Is the Guardian worse than it used to be?

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My feeling is: Yes, somewhat. But Regular Readers will recall that I am a curmudgeon who doesn't like New Things. So do they really want to agree with me here? Plus, we do have (somewhere round here) a house Guardian expert whose opinion would be interesting.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Some readers might, conceivably, like to know that the Guardian (formerly Manchester Guardian) is a UK daily newspaper which has for several decades been the main print source / gathering-point, as it were, for those on 'The Liberal Left'. Many UK ILE posters, I imagine, know it very well and have done for many years, so I thought there might be some opinions around.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I like the Guardian now more than I have for years. Perhaps the restyle of the mag helped, but generally the Burchill thing works for me and I haven't noticed a drop in quality elsewhere. The Guide has always been shite (and I say that working for PA Listings) but the rest seems cool. Can you specify what's gone wrong for you?

chris, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I hate the Guardian - particularly the G2 section, with it's crappy 'think' pieces, terrible arts reviews and smug phillistinism - and have bought it every weekday and Saturdays for at least the last fifteen years. Because, being a bleeding heart liberal and a news junkie, I couldn't bring myself to read any of the other rags (morning papers are somehow part of my going to work coping ritual.) I flirted with the Independent for a while - and the IOS still has the great film critic David Thomson writing for 'em - but I found it to be even more boring than the Guardian. I suspect that I am far from alone in all this, and that the Guardian survives on the unearned good will of the liberal middle classes.

Funnily enough, I quite like the Guide, partly because Joe Queenan and Byron Coley sometimes write for it, partly because it means I no longer have to buy that useless piece of toss Time Out anymore.

Andrew L, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I've never actually bought a copy of the Guardian, if I did buy a newspaper I'd get the Telegraph, it has a good weather section, obituaries, world news briefs and I like the sports section.

james e l, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I suppose the short answer is 'Trivialization'. One has to be a tad careful using a word like that, because, for instance,

1. The simplification of the accusation may just echo what it asserts about the target (just as 'Dumbing Down' is a dumb, dull phrase);

2. If I don't like Triviality, why don't I read nothing but 10-page reports from the former Yugoslavia? It would be hypocritical of me to say that I simply wanted them to be SERIOUS and SOLEMN and RESPONSIBLE all the time. No, that's not it.

What I mean, I suppose, is that too many features, esp. in G2, now look dashed-off - half-hearted, half-baked, unconvincing, just cliché pies really. Today's Lara Croft piece was just the latest of a million examples. It feels (the terms are problematic here, I know) JOURNALISTIC in a bad way - trite, unconsidered, full of crowd- pleasing Received Ideas - rather than JOURNALISTIC in a good way (that is: dogged, resourceful, brave, mentally agile, snappy and what have you).

It's the world of second-hand Lifestyle phrases that bugs me. The way that adults can still write a phrase like "*that* dress" and not hang their heads in shame.

A rider to all my bile, though, is that my previous, more impressed impressions of the Guardian may just reflect youthful impressionability. (Sentence!) Maybe the same kind of crap used to impress me that now feels rubbishy, faux-zeitgeisty and embarrassing? Maybe, but I suspect it's a bit of both.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Andrew L: I know what you mean - the Labour party factor of Nowhere Else To Go? (And brand loyalty, or whatever you want to call it.) There's actually a Verso book out (yet?) which makes a massive attack on the Guardian as home of neo-conservative (ie New Labour) ideas. I find this rather unconvincing and overstated. Even offensive, come to think of it.

