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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Novelist Will Self Burns Straw Targets Live on Question Time


Will Self on Question Time, with Michael Gove


This piece is a response to Will Self's politically inane and theatrically obscene comments on the massacre in Nairobi and on the non-existence of a terrorist threat here in the UK.. He made these comments on the BBC's Question Time show; which was broadcast on the 26th of September. (You can hear Will Self's comments  on the massacre – or, rather, his lack of comments - at 2 minutes and 38 seconds.)

Will Self Burns Nine Straw Targets on Question Time

  1. Will Self mentions 'cross-border incursions' by the Kenyan military and says they were the reason for the massacre in Nairobi. Apart from the fact that the Islamist killers didn't murder a single military man or politician, he also fails to tell the audience why the Kenyans have gone into Somalia in the first place. One: as a response to al-Shabaab terrorism and activity inside Kenya. Two: to stop them killing and starving their fellow Somalians.
  2. Mr Self found it 'physically painful' to hear the panelists' contradictory views. Such bombastic showmanship and such piety.
  3. He said that 'the only thing that bigs these guys up' is 'more guns' and 'more powers'. So Will Self clearly saw all the Question Time panelists as one solid block of conformity and agreement. Apart from that, none of the panelists had said anything about 'more power' or 'more guns'. Will Self is certainly a master of arguing against straw targets. This is what first-year Trotskyist students usually do.
  4. He lumped all the panelists together again by saying 'you all'. He meant you politicians. However, he also had a go at the Louise Cooper - a journalist and often a critic of politicians - by saying 'you're not even a politician'.
  5. He states that his position that there haven't really been being any 'foiled terrorist plots' in the UK a 'heresy'; thereby selling himself as a contrarian. Yet a couple of minutes later he says: 'I don't doubt that some of these plots have been foiled.'
  6. It's hilarious that Will Self asks the panelists to 'look at the objective reality' on Islamic terrorism. That's strange because the idea of an 'objective reality' has come in for some stick from Will Self himself; as well as from a whole lot of Leftists, post-modernists, 'theorists' and deconstructors/post-structuralists whom he probably admires. (Self is Professor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel University.) Basically, objective reality doesn't exist according to many – or all – these people. Actually, what all this really means is that 'right wing', or 'capitalist', or 'Western', objective reality doesn't exist. That is, the objective realities which Will Self and others disagree with don't exist. However, his very own objective realities - such as on the true nature of Islamic terrorism - do exist. Exactly the same is true of relativists. They are only relativists when it comes to truths which they don't like or they disagree with. And power? Leftists are only against American or 'capitalist' power; not Islamist power, Leftist power, etc.
  7. He talked about military intervention in Syria - seemingly against the views of the panel. Yet all the panel (except possibly one) was against such intervention. In fact the UKIP candidate, Patrick O'Flynn, tells him this but Will Self ignores and talks over him because he prefers straw targets to real ones.
  8. He refers to 'big-dick militarists'. This is Will Self is Dave Spart mode. It really was student stuff. Apart form that (as with 'objective reality', truth and power), you'll often find that people like Will Self aren't actually against 'big-dick militarists' at all; they're just against Western or 'capitalist' ones. Such people are often in favour of big-dick militarists if they are the politically-correct ones: such as Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, Che Guevara, Chairman Mao, Lenin, Trotsky, Fidel Castro, the Sandinistas, the IRA, etc.
  9. He accuses other panelists of 'speaking from the high moral ground' yet that was exactly what he was doing! He was doing far more pontificating and finger-pointing than all the panelists put together. Far more! Yet that's OK because it was the politically-correct 'high moral ground' – not the politically-incorrect or right-wing one.
  10. Finally, I'm pretty sure he was on cocaine or at least drunk. I suppose that partly explains Will Self's politically inane views and – 'it really pains me' to say this – his melodramatic performance.

