The Left

Nickfest at CiF

Blimey. Everywhere you go, these days, its just “Nick Cohen this”, “Nick Cohen that” and “Nick Cohen something else”.

Take CiF for example.

Here’s Nick Cohen:

One charge, which comes up repeatedly, is that I’m using the alliance between the far left and the Islamic right to blacken the good name of the decent left. (A charge made forcibly by Michael Meadowcroft, the former liberal MP in a letter to the Observer). To read his and others’ comments you would think that there was nothing else to the book. In fact, it is a history of how liberal and left-minded people turn their backs on the victims of totalitarian movements – particularly fascistic totalitarian movements. I look at and explain how Bosnia revealed the dark side of the pacifist European temperament and how and why Douglas Hurd and other liberal Tories appeased Serb nationalism. There’s a chapter on the strange and virtually forgotten story of how pacifists and communists ended up arguing against the British war effort during the Blitz. There’s even a chapter of how the intellectual history of Islamism can be traced back to the insane conspiracy theories developed in the furious ultra-right reaction to the Enlightenment of the 18th century.

You would never guess it from what the critics are saying, but the story of the Stop the War coalition fills just half of one chapter in a 13-chapter book. Contrary to what Peter Oborne maintains, I go to great lengths to separate decent people from the scoundrels who lead them.

And here’s Oliver Kamm

And Prof Norm

And Martin Kettle

And Edward Pearce.

It really is a fab book. So, as I’ve suggested before once or twice, buy it.