ForArgyll.com: Argyll's online broadsheet.

If I may be permitted, a few thoughts …

Comment posted ForArgyll on Pause by John Little.

If I may be permitted, a few thoughts from an outsider…

I initially contacted Newsie because I was trying to plug my book, which she did an article on, but I had been reading For Argyll for some time. It was extraordinary to me that a news outlet/ website that was not from a main stream outlet could provide such a clear analysis of current affairs, regional, national and international that was comparable to what I might see in a broadsheet newspaper. Whether I agreed with it or not, and I certainly did not always, I found it principled, on the ball and very sharp in analysis. It was also clear that it was prepared to take a position on things.

The politics were not always my politics- indeed for the most part they were not. There is a human tendency to think that if someone’s politics do not agree with your own, then there is something perverse or contrary to them. That was not so in this case and even where I disagreed with what was being said, I could not say that it was polemic because it was explained with care, with detail and with data that was accurate. Sometimes then my views coincided with what I read; many times they did not. My thoughts on the illegality of drone strikes were in direct opposition to hers, yet she asked me to write an article setting out my case, while she then wrote an essay opposing mine.

I fell into the habit of reading For Argyll because looking round the country at regional news outlets I saw something rare. Tap into most websites of outlying newspapers in Cornwall or Caithness, or Lincolnshire, or Lothian, and what you get is stale fodder, uncontroversial, unchallenging and fearful of grappling with issues.

Not so in Argyll. Fury, anger, spleen, passion, rage, satire, enmity and folk who are just black affrontit inhabit the comments sections like bees to honey. Show me another such place where wars are fought, robust and creative debate is stimulated and intelligent rants are fired. I’d read just the comments alone, for the life of the community is writ large there and in glorious technicolour.

It’s just downright entertaining!

In short I think you in Argyll have something special there, provocative of discussion, demanding thought in depth and stimulating; and you’re lucky to have it.

I hope to see it back on line soon.

Recent comments by John Little

  • Readers on the EU Referendum: ‘A warning from history’
    I have done so, but so many have triggered a moderation. Watch this space….
  • Readers on the EU Referendum: ‘A warning from history’
    Another Europe is possible. Watch the first one without a shudder if you can. To put it into context these guys are singing the march from the end of Kolberg, Goebbel’s last propaganda film in which he forecast that the Reich would rise again from the ashes of the old…..I have included a clip to illustrate that.






    These are just a sample. There is plenty more of that sort of stuff. Frankly, even if I thought the EU were a sinking ship I would not abandon it. I would be fothering the holes and careening it for repairs. To me another Europe is possible and I see it in those clips.I don’t want that. My whole being tells me that the best hope for us and for Europe, of continued prosperity and peace is in some form of unity. Maybe not as far as Churchill’s unity, for he wanted a United States of Europe, but something. Not rival nations again. Anything but that. I don’t ant to be blamed as the generation that threw peace away.

    Do you see where I am coming from?

  • Readers on the EU Referendum: ‘A warning from history’
    Oh no – I cannot play the Brahan seer, neither am I am expert in shaping the policies of Europe. Neither do I entirely like what we have as run by neo-libs and preachers of austerity. I have been trying to imagine a Europe run by Social Democrats. I cannot tell you how far the EU project will go either, and really with the economic debate, as with most people I think a plague on both their houses. I have read economic stuff this way and that and have figures coming out of my ears- but none of it really matters to me. Foremost in my mind is that the nations of the earth came together in 1919 in an organisation that on the face of it aimed to prevent war by uniting against it. It failed and the peace failed. Instead of uniting to keep the peace, nations fragmented and went back to their old ways, building weapons, forming pacts and alliances and giving way to revanchiste and aggressive forms of nationalism. Believe me, I have no crystal ball and can give you no assurances any more than you can give me any. The economics of it, the legalities of it, the sovereignty of it is all within legitimate scope for discussion and there is much in what you say. But from where I sit we have peace and stability, which trumps all. In my mind I see the Japanese delegate telling the League of Nations that they did not understand the situation in China, bowing and walking out, taking with him all hope of peace. It actually does not take all that much to shatter it. Given the model of the 1920s and 30s my instinct is not to pull out of the League (now there’s an analogy) but to make it work better. In unity may not be strength, though it could be, but there is certainly far more likelihood of continued peace. If you wonder why, there is stuff on Youtube that scares the hell out of me and would do to anyone with a smattering of History I think I shall post some links if I may?
  • Readers on the EU Referendum: ‘A warning from history’
    Oh my aging mind! I forgot to include that 1/3 of Rumania used to be Hungary and they too would like it back. Getting old- you can keep it!
  • Readers on the EU Referendum: ‘A warning from history’
    One thing I forgot to say, though I confess it is trite, is that people who forget the lessons of History are condemned to repeat it. Peace and stability has a price, as do all things. I understand that it costs a couple of pints a month from each of us. Considerably less than the supertax that would be levied for an expansion of armed forces in the event of having to intervene in a quarrel in Europe. I’ll stand Europe a pint or two and pay the price of some small amount of grumbling over regulations if it means peace in our time. But yes – Europe does not have to be as it it. So for me, forget Brexit and Fixit!

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