The Observer’s outrageous TPA smearPosted on October 10, 2010
If you’re a libertarian tax-cutter, you don’t normally expect the Observer to like you. Their role would normally be to argue against your beliefs and positions. Sometimes that might be done intellectually, or tactically, or just aggressively – that’s fine, this is a war of ideas.
Yesterday, though, they fell below even the usual grubby standards of politics – by trying to smear the TaxPayers’ Alliance by false association to the neo-nazi English Defence League. If it wasn’t so outrageous it would be amusing – they seem incapable of deciding whether the TPA are slippered, Daily Mail, fuddy-duddies or rioting racist football hooligans.
The actual story in there was interesting – that the anti-Islam nuts who have been trying to piggyback on the Tea Party movement in the States have been working with the EDL. That’s obviously newsworthy and is based in fact. Unfortunately that’s where the facts end.
Obviously, coming from a left-wing perspective the author of the article, Mark Townsend, was keen to put the boot in on the whole Tea Party movement.
Despite its overwhelmingly libertarian, constitutionalist and low-spending focus, he tried to suggest that the two anti-Muslim whackos in his story represented all Tea Partiers. This is lazy journalism, but it’s also lazy thinking – exposing the Left’s continuing disbelief that anyone can like low taxes without being a racist, and their inability to imagine a truly atomist organisation with no centralised leadership.
Having made that leap, he decided to take another – jamming the TPA into the story, too. With no justification at all he even mentioned the EDL and the TaxPayers’ Alliance in the same breath:
“[Alan] Lake, believed to be a principal bankroller of the EDL, which claims to be a peaceful, non-racist organisation, is understood to be keen on the possibility of setting up the UK equivalent of the Tea Party. At an event organised by the Taxpayers’ Allliance last month, US Tea Party organisers outlined how the movement emerged last year, partly in protest at the US bank bail-out.”
This is a scandalous jump too far. Evidently in the mindset of the Left “EDL, Tea Party, TaxPayers’ Alliance, Muslim-hating” all go together into one folder – but there is no basis for that suggestion whatsoever. Mark Townsend should answer the following questions:
Do you have any evidence that the EDL and the TPA have anything to do with each other?
Do you have any evidence of an EDL link to the TPA/Tea Party meetings held in London a month ago?
Do you have any evidence of any contact between the TPA and Pamela Geller or Nachum Shifren?
The answer to each question will be “No” – which is why this appalling smear should be withdrawn. In the meantime, I suggest all of you fight back by joining the TaxPayers’ Alliance for free here.