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SwindleWatch ’07 March 4, 2007

Posted by smiffy in climate change, Environment, Environmentalism, Film and Television, Global Warming, Media and Journalism.
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“Ever get the feeling you’ve been had”? I can’t be sure, but I’d bet Johnny Rotten’s famous quote will crop up in next Thursday’s Channel 4 documentary on climate change, The Great Global Warming Swindle, taking its name from the not-very-good Sex Pistols film.

According to the Channel 4 website:

In a polemical and thought-provoking documentary, film-maker Martin Durkin argues that the theory of man-made global warming has become such a powerful political force that other explanations for climate change are not being properly aired.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Imagine what it could mean if it were true: that there’s a vast conspiracy of vested interests including, most recently, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, collectively lying to use about the nature and cause of climate change, and that all our concerns about energy conservation and reduction of greenhouse gases have been a complete waste of time.

Don’t go rushing to buy shares in Ryanair just yet. The Observer’s science editor Robin McKie has a pretty damning piece in today’s edition rubbishing the programme. While I’m not sure I’d go along with his comparision with CFC gases and with his proposed solution, he makes the point that many of the claims on the programme are untrue and simply a rehash of the same so-called ‘scepticism’ that, until relatively recently, used to get an amount of coverage in the media disproportionate to the weight of scientific support it attracted in the name of a ‘balanced debate’ (i.e. until the BBC realised that it was a load of old rot, and that there was little or no support for the view that contemporary climate change was anything but man-made).

Something McKie doesn’t point to, however, is the background of the director. Martin Durkin has quite a track record in this kind of programme. George Monbiot writes about him here, pointing to his some of his previous output including a report on how silicone implants reduce the risk of breast cancer (initially proposed to the BBC’s Horizon but dropped when the commissioned researcher contradicted the claims, then shown by Channel 4), a series (again for Channel 4) called Against Nature, which essentially argued that environmentalists were proto-Nazis out to control the world (which misrepresented the views of many of those interviewed, for which Channel 4 was forced to apologise) and a programme (once again, Channel 4) on genetically-modified foodstuffs which one of the participants described as having “rendered great disservice to science generally and to the scientific debate on GM-food particularly“. For someone with no scientific background, one has to wonder how Martin Durkin keeps being commissioned for programmes like these. Or, as Private Eye wrote at the time “What does Channel 4 do with programme makers condemned by the TV watchdog,the Independent Television Commission (ITC), for using underhand editing techniques? The answer is, er, hire them to make another programme.”

One intriguing element to the whole affair is the link to the Revolutionary Communist Party, also known as the Living Marxism group, also known as the Institute of Ideas, also known as Spiked Online, also known as Sense About Science. Phew! It’s hard to keep up, even for an ex-DL member, so for an introduction to the bizarre and murky world of this sect which went so far left it came out the other side, check out George Monbiot’s pieces and ‘The Revolution has been Televised‘ and ‘Invasion of the Entryists‘, as well as Nick Cohen’s ‘The rebels who changd their tune to be pundits‘. All of these pieces highlight the role played by RCP members and friends in Durkin’s films and, while it isn’t claimed that Durkin is a member of the RCP, an article on the group by What Next states that “The day after (a piece on Against Nature appeared in The Guardian), the paper reported Martin Durkin, the Against Nature producer, saying that the RCP had been dissolved a year previously. Not known as an RCP member or supporter, it’s not clear how he was privy to such information”.

It’s hard to do justice to the sheer strangeness of the ideology behind this group in its various guises. Essentially, it presents an uber-libertarian view of the world, where everything suggestive of state intervention in private lives, or which might limit scientific exploration or experimentation to any degree is charged with being ‘politically-correct’ or totalitarian, part of a creeping statism which aims to control the actions of everyone on the planet. Whatever you’re for, these professional controversialists will be against it. Indeed, if John Waters scrubbed himself up a bit, he might even be admitted as a member.

Much of what they write, particularly from The Times’ Mick Hume or the New Statesman’s Brendan O’Neill seem, at first glance, to be run-of-the-mill contrarianism. Worried about emissions for air travel? Just leftie elitists trying to stop working class people going on holidays. Use a green bin for recycling? Council plot to regulate our lives. Concerned that maybe homophobic or racist abuse shouldn’t be thrown around on a college campus? Politically-correct Big Brother attack on freedom of speech.

Pretty standard, Magill-type rubbish, all in all.

