Calvin Tucker

07/05/2009 | A thug by the name of Calvin Tucker has been attacking Venezuelan bloggers relentlessly in blogs and comment sections for some years now. If I recall correctly, the very first impasse that I had with this individual took place in the comment section of Francisco Toro's blog, Caracas Chronicles, somewhere in 2003-2004. Tucker mentioned that he had won a High Court case against the Metropolitan Police in London and I commented that I could not find any evidence to that in Westlaw, the legal database where such rulings could be found. Tucker took it personally. Initially he threatened to "beat the crap out of me" in a fight had I dared meet him. Criticized by other commenters on such unnecessary and violent reaction to trivialities, Tucker then dared me to take a 1,000 bet on the issue, which he would win, upon meeting with me in a bar somewhere in London, and showing evidence of his High Court case.

The case Tucker was referring to was his arrest, by Metropolitan Police officers, during the Wapping riots in 1986, when print workers protested violently at Rupert Murdoch's decision to move his newspaper operations from Fleet Street to Wapping. Tucker worked for the Trades Union Congress (TUC) at the time of arrest, and argued that he had been wrongly accused. After a long legal battle, Tucker was awarded damages for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution by the Court of Appeal. The Press Association quotes Tucker in July 1994 as having been affected "deeply" by "his ordeal" and that "for years afterwards he would "panic" if he saw a policeman walking towards him." At this time Tucker is referred to as "head of the Transport and General Workers Union printing and design department."

Tucker's involvement with violence would not end with the Court of Appeal ruling, as subsequent threats demonstrate. For I am not the only target of his ire, in Caracas Chronicles Tucker wrote to one commenter: "BUT... if you think you can intimidate ME with threats, you're picking on the wrong guy. If you're up for a ruck, Mr Big Mouth, let's have one. But I warn you, I don't fuck about." To another, Tucker said "Listen, Mr Internet Tough Guy, I'm not interested in your threats. If you want to fight me, let's meet. Otherwise, fuck off" and some more here: "But whenever you're ready, scott. Whenever you're ready. And yes, I would kick your ass. I grew up in a LONDON barrio, mate, so I know how to look after myself. The last guy who tried it on with me, left for hospital in an ambulance and required reconstructive surgery to his face. And no, I'm not kidding."

But what, one may ask, would prompt Tucker to react with such vehemence, to the point of threatening people repeatedly with grievous bodily harm while boasting about having beaten someone so badly that it "required reconstructive surgery to his face"?

The topic of the comment section in question was an election in Venezuela, a country completely alien to Calvin Tucker. Tucker's constant recourse to violence is one of the defining characteristics of the regimes and ideologies he cheers for. From Cuba to Venezuela, from communism to Hamas' indiscriminate use of terror against civilian targets, Tucker has had no qualms in praising publicly those "insurgents" with whom he happens to share ideological positions. With regards to Venezuela, Tucker has written "My point is that the Caracazo and the political disenfranchisement of most Venezuelans was sufficient moral justification for the insurrection of 1992. With the benefit of hindsight, i.e. from the standpoint of Chavez's election win in 1998, I think we can also say it was also a tactical success, even if at the time it appeared to be a defeat. Without 1992, as with Fidel's Moncada debacle, ultimate victory would have eluded the revolutionaries."

More worryingly, Tucker demonstrates a total disregard for victims and the lives of those who have perished at the hands of communist or anti democratic leaders -in his view military assaults to power are "tactical successes". In fact, he's proud of his position. Recently he commented, as Zin*, in yet another blog: "By contrast, I proclaim my support for the attempt to overthrow by force in 1992 the corrupt government of Carlos Andres Perez, which had lost all claims to democratic legitimacy..." In this instance, Tucker was defending Hugo Chavez's invitation to Venezuela to al-Bashir, a man on whose head hangs an arrest warrant, for crimes against humanity, issued by the International Criminal Court.

Unfortunately Tucker's deranged displays do not end there, his thuggish persona, as that of his idols, is certainly not disagreeable in gatherings organized by the Venezuelan Ambassador in London, where apologists of the Venezuelan putschist, such as Mark Weisbrot, can merrily discuss the political situation of our nation. That a man of such disreputable credentials hangs out with Venezuelan officials is not a surprise, given the nature and favorable disposition towards terrorism of the regime led my Hugo Chavez. In fact, Tucker is "a member of the British Venezuela Information Centre", a propaganda outlet similar to the Venezuela Information Office in Washington, D.C., in charge of agitating for Chavez in Britain.

What is truly fortunate, is that allegedly serious publications, such as The Guardian, give platform to individuals like Tucker, so that they can advance such reprehensible views, as if it were a conversation about the weather. Case in point Georgina Henry, editor of comments at The Guardian, who has repeatedly denied legitimate right to reply requests and continues to ignore evidence about Tucker's antics presented to her in relation to an article about me and Conservative Party figures that contains demonstrably false information. Henry's attitude speaks volumes about her professional integrity and that of the publication she works for.

But that's not really the point here. Rather it is to expose a man who actually takes pride in having disfigured another person. As his idols do so regarding actions that have caused misery and death to millions of people around the world, Tucker thinks that his violence is something to feel proud of. There's no remorse in Tucker, but boundless righteousness and fanatism (don't miss Zin's comments, one of Tucker's virtual egos). In his relativist view, the actions of "insurgents" are not only morally justified, but are to be praised, extolled, applauded and defended regardless of the suffering these may cause. Tucker resents past arguments of mine to the effect that only violence constitutes an effective method when dealing with totalitarian dictators responsible of atrocious crimes, being entirely immaterial in my opinion whether encroachment of liberties are perpetrated by the Right or the Left. In an ideal world, justice would be administered through the appropriate mechanism in countries where the rule of law reigns supreme. However, it is the systematic undermining of democratic tenets, the chronic violations to human, civil and political rights by ruthless regimes in places like Venezuela or Cuba, what makes redress, freedom and peace and impossible and unattainable dream to many.

While most of us grow up and move on from untenable positions, while there's consensus among sensible people that violence only breads more violence, Tucker, revered "insurgents" and terrorists he is infatuated with, and his icons, are absolutely convinced about the infallibility of their brutal and terrorist methods.

*Calvin Tucker uses different pseudonyms: some of them are "goatloversannonymous", "Zin", "The Judge", and the very apt self-monicker "Democratic Deficit".

Written by Alek Boyd