- Jay Richardson
- 9 August 2007
This article is from 2007.
Observing hatred in all its forms
Nick Cohen is a rare beast. A pro-invasion of Iraq commentator with impeccable left-wing credentials, he was moved to write What’s Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way by a perception that liberals were forming an unholy alliance with fascism in failing to address hard-right Islamist ideology, and overlooking tyranny in distant lands in favour of instinctive attacks on America and its allies. Despite being one of Tony Blair’s harshest critics, Cohen’s beliefs in the best values of the traditional left have been affronted by the incapacity of Western liberals and the anti-war movement to demonstrate solidarity with Iraqis since the occupation and his pugnacious prose reads like a Damascene epiphany.
A political columnist for the Observer and New Statesman, Cohen writes engagingly about a lifetime of leftist politics and is seldom reluctant to stick it to his own employers or icons of liberal thought like Noam Chomsky, while at the same time sticking up for the likes of Paul Wolfowitz without appearing a neo-conservative apologist. A prominent signee of 2006’s Euston Manifesto, which advocates ‘making common cause with genuine democrats, whether socialist or not’, Cohen presents a solid case, though his character demolition of ‘political thug’ George Galloway is perhaps the most satisfying aspect. (Jay Richardson)
Recommended Reading: Pretty Straight Guys is an earlier damning indictment of the Blair project
14 Aug, 2pm, £7 (£5).