I agree about Queenan too. But most of all, I agree about Thomson. There's almost no point having a thread about Thomson, because people who know what they think about him already know it all and would just send in superlatives.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Andrew L, and indeed everyone: cut em loose and let em drown in their own smug laziness!! I stopped buying it a YEAR ago FOREVER and now buy NO NEWSPAPER and am FREE. (Actually I too buy saturday for the guide — and for the food page in the mag, but the mag redesign is utter shit, and the recipes are in fact on long recycle: eg I have seen Lady Llandower's Duck three times now, always copied (of course) from Elizabeth David Salt, Spices and Aromatics...) The age of the newspaper is dead.

mark s, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Something has clearly gone wrong with G2: the other week they ran a page-long feature on the phenomenon of "Jumping the shark" (referring to that moment when a long-running tv fave finally loses the plot completely, apparently derived from a late episode of Happy Days where Fonzie, yes, jumped a shark). This was all well and good (except it was inane and ripped off from a website [this is a whole other can of worms]), but they ran an almost IDENTICAL story in the Guide not two weeks previously. Do they not read their own paper, or did they simply think the readers wouldn't notice?

What the paper still has going for it: George Monbiot's column, the Diary, Steve Bell, giving review space to Ians Sansom and Penman, and the tv columns of Nancy Banks-Smith. (When N B-S finally pops her clogs I will have to think very hard about buying the paper.)

What is leading the paper ever closer to the abyss: consistently terrible pop coverage (honorable exceptions: Maddy Costa, Betty Clarke); the fatuous new Saturday mag (Zoe Ball on dressing? match the celebrity with the pet? that awful woman talking about words that should be banned??); Charlotte bloody Raven.

stevie t, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

What I mean, I suppose, is that too many features, esp. in G2, now look dashed-off - half-hearted, half-baked, unconvincing, just cliché pies really. (Pinefox)

I agree with you there. They sucker you in with the G2 front cover (and the masthead of the main paper), but when you get to read the cover story it often appears cobbled together and lightweight. I imagine it must be difficult to fill that space with high quality stories day in day out though.

David, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Stevie: agree about Steve Bell, of course. I mean, if only for the sake of 1981 and all that. But actually, he draws and paints better now.

I actually like Peter Preston's awkward, staccato opinion pieces, come to think of it. But not the pompous ones of Hugo Young. Freedland is sometimes good at summing political issues up, but usually he 'sums up' too much - there's too much glibness in the way he marshals it all. (I admit again, though, that it's easy - even glib - to call someone glib.)

Penman strikes me as a red herring. I can see that he doesn't do that to you, cos you have some kind of investment in his career. I agree about Sansom (great left-back, mean penalty, blah blah) - in fact I think that the whole Saturday book reviews section is quite possibly the best feature of the paper. EXCEPT of course the footy. Heroes? How could I forget David Lacey?

BUT I think that you are wrong about N B-S. It doesn't surprise me that older folk make that judgement about her; it does rather surprise me coming from you. She has skills, I guess, but she's terribly repetitive; uses the same lines on the same topics year in year out. It's all too - yes - glib and easy, while dressed up to look aged and thus wise.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I agree with much of what's been said. After Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy went, it didn't seem as essential anymore. The Observer's the same - just dear old Phil Hogan that still makes me go down the shops Sunday morning

jamesmichaelward, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

My parents used to get a subscription to the Guardian shipped to them for the first few years they were in the States, because they couldn't trust the US Media. The Guardian just isn't the same when it's not printed on that semi-transluscent airmail paper.

I only read it for the Guide and the job listings. Not that either has been particularly helpful lately... ;-)

masonic boom, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Steve Bell is a GOD but apart from that I read it largely out of having nowhere else to go and a worry that I'll become totally detached from the world if I don't read any newspapers at all. I think it might have marginally improved with the loss of Messrs. Hardy and Steel though. Everything they wrote was just as predictable and smug as any of the other writers mentioned above, only with a more left wing stance.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I don't read anything except the Spectator. Hey Chris, if you work for PA Listings then that means you're in the same building as me.

tarden, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

The Guide last week (or was it the week before) had that BRILLIANT article slamming not just the Strokes, but the entire music hype industry... VERY funny because it was so clearly written by an insider who had been participating in the music hype game for so long.

masonic boom, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I'd love to comment, but those Observer commissions are keeping me out of the poor house. Anything appearing in the Guardian or the Obs by my deepest and dearest friends is obviously genius...

