Stop the War Coalition’s comments about Newtown reveal a burning hatred of America

December 18, 2012 2:49 pm

After the indescribable horror of the fourth mass shooting this year in the US, the world’s media and commentators have been pretty much united in their sympathy for victims and urging of the American government to push for change.

United, that is, aside from one UK protest movement.

Yesterday a friend pointed out Stop the War Coalition’s response (I have copied it as a screenshot, just in case it should later be taken down at any point):

StWC tweet 17 Dec

It is difficult to know where to start in explaining what is wrong with these few words, but I will try.

First, the casual implication that America – the nation, we presume, not its government – “slaughters children”.  As a matter of preference. I cannot imagine how any ordinary American could fail to be insulted by this claim. If we take it they are talking about Americans as a group, it’s merely xenophobia; had they been talking about the French or the Germans we would be the first to complain.

Second, alternatively, let us generously suppose that StWC means the US government, and explicitly exonerates ordinary Americans from the charge: its current Democratic administration is therefore, to the Stoppers, guilty of the crimes committed in Newtown. Not a lone madman, they are saying; the American government, as if they had pulled the trigger themselves.

Now, you might argue that President Obama and his party might have pushed harder to reform gun laws, but let’s state the blindingly obvious: even were he not a politician as far away as it is possible to get from being pro-gun, he is clearly not responsible for these deaths any more than you or I, and no court would ever find him so. And if at any moment he were to be found responsible for the murder of American children, it goes without saying, he would be impeached, at the very least. And, if it’s not America’s politicians and not its citizens the Stoppers mean, then who are they talking about?

Third, the idea that there is some connection between children dying in a domestic attack by a lone gunman and those dying as the unintended consequence of foreign military action is clearly ridiculous. It is as if somehow Americans were just naturally evil and violent, and like nothing better than to murder a few children.

It is true that children have died in Afghanistan, like in many other wars in human history. The loss of a child’s life in war (or, for that matter, an adult’s life) is a tragedy. We can – and should – question the reasons for each and every war a country is involved in. It is surely true that American politicians should rethink the idea of gun control and its citizens should remember that at election time. All these things are true. But the idea that Americans, or their politicians, somehow want children to die is just breathtakingly stupid. No-one ever wants a child to die, except a psychopath.

Fourth, the tweet says that America is the “world’s most violent nation”. While the US certainly has worryingly high levels of gun murder among the civilian population (highest in the developed world apart from Mexico, as this fascinating piece in the Washington Post points out), no definition of “violent” is given in the StWC article that spawned the tweet. It is, as usual in such emotive pieces, a wholly subjective factoid that sounds good, but leaves its terms deliberately undefined. And there are clearly much more violent societies than the US, by any measure (a lot of war zones, for example).

Fifth, just exactly how it is acceptable for a grown-up political movement to be making public statements, where parents have lost children in the previous couple of days, about how it was just typical of their awful country that they “slaughter children” there, including those of their own fellow citizens, is beyond me.

But anyway, why bother writing about StWC at LabourList: it’s just another wing-nut, far-left organisation like the SWP, or Respect, right? Nothing to do with us.

Wrong. StWC is not a political party. It is, as it says on the tin, a coalition. It deliberately does not require exclusive membership, unlike political parties, which field candidates at elections. Because of this, you cannot be expelled for the Labour Party for being a member. Indeed, some of our MPs and ex-MPs are involved in organising it, and more speak at their rallies. We do not really know who many of its members are, because its members, especially within our party, do not always shout about their membership.

Recently, it has been fascinating to see how, although the group can find time to protest about things which are ostensibly nothing to do with “war” – like government cuts – they cannot seem to find the time to protest about the civil war which is going on in Syria, where tens of thousands are dying. Because, unlike most sane and rational people, Arabs killing other Arabs doesn’t seem to be the kind of war they care about stopping.

Indeed, its stance on Syria seemed so obviously hypocritical, that its convenor, Lindsey German, was forced to write a Guardian Comment Is Free piece entitled “There is no hypocrisy in our stance on Syria”. Just in case you should, you know, get the wrong idea.

And German herself is no stranger to the using of attacks against schoolchildren to justify her obnoxious views: after the shootings in a Toulouse school, she wrote, lest we forget:

“No one can justify such attacks, which have seen the killing of Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi, and of French soldiers of North African and Caribbean descent.

