Fisking is “the practice of savaging an argument and scattering the tattered remnants to the four corners of the internet (named after Robert Fisk of The Independent)” who was a victim. A verbal equivalent of the process was demonstrated last night by Christopher Monckton.
Perhaps the debate should move on to address the problem of extricating ourselves from the impending wave of wasteful and counterproductive regulation. And the question of how the warming lobby and Greens managed to inflate a possible temperature increase of a degree or two over the next century into the greatest moral challenge to humankind. And the way the increase in CO2 is described as pollution when it will tend to green the planet and increase our production of food. Etc.
Moderator (KP) – We do not exercise any pre-publication editorial control here at Troppo. We trust our authors to exercise sound judgment in what they publish. Rafe clearly has not exercised sound judgment here. Troppo aims to publish thoughtful and even challenging articles which make a contribution to public policy debate and analysis. In my view at least, Rafe’s post (and one or two others from him in recent times) is simply an exercise in regurgitating right wing slogans and makes no constructive contribution to public debate. Mind you, some of the comments it has generated (e.g. JamesH at #20 and DD at #29) have been really interesting, so maybe there can be some value in occcasional blatant provocation!
I was initially minded simply to withdraw Rafe’s automatic authoring access at Troppo. However, Rafe is a veteran blogger and almost an icon of the blogosphere. At the very least he’s an amiable eccentric who doesn’t do any harm because no-one who reads Troppo is likely to take this sort of material remotely seriously anyway. It may even give you an outlet for a bit of therapeutic spleen-venting!
Our current intention (although Nicholas Gruen isn’t presently in contact) is to leave this post up and continue Rafe’s authoring access but make it clear that we reserve the right to remove any future post that is as lacking in intellectual content as this one. As Geoff Honnor observes in the comment box to this post, Troppo is an exception to the increasing tendency of the blogosphere to retreat into tribal cyber-enclosures and conduct conversations only with ideologically like-minded. We want to publish opinion and analysis from diverse viewpoints, but it should be worth reading for its intellectual content not just its amateur shockjock qualities.
The only hope for the future lies with civil discourse across party lines. As a centre-left blog I thought Troppo was in that business, like Catallaxy on the centre-nonleft. It this post is not regarded by the management as a reasonable contribution to that dialogue I do not want to have posting rights on the site. I would not want to post on Lavertus for example. I may want to contribute comments however that is in the balance given the tone of rejoinders to this post.
The ALP will most likely crash and burn on the Green agenda, including the climate change strategies. People of good will of all parties will not rejoice at this spectacle