¡ LIVE NOW @ live.novaramedia.com !
golden dawn electoral fraud magna carta london sisi bnp nationalism bonuses citizenship brexit apps islamophobia clr james bullshit jobs charlie lahr money ireland post-fordism YesVote balls bell hooks ukraine palestine value john mcdonnell oil lgbt uprising bias elon musk cpi birmingham facebook kobane religion ref communism millbank catalonia zero hours new labour property mexico austerity burnham coalition migrant labour movement pluralism pay education edl refusal gary barlow fracking maria miller privacy uaf loans fascism tsipras israel grants star trek tuition fees suicide prison IndyRef ludova strana nase slovensko privatization review tuc racism morsi spaceX results hospitality refusal of work communities libdems northern ireland Scottish Independence fbu chris grayling free syrian army house of lords uk industry bulgaria yes scotand local media freefede right to buy cameron migrants property rights tax evasion tactics global warming cities esol australia eire Tuzla jo johnson revolution paul nuttall portugal safety big pharma another europe is possible rape journalism digital media trolling london underground trident irish water crimea usa 22o colonialism ge2015 house of commons benefits easter rising uffc Media bias squatting sexual violence focus e15 ACAB owen jones engels sinn fein sian berry west bank workplace reappropriation borders pops bank of england student debt books rbi scotland democrats uber state pasokification libspill degrowth feminism greece pensions Gentrification turkey populism localism bingo music paris attacks social movements met is law barcelona en comu Dawkins manifesto evictions television human rights women police brutality comedy footwear putin Economy migration andy burnham reclaim the streets memes junior doctors left unity crisis care work neoliberalism james meadway gaza students pablo iglesias eastern europe gypsies david harvey direct action renting literature conservatives survivors asylum yes scotland riots climate individualism not fair not safe theft bernie sanders videos deficit international synthetic hedge housing action lawrence and wishart tabloids privatisaton anxiety arts Tom Abree mayoral election costas lapavitsas daesh dover estate war accessibility no borders barts health rent strike productivity occupation ncafc legal aid internet gangs funerals netanyahu justice sweden deportation iww conference season mark regev al qaeda syriza jesus conchita rape culture imf tony abbott ahora madrid hotels indignados nato utopia hillary clinton ultras Aaron Bastani psychiatry cuts atheism sussex five banks business vaga de totes corbyn silicon valley psoe mob wages syrian civil war unionism consumption boycotts m18 masons mark carney secret employee iran capitalism environment boko haram divestment financialisation Labour Party ukba thatcher rmt mental health nus troika pride alienation telefonica government ge2020 nhs food yarls wood ge2012 student strike housing drones university of london mitterand living wage newham inequality spanish election jeremy corbyn sexism media blair heathrow spanish civil war arms trade social networks forest fire russia catalan independence automation economic he Police cup 15m mike brown india unemployment youtube columnism zabludowicz culture security councils organising hollaback England pop culture morality asn rojava orange order snp green party deep state local government economics britain first west papua trade unions tampon tax world cup university strike ello architecture romani establishment clegg jobs midwives holocaust fees saudi arabia solidarity aboriginal politics british empire housing crisis revolt of the ladders tower hamlets eurovision iwgb indonesia budget Race detention bjp desire fianna fail salmond chuka umunna bis theresa may class UKIP middle east landlords protest obama debt oxi eu germany technology airstrikes regeneration refugees privatisation ipr womens liberation support miliband far-right mubarak alia al ghussain health student politics police violence strikes david willetts grexit rent post-capitalism social reproduction red wedge spending trans environmentalism nuclear radical housing network foreign policy universities deflation bds help to buy rpi social housing stealing calais rotherham christmas martin lewis willetts sport hsbc national liberation malcolm x buy-to-let erdogan obr social strike pharmaceuticals cop21 production canada public sector antifascism momentum cantona fe novaraeu rhodes workfare lobo precarity finance marketing arran james rabina khan romanichal antiziganism isis eu referendum marxism Centre Left occupy print media novara10k primaries david cameron pasok unions new york protests angela mcrobie tax magdalene laundries ciudadanos socialism publishing Elections greek election interest socialist bouchart christianity europe industry cable syria projects frankfurt treasury bae systems open democracy travellers spain lse sturgeon krugman Claudia Jones work ethic modern monetary theory nurses housing benefit ubi working class welfare state sexual assault energy podemos demographics kerry nef catalunya electoralism wales ferguson hamas olympics soas international brigades roma reproductive rights dale farm new democracy freedom of movement revuelta de escaleras modi james meek industrial action blockupy social cleansing transport varoufakis miners strike football egypt queer carpenters charlie hebdo eurozone electoral reform cooperatives adam stoneman anti-capitalism gdp london mayor Policing marx care brazil genocide dan whittall hague growth full unemployment intervention subversion warwick precarious europe zac goldsmith mental health week work rusell brand idf bennett strategy of refusal mhairi black general election left barclays community organising palm oil blockadia history tube novara wire whiteness mcgettigan remembrance intersectionality andrew dolan asia employment reshuffle poverty sadiq khan free education young people radical lives budget2014 sophie lewis geography immigration fortress europe class struggle risk presidential race 2016c age romania long read mark zuckerberg tef ttip people's assembly rob ford universal basic income homelessness jeremy hunt france armenia he white paper iraq Adam Ramsay eric pickles legitimacy free speech cnd native democracy europe week visas inflation slovakia demands data independent media gender #copsoffcampus Niki Seth-Smith plaid cymru nypd armenians isil armenian genocide social media natalie bennett denis o brien steel industry political economy leaders debate ulu autonomism reappropriation unite george osborne china tesla politicians tax reform ecology kurds nick clegg westminster space start up arms industry anarchism pay gap comedians depression social democracy kurdistan crime student movement uk migrant labour student loans tories sussex interviews james butler terrorism radical reformism ecb assad couriers prevent maps future ethics hydra picketprofiteers basic income labour property guardians news arab spring workers eleanor penny left bloc libertarianism domestic violence madness glasgow ual BBC free papua tabitha bast omar aziz precariousness cost of living greens orientalism uk uncut Secular Crisis pfi athens mark duggan higher education