But poke a little deeper and you find an ideology far odder than anything dreamt up by Eamon Delaney in a rare, sober moment. This is also the group which denied the existence of concentration camps in Bosnia, as well as describing Neil Hamilton as a ‘sacrificial lamb’. For a real indication of how nuts they can get when questioned, check out the stunned response of the presenters of Little Atoms (not known for the tough interrogation of their guests) to Brendan O’Neill’s (Spiked contributor and New Statesman columnist) claim that intervention is always wrong, even in the case of genocide, because it’s paternalistic and disempowering.

Many profiles of the RCP-group try to understand their almost Ayn Randian ideology. Some think that they continue to be Marxists, religiously so, and are promoting the market and global capitalism in order to hasten its inevitable demise (rather like those fundamentalist Christians who want to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem in order to bring about the Apocalypse). Others see them as having abandoned the class-struggle and economic elements of Marxism, leaving only an ultra-humanist fanatical devotion to ‘progress’ for its own sake. Others still see them as just in it for the money.

I’ve no idea. All I would say is that if you do sit down to watch the programme on Thursday, treat everything you hear with some scepticism, and do some research into who is speaking. You wouldn’t want to be had!

[As a side-note, looking back over that Nick Cohen piece in the New Statesman for the purpose of writing this post, one quote in particular jumps out immediately:

Former lefties can make a good living in the media by attacking their ex-comrades - I'd do it myself if the price was right.

Doh!]

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Comments»

1. Mbari Hogun - March 5, 2007

I don’t think it’s fair to call the RCP Ayn Randian, which in my book is one of the greatest insults you can throw out there. Their economic views are basically a great big nothing– they’re against “state socialism,” but also aren’t really big defenders of free-market capitalism. You can tell in the past they had an alternative (revolutionary communism!) but since ditching that, nothing else has filled the void it left.

Their ridiculous views on intervention aside, even if their most contrarian smart aleck pieces they tend to raise the occasional interesting point. Brendan O’Neill’s recent “Pimp my Genocide” article, for example, pointed out that every African war of the last two decades has been described as genocidal or potentially genocidal, thus deflating the term’s significance altogether. Hmm.

I guess I’ve got a soft spot for those crazy bastards. Spiked is a more interesting read than almost everything else coming out of the left these days.

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2. WorldbyStorm - March 6, 2007

I kind of liked the RCP for all their zaniness. As someone once said it was a Marxist party for designers…they were all ridiculously overly well dressed, they had Easterhouse as their in-house band and they partied a lot.

And I’m with mbari on Spiked, it is a good read and their libertarianism and skepticism isn’t a million miles away from my own.

And they all wound up in the meeja.

Lucky so and so’s.

Still, having said all that. Deeply madly truly wrong on most of the issues.

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3. Eagle - March 9, 2007

I actually thought that McKie’s piece was pretty weak, not damning. He can say that some of these guys are on t.v. regularly, but come on. They are occasional guests on Paxman whereas there are almost nightly scare stories about chunks of ice falling into the sea, polar bears disappearing or increasingly damaging weather phenomena.

‘These people are never off the radio or TV, yet now they claim debate is being suppressed? It is preposterous.’

Yeah, maybe if you’re a firm believer in the global warming case you feel like the opponents are getting too much air time, but it isn’t like the case for global warming doesn’t get ten, no probably a hundred times the air time that these few skeptics get.

No, McKie attacks the skeptics for their “pro-market views”, claims the program “opts for dishonest rhetoric”, but never actually confronts the case the program made. (1) It may be unpalatable, but when you’re in receipt of government money you most certainly have a vested interest in presenting a case that will keep that government money coming. (2) Historically, the rise in CO2 seems to lag the rise in temperature, not vice versa. Now, I’ve seen some attempts to explain this phenomena, but McKie doesn’t mention it and the whole program used this fact to great effect.

That was a first rate bit of film-making last night. They made their case and made it well. McKie’s article and, in truth, your points about the background of the various people involved (RCP, etc) are not really dealing with the case the program made. That sort of thing makes me more convinced that these guys are on to something. (Sort of like how Joe Wilson was dealt with by Cheney & Co.)

Funny thing is, I’d love to see Inconvenient Truth now to see how it compares.

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4. joemomma - March 9, 2007

Eagle, where is the evidence that government money has ever favoured the production of science that supports the theory of anthropogenic climate change? This argument is trotted out endlessly, but I’ve never seen anyone describe how this apparently powerful dynamic actually works. On the other hand, we have ample evidence of companies with a vested interest in denying climate change directly funding people to take the opposite view.

