Back in the spotlight today has come a post by one Marko Attila Hoare about his departure from the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), which he had served for seven years in a senior capacity. He described the Society as now being “a mere caricature of its former self” and that it was “No longer ... a centrist, bipartisan think-tank”, having “become an abrasively right-wing forum with an anti-Muslim tinge”.
Henry M "Scoop" Jackson
Why should any of this matter? Well, for starters, the HJS has a presence within the House of Commons. And its staffers figure prominently at the right-wing group blog The Commentator, the format of which is similar to the HJS’ own site. And many of those you’ll find at The Commentator are part of that “Conservative Movement” that seeks to wield influence over the Tory Party and its supporters.
And what comes out of The Commentator matches Hoare’s own analysis of the HJS: “churning out polemical and superficial pieces by aspiring journalists and pundits that pander to a narrow readership of extreme Europhobic British Tories, hardline US Republicans and Israeli Likudniks”. Moreover, added to that list is a tendency to serial dishonesty, as I experienced recently.
I'm with The Commentator cos it gets me on telly!
Linking the HJS and The Commentator are the appallingly humourless Robin Shepherd, HJS “Director of International Affairs” and Raheem Kassam, HJS “Director of Communications and Public Relations”, who over at the Commentator are joined by gofer Dane Vallejo, and their “Political Editor”, the odious and egotistical flannelled fool Henry Cole.
The diet of stories coming out of The Commentator is utterly predictable to those who have read Hoare’s post. Conservatives who rock the boat, as Joe Cooke did in his appearance in a recent BBC documentary, get smeared by a mixture of knocking copy and vicious anonymous sock-puppet comment as a follow up. Anyone not in unequivocal support of the Israeli Government is instantly denounced.
Regimes that do not meet with the ideological approval of that “Conservative Movement” are routinely demonised, so there is plenty of Castro and Chavez bashing on offer. Media organisations that incur the displeasure of Shepherd and his pals are excoriated regularly, so if your bag is BBC and Guardian bashing, The Commentator is the place for you.
And what of that serial dishonesty? Ah yes. When I questioned the Twitter following of The Commentator, there was an anonymous attack piece asserting that I had accused the blog of buying its followers. I had not. The buffoon Cole then asserted that damages could have been won, had I been pursued. This was also blatantly untrue. But it all confirms what Hoare has said about the HJS.
And it shines a little more light into the mindset of that “Conservative Movement”.