In Heaven, Leonard Cohen, Keith Emerson and Lemmy make music.
In Hell, Fidel Castro and Antonin Scalia discuss politics.
So the man held as a great hero of the people by some on the left, and the Devil incarnate to some on the right is dead. He overthrew a brutal tyrant only to set himself up as the new tyrant rather than attempt to build an open and free society. He outlasted many US Presidents, but not allowing elections nor allowing an opposition to exist might have helped. Though it’s possible that America’s embargo and demonisation had the effect of prolonging his rule.
Fidel Castro was no liberal.
There’s a certain symmetry between the way Castro was idolised by parts of the left, and the way parts of the right used to fawn over Augusto Pinochet of Chile. In both cases, they didn’t care about their victims because those victims belonged to the tribal out-group. The nauseatingly hagiographical eulogies coming from Jeremy Corbyn and the odious Ken Livingstone are entirely predictable.
I wish the best for the people of Cuba in the coming years. The omens are not good; too much of the western world seems to be heading in the opposite direction at the moment, but I hope they can build the open and prosperous society that’s been denied to them over the past half-century.
Boris Johnson has gone full Godwin. More evidence, if any were needed, that Boris is an utterly cynical charlatan who says things he doesn’t even believe, and is willing to sacrifice the future of the nation to further his own short-term political ambitions. He cares far more about becoming Prime Minister that whether or not Britain leaves the European Union.
I hope a critical mass of the British public is smart enough to see through him.
And no, Leftists, this doesn’t let Ken Livingstone off the hook on anti-Semitism. Both Boris and Ken have been using classic internet troll tactics, saying something which is technically factually correct but ripped so far out of historical context it’s a dog-whistle for a far bigger lie. Hitler neither wanted to create a European equivalent of the United States nor cared about the future of Germany’s Jews “before he went mad”. To assign the same motives as Adolf Hitler to either the EU or to Israel is utterly grotesque, and it shouldn’t be necessary to have to explain why.
This is the state of British politics in 2016
Anti-Semitism is of course no laughing matter, and the Labour Party have done the right thing and suspended him. But Livingstone and his apologists have doubled down and insist he’s done nothing wrong.
If you make no distinction between a nation’s government, its people, and those worldwide who share the same ethnicity, you are a racist. It really is that simple. Trying to deflect the issue by pointing out all the horribly racist things Boris Johnson has said in the past just doesn’t wash. That’s classic “whatabouterty”; as my mother always said, two wrongs don’t make a right.
When the left have adopted a form of radical identity politics in which everyone is classed as either “Privileged” or “Oppressed” on the basis of their ethnicity, gender and sexuality, it’s hard not to see a connection with the rise of anti-Semitism, something that always used to be associated with the far right. Jews, like Gay Men, have been moved out of the “Oppressed” category because a minority of them have become wealthy and successful, and some very old and very dangerous bigotries have been allowed to come back to life.
Ken Livingstone has a lot in common with Richard Dawkins. The recent public pronouncements of both seem to come from their unfiltered Id. Saying the July 7th bombers “Gave their lives to protest against the war” is at best grossly tone-deaf, and at worst something I really don’t want to think about.