Rumours of Death Greatly Exaggerated

There’s an odd piece in this week’s New Statesman by the generally excellent Nick Cohen, which begins by observing (i) that there are a few duff scenes in Fahrenheit 9/11, (ii) that Ken Livingstone is a bit of an opportunist, and (iii) that Seamas Milne is a crappy editor of the Guardian‘s op-ed page (well, that’s a reasonably fair précis), and goes on to infer from these kinds of things that “there no longer is a left with a coherent message of hope for the human race” and that “unless you believe that the failure of the world’s peoples to look leftwards is all the result of brainwashing by the corporate media, you have to conclude that the left is dead.”

It’s strong stuff. But whether it’s more rubbish than nonsense or vice versa is something I’ll leave to anyone who wants to register their opinion in the Comments.

(Particularly odd, in fact, that a writer who leans so heavily on the importance of leftist internationalism should draw such epochal inferences — diagnosing the death of “the left” worldwide — from the activities of the usual handful of parochial Anglophone suspects.)

(They loved it over at Harry’s, of course.)

UPDATE [10 minutes later]: Norm posted on this an hour ago. Where I find Cohen to be strangely Anglophonicocentric (if that’s a word), Norm takes the opposite view, and reckons that the Left is messed up because it is, worldwide, too hung up on the personality of the Anglophone occupant of the Oval Office. Well, that’s an almost fair précis, but it’ll do for now for an Update.

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