Nick Cohen has just written a book. It’s a very good book with a lot of words in it. Well, I suppose that must be the case because it’s being knocked out at a much higher price than his older books.
Lots of people have a view about it, and some of them have even read it (and it seems that most of them are his mates who helped him by proof-reading it), I haven’t read it but that won’t stop me from having a strong opinion and ramming down your interweb pipe, like a good McMabawb.
I have read the bits that the Observer published as a teaser, and it was these, and thinking about Cohen et al, that prompted the McMabawb piece. Specifically when he talks about his growing up in a family where they carefully chose their oranges, lest they come from a ‘dodgy’ country like South Africa, Israel or the USA. Well, most working class people, even those on the ‘left’ had other things on their minds regarding oranges, like that apples were a darn sight cheaper for one.
The last few days has seen endless verbiage from the ‘Eustonistas’ and their enemies in the ‘still anti-war’ brigades, and I’m feeling very frustrated.
Frustrated because as much as the ‘muscular left’, (or ‘belligerati’, ‘decents’ or whatever) point out that they are right, they spend about 20 times as many words explaining why the SWP/Respect etc are wrong. The same is the true in reverse of course. In between, those of us who don’t live in a Manichaean white-v-black existence, are pointing out that both are wrong (and so getting attacked by everyone).
Meanwhile, some simple truths get ignored.
1) The ‘Left’ is not, and never has been, a homogenous group with the same views. If it was, it wouldn’t be in this stupid squabble in the first place.
2) Arguments like this are an open goal to the ‘Right’, who will not hesitate to use one or both sides to push their own agendas
3) Just because someone opposed the Iraq invasion to the point of going to a demo, does not mean that they ‘marched in support of a fascist regime’. Equally, just because someone opposes the actions of certain ‘insurgent’ groups in Iraq and shows some support for the UK and US servicemen placed in danger, does not make them a ‘fanatical neo-con imperialist’.
What’s wrong with all these people? They is mad, I tell you, mad.
And I see another comment on Cif with the words “Bliar” or “Islamofascist” I think I’ll scream.