“My allegiances have changed in the sense that I now find the noises made on the left -which are basically to the effect that we shouldn’t have intervened in Serbia, we shouldn’t have intervened in Afghanistan, we shouldn’t have intervened in Iraq – would have left us with Slobodan Milosevic in power, Bosnia ethnically cleansed, Kosovo part of Greater Serbia, Afghanistan under the Taliban, and Iraq the property of a psychopathic crime family. Now, I’m sorry to say, I’ve no patience with that leftist mentality any more.” Christopher Hitchens

I’m glad he used that word patience. Tolerance would be another good word to describe what has been lost on this issue.

Around New Year back in Lancashire I briefly bumped into an old Trot from the past who after a few minutes of formalities: (Forgive me but I hadn’t seen him for a decade and a half) started on Iraq. I think we had got to the second sentence when I interrupted him: “Look, we are not going to agree on this issue”. I just couldn’t face going through it all again with someone who I knew was not going to move an inch.

To be honest I doubt if I had taken out pictures of gassed children and mass graves in Iraq or burning houses and slaughtered families in Kosovo that I could have convinced him that the power of western military force is preferable to the sovereign ‘rights’ of dictatorships.

The strange thing is this was a chap who was (and I think still is) very active in the Anti-Nazi League. He has been calling for the British state to take action against fascist thugs for years, despite all his reservations about the (capitalist) state and the police.

I could have pointed out to him that huge contradiction in his outlook but I didn’t.

Like the man says, the patience has gone.