RCP/LM watch

Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts

The 2-minute hate: get Monbiot!

An insight into the methods and nature of the RCP/LM can be had from the 2-minute hate which Spiked Online has prominently on its home page. Labelled as a “competition” and entitled “Why oh why does monbiot hate spiked?“, it invites Spiked adherents to email in their suggestions as to why George Monbiot has it in for the RCP/LM – sorry, Spiked – following his latest Guardian piece putting the boot into the RCP [1]. The published responses are illuminating. The biggest name in the responses is James Heartfield, one of the RCP/LM’s inner circle and Frank Furedi’s second-in-command, who writes a slur on Monbiot as an aristocratic fop. Other contributions include the usual RCP/LM themes, in particular that Greenery is “anti-human” and critics of the “cult” are practicing “McCarthyism”, and plainly many of the most vitriolic messages are written by new adherents, perhaps to prove their worth and zeal.

That the organisation feels it necessary to run a public and highly personal pillory of Monbiot is encouraging in that it shows that he must really be getting under their skin. When just about everyone else in the media has forgotten about LM and the RCP, he keeps on digging into its activities and publishing details in the Guardian and elsewhere, and plainly he’s becoming quite an irritant to an organisation that wishes to remain hidden behind its many ostensibly-independent front organisations. It is also, though, both ludicrous and sinister, and is reminiscent of the tactics of far-Right sects (and some Trotskyite sects in the day) who published the addresses of enemies and invited followers to ‘make their feelings known’. It wouldn’t be going too far to describe the tactic as stalinist. This is not the behaviour of a ‘responsible’ public organisation, but then Spiked was created to be the pit bull of the RCP/LM, with the Institute of Ideas its ‘respectable’ intellectual front.

Still, maybe Monbiot should count himself lucky that the RCP/LM is now ‘legit’ and has to behave itself within the law. In the old days, the RCP had a deserved reputation for streetfighting and ‘sorting out’ its enemies and critics, and even in the days of the “LM Project” its Usenet militants (particularly Gary Dale and Justin Flude) would use pretty ferocious tactics and language, and on occasion were reported to have threatened critics on the phone.

Of course, RCP Watch submitted its own email to the ‘discussion’ rather at variance to the tone of the other contributions, but naturally that’s disappeared into the ‘memory hole’. For all their championing of “freedom”, the RCP have always been very wary of free speech, particularly when it’s critical.

[1] Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the Guardian, 13/1/09. Published on monbiot.com.

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January 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. Although I am sympathetic to the aims of this blog and have written a number of critiques of this current since running into James Heartfield on a Marxism mailing list over a decade ago, I do have some trouble with Monbiot’s making a scandal of their positions on Yugoslavia. In point of fact, this is one of their only merits–having the guts to go against the kind of liberal warmongering found in the Guardian in the 90’s. On ecology, Monbiot cannot be faulted, of course.

    Comment by louisproyect | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  2. For someone who is claiming to expose a grand conspiracy and nefarious cultism, it’s rather sad that you choose to hide behind your anonymity. At least Louis Proyect owns his screeds against the ex-RCP by publishing them under his name on his public blog. Don’t be such a coward. If you have anything worth saying, put your name to it.

    Comment by RCP Watch Watch | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  3. Good idea to shine a light on this group of odious, dissembling ideologues.

    I used to fire off the occasional email to Spiked in response to some of their more mendacious pieces, but gave up when it became obvious that anything they saw as overly critical of ‘Dear Leader’ Furedi (who continues to set an agenda that is slavishly followed by the faithful cadres) was summarily excised. Well, even ‘iconoclastic’ champions of free speech have to draw the line somewhere, you know…

    So it was with little hope of it ever seeing the light of day that I contributed the following missive to their recent Monbiot hate-fest:

    “I hate to rain on this parade of self-congratulation and ritualised abuse, but it reminds me of nothing so much as the ‘Two Minutes’ Hate’ in Orwell’s 1984, in which the Party faithful are whipped into a frenzy of loathing for enemy of the people Emmanuel Goldstein. If a further reason for Monbiot’s dislike of Spiked is needed (other than those he has outlined coolly and rationally in articles such as ‘Invasion of the Entryists’) then it seems to me that this display provides a pretty good one.”

    Needless to say, this contribution was not considered suitable fare for Spiked readers.

    Comment by Tom Scott | February 10, 2009 | Reply

  4. Just bizarre. The insufferable Monbiot vents his spleen slandering individuals associated with Spiked et al. and yet Spiked are accused of ‘ritualised abuse’. You’re all mad.

    By the way, I’m assuming it’s Andy Rowell (who tried to persuade us that eating GM food would disrupt our DNA), Strathclyde Sociology Professor David Miller (http://gs.strath.ac.uk/content/view/96/112/) and the proprietor of a Norwich language school, Jonathan Matthews who are behind this curious exercise.

    Comment by Pod | February 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Reply to Pod: the two individuals you name have nothing to do with RCP/LM Watch. We thank you, though, for the information, and have taken the trouble to research their views. Your link to David Miller shows that he occasionally writes for Spinwatch, and a search on that site comes up with interesting and accurate articles on the RCP/LM, including Coincidence or Conspiracy”, and posts on the LM Watch blog which contain interesting information which we’d previously been unaware of. There’s also a copy of a balanced article which appeared in the THES (“What’s a nice Trot doing in a place like this?”) which bends over backwards to be fair to the RCP/LM, but still succeeds in spilling some interesting beans.

    A search for Jonathan Matthews shows that he’s the editor of GM Watch, another site worth bookmarking, and of course an organisation that’ll be a sworn enemy of the RCP/LM given its unconditional support to genetic food engineering regardless of the costs. GM Watch have published some revealing articles on their http://www.gmwatch.org site, which was brought down by Denial of Service attacks, on Martin Durkin and Fiona Fox, both RCP/LM stalwarts. Durkin, of course, is infamous for his prime-time polemics – sorry, ‘documentaries’ – on Channel 4. These articles haven’t yet been transferred over to the new GM Watch site, but once they are we’ll link to them.

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ 🙂

    Comment by rcpwatch | February 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. Thanks for linking to “Coincidence or Conspiracy?” by Andy Rowell. I was particlarly amused by his claim that he is “not interested in some McCarthyite witch-hunt,” which is of course preceded by accusations of genocide apologism and association with evil dissident Irish Republicans and, flimsier still, Lyndon LaRouche’s crackpot organization.
    Never mind that the article in Living Marxism about Rwanda is far more nuanced than has been claimed, or that Tommy McKearney is a respected journalist and union organizer*. When you’re mounting a spiteful and petty witch-hunt, context and accuracy are irrelevant; instead, lurid factoids and gossip are what matters.
    I find it embarrassing that you intend to spend a signficant amount of your time ‘watching’ and ‘exposing’ these supposed diabolical conspiracists, who are, as far as I can tell, simply old comrades who still share many opinions opposing the current status quo. That this sad little crusade is being waged anonymously is also strange. I’d think that bloggers who claim to seek transparency would at least be up front about who they are and where they’re coming from politically.

    (*If you are who I think you are, which you might not be, then you know this. Er, if you’re not, then disregard this.)

    Comment by Conspiracy Theorist Watch | February 12, 2009 | Reply


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