Friday, 20 November 2009

Just sent to the Guardian

Does Alan Rusbridger not think Belgians are hip, cool, trendy, rock'n'roll enough? Did he not turn enough Belgian bands up to maximum volume in his boarding school dormitory and still think the act makes him "anti-establishment" 40 years later? Was he taken to too many concerts including works by French and German composers when he would rather have been listening to Radio Caroline? Would he have felt safer with Blair because he could then have been certain that there would be no remaining counterbalance to the dominance of Anglo-Saxon neoliberalism and rock'n'roll at gunpoint?

I can only assume that at least some of these criteria apply, because I cannot otherwise work out how and why you could have run the exact same headline as the Daily Mail (The great EU stitch-up, 20th November). If your editor ultimately feels safer with Cameron than Brown because Cameron went to the right sort of school, he should say so. Your front page headline confirms the Guardian's dispiriting slide to become a free advert for the very same American pop culture The Sun has been a free advert for these past forty years. You are still just about the least worst newspaper in the UK, but you can be right down there in the gutter when you want to be. Herman Van Rompuy was a far better choice than Blair, and he should not be smeared because your editor is still bitter about the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act.

Yours, disappointed,
Robin Carmody


I doubt it will be printed - letters that seriously challenge editors' assumptions rarely if ever are - but I think the point must be made that post-modernism, and the consequent view that Europe is where yesterday's culture came from, is a key factor in Britain's wariness of a unified Europe and certainly the biggest reason why the supposedly right-on Left end up, as here, saying exactly the same thing as the Mail. Europhobia born out of ideological opposition to "dead white males" and Europhobia born out of simple xenophobia end up in the exact same place - after today, who can honestly doubt this?


  1. I too am happy with the van Rompuy choice and I also like the foreign minister of the European Council, (Baroness) Catherine Ashton, even though she has never been elected for a political role.

    (Blair running the European Council gives the shivers sometimes).

    Marine Broadcasting ... ? Tsk tsk.

    (What Belgian bands can/should we listen to right now? What role do they play in alternate modernity)?

    Europe is the future as much as it has been the past.

    Today I have been reading about the radical centre = the Third Way. On one level the question is: "If they're centrist, how can they be radical?"


    And then Daniel Hannan (absurdly claiming he is not necessarily anti-European) is given a column on this - where is the balance?

    If Blair had got the nod, I am sure the line would have been different, regardless of how it was done.

  3. Van Rompuy is a mature, educated man in his sixties who has been able, at least for the moment, to create a greater sense of unity in a country which seemed doomed to collapse (though I suspect its place at the centre of the EU would make it *much* harder for Belgium to fall apart, on the same principle that the UK began to psychologically crumble as its empire died). Such a leader is precisely what we could do with in *this* country, as well as the more general principle of a society where politicians didn't have to be spiritual pop stars.

    The geriatric Stones/Zeppelin pseudo-rebel who edits the Guardian wouldn't understand any of the above, of course.

  4. Hi Robin
    Hope things are well with you. I have established a youtube channel, and have been connecting with some bloggers I know. Just wondered if you have an account there, as I'm sure you'd know some interesting stuff to look for?


  5. I'm feeling as good as I reasonably could.

    YouTube has been a *huge* part of my life, these past three years, though you might be slightly surprised at some of what I've watched on there. Where's your channel?

  6. oh, and on YT I am, quite simply, RobinCarmody

  7. Hi Robin
    This is my youtube page:

  8. Excellent. You will see I have made contact.