Sunday, April 16, 2006

Euston Manifesto makes top five Technorati search terms

I'd read about the Euston Manifesto a few days ago because History Mike wrote about it, signed it and joined the group.

I didn't, as I wrote in the comments on the thread I had some concerns about other written material by some of those listed and I'm not sure I agreed with their concept of the two State solution for Palestine and Israel.

Media is of course now picking this story up, as well as the blogosphere. When I clicked on the search results for it, I discovered Guardian commentary that surprised me with the degree it took issue with this group. Some highlights from the opinion piece:

Much of the Euston Manifesto is comprised of worthy banalities, assertions about rights, equality and critical thinking that are a good deal less contentious or novel than the authors think. The document only really bristles when it comes to its enemies on the left. And the only significant parts of this remarkably pompous, vague and prolix declaration are where it proudly "draws a line" between itself as an "authentic carrier" of the left's democratic traditions and the anti-war, anti-occupation left that it claims has abandoned it.

"The deliberate targeting of civilians is a crime under international law and all recognized codes of warfare," declare the manifesto authors, "and it cannot be justified by the argument that it is done in a cause that is just". I agree with this and without qualification. Which places me in a different camp from them, who between them have said not a word about the slaughter of civilians by occupying forces in Fallujah and numerous other Iraqi towns and cities. Here the manifesto authors are themselves guilty of what they denounce as "the cultural relativist view according to which ... basic human rights are not appropriate for certain nations or peoples".

Finally, it's very hard to feel sorry for the authors when they complain about the opprobrium and "excommunication" they have suffered at the hands of the left. Over the last few years, they've dished out the bile and the misrepresentation pretty lavishly in their own columns and blogs. Frankly, their vision of the world is a self-serving fantasy. Which won't stop it getting far more publicity and being taken far more seriously than it deserves.

There's a lot more at the link, I'd also recommend Phil's blog post at Actually Existing. He put a great deal of thought into was this something he could support or not. Blairwatch has some thoughts, a lot of links and shares an interesing version of the 'real' Euston Manifesto...I had a hard time finishing after reading this part:

We espouse a generally egalitarian politics, but as a group of largely middle class, middle aged white men we wouldn't want to push things too far.

We look forward to progress in relations between the sexes (until full gender equality is achieved, bless 'em), between different ethnic communities, between those of various religious affiliations and those of none, and between people of diverse sexual orientations — as well as towards broader social and economic equality all round (no riff raff though)

I don't think I'll be signing that one either....not sure about the "Conservative" version either though I do admit these two promises are tempting even for this left leaner:

We will not make any damn manifestos.
Ceci n'est pas un manifesto, pour le sake de fuck.