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Why we cannot afford to tolerate fascists

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, April 4th, 2019 - 130 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Christchurch Attack, International, law, law and "order", Politics, terrorism, uk politics - Tags:

In the UK a trial has just finished where a neo nazi conspired with others to kill his local MP who happened to be a female Labour MP.

Hope not Hate was behind the protection of a member of the neo nazi’s gang who turned whistle blower on his plan.

The Guardian has more detail:

A neo-Nazi who admitted plotting the murder of the Labour MP Rosie Cooper will not face a second retrial for membership of the banned group National Action.

Jack Renshaw, 23, bought a 48cm (19in) gladius knife to kill the West Lancashire MP and a female police officer against whom he had a grudge, the Old Bailey heard. The plan was scuppered by Robbie Mullen, who was at a meeting in a pub when Renshaw announced he was going to kill Cooper.

It happened just a year after the Labour MP Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot by the far-right extremist Thomas Mair.

Renshaw, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, had admitted making preparations to kill his local MP in 2017 and making a threat to kill the police officer Victoria Henderson, who was investigating him.

However, he denied membership of the banned extreme rightwing group National Action, as did Andrew Clarke, 34, and Michael Trubini, 36, from Warrington.

The jury deliberated for more than 48 hours but were unable to reach majority verdicts on any of the defendants following the retrial. The judge, Mrs Justice McGowan, discharged the jury after being told there was no prospect of them reaching verdicts if given more time.

The Free Speech coalition would have us believe that discourse and discussion of people like Renshaw’s world views is the best way to deal with him.

But I am not so sure.  I must admit I am heading towards the approach advocated by comedian Aamer Rahman:

Or at least active humiliation of those with strange views like the humiliation egg boy inflicted on Fraser Anning.

For a more esoteric theoretical analysis of the problem this graphic usinng the thoughts of philosopher Karl Popper provides one.

And I wonder what the UK Security service was doing.  After all it took a dedicated peace group and a whistle blower to alert the authorities what was happening.

But maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe they are repenting and changing their ways.

Maybe we just need to talk to them about the harm they are causing.

But somehow I am not so sure.

130 comments on “Why we cannot afford to tolerate fascists”

  1. Ad 1

    Pretty much the perfect debate to be having in this country as well.
    Well timed Mickey.

  2. Stuart Munro. 2

    It seems to me that dealing with fascism is not an area in which we need to reinvent the wheel. We, and our related nations, have dealt with the threat before.

    Neo-Nazis are characteristically paramilitary. They form cells. They conspire and incite in ways that are covered by existing laws. Locally, they buy guns from a person manifestly unfit to retain a license to sell them. All of these matters can be addressed by existing laws and agencies if they get their act together. Sites like 8Chan can be subjected to international police action – a more productive use of those powers than pursuing the likes of Assange.

    What I wouldn’t recommend is a crude postmodern broadbrush assault on white guys. Quite a lot of us aren’t neo-Nazis. New hate speech laws are probably unnecessary – most of the powers required to suppress a violent fifth column have been on the books since Massey was using them to crush unions.

    Some kind of press regulation discouraging vagrant opinion writing and requiring some degree of truth would not go amiss however.

    • arkie 2.1

      It seems to me that dealing with fascism is not an area in which we need to reinvent the wheel. We, and our related nations, have dealt with the threat before.

      Except we’ve failed to stop neo-nazis killing people. We’ve failed to stop neo-nazi’s from running insulation businesses with white power symbols all over their branding. We’ve turned a blind eye to neo-nazis and they’ve seen that inaction as a kind of apathetic approval.

      What I wouldn’t recommend is a crude postmodern broadbrush assault on white guys. Quite a lot of us aren’t neo-Nazis.

      I don’t understand what a postmodern broadbrush assault is so I wouldn’t recommend it either. It should be remembered; neo-nazis are an admittedly tiny subset of white guys, but it is very rare for a white supremacist to not be white and male. That means white guys need to be the most vocal in their condemnation of neo-nazis.

      • Stuart Munro. 2.1.1

        “That means white guys need to be the most vocal in their condemnation of neo-nazis.”

        Actually they don’t have much to do with us. It’s a job for police and security services, whose culture has reached the point that someone like Tipple can get a gun sellers license, and an AR15 can be passed off as not being military style.

        It’s sufficient for the public to point out agent provocateurs like Southern, or recruitment/radicalization forums.

        If you haven’t been attacked by postmodern assholes, good for you – you must be one of the only ones left.

        • arkie

          If you haven’t been attacked by postmodern assholes, good for you – you must be one of the only ones left.

          See I still have no idea how I would even recognise that I was being attacked by postmodern assholes? And i’m not sure it would significantly affect my life.

          People I know routinely have abuse yelled at them from passing vehicles, some have been egged. They’re being called terrorists, being told to ‘go back to where you came from’. They have been receiving death and rape threats online. My friend is a former refugee, a Muslim and a woman and this abuse has increased since the 15th.

          What would you call those who have been attacking her? Does it matter how they justified it to themselves? Do you think the police and security services should doing something about this everyday casual bigotry?

          What is important that we say that that behaviour is unacceptable, and that we stand together against people think that it is.

          • Stuart Munro.

            Postmodern assholes are readily recognizable, Arkie.

            They launch ill-conceived attacks on their bugbears – white straight males – without troubling to determine whether they are a) members of the patriarchy, b) possessors or benefactors of stolen indigenous lands, or c) LGBTphobes.
            Being none of the above, I am intolerant of their intolerance, which, far from assuring me of restrained and polite treatment, singles me out for increased abuse.

            I am sorry for your friend, I’ve taught a number of Muslims myself. Some of my Korean friends also met drive by abuse. It is hard to know what substance there might be to such people’s processes of self justification.

            Everyday casual bigotry is a complicated question, as are police responses. One of the justices in Donahue v Stephenson said something along the lines of ‘the bible calls upon us to love our neighbours, but the law demands something less, that we don’t injure our neighbours’. Police resources are not infinite, but in the current climate it seems that racist trolling, which is often traceable to some degree, might be followed up.

