Thursday, April 15, 2010

Was that just a hint of cowardice, Mr Mounsey?

It appears that, on occasion, there are risks in treating people in a vile manner. Yesterday, the leader of the Libertarian Party and angry blogger, Chris Mounsey aka Devil's Kitchen, met with a terrible fate, when his past unpleasantness caught up with him. In a brief interview with Andrew Neil, he was admittedly ambushed with a quote from one of his more angry postings, in which he expressed the wish that a union leader he disagrees with should "bleed to death".

As someone who believes for the most part in playing the ball rather than the man, you might reasonably expect me to disapprove of young Mr Mounsey. Indeed, I do disapprove of his style. However, as long as he doesn't break the law, he should be free to express himself as he wishes, a basic tenet of libertarianism, I should have thought.

However, what surprised me was that, as a supposedly stout defender of freedom, when challenged, he caved in and accepted that he should apologise to the union leader concerned (and did), and with equal alacrity accepted that his behaviour was unacceptable in a Parliamentary candidate - even though he isn't one.

It seems that treating your fellow humans in a vile way is easy if done in a quasi-anonymous fashion, but as soon as he was called on it where everyone knew that it was him, he squirmed in a rather craven manner. Indeed, subsequently, he has decided that his job is rather more important than his integrity.

Fair enough. He enjoys his job, and he'd quite like to keep it. However, he has made a series of extremely provocative statements over time, and seems unwilling to defend them. If they are wrong now, they were wrong then, and he should buy a few reams of paper and a couple of hundred stamps for the letters of apology. If they were right then, they are right now, and he should have stood by them.

Perhaps he has learnt a valuable lesson though, that with certain types of behaviours come consequences. And if you can't handle those consequences, perhaps you should stay out of the kitchen?...


Devil's Kitchen said...


The point is that the consequences would not fall on me—they would fall on the party and the company. These entities feature other people, and that is why I had to back down.


Mark Valladares said...


Actually, the consequences fall upon you. However, there are consequences for those with whom you are associated.

By acting in the way you have, you have denied those parties the opportunity to evaluate the consequences for them and decide whether or not your continued presence is in their interest. LPUK, it appears, decided that they were willing to accept those consequences, and good for them.

It appears that your employer wasn't so keen. Their choice was to keep you or to let you go. It sounds as though you didn't fancy the latter. That's entirely fair, and I entirely understand. However, it does seem contradictory given the stance you take on so many other issues.

Your style has never been one that I'm comfortable with. I tend not to use language that would offend many people, and I'm quite a sensitive soul when it comes to abuse - one of the reasons that I've avoided 'retail politics' until now. However, I would defend your right to do so, just so long as you are willing to accept the potential consequences.

So, I disagree with you when you suggest that you did what you did for others. You did it for yourself, and are using your employer and your party as cover. I'm disappointed by that, but as someone who is pretty cynical about the political process, perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised when you turn out to be just another politician.