It is not often I bother to read the Spectator or its highly overrated clogs, known pretentiously, as the Coffeehouse (in the year we are celebrating the 300th birthday of that great coffeehouse denizen, Dr Johnson, one cannot help feeling a little depressed at the title) but a friend alerted me to Rod Liddle's article on the al-Megrahi affair. He seems to agree with you, she wrote.
One is supposed to dislike Rod Liddle, not least for his idiotic outburst against the Countryside Alliance all those years ago, but somehow it does not work like that. Either I have become more tolerant or, more likely, Mr Liddle has been steadily moving right-wards as all intelligent people must at some point in their lives.
He is always an entertaining writer and I agree with him more often than not. In fact, I enjoy his writings even when I disagree and the only other writer about whom I feel that way is the great Christopher Hitchens.
This article is excellent. Those who have not read it should take the few minutes it takes to do so. Mr Liddle has a go at the government, American hypocrisy (the wide-spread support for the IRA and NORAID is a very relevant subject in the days after Teddy Kennedy's death), Peter Mandelson, the Libyan government and he even manages a glancing blow at Amnesty who seems to have been taken in by a very transparent ruse to do with the Libyan media. And Peter Mandelson who does seem to turn up whenever there is some skulduggery going on.
Mr Liddle's idea that we should have dealt with Saddam the way we are dealing with Gaddafi is, in my opinion, silly and naive. But one cannot have everything in an article.
Most Americans did not support the IRA -- such activity was mostly found in northern cities like Boston and New York where there were large Irish-American communities -- and which are notoriously liberal-addled locales. But the rest of the US considered such activity shameful, not the least which being the fact that Americans have died in IRA bombings and the IRA was notorious for being involved in criminal activity such as the drug trade, and is also a leftist group. I came away from Mr. Liddle's article with the impression that because some Americans supported the IRA (whether out of deluded loyalty to Irish-Catholic roots or from more sinister motives) then the passengers that were killed over Lockerbie deserved to die and we should all just have sucked up whatever the British government decided to do with any terrorists in its custody who have happened to kill Americans. I actually think that the Obama administration's response to this whole thing was disgustingly feeble, but our forward-looking prez probably doesn't care about stuff that happened when he was twelve.ReplyDelete
'Either I have become more tolerant or, more likely, Mr Liddle has been steadily moving right-wards as all intelligent people must at some point in their lives.'ReplyDelete
Rod Liddle is a wiser, wittier version of the Left's bête noire Melanie Phillips. Politically, they are indistinguishable. One day soon, Liddle'll have to finish growing up and admit that he's not a Leftie any more.
Andrea, I don't think Rod Liddle was saying that. The point that may have been lost and is worth repeating is that we have had problems with the USA, what with not extraditing terrorists and support from NORAID as well as leading politicians and this needs to be taken into account. I am absolutely certain that most Americans did not like the support given to the IRA if they thought about it. But they did not stop it. And that affects British attitudes to the American outbursts about the British not caring about Americans being killed. He is not saying it is OK to kill Americans but neither was it OK to kill British people.ReplyDelete