But…”

and then went on, remarkably, to do precisely that. All the fault of Sarkozy, racism, war and so on.

No, in the end we should thank the StWC’s social media person, because they have summed up beautifully in 140 characters what its founding ideology is based on: a pathological hatred of America.

There is no rhyme nor reason about that hatred. America is bad. Its politicians are bad. America likes war. We are the good guys, because we oppose America and war. It is this level of playground politics at which StWC operates.

We may dislike America’s gun laws. We may dislike some or many things that American governments do. As a democracy it ain’t perfect, that’s for sure. But we do not need to make common cause with people who say things like this about America and Americans.

In fact, whatever America’s faults, no country which elects its own leaders by free, universal suffrage deserves to be spoken about in those terms, much less its inhabitants. And least of all in an aftermath of an attack where parents have just lost children.

It’s not right. The Stoppers are fellow-travellers, not our friends. We should stop tolerating them.

Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour Party manager who blogs at The Centre Left

  • http://profiles.google.com/chesilbeachboy Sungei Patani

    I suspect the a large number of Stop the War members or sympathisers are members of the Labour Party.

  • JCHC

    Rob,

    Have you read George Monbiot’s CiF piece which makes almost exactly the same link as the Stoppers’ tweet?

  • http://twitter.com/_DaveTalbot David Talbot

    Thanks Rob, an excellent piece.

    As was noted in the Lindsey German piece you linked to, Stop the War have such a parochial view of the world that anything that the US happens to do, or has done to it, in this case – they have such a limited view of the world that ultimately it all comes back to their hatred, which I think is the most apt world, of ‘the west and its imperialism’.

    Let’s be clear, Stop the War is an organisation that has for years referred to terrorists who advocate the suppression of women, homosexuals and non-Muslims, and an Islamist dictatorship, as “the resistance” and in their supposed fight for freedom from western oppression, see it right to murder UN workers, foreign journalists, aid workers and – thanks to George Galloway’s ever-insightful mind – harbor strong inklings that fighting British and American troops is acceptable. Hardly the position of a Coalition which purports to be on the Left.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Thanks Dave. And I forgot to mention – although I have elsewhere – in her piece on Toulouse, German rather failed to mention anywhere, like the Guardian, that there could possibly be any element of anti-Semitism involved in an attack on a Jewish school. Heaven forbid, eh?

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Thanks Dave. And I forgot to mention – although I have elsewhere – in her piece on Toulouse, German rather failed to mention anywhere, like the Guardian, that there could possibly be any element of anti-Semitism involved in an attack on a Jewish school. Heaven forbid, eh?

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Thanks Dave. And I forgot to mention – although I have elsewhere – in her piece on Toulouse, German rather failed to mention anywhere, like the Guardian, that there could possibly be any element of anti-Semitism involved in an attack on a Jewish school. Heaven forbid, eh?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    Predictable piece from Rob saying nothing I wouldn’t have predicted and nothing of much value.
    The difficulty with the US situation is that they have supposedly built the right to bear arms as a constitutional matter although the original intent referred to militias not individuals. Also that it is very hard to change the law owing to separation of powers. However that really does’t make for a credible excuse. Get your act together and if you wish to be respected as a power then do something to earn that respect

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    Predictable piece from Rob saying nothing I wouldn’t have predicted and nothing of much value.
    The difficulty with the US situation is that they have supposedly built the right to bear arms as a constitutional matter although the original intent referred to militias not individuals. Also that it is very hard to change the law owing to separation of powers. However that really does’t make for a credible excuse. Get your act together and if you wish to be respected as a power then do something to earn that respect

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      So Mike, you think the tweet about the slaughter of children is acceptable, or not. A simple yes or no will do.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      So Mike, you think the tweet about the slaughter of children is acceptable, or not. A simple yes or no will do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

        I don’t agree with it. I wouldn’t censor it, though – so ‘acceptable’ – certainly. Its their view : do you wish to censor it because you disagree with it? All this is part of your obsessive crusade against anyone who dares to disagree with you on the only subject you really care about in any case….that’s why you so rarely say anything worth engaging with.

        • Lamia

          Where did he say or imply it should be censored? Did he demand that STWC be banned from Twitter? No, so drop the strawman.

        • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

          So you think that the tweet is acceptable behaviour for a political movement. I rest my case, your honour.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      So Mike, you think the tweet about the slaughter of children is acceptable, or not. A simple yes or no will do.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      I’ve never supported widespread gun ownership, at least of the military type of guns or pistols, both of which to my eyes have no legitimate use among civilian people. I suppose there is a case for responsible use of guns for sport and hunting, but that is shotguns and single loading rifles, not these multiple firing weapons.

      But you should consider the American cultural heritage and history, in which the new nation feared the tyranny of Government. I looked at some interesting comments by American lawyers, and it seems that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution is indeed designed for individuals to own arms, to protect them from the power of the States (a right with its’ roots in the British Bill of Rights of 1689 and the concept of justified self-defence). In addition, the laws surrounding what type of weapons may be owned are in the power of the individual states, and not at Federal level (although there are arguments about this in their courts). And on top, the Constitution is designed to be deliberately difficult to amend. So this will be “difficult” to change. Perhaps in the UK we are lucky to have an unwritten constitution that is easy to adapt.

      I hope that President Obama can at least get some “traction” around conditions of ownership, such as psychological testing. There is a terrible correlation between people of unsound mind and these periodic massacres. And while the purists may reject as an “infringement” something as obvious as not selling modern military weapons in a supermarket to anyone who wants to buy one, there must surely be the political will to enforce a long waiting time, or even a significant sales tax that makes the weapons not affordable as an impulse purchase. It would be a start.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      I’ve never supported widespread gun ownership, at least of the military type of guns or pistols, both of which to my eyes have no legitimate use among civilian people. I suppose there is a case for responsible use of guns for sport and hunting, but that is shotguns and single loading rifles, not these multiple firing weapons.

      But you should consider the American cultural heritage and history, in which the new nation feared the tyranny of Government. I looked at some interesting comments by American lawyers, and it seems that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution is indeed designed for individuals to own arms, to protect them from the power of the States (a right with its’ roots in the British Bill of Rights of 1689 and the concept of justified self-defence). In addition, the laws surrounding what type of weapons may be owned are in the power of the individual states, and not at Federal level (although there are arguments about this in their courts). And on top, the Constitution is designed to be deliberately difficult to amend. So this will be “difficult” to change. Perhaps in the UK we are lucky to have an unwritten constitution that is easy to adapt.

      I hope that President Obama can at least get some “traction” around conditions of ownership, such as psychological testing. There is a terrible correlation between people of unsound mind and these periodic massacres. And while the purists may reject as an “infringement” something as obvious as not selling modern military weapons in a supermarket to anyone who wants to buy one, there must surely be the political will to enforce a long waiting time, or even a significant sales tax that makes the weapons not affordable as an impulse purchase. It would be a start.

      • Dave Postles

        The Supreme Court is not an independent judiciary; it is composed of political appointments, currently still dominated by right-wing appointees. The situation may well change when Obama makes appointments to replace some retiring justices – although the Clarence Thomas-type people may try to hang on for ever.

        Posted 19.56 on 18 December (it seems that I’m still being moderated, although all I did was change my e-mail address from the abominable Google to my own server).

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715486331 Alex Otley

        I find it difficult to believe that anybody who wasn’t already potentially dangerous would be influenced to violence by a video game. I think that the answer to that is better psychiatric care.

        Censorship is both unfair and unworkable. You wouldn’t censor a violent horror or action film (within reason); is a video game (an ‘interactive film’ if you like) really all that different? As a creative product expressed as popular entertainment a video game could be considered a form of art, which confers a certain expectation of free speech (again, within reason). This is almost certainly how it would be viewed under the First Amendment.

        I don’t know of any significant difference in access to violent video games between Britain and America, and there clearly isn’t a disproportionate number of dangerously disturbed people over there. American gun culture really does seem to be the issue here. One amazing statistic I read in the Independent on sunday was that in all of 2011 the German police fired 85 bullets in the entire country, whilst in Los Angeles the police fired 90 bullets in a single hit and run incident. When you have the police shooting people in wheelchairs and the NRA/GOP encouraging a paranoid lust for assault rifles it’s hardly surprising that incidents like this are more likely to happen. Ironically it’s the moralising conservatives who have created this moral decline, and I really hope that this is a wakeup call for the population.

        • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

          Just for the record, Alex, I am not asking for any kind of censorship.

