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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:52 PM
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The Michael Moore Conservatives (in UK)
Well, looky here! Crackin' good reading in the Weekly Standard! What is this world coming to?

Things are a bit more complicated in my native England. Take, for instance, a lunch at a famous Conservative haunt in London's clubland in the tense weeks before the invasion of Iraq. As a visitor from Washington, D.C., I would normally have expected a few warm inquiries about the health of Britain's closest ally; instead, I was subjected to a vigorous inquisition from the assembled Tories.

A retired Foreign Office panjandrum denounced the Bush administration for its crass ignorance of the Arab world. A curmudgeonly barrister proclaimed his intention to march for peace. A senior banker complained that he can't visit New York these days without being shocked by the money-grubbing vulgarity of the place. The only person present who didn't regard George W. Bush as a warmongering simpleton was an American migr who had worked for Richard Perle in the Pentagon back in the 1980s.

This was my first introduction to the world of Britain's Michael Moore conservatives. Think of all the baggage that one finds in Moore's ideological duffel bag--from his first film, the anti-GM attack Roger & Me, through his denunciation of the "thief in chief" in the bestselling Stupid White Men, through last week's standing ovation at the Cannes film festival for his latest conspiratorial anti-Bush film, Fahrenheit 9/11. There is the belief that American politics is shaped by evil special interests (oil barons, neoconservatives, evangelicals); a preference for "sophisticated" European policies over "simpleminded" American ones; and, above all, a loathing for George W. Bush. All of these views are commonly voiced in the most impeccably conservative circles in London. This is not to say that every true blue cloakroom has a stock of Moore's books, though some do, particularly in houses with children at university (he has sold a million copies in Britain); it is more that British Tories have come independently to exactly the same views as Moore....

But under the surface, things are changing fast. Indeed, the Tories may have taken a subtle but decisive turn away from their traditional allies in the Republican party. On May 20, Howard wrote a piece in the Independent, a ferociously antiwar newspaper that is home to the legendary Robert Fisk, attacking Tony Blair for being slavishly loyal to Bush, and urging him to be a "candid" critic. The language was extremely careful, as you would expect, and Howard stressed both his party's support for the war and its ties to America; but the Independent had no doubt about the meaning ("Howard's message to Blair: Time to stand up to Bush"). Nor did Tory Atlanticists. Charles Moore, a leading Thatcherite journalist, immediately attacked Howard for making "cheap shots" and pandering to antiwar sentiment. At the same time, the Spectator, the house journal of the British right, published a cover story claiming that Republicans are furious with Howard for criticizing Blair. "The White House hates Michael," reported one senior Tory.

Again, Bush* proves that he's a uniter, not a divider. The entire civilised world is now united in its firm belief that Bush* is, as stated above, a "warmongering simpleton".

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ithacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:01 PM
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1. right wingers always have to lie
the article is great, but look at the headline:

Meet Britain's Anti-American Tories

Read through the article and you discover that in fact they are not anti-American, but they are very anti-Bush.

Once again the right wing media play the fascist line of equating the dear leader with the nation, and thus any criticism of dear leader is equated with anti-Americanism.

Overall a very interesting piece, thanks for posting it.

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Atlanticist Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:39 PM
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2. I'm not a member of a posh London club, but do consider
myself a natural Tory. However, with our local elections coming up in early June, I'll be proud to cast my vote for the only major consistently anti-war party in Britain - let's hear it for the Liberal Democrats (that's their name honestly).

Most British Tories are pro-American and anti-European by instinct (as am I, hence my name Atlanticist). However, as long as your countrymen continue to support Bush, most Europeans will want nothing to do with America.

A shame as America has probably been the noblest country ever constituted - * is a stain on your history that I hope will be eradicated some time soon.
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