            • RedLogix

              My adopted Chinese son encountered the same casual drive by racism when visiting a nearby town on his own, but in the 18 months he was in Australia it was the only incident. It certainly didn’t put him off the place; toward the end he was pretty reluctant to go home and was thinking about ways to stay in Australia.

              On the same day he was taking some innocent pics of kids playing in a public playground and was mightily baffled to be accused by a woman charging up to him of being a ‘pedo’. We had to explain that word to him.

              It’s my experience that most people are nowhere near as good as they think they are. Almost none of us have been in a situation where we could be evil and get away with it, and many people when given a bit of social license or perceived moral authority quickly go about proving how unfit they are to wield it.

              That’s the lesson Milgram taught us.

              • Stuart Munro.

                I am not a member of the patriarchy, and thus I cannot claim to be expert on them. However, the defining trait of this body (or alleged body), is the exercise of authority in such a fashion as to disadvantage women. I don’t hold any position of authority, and thus, even were I a second Gilles de Rais, I could not do so.

                Positions of authority are indeed often somewhat determined by birth, the inglorious political career of Don Brash might never have occurred were he not descended from the well known Thomas Brash, for example.

                I am sure some people become members, the sclerification of people as they age is well attested.

                The number of post modern assholes who have tried to hang the epithet on me suggests that the thrusting does happen, though in genuine cases it would be by appointment to a position of invidious authority, like the appointment of Carter as Speaker, for example. I’m not presently in imminent danger of such an elevation.

                • mpledger

                  According to wikipedia
                  “Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. ”

                  Nowadays, Patriarchy tends to benefit only those at the top so the middle and working classes don’t get much benefit (compared to when men controlled the money and property of their wives).

                  To get to the top, it helps to be born to it (Trump) or have the right skills (Obama).

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    There are two patriarchies of course. One is the sociopolitical structure of deeply conservative, often religious societies.

                    The other is a chimera, the bete noire of contemporary feminism. Like the Elders of Zion or the Masons, it may exist to some degree, but the degree of concordance between the claims and the actual influence is less readily judged. Like Orientalism it is a flawed premise that nevertheless contains a few insights.

                    • Maggie

                      Hate to break it to ya Stuart but you’re part of a patriarchal system, so am I. You can pretend it isn’t so all you like but in the end you’re only fooling yourself.

                      Your own beliefs fall in line with patriarchal ideology and whilst you had no choice about being born into it you do have a choice as to whether you further the broken narrative of an oppressive societal ideology.

                    • marty mars

                      As a privileged male within the patriarchy you dont see it because you’re totally immersed within it as we all are. Big worded sentences dont change that mate sorry.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Maggie, I wish you joy of your certainty, but I don’t subscribe to that particular fantasy.

                      I know who my oppressors are, and I’ve copped plenty of racist abuse in my time, as well as the infinitely more serious prejudicial actions.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @ Marty

                      “As a privileged white male”

                      You have NFI what you’re talking about.

                    • marty mars

                      @ stuart – yeah this is a blog. If you’ve got context and want to share go ahead. If not don’t. But don’t bleat when you get comment in response to your words.

                      Btw I called you a priviledged male not a privileged WHITE Male as you quoted – get your fucken facts right doofus.

                    • Maggie

                      My certainty is always being torn down and rebuilt to better fit the things I learn. It is total ignorance and arrogance to assume truth and I have learned the hard way that holding on to personal beliefs as though they are representative of my core being is foolish and ultimately invites a painful separation when they’re shown to be false.

                      I have been wrong and no doubt am wrong about many things which is why I challenge those beliefs and demand proofs.

                      What I suggest to you is that you open your mind to the fact that our minds deceive us all the time. Learn to love the discomfort of cognitive dissonance because it is proof you’re on the verge of seeing a different perspective. If you choose to live one-eyed and accepting of any poorly thought out article that supports your beliefs then get comfortable with having your position challenged because you’re inviting it. You can’t complain of being run over when you lie down on railway tracks.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @ Maggie

                      I have seen what passes for contemporary intellectualism and most of it is contemptable nonsense.

                      I had to pay to listen to that crap, but I would not have done so willingly, nor do I endorse it.

                      Putting low replicability crap like Derrida on a par with Kant shows an inability to deal with the material, and goes a fair way to explain the death of the Arts.

                      The upshot of Kuhn, a debased form of Popperian falsifiability, asserts that ‘anything goes’, so long as an academic community endorses it. Thus we get a triumph of form over content, and the destruction of core academic values. I reject arguments based on that crap out of hand – as do large sections of our society.

                      If there is to be a social consensus on rolling up the neo-Nazi presence, which I consider reasonably desirable, it will proceed on the basis of what is known and can be discovered about such groups.

                      The unverified presumptions of the self-styled ‘woke’ Left will contribute no light, but an abundance of heat to such an endeavor.

                    • Maggie

                      @ Stuart

                      “The unverified presumptions of the self-styled ‘woke’ Left will contribute no light, but an abundance of heat to such an endeavor.”

                      This from the guy who offered the unverified presumptions of Stove with his ‘The Intellectual Capacity of Women’ as a serious rebuttal.

                • Gabby

                  You didn’t get ‘postmodern’ in there stuey.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Forgive me – postmodernism – also called “terrorist obscurantism” is not worthy of examination by the illustrious readers of this site.

                    • Gabby

                      How achingly badly do you want to be jawdie pootyson stuey?

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      I read a bit of one of his books – until he started making assertions that exceeded his evidence. He’s a little like Marx, though an order of magnitude or two inferior – better at explaining a problem than conceiving of a solution.

                    • RedLogix

                      Inferior to Marx maybe, but less likely to be associated with 10’s millions of dead bodies.

                  • Chris

                    No, he didn’t, but if he did and the term was used in the same way as he’s tried to use it in earlier comments it would’ve been used wrongly, again. The only thing anyone here’s said that resembles postmodernity of any kind is Maggie when she said “My certainty is always being torn down and rebuilt to better fit the things I learn.” What’s a postmodern asshole, anyway?

        • Anthony Rimell

          See, you got me Stuart. There I was all set to have a reasoned discussion, ensuring that in a considered way we look at the key fact that when the offenders are from the dominant group it behooves the rest of us from that group to actively call it out…

          And then you reveal where your thinking really comes from:

          “If you haven’t been attacked by postmodern assholes, good for you – you must be one of the only ones left.”

