Death by LOLkat

Sometimes you feel like poking your eyes out with a rusty knitting needle. Either that or developing a deep empathy with those Russian Old Believer peasants who set off to live in cabins in the frozen depths of the Siberian taiga so that they could escape from the trivialisation of life produced by modern civilisation. And they were complaining about Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, and Pushkin. We’ve got newspapers that trawl Twitter in lieu of reporting, and which publish puff pieces about slebs instead of news. In just the past seven days the Guardian has published no less than twenty articles about bloody Beyoncé. Twenty. Seriously. And there was you thinking that it was just Scottish politics that they infantilised.

So you turn on the telly and find that one of the lead items on the main news is the revelation that Kate, the female half of the celebrity waving-from-carriages combo WillnKate from the reality show The Windsors, is appearing on the front cover of Vogue magazine to advertise some over-priced fashion chain or other. A manufacturer of designer wellies, I think. Something that you’re not going to be able to afford if you’re one of the many thousands reliant on social security or struggling on a low wage who have had their incomes slashed by the same Tory government that rewards the kind of people who can pay a grand for a pair of designer wellies. So we get some over privileged woman who has never done a day’s work in her life or achieved anything of note except squeezing an heir to the reality show franchise out of her uterus getting her photie taken so that a magazine which promotes unachievable and unrealistic body images for women can sell more copies. And that’s news. On the telly. Really. That’s an event of note.

Turn to the Scottish papers and they’re regaling us with the tale of how a fragrant author of fantasy fiction has broken the Internet by squashing someone you’ve never heard by making a reference on Twitter to Harry Potter. It seems there’s an article about her breaking the Internet in the media just about every other day. David Bowie and Prince had to die before they got equivalent fawning and adulatory coverage in the press. We can only hope that the fragrant author has a very, very, very, long and healthy life. Otherwise we’re all going to be struck down by obituary induced nausea.

Or you can decide to skip that and check out the cute video in the online edition which you’d already seen because your cousin’s Facebook page had linked to it the week before last. Welcome to the information technology revolution where LOLkats are news.

And the people responsible for filling the airwaves, the print columns, and the flickering device screens with this pap, these are the same people who say that bloggers and the new Scottish online digital media aren’t professional.

The latest social media induced outbreak of mass tuttery in the media is the anti-Semiticism scandal in the Labour party. Naz Shah, the Labour MP who did the planet a favour by unseating George Galloway in Bradford, published some childish and intemperate posts criticising Israel a couple of years before she was elected. You’d think that by getting rid of Gorgeous George she’d have earned a bit of slack, but someone went to the time and trouble of going through posts she’d made on Facebook over two years ago and sent them to a media which was only too pleased with the opportunity to stoke some moral outrage. Naz Shah made a grovelling apology to the House of Commons, and was suspended from the Labour party.

That ought to have been the end of the matter, but then Ken Livingstone pissed petrol on the fire by trying to defend Naz by breaking Godwin’s law live on TV. As is well known, immediately that you compare anyone or anything to Hitler you have by so doing lost the argument, unless that person is actually herding starving people into cattle trucks and sending them to death camps in Poland, or they are Iain Duncan Smith.

When you compare Jewish people to Hitler, you not only break Godwin’s law, but you vomit all over the wreckage in a display of tastelessness that hasn’t been seen since a 1970s interior designer decided on large print wallpaper, carpets that produce static, and nylon bedsheets. Ken claims that his remarks were historically accurate, but even if they were that doesn’t mean they’re not offensive. It’s not a defence, all it does is to inflame the situation even further. But then Ken Livingstone has always been a bit of an arse. If you don’t realise that telling the heirs to Holocaust survivors that they’re just like Hitler isn’t a helpful contribution to the debate on Israel/Palestine, you’d really be better off not saying anything at all. It’s like telling a person whose entire family has been wiped out by ebola that they’re a viral plague on humanity. They’re not going to see beyond the offence you’ve caused them to get to the point you wanted to make.

