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In an article entitled ‘Swamp Fever’ in the Fall 1997 edition of The Fifth Estate, David ‘Cakehead’ Watson not only pretends that the Neoist Alliance is a political organisation, he treats it as though it actually exists! Likewise, Cakehead Watson rather too self-consciously confuses the non-existent Neoist Alliance with the Neoist Network of the 1980s through the indiscriminate use of the term Neoist in his article. Cakehead is clearly attempting to smear individuals who have nothing to do with the non-existent Neoist Alliance — such as tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE, Blaster Al Ackerman and John Berndt. Indeed, it is extremely likely that Cakehead is working hand in glove with Stewart Home in a bid to further Home’s career as a novelist and penny dreadful pornographer.

In recent months, Stewart Home has been circulating an open letter to The Fifth Estate dated 21/12/98. In this text he completely fails to criticise Watson for conflating Neoism and the Neoist Alliance. Since Home recently tricked the Bristol based literary magazine Entropy (# 4, January 1998) into printing an English translation of an article about Neoism from the Berlin publication Super! Bierfront as a guide to the movers and shakers behind the ‘Neoist Alliance’, the possibility that he is the real author of the Watson piece cannot be readily dismissed. While Home has never responded to difficult criticisms made of him in texts such as History Begins Where Life Ends and Manufacturing Dissent, he is quick to direct his rhetoric against lame duck targets and it can be shown that on occasion he’s been involved in manufactuing feuds for the specific purpose of inhibiting debate. Rather than criticising Home for his obvious weaknesses, ‘Swamp Fever’ actually serves his self-aggrandising agenda, which includes taking credit for the achievements of the Neoist Network. Read alongside ‘Swamp Fever’, Home’s open letter provides strong circumstantial evidence for our belief that David Watson is a stooge of this penny dreadful pornographer. Home’s letter runs as follows:

"Dear Fifth Estate. While I was pleased David Watson took a public position on both Green Anarchist and John Moore in his ‘Swamp Fever’ article (Fifth Estate, Fall 1997), I felt that at times he indulged in gross misrepresentation. More than half of The Green Apocalypse – one of the publications Watson was allegedly reviewing – is taken up with documents produced by diverse hands, and yet Watson quotes from these without explaining what they are. For example, failing to identify his source as a reprinted leaflet entitled The Sordid Truth About Stewart Home – in which it is ludicrously claimed that I have sex with animals and that Murray Bookchin is one of my pen names - Watson claims Bookchin ‘is cited approvingly by the Neoists in Green Apocalypse.’ The notion of approval is a completely inappropriate description of the way in which the Bookchin quote is used, and Watson makes no attempt to establish who authored the piece. It is telling that Watson should attempt to conflate ‘the Neoists’ with Bookchin, despite the fact that his ongoing dispute with this anarcho-bore is of little interest to me or any of my acquaintances. Likewise, Watson cites the ridiculous assertion that ‘Syndicalism shows that it is possible to have a complex industrial society without hierarchies’ from an anonymous leaflet reprinted in the documents section as if it proved that ‘the crux of the Neoist argument is simply a barren, unexamined defence of industrialism and mass technology’.

"As well as reproducing a large number of documents, The Green Apocalypse contains responses to much of the Green Anarchist material it reprints. Since Watson reiterates a number of Green Anarchist slurs already reprinted and responded to in The Green Apocalypse, it would be advisable for anyone commenting on ‘Swamp Fever’ to read the pamphlet. To take just one example, I do not intend to waste my time by repeatedly explaining how a satirical leaflet attributed to a non-existent Green Action Network is not an example of ‘forgeries claiming to be from Green Anarchists.’ It is, however, amusing to speculate that it was the similarity between the parodic leaflet and the politics espoused by Green Anarchist that led Watson to confuse the names ‘Green Action’ and ‘Green Anarchists’. It should be stressed that Watson’s use of the capitalised plural term ‘Green Anarchists’ can be explained as a typo, or as a deliberate attempt to ensnare careless readers. Watson might like to clarify his position on this.

