Dead Men Left

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Aaronovitch: I salute his indefatigability

Oh joy, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, my extensively rewritten first chapter is duly despatched... and yet here I am, dear reader, still sitting indoors farting about on t'internet.

David Aaronovitch! David Aaronovitch! What fresh bounty does he bring? Why, it's back to Respect. For an organisation apparently consisting of little more than "boring and potty" Trot misfits, a "tanned populist" (and his ego), and a few Muslims (who Respect "suck up to... by not caring about abortion or gay rights" -ah, "respectable" racism), Aaronovitch seems mightily concerned to repeatedly tell everyone how insignificant and irrelevant we are. But what devasting blow has this behemoth of liberal imperialism, this Dreadnought of Blairism, hurled at us today? He revels in a cutting attack on one Respect's Euro-candidates, Ann Thomas:

Does Ann [Thomas] even know where Sierra Leone is?

Nothing more, nothing less. No, really - that's pretty much his entire argument. (There's a windbagging sentence or so about how everyone now flocks back home - without any assistance from Mr Blunkett, obviously - after "Blair's wars" have made their respective countries all safe and happy, but I dismissed this lowly effort as falling short of Aaronovitch's usual standards of argumentation.)

So there you go. "Don't vote Respect - they couldn't pass GCSE Geography" is at least closer to the truth than "Don't vote Respect - they don't like gays (unlike UKIP)", though I really think we ought to get hold of Ann Thomas and ask her, just to settle this one.

The buffoonish, blustering Aaronovitch has always enjoyed the unalloyed pleasure of inserting his tongue upon the posterior of the world's more threatening imperialists. Back in his student years, Aaronovitch was an apologist for Russian imperialism, in the shape of the "progressive" USSR, indulging (I'm reliably informed) in furious arguments over the merits of the Russian invasion of Hungary against those who supported the "fascist uprising" (his words, naturally) of 1956. Today, Aaronovitch has swapped one "progressive" imperialism for another, accusing those who opposed the Iraq invasion of siding with the "fascist" Saddam regime, or siding with the "Islamofascist" resistance. In both cases, the net result is the same: Aaronovitch is perhaps the clearest example of what Orwell, in criticising ex=Trotskyist James Burnham, described as the debilitated intellectual's lust to appease the powerful. Aaronovitch is at least consistent. Cohen, like Hitchens, is merely an apostate by comparison, a sort of craven court jecter, dragged out to jibber and spit as ocassion demands.