Tuesday, April 04, 2006

This charming man: an exchange of emails with Nick Cohen

Oi tosser? Oy veh. Here’s an email that arrived in my in box this afternoon, from the man I still regard as the best newspaper columnist working in Britain right now. Nice to see the figurehead of the 'Decent Left' upholding the current's well-deserved reputation for reasoned debate.

Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 3:24 PM
Subject: Onanism

Oi, tosser, I do not think that the far left and far right are the same, although god knows there's a strong case for arguing that they are. I think that since the death of socialism you and all your mates have decided to go along with fascist movements because any alternative to democracy will do even if it is from the far right. I also think that in doing so you have betrayed the left and your comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and Africa. Further, I think if you were anything other than a fraud and a poseur you would tell me why I was wrong, but you don't, so I assume you can't.

Nick Cohen

Nothing like buttering up your fan base, is there? And as my dear old mum always used to say, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Here is my response …

Hi Nick

Still your usual charming self, I see. But given your email starts Re: Fw: I'm not actually sure what this correspondence relates to. Sure you've got the right guy?

So ... when have I ever, ever gone along with any fascist movement ... even using your crap definition of fascism? Or had words to say in praise of any alternative to democracy, 'leftwing' or rightwing?

If you agree with me on nothing else, you have to admit that I have been a consistent critic of far left alignment with political Islamism, even when it has done me no good whatsoever in the political circles in which I mix.

And without being able to go into details, for obvious reasons, I have gone to some personal risk to assist progressives in Saudi Arabia. So I take particular exception to that little jibe. So what have you ever done for them, then?

Comradely regards



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