"Watson’s failure to provide a credible summary of the arguments to be found in The Green Apocalypse can be illustrated by his claim that: ‘Around the time of the Persian Gulf War, everyone in the dispute agrees, Green Anarchist founder Richard Hunt went over to an explicit right-wing or ecofascist position.’ While I have argued that Hunt was a founder of Green Anarchist, reprinted in the documents section of The Green Apocalypse are materials in which the current editors of the publication implausibly deny this. Watson seems to agree with some of the arguments I have made about the right-wing nature of Hunt’s ideology but the word ‘explicitly’ is misleading. My view is that Hunt’s positions have always been right-wing regardless of the fact that he still claims to be a part of the political left. Likewise, from material reprinted in The Green Apocalypse, it is clear that the public line of the current editors of Green Anarchist is that Hunt held left-wing views prior to the Gulf War, before inexplicably turning fascist overnight. This position appears to have been adopted because in texts such as Green Anarchism: Its Origins And Influences, the current editors of Green Anarchist use Hunt’s theories as an ideological framework for their ongoing activities.

"Watson misrepresents the positions of all those involved in the dispute he is writing about. To deal thoroughly with the many errors ‘Swamp Fever’ contains would take more time than I am prepared to devote to the task. Besides, it is pointless attempting to engage Watson in debate since his rhetoric is even more ridiculous than that of an old tailors dummy that I keep in the attic and which I sometimes put out on the pavement, so that I can crawl inside it. Thus hidden, I frighten passing pedestrians with my hamster impersonations, while shying lone and languid peanuts down the street. After reading ‘Swamp Fever’ and ‘On The Road To Nowhere,’ I consider this hobby considerably more serious than the Fifth Estate. Indeed, Watson’s absurd posturing has earned him the nickname Cakehead here in London. He clearly hasn’t learnt his A, B, C of revolution because if he had, he’d know that the slogan ‘Long Live Death’ was chanted not only by Spanish Falangists but also by those defending the Paris barricades in 1848. Personally, I prefer the variant of this slogan that runs ‘Long Live Life.’ Finally, if you wish to print this letter, it should be run in full with the heading ‘Elementary My Dear Watson.’ Yours faithfully, Stewart Home."

David Watson no doubt feels flattered to be in on Home’s "joke", he probably doesn’t realise that most people are fed up to the back teeth of these phoney feuds. In the ‘Swamp Fever’ article which is attributed to him, Watson suggests that the Neoist Alliance ought to dissolve but since it does not exist, this is actually a sneaky call for the creation of an organisation bearing the name. Down with this confusionist nonsense! Long Live Avant-Bard Internationalism! Concerned readers should send postcards bearing the slogan ‘Cakehead Watson does not exist’ to The Fifth Estate. As punishment for his involvement in this substandard black propaganda, we suggest that Cakehead makes available an English translation of Oliver Marchart’s book Neoismus: Avandgarde Und Selbsthistorisierung (Edition Selene, Vienna 1997). Marchart is another of Home’s stooges who specialises in running his master’s drivel through the mill of hegemony theory.

Issues 1 to 4 of Entropy cost £2 each from the usual London outlets such as Compendium, or direct from Entropress, Garden Flat, 15 Ashgrove Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 6NA, British Isles. (Note added: This address is now defunct and Compendium has closed; try Abe Books or The British Library).

Send postcards bearing the slogan ‘Cakehead Watson does not exist’ to The Fifth Estate, 4632 Second Avenue, Detroit MI 48201, North America.

From Re:Action 8, London Spring Equinox 398 MKE.

Swamp Fever by David 'Cakehead' Watson

Into The Eco-Fascist Sewer With The Fifth Estate

Home on Green Anarchist

More on Green Anarchist

Stewart Home on toilet photo by David Goodchild

This photo of Stewart Home having a dump in the toilets of The Cube Cinema in Bristol was taken by David Goodchild.