Mark Morris, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

As bad as the Guardian may have become, it's still better than the so-called "best" American newspapers. Or, if you think it couldn't get worse, it could end up becoming The New York Times or The Washington Post.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Reynard's right about the amount of trivial toss that gets in there. Mark's also right about the decline of the newspaper in general. Reynard's spot on re. New Labour - the Guardian's frequent criticism of some Blairite attitudes is one of the great things about it.

There's a lot of irritating stuff, yes. My favourite columnist is George Monbiot, by a mile. Something I like about the Independent when I do get it is that its liberalism is less metropolitan and more about the common good. Needless to say, though, the Guardian's series of articles on public service under that very title were awesome.

The Hemulen Who Loved Silence, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

OK, agree with the Hemulen re. The Common Good.

Today's G2 seems designed to add fuel to my (f)ire: one page of 'Style' after another, including a column on Why We're So Disappointed That Madonna Employs A Stylist.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Although Toynbee's piece on Labour post-election is admirable.

blue veils and golden sands, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Broadly I agree with her, yes. It feels a wee bit ironic given her immediately-pre-election pieces telling everyone how urgent it was to overcome apathy and vote for the people she's now criticizing. (But actually I think she was right both times.)

Also good in Guardian: John Patterson re. cinema.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

six years pass...

oh god, ask hadley today is just... tooth-grinding.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (fifteen years ago) link

"today"

Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (fifteen years ago) link

"At what age is a man too old to wear band T-shirts?"

Martin McCall, by email

"About 15 - that young enough for you, Martin? And to follow one rhetorical question with several more, what in God's name is the point of band T-shirts anyway? To show your allegiance to a band? Do you think anyone else cares? To impress onlookers with your esoteric musical knowledge? See previous reply. To make people stare at your bony chest? Again, I refer you to the first answer. To show that you once attended a live gig? Wow, like, a pair of golden headsets to the guy in the Nirvana '91 T-shirt. In case you happen to bump into the lead singer on the street, he sees that the two of you are kindred souls and therefore invites you to join his band and you then go on the road and have all the manly bonding sessions followed by groupies that your heart could desire? OK, I'll give you that one, although this does suggest that you still harbour the fantasy that you might bump into Joey Ramone in Waterstone's.

"As for ladies in band T-shirts, give me a fricking break. First, gals, a badly cut, poorly made, oversized T-shirt is good for nothing other than wearing to bed and the gym. Second, too often women who wear band T-shirts appear to be going for what we shall call Groupie Chic. It is a style amply modelled by Kate Moss in recent years, and can pretty much be summed up as skinny faded black jeans, ankle boots, a ripped band T-shirt and a cropped fur jacket. In other words, a girlified version of Marc Bolan's or Keith Richards' wardrobe, as though the woman has been so busy, um, sleeping on the band bus she hasn't had time to clean her clothes, so she's now wearing ones belonging to her musical companion. This column has no time for such nonsense."

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, because women have *no* interest in music whatsoever except for sleeping with musicians. What CENTURY is this cretin from?

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:21 (fifteen years ago) link

I think I stopped wearing band T-shirts by the time I was 23. It wasn't necessarily a conscious move tho. I doubt I will ever wear one again tho - I guess it seems lame unless it's an old obscure or overlooked thus hip act (even this I dunno about). I don't notice many people over 20 wearing them. Does Matt DC still have that Save Ferris T?

I only want to sleep with musicians if they are hot as they are (their musical ability is pretty irrelevant in fact).

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:29 (fifteen years ago) link

dear teh grauniad - a long time ago/we used to be friends...

CharlieNo4, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:32 (fifteen years ago) link

It went downhill after I left.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:33 (fifteen years ago) link

or were you PUSHED?

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:35 (fifteen years ago) link

i was being harsh really. i don't care what's on other people's t-shirts that much. just trying to work out why i stopped wearing/wouldn't wear band t-shirts myself.

