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parrot_knight [userpic]

Captain Peter!

October 23rd, 2008 (11:12 am)

Quote of the day, possibly:

"For all the frothing, homophobia-laced insinuations in certain papers, Mandy is like Captain Jack in Doctor Who. He cannot be killed for very long."

Matthew Norman, The Independent.

Comments

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 10:29 am (UTC)
couldn't possibly comment

*g*

Mind you, the comment thread is rather frightening - I thought it was just CiF which attracted the loonies, but evidently not. The coded anti-semite talking about the Illuminati and International Bankers destroying ordinary people is particularly unedifying.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)
UK_politics

I'd not looked at the comments - but a quick glance now reveals a 'Mandelsohn' which might be a mispelling but might be a jibe at his Anglicised surname. There is something of a xenophobic tradition of associating 'sinister' with 'foreign' in England, of course, and I've done it myself - a group of St John's MCRers I used to have lunch with in the Major years would laugh with me at 'Miguel Denzil Javier Portillo' - but there seem to be a good few antisemitic undercurrents around in the reaction to Matthew Norman's column.

As for CiF, I find the lunacy more concentrated at the Telegraph, where rows of readers regularly line up to lambast the socialist collective Britain they live in... where is this country, and can I move there?

Posted by: louisedennis (louisedennis)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)

I thought most of the amusement at Portillo's background derived from his (in the early 90s at any rate) hard line stance on immigration? or do I misremember.

Edited at 2008-10-23 11:09 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:16 am (UTC)

No, I think you're right.

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)

He did always seem to be trying to overcompensate for the fact that his father was a Socialist refugee... It was a bit unedifying, though he seems to have got a lot saner since.

Though I'm afraid I can't help finding the name 'Denzil' intrinsically and amusingly awful!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)

The other politician with the name was the long-serving Labour frontbencher, Denzil Davies.

Posted by: the cross compiler (crouchinglynx)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:14 am (UTC)
lucy

The BBC's "Have Your Say" often goes beyond the conspiracy nuts, through frothing stupidity and into moderator-baiting trolling. Some of its finer moments are archived at a domain that perfectly mirrors your next question:

where is this country, and can I move there?

http://ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com/

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)

A pity that some of the comments from the site's author seem to be in as low a frame of mind as the insane reactionary element, but they can be ignored at least.

Posted by: the cross compiler (crouchinglynx)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
cameron

The comments started off with vitriolic rebuttals ("how can you be so stupid that you don't realise [counterargument]"), but soon descended into point-and-laugh and parodies that are barely distinguishable from the real thing.
I see it all as a reminder not to take it in the least bit seriously - because if I consider that some of the opinions are genuine, it gets depressing.

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:48 am (UTC)

Mandelson offers two targets to the bigoted, being gay and Jewish; the homophobia gets discussed in the papers, but I can't recall anyone picking up on the supressed anti-semitism, though that might be because it mostly is at the undercurrent level, and thus hard to talk about.

I used to make jokes about Michael Howard being a vampire, but I found them a lot less funny once I realised he was Jewish.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC)

I had mixed feelings about the Daily Mirror's front page when Iain Duncan Smith was removed as leader of the Conservative Party - the strapline read something like 'Hallowe'en Horror as IDS ousted' with the headline 'Count Me In, says Howard', alongside a photograph of Michael Howard altered to make him appear like a vampire. 'Transylvanian' seemed occasionally to be code for Jewish.

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
couldn't possibly comment

Yes, the whole 'vampire' thing has odd undertones, and some of the cartoons seem to be using imagery recognisable from anti-Semitic propaganda.† I suppose it's possible that the cartoonists aren't conscious of what they're doing, but they damn well ought to think about it.

† The portrayal of Rasputin in that silly cartoon a few years ago seemed to me to draw on anti-Semitic imagery, too, though I think they were shooting for 'demonic'.

