Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Courage, indefatigfability, etc

Wonder how Rentoul's going to spin this one?. Surely this ought to be a "taxi for Blair!" moment for the whole Decent Left? The central organising self-delusion of the whole show has been that there was something more to the program than bog standard Labour Atlanticism[1] - that it was about idealism vs. realism (all those lectures about Douglas Hurd looking a bit awkward now, lads?), democracy for the Middle East, etc etc. Now push has come to shove, and cards are being turned face up. The Henry "Scoop" Jackson Society has already put its counter down on "oh noes, the Muslim Brotherhood", and it appears that they've guessed correctly which way Mr Tony was going to hop. Repulsive of course, but now the fun and games is in guessing which Decents are going to jump which way. As John lydon once said, "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?".

Thanks (if that's the right word) to Jamie for the link. (update: oop, sorry, also thanks to bubby in our comments, who posted it here earlier than the B&T post I read.

[1] Particularly ironic since the Obama administration is not actually backing Mubarak, but then Labour Atlanticism was always a) more a creature of the Central Intelligence Agency and its proteges than of the State Department, still less American foreign policy interests generally and b) decidedly inclined to be more Catholic than the Pope on such issues.

72 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't there already been dozens of "Taxi for Mr Blair" moments? Shouldn't he have been seen off the premises in late 2003 when it was clear that there were no WMD in Iraq?

I get the impression that there is a wide audience in certain sections of UK society for his brand of spin. The reasoning that we find implausible doesn't appear that way to some, and is a useful comfort blanket when faced with unexpected changes. And John Rentoul still seems to get paid by the Independent to go on about Blair-hating and Blair-bating.

Guano

2/02/2011 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Thanks (if that's the right word) to Jamie for the link.

Hey that was me but never mind. This whole affair has certainly smoked out all those who really believe in democracy and human rights and those for whom such concepts are a merely handy rhetorical devices to bash opponents with.

It also rather blows open the argument trotted out by many Atlanticist decents that we should support Israel because its the 'only democracy in a sea of autocrasies'. To which the obvious reply is that this is largely a consequence of the US and Israel opposing the emergence of genuine democracies across the region.

Not sure about your assessment of the US stance mind you. I think the US wants to shuffle the deckchairs rather than allow the emergence of any kind of real democracy. Remove Mubarak but keep the regime - and particularly the strangehold held by the army - intact. And I must admit that I fear that this is likely to be the outcome.

2/02/2011 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

No I think that this one ought to be much more definitive (because more difficult to explain away) than all the rest. Although there were far fewer than later claimed to be the case, there were some Decents who were against the Iraq War - and explaining away the WMD fuckup is practically a career for Rentoul and Campbell.

But it's just totally central to the Decent worldview that "We are the guys who don't support dictators!". It's what put the "Decent" in "Decent Left" - the claim that there was a particular problem of being forced for reasons of practicality into positions where you are recommending courses of action that are also favoured by very unattractive people.

And now here's Mr Tony, saying in literally so many words what a great guy Hosni Mubarak was, and that Egypt isn't ready for democracy. I really think this ought to be the occasion for a lot of self-examination for a lot of people.

2/02/2011 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Shouldn't he have been seen off the premises in late 2003 when it was clear that there were no WMD in Iraq?

In a properly functioning and accountable democracy yes...

2/02/2011 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

sorry bubby - I actually found the link on B&T, but if I'd been paying attention I'd have seen your link first. update made accordingly.

2/02/2011 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

I'll put a fiver on "But Tony doesn't mean it much, not like all those awful pro-Hezbollah types etc. and so on".

I reckon we're about to discover that there are many degrees of support for dictators, and that Tony's is some new and entirely harmless beast.

2/02/2011 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

Well this didn't seem to dent his reputation with his admirers.

2/02/2011 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Nor did this attract outraged shouts about relativism...

JEREMY PAXMAN:
(Saudi Arabia) chops people's arms off. It tortures people.

TONY BLAIR:
They have their culture, their way of life.


Perhaps there's a loophole for former Prime Ministers that the rest of us don't get.

2/02/2011 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

In comparison to Blair, Galloway is only a third division genuflector to dictators.

2/02/2011 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Cian said...

Yeah but Galloway's CATHOLIC. Oh no hang on...

2/02/2011 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I tried to address some of this yesterday on the Lessons of history thread.

I think the split will be between those who argue the MB are so horrid that we shouldn't risk holding elections, and those who actually believe in democracy and believe in the people. I think Professor Norm falls into the second category. Blair (and Glenn Beck and HP commenters) in the first.

