Thursday, 15 April 2010

Brillo brings the Knife from the Kitchen

I have a lot of time for Mr Kitchen, as I will always know him, the new leader of the Libertarian Party. I also have a lot of time for his blog although some of the language is not to everyone's taste. He occasionally wishes nasty diseases or a painful death on authoritarian bigots as a conclusion to his demolition of their arguments. What cannot be ignored, however, is that he does demolish their arguments far more times than not, exposes them for what they are and then adds some choice abuse. On many subjects he writes with care and authority, for example much of his writing on the great global warming hoax is now becoming mainstream. The "bad" language is little more than window dressing. There is no more chance of him visiting physical violence on the victims of his linguistic attacks than there is of me winning the lottery.

On the first 5th of November stroll I chewed the fat with Mr Kitchen over a few pints and found him every bit as sincere, serious and knowledgeable as I expected. At that time Ian Parker-Joseph was the LPUK's leader. On his resignation from the position a few months ago Mr Kitchen was elected leader. At the time it was obvious that his sweary blog would be used against him. A so-called interview on the Daily Politics show on the BBC consisted of Andrew "Brillo" Neil summarising some of the things said in one post on his blog and asking whether it was appropriate for the leader of a political party to write such stuff.

Some have commented that this was an irrelevant and unjustified approach, (for example, here) but I don't agree. Nor, it seems, does Mr Kitchen who has closed his old blog and started afresh as Mr Knife. Dabbling in politics as an observer and commentator is one thing, asking people for their vote is another entirely.

I know that my vote is practically powerless in a constituency occupied predominately by those dependent on the State, those naive enough to believe big government does good and those rich enough to put their money out of the way before spending other people's. That doesn't diminish my vote in any way in my eyes. It still puts me on a par with everyone else on election day, it is still something my parents' generation fought to retain and it is still something most of the world would love to have if only they could. It also counts in the overall voting statistics which have relevance above and beyond the result in any one constituency.

A new political party has a choice between being serious and being frivolous. I have no doubt LPUK is intended to be serious. It might only have 450-odd members now and it might only be fielding one candidate at the general election, but every party has to start somewhere and I agree with much, but by no means all, of the general policies it puts forward. It represents a serious line of political thought. And that is the problem. It is putting itself forward as a serious, albeit small, political party and is standing behind a leader whose intemperance of expression is so unorthadox that it distracts attention from what the party is trying to say.

Not only does it distract attention but it provides a different focus for attention. With politicians of the main parties we spend a lot of time asking what they really think. We hear them speak against a background of distrust caused by too many years of flim-flam, flip-flop and fudge, so we dig around and see what we can find about them when they are not "on-message". Much of the material dug up by such enquiries formed the basis for Mr Kitchen's vitriolic character assassinations. No doubt he wrote from the heart. He was not "on-message" because there was no message only a calculated analysis of the failings of others. Now he has stepped into the limelight and complaints are made (vicariously, I have not heard any complaint from him) that he should not be subject to the same treatment. Sorry chaps, it doesn't work like that. Sauce - goose - gander.

1 comment:

Stan said...

I enjoyed the Devil's Kitchen while it was an independent blog, but it lost a lot when it became part of the LPUK fabric.

Although I broadly welcome any new political party to the fray, the LPUK does nothing to challenge the social liberal hegemony - if anything, it is the extremist element of it. It claims to be opposed to cultural Marxism but plays directly into the hands of it. At best it is naive - at worst it is downright dangerous.

This is, of course, just my opinion.