Posted by: Naraht (emily_shore)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
beatles-WWBD

Very true. More attention ought to be drawn to the sort of covert anti-semitic coding that goes on.

It's worth mentioning also that although Mandelson is a target of anti-semitism (because he has a Jewish father), he doesn't identify as Jewish himself. I believe that he is C of E, actually.

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)

t's worth mentioning also that although Mandelson is a target of anti-semitism (because he has a Jewish father), he doesn't identify as Jewish himself. I believe that he is C of E, actually

I didn't realise that; I had assumed that he was just thoroughly secularised (which just goes to show that you shouldn't make assumptions based on people's background). The only opinion even vaguely touching on matters religious that I can ever recall Mandelson expressing was that he has picked "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" as his favourite children's book, but this proves absolutely nothing....

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
UK_politics

I've had a quick look at the ODNB entry on Peter Mandelson's maternal grandfather, Herbert Morrison, and apart from playing the game of spot-the-parallels, looked for any clues to religious belief. His funeral seems to have been secular - a cremation followed by the scattering of his ashes on the Thames - but as a child he did go to a Church of England school, which doesn't say very much.

Posted by: Naraht (emily_shore)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
polt-Mandy

I was going by my memory of Peter Mandelson's response to Tam Dalyell's "Jewish cabal" remarks. I thought he said something along the lines of "actually I'm C of E," but I could be wrong about that. I can't seem to find any relevant articles.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)

I don't remember Dalyell's remarks, though I remember Mandelson emphasising that while he has great respect for his Jewish heritage, he isn't actually Jewish.

Posted by: Naraht (emily_shore)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
polt-Mandy

He certainly is thoroughly secularised, but he seems to identify as a secular Christian (his mother's side of the family rather than his father's). As I said to parrot_knight below, I can't find the source for him being C of E but that's what I remember reading at some point.

From a Guardian article:

Another strand of his identity that seems to have been almost airbrushed from the public Mandelson is his Jewish background. He's not technically Jewish - his mother was a gentile - but his father was. At least one person has pointed out to me the overlap between much of the negative imagery applied to Mandelson and some well-worn anti-semitic stereotypes. But Mandelson is having none of this. He doesn't really think of himself as Jewish, he says, except "when Israel is under attack or hard done by. Is that a bad thing to say? You see, I'm not Jewish, I wasn't brought up as Jewish, I was brought up in Christian assembly at school and in a church scout troop." But wasn't his father the advertising director of the Jewish Chronicle? "He wasn't very Jewish either. [He] never took me to a synagogue."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/sep/26/labour.interviews

And from the aforementioned Jewish Chronicle:

http://www.thejc.com/articles/how-jewish-peter-mandelson

Posted by: Naraht (emily_shore)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
dw-Where's Jack?

I laughed out loud! Fannish crossover!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 11:26 am (UTC)

Thought you'd appreciate this!

Posted by: Andy (alitalf)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)

I wonder if he is so Teflon-coated, despite being widely perceived as one of the less honest of a bunch you wouldn't buy a used car from, because he is in one sense an honest politician; one who stays bought?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
UK_politics

Is he bought, though? Surely he's always loaned out, because it's the better way to arrange contacts...

Posted by: brewsternorth (brewsternorth)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
when fandoms collide

I will say, it's a tribute to the combined talents of New Who that journalists now reach for Captain Jack and not James Bond when they want to compare someone who's a smooth specimen who's hard to kill... :)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 23rd, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
Hartnell words

Matthew Norman's son Louis was a huge fan in the early 2000s. It was Matthew Norman who first broke the news that Christopher Eccleston was a serious contender to play the Doctor, back in October 2003, though he reported it as a joke against both actor and show and no-one took it seriously...

...and reading the follow-up piece in March, it was indeed intended as a joke and Norman had made up the rumours, not knowing that Chris had already made the call...

Edited at 2008-10-23 05:25 pm (UTC)