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Any t-shirt which isn't plain white clearly sucks that's why.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:38 (fifteen years ago) link

i couldn't agree less

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:40 (fifteen years ago) link

I still wear band t-shirts if I like the band. Why not? I don't *define* myself or my personality by my music tastes any more, I haven't done that since I was about 18. But that's not the same thing as wearing a band t-shirt.

I suppose the fashion journalist in discussion cannot fathom the idea that clothes are just something you put on, rather than a definition of or statement about your personality.

This is definitely something that happens as you age - or rather, has happened to me as I aged. There's a subtle difference between Statement Clothes and just things you put on.

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Guardian editorial worldview circa 2007:

http://www.astucia.co.uk/images/sce/galibier%20tunnel%20_three.jpg

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:41 (fifteen years ago) link

why else would you buy a band t-shirt if not as a statement or definition of personality?

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:44 (fifteen years ago) link

I didn't know it was a band t-shirt okay?

Matt DC, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (fifteen years ago) link

because you're cold xp

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (fifteen years ago) link

In the past I've usually just bought them as a keepsake of a gig I've enjoyed. The piece tracer quotes is idiotic fluff, obv. I'd be embarrased to admit I'd written that.

Pashmina, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Because you like the design? Because you like the music? Because it was given to you (this is where most of mine come from)? Because it was a souvenier?

x-post

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:46 (fifteen years ago) link

you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

because you like the music = statement/definition of you/your taste

given to you = not you buying

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:48 (fifteen years ago) link

you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

No, plus I've only ever bought them @ gigs.

because you like the music = statement/definition of you/your taste

Probably yeah, but w/smaller bands there's also the knowledge that in buying it, yr helping to supposrt the tour.

Pashmina, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:50 (fifteen years ago) link

i actually bought a comets on fire t-shirt solely because the design was so awesome. (it was at a gig, but they hadn't come on stage yet.) then i heard the music and i liked that too. i suppose if i hadn't liked their music, or thought it was boring, it would have posed a problem.

a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless so that alex in nyc doesn't stalk and kill him, bought a huge iron maiden patch when he was 14 and sewed it across the shoulders of his denim jacket. he had never heard a note of iron maiden, but he wound up becoming the biggest iron maiden fan i know, and even sung in a band later, where his vocal style was almost inseparable from bruce dickinson's.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:53 (fifteen years ago) link

my take on this: do not read hadley freeman.

this resolution made some time ago, stands as strong today as it ever did.

it's a crass and deliberately invidious piece of writing. such an attitude, if sincerely held, could be turned around on pretty much ANY choice of clothing. so forgeddaboudit

Alan, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:53 (fifteen years ago) link

the last band t-shirt i bought - robyn!

alan i can't help myself, i know i'm sick and need help.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:54 (fifteen years ago) link

is there a thread for best band t-shirts? must see

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Taste is something that I have. It does not define me. Clothes are something I wear. The statement I am making is "I don't really care about clothes any more."

If I'm going to make a statement about clothes, I'll wear a bright green paisley jacket to a dronerock festival where everyone else is in leather.

I suppose my Hawkwind t-shirt is a statement, it says "ha ha, I'm wearing a Hawkwind t-shirt, I care nothing for fashion, I am wearing the shirt of a band so deeply uncool you can suck my left one because I love them!" But it's certainly not a statement saying that I want to f*ck any of Hawkwind or that I have a musician boyfriend whose Hawkwind t-shirt I'm borrowing, which is the assumption of that article.

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:56 (fifteen years ago) link

> I don't notice many people over 20 wearing them.

*SOBS*

> you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

EAR t-shirt with the putney on the front = great. EAR live = terrible. (EAR on CD = ok, plus pram and stereolab were supporting)

koogs, Monday, 3 September 2007 15:03 (fifteen years ago) link

dammit did i just get outraged for no reason??

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 23:59 (one week ago) link

no because fuck the ONS

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 00:10 (one week ago) link

Do you hate stats too?