2/02/2011 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Rentouls has managed not to mention Egypt yet, despite having time to mention the 'Ban Blair Baiting Petition' and as if it was something new!

2/02/2011 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/02/2011 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

He came up with this latest defence

"The question is how long it will be before the LBLM&C (London-Based Liberal Media and Culturati) come to a more balanced view. In their constant search for someone new to betray them, they have already started to move off Tony Blair and onto Nick Clegg, but I doubt if they will ever be reconciled to the most successful left-wing prime minister."

2/02/2011 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

Surely the Decents' response will be to emphasise that Blair's remark about courage, indefatigability, etc. is specifically referenced to the Israel-Palestine peace process, rather than to anything else ("on that issue"), leaving them free to go on to insinuate that Blair really believes that Mubarak is in fact a terrible dictator more generally (notwithstanding his holiday in a Mubarak-supplied villa a few years ago in Sharm-el-Sheikh)?

2/02/2011 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

This made me giggle.

2/02/2011 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Cian said...

I doubt if they will ever be reconciled to the most successful left-wing prime minister.

Harold Macmillan?

2/02/2011 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Cian said...

Err Wilson. I meant Wilson. Bollocks.

2/02/2011 11:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Everyone's forgotten Clement Atlee?

2/03/2011 01:55:00 AM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

Oh, sure, Attlee achieved things for society at large but TB won more elections.

2/03/2011 02:39:00 AM  
Anonymous andrew adams said...

Surely the "left wing" bit is the really questionable part of that statement.

2/03/2011 06:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Surely the most successful left-wing PM is David Cameron if you believe Nick Clegg.

"I think the split will be between those who argue the MB are so horrid that we shouldn't risk holding elections, and those who actually believe in democracy and believe in the people. I think Professor Norm falls into the second category. Blair (and Glenn Beck and HP commenters) in the first."

I'm still waiting for the third category, the ones standing athwart history, clutching copies of Burke, yelling "STOP!"

"Particularly ironic since the Obama administration is not actually backing Mubarak"

In words, no. But he's backing them in the only way that matters: money.

Here's an example of that:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/01/not-first-aid.html

2/03/2011 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Sassy said...

Very good post. I always like your posts you are a professional marketer.Thank you.

2/03/2011 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

the Decents' response will be to emphasise that Blair's remark about courage, indefatigability, etc. is specifically referenced to the Israel-Palestine peace process, rather than to anything else ("on that issue")

This is probably it. They have, after all, found ways to explain his repeated praise for the Saudi Royal family, and his relativism on human rights in Saudi.

All the same, it's odd that he should be cut any slack at all, in comparison with how Ken Livingstone gets treated.

2/03/2011 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous bubby said...

They have, after all, found ways to explain his repeated praise for the Saudi Royal family, and his relativism on human rights in Saudi.

The idea put forward by some Decents that Saudi functions as a bulwark against extremism is perhaps the peak of their daftness, though to be fair there is a lot of competition.

2/03/2011 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Dave has a beauty of a column in the Times today.

It's firmly in the Aaronovitchian mode of making a series of uncontroversial points while also claiming all that's right and true for Decency, ignoring all the wars and lumping some lefty journalists, paleocons and Chinese Commies into a baleful anti-democratic monster under the bed. Boo!

I'll type up a typically even-handed and generous treatment of it later, if I get the time.

2/03/2011 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marko has put himself fairly and squarely in category 2, AKA 'members of the human race':
http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/victory-to-the-egyptian-revolution/

Well done, Marko.

Chris Williams

2/03/2011 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Right, Aaro today - a very, very unfair reading, by me...

There has been a debate for years, made sharper by the era of Blair and Bush interventionism, about the merits of universal democracy.

By which I mean, we have been arguing solely about whether freedom and democracy are good or bad things. If there was any kind of controversy over related issues – the utility of extreme violence in promoting democracy, for example, or of elective war-making, arbitrary detention and disappearance, assassination or high-altitude bombing of heavily populated urban areas – well, you won’t hear about it from me.

In fact, “some of the less weaselly left-of-centre commentators have questioned the motivation behind supporting democracy for all”. Note that I’m implying here that most “left-of-centre commentators” are too cowardly to openly declare the venomous hatred of democracy and freedom that beats in their fat, black hearts, but in a weird and weaselly kind of way that allows me to wriggle out of that position if need be. Am I even aware that I’ve done this? Who knows.

So, is democracy good or bad? Some bloke called Martin Jacques thinks it is bad, and it’s surely no coincidence that he used to edit a magazine that had the word “Marxist” in the title, and that he likes the Chinese government.