          You may not be a neo-nazi, but your language reveals that you actually have far more in common with them than you will admit (or perhaps realise). You’re using the same language of ‘but Im the real victim here’ that stirs up the angry hearts of these thugs, who crush kill and destroy in the name of ‘a fair go for white people’.

          So from one white guy to another: we arent the victims. We’re the group the perpetrators come from. And it absolutely must stop. Now.

          • Stuart Munro.

            Okay full points as a qualifying postmodern asshole.

            I did not shoot up a mosque full of innocents. Take it up with those who did.

            You want a go at me? I will ridicule your pretention till the cows come home.

          • Maggie

            Thank you Anthony. Your attitude really gives me hope. I fully believe that most white men want to do the right thing, that they didn’t choose the culture they were born into and, once shown how and where the problems flourish they act to set things right.

            I used to be a very angry feminist who refused to see women as anything but victims of a patriarchal evil but the more I read about feminism the more I realised that today’s men weren’t “the bad guys”.

            It’s really hard for white guys to figure out a new way of thinking and seeing the world and because I understand that I’m a lot less angry and have learned to trust that most men want to get this right.

            I still consider myself a feminist because I have a deep yearning for women to be free to make choices in their lives but I no longer look at white men as “the enemy”. I save that designation for ignorance.

            • ianmac

              As a mere male I declared myself as a feminist but some local feminists told me that I could not be one. As a concession they said I could be a Feminist Supporter. Gee thanks but what is in a label? Actions speak louder.

              • Maggie

                You can be whatever you want to be Ian. And yes, you can be a feminist.

                Actions all the way 🙂

          • marty mars

            + 1

            I agree that it must stop now too. No more excuses.

        • Maggie

          “It’s a job for police and security services, ”

          Wouldn’t want to get your hands dirty aye. Silence condones behaviour.

          “It’s sufficient for the public to point out agent provocateurs like Southern, or recruitment/radicalization forums.”

          No it isn’t enough. We have a collective responsibility to maintain social order and the most effective way to do that is by challenging the behaviour as soon as you see it. And I’m not suggesting getting into a full on confrontation with skin heads but simply not sitting in silence while a mate makes a racist joke or comment.

          • Stuart Munro.

            “Wouldn’t want to get your hands dirty aye. Silence condones behaviour.”

            Oh, you want me to indulge in some form of vigilantism against them? I wouldn’t object, but the police might.

            But this post modern shaming crap of unconnected people? No. Hell no.

            The idea that racism drives everything, and needs to be punished is prurience – the same vice that seems to have brought about the demise of western religions. Racism will always be with us.


            We are obliged to discriminate between harmful and harmless expressions of it.

            • arkie

              In his essay “Why You Should be A Conservative”, Stove argued that actions can have unforeseen and unwelcome consequences; that just because something is wrong or evil, it does not follow that the world would be better off without it; and that a decline in respect for life and property had led to a decline in quality of life.

              In “Racial and Other Antagonisms” (1989) Stove asserted that racism is not a form of prejudice but common sense: “Almost everyone unites in declaring ‘racism’ false and detestable. Yet absolutely everyone knows it is true”.

              In “The Intellectual Capacity of Women” (1990) stated his belief that “the intellectual capacity of women is on the whole inferior to that of men”.



              • Stuart Munro.

                You should read the essay, Arkie, it is pretty solid as it happens, and offers no comfort to chauvinists whatsoever.

              • Maggie

                I think Stuart has just been ‘outed’. Mind you, I’m just a lil woman, what would I know. 😁😁😁

                • Stuart Munro.

                  I have heard the assertion before. But only from bigots 😀

                  • Maggie

                    Good on you for owning it Stuey. Admitting it is the first step.

                  • Maggie

                    No prob, I’ll read it now.

                  • Maggie

                    Oh boy, now that was fun! Are you pulling my leg with this article? It’s a joke right?

                    I thought the article would at least be challenging. I’m very disappointed Stuart. If this is your go-to piece of scientific research it’s no wonder your head is full of silly ideas.

                    Stove says this of intelligence: “achievement is both a good indicator and the only available indicator of ability. Similarly, lack of achievement is both a good indicator and the only available indicator of absence of ability, other things being equal.”

                    Whoa there! So here we have a basic logical flaw. He’s saying that achievement is evidence of ability therefore a lack of achievement is evidence of a lack of ability. Ummm, no.

                    The rule of inference says:
                    It is true, and proves itself, that if something occurs, it CAN occur but impossibility can’t be inferred from non-existence. That’s like saying an explosion didn’t occur therefore explosions can’t occur.
                    Or put another way – an explosion is evidence of bombs therefore no explosion means no bombs
                    That’s totally illogical.

                    You’ll have to do way better than that my friend. D minus for you.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      You finished it then? The point that makes his argument valid is that of a total sample. The feminist straw man he is debunking is that male dominance repressed them throughout history, and that, due to these circumstances, women necessarily appear to underperform.

                      His argument is that, being present for the totality of history, women had equal opportunity to compete for the dominant status, but real world examples of that are comparatively rare.

                      As with most sweep of history arguments it offers little or nothing on the contemporary intelligence or otherwise of women except to weaken the presumption of millennia of oppression.

                  • Maggie

                    Stuart, the whole article is built on a false premise therefore anything he draws from that is tainted by the first error. It’s like maths in that if you get the first bit of a calculation wrong the error is carried through the entire thing.

                    “The feminist straw man he is debunking is that male dominance repressed them throughout history, and that, due to these circumstances, women necessarily appear to underperform.

                    His argument is that, being present for the totality of history, women had equal opportunity to compete for the dominant status, but real world examples of that are comparatively rare.”

                    Yet he offers no such proof of equal opportunity. He “supposes” there must have been equal opportunity. Again, very flawed logic that is built entirely on imagination.

                    It seems like you’ve grabbed the nearest confirmation and said to just ignore the fact that it’s illogical. I think I’ll stick with science thanks.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Having a total sample he need not correct for selectivity. Never mind.

