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« Mr Useless, meet Mr Unelectable | Main | Hillary and Iran »

May 04, 2008

Comments

kim serca

Christ, what a pompous self-important tool you are

Oliver Kamm

But with a happy and fulfilled life, nonetheless.

simon

I'd be delighted to continue the discussion of David Lindsay and his imaginary friends, but unfortunately the earlier thread is now closed to new comments. Can it be reopened?

szeni

By the same logic should Abbe George Lemaitre have been sacked by Cambridge for being a Catholic priest?

Michael

I'm seeing a lot of posts comparing David Lindsay to Oswald Mosley, but I can think of an altogether more accurate (and benign) alter ego in the form of Billy Fisher, fictional protagonist of Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar - which exists across various media, including the original novel, the stage play and John Schlesinger's 1963 feature film.

Fisher is also a Northern working-class lad who devotes vast amount of time to fantasising about being the universally adored leader of his own imaginary country, Ambrosia - to which he retreats every time the horrors of the outside world become too much to cope with.

Tellingly, he has ambitions to become a comedy writer, a field in which Lindsay has also been showing a fair amount of promise.

Bob

David gives a hint of his electoral strategy in comments here:

"Our intended breakthrough is the European Election in June of next year, giving us a good year's worth of campaigning and fund-raising, during which we will be presenting ourselves in such a way that certain interests could not possibly fail to give us at least a very favourable ride, with certain related specialist media guaranteed to get out, within the context of an extremely low turnout generally, more than enough votes, not merely to save our deposits (there is no serious possibility of losing them), but to return at least one MEP per region, and quite possibly two in two or three of them."

I'll give him a piece of electoral strategy advice for free: he should use more full stops.

Also: he should have some supporters.

Michael

I'm impressed with his conviction that "there is no serious possibility of losing" his deposits.

The only possible way this can stand up to scrutiny is if he accidentally omitted "Because there's no serious possibility of actually raising the necessary funds in the first place" from the same parenthesis.

I mean, we're talking five thousand pounds per candidate. Where the hell is Lindsay going to get that kind of money from? Are candidates expected to fund themselves? And are they familiar with the sad story of Winston McKenzie, Robert Kilroy-Silk's underling in his own electoral vanity project, who was left owing thousands after he inexplicably failed to attract sufficient votes?

Indeed, what exactly are the differences between Veritas and the British People's Alliance? Aside from just one of them having a proper website, that is?

David Lindsay

Funnily enough, Michael, there is some discussion on my blog this very day of the strange Southern fantasy that everyone from the North is working-class, so that anyone who clearly isn't working-class cannot be from the North. That particular piece of weird insularity served the not remotely Southern Tony Blair very well indeed.

(I might add that it served William Hague very badly indeed; I don't think that he has worked out, to this day, why everyone in the South assumed that he must be dead common merely because he had a Yorkshire accent: where he comes from, impeccably upper-middle-class people like him have regional accents.)

Yes, Michael, sixty grand. We'll get every penny back. As always with you Euston/Jackson types, no idea at all of what Britain is like outside London, nor even of what London is like outside the areas inhabited by broadsheet columnists. You'd have thought that the revenge of the white working class this Thursday might have taught you the latter lesson, at least. But apparently not.

And there's more to life than the Internet, you know...

Michael

Actually, I'm not remotely a "Euston/Jackson type" and neither do I live in London. What was that about "strange fantasies"? (I don't have a trust fund either, for the record).

That said, if I've misrepresented your origins, I naturally apologise - I can't claim to read your blog that closely, and I just jumped to the not unreasonable conclusion that someone who devoted so much time purporting to speak for the working classes would probably be a member of them.

But this begs another question: if you're not working-class, on what authority do you claim the right to speak for them? And does the BPA have any authentically working-class members?

Also, sixty grand is the absolute minimum to allow you to put forward candidates - you'll need several hundred thousand more to mount an effective campaign. Where's the money going to come from? You've got less than a year to raise it (much less, in fact, since you'll have to start spending it months in advance of the election), and even a well-established and well-connected party would consider that a challenge.

More to the point, given your repeated claims, are you prepared to guarantee to your backers that you'll refund their contributions if your campaign is less successful than you're predicting? And if not, why not?

Also, if "there's more to life than the internet", then why do you spend such an inordinate amount of time both posting on your own blog and reading (and commenting on) others?

David Lindsay

My income derives from work as does that of all our people, but I'm not working-class in the usual cultural sense (although several of them are), and I have never claimed to be. Since not merely my blog but also this one has referred to the fact that I am, among other things, a tutor at Durham, then I hardly think that that should come as any surprise.

2.5% of the votes cast (not the eligible vote, but the votes cast) per region is in the bag. As will become clear nearer the time, we are offering - on principle, I might add - several giant vote-delivering machines the deal of their dreams. We come out of those machines, and (unlike some), we haven't forgotten that fact.

