Friday, October 17, 2008

Ken Livngstone on Decency

"Livingstone: Yes, Martin Bright, Andrew Gilligan of the Evening Standard, and Nick Cohen. I see these people very much like a layer of the left in the post-war period. As the world faced this choice between America and the Soviet Union, there was a layer in intellectuals on the left who became fervently pro-American, and it wasn’t just that they were anti-Russian or anti-Soviet, the people they most spent their time attacking were those people around the Bevanite strand, who were trying to argue for a middle way between those extremes. Who wants to choose between America’s rampant capitalism and Stalin, for god’s sake? It’s not the choice you want to make. And so this layer of people who sold out, effectively to American interests, spent all their time trying to destroy anyone who was offering an alternative. They wanted the world to face Stalin or Eisenhower; it’s the starkest choice.

And therefore what the American right, the neocons, want is a stark choice between them and Al Qaeda. I refused to say that is the only option before us. It isn’t just the Express and the Mail - it’s also the BBC that is quite bad. Any mad fundamentalist Muslim can get ten minutes on the Today Programme, and it creates a completely distorted view."

From a Socialist Unity interview. To be honest I have never really been much of a Ken fan, and his tendency to reinvent history in his own favour is rather in evidence in this interview, but this passage is pretty much spot on.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - not a massive fan of his but this is bang on the money - and though I have to pay into the pot for this, it's also worth noting just how annoyed Harry's Place have been by that part of the interview, and how churlish they come across when the author of it starts posting in his defence...

HP also seem to have abandoned any interest in London politics, after featuring a piece on Lee Jasper almost every day in the run-up to the election...

10/17/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may not like Ken but there is no denying he's a consummate politician and that he's successfully introduced more left-wing policies than anyone else in recent times. I was also struck by the Hitch's recent dismissal of Obama as 'highly overrated'. IMHO this is wrong. I really think Obama is streets ahead of any recent Presidential nominee. He is an astonishing performer in front of the camera, much better even than Blair, who was an exceptional in this regard. He is also clearly possessed of a formidable intellect, which let's face it makes a nice change.

10/17/2008 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worth checking the comments under that Socialist Unity interview to see where Harry'splacer David "Mr" T ends up squirming when his own connection to islamist sucide bombers and hezbollah is "exposed" (in the decent sense)

10/17/2008 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know we're not supposed to be watching Nick any more, but the letters page of the latest Private Eye is worth a quick gander.

And Ken really does hit the nail on the head here.

10/17/2008 04:31:00 PM  

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