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 26 January 2023 00:13 (one week ago) link

well it was the main reason I failed at maths and physics

I don't think I need to make a case for why british state bodies that monitor and classify population(s) have never been a benevolent force in the world

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 00:39 (one week ago) link

also not to sound like a reactionary but I hate the alphabet soup even though I use it sometimes - it seems to be a recipe for D&Q (and reflects general longer term masculinisation and gentrification and cissificstion of gayness in particular) - despite what some gay and trans activists seem to believe sexuality and gender identity and sex aren't discrete and only sometimes coincidentally overlapping spheres of being or whatever

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 00:54 (one week ago) link

D&Q stands for divide and quonker I guess I'm sleep deprived

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 00:56 (one week ago) link

i don't think that's really the effect of lgbt as an acronym, which is inclusive of both sexuality and gender identity?

of course, people using lgb is a blatant attempt to divide & conquer outside of some very limited cases where it makes sense (stats like those above probably are one)

ufo, Thursday, 26 January 2023 04:17 (one week ago) link

No capture of stats is simply an attempt to take a snapshot of "the world as it is" tho, and every rationale given for where the limits are drawn needs to be, at least, heavily scrutinized

Kieth Encounter (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 26 January 2023 06:48 (one week ago) link

I don't think I need to make a case for why british state bodies that monitor and classify population(s) have never been a benevolent force in the world

― your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 bookmarkflaglink

Do you think those ideologies inform the work at ONS today?

It sounds like ONS doing more work on trans identity and how that's captured could be more accurate and representative? But the other issue is some of the people that use it and, in this case, the people that report on it.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 26 January 2023 10:08 (one week ago) link

iirc the relevant census question in 2021 were considered best practice re: trans status/gender identity etc. (or at least decent enough) but then partway through the census the ONS caved to a transphobic campaign and updated their guidance re: the question on sex (to insist on sex as recorded on birth certificate only, not passport which is much easier to change for trans people in the uk) so it's possible that just mangled the data but i've seen people say the data seems generally reasonable despite that potential issue

ufo, Thursday, 26 January 2023 10:28 (one week ago) link

Worth mentioning that while I understand where Left is coming from, the absence of a state body that monitors and classifies population(s) in the context of race comes in very useful whenever countries like France want to dismiss the concerns of minority populations.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:04 (one week ago) link

Did mention at a FAP once that I find it amusing that UK census distinguishes between "white british" and "white (other)", could not imagine any other country I've had contact with doing that.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:05 (one week ago) link

i’m white (other) and proud!

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:17 (one week ago) link

(nb not really)

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:17 (one week ago) link

The explanation for this I think is mainly originating in tracking Irish populations, for some of the reasons the census is supposed to (ie for measuring needs for services etc) and obviously this is even more meaningful in NI. That it also encompasses other white ethnic groups is a springboard off this, I would imagine. Ireland’s CSO measures it as “any other white background” fwiw. It may be used similarly across Europe to measure order minority populations?

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:22 (one week ago) link

There was a decrease in the number of people identifying their ethnic group as "White: Irish", from 531,000 (0.9%) in 2011 to 507,000 (0.9%) in 2021.


And broader context

Edit
The 2001 UK census was the first which allowed British citizens to identify an Irish ethnicity. In all previous British censuses, figures for the Irish community were based on Irish birthplace. The percentage claiming White Irish descent in England and Wales was 1.2 per cent, with the highest concentration found in the London Borough of Brent, where they made up 6.9 per cent of the population, while the figure for Scotland was 0.98 per cent. The Irish have been the largest source of immigrants to Britain for over 200 years and as many as six million people in the UK are estimated to have at least one Irish grandparent.

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:26 (one week ago) link

i’m white (other) and proud!

Say it loud.

Maggot Bairn (Tom D.), Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:32 (one week ago) link

Bizarrely, in 2016 I was included in the Irish census as I was staying in a B&B in Dublin the night it happened. I was thrilled.

the pinefox, Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:33 (one week ago) link

Lol

Our census is supposed to be everyone present in the country on the night of. Glad to know they are serious about it!