Michael

Since not merely my blog but also this one has referred to the fact that I am, among other things, a tutor at Durham, then I hardly think that that should come as any surprise.

Unlike some, I don't jump to instant conclusions about the class origins of Durham tutors, so I'm not sure what that's meant to prove.

2.5% of the votes cast (not the eligible vote, but the votes cast) per region is in the bag.

I do hate to be a Cassandra and all that, but I imagine both UKIP and Robert Kilroy-Silk were similarly confident when they set out on their own electoral adventures a few years back. Veritas fielded 65 candidates, of which just one - Kilroy himself - retained his deposit. And their platforms weren't a million miles removed from the one you seem to be mounting.

So why should these "giant vote-delivering machines" perform for you and not them?

Oliver Kamm

From my recollection of the marvellous writings of Keith Waterhouse, there is a mental state known as No 1 thinking. This is where the protagonist has imaginary conversations with Bertrand Russell, before becoming President of Ambrosia. I don't know why this sticks in my mind.

simon

The key to understanding David is to realise that, underneath the socialist rhetoric, he is actually a High Tory of a very traditional kind.

David is fervently royalist and unionist, he is viscerally anti-EU and anti-immigration. He is an admirer of Enoch Powell, with whom he seems to agree on pretty much everything bar the racism. He is a traditionalist Catholic, with predictable views on abortion, contraception, etc etc. And like a lot of old-fashioned Tories, he has a weakness for thugs and tyrants like the late Slobodan Milosevic.

It was said of Harold Nicolson that the only party in which he could have been truly comfortable (the Liberal Party) was the only party of which he was never a member. I think the same could be said of David, whose spiritual home is really the Conservative Party circa 1960.

David Lindsay

Michael, UKIP (then including Robert Kilroy-Silk) did save all of their deposits last time round, and indeed returned 12 MEPs from nowhere. They'll be lucky to contest every region this time, though. And I'd be surprised if Kilroy bothered to stand again. In answer to a previous question, we differ from Veritas in having no connection wahtever to Robert Kilroy-Silk. And that's how we are going to stay.

Add together the votes last time for UKIP and for the Tories in any of the three Northern regions, or in either of the Midland regions, or in the South-West. You get a very improbably high figure if that is supposed to be the natural Tory vote. Half of last time's UKIP voters came from Labour in the North and the Midlands, and from the Lib Dems in the South-West. Those votes, just for a start, are now ours for the taking.

How many people do you think are going to vote in this election? While everyone else is watching EastEnders, and a very high proportion has no idea that an election is going on, trade unionists and farmers, Catholics and Evangelicals, Afro-Caribbeans and Greek Cypriots, Chinese and Dalits, Gibraltarians and ultra-Orthodox Jewish anti-Zionists, the English-speaking Welsh and the Englsih-speaking (because Norse, not Gaelic) northernmost Scots, plus a dozen other categories besides, will be out voting for us, because we will have given them a reason to vote at all.

simon

A few questions for you, David.

1. You mention in your comment above that you are 'among other things' a tutor at Durham. Just what are those 'other things'? What exactly is your current job? Please don't be coy; you owe it to your thousands of potential supporters to reveal some more information about yourself. And some of us are curious to know what sort of job allows you so much time to post on your personal blog (and to post here at 2 am on a weekday morning, judging by the time-stamp on your latest comment).

2. You also refer, in your comment above, to 'our people'. It would be interesting to know more about these shadowy 'people', who you seem strangely reluctant to identify by name. Surely, by this time, you must be in a position to publish the names of at least one or two of your prospective candidates? Won't you tell us who they are? How about your friends Martin Miller and Clive Staples, who have made so many supportive comments on your blog? They must be among your leading supporters: are they on your campaign team, or on your list of candidates?

3. You have previously said that Neil Clark will be standing as the British People's Alliance candidate for Wantage. Can you confirm that this is still the case? It seems odd that Neil is not more keen to advertise his connection with you and your party.

4. As several people have already pointed out, your campaign will require serious amounts of money. Let's leave aside, for the moment, the question of where the money is coming from. What exactly is your system for receiving donations? If I were a potential donor wishing to give money to the BPA, how would I go about it? Who would my cheque be made out to? - to you personally, or to the BPA?

5. Finally, David, you have repeatedly accused Oliver of conducting a campaign of criminal harassment against you. You eventually admitted that this supposed campaign amounted to nothing more than 'reprinting [your] comments on various blogs'. Would you like to take this opportunity to withdraw your earlier accusations? Much as you may dislike Oliver, you are not entitled to make unsubstantiated accusations of criminal behaviour. I think you owe him an apology.

