The Left

Mind the gap

Nick Cohen in the Observer responds to his recent ‘excommunication’ from the left by pointing out the ‘rightward lurch’ of what he calls ‘post-modern liberal opinion’:

The result of this inversion of principles has been that liberals can’t form alliances with the victims of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or Iraq any more than the Auden generation could form alliances with the victims of Stalinism.

……Perhaps it will break soon. There always was far more disquiet on the left at this ‘rightwards lurch’ than the Guardian or Radio 4 admitted. If my emails are a guide, the London bombs have added a practical reason for breaking with the consensus: now they’re trying to kill us. Even if people think that the Iraq war has made Britain a bigger target, they are still confronted with a fascistic cult of murder and self-murder which allows no compromise.

The thing to watch for with fellow travellers is what shocks them into pulling the emergency cord and jumping off the train. I know some will stay on to the terminus, and when the man with the rucksack explodes his bomb their dying words will be: ‘It’s not your fault. I blame Tony Blair.’

My advice to my former comrades is to struggle out of your straitjackets and get off at the next station. It would be good to see you on this side of the barrier.

It’s all here.