Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No, Mehdi, I Haven't Turned on the New Statesman

The New Statesman's senior political editor Mehdi Hasan has written a blogpost titled IAIN DALE & ME. I must admit, I wasn't sure what to expect. It didn't start well.
I have an admission: prior to joining the New Statesman in June, I disliked Iain Dale.

It didn't end well, either.

Iain, you can remain a slave to political opinion. James [Macintyre] and I prefer to lead it.

Well, you've got to laugh, haven't you? This was a reference to their view, expressed by Macintyre yesterday that Labour will win the next election. Apparently, according to Hasan, I expect them to conform to the prevailing wisdom. Actually, that's not the case, but neither have they ever articulated proper reasons for holding that view, beyond a partisan belief.

Hasan also alleges...

Since the Kaminski row, Dale has turned on the New Statesman, and on James Macintyre and me.

Er, not true. I have merely pointed out falsehoods and inaccuracies in their coverage of the Kaminski issue, just as I have with other publications and journalists.

For the record, I liked Mehdi Hasan when I met him and I have also praised James Macintyre's interviews. But I don't resile from the fact that I think their coverage of Westminster coverage is not up to the mark of their predecessor's. And I know I am not alone in that. Virtually everyone I know on the left thinks so too. So they shouldn't be so precious about a bit of harmless and well-intentioned criticism.

Doesn't look like I'll be gracing the New Statesman's pages any time soon, does it? :)


BlueTechy said...

I often go to the site just to have a Laugh at the rubbish articles they pump out, no loss Iain... really.

golden_balls said...

Dont you think you should sort out your problems with blogger comments before posting your bias political stories iain.

Kate j Norden said...

Is it, or isn't it, alarming how much time people with influence appear to waste; engaging in horn-locking arguments that seem not to advance the common good at all.

Alan Douglas said...

Another badge of enmity you can wear with pride, Iain.

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

All this proves Mr Dale is that you are far too kind in your opinions of your political opponents.

It is to your credit (I suppose), but it will not really help any future political career. Oh I do not mean you should hate people, or play the man not the ball or stop being transparent yourself. But do not be fooled by these people - its all a front. it has to be because their basic paradigm sucks.

The same applies to global warming and 'climategate' illustrates this eminently. These people are merely fooling us for their own benefit and this comment (by 'Scottie') on WUWT.

" Having pored over the hacked emails, here’s my impression (as already posted on the Daily Telegraph site):
1. A relatively small number of eminent scientists dominate the climate research field.
2. This small group has an inordinate influence over the scientific advice submitted to the IPCC, which in turn has a huge influence over government policies around the world.
3. This group fiercely protects its data and methodologies. It attempts to avoid submitting them to external scrutiny by evading Freedom of Information requests, and colluding to delete emails.
4. There is a strong suggestion that, either consciously or unconsciously, data is massaged to fit the AGW theory, rather than vice versa. They will not admit to gaps in their knowledge or inconsistencies in the data.
5. They attempt to ‘rubbish’ dissenting or sceptical views by influencing e.g., journal editors and media journalists. Sceptical views of other scientists are subjected to quite vicious rebuttals and their academic reputations impugned.
6. They consolidate their position by ‘peer reviewing’ each others papers. "

Anonymous said...


I rarely read even a snippet of the New Statesman, but doubt that they are more tendentiously inaccurate than your blog.

There are good reasons to believe that Labour will win the next election, and the current tide in the serious polls suggests that the fightback is under weigh.

Further the desperate throws of such as Tory Bear attacking a lass for RT-ing a tweet against Mrs Thatcher, and your own quoting of a foreign internet based poll released much earlier than would otherwise have been the case are pointers to a certain gastric lassitude in your camp.

You may still become elected for Spelthorne, and, in any case, Opposition becomes you.

Frugal Dougal said...

I think the saying goes, they can give it but they can't take it.

Cynic said...

So 'leading it' means making up guff in the hope that gullible fools will swallow it.

That's probably why Gordon is frit of an election. He's afraid he will win by too big a margin

Cynic said...

This is just a reflection of the laws of natural selection.

They know that the NS is a weak wounded animal with no sense of purpose and lacking the breadth and depth of journalism they once had. They therefore assume that the big beasts will turn on them to rip them apart.

However, you seem to be a much more magnanimous and kindly big beast than perhaps they deserve.

psychotrader said...

what is this "new statesman" you speak of? Is he the leader of a newly discovered countrY? Never heard of it / him / them

Unsworth said...

@ quietzapple

"the fightback is under weigh."

Short measure, then.

LibertyPhile said...

The true mind of Medhi Hasan is revealed here:


and here:


Daniel Taghioff said...

Err, and he has not turned on you it seems...

You did not quote the bits in the middle where he said he liked you too.

As for the "true mind" of Mehdi Hassan, most of your links, libertyphile, refute the charges of Islamism laid at his doorstep.

So this is a bit of a storm in a Teacup, hey...

I also think that Mehdi has a point about not just obsessing on Westminster Village, there is a lot more to politics than that.