Monday, 12 July 2010

Politicians And Significant Others

Both of us snailed and emailed letters – to our recently re-elected New Labourite MP Ben Bradshaw and to new Deputy PM Libdem Nick Clegg. And we both subsequently received two-page, very nearly identical replies, electronic and hardcopy! How interesting that this 'form-letter' or official handout statement, or whatever one can call such a fudging, bland piece of hypocritical guff, should be the 'official' cross-party, Whitehall line on… guess what? The IDF's brutality toward the Palestinians and against anyone trying to bring humanitarian aid to refugees, of course!

Never mind the killings and ill-treatment of those on board the recent flotilla headed for Gaza, never mind the continuing illegality of Israel's occupation-annexation of the so-called Holy Land, international critics can continue to be ignored and/or conveniently dismissed as antisemitic, if there is even a whisper of protest against Zionist attacks on defenceless civilians.

As to the vicious racism and destruction involved, I can recommend Ben White's extraordinary and illuminating book, Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide. Anyone interested in the Middle East and indeed in the future of world peace should read it! A review of the book originally caught my eye when I saw it in that fearless and provocative publication The Spokesman, founded by Bertrand Russell. Its distinguished editor for many years, Ken Coates, died only a couple of weeks ago. He will be remembered with considerable affection and respect by those who never actually met him, among them myself. I've contributed (haiku) to the magazine for some years and have been reading it for longer. I did correspond with Ken though: as with his writings in general, even his briefest communications radiated humour, compassion, dislike of lies and injustice, and an outspoken honesty. The decent, uncompromising and uncompromised Left will miss him greatly.

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