Reviews, Dialogues, and a Second Preference
In the Spectator, he's changed his mind on AV. We've discussed this a bit in the last thread, but you're welcome to say more here. In my opinion, this is about a trillion times more persuasive.
He's written a sort of a skit, Dialogue with a western leftist in the Jewish Chronicle. I can't fathom this at all. It's like a less convincing, less funny, less insightful reply to Michael Ezra.
Nick wasn't completely absent from the Observer, he "reviews" Fred Halliday's OpenDemocracy essays in the Observer. Scare quotes because his essay may be the purest hagiography I've ever read. I'll leave it to those familiar with Halliday's work to comment, but where I have any knowledge at all, what Nick says seems to be wrong.
He writes with admirable hard-headedness from Iran on how the apocalyptic figure of Ahmadinejad follows the pattern set by his predecessors in Russia and China. All have engaged in late spasms of militancy and violence rather than compromise with reality as the failures of the revolution's utopian hopes became evident. Like Stalin with his purges and Mao with the cultural revolution, the heirs of Khomeini have convinced themselves that one last bloody heave will bring heaven to earth.
But Stalin started the purges in 1934, and they were to consolidate his power base. And probably the most violent phase of post-revolutionary Iran's history was the Iran-Iraq war. You can say many things against Iran, but there's nothing really comparable to the scale of the purges or the Cultural Revolution.