It was a funny evening yesterday that started out at a great election night party (primarily) for Republicans at Richard Miniter’s house with a huge George Allen sign outside……they are maverick Republicans round there …. so they had some interesting lefties at their party too…..lefties that get a lot of stick from their own crowd….and strictly speaking do not fit the lefty crowd anymore……Christopher Hitchens was there he is a true Liberal Hawk…… hitchins wiki.com…… I always had a great deal of interest in his Liberal defense of “The Liberation of Iraq”…….he obviously popped upstairs and gave this interview which you can see on U-tube……er……he’s better when he hasn’t drunk quite so much (actually that link seems to have disappeared). I also chatted with Melanie Phillips a very maverick (sort of used to be left wing) commentator very well known in Britain, she was on a book tour of the States. Again lets face it some of her views are not really compatible with the majority of ‘the Left’ these days. Her latest book ‘Londonistan’ that looks at the culture of Islamic extremism in the UK and is thought to be so un-right-on that she struggled to get a British publisher until a US publisher went for it. She looks unflinchingly at the causes of British muslim suicide bombings and alienation and the way that in the past foreign Islamic terrorists groups were allowed to flourish in the UK.melaniephillips.com/londonistan All this crew were profoundly political.
Later at the much more newsworthy big democratic Party on the Hill, it felt weirdly a lot less political and had the atmosphere of a big televised Christmas Party. It reminded me of being back in Britain too ‘cos so much alcohol had been collectively consumed…. not something I come across much in the US. It was fun to be there in the party atmosphere for the announcements of historic Dem’ victories…….I’ve never been to an event with celebratory ticker tape, its not a feature of British politics……… but I’d often marveled at it on TV…… so I certainly enjoyed that-!!
Cheers Jez XX
[ 11 ] comments
- Melanie Phillips left wing? Is that a joke?! I’ve heard there’s no true ‘Left’ left in Britain – or many places in the world for that matter – anymore (perhaps a few beacons like Venezuela + Cuba). They’re all too smug and busy watching their property make a nice profit, and of course sticking they’re heads up their own a*x!s. Fat egos and self-aggrandizement is the order of the day. There’s no hope! Why the US thinks getting the Democrats in will make the slightest difference, I’ll never know. Like voting in the Labour Party in the UK. Look at the state they’re in now over there. Bogged down in two wars and desperate for a get out clause. For chrissake pass me that fx@*ing gin bottle.
Dan the Man @ November 9, 2006, 1:29 am
- Yeah…..Melanie Phillips isn’t really left wing at all these days fair point……. but she was at one point the Social Affairs Correspondent on the Guardian (UK)…… http://www.guardian.co.uk/ …..You have to pass muster as a Lefty for that…. so she did qualify once! Cheers Jez XX
jez @ November 9, 2006, 8:55 am
- Great capture!!!
tetsu @ November 9, 2006, 9:14 am
- Here is the link to find Christopher Hitch being interviewed by Richard Miniter upstairs at Richard’s Election Night Party (Like its 1994): Election ‘06 – AFTERMATH Posted by Politics Central on November 8th, 2006 Depressed Republicans and drunken Democrats gather at Pajamas Media DC Editor Richard Miniter’s house to groan and gloat. Commentary on the debacle by Christopher Hitchens. http://politicscentral.com/2006/11/07/election_06_aftermath.php Posted by: Politics Central » Election Central
jez @ November 9, 2006, 9:32 am
- er…..the beacons…. Dan refers to above are given a bit of a free pass….by people who prefer the romantic idea……I notice Australia, yesterday, tried to add amendments to A UN resolution that called on Cuba to release its political prisoners (mostly journalists) and comply with human rights treaties…..er……it was struck down by Cubas friends and allies at the UN…..still it can’t be much fun to get 30 years for writing an article even if you are living in a society Dan thinks is a beacon to the world.