I look forward to your response.

Michael

5. Finally, David, you have repeatedly accused Oliver of conducting a campaign of criminal harassment against you. You eventually admitted that this supposed campaign amounted to nothing more than 'reprinting [your] comments on various blogs'.

It should also be added that at no point has Lindsay produced even the tiniest smidgen of evidence to suggest that Oliver has had anything to do with these posts. One would have thought that if such evidence existed, it would be trumpeted from the rooftops, or at least brought up endlessly on Lindsay's blog.

On the other hand, Oliver doesn't seem the least bit rattled by these allegations, largely because they're so patently ludicrous that they reveal far more about Lindsay's peculiar mindset than anything else.

Speaking of which:

Half of last time's UKIP voters came from Labour in the North and the Midlands, and from the Lib Dems in the South-West. Those votes, just for a start, are now ours for the taking.

I wasn't aware that UKIP had thrown in the towel, and no such hint is given by their website, which was last updated on Friday. Perhaps instead of "taking" you meant to write "splitting"?

trade unionists and farmers, Catholics and Evangelicals, Afro-Caribbeans and Greek Cypriots, Chinese and Dalits, Gibraltarians and ultra-Orthodox Jewish anti-Zionists, the English-speaking Welsh and the Englsih-speaking (because Norse, not Gaelic) northernmost Scots, plus a dozen other categories besides, will be out voting for us

In which case, you'll have no trouble coming up with a representative of one or two of these groups who's prepared to speak out in favour of the BPA. I mean, if they're going to vote for you en masse in less than a year's time, I assume you've already been taking part in intensive discussions with various community leaders in order to get your message across.

Because if you haven't, this claim looks like vainglorious boasting laced with a liberal dose of wild fantasy, and it can't possibly be that... can it?

David Lindsay

"I wasn't aware that UKIP had thrown in the towel"

There's time enough between now and next June.

Honestly, they're finished. Their London Mayoral candidate took fewer than one third as many votes as the BNP one, to whom they lost their GLA list seat. And it's not "splitting" to give back left-wing voters an option other than a party of the Right.

"In which case, you'll have no trouble coming up with a representative of one or two of these groups who's prepared to speak out in favour of the BPA."

Well, several of them don't quite work like that. But they and you will see the deal on offer at the same time. And they, at least, will get the message...

Oliver Kamm

Mr Lindsay, you've taken to posting extensive comments on my site. Some of these have been highly abusive; none has been solicited; all have been published without amendment or alteration. I do think it's reasonable to expect you to respond to the questions that have been put to you in return if you're going to continue with this.

simon

What an enlightening thread this has been. David's contempt for the lumpenproletariat who sit around 'watching EastEnders .. [with] no idea that an election is going on' .. his belief that elections are won by making private deals with 'giant vote-delivering machines' (is that even legal?) .. and last but not least, his failure to answer any questions about the organisation and membership of his new party. Readers will be able to draw their own conclusions.

What can one say? Perhaps it's kindest to say nothing, and just tiptoe quietly away, leaving David to indulge his fantasies of political glory. 'Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams.'

Michael

and last but not least, his failure to answer any questions about the organisation and membership of his new party.

REPEATED failure, that should read, as he's been dodging such questions for months.

Which is very odd, as one would have thought it would very much be in his interests to want to demonstrate as soon as possible that the BPA was a proper party, silencing the siren voices of cynical doubters. And yet, several months after his first public announcement, we're no nearer to independent proof of its existence than we were back then.

I suppose a hardcore Catholic might not regard this as being especially unusual, but it's a risky strategy to pursue when seeking election in an overwhelmingly secular environment.

And for all Lindsay's conviction that very mild criticism and mockery amounts to "criminal harassment", this isn't actually a principle that's currently enshrined in British law, however much he might wish otherwise.

In fact, for all Lindsay's pretensions to head a British People's Alliance, there's something extremely un-British about his overweening and humourless arrogance laced with wildly misplaced narcissism. On the other hand, seeking to deflate this via merciless mockery at every opportunity is an absolutely characteristic British trait, and one that I'm proud to share.

Anon

On the other hand, seeking to deflate this via merciless mockery at every opportunity is an absolutely characteristic British trait, and one that I'm proud to share.

Indeed, Michael. I think that's what most of the commenters at his blog are doing, most of the time. He tends not to notice.

I often suspect it's about two or three commenters, posting under a range of different names. It certainly was on this comments thread, in which David utterly failed to notice that almost all the comments are taking the piss, and that most of them (especially, most blatantly, from 5.08pm to 5.12pm) were patently from the same person.

(Me, as it happens.)

Michael

I really don't have time for this, but God that was funny. I honestly don't think there was a single person in that thread who wasn't blatantly taking the piss.

