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November 06, 2006



Perhaps he's planning a book extract tie-in to coincide with his defection to the Sunday Times. Oliver Kamm is also keen:

The book dissects the oddity - and the scandal - of how segments of the Left, in their willingness to discern progressive qualities in the most reactionary causes, went over to the other side of the political divide.

Autobiography, then.

mr k

Yeah that one took me a bit aback... a smattering of angry responses follow on CiF, as one might expect. I'm not entirely sure what audience he thinks he's writing to there....


[It’ll be interesting to see if the Observer treat us to an extract.]

I suspect that the Observer might reasonably decide that having paid for the book when it was a series of columns (many of which had already appeared in the New Statesman, modulo a thin rewrite) they're unwilling to pay for it again as a book.

Martin Wisse

Congratulations. It seems the UK now is going to suffer through the same kind of islamophobia and war on terror hysteria we had to deal with in the Netherlands for the past two years or so.

Cohen sounds exactly like the various interchangeable mini-Hitlers now competing for a seat in parliament.


I still can't get over the way the same people who gleefully leapt on Ali C's idiotic anti-French campaign back in 2003 are now basing their entire worldview on a propaganda phrase invented by the French secret service in the 1990s, when they were whingeing that the British government wouldn't let them..ahem..extraordinarily render various Algerian dissidents back to be tortured by the Algerian army.


The relationship between the Decents and the French is probably worth exploring in more detail. On the one hand, the French are pathetically lily-livered when it comes to backing unjustified wars of aggression in the Middle East and are somewhat "anti-American" in their political sympathies; on the other, the French state does of course have an historic commitment to "rationalism", "enlightenment values" and other totems of Decency, is hostile to the concept of multiculturalism, disregards the human rights of Islamists and is aggressively (and often intolerantly) secular.

I'm surprised there haven't been more attempts to bridge the gap. Perhaps people are put off by the example of Bernard-Henri Levy.

Nathaniel Tapley

Mr Cohen's most worrying trait seems to be his wilful disregard of the difference between 'a suspect' and a convicted criminal. This can be seen in the article when he says: "The result is an absurd situation where a harmless Egyptian who comes to Britain to work as an illegal minicab driver can be expelled, but an alleged member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad cannot."

One might as well say: "The absurd situation where alleged child murderers walk around free on bail whilst actual traffic fine defaulters are hounded mercilessly."

Or: "The absurd situation where people against whom allegations have been made wander freely, at the same time as convicted criminals languish in gaol."

It's been a neo-con chorus for a long time now that the presumption of innocence until guilt in proven, and, indeed, the whole legal system is outdated and provides shelter for terrorists. It's good to see the liberal-left have taken up the refrain as well.

It's also ironic that his piece should have appeared on the anniversary of a terrorist plot which would have seen the seat of government blown up. Apparently, the threat today is unlike anything we've ever seen before...

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