David Thompson


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October 08, 2007


Dan Collins

Yeah. I remember "And the Band Played On."


How very odd. So today's peace march, banned by the police, is going to be sparsely attended, then, while their ranks are off somewhere practising identity politics and problematizing notions of truth?

The quotation above makes it sound as though we're all navel-gazers, in a perpetual trance, who have voluntarily taken up residence in an academic cave far removed from society. But it really is possible to be practically and intensely involved, as social activists, and also to be interested in theory. Like anyone else, we enjoy doing things, but we also like to reflect on why we're doing them.


Dr Dawg,

Heh. I understood it as a taking of the general political weather or a thumbnail sketch, rather than as an intimate evaluation of every single self-defined leftist, including your good self. But it’s a sketch with some resonance, as many reputable figures on the left have noted, and as the archive here has illustrated, more than once.


Some people may attend the peace march for right wing reasons as well as left wing reasons. Dislike of abroad, suspicion of foreign entanglements, these are all good Tory reasons to join it. Enoch Powell, were he still alive, would almost certainly attend.

I've read a few commentaries in The Guardian by antiwar Tories like Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins. Hastings is particularly bizarre to read. He seems to have become a peacenik purely out of snobbery.

None of this alters the fact that the Iraq war was always a folly, and is now probably unwinnable - at least at any price a US or UK electorate would be prepared to pay.

When the Neocons go, America will probably adopt a less ideological, more Kissinger-like foreign policy. Instead of Nixon in China, we may have Hillary in Teheran...

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