Apart from Lindsay, of course, who has a hugely profitable career ahead of him as the world's greatest straight man if he keeps this up - he makes Margaret Dumont look like Graham Norton when it comes to po-faced lack of self-awareness.

I particularly enjoyed him wailing about "I have had to delete several comments, one because it was viciously defamatory (and will be pursued further)". Was it pursued further? And how "viciously defamatory" do we really think it was, given that he thinks even so much as mentioning M*rt*n M*ll*r constitutes "criminal harassment"?

David Lindsay

We won't be releasing the candidates' list until it is complete. And I watch EastEnders myself, I'll have you know. Although I don't know why I still bother. Corrie is miles better these days.

I'll leave aside the froth, for which the only "evidence" comes from those who lied this country into war. A source simply cannot be any more unreliable than that.

Simon, if you have any evidence against Slobodan Milosevic, then you might consider directing it to the International Criminal Court, which never found any, but which has since acquitted Serbia of waging war against Bosnia-Herzegovina. I hope that you are delighted to see not one but two neo-Nazi Wahhabi states (plus a neo-Fascist state as well, at least until very recently) where once was Yugoslavia. The newer one is also a major centre of heroin-trafficking and people-trafficking. You must be very proud.

Anyway, Simon, your lot have not yet criminalised links to wider civil society, no. (Give them time, I suppose.) You just happen not to have any. Enough of such links, especially if they are to the seriously disgruntled and otherwise disenfranchised, and one need hardly campaign at all for elections in which next to nobody in general is going to vote...

But I don't know where you got the idea that Labour was always anti-monarchist, Eurofederalist, socially libertine (which necessitates being economically libertine), in favour of unrestricted immigration, and bent on breaking up the United Kingdom. It is now, of course. But so are the Tories.

Whereas we are the party of the Attlee Government's refusal to join the European Coal and Steel Community on the grounds that it was "the blueprint for a federal state". Of Gaitskell's rejection of European federalism as "the end of a thousand years of history" and liable to destroy the Commonwealth.

The party of the trade unionists and Labour activists who in the early twentieth century peremptorily dismissed an attempt to make the Labour Party anti-monarchist (as it now is), and resisted schemes to abort, contracept and sterilise the working class out of existence (as is now very well under way).

The party of Bevan's ridicule of the first parliamentary Welsh Day on the grounds that "Welsh coal is the same as English coal and Welsh sheep are the same as English sheep". Of those Labour MPs who in the 1970s successfully opposed Scottish and Welsh devolution not least because of the ruinous effects that it would have had (and is now having) on the North of England. And of those Labour activists in the Highlands, Islands and Borders, and in North, Mid and West Wales, who accurately predicted that their areas would be balefully neglected under devolution.

The party of the Attlee Government's first ever acceptance of the principle of consent in relation to Northern Ireland, of the Wilson Government's deployment of British troops in order to defend the grateful Catholics there precisely as British subjects, and of the Callaghan Government's administration of Northern Ireland exactly as if it were any other part of the United Kingdom.

The party of the Catholic and other Labour MPs who fought tooth and nail against abortion and easier divorce, of the Methodist and other Labour MPs who fought tooth and nail against deregulated drinking and gambling, and of those in the Labour Movement who defeated Thatcher's and Major's attempts to destroy the special character of Sunday and of Christmas Day.

The party of Attlee's dissuasion of Truman from dropping an atom bomb on Korea, of Wilson's refusal to send British forces to Vietnam, and of his use of military force in order to safeguard the right of the people of Anguilla to be British.

And so on.

That party gave the United Kingdom the universal and comprehensive Welfare State (including, for example, farm subsidies), and the strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former paid for by progressive taxation, the whole underwritten by full employment, and all those good things delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government.

And it did so precisely because it believed in national self-government, the only basis for international co-operation, and including the United Kingdom as greater than the sum of its parts. In local variation, historical consciousness, and family life. In the whole Biblical and Classical patrimony of the West. In agriculture, manufacturing, and small business. In close-knit communities, law and order, and civil liberties. In academic standards, and in all forms of art. In mass political participation within a constitutional framework. And in the absolute sanctity of each individual human life from the point of fertilisation to the point of natural death.

All these are corroded to nought by the "free" market, both directly and because it drives its despairing victims by the million into the arms of Jacobinism, Marxism, anarchism and Fascism, all four of which feed into neoconservatism.

Did you know any of this, Simon? Apparently not. So you'll go far in New Labour/Blue Labour. As you are probably already doing.

Meanwhile, turnout in our traditional strongholds was in some cases as low as one in three at the 2005 General Election. And look at last week's elections. The votes are there to be had, if we can get onto the ballot paper and secure even a small amount of publicity, although we're on course for rather more than that in certain specialist media read by people who wouldn't otherwise bother voting, but who will certainly vote for us if they know that we are there. Which they will.