I didn’t see the full programme, but it strikes me that you can make a convincing case for practically anything on television if you only present the views of those who agree with you, with no time allowed for critical views of these arguments. Of course, that goes for An Inconvenient Truth as well.

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5. Eagle - March 9, 2007

Joe,

Where is the evidence? Well, the one piece of evidence that was provided last night was that in 1990 the US government funded climatology to the tune of something like $170m. It was a very small field of research. Few people working in it. Within two or three years, the government funding was $2b.

So, ask yourself, where did the personnel come from to take on all this extra research? And, how long did it take those people who now had chosen a career in climatology research to realize that if there was really not much to study that they’d then be out of work? That’s the dynamic.

Funding is now $4bn. It’s a bottomless pit.

You probably wouldn’t accept that as evidence, but it’s clearly the vested interest that the skeptics are talking about. Also, the people interviewed about funding from oil companies, etc. said that they’d never received any. Maybe they lied and/or maybe some skeptics do get funding from oil companies. I don’t know. But I don’t see why those who are getting paid to deny are any worse than those who are really being paid to agree.

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6. smiffy - March 9, 2007

On a very quick point, I’d completely accept the suggestion that the post above doesn’t address the case made in the programme. It couldn’t, as it was written on Sunday when I hadn’t seen the programme. It was simply an attempt to draw attention to the background of the director and the history of him and his associates in deliberately misrepresenting facts and scientific opinion, in pursuit of a particular extremist ideology. That, of course, doesn’t necessarily discredit the argument itself (I’m not going to fall for the ad hominem fallacy) but it support’s my suggestion that “if you do sit down to watch the programme on Thursday, treat everything you hear with some scepticism”.

I actually didn’t watch it last night. Or, rather, I watched part of it at the start (which was mostly saying what he was going to say), then turned over to watch Heroes on Channel 6 (it’s really good!) and saw the last ten minutes.

I must say, though, I was pretty underimpressed with the final argument (the point about the developing world). It appeared to me to be riddled with the strawman argument that those who want to limit climate change necessarily believe that this means that everyone in Africa must remain at their current level of development. The point about environmentalists being ‘anti-human’ is simply preposterous and a throwback to the discredited ‘Against Nature’ argument. It didn’t seem to acknowledge that, if climate change is occuring (as is broadly accepted outside this particular fringe) it’s those in the developing world who will suffer most. If the arguments made at the end are representative of the entire thing, it’s pretty poor stuff.

I don’t want to get into detail about the programme, though, as I can’t comment further without knowing what it said in its entirety. I’ll see if I can find it on the internet somewhere, or maybe catch a repeat.

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7. joemomma - March 9, 2007

So he conveniently ignored the Green mantra of contraction and convergence? What a surprise.

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8. smiffy - March 9, 2007

Why do you hate humans (particularly black ones)?

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9. joemomma - March 9, 2007

It’s a hobby.

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10. tosser - March 9, 2007

Heroes is totally deadly.

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11. dumbfounded - March 9, 2007

“I actually didn’t watch it last night. Or, rather, I watched part of it at the start (which was mostly saying what he was going to say), then turned over to watch Heroes on Channel 6 (it’s really good!) and saw the last ten minutes…

I must say, though, I was pretty underimpressed with the final argument… I’ll see if I can find it on the internet somewhere, or maybe catch a repeat”

it’s scary how intellectually dishonest you people are.

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12. smiffy - March 9, 2007

Why thanks. Which part did you find intellectually dishonest? Don’t you like Heroes?

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13. WorldbyStorm - March 9, 2007

Actually I did watch it, and once it eased past the first ten or fifteen minutes of ‘yoof’ influenced fast edits it actually was pretty interesting ( I have to admit ‘tho I flicked back and forth during the final twenty minutes to Studio60). It raised some interesting points re: CO2 levels predating increased temperatures (something I find intriguing if only because archaeological evidence – of which I have some acquaintance with I sez in my most pompous fashion) speaks of considerably higher temperatures in Ireland the Scotland at various points throughout the last ten thousand years), but where it fell down badly was that it didn’t allow any scope for the opposite viewpoint to challenge those very points – or rather to say “the climate change camp answers this by saying such and such, but our defense is….’. In other words it proved to be as didactic as it’s portrayal of the climate change boosters views (Rob Newman didn’t come out too well!).

And incidentally a curious nights viewing for me since I only saw an Inconvenient Truth over the past ten days.

