Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, London,Terror

Published by Verso, 2006

July 7th, the murderous mayhem that Blair’s war has sown in Iraq came home to London in a devastating series of suicide bombings. Two weeks later, with apparent impunity, security forces shot dead a young Brazilian electrician on his way to work.

Rough Music is Tariq Ali’s white-hot response to these events. He lays bare the vengeful platitudes of Blair’s war on civil liberties, mounts a scorching attack on the cosy falsehoods of the government’s ‘consensus’ on what the threat amounts to and how to respond, and denounces the corruption of the political-media bubble which allows it to go unchallenged. Finally, invoking the perseverance and integrity of the great dissenters of the past, he calls for political resistance, within parliament and without.

Buy from

Reviews: New Left Review, International Viewpoint

From the archive

  • ‘Official politics in the west ignores public opinion at will’

    February 27, 2007

    ‘Official politics in the west ignores public opinion at will’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, February 27, 2007

    The government crisis in Italy over US bases and Afghanistan reflects the increasing gap in Europe between rulers and ruled

    The states of western Europe continue to resist harmonisation. On the same day last week that the chicaneries of every antiquated careerist vying for the New Labour deputy leadership were made public, each justifying his or her grotesque decision to support the war and occupation of Iraq, the centre-left Italian government—not yet a year old—fell after a debate on foreign policy in the upper chamber.

    It was not Iraq that was at issue here. Unlike New Labour (protected by undemocratic electoral laws and MPs unmoved by the suffering in Iraq), all of the Italian left and 80% of the  …

  • Interview: ‘The Time is Right for a Palace Revolution’

    November 13, 2008

    ‘The Time is Right for a Palace Revolution’, an interview with Tariq Ali by Malcolm Azania for Vue Weekly, November 30, 2009

    Tariq Ali spoke with Vue Weekly by telephone from his home in England a week before the recent American election. Here is some of what he had to say on Afghanistan, US hypocrisy and what the Obama presidency might mean.

    Vue Weekly: Some say recent US airstrikes in Pakistan will quicken the rise of Pakistan’s Taliban to state power. Will they?

    Tariq Ali: [The imminent fall of Pakistan] has been the standard view of many mainstream western journalists for five or six years now. And it’s completely misguided. I think the big problem in Pakistan is not the danger of Talibanization. These people who are pro-Taliban are a tiny minority. The real problem is the social  …

  • Tariq Ali on Imperialism, the Arab Spring, and the crisis

    March 23, 2012

    David Barsamian interviewed Tariq Ali in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 26, 2011 for the International Socialist Review.

    The Revolts in the Arab Middle East, beginning in Tunisia in December of 2010, seemingly took the world by surprise. But before we talk about what’s happened in the last year, set the historical context of the post-colonial Arab states.

    Essentially what happened in the Arab world after the Second World War was that the weakening of the British and French empires made it very difficult for them to exercise any real control. So it was only a question of time. Saudi Arabia had already been sorted out during the Second World War itself, when Roosevelt and the American government took charge of the kingdom without a word of thank you to the British. Saudi Arabia was then safe with  …