                    • McFlock

                      Stuart, that’s not even relevant to what Maggie said.

                      The assumption is that women started out equal and were therefore equally placed to achieve dominance over men as men were to achieve dominance over women.

                      Equal status as hunter-gatherers doesn’t necessarily translate to equal opportunity to dominate in an agrarian society.

                      You don’t need a confidence interval to figure that one out.

            • Maggie

              Got your back against the wall there Stuart. Great way to polarise an argument.

              Here’s the bit you missed in your reactive state:
              “And I’m not suggesting getting into a full on confrontation with skin heads but simply not sitting in silence while a mate makes a racist joke or comment.”

              Tell me how that is condoning vigilantism?

              “Unconnected people” – so you are a white male? And who’s saying racism drives everything?

              Xenophobia is a hard-wired instinct in our brains that gave us a survival advantage. Back when we were cavemen, those that quickly distinguished between ‘us’ and ‘them’ with a mistrustful eye were more likely to survive, since doing so helped to protect our families from physical threats and resource competition coming from foreign tribes. We still see xenophobic instincts alive and well in stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, racism, violence, and warfare.
              But that doesn’t mean we are compelled to be racist. It simply means that we need to work at overcoming that instinctual mistrust of the unfamiliar.

              Why do we need to? Because we don’t live in bubbles. Get used to it.

              “The idea that racism drives everything, and needs to be punished is prurience – the same vice that seems to have brought about the demise of western religions. ” Hahaha, did you really just say that the desire to stamp out racisms is…lustful?? And sex ruined religion? Well, best you take that up with your “god”. He none too bright if he didn’t see that making sex fun would have toppled his house of cards now.

              • Stuart Munro.

                “the desire to stamp out racisms is…lustful??”

                No, it is merely the latest iteration of the social sneer. The churchmen of the 18th century who sneered at the nakedness of indigenous peoples while accepting the stipends from clothing manufacturers that gave them the title “Men of the Cloth” were no less hypocritical.

                It is notable that our new zealots are reluctant to pursue the actual instigators of racist violence – instead they want to crusade against their perceived class enemies.

                Any attempt to direct them to the militant cells, and away from their inoffensive preferred targets, is deeply resented.

                • McFlock

                  It’s a bit like convolvulus in a garden.

                  The militant cells are just the vines above the ground.
                  But unless you get the racist roots and stems in the soil, your garden will eventually be overgrown.

                  • RedLogix

                    Roundup or Tordon?

                    • arkie

                      We must to do the mahi and dig it out by hand, Red.

                    • Sabine

                      neither, you dig, you follow the root you pull, you burn, do not compost.

                      rinse repeat without end, as in the end weeds if not taken care of regularly and with dedication will always raise their ugly little heads and kill your garden.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Good analogy.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Although we don’t have solid evidence of their activity locally, there are groups that like to fund extremism of this kind. One is the NRA. Bill Buford, in Among the Thugs (a study of British football hooliganism) was able to establish the existence, but not the identity, of funders of that violent subculture also.

                    • McFlock

                      Boycotting businesses with far-right symbols as their logos might be a start.

                      Part of the problem is that we forgot what these symbols were, while the fuckwits remembered. And when we did remember, we wrote it off as just an obscure connection – NASA naming an object “ultima thule” being a case in point.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @McFlock – yes – let’s (following the convolvulus analogy) pull up the roots of some of these networks, before deciding about a broad spectrum weedkiller. They might lead somewhere interesting. The police would probably enjoy the challenge – a break from the banality of domestic violence and the like.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not hippie, but I suspect trying to use weedkiller on convolvulus would be a bit like salting the earth, given the quantity needed and how far those bloody tendrils will snake around underground.

                • Maggie

                  “It is notable that our new zealots are reluctant to pursue the actual instigators of racist violence”

                  You make an interesting point. I’ve argued before that people tend to fight the overt signs of discrimination whilst denying their own complicity. For example, being vocal against child labour whilst continuing to buy chocolate from companies that use child labour.

                  This is why we must root out racist notions within ourselves and refuse to tolerate our own racial/gender bias because discrimination is a death by a thousand paper cuts. Attacking the militant cells is an overt gesture when the disease begins in the ignorance of those who believe themselves justified in their supremacy. And anyone who asserts that racism is justified, who believes that men are superior, who believes they have no culpability is the perfect breeding for such infections of ignorance.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    I think your implicit premise is that this kind of violence is a natural outgrowth of ordinary domestic antagonism. I’m by no means convinced that that is the case. If it were, I don’t think we’d have had to wait for radicalizing offshore forums to generate this kind of violence.

                    “rooting out racist notions within ourselves” presupposes that they are present and/or irrational. It is not in introspection, but in interactions with others that partiality must be avoided.

                    It’s a fine generalization to suppose that you understand the logic of a contrarian philosopher without reading his work. But people like Stove can save you from the kind of dangerous groupthink that supposes one can label someone a racist simply because they do not endorse a new variant of thought policing.

                    • Maggie

                      I don’t do group think – on anything. The only thing Stove saves anyone from is reality.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @ Maggie

                      It must be said that you put up a much better argument than most.

                      “I don’t do group think”

                      We all do to some degree. A bit further up thread you thought I was outed. As what? A racist? A chauvinist? A skeptic? A troublemaker? – all loose synonyms for heretic.

                      In my generation we did not tamely agree with the authorities presented us – they had to be persuasive.

                    • Maggie


                      A heretic? You? Nah, not in the least.

                      To be frank, your thinking is exactly what I expect from someone who feels disenfranchised.

                      At every turn you reveal a little more of yourself and how you feel about the world.

                      I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m not that smart, just observant. I notice what people DON’T say, when they flinch, when they duck and dive around a topic. I watch how they react to words and who says them and weigh up the different responses. It’s in the silent gaps between the words that I find the unspoken truth of people.

                      Written media can be harder to read but it’s slower so there’s that advantage but watching people speak spills all the beans about them.

                      This is why I say to you that I know you’re angry, furious even, but you’re still wrong.

                      Why else would a highly intelligent man such as yourself fail to notice the glaring inconsistencies and basic logical flaws in Stove’s article?