There are plenty of perfectly legitimate ways to criticise the policies of the state of Israel without bringing Hitler into it, and if Ken was as historically astute as he likes to think he is, he’d know that. If you want to make an objective point you can’t do so by framing your argument in terms that are so emotive. The argument you want to make gets lost in the haze and mist of anger produced by the offence you’ve created.

We’ve now embarked upon another bout of Labour self-harming. Labour’s left and right are attacking one another over anti-Semitism and alleged links to Islamic extremist groups. This is one opposition fight that no part of the Labour party wants to abstain from. They’ve always been a lot more keen to go to war with each other than they are to go to war against the Tories, and the media is always happy to turn up the childishness to eleven. The only people who benefit are the Tories and the Labour right. And it all started with a Facebook post.

The media has become a means of producing distraction from the real issues that face us. The yawning and ever widening chasm between rich and poor, the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few, the ruin that we’re inflicting upon our planet and its ecosystems, the death of democracy. But you can read about those things online, the papers are too busy trawling Twitter and printing puff pieces on Beyoncé. Democracy won’t die amidst censorship and repression, it will be killed by a thousand LOLkats.

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33 comments on “Death by LOLkat

  1. John MacLean says:

    Livingstone’s remarks were not historically accurate.

    controversial even at the time, you had a Jewish organisation ransoming Jews from Nazis Germany.

    Hitler did not support formation of a new Jewish nation he just wanted every single last one of them out of Germany.

    This deal was struck after the Nazis had banned Jews from having public service jobs. This law from April 1933 is why Albert Einstein had to emigrate to the US.

    If Hitler had been a Zionist he’d have been sending Jews on ships to Palestine, not allowing a few to go paid for as soon as the ransom was paid.

    livingstone is not historically accurate. It was inaccurate. His devotion to this worldview that let’s Jim pain Jews as bad guys is troubling

  2. Onwards says:

    I think the footage of the MP yelling at him on the stairway did the most harm.
    I don’t think most people believe Ken Livingston is actually anti-semitic or anti-Jewish.
    He made a valid wider point.
    But suspending him seemed to give that impression.
    One of these situations for Corbyn where you can’t win either way.

  3. hettyforindy says:

    Again a great piece, thanks.

    Sometimes I have to pinch myself, when I hear my neighbours television or radio, the voices, oh so serious and authoritative sounding, piped into living rooms and saying what exactly? I pinch myself because as I don’t subscribe to the propaganda, from an objective view it is all so ridiculous and mind controlling. Why on earth would anyone take it in and think that it resembled the truth?

    With blogs, so called, and the many comments then widening and enhancing the discussion, you are part of it, involved. TV and radio are feeding stories into peoples’ minds, it really is quite creepy.

  4. I’m just in from he rubadub.
    Somebody gave me a ‘I’m with Nicola’ pen.
    Feelln’ great,

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug Death by LOLkat […]

  6. pwest9 says:

    I think you should read what Livingstone actually said before succumbing to the very thing you are rightly critical of.

  7. Guga says:

    I am truly sick and tired of all these people that go on and on about “anti-semitism”, mainly because they either do not know what they are talking about or who have ulterior motives for making such comments.

    Semites are, in fact, members of the Hebrew, Aramean, Phœnician, Arab and Assyrian races. Nowadays that means Jews, Arabs and presumably Syrians. Confining the term “anti-semite” exclusively to mean denigrating the Jews is, in itself, racist, and is usually done for ulterior motives.

    The ulterior motives are most commonly to protect from criticism the Israeli government, and its war criminal prime minister Netanyahoo (who is a brute in human form) and his war criminal IDF, and for political advantage as in the current contretemps in the Red Tories.

    If we are to talk about “anti-semitism” we should certainly include the Israeli government and the large number of Zionists in the Israeli population. The fact that they are Jews is irrelevant as there are a many, many Jews in Israel who are decent human beings, which is more than can be said for the Zionists.

    The terrorist actions of the Zionists started with Irgun and the Stern Gang who, among other things, thought nothing of murdering the families of British soldiers in Palestine by blowing up the King David hotel. Then, later on, with the backing of their American financiers, they took over the majority of Palestine and started their genocide of the Palestinian people. This genocide continues to the present day; and we have even had at least one Rabbi stating that “the only good Arab is a dead Arab”.

