Archive | 7:54 pm

More me!

22 May

Catch my contribution over on Tim’s Guido 2.0 site.

Cohen can’t quite say goodbye

22 May

I have just read Nick Cohen’s piece from Sunday’s Observer.

Nick is predictably using his column to continue to plug his new book attack the left for their temerity to oppose the ‘disastrous war’ in Iraq – the one Nick himself supported.

Yet, in fairness, Cohen does make some valid points. We do suffer a generation of consumerist lefties with little or no ideological integrity. Leftism, of the sort that frequents our theatres, cinemas, and particularly the BBC, has become yet another lifestyle brand that any self-righteous, comfortably middle-class sandal-wearer can ascribe to with little or no sacrifice. Fair enough, Nick. Good point well made and all that. But please, we’re not all quite so despicable.

I’m not a socialist. I am, I suppose, that most loathsome creature: a Third Way liberal. But I am ideologically committed to progressive politics and liberalism. And there are many of us that are still fighting for the soul of the left, even if we’re not, like Cohen himself, washed-up and disillusioned old Trots. We have evolved for the new reality. But this doesn’t mean we have sold out and become nothing more than MasterCard Marxists. Indeed, we’re not Marxists at all.

Anyway, back to the thrust of Nick’s article…

The problem is that Cohen is again being unfair in his generalisation when he claims that: –

“They [the Left] might have opposed Blair and Bush while allying with Iraqis who wanted something after 35-years of murderous tyranny than being blown to pieces by al-Qaeda.

I’m sorry, but even if I was opposed to the invasion of Iraq, it doesn’t then connote that I wanted to see the enterprise fail, and watch the country descend into the chaos that now engulfs it. Fuck you Nick; you lazy bastard. That’s not good enough. You sound like someone defending the indefensible to me (i.e. falling back on every fallacy in the book).

It tears me apart to see charred dead babies on the streets of Baghdad. I have real difficulty knowing that we are – through our democratic political system – collectively responsible for unleashing this plague of violence on Iraq. And all the anti-neocon Schadenfreude in the world won’t make that guilt go away.

Nick, if you’re forsaking the Left en route to your evitable middle-aged migration to the right, then do it quietly and fuck off. The last thing the ‘new left’ needs is a resentful, self-hating old bastard, who can’t quite get to grips with his own Damascene conversion, having a dig week-after-week.

Just go, now, and try not to let to door hit you on the arse on your way out.