Andy Newman writing on Socialist Unity has questioned why I defended Devil's Kitchen blogger Chris Mounsey last week. As I blogged he had appeared on the Daily Politics and had not defended himself when Andrew Neil quoted some strong language he had used on his blog.
For example, this is what he says about trade unions:“We should utterly destroy them, and do it soon.”The language that Chris Mounsey uses to express that point of view is however extremely offensive, and you can read the original here:The real speciality of Chris Mounsey, an old-Etonian graphic designer, is the use of sexualised and racialised abuse, involving violent imagery of the humiliation and death of left of centre politicians and trade union leaders.The language that Chris used against NASUWT president Chris Keates is too extreme for me to publish on my blog, but you can read it here if you wish.Chris Mounsey revels in the idea of a respected woman trade union leader being violently sexually humiliated, and left to bleed to death; and he argues that she deserves this because she opposes the private sector having a role in education.Given that in many parts of the world, like Columbia, which has a government somewhat in accordance to Chris Mounsey’s political leanings, women really are raped and murdered for their trade union activity, then I think that Chris Mounsey comes close to glorifying terrorism, which is now a serious criminal offence. No one, least of all a woman trade unionist, should be harrangued by this bullying misogyny, with explicit threats of violent death.
It is somewhat surprising then to find a leading Lib Dem coming out in Chris Mounsey’s support, arguing that Chris has a right to use this inflammatory and violent language. (The Mark Reckons website was voted best new Lib Dem blog of 2009, and is one of the highest ranked Lib Dem blogs by wikkio.)Lib Dem Mark says:“I think he has every right to blog in the way that he sees fit. Many of his supporters and party members will agree with what he is saying. Lots of libertarian bloggers have a strongly worded style and many of them also make very good points and are very funny too. Why should these people be barred from trying to seek political support for their views even if their styles are not to everyone’s tastes?”Well Mark, this is quite simple they should not be allowed to seek political support for the violent degradation and abuse of women, and the violent death of prominent trade unionists. I don’t find the idea of a trade union leader bleeding to death after sexual violence very funny.Mark further regrets that Chris Mounsey did not make a better defence of his right to bully and harass people on the Internet when he was interviewed on the Politics Show by Andrew Neil.Lib Dem Mark says:I had hoped for a spirited and libertarian defence of his right to have an on-line persona that is close to the knuckle and still be involved in active politics. However he just seemed to cave in to what Neil was saying. Neil suggested that an apology to the Trades Union leader in question might be appropriate and Mounsey obliged. Neil also suggested that if he were a candidate in any other party he would have had to stand down to which Mounsey also assented. Then the interview was over.Ahh, yes the “on-line persona” defence. How does that work Mark? If I were a 57 year old man, should I be able to adopt an “on-line persona” of a 19 year old boy to talk to teenage girls on chat-room?In real life, should someone be able to adopt a “persona that is close to the knuckle” by dressing in white robes and burning crosses outside black peoples’ homes?