What a year it's been for Muscular Liberalism, with a plethora of hot wars over which to wax priapic and a cavalcade of vacant-skulled lefties to denounce. Some had feared that the epic clusterfuck that was the invasion and occupation of Iraq might dull the lustre of the Decent Left, but they have proved in spectacular style that there is literally no military disaster so enormous and horrifying that it can't be shamelessly blown off as an irrelevance.
And so the time has come to hand out the gongs for the most outstanding contribution to Decent discourse...
First off, let us bow our heads in deep respect to Marko Attilla Hoare, who carries off the Sara Lee Award for the simultaneous retention and consumption of cake for his diagram-doodling skills.
Unlike his fellow Decents, Mr. Attilla Hoare was not content to cuddle up to right wing lunatics and espouse terrible right wing ideas, while insisting that he represents the real left. Rather, he dumped the old Left/Right political divide entirely and created a new system in which he and his new wingnut pals are the Goodies and those who disagree are the Baddies. Hats off, sir - lesser men would be too embarrassed to attempt such hilarious mental gymnastics, but you have dared to dream.
Mr. Attilla Hoare also carries off the Bellicosity Bauble for the promotion of unwinnable wars for his antics during the Russo-Georgian war - a conflict that much of the world believed was being fought in Georgia, between the states of Georgia and Russia. Mr. Attilla Hoare knew better, and proclaimed that the Russians were in fact making war upon Israel, that it was thus 1939 and he was Churchill.
"So by any reckoning, Putin’s kill-toll at the present time is worse than Hitler’s was at the time of Munich. Having said that, I’m entirely ready to recognise the differences between Hitler and Putin." MAH, 21st August 2008
Indeed - Hitler was Austrian and is dead, whereas Putin is Russian and alive. Apart from that, they're indistinguishable. Well done, sir.
The Coalface Gong for the denunciation of the despicable views of hypothetical middle class liberals goes to "Clothes For Chaps" writer Andrew Anthony, for his Stakhanovite mining graft down The Guardian's pit.
The Wankshaft Award For Barking-Wingnuttery-Dressed-Up-As-Left-Analysis could've gone to Nasty Nick Cohen for his column Nelson Mandela Is A Gutless Pussy; he could've won it for his column Right-Wing Psychos Aren't Harsh Enough On Liberals, and he only just missed out with his column Sarah Palin Is Lovely And The Left Are Bastards.
In the end, Nick couldn't produce a piece of wingnut lunacy that was barking enough to compete with Democratiya editor Alan Johnson's decision to publish a softball interview with wingnut loon and doom-bonkers racial obsessive Dr. Andrew Bostom. A masterstroke, and a golden moment in Decency that should be recalled every time Johnson decries "the left's alliance with nasty right wingers".
And finally for this segment, kudos is due to Denis MacShane MP, whose indefatigable research into racist, trendy dinner parties earns him the Islingtonian Award for anecdotal anti-semitism. Thanks to him, we are all now aware of the alleged conversational habits of nameless, notional liberals at the unspecified dinner parties of modish London.
Gentlemen, you are an example to us all. Congratulations!