The 4.45pm Link 34

Labour Party man Brian Barder on how to salvage his party:

The positive way to signal a radical change of policy on the resort to military force, implying (but not necessarily stating explicitly) a promise never to repeat the Iraq criminal blunder, would be to declare formally that no future Labour government will ever again send British forces into action overseas unless (a) in response to an armed attack on sovereign British territory (as permitted under the UN Charter) or else (b) to participate in peace-keeping or peace-making operations expressly authorised by the United Nations Security Council. Labour would also do well publicly to endorse the present coalition defence secretary’s useful reminder that in any case Britain is not a “global policeman” ?” and should never again try to act as if it were. He who “punches above his weight” tends to end up on the canvas.

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34 thoughts on “The 4.45pm Link

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  • sandcrab

    I’m not so well read, but don’t think it is inherently insane or over conspiratorial to believe that wars are mostly driven by greed rather than goodness. And when banks have a part to play in funding war economies, only strong regulation could stop them from making the worst of things.

  • sandcrab

    Of course we have a bit of War now don’t we – what with the old New Labour party just having tried to be a GooD Cop for the world. Sure it wasnt about money or lies or politics it was about SECURITY, but whoops its been a bit messy, we dont really like to admit just how much millions of death and hate messy, but some non war liking people are a bit miffed. So then the new-new labour party will declare that a bit less war might be the best thing now.

    Right Brian Barder?

  • Brian Barder

    No need, fortunately, to waste time on those blogosphere staples, heavy sarcasm and far-fetched conspiracy theories. But it’s disturbing to see George Orwell loftily dismissed in the same breath as Ezra Pound, just as it was disturbing to see Pound quoted with evident approval in an earlier comment here.

    Orwell was one of the most clear-sighted radicals of our age (my age, anyway; perhaps not that of some of you younger fellows) who succeeded brilliantly in that rare combination of radical democratic socialism with genuine patriotism[1], as well as being a writer of almost unequalled clarity, accuracy and punch. At almost the end of his life he supplied to the security service the names of British intellectuals whom he believed to be sub-communist fellow-travellers, but that act of defensible but questionable ethics should never be allowed to overshadow the extraordinary achievements of the whole of the rest of his life, which have left a permanent and unreservedly beneficial mark on our political and literary culture.

    Ezra Pound by contrast was an unapologetic fascist, a racist antisemite, a supporter of Mussolini and the Holocaust, a man who escaped imprisonment for life (or possibly execution)for treason only by being generously permitted to pretend to be insane. Most of his writing is impenetrably obscure, or when not obscure, meaningless — have a look at, for example, Canto LXXXI at if you are in any doubt. His most prominent admirer was that other wicked old right-wing antisemite, T S Eliot, another American, who described him (quoting Dante) in the dedication of The Waste Land as the “the better craftsman” (“il miglior fabbro”), a pretty dubious compliment in the circs. To hold up Pound, that unsavoury poseur, as some kind of model or guru, or even to put him on the same plane as Orwell, is revisionism of a particularly malodorous kind.

    [1] Please spare us that hoary old jibe of Samuel Johnson’s about patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel, which is true — but which does not say that all patriots are scoundrels, if you think about it for approximately five seconds.

  • sandcrab

    I was confused Brian by your observation of the Pound character (whom i know just a little of) being ‘quoted with approval here’ -since Avatar Singh individually summoned him, and yours was the very first response to his post. But yes, i see maybe, Avatar Singh certainly did…

    As far as ‘here’ is concerned (the comments section of Craig’s blog), i read only a few commentors sharing Avatar Singh’s persuations and they are most often illuminated and revealed by some very bright and fair minded regulars – between cage rattling sessions by the likes of me; and occasional deletion of illegal links by Craig.

    (and im glad to hear in such eloquent hindsight you would rather not your party vote for anymore fake illegal wars );

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