The festive season is upon us once more and in true end-of-year tradition, it's time for voting to open in the inaugural Bruschetta Awards, as given by The Encyclopedia of Decency in recognition of outstanding service to the cause of Muscular Liberalism.
My nominations for a few awards follow as an example, and readers are invited to submit any instances of Decency above and beyond the call of duty before the final count. Without much ado, let us commence...
The Mammy-Two-Shoes Award
Awarded in recognition of the most hysterically overblown reaction to a non-story, named for the old lady who owned Tom in Tom & Jerry.
To my mind, this year's finest display of chair-leaping, skirt-clutching, broom-beating shriekery was David T. of Harry's Place's jihad on segregated swimming - a not-really-very-interesting story immediately pounced on by the Mail, the Telegraph, and a global audience of gleeful wingnuts and white supremacists.
Congratulations are due, for inflating a disinterested decision made by a dipshit local administrator into an epic struggle between secularism, religious reaction and ethnic segregation is harder than it looks.
The Islingtonian Award For Anecdotal Anti-Semitism
Given for excellence in the reporting of alleged fashion-accessory racism by unidentified chardonnay-swilling elitists at Liberal Dinner Parties or in Decent Taxis.
Surely nobody has given as much in this field as Dennis MacShane MP, whose unstinting work in relating unverifiable tales of haute-cuisine Hebrew-hatred by anonymous middle-class liberals is second to none.
The Golden Wankshaft
Awarded for the most crass smuggling of deranged, wingnut culture war propaganda under the cover of a supposedly left wing critique.
Readers will do well to find a more egregious example than Nick Cohen's When Barack's Berserkers Lost The Plot, which joyfully embraced the hilarious "Liberal elitists hate Sarah Palin because she's so working class" propaganda being pumped out by America's most barking.
Extra points are awarded for invoking the following Decent hot-button words - Post-Modern, Support for the Iraq war, Neocons, "Leftists... Allowing their hatred to override their judgement" and Eric Hobsbawm.
Suggestions are also humbly requested in the following categories -
The Coalface Gong - For the most ostentatious condemnation of generic middle class liberals and high-horse antics over the working class by a Decent earning not less than three times the national average wage;
The Bellicosity Bauble - For the most bloodcurdling call for counterproductive warmaking;
The Inkblot - Given for the most impressive extrapolation of fascist, racist and/or pro-terrorist beliefs from the flimsiest evidence, preferably an out-of-context, single-sentence quote;
The Sara Lee Award - For the simultaneous consumption and retention of one's ideological cake. Winners are likely to be found amongst commentators on the Russo-Georgian war, during which Georgia managed to be both an American client state and not an American client state at the same time, and finally;
The Fuckam Tu Quoque - Given to the Decent who issued the most grudging, minimalist admission of error, accompanied by the most hilariously bitter But You Are All Bastards Nonetheless snark.