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Nick Cohen Pile-On

Didn't take long for Nick's book to set les bien-pensant hopping. Norm Geras anatomizes one obsession of the left: One confirmation of the fact that Nick Cohen's target is a real one wider than the SWP, is the intense hostility … Read More

By / January 30, 2007

Didn't take long for Nick's book to set les bien-pensant hopping. Norm Geras anatomizes one obsession of the left:

One confirmation of the fact that Nick Cohen's target is a real one wider than the SWP, is the intense hostility there has been, way beyond that organization, towards the pro-war left. Dip into any relevant comments thread on the Guardian's Comment is Free for a dose of such poison; note that there is a mini-industry in the blogosphere obsessed (some of its denizens to the point of appearing half-crazed) with those they contemptuously call 'the decents'; give some time, if you can bear it, to re-reading through the comment and opinion pages of the liberal press for the last four years. That you were of the left and supported regime change in Iraq has just been unthinkable, unassimilable, for many – hence the hostility and the anathemas. It could not be that there was a difficult issue and a difficult choice, with weighty reasons on both sides. If, on the other hand, you consider what volume of critical animus and commentary has been directed from the same quarters at the rank apologists in the anti-war movement, you'll find that it pales by comparison.

Oliver Kamm does another:

The alliance of Islamists and Leninists that makes up the Respect coalition is not a dalliance born of opportunism. It reflects an extraordinary process in which part of the left has ended up arguing for what by any objective standards are reactionary positions: promotion of religious obscurantism in place of secularism; segregation of the sexes at public events; abridgement of free speech in deference to the sensibilities of those who claim themselves victims of the phantasm of "Islamophobia"; and most pernicious, the resurrection in political debate of some highly traditional motifs of antisemitic conspiracy theory.

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