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Mark E. Spliff

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Everything posted by Mark E. Spliff

  1. Go back and look at my answer when you asked that question on the previous page. I unequivocally stated that the allegation was bullshit, made by someone who hated Israel and was probably an antisemite. How have you interpreted that as me deeming it okay to use this fake story to criticise Israel? You've got confused by my earlier honest acceptance of having an 'entrenched and blinkered' bias against the Israeli state. That's not because of this neck-kneeling story. If you still want me to explain my bias, can you let me knew whether you'd be happy for me to post photos on here which many will find upsetting. And StevieWevie - I appreciate you answering questions for me by paraphrasing what you think I've said in previous pages. However, I can't help bring a little concerned about this as I'm worried you'll make one of your little racist gags, which we've all been enjoying so much throughout this discussion, but then attribute it to me.
  2. With the race debate having become so explosive over the past few weeks, I was feeling pretty clever that I've so far managed to get away with slating the Israeli State on here without actually being accused of antisemitism. And then I saw that Guardian article with the tower blocks plastered in bloody great posters of Netanyahu and Trump celebrating their 'peace plan' and realised: they just make it way too easy for me.
  3. Whether or not you're serious about that, it's actually a very accurate description of where I stand.
  4. Nope - as Amnesty International have made clear, there was absolutely no reason to blame that US cop's neck-kneeling technique on some fictitious Israeli Security Forces 'how to kill arrestees' toolbox-talk. It was a bullshit, fake-news story that people like myself fell for. (I didn't actually - the first I heard of it was when it hit the news and had already been debunked.) I do ask myself why the troll that invented that story would have wanted to deflect things that way, and I'm pretty sure it's because they hate Israel, and no, I wouldn't be surprised if they were anti-semitic into the bargain. The fake story itself wasn't antisemitic though - it was a slur against the Israeli security forces. Willingness to believe this fake story only exposes hatred and prejudice towards those security forces, which I hold my hands up to, but says nothing about hatred of the Jewish people. If Long-Bailey had fallen for a fake story about the religious beliefs, cultural practices or moral rectitude of Jewish people, then that would set alarm bells ringing about whatever unconscious biases she was harbouring and I'd be getting ready to call her out for antisemitism.
  5. Guilty as charged - I'm as biased against the State of Israel as it gets. That's not good, and I'm sure I've unknowingly spread some falsehoods about Israel as a result. I (like Peake and Long-Bailey) deserve to be shot down in flames for my blinkered and entrenched political world-view. But I have absolutely no feelings of dislike towards Jewish people. If anything, my unconscious bias towards Jewish people is strongly positive, largely down to my tastes in US comedy. If you believe me, then my work here is done: you can hate a state without hating its people.
  6. Absolutely. Continuing with my ridiculous hypothetical example: in order for Amnesty to have crossed into the realms of racism/Islamophobia, they'd need to have been making stuff up to argue that religious beliefs, cultural practices or ancestry of the Saudi people made them malevolent or inferior. That Tweet Neil's posted above is exactly the same as your Guardian columnist: trying to make a case for anti-semitism by citing criticism of the Israeli state. The two are not the same. You, and Neil's Tweet, have now introduced the suggestion that, because Israel is identified as the only state specifically set up for Jews, criticising it is antisemitic. You should know better than to go along with a specious argument like that - It's just a cynical ploy to effectively gag any criticism of the Israeli state. I'll call out antisemitism when I see it. But we both know that you can't cite a single thing that Peake or Long-Bailey have said which is antisemitic, and I don't think you genuinely believe either of them has any dislike for Jews. That's why I find it so frustrating that a discussion about admittedly bullshit allegations about the Israeli state has turned into accusations of antisemitism.
  7. You're actually making me doubt my confidence in how easy it would be to explain the difference between racism and criticism of a State to the great British public... I'll persevere regardless: in answer to your question, I'm pretty confident that Amnesty don't make up fake stories about what the Saudi State has been up to. However, even if Amnesty were found to have spent the past 50 years exclusively publishing made-up stories about how the Saudi courts have been sentencing kittens to death, that would obviously be wrong, but my conclusion would be that they really, really don't like the Saudi State - not that they are either Islamophobic or racist against Arabs.
  8. No worries. I'm in absolute agreement with you on the need to win elections as the number one priority. However, that's why I'm so bemused about this whole issue - I believe it's yet another one that Corbyn made a complete balls-up of in the last election. The right wing press were filled with pro-Israel lobbyists, with no love for Labour, determined to convince us that criticism of Israel meant antisemitism. Labour's response should have been to tell them to fuck off, or better still from a publicity point of view, get Jewish Voice for Labour to tell them to fuck off. Explaining that you can criticise the policies of a state without hating the ethnic/religious groups associated with it is really not that difficult. Starmer really doesn't need to continue with this absurd situation. He's going to get a massive political windfall when Brexit turns to shit, so even if he wasn't successful in explaining to the public what is and isn't antisemitism, he could still afford to face down the right-wing attacks. In my opinion, he knows this, but is simply using this issue opportunistically to fight an internal power struggle.