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14. Climate Denial » THE GREAT CHANNEL FOUR SWINDLE - March 9, 2007

[...] The writer and presenter of the programme was Martin Durkin. Although it was written in a highly personal and opinionated style- speaking freely of “lies”, and the “shrill frenzy” of “scare stories” – we never saw Durkin or discovered his personal credentials. As George Monbiot has revealed Durkin is closely affiliated with the Revolutionary Communist Party which has a strong ideological opposition to environmental science (more on Durkin and the RCP. [...]

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15. Valerie - March 10, 2007

The first ten or twenty minutes were indeed dire. It was after that that it began to get interesting, when it abandoned the ‘you’re being told lies’ stuff and the vines in Britain and moved on to better things. I still have to finish watching it, though (was watching a downloaded version).

It did indeed seem ‘as didactic as its portrayal of the climate change boosters’ views.’ Still, it’s hard to find an even-handed documentary these days. I guess you just have to go and look up the opposite point of view online afterwards.

(I’m a climate change agnostic who just wants to see debate, and hates the bandying about of words like scam, swindle, denier etc. and the automatic taking up of positions according to your world view).

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16. WorldbyStorm - March 10, 2007

In a way you’re right Valerie, the tone of debate has moved to preset political positions, or accusations of bad faith are thrown at both sides. But…it’s like the saying ‘great claims require great proof’ (or summat like that), which needless to say applies to both sides of the debate. If climatologists are incorrect in their majority perception of anthropogenic climate change being a reality then it really does demand that those putting up the counter argument have a pretty convincing suite of facts and figures and that these are then tested against or with pro-anthropogenic climate change climatologists. Even if the current climate change isn’t a result of human activities (or at least not largely so) there are good reasons why we might act as if it were…

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17. Nick Charles - March 11, 2007

“For someone with no scientific background, one has to wonder how Martin Durkin keeps being commissioned for programmes like these.”

This comment addresses only Durkin’s lack of scientific background and demands the following observation:

Journalists who know nothing about particular topics are regularly sent to interview specialists in those areas. They interview and report. If journalists can do this, why can’t a filmmaker who is, after all, a form of journalist?

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18. smiffy - March 11, 2007

Thanks Nick. I see your point, but I think by taking that sentence in isolation, you’re missing the context. It’s not that someone with no scientific background shouldn’t be allowed to comment on scientific issues. It’s questioning why someone with no scientific background AND a track-record in misrepresenting scientific opinion, for which Channel 4 had to apologise, keeps being commissioned for programmes. And, to be fair, it’s the latter point that’s probably more relevant.

Interestingly, I see in the Independent (via ibis on politics.ie) that one of the participants is claiming that his views were ‘grossly distorted’ and is considering lodging a formal complaint. This is exactly what happened when Channel 4 were forced to apologise about a programme Durkin made. In that context, where someone is proven to be, at best, a rather dubious film-maker (or, at worst, a deliberate liar) is it reasonable for Channel 4 not to take special care about the accuracy of what it puts on air and instead to treat him as ‘any other film-maker’?

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19. Smokewriting: Another Fine Edition of Me - March 13, 2007

[...] strategy). The director Martin Durkin is a longstanding acolyte of the Spiked Online crowd (see here for a quick rundown) with a history of distortion and ignoring evidence, and the subtext of the [...]

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20. samadhisoft.com » Blog Archive » THE GREAT CHANNEL FOUR SWINDLE - March 14, 2007

[...] The writer and presenter of the programme was Martin Durkin. Although it was written in a highly personal and opinionated style- speaking freely of “lies”, and the “shrill frenzy” of “scare stories” – we never saw Durkin or discovered his personal credentials. As George Monbiot has revealed Durkin is closely affiliated with the Revolutionary Communist Party which has a strong ideological opposition to environmental science (more on Durkin and the RCP. [...]

Like

21. Dublin Opinion » The Swindle Behind ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ - March 15, 2007

[...] Cedars has some stuff on the documentary too. [...]

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22. Sarah Marsh - March 15, 2007

I watched the programme but was disapointed. There is room for debate on this question – or really the question of what is to be done e.g. are the solutions really effective? – but Durkins programme seemed a bit conspiracy like – the sun did it and it’s all a cover up, isn’t a good enough critique, before you get into the need or not of a critque. And Brendan oneills interview with him on the good and bad spiked (its a bit repetative for me, but good points sometimes) I think reveals a sympathetic but critical view taken by the e-zine of the programme.