      • http://twitter.com/RF_McCarthy Roger McCarthy

        Yeah because beating the second amendment is not going to be difficult at all – lets dispense with the first as well….

        And on a point of information even if they are sold in Walmart these weapons are not impulse purchases – the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle used at Newtown costs in one advert I saw (brilliantly placed below a newspaper story about the tragedy) $899.99 – and real progress was made on dealing with the Saturday Night Special cheap handgun problem back in the 1990s.

        Almost every specific solution put forward would also not have prevented this tragedy – Adam Lanza was actually not able to buy a gun himself under existing state rules but no law short of banning the private ownership of guns altogether would have prevented his gun-nut mother from purchasing an arsenal of weapons and teaching her son to shoot with them.

        The problem is fundamentally insoluble.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          “The problem is fundamentally insoluble.”

          You may well be correct, although this is depressing. It is also true that while I don’t support widespread gun ownership, if I lived in the USA among the reality that there are several hundred million guns in civilian hands and little “bar” to acquisition, I would probably buy one (a pistol) myself, to protect my family. Here in the UK, I have my wife’s old hockey stick under my side of the bed in case we have a burglar, and feel that is enough. But if I thought a burglar “probably” had a hand-gun, I’d need to feel better protected. It is an arms race, and sad for that fact.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          “The problem is fundamentally insoluble.”

          You may well be correct, although this is depressing. It is also true that while I don’t support widespread gun ownership, if I lived in the USA among the reality that there are several hundred million guns in civilian hands and little “bar” to acquisition, I would probably buy one (a pistol) myself, to protect my family. Here in the UK, I have my wife’s old hockey stick under my side of the bed in case we have a burglar, and feel that is enough. But if I thought a burglar “probably” had a hand-gun, I’d need to feel better protected. It is an arms race, and sad for that fact.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          “The problem is fundamentally insoluble.”

          You may well be correct, although this is depressing. It is also true that while I don’t support widespread gun ownership, if I lived in the USA among the reality that there are several hundred million guns in civilian hands and little “bar” to acquisition, I would probably buy one (a pistol) myself, to protect my family. Here in the UK, I have my wife’s old hockey stick under my side of the bed in case we have a burglar, and feel that is enough. But if I thought a burglar “probably” had a hand-gun, I’d need to feel better protected. It is an arms race, and sad for that fact.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      I’ve never supported widespread gun ownership, at least of the military type of guns or pistols, both of which to my eyes have no legitimate use among civilian people. I suppose there is a case for responsible use of guns for sport and hunting, but that is shotguns and single loading rifles, not these multiple firing weapons.

      But you should consider the American cultural heritage and history, in which the new nation feared the tyranny of Government. I looked at some interesting comments by American lawyers, and it seems that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution is indeed designed for individuals to own arms, to protect them from the power of the States (a right with its’ roots in the British Bill of Rights of 1689 and the concept of justified self-defence). In addition, the laws surrounding what type of weapons may be owned are in the power of the individual states, and not at Federal level (although there are arguments about this in their courts). And on top, the Constitution is designed to be deliberately difficult to amend. So this will be “difficult” to change. Perhaps in the UK we are lucky to have an unwritten constitution that is easy to adapt.

      I hope that President Obama can at least get some “traction” around conditions of ownership, such as psychological testing. There is a terrible correlation between people of unsound mind and these periodic massacres. And while the purists may reject as an “infringement” something as obvious as not selling modern military weapons in a supermarket to anyone who wants to buy one, there must surely be the political will to enforce a long waiting time, or even a significant sales tax that makes the weapons not affordable as an impulse purchase. It would be a start.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    Predictable piece from Rob saying nothing I wouldn’t have predicted and nothing of much value.
    The difficulty with the US situation is that they have supposedly built the right to bear arms as a constitutional matter although the original intent referred to militias not individuals. Also that it is very hard to change the law owing to separation of powers. However that really does’t make for a credible excuse. Get your act together and if you wish to be respected as a power then do something to earn that respect

  • Dave Postles

    The point, as Michael Moore has recently reiterated, is that there is a culture of violence in some parts of US society which manifests itself in all sorts of ways. I make this point as someone who is not phobic about the US.