  9. I'm going to need a bit more persuasion before I pay out for a full subscription to your 'discussion recap' service - the two quotes you've chosen are already right next to each other a few posts up. Plus, you missed a bit:
  10. That "jewish liberal"'s headline states that this sacking proves that Labour 'is serious about anti-semitism.' He then goes on to say absolutely nothing about anti-semitism. He only talks about criticism of the state of Israel. Let's put this another way and see if I can get the ball over the net. I'm a member of Amnesty International, and I find it difficult to eat my breakfast when I get my latest newsletter telling me about what fun and games the Saudis have been up to this month. I hate the Saudi state with a passion. However, I'm neither Islamophobic nor racist against Arabs. One doesn't make you the other. Exactly the same applies with criticising the state of Israel: you can be part of your 'blame Israel for everything brigade' without being antisemitic. You may be wrong to be a member of that brigade, but that's a debate about history and geopolitics, not about racism.
  11. Nobody is disagreeing that spreading false information and conspiracy theories is wrong. My point is that attacking the state of Israel (even with conspiracy theories and downright lies) is not the same as anti-semitism, and the fact that it's become seen as such is a political victory for the right which Labour shouldn't have rolled over and let them win. From what I've seen of Maxine Peake and Rebecca Long-Bailey, they seem like decent women who retweeted false information in good faith - i.e. they genuinely believed it, and retracted it when they found out they'd been had by politically-motivated trolls. If every politician got sacked for making genuine mistakes, that would be an instant and absolute cure for social distancing at Party meetings. I agree. I'd take Starmer over Corbyn any day as he can win. I shouldn't have phrased my question as a binary choice between Starmer or standing up to the far right. You can easily have both - the Labour party have a strong Jewish movement who're chomping at the bit to stand up and show the British public that criticising Israeli right-wing hardliners doesn't make you an anti-semite.
  12. The crime for which she's been sacked is anti-semitism. She's completely innocent of that, as is Maxine Peake - regardless of the fact that they got it wrong about Israeli Security forces and neck-kneeling etc. Corbyn was absolute rubbish and threw the general election away with his complete failure to handle Brexit. But the anti-semitism stuff was a politically-motivated attack which they should have fought rather than caved-in to. Because they didn't, we're now in a situation whereby Labour Leaders feel compelled to equate any criticism of Zionism and the right-wing drift of Israeli politics with anti-semitism. It isn't. When I was marching against the second Gulf War in 2003, I ended up being swallowed up by a large group of Jewish anti-zionist/anti-war protesters, who were scathing about the right-wing politics and zealotry which was taking hold of their country. Many of the architects of the British Labour Party were radical left-wing Jews and it's unbelievable that the current leadership is now frightened to call out the pro-Trump, right-wing zealots who currently wield a frightening amount of influence in Israel for fear of being accused of anti-semitism. I'm happy to support Starmer because it's necessary for victory - the majority of the electorate are basically morons who put empty slogans and haircuts before any true understanding of economics or politics. However, is a victory built on capitulation to the extreme right worth winning?
  13. 1. Please go back and quote the bit where I concluded that the police charged at the protestors before being pelted with missiles. Once you've refreshed my memory on that, I'll try and come up with an answer for you. 2. If you have first hand evidence from 'a family member in the met that was there,' I'd recommend mentioning this at the time you make your point, rather than after you've been challenged. Otherwise, you risk being accused of making things up.
  14. Like you, I wasn't there. However, it appears that the video starts after the police have made some form of move against the protesters. According to the person who took the video, the protesters had been peaceful up until that point. It is only towards the end of the video that you can see things being thrown at the police. What evidence are you using to come to your conclusion that the police were being pelted before they charged the protesters?
  15. Agree. Context is everything and the context of Bo Selecta was that, despite it deliberately putting on a crass appearance, it actually catered to a fairly intelligent crowd and got its laughs from coming up with the most grotesque parodies of celebrities it could. Obviously, a white man blacking up on a comedy show is wide open to claims of racism, but in this case the audience was laughing at the ludicrous nature of the parody - not applauding a hostile representation of the black people they despise. Whenever an issue gains public traction like this, there are always overreactions which ultimately detract from the initial opportunity to change deeply-held public prejudices. In my opinion, Keith Lemon's apology for Bo Selecta is a classic example of that type of overreaction. Decent people will understand the need to protest when the world has witnessed the brutal killing by police of an innocent man, and this has the potential to open their eyes to the harshness of life for ethnic minorities in 'white' countries. The problem is that decent people are also very susceptible to the constant whisper that "you're not allowed to say anything these days" and overreactions like this actually play into the hands of the right-wing trolls and end up becoming own-goals.
