There Is No Santa Claus
A year or so ago my nephew asked his mother if there was a Santa Claus. As the youngster was approaching the age where it is inappropriate to maintain the magic, she broached the subject carefully. Did it really matter to him if there was no Santa Claus? She got a very heated, "Yes it does matter!" in response, and decided that perhaps it was not yet time to let him know the truth.
David Aaronovitch can sympathize:
The author and 9/11 conspiracist, Ian Henshall, announced his departure from the big truther's bash on Monday evening, by thrusting his bald head into my face, twice calling me a "f---g scumbag" and then flapping off into the wet night. It was a typically careless exit.
We had both been part of an audience at the Royal Institute of British Architects for Richard Gage, who is the American front-man for "Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth".
Henshall's book, restating much of this, came to the attention of Mr Martin Webster. In 2009, Webster wrote to Henshall expressing his interest. Henshall, knowing what younger readers may not - that Martin Webster is an unrepentant and briefly famous neo-Nazi - explained why he was not keen to foster that interest. "The main attack on the 911 Truth movement is that we are 'holocaust deniers' ie antisemitic," wrote Henshall, "and it is amazing to note the key media people who have attacked us are Johann Hari, Nick Cohen, David Aaronovitch, George Monbiot, Mathew Rothschild."
He went on: "Although I am always keen to sell my book I think it would be bad tactics to be linked to your networks, because it would give these people more ammunition."
No surprise, Henshall doesn't want to be linked to a neo-Nazi, not because he finds the man odious, but because it would be used against him.
BTW, Gage's appearance at the Royal Institute of British Architects backfired a bit with a terrific article appearing in a UK buildings magazine:
But critics claim his scholarly approach is nothing more than a cover for a “bonkers” conspiracy theory which ultimately points the finger at the US government and allies including the state of Israel.
Director of the American Institute of Architects’ New York chapter Rick Bell, who witnessed 9/11, expressed surprise at the event and said “no amount of money” would persuade him to allow the group to talk at his headquarters.
“The professional community discredits this guy,” he said. “We rent to just about anybody but if this guy came to me I’d say we don’t want your money, we don’t want you in our building.
“You have to draw the line somewhere… Not for any amount of money would we have that talk in our space. It gives it a credibility that it doesn’t deserve.”
KPF chairman Gene Kohn, who was the AIA’s spokesman in the aftermath of the attacks, called Gage’s theories “ridiculous”.
Hat Tip on the Aaronovitch article: Angrysoba in the comments.