  • Mark Bailey

    But didn’t you know? It was the Jews that did it. Well according to Galloway’s friends it was. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12/18/278706/israeli-squads-tied-to-newtown-carnage/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Smith/1386738275 Andrew Smith

    If they hate America so much perhaps they are EU funded. It would fit with their rancid hatred and clear intention to stand against the US and all common law capitalist societies.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    One other thing I forgot to mention, that the reaction of Iran’s PressTV, sometime employer of the chair of the Stoppers was, extraordinarily, that Newtown was an Israeli plot: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12/18/278706/israeli-squads-tied-to-newtown-carnage/

    Because that makes lots of sense.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    One other thing I forgot to mention, that the reaction of Iran’s PressTV, sometime employer of the chair of the Stoppers was, extraordinarily, that Newtown was an Israeli plot: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12/18/278706/israeli-squads-tied-to-newtown-carnage/

    Because that makes lots of sense.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    One other thing I forgot to mention, that the reaction of Iran’s PressTV, sometime employer of the chair of the Stoppers was, extraordinarily, that Newtown was an Israeli plot: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12/18/278706/israeli-squads-tied-to-newtown-carnage/

    Because that makes lots of sense.

  • FormerCorr

    There is no rhyme nor reason about that hatred. America is bad. Its
    politicians are bad. America likes war. We are the good guys, because we
    oppose America and war.

    I have also come across this delightful thought process: ‘American is bad now, and therefore it has always been bad, and every cause it has ever supported militarily is bad, and that includes WW2, and hey! perhaps the Nazis weren’t so bad after all’

    And also: ‘America is bad, and therefore if bad things happen to America, then they weren’t really bad, or they had it coming, or even badder things happened elsewhere so let’s change the subject’

  • robertcp

    I agree that it is a tasteless comment and the Stop the War are a bunch of far-left nutters. However, expelling people for speaking at Stop the War meetings is just as silly and intolerant as the GMB motion on Progress.

    The only reason that Stop the War is a prominent organisation is that the last Labour government decided to support and participate in the invasion of Iraq. It is also doubtful whether we are doing much good in Afghanistan and the use of drones is one of the less attractive aspects of the Obama administration. In his defence, however, he got out of Iraq, is getting out of Afghanistan and seems reluctant to invade Syria.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      Robert, just as I have not asked for anyone to be censored, as Lamia points out below, neither have I asked for anyone to be kicked out of the Labour Party.

      • robertcp

        Okay, I misread that part.

  • Daniel Speight

    Haven’t we been here before with Marchant using dead children to make a political point. (I will apologise if I’m wrong, but didn’t he post something similar after the Jewish school kids were murdered in France.) To me he doesn’t seem much better than the people he sets out to criticise.

    • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

      I think in both cases you’ll find that, unlike the StWC, I have not offered any comment on the tragedy itself, merely to point up the horrific nature of someone else’s response to it.

      If doing so makes me a bad person, sue me, but I’m pretty sure that large numbers of other people, if the response was anything to go by, felt exactly the same.

      • Daniel Speight

        As far as I know, which with the law is not very much I will admit, I don’t think you can be sued for being bad. I’m not even sure why you should use that phrase. Better would be to let the parents and family grieve and not to use it as a point scoring exercise against those you consider your opponents. The taking of innocent lives, whether American kids at school, Jewish kids in France, Arab kids in Gaza or Afghan kids killed either by the Taliban or US drones is just too wrong and beyond any sane man’s pale.

        • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

          Daniel, that is really a rather silly comment. You are accusing me of precisely what I am criticising. It is precisely because the reactions of others have been so unspeakable that I wrote the piece. Reactions for which I notice you have not one word of condemnation.

          • Daniel Speight

            No Rob it’s just point scoring on your part. You did it once before and it’s time you left it alone. Find something else to criticise your enemies for, just leave the dead kids out of it.

            Your attempt to link me to the Stop the War tweet with:

            Reactions for which I notice you have not one word of condemnation.

            Shows a rather propagandist or spin doctoring approach with little attachment to the truth after I had already said the following two comments up:

            To me he doesn’t seem much better than the people he sets out to criticise.

            You see, if I’m saying you are no better than those you complain about, it’s difficult to truthfully turn that into me not also condemning them as much as you. In this case they didn’t write this poor post, you did.

          • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

            Do you condemn the tweet, yes or no?

