The “decent left” who brought us Unite Against Terror, Labour Friends of Iraq, Democratiya, Engage and any number of other internet fronts, have now launched their Euston Manifesto . Together with lots of general commitments to motherhood and apple pie, there are the usual obsessions: Iraq, Israel, the alleged anti-Americanism and anti-semitism of those who disagree with them. There’s also a the usual whining reinteration of the complaint that they have difficulty in getting their voice heard given the domination of the meeja by their foes. As Matthew points out this is a bit implausible give the cvs of the participants:
Nick Cohen, columnist in the Observer, the Evening Standard and the New Statesman, with the report signed by Francis Wheen, deputy-editor of Private Eye, columnist in the Guardian, John Lloyd, editor of the FT Magazine etc.
Personally, my attention was caught by sections 13 and 14 on “Freedom of Ideas” and “Open Source”. I conducted a search of the Crooked Timber comment logs last weekend wondering if that would reveal the identity of someone who vandalized a Wikipedia page. I discovered that the vandal’s IP address had been used in comments from both from someone who shows up as a prominent signatory of the Manifesto and by a pseudonymous blogger. I can only suppose that, like Hesperus and Phosphorus, they are identical. No doubt the other signatories have a stronger commitment to open source and freedom of ideas.