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @ Maggie

                      I’ll take Stove over wretched crap like Derrida, Barthes, Saussure and the rest any day of the week.

                      And you know, I’ve been told I was wrong before. I’ve gotten quite used to seeing those assertions swept away by the tide of history.

                      We’ll know if there’s anything in contemporary academia when they can produce a new synthesis. There is little to suggest one is coming.

                    • Maggie


                      Stove has other solid and reputable work. That article wasn’t one of them and I think he knew it. He didn’t want it published and it certainly isn’t put together like a well thought argument. So, I have to believe it was a bit of a rant more than a serious go at the topic.

                      He asserts that past non-achievement is good evidence that there won’t be achievement in the future and is therefore good evidence of innate lack of capacity. This is both logically flawed and ignores the fact that female IQ scores have increased at a greater rate than males over the last 100 years to the point there is no relevant difference between the sexes. This increase coincides with the changes western women have experienced, namely, access and participation in education, sport, religion and work environments.
                      But what is most important is that IQ tests are fundamentally flawed at measuring and defining intelligence which is evident in the plethora of variable results and to suggest inferiority because of these test scores is ultimately lazy and self-serving.

                      I don’t ascribe to anyone in their entirety. There are bits of Neitzche that are brilliant, other stuff I don’t agree with. I tend to be a bit arrogant in that I don’t consider any academic, philosopher, thinker, professor to be above reproach. I won’t accept information just because it came from a famous mind.

                      The beauty of opinion is that you get to think what you like. You can dismiss or embrace any ideas or theories you choose.

            • Gabby

              Is post modern the same as postmodern stuey?

              • Stuart Munro.

                In my experience postmodernism is infinitely fluid, and thus the answer would be no. But for practical purposes they are equivalent.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Minor technical correction: postmodernism is infinitely fluid as a cultural ecosystem. As belief system, I suspect it remains as originally agreed by those who defined it.

                  I’m open to proof to the contrary, just coming from how paradigms operate as social archetypes. Like a plan, they persist. Theories can be amended, but that’s rare – normally they tend to be surpassed by better theories. As per Kuhn, later generalised to other fields of knowledge in the eighties (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm_shift).

      • Maggie 2.1.2

        “That means white guys need to be the most vocal in their condemnation of neo-nazis.”

        I agree with you. It’s about confronting bad behaviour way before it becomes extreme. And it’s not like women and minorities can do it because what we think is largely dismissed. Social shaming is a highly effective tool and curbing inappropriate behaviour and it doesn’t have to be a full on confrontation either. Simply saying “that’s not on, mate” when you hear racist comments or jokes can be powerful. The more often people get the message that it’s not ok the greater the influence.

        • Anne

          It’s about confronting bad behaviour way before it becomes extreme. And it’s not like women and minorities can do it because what we think is largely dismissed.

          On the button Maggie.

      • Chris 2.1.3

        Stuart’s using the term ‘postmodern’ incorrectly.

    • McFlock 2.2

      Us straight white guys are the ones neonazis don’t like to be judged by.

      • Stuart Munro. 2.2.1

        I don’t want to judge them – I just want them to go before a beak, and lose their arsenals. If I may generalize, these people’s experience of Islamic oppression is largely theoretical, and as such they can in fact lose it if they manage to join a community that does not amplify their hate.

        • McFlock

          As the latest fuckwit demonstrated, waiting for them to want to accrue an arsenal before intervening is too late. They have the intelligence and the will to improvise solutions that bypass regulations.

          We can’t restrict access to acetone and pressure cookers.

          • Stuart Munro.

            Quite. Or indeed trucks, or the components of dust charges.

            We need a multispectrum approach, one element of which ought to be addressing the elements of neo-liberalism Poisson quotes John Ralston Saul on down thread.

            The gross inequality generated by this economic mysticism generates a pervasive feeling of victimhood ripe for exploitation by those who mean to profit from social unrest.

            • McFlock

              Dunno about all that. But the more privileged amongst us have the greater responsibility to deny and condemn the philosophies of fuckwittism that benefit ourselves.

              Men should be strong allies for women’s rights against misogyny, and white guys should be strong allies against eurocentric insecure fuckwits.

              The most important store boycotts are from customers who would normally shop there. That’s what we need to do against fascism.

  3. Maggie 3

    I was reading yesterday that it used to take years to radicalise a racist but due to that marvelous thing called technology it’s happening in a matter of months if not weeks.

    I think tackling them once they’re radicalised is too late and that we need to be dealing with those that are simmering.

    People like Jordan Peterson aren’t helping. He feeds the belief that white males are being pushed out of some rightful position and validates their rage against minorities and women.

    Social media, well, media in general need to be held to account for monetising hate. Youtube will stop paying youtubers who promote hate but they keep the money for themselves.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 3.1

      It’s not technologies fault for making access to information easier for stupid and impressionable people. This is cause du jours way of continuing the abdication of personal responsibility, the lack of which allows arseholes like the Christchurch shitbag to feel resentful they’ve lost their place in the world and what Jordan Peterson precisely advocates against.

      Maybe what’s needed is an internet liscence. something to prove you can understand that vaccinations don’t cause autism, the earth isn’t flat, fluoride in drinking water isn’t harmful and that killing people to show your elite status amongst a sub culture of basement dwellers is a massive dick move full stop.

      Then society can restrict the access of stupid people while the worthies can roam free

      • Maggie 3.1.1

        Oh, I’m not blaming technology, just suggesting it was a faster car than snail mail for spreading information. You’ll see on my other posts I’m very in favour of personal responsibility.

        I totally agree on the internet licence but disagree about JP.

        Whilst he often says ‘take responsibility’ he also validates their fears and justifies their reactions.
        “He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”

    • Muttonbird 3.2

      People like Jordan Peterson aren’t helping. He feeds the belief that white males are being pushed out of some rightful position and validates their rage against minorities and women.

      Yep. His business model is to encourage a victim mentality among under-educated white men. This of course contributed to the Christchurch massacre.

      • marty mars 3.2.1

        I dont think those under educated blokes are going to like that conclusion mate.

      • Maggie 3.2.2

        I’m not convinced education has a whole lot to do with it. I think he’s a bit like cult leaders in that he’s adept at exploiting vulnerabilities.