          • Daniel Speight

            Yes it’s both a stupid tweet and it’s illogical in comparing a state sponsored war with a nut killing kids. But Rob, I also condemn you for point scoring over dead kids for the second time that I know of on LL. You are just as bad as whoever made the original tweet, in fact probably worse as the original tweeter probably has a claim of not putting much thought into what they were saying whereas you work at it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.kane Ron Kane

    I bet they support the principal of collective punishment for Americans.

    But not Palestinians.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Much less than you’d think. But too many for us to be relaxed about.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Indeed. My enemy’s enemy. It’s twisted.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    I just read it this morning. Yes, he makes the case a bit more insidiously.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    That is at least an arguable point. But it’s not really the point the Stoppers are making. And they really are US-phobic.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    The PSC, which shares a few members and supporters with StWC. also seemed remarkably quiet about Assad’s bombing of a Palestinian refugee camp. Some friends to the Palestinian people they are.

  • franwhi

    I get provoked like that by headlines too sometimes but then I remember that’s what they’re intended to do.

  • AlanGiles

    You think twice about commenting on a Marchant set-piece; he has the grand manner of the most egotistical of concert pianists, and you can be sure of a withering one-liner, if you dare the challenge his “wisdom” – and, for your pains, you will almost certainly be described as a dangerous left-wing Anti-Semite for daring to challenge the pompous “ex manager”, but surely The National Rifle Association is a greater enemy to ordinary decent American people than the STW coalition.

    From today’s (22nd December) Daily Mirror:-

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pennsylvania-shooting-four-shot-dead-1500988

    The NRA want more guns, not less and their remedy for the appalling disaster last week is to have armed guards in every school, arguing that (paraphrase slightly) the only answer to a “bad guy” with a gun is “a good guy with a gun”.

    We should ask ourselves should people be allowed things just because they want them?. Some people might like the idea of keeping a full grown lion in their back garden, but they wouldn’t be allowed to, because of the very real danger that would be posed to their neighbours and visitors. the same applies to guns.

    As for Mr Marchant’s article, as ever it tells us far more about him and his prejudices and hobby horses than it does about anything else.

  • AlanGiles

    You think twice about commenting on a Marchant set-piece; he has the grand manner of the most egotistical of concert pianists, and you can be sure of a withering one-liner, if you dare the challenge his “wisdom” – and, for your pains, you will almost certainly be described as a dangerous left-wing Anti-Semite for daring to challenge the pompous “ex manager”, but surely The National Rifle Association is a greater enemy to ordinary decent American people than the STW coalition.

    From today’s (22nd December) Daily Mirror:-

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pennsylvania-shooting-four-shot-dead-1500988

    The NRA want more guns, not less and their remedy for the appalling disaster last week is to have armed guards in every school, arguing that (paraphrase slightly) the only answer to a “bad guy” with a gun is “a good guy with a gun”.

    We should ask ourselves should people be allowed things just because they want them?. Some people might like the idea of keeping a full grown lion in their back garden, but they wouldn’t be allowed to, because of the very real danger that would be posed to their neighbours and visitors. the same applies to guns.

    As for Mr Marchant’s article, as ever it tells us far more about him and his prejudices and hobby horses than it does about anything else.

  • AlanGiles

    You think twice about commenting on a Marchant set-piece; he has the grand manner of the most egotistical of concert pianists, and you can be sure of a withering one-liner, if you dare the challenge his “wisdom” – and, for your pains, you will almost certainly be described as a dangerous left-wing Anti-Semite for daring to challenge the pompous “ex manager”, but surely The National Rifle Association is a greater enemy to ordinary decent American people than the STW coalition.

    From today’s (22nd December) Daily Mirror:-

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pennsylvania-shooting-four-shot-dead-1500988

    The NRA want more guns, not less and their remedy for the appalling disaster last week is to have armed guards in every school, arguing that (paraphrase slightly) the only answer to a “bad guy” with a gun is “a good guy with a gun”.

    We should ask ourselves should people be allowed things just because they want them?. Some people might like the idea of keeping a full grown lion in their back garden, but they wouldn’t be allowed to, because of the very real danger that would be posed to their neighbours and visitors. the same applies to guns.

    As for Mr Marchant’s article, as ever it tells us far more about him and his prejudices and hobby horses than it does about anything else.

