Saturday, 1 August 2015

John Desmond Answers Anonymous:

The answers from ‘Anonymous’ are not helpful for two reasons.  


1.  The anarchist movement

‘Anonymous’ does not answer any of the questions about the anarchist movement, a movement to which Andy Meinke made three references in his post. The references that Andy Meinke made were as follows:

  1. ‘the Anarchist Movement as a whole’
  2. the anarchist movement today’
  3. everyone in the movement’.

Because ‘Anonymous’ does not answer any of the questions about the anarchist movement, an outstanding issue still remains. The issue is ‘Is the anarchist movement real or imaginary?’  


2.  The ‘Friends of Freedom Press’

‘Anonymous’ makes statements about the ‘Friends of Freedom Press’ that are inconsistent with those made by Andy Meinke about them. 

‘Anonymous’ stated:

 ‘The Friends is a dormant company with no formal financial or organisational ties to the Collective.’

The only responsibility the Friends have is to safeguard the building. As a dormant company this does not involve them paying for anything, day to day costs are covered by the collective and other building users.’


But Andy Meinke had stated:

 ‘The “Friends” are people who want to financially support the work that Freedom does in all it's aspects (shop, building, publishing and news) ….’

Freedom is … free from influence by those providing financial backing.’


Because the statements made by ‘Anonymous’ about the ‘Friends of Freedom Press’ are inconsistent with those made by Andy Meinke about them, an issue arises. The issue is ‘Who is right: “Anonymous” or Andy Meinke?’


In the remainder of his/her post, ‘Anonymous’ makes an invalid criticism and a risky suggestion.


1.  Chris Draper and Brian Bamford ‘do most of their writing from the other side of Britain’

This criticism by ‘Anonymous’ is invalid because it rejects what Chris and Brian have written – not upon the basis of whether it is true or false – but upon the basis of the location from which they mostly write.  Readers who are familiar with argumentation will recognize this argument as being a case of ad hominem, of arguing against Chris and Brian instead of what they have written.  Readers who are familiar with the history of newspaper publishing will recognize the close parallel between the phrase ‘the other side of Britain’ with the apocryphal newspaper headline ‘Fog in Channel: Continent cut off’.

In addition to being invalid, the criticism by ‘Anonymous’ raises an issue.  The issue is ‘Where is the boundary between “the other side” and “the side” of Britain?’

2.  The ‘best way to understand how Freedom Press works is to come to the shop and meet people’

My response to this suggestion by ‘Anonymous’ is to enquire whether anyone who comes to the shop risks meeting Gawain ‘the cunt’ Williams, as he once chose to describe himself, or Andy Meinke. What these people have done are matters of record. In 2010, Gawain Williams gratuitously and obscenely abused a life-long subscriber to ‘Freedom’. Then, last year, Andy Meinke boasted:


‘… Kropotkin might have started it, but we fucking finished it!’


Why would anyone who wants to understand how Freedom Press works risk meeting Gawain Williams or Andy Meinke? 


Anonymous said...

"statements about the ‘Friends of Freedom Press’ that are inconsistent"

There is no inconsistency. The Friends' support for the Collective is not a formal tie but an aspiration expressed in their documentation. Hence "want to."

If you were "gratuitously" abused (given your rather unpleasant history in this movement I'm very sceptical it would be any such thing) that's unfortunate, but arguments you've gotten yourself into in your everyday life have no bearing on how matters arise in formal meetings. Rest assured Brian, visitors to meetings are quite safe.

The "anarchist movement" is not formally defined by Freedom, but culturally we accept pretty much any view that favours non-hierarchical organising, excluding capitalists. I must say that you personally, as someone who has consistently defamed comrades, attempted to undermine the organisation and published personal details without people's consent would probably be asked to leave, as would Chris, but this is a problem related to your concrete actions, not your views.

The point about your physical distance from the building and total lack of involvement in the Collective's affairs over the last ten years is that you cannot possibly have any real idea how it works, or has worked. You don't know the people involved, the financial circumstances, or how any of it interacts. Hence for example this very series of posts repeatedly misconstruing a perfectly amicable 30-year relationship between the Friends and Collective as an episode of Dallas - it's all drama because you have no link to the reality.

andy meinke said...

I'm hopeful I can patch patch up my differences with Anonymous in the near future. Unfortunately I have to leave the “Clubhouse” now and go to a “demonstration”- look it up in your Funk & Wagnalls. Meantime here's the full paragraph of my popular quote from Freedom October 2014. Not quite a triumph but a failure for the anarchist movement.

“The movement had voted with it's feet, and it was not by shuffling them along to the nearest paper to sell a paper. Never mind, Kropotkin might have started it but we fucking finished it!”