  16. Gizmoman has a proud history of posting up social media posts designed to get the in-breds waving their pitch-forks at those silly lefties. The first one I saw in this thread was a pearler: whilst Boris was on a ventilator, gizmonan retweeted a twitter post from Andy Ngo (far-right twitter troll) showing a female anti-fascist protester holding a 'death to Boris' poster on a march. (Turns out that that photo had been taken months before Covid hit the UK let alone Boris, but why let that get in the way of a good witch-hunt against those pesky anti-fascists?) He's also got form on this thread promoting anti-vaxxers. He's a useful resource - keeps up to speed with what's going on in the far-right, anti-science echo chamber.
  17. It's dated quite badly - the main police character (McNulty) is a toe-curlingly embarrassing attempt at a deep and meaningful, bad-boy detective. Some of the plot development is a bit tedious, however, it's definitely worth persevering with as the stories start to reel you in - particularly when you get to know and appreciate the good characters. The 'bad guys' are worth watching the show for on their own. In particular Stringer (Idris does become a lot more involved as the seasons go on), Omar (who injects a bit of Shakespearean flair to the whole 'game'), Chris Partlow/Snoop and Marlon. If you're losing interest, just watch a few YouTube clips with any of those characters and it should persuade you to keep going. As the seasons go on, the intrigue builds up to near Breaking Bad levels. However... the finale is absolute rubbish. I'm not sure if this is an urban myth, but I'd heard that the reason for this is that it coincided with a Hollywood writers strike. Still worth watching though.
  18. If anyone needs a clue, this seems somehow fitting: https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/look-headliners-glastonbury-festival-1970-47265
  19. I listen to a lot of the comedy podcasts on your list. I'm not sure whether you go down the dark, deadpan, surreal route such as Blue Jam, The Day Today etc. but if you do, my current favourite is definitely worth a punt: https://www.beefanddairynetwork.com
  20. Ben Goldacre is my preferred expert when it comes to debunking bad science. My earlier comment wasn't that there's no room for shady vested interests in big pharma - it was that there's no room for shady vested interests in the scientific process with public peer-review. As soon as you give up trust in that process, the tin foil hat beckons and the dodgy vested interests can manipulate you into believing anything.
  21. Guilty as charged - I haven't read any of his stuff. However, I'm reasonably up to speed on the main anti-vaxxer debate and, as with climate change, I'm pretty sure that (1) the anti-vaxxers have distorted the science and (2) their claims that mainstream science is prejudiced against them doesn't make sense - the scientific method is all about proposing a null hypothesis, using the data to support/refute it whilst everything is being overseen by public peer-review. This doesn't leave any room for shady vested interests. Have you read any of the above links to the mainstream scientific critique of this guy? Edit: was curious about your claim that the concept of 'conspiracy theory' was invented to discredit anyone doubting the official JFK assassination report. Theres an interesting article about this on Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/03/16/did-the-cia-invent-the-term-conspiracy-theory/
  22. Just Googled Robert F Kennedy and vaccines and found the respected US science websites calling him out for a long history of non-scientific anti-vaxxer distortion of the evidence: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-robert-f-kennedy-jr-distorted-vaccine-science1/ https://www.statnews.com/2017/09/22/robert-kennedy-vaccine-safety/ https://www.sciencealert.com/robert-f-kennedy-tweets-a-ridiculous-conspiracy-theory-about-vaccinations The last time I responded to you in this thread, you'd just posted a tweet from an alt-right troll slagging off anti-fascist protesters. How do you go about deciding which bits of the internet you listen to?
  23. More exciting than I was expecting. Looks like there's a police horse in the background and a group of wannabe Hells Angels have just ridden onto the market square. It's not a particularly big protest, but there doesn't seem to be a big enough police presence there to deal with it.
  24. I can only hope that, if the dry cough and fever finally comes knocking on my door, the local in-breds are holding a similar event to the one in the video above. As an austere, non-tactile kind of person, it would be good for my mental health to get out and spread some hugs, kisses and communal coughing.
  25. I can see why you'd interpret my post in that way as I certainly was bending over backwards to be accommodating to a non-mainstream forum view. However, my motive for being so accommodating was to get a genuine discussion going rather than get sidetracked with a handbag war over down-voting. The two posts I mentioned being down-voted on were my attacks on Andy Ngo and Dominic Cummings and I'd prefer to have those discussions rather than simply throwing my toys out of the pram and flouncing.
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