Of course, to name but a few, the unions, the farmers, the Evangelical churches and the Catholic Church might not like the look of a political movement which publicly offers them (you'll all see the details exactly when they do) the most influence that they have enjoyed since, respectively, the Seventies, the Fifties (if not the War), the end of the First World War, and the Reformation. But somehow, I think that they will all like the look of it very much indeed. And out the voters will come accordingly, while most people simply don't bother.

So the tyrannical hegemony of your own Postmodern meterosexual warmongery is about to brought to a spectacular end. Enjoy your last year with nothing more to worry about than your old Stalinist or Trotskyist comrades, and the Islamists to whom you are allied in much of the world (including the former Yugoslavia). Those days will very soon be over.

Michael

See what I mean? This is pure comedy gold, and I for one hope Lindsay goes as far as his fundraising abilities will take him. Normally, the straight man is pretty useless on his own (look at the sad twilight of Ernie Wise), but Lindsay is proving to be a magnificent exception.

And can I assume from this that anyone who comments on this site (with the obvious exception of DL, who is sui generis) is now to be regarded as a "postmodern sexual warmonger"? And does such a claim constitute an act of criminal harassment?

Oliver Kamm

I blunder in, where others - knowing the harsh legal consequences that might follow - are more wary.

I don't have the expert knowledge of Mr Lindsay's writings that others here do, but I believe I was the first to spot one imaginative job application he sent in. When Melanie Phillips transferred her blog to The Spectator, Mr Lindsay posted an enthusiastic comment in support of her views on social issues. (I'm largely in disagreement with Melanie on these same issues, but this is off the point.) This was posted on 22 October at 2.11pm.

On 23 October, at 10.57am, Martin Miller entered the discussion. He posted a long, long comment directly addressed to the editor of The Spectator:

"You should give David Lindsay a go, actually. Just look at his blog. "Pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war". He is an "economically social-democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriot". Branded by others "the statist, syndicalist, nationalist and theoconservative voice of the provinces" and "the prophet, apostle and high priest of paleo-Labour" (defined as "Old Labour means to High Tory ends"). Only on the first page, he is currently saying the most interesting things about the need for a new party etc etc ..."

And so it went on. This couldn't go unremarked upon for long. The next comment was from the master himself, in his own name. It began:

"Gosh! I really am touched. And I really am available for work, come to that. Out here in the "provinces", where General Elections are won and lost, you'll find that mine are mainstream opinions: "statist, syndicalist, nationalist and theoconservative", if you will. But was Martin Miller too frightened to mention my criticisms of Hillary Clinton and of the perceived power of Rupert Murdoch? Or just too frightened to mention my criticisms of Oliver Kamm and Iain Dale, so much mightier as we all know that they are? Etc. etc. etc."

Given that Martin Miller's comments were posted from the same computer as David Lindsay's, we can reasonably speculate that Miller was exactly as frightened or unfrightened of me as Lindsay was.

As Mr Lindsay is reading this, though not answering the reasonable questions put to him, I should point out that Jeremy Paxman is bound to raise this issue in his interviews with the party leaders at the general election. I once played a very small part in an election campaign where misconduct on the part of a serving politician was a live issue. But the politician concerned had never faked a job application by inventing fictitious references, as Mr Lindsay has done. The British People's Alliance faces a difficult election campaign.

If I am wrong, let him sue me.

Michael

Apologies - I meant to quote "postmodern meterosexual warmonger".

Not that it matters, as Lindsay's flailing invective fell well short of its target, as usual.

Seriously, if my wife knew that someone had called me 'metrosexual' - a term that specifically means "a heterosexual male who either takes an inordinate pride in his appearance, or who displays other characteristics more stereotypically noted amongst gay men", she'd laugh like the proverbial drain.

simon

You're taking a grave risk, Oliver. Don't forget that David has many powerful and influential friends in the media, who won't lightly forgive these vile aspersions on his integrity.

(Incidentally, David, I'd be interested to know how you reconcile your claim that 'Oliver Kamm is a nobody' with your claim that 'Oliver Kamm is a very powerful man'. Surely these statements can't both be right?)

Since Oliver has mentioned David's contributions to the Spectator website, it may be worth pointing out that David's search for political soulmates has led him in even stranger directions. He regularly posts comments on Taki's Magazine ('the online magazine for independent conservatives'), a far-right website which includes Justin Raimondo on its rollcall of contributors. (David has described Taki's Magazine as 'a reliable source generally'.)

David's flirtation with the American far right explains his surprising decision to endorse Ron Paul's candidacy -- an endorsement that was considered so dangerous by MI5 that it led to David's blog being blocked by computers in government departments.