    There, however, is very little criticism or reportage of the genocidal actions of the Israeli government or its leaders. They use their war criminal IDF to continually murder innocent men, women and children, even to the extent of using children as human shields, and gunning down children as young as two and three in the streets (no doubt because these children had the audacity to deliberately run in front of the IDF guns). The Israeli government and their IDF treat the Palestinians as vermin to be eliminated.

    We hear the usual complaints from assorted people that the Palestinians deny the Israelis the right to have their own state. On the other hand we hear nothing about the fact that the Israeli government not only deny the Palestinians the right to have their own state, and to that end continue to occupy their land, steal their land for Israeli settlements and continue their policy of genocide against the Palestinians.

    So, when we talk about anti-semitism, the real anti-semites are the Israeli government and their Zionist supporters. People who criticize the war criminal activities of the Israeli government and their Zionist supporters are not anti-semitic, they are merely criticizing a bunch of out of control thugs who, like the Americans, are in continual breach of international law. It should be noted also that there are many Jews who also criticize these thugs and war criminals.

    Of note also is the fact that the Israeli government has more nuclear warheads than the British and French combined, but there is rarely any mention of this fact by the American financed and controlled MSM. These same Zionists continually rail against the Iranians who not only do not have any nuclear warheads and who, unlike the Americans who are regularly invading, annexing, exploiting and setting up puppet regimes in other countries, have not invaded any other countries for over 2,000 years (with the exception of the Iran-Iraq war when they were involved in their own self-defence).

    I know that there are many people who refuse to accept the truth about the actions of the Israeli government and their IDF, and who reserve their criticism for the Palestinians and for all Muslims. They are the people who are the true racists.

    • Mislein says:

      Thank you, Guga. It’s good to be reminded of this.

    • Jacques Coleman says:

      HEAR! HEAR?

    • Marconatrix says:

      Can anyone seriously disagree with any of the above? I can´t.

      I wonder, since most of us over a certain age will have been brought up on Bible stories, whether the stories of genocide so prevalent in the Old Testament have somehow conditioned many in the West into a subconscious conviction that of course Palestine ´belongs´ to the Jews and they have a God-given right to annihilate its other inhabitants?

      What does ´Philistine´ mean to an English speaker? You do realise that it´s nothing but a linguistic variant of ´Palestinian´ don´t you?

      Imagine for just a moment that the people who´d taken over Palestine post WWII were some unknown unfamiliar middle-eastern etho-religious grouping of which we know very little and have no inbuilt sympathies, (and there are in fact a good many of these). Imagine the wall-to-wall vitriol that would be thrown at them ceaselessly from all sides by the media and politicians in the West. And that no doubt even if that group had been treated abominably by their neighbours in the past.

      But the Jews have a special dispensation, a Get Out of Criticism Free Card called inaccurately ¨anti-semitism¨.

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      Thank you Guga, for your logical, unemotional, factual dissertation. I agree with every word.

      The response from Johnny, further down, may also be factual but its emotion detracts from his points. His main point seems to be that, since Jews have been persecuted, they have a right to persecute others. That is very sad.

    • Norma Slimmon says:


  8. Steve Asaneilean says:

    For the life of me I can’t understand why any politician uses Twitter or Facebook but maybe that’s because I think they are crap and don’t use them myself.

  9. Electric blue says:

    A really interesting article. As usual you are spot on. I wish more people were reading stuff like this. Even if they disagree with it, it would make them think and perhaps want to find out more.
    Why are journalists trolling through social media from two years ago? Surely they should be looking at what is happening today and if they are not they should be held to account!