jez @ November 9, 2006, 2:06 pm
- Journalists have responsibilities to things other than themselves and their egos, responsibilities to things other than to their destabilizing agendas and attacks on popular revolutions. It’s worth remembering Cuba has been under a US trade embargo for decades and is fighting for its very survival against neo-colonialists, maniacs in Miami, neo-liberals and downright racist fascists. And your good self, of course. But wait! Cuba has the best health care system per capita in the hemisphere (and almost the world), and some of the highest educational standards found anywhere on the planet. Pop over to Haiti if you want to see what free trade and the open arms of the US neo-cons feel like. Before Castro Cuba was run by US mafia gangsters who cared little for the majority poor of that country. Unbridled capitalism in the form of US so-called ‘democracy’ can do wonders for illiteracy rates and poverty as can be seen in most debt-ridden third world countries. 80% of Nicaraguans live on $2 a day. And the US recently had the arrogance and audacity to threaten the withdrawal of Aid to an already impoverished ‘democratic’ country if Danial Ortega was elected. How vicious and immoral and undemocratic is that! Hugo Chavez was elected by a majority of the people of Venezuela. The US (Republicans and Democrats) hate him. Hugo Chavez has nationalized the vast oil wells, something that makes the Texan neo-cons gag on their beef steaks and reach for their guns. Revenues from Venezuelan oil has been liberated and redirected into widespread health care programmes for the poor, to the implementation of enormous educational programmes that in a million years would never have seen the light of day under the previous regime. The US even instigated the attempted coup against the democratically elected Chavez, something Washington had been practising immorally for years in Latin America irrespective of the appalling death squads. It was the poor people of Venezuela who rose up and protected their new president. From the way you talk here, that says something you will probably never understand in a meaningful way. Someone you probably hate (Tariq Ali) wrote an interesting article in one of your British newspapers, The Guardian, today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1942828,00.html The US does not like losing control in its own back yard and is doing its utmost to maintain the status quo in Latin America, but fortunately for all moral and progressive peoples of the world (and being rather a little bogged down elsewhere), they seem to be losing that battle. At last Latin America is fighting back against Yankee interference, by using the very democratic forces the US have for so long been disingenuously espousing. So remember, with regards to traitorous counter revolutionary journalists, for the foreseeable future, Cuba is still in a state of survivalist war with the US. And finally, talking of freedom…remember Guantanamo. Now back to that gin.
Dan the Man @ November 9, 2006, 4:31 pm
- Thanks for that Dan…Cuba is interesting in its exceptionalism, I’ve no problem with an emphasis on education and health care for all in fact I approve….er… and personally I actually rather like Tariq Ali (I once shot the publicity images for one of his plays)……er….. its true I am not particularly moved by most of his political argument….. which I find not coherent and sweeps some rather pressing things under the carpet. Like i say i am not even particularly bothered by nationalization of oil wells elsewhere…….. but I am completely sickened by writers being given prison sentences of 30 years……..for what they have written ……..jazz it up however you like… regimes that do that can’t really be seen as a beacon of anything good……er……..Robert Mugabe had my support and good wishes in the beginning………he is now, 26 years later, a vile dictator locking up journalists and writers, terrorizing and impoverishing his people…….Castro in the beginning headed a dynamic regime that addressed appalling social injustice…….but 50 years later?…… Sadly, they are both now sordid dictators using the apparatus of state to suppress opposition and still grasping on to power. Cheers Jez XX
Jez @ November 9, 2006, 8:30 pm
- Assuming Tariq Ali does, you seem to sweep quite a few “pressing” things under the carpet yourself. But that’s another matter. And nice of you to “approve” of free health care for all and 100% literacy rates. Very nice of you, indeed. How the poor of Cuba and Venezuela will thank you! If you think Castro is a “sordid dictator” (and his close friend and ally Gabriel García Márquez might argue differently with you there) then you obviously haven’t the intelligence or gumption to read and properly understand the great man’s words, or truly comprehend his commitment to the Cuban people. If ever there was a man of profound humanity who truly understands what hideous and dangerous forces are at play in the world, then he’s your man. Cuba is under threat from enormous and bloodthirsty imperialist agencies that wish to crush and destroy in one fell swoop 50 years of revolutionary gains and fuck over the poor, like they always have and always will. But most of the Cuban people still support the revolution and are educated enough (and not indoctrinated) to understand the nature of the beast outside their shores. That is why Castro is still in power, that is why the US has never invaded since the pathetic Bay of Pigs debacle, because the people are armed and ready, genuinely believing in Castro’s compassion and wisdom, fully aware that the alternative is miserable impoverishment (physically, spiritually and intellectually). It seems you would prefer the appalling and preventable poverty and disease and death that accompanies the free-for-all that comes nicely packaged via the International Monetary Fund and the land grab of the business elites. Those that fight with profound commitment with their lives for the vast number of poor and disadvantaged in the world, who desire a more just and humane system of living, will always be beacons in my book. Viva Castro! Viva the revolution! Viva Chavez! Viva Bolivar and the Peoples of the South Americas! Viva the Progressive forces of the World! So there. Now I really MUST have gin.
Dan the Man @ November 9, 2006, 10:26 pm
- I think you might have consumed one to many of the gins already! 50 years in power…..something has to tell you thats not progressive… not right…. that the youth of Cuba… the new generations live under the iron hand. If its what the people want… the system will of course out live him……but we all know it will die with him…. when he is finally forced to let go of the power….. this is traditional in dictatorships. Power he has greedily kept for himself will slip out of his family …..hopefully then the writers might be freed from jail…… I might have a swift gin myself now…cheers Jez XX
jez @ November 9, 2006, 11:55 pm
- I think dan the man is an angry man!!
Fidel Castro @ November 13, 2006, 6:23 am