Michael

Don't forget that David has many powerful and influential friends in the media, who won't lightly forgive these vile aspersions on his integrity.

This is absolutely true. Why, it is a matter of record that "The Spectator publishes stuff by [Lindsay] practically every day (and frequently several times per day)".

You'll also notice Lindsay's magnificent disdain for those naysayers who point out that there's a smidgen of difference between posting comments on the magazine's blogs several times a day, and actually writing commissioned articles for the print version.

But in the most literal sense of the term "published", he's right, as there is demonstrably a great deal of Lindsay's writing currently being hosted by a website owned by The Spectator's publishers. In other words, whether they intended to or not, they do indeed publish Lindsay's writing. The fact that this argument makes him look like a complete tool is neither here nor there.

David Lindsay

Gosh, this thread is still going on.

Postmodern meterosexual warmongers, Michael. Or, as I should have written, Postmodern, hypercapitalist, meterosexual warmongers. Of whom there are not very many in the country at large. Honestly, there aren't. It's just that you happen not to know anybody else.

"To name but a few, the unions, the farmers, the Evangelical churches and the Catholic Church" are completely impervious to influences such as you and yours have come to assume determine elections, and such as have in fact been permitted to do so.

And they are very much more numerous out here in Britain (you should come here occasionally, although you don't appear to speak the language) than are Postmodern, hypercapitalist, meterosexual warmongers. We have almost none of those, really.

Even here in the North East, where we will need one third of the votes cast (and where there are an awful lot of trade unionists, farmers, Evangelicals and Catholics, "to name but a few"), the fact that the Tories have one seat indicates that their vote held up last time, with the vote both for UKIP and for Neil Herron (confined almost entirely to Sunderland and its environs, but enough to give the third seat to a Lib Dem rather than a UKIPite) coming pretty much entirely from traditional Labour supporters.

That's traditional Labour supporters, to whom the Nick Cohen/Harry's Place encyclopaedic knowledge of British Marxism has no connection whatever. Was it Chesterton who said that some things are too big to see? Too big to be seen by the likes of Nick Cohen and Harry's Place, certainly.

UKIP is falling apart, and is in any case now recognised as a thoroughly right-wing party in the Thatcherite sense. Neil Herron has won his fight over metrication, so he is unlikely to stand again. And if we can get someone in here, where we need a third of the votes cast, then we can get someone in anywhere, with a reasonable hope of two seats in larger areas which also have high numbers of trade unionists, farmers, Evangelicals and Catholics, "to name but a few". You might not know where those places are. But we do.

Honestly, you really should visit Britain. You'd learn a very great deal.

Michael

I imagine readers of this thread are inordinately grateful to David for his eager willingness to demonstrate the truth behind every single point made about him in this thread, and not just for the entertainment value.

David, it may surprise you to hear that Newcastle-upon-Tyne is practically a home from home for me, and certainly one of the three British cities that I know best - in fact, I've been staying there regularly since you were in nappies, if not before.

You, of course, didn't know this until now because you didn't bother to ask me before trying to cram me into this singularly ill-fitting pigeonhole. Just as I suspect your assumptions about your voters are likely to come a cropper when confronted with the reality, though it's rather sweet to see you so clearly believing that all it will take are a few honeyed words from you before they drop to their knees and shuffle en bloc into the nearest polling station, pathetically grateful for the opportunity to put a cross against your name.

What's far more likely, if they've got the kind of common sense that Northerners are renowned for possessing, is that they'll start asking searching questions of a kind that you have persistently refused to answer ever since you first announced your (second person singular) vanity project. And I suspect they'll be as unimpressed by your evasions and circumlocutions as the rest of us are - and write you off as just another politician.

So much for an alternative voice.

Oliver Kamm

Mr Lindsay, the phrase "too large to see" comes from chapter 5 of The Man Who Was Thursday; but I think all of us taking part in this discussion can agree that whatever else may be said about the British People's Alliance, this is not one of its characteristics. I note that in reply to a question on your blog about your party's candidates, members and funds, you have given the information: "Mind your own business."

Let me press you on this. You have posted extensively on this site, not by invitation, and I'm genuinely interested to have further information on the points you raise. In particular, I'd like to know if Mr Neil Clark is still your candidate in Wantage, and why he is so diffident about confirming it. I'd also like to know why the only identified supporter of the BPA apart from you is someone you made up called Martin Miller, and from whom you faked a reference on your behalf. (As, in one of the links posted in this thread, you refer to this observation as a libel, you might wish to gain advice from Mr Clark on how to go about pursuing a claim against me.)

Michael

Without in any way seeking to influence the campaign strategy of the British People's Alliance, might I suggest that curt "mind your own business" replies to reasonable (indeed, highly pertinent) questions are unlikely to translate into much active support or sympathetic coverage?