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:41 (one week ago) link

I'm not going to defend the french approach which is also bad in their special way but the race/ethnicity stuff is a mess in so many ways esp when people/orgs adopt and apply current census categories uncritically. like does asian mean from the indian subcontinent or from asia - since it often seems to exclude (asian) arabs and variously includes or excludes chinese people? and are all muslim bengalis bangladeshi? are turks or kurds or roma white or asian or other? are white irish and "other white" people BAME? where do what americans call hispanic/latinx people go? does it depend on their skin colour? and so on forever

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 13:53 (one week ago) link

well yeah race in being a social construct that is applied inconsistently across the board shocker, but that is surely an issue that goes way beyond census or state action

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 26 January 2023 13:57 (one week ago) link

yes but those things obvious feed back into and reproduce the construct in particular ways based on which lines they consider more and less important to draw

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 14:07 (one week ago) link

*obviously

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 14:07 (one week ago) link

To be clear, you're not saying "they have the wrong answers to these questions" but "it's a sin to consider these questions?"

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 26 January 2023 15:45 (one week ago) link

primarily that this kind of data collection and analysis constructs and naturalises the kind of world it alleges to describe to serve the interests of whoever is ordering/funding/doing it and I think the world constructed by british imperialism is horrifying and indefensible (as well as ugly, boring, and pedantic) but the positivistic scientistic affect of this kind of activity works to obscure this and makes assertions like mine seem sound hysterical, irrationalist, unscientific etc (I assume that's what the sin thing is getting at)

secondarily that it's a mess even on its own terms and causes all kinds of day to day and long term confusion in how we talk about and conceive of these issues

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 16:04 (one week ago) link

also that even when it's not the initial or primary intention or purpose of the exercise, laying it all out like this in the world we have now makes eugenics and mass surveillance and employment of divide & conquer culture war techniques kind of an inevitability

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 16:11 (one week ago) link

Sure, I guess science would be, you let us know which of the answers to the questions serve the interests of british imperialism, and then we go and look at what the answers are, right? I don't have to explain why 'whatever the answers are, they're the wrong answers' is a religious position?

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:14 (one week ago) link

Sure, I guess science would be, you let us know which of the answers to the questions serve the interests of british imperialism, and then we go and look at what the answers are, right? I don't have to explain why 'whatever the answers are, they're the wrong answers' is a religious position?

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:14 (one week ago) link

(Sorry for double post)

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:15 (one week ago) link

I don't have to explain why 'whatever the answers are, they're the wrong answers' is a religious position?

Could you? I'm not sure what "religion" has to do with being opposed on principle to the state using racial categories as a tool of governance (assuming I'm following Left's objections)

rob, Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:25 (one week ago) link

also that even when it's not the initial or primary intention or purpose of the exercise, laying it all out like this in the world we have now makes eugenics and mass surveillance and employment of divide & conquer culture war techniques kind of an inevitability


Already happened.

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:35 (one week ago) link

Gotta catch ‘em all

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Labour_and_the_London_Poor

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:37 (one week ago) link

i think it was working at a SureStart, the greatest political achievement of anybody ever, that first woke me up to the data panopticon state and its remorseless self-propulsion

Kieth Encounter (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:40 (one week ago) link

I don't quite know how to read you andrew but you also seem to be suggesting some kind of unquestionable objective fact of the matter behind it all. I'm not sure if you're using religion pejoratively or not and if so why it matters. but even if a particular answer does seem to partially capture a material reality (they're more useful if they can do that to some extent), even if some groups can make use of that answer to bond or assimilate or bargain or rebel, I don't see how that justifies the entire edifice, or makes it (actually or theoretically) a neutral enterprise

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:15 (one week ago) link

I'm not saying any of that, I'm saying that "I don't know how this works, but however it works, it's bad" is a stupid fucking thing to say.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:18 (one week ago) link

Clearly not what Left is saying. Wind your neck in.

