A reader

In sharp contrast to Our Terry, here’s a nice thing – a former MP (Labour) for Reading East who is reading Why Truth Matters and thinks it’s worth reading.

If you go to the Butterflies and Wheels site, you will find a fascinating thread prompted by a piece by Nick Cohen in the Observer yesterday; the piece was largely about the jailed Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Suleiman, but also mentioned Chinese government attempts to police the internet – but as so often it is the comment thread which proves the more illuminating. It is a fact that hardly any bloggers posting in English have had anything to say about Kareem. It is a fact, for instance, that when I posted on this subject a few days ago there were no comments. Not one at the time of posting now. I can only suppose that is because nobody is interested – otherwise they’d comment, wouldn’t they?…I wonder though, and I hope this is not true, whether the silence on this subject is illustrative of a more general view, perhaps on the Guardian-reading so-called Left?

I’ll have to comment. But I did post several news links here, so I’m interested. But I wonder too about that more general view.

I went to the butterfliesandwheels site because I am reading a book by Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom called “Why Truth Matters” . It’s worth reading, and is a challenge to a non-intellectual like me. It is about scepticism, relativism and doubt. If you want to give it a go Mr Amazon will come round on his bike and deliver it to you. It has made me look up all sorts of things I never did when I was in politics full time – like Manichaeism for instance…As far as I can understand Manichaeism as it is thought of today, it means to refer to the view that some things are just wrong. No relativism, no ifs or buts, just wrong. This is really the core of my own disillusion with the Guardian-reading tendency in British (more properly English) thought and society. Female genital mutilation, for instance, is wrong. Not culturally specific, wrong. Women often have it done to them by their own grandmothers. That doesn’t make it right.

Yep. You betcha. That’s why we’re writing a book about that – all the wrongs that are done to women that are just wrong, and not any less wrong if their grandmothers do it to them. We’ll all join hands and fight back – Jane Griffiths and B&W readers and writers and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maryam Namazie and Marie-Therese O’Loughlin and Gina Khan; we’ll all resist. You’ll see.

Another reader is our friend Richard Dawkins (or perhaps Josh, but I assume Dawkins does at least some of the choosing). I have to admit I’ve kind of longed to see something from B&W there, so I’m chuffed about that. Laugh if you like.

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