Sunday, September 05, 2004

in the tin drum

Spent the afternoon in the Tin Drum in Hove with Vic and Andrew, shielded from the sun, which is not as bright as it was yesterday, when the sky was blue and cloudless, but which is incredibly hot. OK, there’s my meaningless comment of the day. The sun is hot. Well, it’s mostly gone in now and it’s still too warm; so much so that since we’ve got back we’ve mostly lain on the sofa or the floor, groaning, and watching Bill Murray in What About Bob? on the telly. It’s not Lost in Translation, but…

Now it’s evening but it’s too hot to cook, too hot to think. Never mind. I’ll draw your attention, in the absence of anything else to say, to a letter in the New Statesman this week, which, gasping, I shall type out as printed.

How Bush Galvanises the Left
I agree with those quoted in John Pilger’s article (‘The Warlords of America’, 23 Aug) who say that a Bush re-election is the lesser of two-evils. At least with Bush and his cronies in power, we know what to expect – warmongering, cuts in social spending. John Kerry would carry out similar policies but, like Bill Clinton, have the intelligence and subtlety to deceive a mass audience that he is somehow a progressive. With a Kerry win, the cultural and political climate of the second half of this decade would be like that of the second half of the 1990s – callous and complacent as regards the state of the world. With Bush in power, we have a galvanising figure of hate for the left/centre. He will provoke the masses and lead to great debates like that of the prelude to the second Gulf war.
Daniel Kelly
Dublin, Ireland.

Thought provoking, but not much else. What good does a great debate do if it’s completely ignored? And the implications of a second term Bush government are too great, no matter what its effects on the leftist movement. All the same, I take Daniel’s point. The appalling policies of the current American administration have provoked more heated political discussion amongst people young and old on the left and right than any other in my memory – since Thatcher, probably. Should Kerry win the election (please god), we need to make sure that our understanding and interest in global politics does not retreat accordingly.

1 comment:

BB said...

Yep, absolutely. Whatever the 'leftist movement' might get out of Bush being in power (or Kerry for that matter) some people do have to live with the consequences!

Anyway, what happened to Labour here, when there was the Thatcher threat? Moving to the left when the electorate moves the other way (all other things being equal) is a big gamble.

Don't really know what to suggest for the Democrats. Demographically they're probably not as badly off as Labour were, but a down-to-earth Southerner would be their best bet for the future...

Actually I'd recommend anyone to learn more about US politics - there seems to be so much more variety than here.