thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Monday, October 17, 2005
REASON - A statement of some fact (real or alleged) employed as an argument to justify or condemn some act, prove or disprove some assertion, idea, or belief.

JUSTIFICATION - The action of justifying or showing something to be just, right, or proper; vindication of oneself or another; exculpation; verification, proof (obs.). b. That which justifies; a justifying circumstance; an apology, a defence.

Not the same thing are they? There is a gulf between the meanings of these two words that Blair and the New Labour machine have been attempting to occupy since the London bombings. In doing so they are using the full repertoire of lies, PR techniques and half-truths that we have come to expect from them.

It has now become almost a mantra "there can be no justification for this kind of attack". The majority of people (including me) know and believe that already. They aren't looking for justifications of terrorist attacks - they are looking at reasons. In deflecting the arguments on to whether or not it was justified Blair is shifting the ground in such a way that it allows the media to frame the debate in terms of murderous fanatics and 'dangerous religious ideologies' or 'preachers of hate' or whatever this weeks sound bite happens to be. Doing this has allowed Blair and his government to dismiss all talk of reasons. It is an old and frequently employed PR tactic: If the terms of the debate are uncomfortable for you then change them. The direct link between these acts and the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and at the root, Palestine, is particularly uncomfortable ground for New Labour to fight on.

The level of duplicity in some of Blair's recent statements is almost staggering. Blair does not come from a position of religious innocence. He knows better than any of us some of the atrocities being perpetrated around the world - he has entire government departments paid to find them out and tell him about them. Therefore the selection of which atrocities he chooses to highlight and which he ignores says much about him and his policies.

The narrative New Labour has been providing the press with for a long time and that everyone is now familiar with runs thusly... There is a group of murderous fanatics hell bent on destruction who are fuelled by a virulent religious ideology and their attack is intended not to change any particular policies of the government but is meant to be an attack on our (sic) 'way of life.'

Charles Clarke speaking on 8th July...
"The fact is that the people who make these kind of attacks are about destroying the very essence of our society: our democracy, our media, our multicultural society and so on. That's not about Iraq or any other particular foreign policy issue, it's about a fundamentalist attack on the way we live our lives." [ii]

Politicians are essentially a cowardly bunch and the point of this narrative is not necessarily a vilification of certain sectors of the community. It is that it skilfully excludes the possibility that the activities of the UK government are in any way responsible for increasing the likelihood of attack. It also provides the press with sensationalist headlines and easy targets and therefore keeps them off the back of the government.

Don't fall for it.

[i] From
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 8:34 pm  
  • At 11:15 pm, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    Blair's ilk has the nasty habit of accusing anyone who points out the reasons for terror attacks of justifying those attacks.

  • At 12:34 pm, Anonymous michael said…

    they do indeed. i love the cartoon. had it for years but been waiting to use it. "the semantic mangle" is an invention politicians have been using for years.

  • At 1:26 pm, Blogger JOS said…

    Great post, Michael.

    Again and again we are told that suicide bombers blow themselves up because "they hate our way of life," but in reality they just want us (place Western "democracy" here) out of their homeland:

  • At 1:57 pm, Blogger JOS said…

    by the way...great name for a blog!

  • At 2:04 pm, Anonymous michael said…

    wasn't sure if the word was in common usage elsewhere.

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping

  • spinwatch
  • adbusters
  • internet archive
  • art not oil
  • blairwatch
  • bushflash
  • camcorder guerillas
  • corporate watch
  • campaign for press freedom
  • noam chomsky
  • common dreams
  • counterpunch
  • cost of war
  • david rovics
  • democracy now
  • dissident voice
  • the dossier
  • downing street says
  • etims
  • robert fisk
  • food not bombs
  • global research
  • gmwatch
  • impeach blair
  • indybay video
  • killing hope
  • lobbywatch
  • mediachannel
  • medialens
  • mickey z
  • mixed up records
  • george monbiot
  • mark thomas
  • john pilger
  • radio 4 all
  • schnews
  • snow shoe films
  • sourcewatch
  • tom englehardt
  • ukwatch
  • video activist network
  • howard zinn
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

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