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.

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Reviews: New Left Review, International Viewpoint

From the archive

  • ‘Why can’t we protest against cuts like the French?’

    October 19, 2010

    ‘Why can’t we protest against cuts like the French?’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, October 19, 2010

    Many thousands have protested in France against cuts; we have a proud history of dissent in Britain, so why aren’t we on the streets?

    A few years ago, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy told an interviewer that he knew the French better than most. Today they were admiring the good looks of his wife; tomorrow they would cut his throat. It hasn’t quite come to that just yet, but the French—students and workers, men and women, citizens all—are out on the streets again. A rise in the pension age? Impossible. The barricades are up, oil supplies running out, trains and planes on a skeleton schedule and the protests are still escalating. More than three million people a week ago. Hundreds  …

  • Tariq Ali on Scottish Independence

    March 11, 2014

    Tariq Ali’s upcoming series of talks in Scotland on the campaign for a Yes vote in the upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum are being covered across the Scottish media.

    Speaking to the Herald, Ali said “”England has been politically petrified since the Thatcher era.” Although the Tories were soundly beaten by New Labour in 1997, Blair was the heir to Thatcher, he says. “An independent Scotland could also lead to something quite new in England; but not something nutty like UKIP.””

    Read the interview in full on the Herald website.

    Speaking to the Daily Record, he said “My hope is that independence will create spaces of critical thought in England as well as in Scotland because people down here are very depressed and demoralised too.”

    Read his interview with the Daily Record in full on their website.

  • Interview: ‘On Balkanisation’

    October 19, 2007

    ‘Neoliberalism and Protectorate States in the post-Yugoslav Balkans’, an interview with Tariq Ali by Global Balkans Network (posted on  ZNet), October 5, 2007

    Global Balkans: It is rather fortuitous that today is the 5th of October 2007, 7 years since the so-called October 5th revolution in Serbia when Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown. The post-intervention period since October 5th is known as the “tranzicija” or “transition” in Serbia. What we are witnessing now is an accelerated privatization program, mass unemployment, massive impoverishment following upon ten years of war, the highest number of refugees and internally displaced people in Europe, and a lot of promises of a better future through privatization and so on. I wanted to ask you what your perspective on transition in such post-intervention contexts is. How do you see this?

    Tariq Ali: Well, I mean the  …