sounding argument with really cutting putdowns that makes for internet success, but... It's not a good argument at all.

The article basically says three things. One is that Sanders' political revolution isn't going to happen, because he hasn't attracted enough support from enough different demographics to apply the kind of revolutionary pressure he talks about. There's something pretty sketchy about not supporting a candidate and their strategy because you think not enough people support it. If you think the revolution would be good, if only it could happen, then get on board and help it happen! But even if you put that aside, the only reason this matters is that if there's no political revolution, the Sanders platform won't get implemented, thanks to an obstructionist Congress full of…

my life in pictures

I'm starting a new section of the site, where I'm going to blog about interesting things in my life rather than only about my opinions on things. Hopefully that will get me into the habit of posting more regularly, which should liven up this section of the site as well, sooner or later.

It's titled 'photos', because there are going to be lots of photos: I take a lot of photos, and it means you don't have to just read slabs of text where I write about myself. But there'll be plenty of writing alongside. You can get there here, or from the navigation bar by clicking 'photos'. Here's the first post.