Some geezer called Samuel Brittan also thinks that democracy is bad, and he’s a “pragmatist”; Pat Buchanan hates democracy, and he’s a paleo-conservative Kissingerian realist. The former Tunisian government also hates democracy, as does the Chinese government.

Basically, this is Marko Attila Hoare’s Egg of Decency – me and my mates at the top of a democracy-promoting oval, with more or less everybody else, from Commies right through to Nazis, lurking fascistically at the opposite end.

If I’ve noticed that the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have been wildly popular amongst lefty types, I’ve neglected to say so in this column. Similarly, while some of my own Decent buddies have been freaking out about the Muslim Brotherhood and touting the Egyptian regime as a bulwark against too much democracy, I ignore that too. I’ve got nothing at all to say about Tony Blair’s support for Mubarak, but I am remorseless in my exposure of wrong-thinking nobodies.

Totalitarianism is horrible. Nobody likes it and everyone wants democracy and freedom, words which are in no way ambiguous or tainted by a decade of flagrantly dishonest rhetoric on these concepts. “Democracy” and “freedom” mean exactly what I say they mean and nothing more, and those who say otherwise are helping to smash protestors in the face with the spiked bat of totalitarianism.

And yes, Hamas were democratically elected, but if you ignore everything that’s actually happened in Gaza this decade and focus instead on what a bunch of horrible shits Hamas are, then we can safely ignore any difficulties that the Palestinian example might pose for my thesis.

In summary, democracy is the best way to secure rights, dignity, safety and stability. Excelsior!

2/03/2011 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

To be fair to Marko he has now denounced Tony for supporting Mubarak, but yet he's incapable of writing something on the Middle east without sticking the boot in to Greece, Serbia & Russia and ponder about 'Greater Serbia' in the 1990s and how in relates to Egypt in 2011.

2/03/2011 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Marko Attila Hoare said...

Thanks, Chris.

2/03/2011 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Coventrian said...

Marko's methods exposed here

http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/david-gibbs-replies-to-marko-attila-hoare/

2/03/2011 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Oh god must we go through this again? Once upon a time I thought it was at least slightly amusing when people had a go at Marko in our comments as it was a form of poetic justice for his own attacks on us (by which I mean me), but I think we are long since time served on that one. I think it's long been established that Marko Attila Hoare a) has all the Decent problems with belligerence, faith in state power, willyoucondemnathons, etc, but b) differs from the run of the mill in that he neither fears nor hates Muslims. I am not actually going to *delete* anyone unless they stray into libel or personal abuse, but I am asking everyone (by which I mean coventrian), in the name of their love for me and Dave, to not go round this mulberry bush again please.

2/03/2011 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Great stuff rodent!

2/03/2011 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

I must confess that Conventrian's link is actually very entertaining (to fans of furious argument on other people's blogs) so thanks for that and sorry if you felt I was getting at you. But in general the subject of who said what about who did what in the Balkans (or more usually, who implied what) has a similar effect on me to that produced by extended discussions of Harry's Place in other readers.

2/03/2011 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Coventrian said...

I promise not to take it further.

2/03/2011 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

thanks very much mate

2/03/2011 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking of willyoucondemnathons, surely the palm must be awarded for Clive James' letter in the TLS complaining about an insufficiently swooning review by Tim Winter of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's latest:

"Winter ... was explicit enough when he condemned terrorism. ... With regard to genital mutilation and honour crimes, he seems harder to pin down. The “debate on Islamic law and modernity” is all very well, but what we want is something better than the silence of the majority on the subject: we want a clear condemnation, and especially from the intellectuals. ... It’s Tim Winter’s turn, and I hope he won’t complain that he has been put on the spot."

What a pompous, insinuating, bullying arse Clive James is.

Marc Mulholland.

2/03/2011 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Clive James's website is a treat. I love this on Zadie smith:

She has a wonderfully rich and useful range of cultural reference. Welcoming The Social Network as a movie full of words, she brings in His Girl Friday: exactly the right comparison. In praise of the film’s writer, Aaron Sorkin, she has all his titles at her beck and call: The West Wing of course, but also the movie A Few Good Men

dear lord. if knowing that sorkin wrote a few good men = 'a wonderfully rich and useful range of cultural reference'... the old git lost it a long time ago.

2/03/2011 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous belle le triste said...

I'm sorry to keep saying this but the old git never had it

2/03/2011 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

I like Clive James: still read his TV columns and the bloody things were written years before I was a Grandmother's implied desire. Still, dear God...