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23. WorldbyStorm - March 15, 2007

There’s something in what you say there about solutions. But there are strong arguments for moving into smarter tech in any case and here’s a good opportunity to do so.

Anyway, I want the airships back for intercontinental travel.

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24. Pat Barrett - March 15, 2007

Last week’s Spiked carried an [url=http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/2948/]interview with Martin Dukin[/url], responding to some of the criticisms. [url=http://socialistunity.blogspot.com/2007/03/more-on-intellectual-laziness-of-rcp.html]Socialist Unity[/url] (of which I’m not usually a fan) has already covered it much better than I can, but there were a few strange aspects to the article which caught my eye.

First off, I felt it was curious that the interviewer and fellow ex-RCP cohort Brendan O’Neill mentioned and dismissed Durkin’s “dodgy Marxist background” without mentioning the RCP, even towards the close where LM magazine gets a mention.

A little later on, all becomes clear. Although O’Neill himself, desperate to pose as a neutral media personality, claims:

[quote]personally, I found the replacement of the widespread, all-encompassing manmade theory with an all-encompassing cosmic ray theory – sort of ‘It’s the Sun wot done it!’ – a little unconvincing[/quote],

he nevertheless maintains:

[quote]there’s no denying that the film poked some very big holes in the global warming consensus. [/quote].

Err…actually, there’s an awful lot of denying that, Brendan, as the links in the original post and a quick Google search show.

Of course, O’Neill goes on to cite Paul Reiter, “one of the world’s leading experts on malaria” (don’t know much about climatology, meteorology or even solar astronomy? No problem! Any scientific/medical background, no matter how tangential to the issue at hand, is enough to get you accredited among these people) and global warming denier. Without mentioning Reiter’s links to and funding received from[url=http://www.desmogblog.com/node/1279]Exxon, the US Republican Party and big industry[/url].

Of course, O’Neill is ready for me:

[quote]Before the film aired, a contributor to a green-leaning website advised fellow contributors to keep an eye out for who is due to appear in the film ‘and more importantly who they work for’ (my italics). This sums up the approach of trying to demolish the arguer rather than his argument, to expose people’s alleged funding or leanings rather than to take up the substance of what they say. (For what it’s worth, most of the participants in the film said they hadn’t received a penny from oil companies, much as they would have liked to.) [/quote]

A-ha. Very cunning. Why disclose vested interests, such as those of Reiter and Durkin, when they clearly have no bearing on the debate? Again, if this were all environmentalists were trying to do – without demolishing the crypto-“science” put forward by these people – it would be a fair point. Since this “science”, however, [b]has[/b] been demolished – many, many times over – the queries into contributors’ backgrounds and motivations isn’t intended to debunk, but rather to understand. As with creationists, why do some people persist in the idea that global warming is a massive hoax? Unlike with creationists, the answer here (usually) isn’t one of God, but one of Mammon. [i]That’s[/i] how most of these “doubters” arise and get their airtime. (Also, note O’Neill’s disingenuous last sentence above quoted – [b]most[/b] had not received funding from oil companies.)

Frankly, that’s about as good as it gets. The rest of the article can be summarised thus:
-Environmentalists hate the Third World;
-Environmentalists hate science (and tolerance);
-Channel 4 shows a lot of rubbish, like “wank week”, about which nobody complains ([url=http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/tp07.htm]actually, the programmes of “wank week” have been postponed indefinitely, and the week itself cancelled, due to concerns from the Board of C4[/url])
-Environmentalists are stupid.

Ho-hum. I’m bored. Wonder if anything’s on TV?

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25. Pat Barrett - March 15, 2007

Damn, I have to learn to comment properly. n00b!

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26. joemomma - March 16, 2007

This isn’t politics.ie – we use proper HTML here, young man! :x

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27. joemomma - March 16, 2007

” This sums up the approach of trying to demolish the arguer rather than his argument, to expose people’s alleged funding or leanings rather than to take up the substance of what they say.”

Of course, the climate change deniers wouldn’t dare use such a flimsy argument. For example, rather than implying that the vast bulk of climatologists only produce evidence for climate change because it keeps them in a job, they actually challenge this evidence directly in peer-reviewed scientific papers, don’t they?

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28. joemomma - March 16, 2007

By the way, as I type I’m listening to The Arcade Fire’s song “Windowsill”, which is apparently about climate change. If even the most important rock band of the 21st Century have been swindled by the warmers, perhaps Durkin’s message is more urgent than we first imagined.