For the Mob

submit to reddit
Pocket

Certain of our esteemed betters who scrape their living together in disreputable papers telling us all what we should think have of late become obsessed – haunted – by the spectre of the mob, which has emerged from the shadowy recesses of the internet to disagree with them. A certain distressed moaning about civility and manners follows shortly on the heels of a great and low groan about people having the temerity to answer back. Mob! Mob! A great and unwieldy mass of disagreement and incivility which lends some joy to an inspection of the torrent of daily published pabulum – a grim and low gruel in whose greasy depths float lumps of fourth-hand opinion, undigested chunks of theory and slimy clumps of gratuitous offence.

Mob! You have broken the silent contract in which your gratitude is expected! Grovel in gratitude to those who condescend to write about you! Mob! Do you not know that you are supposed to sit still with lips sewn shut? Mob! Mob! Do not question! Do not speak!

It is a curious term for those who polish their left-wing halos to use. Some citations:

  • Arch-reactionary and sentimentalist-in-chief Edmund Burke: ‘Lord George Gordon..having..raised a mob (excuse the term, it is still in use here) which pulled down all our prisons.’ (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
  • Affronted 19th century Liberal M.E. Grant Duff: ‘The mob of the great cities..is hostile to us.’ (A Political Survey, 1868)
  • Joseph Addison, littéraire, with a manicured sneer into a thronging crowd: ‘A cluster of mob, who were making themselves merry with their betters.’ (…Freeholder, 1716)
  • Indignant Lord Chancellor, Lord Brougham, in horror of the people: ‘I do not mean the populace—the mob: I never have bowed to them.’ (Speeches, 1838)
  • A wheezing nightmare in the bastion of bourgeois taste, Harper’s Magazine, in this our contemporary age:  ’One ghost is terror of a self-aware, politicized proletariat—the age-old mugwumpish fear that the mob may organize to destroy the last fragile vestiges of civilized life.’ (Dec., 1993)

Of course, the word itself means simply, or historically, people in movement – people (who are inconvenient and have tongues in their mouths, and who, worse, use them to answer) risen from passivity. An imperfect audience. Mobile. Indeed:

  • The snorting fear of a 1697 aristocrat: ‘Ye mobele was very rud to ye Dutch Imbasidor & his wife.’ (Memoirs of the Verney family from the Restoration to the Revolution 1660-1696, [1899])
  • In 1714, an issue of the Spectator tantalises with ambiguity, but our fervent hope is that they were the sort of clubs one goes armed with: ‘ The Mobile were very sarcastick with their Clubs.’ (Nov., 1714)
  • Chambers in 1857 looks down its nose to tell us, thus: ‘In these agitations, the populace of London was particularly active; and it was at this period  that the term mob was first used. The word was an abbreviation of mobile vulgus, a phrase signifying ‘the unsteady vulgar’.’

Ah, the UNSTEADY VULGAR. And this is their name for the speaking crowd: unpossessed of the clear light of steady reason, the celestial eyrie of the columnist, giddy in vulgarity! Ungrateful!

To leave the best word till last, and spoken with the tremulous fear and jowled outrage only a lawyer can muster:

  • Roger North flushes from the page in distemper: ‘This Mob-assembly was drawn together for the Purpose of Terror.’ (Examen, 1740)

Yes, indeed.