  4. ianmac 4

    Were the gun firers in the Tory Fibs clip from the Brit Armed Forces or were they some para military group?

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Yes, the paradox is the important feature of the issue. I agree with Stuart that more competent targeting and enforcement is what the situation requires.

    Conflating the alt-right with the right is unhelpful, since it merely raises the confusion level in public debate. And look at Andrew Little, dancing his way around the elephant in the room, saying the current hate-speech law is inadequate without acknowledging who is responsible for implementing a law unfit for purpose!!

    I decided I would never vote National in 1970 because they were closet-fascists. I never have. I had filed my father and his father into that category after parting company with my generational zeitgeist (`apolitical is good’). I nowadays give the Nats credit for trending liberal since Muldoon, and him credit for merely pretending to be fascist.

    First credibility test for this govt will be the Mongrel Mob, apparently, and anyone else who refuses to abide by the incoming law. Will the armed-offenders squad suffice? If cops can’t cope, bring in the army! Useful anti-guerilla training.

    Aside from the real action, political responses to fascism will be conspicuous by their absence, so I endorse the anti-fascist sentiment by suggesting a cultural alternative.

    The Great Fascist Hunt. Everyone can play this game. It involves identifying the fascists in our midst and explaining why the identification is correct. The winner will be the one who finds the greatest number of fascists, with the most compelling rationale for identifying them. The judges will be our leading academic specialists on fascism, who will explain to the audience on the reality tv show precisely how to diagnose fascism, before evaluating the leading contenders for the prize.

    • Stuart Munro. 5.1

      The Mongrel Mob, for all its faults, cannot be mistaken for a neo-Nazi cell. It is therefore largely irrelevant to any Nazi hunting program, except as a source of intelligence.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        a source of intelligence

        Ah, but what kind of intelligence do the mongrels exhibit? Animal cunning? Emotional intelligence, as in providing community to the alienated? Would be a good topic for an academic dissertation in sociology, eh?

        • Stuart Munro.

          I’m sure there are some, though sociology would not be my frame of choice.

          Gangs are typically somewhat territorial, and are wont to skirmish with the pickets of competing groups. I imagine the Mongrels’ appraisal of neo-Nazi activity in their communities would help identify groups that might ‘help police with their enquiries’.

  6. solkta 6

    I’m not going to link to an act of violence but the video of Richard Spencer getting punched in the head is rather funny in a Batman kind of way. “It’s become kind of a symbol [POW]” and a symbol is created.

  7. New Zealand has been progressively destroyed by outside foreign influences, since the signing of the TOW, the country has been sold off to foreign interests by successive Governments who are not working in the interests of New Zealanders ?

    Maori were stripped of their lands by the Settlor Government’s, which decimated the Maori people in the 1800’s, we fought with the British in the 2nd Boer War, WW1 & WW2, Korea & Vietnam with the USA, many of these troops were Maori who got no thanks for their services. Especially in WW2 where the Maori people lost a lot of their leaders, subsequently many Maori women ended up marrying Europeans and there has been further alienation of Maori Land.

    With the urban drift to the Cities by Maori in the 1950’s on wards Maori were further alienated from their tribal homelands and we have had a breakdown in values hence the progression of the Maori Gangs, particularly Black Power & the Mongrel Mob.

    With the introduction of Rogernomics and the Neoliberal Experiment under the 1984 Lange Labour Government, the Government sold off highly profitable State Assets (Cash Cows) like the BNZ, Power Companies etc and failed to reinvest in the Country. Subsequent Governments have asset stripped the country, selling off State Houses and further Infrastructure to offshore merchant bankers without reinvesting in the country and our own people.

    One wonders why New Zealanders and fringe groups are getting pissed off with successive Governments Asset Stripping the country for the benefit of Offshore Investors.

    We are now ranked 30th in the World by the OECD when we were in the top 5 in the 1970’s b4 the Robert Muldoon National Government ?

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Cool, smoke a little more of that skunk weed, find the history of our economic relation to the empire. Explains why we ended up in the OECD top five. Economists call it market capture, generally.

      So the toffs told the colonials to use the new refrigeration system (1880s) to send frozen meat back to Britain for sale. Get rich quick via trickle-down was the theory that infested the psyche of the colonialists. Worked for some.

      Middlemen. Farmers got an end-cut, did okay. Govt got tax, so we got socialism, thus the top five status arrived via the natural synergy of the capitalist/socialist hybrid. As James Shaw reminded us in his campaign speeches for the Green leadership, this hybrid is the real-world economy. Politics framing the synergy as left vs right is mostly bullshit.

    • Michelle 7.2

      Well said skunk weed people need to know the dirty deeds and foul practises that formed this country and who benefitted the most from our governments colonial policies.

  8. Formerly Ross 8

    Karl Popper also said: “I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise.“

    Very wise because of course some religious groups are intolerant. Yet we don’t ban them because we value free speech and realise that we can hear and understand opposing views without the sky falling in.


  9. Sabine 9

    what really can’t be ignored and should have never is the fact that these guys are international, like true globalists even….gasp



    fun fact, while living in germany in the early 1980’s i few of my peers went punk, a few went goth and a few went neo nazi. And these neo nazis had their music come from the US, went to meetings in Austria, France and Italy and were very proud of the fact that they had ‘international ‘ following. And none of those in my group of people that i hung out were unemployed, uneducated, or from poor families. they were all fine upstanding german bourgeoisie and the internet did not exist at the time.

    We truly don’t have any idea just how connected these guys are, and hopefully the police in NZ will finally consider these fine upstanding white people the threat to society that they are.

  10. WeTheBleeple 11

    Denial and deflection from the perfect people section with their perfect pared repose of perfectly plausible prose relax now for there’s nought to see this empire’s nought to do with me.

  11. …we cannot afford to tolerate fascists

    No indeed. However, given the enthusiasm on the left for labeling “fascist” anything they don’t like (the flip side of 2017’s “She’s a pretty communist!”), definitions are likely to be a problem.

      • Gabby 12.1.1

        If you’re free to drive on whatever side of the road you feel like wozwoss, by all means continue to refer to the all wise frainy.