    • gn2 says:

      “Why are journalists trolling through social media from two years ago? ”

      a: they’re not really journalists
      b: its easier than real journalism

  10. Ian Gibson says:

    Even as a scarred veteran of the Indy Ref campaign, I am truly startled at the way history is being re-written to meet a politically correct script: anti-semitism is bad (obviously,) therefore it’s anti-semitic to say anything which reflects badly on jews, therefore any hint of a common interest between Hitler and Zionism is unacceptable. And it’s not just past history: Livingstone’s own role is being re-written on the fly: I’ve seen a number of articles and interviews that opine that KL is obsessed with Hitler, and the Today programme said he brought up the subject ‘unprompted.’ He was responding directly to a question about Hitler (in relation to Shah’s comment on his legality) How does answering a question about Hitler by referencing Hitler make you an anti-semite, or, well, anything really?

    KL didn’t say that Hitler was a zionist: he said he ‘supported’ zionism, which is entirely accurate in the context of their shared aim to get jews to Palestine. Only if you infer more than that, that Hitler supported the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine, or that his reasons were anything other than despicable, can you get offended by KL’s comment. Clearly, he didn’t, his reasons were the diametric opposite of the zionist’s – but they had common cause, and made an agreement accordingly. Later on, senior nazis became alarmed that this influx was leading towards a jewish state and tried to get the agreement cancelled: this was overruled because of Hitler’s personal intervention.

    Note too that zionism was a minority vein of thought in jewish culture at the time, and indeed strongly opposed by the majority of european jews at that time.

    And that’s the entire point: the argument that KL was making, albeit far from clearly, is that supporting Zionism no more absolves you from being an anti-semite than opposing it makes you one. In Indy terms: Hitlerbad.

    I have to say that I’m really surprised that you, whose analysis of media treatment of scottish affairs is always so acute, should fail to see the manipulation in the way this story is being presented.

  11. Reviresco says:

    With the Tory election expenses scandal exposed, if Labour was a striker they’d be put on the free transfer list

  12. Johnny comeback lately says:

    I have to really take isse with the twisted non thinking hate fælled anti jewish driver written by the above poster.
    There is not a People or a nation in World History which has been subjected to the hate, vilification, and violoncel which the israleske have been subjected to. 1700 years of periodic genocide by islam and Europe culminating in the haulocost. Directly after the secondat World war the killing of this People continued in Poland, germany and other countries when news returner home to take possesion of there Holmes after the war.
    Hitler wasted the Jews out of Germanyand was not fussed over how the problem should be Solvej. The America’s and British during the second World war would not adress the problem at a conveined Security meeting concerning the Jews in Germany. The reason being that Hitler would only be eager to have the Jews removed and this would resultat in an excodus, with the World community hæving to take them. Hitler offeret to Sell Hungarien jews for 2 dollars a piece to Britain (500.000 jews). Britain refuser saying there was no space.
    After the war the surviving Living skeletons were sjippede to other countries. Most countries refused at port to take them. The shops were turned away by Britain, USA, nearly every South American country, and when shops attempted to take them to Palistine, the ships were turned away by British gunboats.
    It had been agreed under the terms of the Balfour declaration that the jewish People would be returner to Theirthere anciennitet Homeland. The British betrayed not only this agreement, but following agreements. Isrial was split and Jorden was creationism, the arabs were also given a Chuck and Isrial was given only 13 percent of it’s Homeland.
    Since Isrial declared independence it has been attacked by it’s neighbours without provication 4 times. It’s neighbours remain commited to the “utter destruktion of Isrial and the jewish people. Isrial has been subjected since terrorist attacked which have resulteret in thousands of civilist debats, ydet not once has the UN condemmed these attacked or threats of oblitaration. In fact the FN has condemmed Isrial 270 times for defending Isrial from these attacked.
    If you had checket the History of the province of Palistine you would know the following. The jewish People were knoen as the palistines. Until 40 years ago every arab Leader denied the exsistens of Palistine starting, “there is no country, and never has there been a country called Palistine, just as there has never been a Palisinien People,

  13. Johnny come lately says:

    Hi Ginger.
    My post on Israel is full of spelling mistakes due to the spelling check on my computer. Even although I have corrected it manually, the spelling sometimes changes back to danish as soon as I attempt to post.
    I mostly write in Danish these days as I am employed by a Danish company, therefore my computer settings are in Danish.
    I feel it is important that these things were pointed out, and would be more than grateful if you would take a second to correct the words.
    In advance thanks

  14. Didn’t take long for ‘The Professionals’ to arrive…

  15. J Galt says:

    As Craig Murray says this is indeed a subject on which “Angels fear to Tread”.