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29. Pidge - March 16, 2007

Arcade Fire…

*sigh*

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30. WorldbyStorm - March 16, 2007

Hmmm, joemomma, Pidge very kindly gave me a copy of Arcade Fire. I liked it enormously and play it constantly, although weirdly the name Pere Ubu springs to mind. But most important band of the 21st century? Hold on there. Let’s give time a chance to unroll. We’ll talk again in the next decade. So far though I’d argue that Doves and others are up there in the reckoning with AF.

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31. joemomma - March 16, 2007

I’m working on the assumption that the 21st Century will be a short one, what with the imminent global climate catastrophe and/or global economic collapse induced by global warming swindlers.

Actually, I was being facetious, although The Arcade Fire are certainly my favourite band of the century so far, I was using the phrase along the same lines as some people often term Michael McDowell “the most intelligent politician in Ireland”.

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32. Mbari Hogun - March 16, 2007

Don’t like the Arcade Fire– too indie rock for my tastes.

Interesting to see that the RCP have struck back: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/2963/

Although Ethan Greenheart is a less than subtle piss-take, there’s a weekly newspaper here in Toronto that carries a column almost identical to his (how to have a carbon-free wedding, for instance), except that they really mean it.

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33. joemomma - March 19, 2007

By the way, this appears to have become both our most read entry ever, and the canonical reference for Durkin’s dodgy dealings on every other blog about the programme. Kudos to smiffy – but is the temptation to edit it to include some outrageous falsehood just to see how far it would travel not unbearable?

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34. WorldbyStorm - March 19, 2007

smiffy would never do such a thing, and of course neither would any of the rest of us, would we?
;)

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35. Grendel - September 20, 2007

On a side note regarding the Revolutionary Communist Party, neo-Nazi Troy Southgate was briefly
imprisoned in 1988 for assaulting a member of that organisation
(A Holocaust denier versus a global-warming denier?).
Ironic, given the RCP’s lukewarm response to apartheid and the National
Front.

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36. WorldbyStorm - September 20, 2007

Tell us more, what do you mean about their lukewarm response?

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37. Grendel - September 20, 2007

The Monbiot and Cohen articles explain as part of the RCP’s behaviour, it:

¯ Deprecated the the Anti-Nazi League
¯ Opposed the anti-apartheid movement
¯ Supported Saddam Hussein
¯ Supported Bosnia Serb massacre denial
In the first two cases, they went after anti-racists rather than racists. I’m not saying they were actual racist sympathisers , but their actions did little to oppose the neo-fascists in London and the semi-fascists in Johannesburg (hence, lukewarm response to the problems). In the third and fourth, they supported two racist movements.
If they were your main experience of the left, you’d probably end up like Cohen has.

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38. WorldbyStorm - September 21, 2007

I’ve always thought that with the RCP certain tendencies on the left were totally exaggerated. Therefore political positions would be worked out which would inflame tensions with those who strictly speaking should be comrades. I’ll bet that a ‘nuanced’ line was taken which on paper would look reasonable but in practice would militate against those one was nominally supporting. A bit like BICO!

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39. Mbari - September 21, 2007

A lot of people depricated the Anti-Nazi League,especially the attempted revivals of it. As far as I can tell the RCP took a fairly standard militant anti-fascist line; no co-operation with elements of the state, no appeals to British nationalism (“Nazis” as opposed to fascists, etc.), which was supposedly part of the problem in the first place, and so on. What their own outfit “Workers Against Racism” actually did is beyond me, but they got along with the squaddists okay.

I’m no fan of the RCP, but I see where they’re coming from with a lot of this stuff. Monbiot and Cohen are both pretty fast-and-loose with this stuff too, probably because they know the LM crowd don’t believe in libel lawsuits.

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40. Starkadder - December 2, 2007

Last week, I read some old left-wing magazines from the seventies-
name escapes me at present-which argued the threat from
the IRA and the Black Power movements was far greater than
the National Front. RCP/Spiked material long
before its time.

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41. Meanwhile, back at the Olympics… « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - August 2, 2012

[...] But who is this Martin Durkin ‘documentary maker’? The name rang a bell… a bell rung on this site by smiffy back in 2007. [...]

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42. Channel 4: pandering to people’s prejudices for the sake of entertainment | Guy Debord's Cat - October 19, 2012

[...] once a bastion of investigative journalism is now reduced to being the platform for Tory hacks and former RCPers to spout nonsense and [...]

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