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:31 (one week ago) link

clearly I'm not the only one struggling with reading comprehension but call me stupid because that's my position on a lot of things (the discipline of economics, for example)

your original display name is still visible (Left), Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:32 (one week ago) link

🚨 Personal news! Today is my last day at The Economist. I am thrilled to be joining The Guardian next month as their senior China correspondent. Will miss all my clever colleagues but so excited to dive back into the biggest story in the world,好久不见!

— Amy Hawkins (@amyhawk_) January 27, 2023

Economist to Guardian.

the pinefox, Friday, 27 January 2023 16:34 (one week ago) link

Cohen done

https://pressgazette.co.uk/publishers/nationals/nick-cohen-allegations/

"One insider said that their experience of working with Cohen did not tally with the allegations aired about him."

Was this insider a man?

xyzzzz__, Friday, 27 January 2023 16:50 (one week ago) link

"He's not that way to me" is a song only those with social capital get to sing.

If you're tempted to sing it, ask whether you are protected in ways others are not, lest you brush abuse under the carpet.

— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) January 27, 2023

xyzzzz__, Friday, 27 January 2023 16:56 (one week ago) link

you'd think running a one man substack would be more work if anything, if you're poorly

Kieth Encounter (Noodle Vague), Friday, 27 January 2023 17:18 (one week ago) link

i suppose if you've got 8 arms it helps

Kieth Encounter (Noodle Vague), Friday, 27 January 2023 17:18 (one week ago) link

he's never groped me by the photocopier, says a paunchy 6"2 bald guy in his mid 50's

calzino, Friday, 27 January 2023 17:21 (one week ago) link

Marina Elizabeth Catherine Dudley-Williams re-writing the history of the 2017 election to suit her agenda and embolden the sad divorced men who laud her shite https://t.co/8OdAwXJ5Qr pic.twitter.com/pPzMJQKFlV

— j (@jrc1921) January 27, 2023

It's good to be reminded of this stuff.

the pinefox, Saturday, 28 January 2023 10:37 (one week ago) link

ignoring the rest because it's boring to unpack at this point* - but the only way to reconcile "hey who cares what we think we're just glorified bloggers with no real influence on anything" with "we need more of your money to fund our hard hitting journalism because we're the only ones speaking truth to power" is if you *know* you're full of shit on *at least* one of those things!

* not because it's wrong (it is) but because it's so deeply and infuriatingly unserious it would be like trying to debunk a trump speech

your original display name is still visible (Left), Saturday, 28 January 2023 13:23 (one week ago) link

Obviously this is completely otm

Kieth Encounter (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 28 January 2023 13:33 (one week ago) link

was Theresa May really the worst candidate? she only got a few hundred k less votes than Johnson in '19 for his landslide victory because that is how FPTP works. If Baroness Hyde wants to talk about the worst candidates it will be interesting to see how much lower the turnout is for the next GE shitshow

calzino, Saturday, 28 January 2023 13:56 (one week ago) link

Calzino is correct. For one thing May increased the Con vote. For another, prior to the election she was seen as very strong and unbeatable.

'May was a bad candidate' is re-writing for people who want to attack socialists.

My local Labour MP was doing it at branch meetings, within a couple of months of the election.

the pinefox, Saturday, 28 January 2023 14:03 (one week ago) link

Hyde smugly mocks Corbyn for losing "against the worst candidate and campaign in recent memory" (Theresa May). This was Hyde in March 2017, sharing her sex pest pal predicting that May would "tear Labour to pieces" and that Labour would be lucky to win 100 seats. https://t.co/qgT1pKEnfZ pic.twitter.com/HceoLfMZJ5

— B (@Obsayxx) January 27, 2023



toddlers grasp of the recent past, makes me think I’ve been reading the title of her latest book what just happened?! incorrectly this whole time

piedro àlamodevar (wins), Saturday, 28 January 2023 14:14 (one week ago) link

Well said. Great tweet. The facts are always out there. They always show these people to be wrong.

the pinefox, Saturday, 28 January 2023 14:17 (one week ago) link


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