    • Maggie 12.2

      That’s pretty much the case with all labeling isn’t it. Makes it easier to dismiss the opinions and ideas of others when you can discount the source by calling them marxist, feminazi, etc. Even using left/right blanket labeling does the same thing.

      I think the problem isn’t a simple one of definitions but of our lazy and self-protective thinking.

    • Sabine 12.3

      communist, socialist, femnazi, man hater, baby killer, abortionist. – just a few of the things that i have been called by so called christian conservative men and women. 🙂

      fact is
      if it walks like a duck, talk like duck it might just is a duck.

      and while you just blame that the ‘left’ calls everyone a fascist would you care to point to instance where someone was blamed a fascist but is not?

      definition from the mirriam webster
      fascism noun
      fas·​cism | \ ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi- \
      Definition of fascism
      1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
      2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
      early instances of army fascism and brutality
      — J. W. Aldridge

      so really there are some governments and or politicians and media men and women the world over that could very well be called fascist and it would be factually correct.

      • Poission 12.3.1

        Whilst it may be a literary fact,it is still an opinion..

        John raulston saul defined a dictionary as a book of opinions in alphabetical order.

        Here is his opinion on fascism.

        “Now listen to the first three aims of the corporatist movement in Germany, Italy and France during the 1920s. These were developed by the people who went on to become part of the Fascist experience:
        (1) shift power directly to economic and social interest groups;
        (2) push entrepreneurial initiative in areas normally reserved for public bodies;
        (3) obliterate the boundaries between public and private interest — that is, challenge the idea of the public interest.
        This sounds like the official program of most contemporary Western governments.”

        • Anne

          No surprise then that the first stirring of fascist ideology began to take root in NZ 35 years ago. Yes,1984. How ironic.

          (1) shift power to economic and social interest groups;
          Bypass the government experts and set up (right wing) think tanks and private consultancy groups outside of the Public Service to advise on government policy?

          (2) push entrepreneurial initiative in areas normally reserved for public bodies:
          Sell off government owned enterprises and infrastructure to local and global business consortiums?

          obliterate the boundaries between public and private interest – that is, challenge the idea of public interest.
          Question the over-arching power of the government and push the line that the government should get out of our lives?

          Yep, three ticks for NZ.

          We set up a cushy little number at the bottom of the Pacific where fascist type ideology could flourish under the radar with apparent impunity. Now we reap the consequences.

        • Sabine

          so some governments, politicians and media men and women could be called fascists and the caller would be correct? is that what you are saying? And might that be the reason that we were prepared for the attack by muslims (as we have been told over and over) but not for the attack by the well to do average white boy from OZ?

      • Psycho Milt 12.3.2

        …would you care to point to instance where someone was blamed a fascist but is not?

        Read just about any thread about Syria or Ukraine on this blog and you’re left wondering which side aren’t the fascists.

        so really there are some governments and or politicians and media men and women the world over that could very well be called fascist and it would be factually correct.

        Lots of them, in fact. By your Merriam Webster definition, fascism is everywhere, from totalitarian regimes like PRNK down through religious authoritarians like Iran and Saudi Arabia, to ordinary authoritarian nationalists in Egypt, Turkey or Russia. New Zealand will have heaps of them. That’s a shitload of punching we all have laid out for us – either that, or definitions are a problem and we should be more careful about chucking the word “fascist” about as though it were just a synonym for “fuckwit.”

        • Jenny - How to get there?The

          My definition of fascist is simple, but blunt; Those who commit genocide, or support the committing of genocide.

          (Genocide deniers and apologists for genocide also fall under the category of fascist.)

          Clearly the Christchurch terrorist, meets the first two definitions. So I have no hesitation recognising him and his actions as ‘fascist’

  12. SPC 13

    The argument, that we cannot tolerate intolerance, because if we did the intolerant would gain power to oppress us (a Tory determined Brexit and Trump liar in chief), is well known by those who have power and then choose to retain it and never cede it (back) to the people. Thus their intolerance to criticism from political opposition – via suppression of free speech and identification and persecution of all dissidents.

    The global capitalist regime prioritising corporate interest and its associated security (government departments included) apparatus already operates in our democracies on this basis.

    • KJT 13.1

      After seeing what happened to Hagar, and right now to Bradbury, I am not sure that we should give any more power to our Government, along these lines.

  13. Siobhan 14

    Fascists are the least of our problems in NZ.
    And if we are going to start worrying about them because of one Australian with Father issues then maybe we should think about the reasons ‘Fascism’, so called, (did you mean racism?)… rises, rather than crossing our arms and endlessly declaring our disapproval.

    Though its cool, because you get to put up lots of pictures of skinheads and things, which deep down people find more exciting than pictures of our Austerity worshiping World Leaders and dysfunctional Media Moguls with their entirely self interested agendas..but sometimes you have to just move on.

    • Andre 14.1

      What a surprise – a response saying the subject of the OP isn’t a real problem, and that people should think and talk about the real problem.

      There’s the whole of Open Mike for raising all those other ‘the real problem’ issues.

    • Sabine 14.2

      walking and chewing gum

      it can be done.

      • In vino 14.2.1

        Quite true. I have done it. I took each step as it came, and refrained from swearing when I bit my tongue.

    • left_forward 14.3

      ‘Fascists are the least of our problems in NZ’

      Huh? That will take a bit of explaining!
      I see you didn’t try.

      • mauī 14.3.1

        Child poverty, homelessness, rheumatic fever… I’ve heard of all those.

        Facism in New Zealand? Never hear of that one.

  14. Sabine 15

    a little bit of dehumanising here and there, right its all in good fun, right? Its just lack of vocabulary, nothing more. Right?


    “It found Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan’s comments were inflammatory, devalued the reputation of Pasifika people within New Zealand and had the potential to cause widespread harm.

    The Authority (BSA) ruled she breached the good taste and decency and discrimination and denigration standards.

    NZME Radio was ordered to pay $NZ3,000 in costs and to broadcast a statement during Wellington Mornings with Heather du Plessis-Allan, summarising the BSA’s decision.

    Her comments came during a discussion about the prime minister attending the Pacific Islands forum in Nauru, when she questioned the use of the visit.

