The Left

Pilger, a necessary evil?

Pilger is a voice of conscience I think the left still needs. Don’t get me wrong: I think he’s idealistic to the point of unrealistic. But commentators on the far-left are important as a voice that keep the centre-left on their toes, even if they are completely sectarian to a fault, unrealistic about how society should change, frequently illiberal and authoritarian and have no political punch. The point is you still need that voice of anger.

Put simply, Sunny Hundal thinks Pilger, and those like him, are the grit in the oyster that helps form the pearls, rather than the gangrene that slowly spreads along a limb.

Pilger on the Iraqi resistance:

TONY JONES: But are you saying that those men, outside police stations, looking to be recruited to get a job in a dire economic climate, are legitimate targets?

JOHN PILGER: No, I’m not saying they’re legitimate targets but, to a resistance, they are legitimate targets, yes.

TONY JONES: But the resistance is a resistance you say we should be backing?

JOHN PILGER: Ah, no, c’mon.

I’m not saying we should be backing.

I’m saying that we depend.

Pilger on Kosovo:

New brand names have been market tested. “Humanitarian intervention” is the latest to satisfy the criterion of doing what you like where you like, as long as you are strong enough.

The killing or maiming of 10,000 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo by a bombing-machine representing two-thirds of the world’s military power and the clear provocation of the “entirely predictable” Serb atrocities – all of it avoidable, since Slobodan Milosevic had agreed in effect to give up Kosovo six weeks before the bombing began – is called a “moral victory.” George Orwell could not better it.

The ideological climate and disorientation among those on the liberal left, created by the western powers’ hijacking of “human rights,” is especially dangerous.

On the London bombings:

“Were it not for his epic irresponsibility, the Londoners who died in the Tube and on the No. 30 bus almost certainly would be alive today.”

Sunny “so concerned about the left he would vote Tory” Hundal is also concerned about the effect of the left criticising moral failures like Pilger:

I dislike the centre-left tradition in continually bashing their own. How many mainstream right-wingers openly criticise Mel even if they think she’s a nutjob?
[..]
There are dangerous parallels to the US too. The far left were ditched by Democrats to the point they lost balance and started falling for Republican talking points. And yet Republicans conspicuously avoid criticising their own nutjobs like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and the entire Fox Network.

The point about the mainstream left, however you want to define it these days, is that we should aspire to be better than that. We are meant to be progressive, stand for universal principles of human and civil rights, and be democrats. We do not need “illiberal and authoritarian” far left types on board. We do not need people who think we should depend on terrorists who have sent suicide bombers to markets, and tortured and killed trade unionists. We do not need people who would excuse those who have murdered innocent people of all faiths, race, and nationality for the crime of taking a tube train.

Scum like Pilger should be bashed, not because they are our own, but to demonstrate they are not.

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