Will Self and His Leftist Establishment
Self's other 'old school' - Exeter College, Oxford University

In a sense Will Self was born into the (Leftist or left-liberal) Establishment. His father, Peter Self, was Professor of Public Administration at the London School of Economics (LSE) when that place was a hotbed of Leftists and revolutionaries. Will Self himself went to University College School; an independent school for boys in Hampstead, London. He then went on to do the hallowed PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at Oxford University – a must-do course for all future British leaders and members of the Establishment.
Self's 'old school' - University College School

Since that time Will Self has spent much of his time as part of the Establishment. This is the Leftist and left-liberal Establishment that has produced numerous bigwigs and leaders who've often had the audacity to talk - in dismissive tones - about the very same 'Establishment' to which they belong. I'm talking about people like Vanessa Redgrave (Workers Revolutionary Party) and Terry Eagleton (the self-described Marxist 'beast in the [Oxford] academy'); right through to Lord Alexander Theodore Callinicos (of the SWP's Central Committee) and the Trotskyist super-lawyer, Gareth Peirce (who freed Abu Qatada). There are hundreds of these posh Leftists – not all popular or known - who have taken over much of the British Establishment; just as the Marxist master, Antonio Gramsci, ordered them to do over 80 years ago.

As part of the Leftist Establishment, it's no surprise to me that Will Self still sees himself as a radical non-conformist. This is equivalent to the conservative poet John Betjeman seeing himself as a non-conformist radical in 1940s and 50s England. In fact, Will Self is the John Betjeman - or even the T.S. Eliot - of our own day. (I mean politically; not in terms of artistic talent.) He would no doubt laugh at that claim in his usual sneering manner. But that's because Will Self - just like Noam Chomsky and so many other Leftists - spends all his political time offering the public 'critiques' of the Right, capitalism and the West and no time at all analysing or criticising his own superlative and sacrosanct political views and ideologies. In fact Leftists - and to a lesser extent left-liberals - usually indulge in zero political self-analysis. That's why they have a blind-spot when it comes to seeing how truly conformist and non-radical they are after 50 years of Leftist and Liberal cultural revolution.

Will Self's views are often the norm. Or at least they are amongst large parts of the Establishment and the part of south London (Stockwell) in which he lives. His political positions - as expressed on Question Time and elsewhere - have been rammed down our throats continuously since the 1960s. Yet people like him still see themselves as radical, non-conformist and even anti-establishment. It's ridiculous. It can only mean that the cultural and political – though non-violent - revolution has not gone far enough for people like Will Self. So how far do they want it to go? The mind boggles at such a thought.

Will Self's contribution to Question Time was essentially all about Will Self. It was all about advancing his own public position as being the best contrarian in the business.

As a entrepreneur of the self (his self – Will Self), he knows he has to repeatedly go out of his way to say something contrary to what he sees as the public's view. The thing is, he usually gets the public view wrong. (He does so on Question Time.) That's because Will Self has a bad habit -which he has been unable to kick - of creating various straw targets. You see, straw targets are so much easier to burn than real ones.

He admits to be a contrarian on Question Time. He argued – if that's what you call it – that his position on the Kenyan massacre was 'heresy'. What a self-complementing bullshitter.

It follows that is order to invest in the Will Self business, it's OK to talk literal political nonsense; or rant on about completely different issues - in a kind of stream-of-consciousness manner – to the one addressed by the questioner in the Question Time audience. Talking pretentious bollocks is all part of being the London set's official contrarian. Anything goes if it sells Will Self the media star; even denying the reality of Islamic terror. (The post-modernist philosopher, Jean Baudrillard, said something similar about the Gulf War in 1991.)

It is clear that Will Self has zero political sophistication and that he has even fewer skills of political analysis. However, he's good with fancy words and poetic turns of phrase. So is George Galloway. That partly explains Galloway's political success. Despite that, when you take away Will Self's poeticisms (even if they are delivered in a nauseatingly nasal mockney whine), as well as Galloway's rhetoric, and look at the political content underneath it all - you'll find that there is no political content underneath it all.

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