Especially since the size of its membership and the level of the party's funding most certainly does matter. I'm an archetypal floating voter with no party loyalty whatsoever, and have by no means restricted my support over the years to the three mainstream parties – but I do want to make sure that whichever party I vote for has the talent, organisational infrastructure and backing to be able to deliver on its promises. If said party appears (there being no evidence to suggest otherwise) to consist of a lone nutter with a blog and a truly enviable amount of spare time, my decision is likely to be quite dismissive.

What this boils down to is: given that he announced its existence several months ago and has been plugging it away in numerous forums ever since, can David Lindsay prove that the British People's Alliance is a serious political organisation and not a vanity project? Indeed, can he even demonstrate that his repeated use of the first person plural (often as a link) isn't simply a quirky affectation, possibly in homage to the royal family?

I do hate to jump to over-hasty conclusions, but I've seen nothing - literally nothing - to suggest that the answer is anything other than "no".

Anon

The "David Lindsay is the victim of criminal harassment by Oliver Kamm" allegation is tested in some detail in the comments on this post. I think that by the end of the thread, the validity or otherwise of the allegation is absolutely clear.

simon

'Gosh' yes, David, this thread is still going on, as we struggle with the eternal question: David Lindsay, deluded or dishonest? At the moment my money is still on 'deluded', but when I consider the amount of effort you must put into keeping your fantasy world going, I do begin to wonder.

I'm still waiting for an answer to the five questions I asked you earlier:

1. What is your day job?
2. Can you name any of your party's candidates?
3. Is Neil Clark still your candidate for Wantage?
4. What is the mechanism for making donations to the BPA?
5. Will you withdraw your allegation that Oliver is conducting a campaign of criminal harassment against you?

But for simplicity's sake I'll boil all these questions down to one. Can you produce ANY evidence that the British People's Alliance has any members other than yourself?

Frit?

Michael

Once again, Simon, I am in your debt - what an extraordinary exchange.

And Brian Golbourne deserves even more credit for doggedly asking the same questions in the manner of a Brian Walden or Jeremy Paxman, until Lindsay's termination of the discussion becomes a more than eloquent response in itself.

Interested parties may find CPS's explanation of the provisions of the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act here, and some useful layman's commentary here.

Now, I can't stress enough that I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Lindsay is broadly correct to claim in that certain individuals have been following him around various blogs and other sites with the primary aim of making mock.

However, it seems to me that to bring a successful prosecution under the Act, he has to demonstrate that this piss-taking caused "alarm and distress". I would respectfully suggest that if this is indeed his reaction to satirical leg-pulling many, many times milder than appears routinely in the pages of Private Eye (and indeed in most school playgrounds), that Lindsay rethink his ambitions to stand for public office.

The Act also provides a defence, namely "that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable." I would respectfully suggest that the extent of Lindsay's pomposity, egomania and vaingloriousness positively demands a certain amount of balloon-pricking. It is also well worth noting that in these exchanges Lindsay is the only one that I have spotted making actual threats.

The other issue, of course, is that Lindsay has repeatedly accused Oliver Kamm of "criminal harassment", but despite being pressed for evidence on a great many occasions he has failed to provide any. Lindsay is treading on very thin ice here, because publishing false accusations of criminal behaviour is clearly libellous by any definition of the term - especially if the accused is a public figure (which as a published author and regular columnist and panellist across several high-profile media outlets, I think we can agree Oliver Kamm is).

Given that Oliver has frequently stated that he's a near-absolutist on the subject of free speech, I very much doubt that a libel action will be forthcoming from that quarter - and in any case, for such an action to be worthwhile, he would have to believe that a significant number of people were convinced enough by Lindsay's allegations to put his public reputation at risk. But it does seem very odd that someone who is so extraordinarily touchy about perceived slights to himself should be so reckless when it comes to indiscriminate spraying of unproven accusations about others.

In all fairness, I should point out that I have also seen no evidence to support the charge that David Lindsay and Martin Miller use the same computer. However, such evidence undoubtedly is in the possession of the webmasters of both Harry's Place and the various Spectator blogs, and can presumably be produced on demand. As for the allegation that Martin Miller is merely a pseudonym for Lindsay himself, I would like to draw your attention to Mr Miller's comments in this thread, where you will observe that his clearly sky-high regard for Lindsay's prose has led him to attempt a stylistic homage so flawless that it's impossible to distinguish it from the real thing.

In fact, I shall offer a specific example: on October 26, 2007 at 11:20 AM, Mr Miller made the following observation:

Which of your highlighted bits is beyond the pale? They weren't in the days when Labour won elections on huge turnouts and in the teeth of proper opposition. And they're not in the ex-Labour, largely non-voting parts of the country today. Of course, no one on here has ever been out of Notting Hill and such parts of London except to attend Oxbridge.