    Ken Livingstone was comprehensively ambushed as part of a carefully planned campaign to create a controversy out of nothing. The aim is to silence all support for justice for the Palestinians by equating any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and even Nazi apologists.

    I believe what Livingstone was referring to was the “Transfer Agreement” which anybody can research for themself.

    The campaign has many strands including the slandering of Palestinian sympathisers in Labour’s youth wing particularly at Oxford University.

    Surprisingly it is not aimed at destabilizing Corbyn – he’s well controlled, no need for worries there!

  16. Part of me wonders whether this has been contrived to deflect attention from the fact that 26(?) Tory candidates from GE15 are potentially facing criminal charges relating to electoral expenses fraud.
    Spotted this about Thursday but perhaps unsurprisingly it’s dropped below the radar.

    • J Galt says:

      Contrived it most certainly is, for what reason or reasons one can only guess.

      The result is the Labour Party looks bad just before vital Local Government Elections, and not only that, you have senior Labour Politicians falling over themselves to cooperate in making their Party look bad on the eve of said elections.

      Make ye think no?

      • Dave Hansell says:

        Indeed. The question arises as to what is going on here, what it means and what are the implications?

        It seems reasonable to surmise that the question of what is going on here is best summerised as a concerted attempt to redefine a particular type of racism, anti-Semitism, as any criticism of zionism in general and the policy of Israel in particular, as practised towards Palastinian Arabs.

        What does this mean in practice ? Well, in terms of the current furore over the Labour Party there is certainly a case to be made that certain sections within it, as argued by the Jewish Socialist Group, are deliberately setting out to undermine the current leadership using smear tactics and a witch hunt in the run up to the local elections. That in itself is a serious situation as it is in effect undermining not just the leadership but the party as a whole in order to wrest back the hegemony of economic neo liberalism, political neo conservatism and social neo feudalism which this self appointed clique represent on behalf of the corporate establishment within the Labour Party.

        On its own this should be sufficient in itself to raise serious questions within the party NEC. However, the implications go even further. Expelling members of the party on the basis of such a twisted definition of racism, which in this case is defined as any critique of a racist ideology and doctrine as currently practiced (zionism) sends out a very clear message – that a precondition of party membership is dependent upon acceptance of a racist doctrine as currently practised.

        Adherence to the tenets of zionism will effectively be a compulsory requirement of party membership. Bad as this logical conclusion is the implications go deeper and further than simply the trials and tribulations of the Labour Party. Implicit in such an outcome is that anyone voting for and supporting the party under these conditions is that the voting non member is in effect casting their vote to support a racist doctrine as currently practised.

        The argument therefore cannot be confined to the Labour Party itself as some sort of internal argument because the logical implications impact beyond the party membership and internal workings to affect the electorate as a whole regardless of any or no party political leanings. It sets in stone, officially, that support for the party is conditional on support for zionism and the policy of Israel. Otherwise those within the party pushing this line would consider any differing position as inherently anti semetic and therefore racist by definition according to this warped and inverted definition of racism they are attempting to set into stone tablets as though it represented an eleventh commandment.

        No decent human being could in good conscience support any party, never mind one which holds the position of official loyal opposition and therefore potential Government in waiting (even in an increasingly dis-United Kingdom) which required a condition of membership and support based on this definition. At this point the question then becomes how to avoid reaching this situation? The debate therefore needs to be taken away from the exclusive confines of the party itself by forcing the party to confront those within it who are driving this disastrous position into being.

        The Labour Party NEC must therefore be put into a position by the wider electorate to undertake an inquiry into those conducting this witch hunt and the smears associated with it. To this end a petition has been put up on which anyone who shares similar concerns on this issue is free to support

        Thank you for your attention and consideration.

  17. Norma Slimmon says:

    I agree Ian Gibson.. Ken’s been fighting racism and fascism for years. Total MSM manipulation

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