...her second weapon impresses me even more. She has a wonderfully rich and useful range of cultural reference. Welcoming The Social Network as a movie full of words, she brings in His Girl Friday: exactly the right comparison. In praise of the film’s writer, Aaron Sorkin, she has all his titles at her beck and call: The West Wing of course, but also the movie A Few Good Men.

If that's enough the blow dude away what are his research standards?

2/03/2011 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

[*] to blow the dude

2/03/2011 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Harry said...

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2/04/2011 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

I wondered what had happened to Harry! Here's hoping that your new blog will be to counterfeit Calvin Klein shoes what your old one was to Decent Left politics!

2/04/2011 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Blair's not alone. Here's another world leader, quoted by Reuter:

"I hope there can be continuity in government," he told reporters.

"I hope that in Egypt there can be a transition toward a more democratic system without a break from President Mubarak, who in the West, above all in the United States, is considered the wisest of men and a precise reference point," he said.

Three guesses.

2/04/2011 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous tom from qom said...

but then Labour Atlanticism was always a) more a creature of the Central Intelligence Agency and its proteges
Yes,the British American Project(BAP),see The Lobster magazine.And yes,you do get a poodleburger in that BAP.

2/04/2011 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Coventrian said...

Mubarak and Berlusconi obviously share more than just politics - hairdressers, beauticians and plastic surgeons. They've also both provided freebie holidays for the Blairs. (AKA The Fred and Rose West of the Labour Movement)

2/04/2011 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Looks like, after all our hype, the response has been to not mention it at all. colour me surprised.

To be fair, if I had a lot of internet waffle Googleable, online and was heavily invested in Tony's democratic credentials, I'd keep quiet too.

2/04/2011 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Samuel Brittan hates democracy? I thought he was a libertarian?

Anyway, David Cameron is to declare himself for "muscular liberalism" (exact words):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12371994

Incidentally, I hate these types of stories, where the media get the content of a speech before it's given and tell us what someone is going to say. What's the point in giving the speech after that?

2/05/2011 05:17:00 AM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

I see Professor Normblog has done a piece on "How everything about all the other Marxists but me changed after 9/11".

2/05/2011 09:44:00 AM  
OpenID voyou said...

As it happens, I was at the conference where Geras gave that paper; I don't know that I've ever seen anyone attempt to troll an entire conference before. The particularly annoying thing is that Geras has written stuff that actually contains arguments about the relationships between Marxism and ethics, and Marxism and liberalism; but rather than engage in any of that, he just turned up and asserted his moral superiority for an hour.

2/05/2011 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous BenSix said...

From Nick's latest...

Because Britain was never invaded by the Nazis, and never suffered from any of the other versions of 20th-century tyranny, there is an unforgivable frivolity about our dealings with totalitarianism.

Presumably Cohen thinks we should taking hints from, say, Russia, Serbia...

2/06/2011 02:34:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

What set the Foreign Office apart from other cynical western chancelleries was that it was not content with appeasing today's secular dictators. ... At no time did it seek to promote the interests of those in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and elsewhere who do not wish to live under dictatorship in any of its forms.

Much as I hate to sink to the level of Decentism's logic, but weren't these dictators propped up the very country that Cohen was lavishing his praise on over Iraq, etc.?

2/06/2011 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Cian said...

Or France for that matter. I mean Chirac.

2/06/2011 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Well quite George. But you have to remember that 9/11 was historical year zero- when all the Western powers support for autocracies was wiped from the record in the name of pulling together in the face of Islamofacism.

Once you do this you can indulge in all manner of silliness. The Euston Manifesto for instance. Or that astonishing speech by Norman Geras above. Or virtually anything written by Nick Cohen.

I mean the idea that we showed 'unforgivable frivolity about our dealings with totalitarianism' is ridiculous. Were all those nuclear weapons and the blood curdling warnings about the red army sweeping through Western Europe evidence of frivolity?

2/06/2011 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Surely a more appropriate target for Cohen's ire would have been the USs apparent desire to ease the chief spook Suleiman into power - not much sign of democracy there.

2/06/2011 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

Perhaps it could be summed up as:
Nick Cohen starts of talking about Arab dictators and then breathlessly switches the focus to Islamism. WTF, who knew that would happen?

Perhaps he should glance at this.

2/06/2011 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Dear God, that Geras piece is awful. Apart from anything else, in the dim and distant days when he was actually politically active the Left was crawling with cultists of this and apologists for that - far more so than it is now, what with a Stalinist USSR, a Maoist China and a fairly frisky Cuba (and all three of the historic leaders of the British Trotskyist Left still in post). If you didn't agree with those people, you avoided working with them when you could, agreed on the basics when you had to and challenged them when all else failed. Rocket science it wasn't.