    “I mean, it’s the Pacific Islands,” she said. “What are we going to get out of them? They are nothing but leeches on us. I mean, the Pacific Islands want money from us. We don’t need money from them.”

    In a follow-up broadcast, Ms du Plessis-Allan attempted to clarify her comments saying: “[some] chap … from the Green Party said I ‘casually dehumanised our Pacific peoples’. Oh my gosh. Did I? Or did I say the Pacific Islands? I don’t know, confusing people with islands?”

    Maybe we really just should start with our media. And those that pay and hire these guys and girls.

    • SPC 15.1

      Well she certainly has a very mercenary take on what foreign policy and international relations entails – she has some idea it’s about the PM as corporate leader in chief doing trade deals with those who the most coin. Trumpian mefirstism.

      And government here for the haves, hand out for income tax cuts, tax free CG, while we have the lowest paid teachers and nurses in the OECD and associated under understaffing, waiting lists (including for housing) Pharmac operating on petty cash – and we still wait for CSC dental and mental health, addiction and various rehabilitation to be widely available in the Public Health network …

    • WeTheBleeple 15.2

      Really can’t see why she has a platform. Sticks the boot in based on opinion… not a journalists butt wipe.

  15. Gabby 16

    Duplicity should try, ‘shuddup, oar wozzin talkin tew yew’. It’ more convincing.

  16. Jum 17

    This is so boring; in the end it’s always about men wanting to control women. Get over it! They’re so much better than ‘you’.

  17. Mark 18

    Great article. Zero tolerance for fascists.

    Sick of people comparing left ‘extremists’ to right ‘extremists’

    As a rule, communists and even splinter left terror cells rarely involve themselves in the cold-blooded execution of young children. They may assassinate rich businessmen, or politicians, or political opponents, etc, and their bombs may kill the completely innocent as a matter of collateral damage.

    But the type of violence perpetrated by the Christchurch gunman, and other neo-nazi far right types is of an altogether different nature altogether.

    Fascists and neo nazis are in a league of their own when it comes to being pure evil motherfuckers, and I would say they beat out even Islamist extremists —the latter are as much mad as bad, but at least they accept people of whatever colour – as long as you believe what they believe. For racists there is something cold, hard and unforgiving —-you die not because of what you believe what you do, but simply because of how you were born.

  18. Jenny - How to get there? 19

    ‘It happened just a year after the Labour MP Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot by the far-right extremist Thomas Mair.’

    Why we cannot afford to tolerate fascists

    It is worth noting why Cox was targeted.

    Jo Cox was a prominent and ‘relentless’ outspoken opponent of fascism and intolerance.

    Cox was a leading supporter of Hope Not Hate the antifascist group that exposed the plot to assassinate MP Rosie Cooper.
    Cox was a loyal friend of the Syrian people and a fierce opponent of Syrian fascism. Cox refused to accept the fascist slurs and lies spread by the Assad regime, taken up wholeheartedly and unquestionably by so many in the West.

    ….While the entire country grieves for Jo, for Syrians in the UK her death represents a double blow.

    In Jo we lost a voice for tolerance and inclusion, a voice to counter racism and xenophobia.

    Syrian refugees particularly appreciated her strong compassion, which lives on in the Jo Cox Foundation’s support for Hope Not Hate, and in the Great Get Together events marking this anniversary.

    But for Jo, supporting refugees was not enough. She also wanted to help those Syrians still inside Syria, the ones unable to escape….

    ….She supported Syria Civil Defence, the rescuers known as the White Helmets. In parliament, Jo made one central demand: protect civilians. She didn’t just sympathise with Syrians, she fought for their rights with relentless passion.

    Many on both the left and the right are content with the UK’s role in accepting refugees, delivering humanitarian aid, and fighting only ISIS.

    But Jo understood that the refugee crisis, the humanitarian crisis, and the terrorism threat all stemmed from a single atrocity: Bashar al-Assad’s war against those Syrian civilians who opposed his rule….

    …..She advocated a comprehensive approach to Syria involving humanitarian, diplomatic, and military measures.

    More than words
    Those three aspects of UK policy—diplomatic, military, humanitarian—remain out of sync. British diplomats demand an end to the killing, but have nothing to give force to their words.

    Britain’s military focuses only on ISIS, constrained from acting to stop Assad’s bombing, or even from acting when Assad uses chemical weapons.

    Britain’s aid workers deliver record amounts of aid, but don’t have the backing from government to do aid airdrops to besieged communities.

    An ever-worsening situation for civilians in Syria and refugees outside Syria is matched by a strengthening of pro-Assad forces dominated by militias, by Iran’s foreign fighters, and by Hezbollah, who are a growing terrorist threat.

    ISIS is pushed back, but there is no end to terror in sight.

    Jo’s analysis has proven true: fail to protect civilians and we fail by every other measure…..

    ……Jo would have been utterly disappointed to see that her calls for a no-bombing zone and aid drops, including in her last speech as an MP, were ignored.


    Jo Cox’s voice was silenced by a fascist killer acting on the lies and propaganda spread through the internet by the Assad regime and other fascist groups.

    Jo Cox’s voice was silenced by the fascists, but the voices of the ordinary Syrians are being silenced, not just by the regime’s ongoing genocide in Syria, but also by the useful idiots in the West, who dismiss, censor and block any narrative than that of the fascists.

    We cannot afford to tolerate fascists

    If we really don’t tolerate fascists this means we must allow the voice of the Syrian people to be heard.

    Not tolerating fascism is not just keeping silent.

    Syrian refugees and their supporters are again trying to organise a public meeting in Auckland to give a voice to the Syrian people and tell the truth about Syria.

    Once they decide on a venue and a new date and can start advertising it, I would expect this site to carry their notice.

    This site has not once allowed a post in support of the Syrian people in revolt, but has carried many frankly disgusting posts that have pushed a hostile one eyed pro regime narrative. Particularly around the myth of Western regime change. And the defaming of the civil society volunteers that act on the ground to rescue victims of regime bombings, exposing the regime’s atrocities.

    In the interests of journalistic balance and fairness the one sided narrative being given here needs to change.

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