  • AlanGiles

    You think twice about commenting on a Marchant set-piece; he has the grand manner of the most egotistical of concert pianists, and you can be sure of a withering one-liner, if you dare the challenge his “wisdom” – and, for your pains, you will almost certainly be described as a dangerous left-wing Anti-Semite for daring to challenge the pompous “ex manager”, but surely The National Rifle Association is a greater enemy to ordinary decent American people than the STW coalition.

    From today’s (22nd December) Daily Mirror:-

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pennsylvania-shooting-four-shot-dead-1500988

    The NRA want more guns, not less and their remedy for the appalling disaster last week is to have armed guards in every school, arguing that (paraphrase slightly) the only answer to a “bad guy” with a gun is “a good guy with a gun”.

    We should ask ourselves should people be allowed things just because they want them?. Some people might like the idea of keeping a full grown lion in their back garden, but they wouldn’t be allowed to, because of the very real danger that would be posed to their neighbours and visitors. the same applies to guns.

    As for Mr Marchant’s article, as ever it tells us far more about him and his prejudices and hobby horses than it does about anything else.

  • AlanGiles

    You think twice about commenting on a Marchant set-piece; he has the grand manner of the most egotistical of concert pianists, and you can be sure of a withering one-liner, if you dare the challenge his “wisdom” – and, for your pains, you will almost certainly be described as a dangerous left-wing Anti-Semite for daring to challenge the pompous “ex manager”, but surely The National Rifle Association is a greater enemy to ordinary decent American people than the STW coalition.

    From today’s (22nd December) Daily Mirror:-

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pennsylvania-shooting-four-shot-dead-1500988

    The NRA want more guns, not less and their remedy for the appalling disaster last week is to have armed guards in every school, arguing that (paraphrase slightly) the only answer to a “bad guy” with a gun is “a good guy with a gun”.

    We should ask ourselves should people be allowed things just because they want them?. Some people might like the idea of keeping a full grown lion in their back garden, but they wouldn’t be allowed to, because of the very real danger that would be posed to their neighbours and visitors. the same applies to guns.

    As for Mr Marchant’s article, as ever it tells us far more about him and his prejudices and hobby horses than it does about anything else.

  • AlanGiles

    You think twice about commenting on a Marchant set-piece; he has the grand manner of the most egotistical of concert pianists, and you can be sure of a withering one-liner, if you dare the challenge his “wisdom” – and, for your pains, you will almost certainly be described as a dangerous left-wing Anti-Semite for daring to challenge the pompous “ex manager”, but surely The National Rifle Association is a greater enemy to ordinary decent American people than the STW coalition.

    From today’s (22nd December) Daily Mirror:-

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pennsylvania-shooting-four-shot-dead-1500988

    The NRA want more guns, not less and their remedy for the appalling disaster last week is to have armed guards in every school, arguing that (paraphrase slightly) the only answer to a “bad guy” with a gun is “a good guy with a gun”.

    We should ask ourselves should people be allowed things just because they want them?. Some people might like the idea of keeping a full grown lion in their back garden, but they wouldn’t be allowed to, because of the very real danger that would be posed to their neighbours and visitors. the same applies to guns.

    As for Mr Marchant’s article, as ever it tells us far more about him and his prejudices and hobby horses than it does about anything else.

  • AlanGiles

    You think twice about commenting on a Marchant set-piece; he has the grand manner of the most egotistical of concert pianists, and you can be sure of a withering one-liner, if you dare the challenge his “wisdom” – and, for your pains, you will almost certainly be described as a dangerous left-wing Anti-Semite for daring to challenge the pompous “ex manager”, but surely The National Rifle Association is a greater enemy to ordinary decent American people than the STW coalition.

    From today’s (22nd December) Daily Mirror:-

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pennsylvania-shooting-four-shot-dead-1500988

    The NRA want more guns, not less and their remedy for the appalling disaster last week is to have armed guards in every school, arguing that (paraphrase slightly) the only answer to a “bad guy” with a gun is “a good guy with a gun”.

    We should ask ourselves should people be allowed things just because they want them?. Some people might like the idea of keeping a full grown lion in their back garden, but they wouldn’t be allowed to, because of the very real danger that would be posed to their neighbours and visitors. the same applies to guns.

    As for Mr Marchant’s article, as ever it tells us far more about him and his prejudices and hobby horses than it does about anything else.

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