His problem (apart from logorrhoea and an ego the size of a planet - that "accursed!" passage is a gem) is that he's looking at the Left from outside - far, far outside. That section on being a Marxist in the intellectual sense is quite telling in what it omits, viz. any sense that you can be a Marxist (in the intellectual sense) without actually being a full professor at a Russell Group institution. The idea of, say, a shop steward or a Labour Party organiser being a Marxist (in the intellectual sense) seems genuinely not to have occurred to him. (And, you know, historical materialism, questions of agency, and so on.)

Also worthy of note: Norm's reference to these people who

treat the right of nations to self-determination as unproblematically to be recognized for many peoples but not, apparently, in the case of the Jews

Shorter: "Anti-Zionism is anti-semitism, it is it is it just is so there." Quite interesting, in that I hadn't realised he went that far.

2/06/2011 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I reckon any knowledgeable commentator, and I would include Professor Geras in this, could name twenty peoples whose rights to national self-determination were not unproblemtically recognised by the international community, in either its political or intellectual sense.

2/06/2011 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

I also thought the section where he lumped together opposition to a range of conflicts strange. Many people opposed some of these wars because of the dreadful human costs. Was the Falklands worth 1600 lives or would a diplomatic solution have been preferable? Norm talks about extremists harming the innocent but in 1991 the great bulk of those killed by the coalition were kurdish and shia conscripts. There is no sense in which he deals with the deep moral problems with waging war per se.

2/06/2011 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

I would sacrifice the freedom of the people of Egypt for my prosperity and stability, if that is the bargain on offer. And I think it is.

2/06/2011 09:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Whereas I for one welcome our new []* overlords in the future Euro-North-African Co-Prosperity Sphere!

[] - fill in later, although it'll probably be 'German', again.

2/07/2011 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

I almost missed Cohen's "review" of Hobsbawm, but I wish I had.

2/07/2011 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

off topic, but i don't think I've seen a lazier piece of writing than the below:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/nickcohen/6680293/dr-johnson-and-ms-huffington.thtml

he gets stuck in in the comments too. What is it about our nick and anonymity? anyone would think he didn't write the ratbiter column...

2/08/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Did anybody find Cohen's "review" of Hobsbawm in the Obscurer anything other than execrable?

I posted about it yesterday, but that post seems to have been eaten (by the spam filter?).

2/08/2011 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Did anybody find Cohen's "review" of Hobsbawm in the Obscurer anything other than execrable?

I imagine it would've been very, very useful indeed to people who were under the impression that the Soviet Union was a nice place with generous leaders, or for those who aren't aware that writers often talk dishonest rubbish.

Absolutely worse than useless for anyone who wants to know what Hobsbawm says in his new book, though.

2/08/2011 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

You do have to wonder how Nick would respond if reviews of his books restricted themselves to discussing his previous, pornographic fluffing of wacky characters like Wolfowitz, Chalabi, Hassan Butt and so on. I imagine he'd think that was quite unfair, and not a little dishonest.

2/08/2011 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

Hi -- just fished your comment out of the spam filter, GG. Apologies.

2/08/2011 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

That review is a shocker - the level of red-baiting character assassination seems a bit high for the Telegraph, let alone the Obs (I mean, Hobsbawm cannot keep his yearning for tyranny in check - !) The bit about anticipating his obituaries is interesting - it reads like an obit, specifically one of Kamm's ghastly productions. I wonder if he writes them in advance, like a real obituarist.

2/08/2011 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

I did manage to post a comment re. Cohen on Hobsbawm. Why on earth did the Obs give it to him to review? They must have known he would have decided what to write even before he'd read a page of the book.

2/08/2011 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Surely that's the normal reason for selecting reviewers.

2/08/2011 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Asteri said...

Surely the best part is this

"When he stops trying to persuade us to avert our eyes from some of the worst crimes in human history, his merits peek through the fog of obfuscatory prose. To stay with the Communist party and ignore the mountains of corpses requires a certain cold-bloodedness; a willingness to put everyday sentiment to one side and try to see the sweep of history"

oh deary dear

2/08/2011 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

I love the caption to the picture: "Karl Marx: a bloody legacy, brushed over in this book."

I imagine another book with a similar caption: "Jesus Christ: a bloody legacy, brushed over in this book."

2/08/2011 03:28:00 PM  

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