Put it like this, if Martin Miller isn't David Lindsay, he's got an extremely lucrative sideline ahead of him when Lindsay sweeps to power, as the producers of Dead Ringers and Headcases will be beating a path to his door for his note-perfect take-offs.

simon

Meanwhile, over at David's blog, David's friends are crowding round to congratulate him on his crushing victory in this thread:

jack said ..
Kamm has closed the comments, You've wiped the floor with them. They cannot cope, they do not know how to start to cope, with the fact that politics or anything else is not just them. You have confronted them with that fact.
"Postmodern, hypercapitalist, meterosexual warmongers" who don't know anyone that isn't. Priceless. And spot on.

(I note, in passing, that 'jack' seems to have inherited Martin Miller's uncanny ability to imitate the Master's prose style.)

In response to my earlier question, David has announced that 'several' of his prospective candidates are prepared to stand up and be counted as members of the British People's Alliance. However, David has told them that 'there isn't any point in doing so at this stage', so for the time being our curiosity must, alas, remain unsatisfied.

Gary

Interesting. Lindsay is now claiming to have had a 'devastating riposte' deleted from this thread by OK. ( http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.com/2008/05/new-labour-is-dead.html )

A commentator on the thread - 'Jack' - also seems to believe that the thread has been closed. My continued contribution seems to indicate otherwise. 'Jack' also seems to beleive that in this thread Lindsay 'wiped the floor' with Michael and Simon, and that 'Postmodern, hypercapitalist, metrosexual warmongers' is an apt and accurate phrase.

I wonder what Jack's IP address is ...

Gary

Ah. Simon's made the same point, and much better than I could have. Rereading what I wrote, I appalled by the number of "seems to"s I included. Terrible style. I should seek Lindsay's counsel immediately. Perhaps I could pick up some lessons in rhetoric.

Michael

Jack seems sublimely unaware that thanks to a bug in Typepad, it's actually not possible to delete a comment from a live thread if they're not pre-moderated.

I spotted this a few days ago when Oliver nominally deleted a comment by a fire-and-brimstone Bible-spouting nutter (not Lindsay, for once), though the original comment still appeared once you clicked "reply" and sought to add a comment yourself.

So I conclude from this that he and Lindsay simply haven't spotted that comments threads go onto a second page if they're sufficiently lengthy.

However, I'm intrigued as to how Jack knew about this "devastating riposte". He can't have seen it published and then removed, because we know (and I mean know, not assume) that that didn't happen. But because Jack believes that it's no longer there, that means he couldn't have known about the second comments page either.

Which means that either Lindsay sent him a sneak preview of this "devastating riposte" prior to posting it, or...

...no, it can't be that. Surely Lindsay isn't reaching for the sock-puppets again after all the ridicule he suffered last time? It must be the first explanation!

Oliver Kamm

The riches that my readers uncover for me are beyond anything I might have expected. Here are my observations in brief.

1. It is indeed a remarkable coincidence that David Lindsay and Jack make the identical error in not realising that this comments thread is still open. It's also a remarkable coincidence that they have identical rhetorical styles.

2. Nothing posted to this blog by Lindsay has been altered in any way, let alone deleted. Everything he's posted is here, in full. The reason there are no answers to the questions put to him is that for some reason he preferred not to provide any.

3. I'm naturally horrified that Mr Lindsay has been subject to the nasty crime of harassment ("criminal harassment" is a tautology, under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997) - except that he hasn't been. So far as I understand it, he has merely been the subject of unflattering comments on other blogs linking him to Martin Miller. I've made that point myself, but always here (or on Harry's Place) and of course in my own name, because it's true. Lindsay faked his party's supporters and his own job references. (I have the IP addresses of both Lindsay and Miller. Or rather, I have the IP address, singular, of these gentlemen.) The defence of justification (i.e. demonstrable truth) is complete and obvious.

4. I infer from the ineptitude of his phrasing that Lindsay has just repeated the accusations of Neil Clark, who is, ahem, not the world's leading authority on the law as it relates to reputation. There is a neat symmetry, however, in that Lindsay is a fraud and his intellectual mentor Mr Clark is also a fraud. But Clark's offence is the more serious, as his self-promoting fakery has been perpetrated on a national newspaper and not only on his own website. For a more serious writer than Mr Clark, it would be a career destroyer to have been exposed for lying to one newspaper in order to try to cover up misrepresentation of source material to another.

5. Lindsay is entirely immune from any possibility of legal action on my part. He should not take that as an acknowledgement of the truth of his charge that I'm on the way to a long prison sentence; it is merely a realistic assessment of how much my time and money is worth. (For the same reason, I never issued Mr Clark with a claim for my costs after his magnificently dunderheaded abuse of the legal process.)

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