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

  • ‘A prolific author’

    April 18, 2011

    By Jean McKeowin for Rhodes University, April 11  2011

    Tariq Ali brought his charismatic presence and gift for oratory to the Rhodes University Faculty of Science’s Graduation ceremony last week. In his speech, before he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate by the University, Ali showed that none of his fire has died out, although it is over forty years since he gained his reputation as one of the twentieth century’s most outspoken activists.

    Born in 1943 in Lahore, now in Pakistan, into a family of some privilege, he grew up as both an atheist and a communist. As a student at Punjab University, Ali was elected President of the Young Students Union, and led several public demonstrations against Pakistan’s military dictatorship. This resulted in his being banned from further participation in student politics and his parents sent him to  …

  • Corruptions of Cricket

    August 30, 2010

    ‘Corruptions of Cricket’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, August 30, 2010

    Whether in cricket or in politics, corrupt leaders—bar notable exceptions—are often all Pakistan has …

    Poor Pakistan. Floods of biblical proportions; millions homeless; a president who pretends to be shocked by cricket’s latest betting scandal when his own persona is the embodiment of corruption. A prime minister shedding crocodile tears because of the cricketing “shame” rather than tending to allegations that flood-relief money has gone missing. And now a sleep-walking cricket captain attempting to deny the ugly truth, but without real conviction, hoping against hope that he will ride out the crisis like others before him and that his bosses in Pakistan’s cricket establishment will cast a veil over this one as well.

    Even if guilty, Salman Butt and his vice-captain Kamran Akmal will try to  …

  • ‘Most Pakistanis Don’t Want The Army In Politics’

    April 23, 2012

    Tariq Ali interviewed by Bharat Bhushan for Outlook India, April 23, 2012

    When you look at your original homeland, Pakistan, what thoughts come to your mind?

    A congregation of pain – to quote from Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s great poem Aaj ke naam – in Urdu, “dard ki anjuman”. The country has gone from bad to worse. You feel sometimes that things can’t get worse and they do. We first had the effect of military dictatorships on social political life in the country and now we have got a civilian government which is probably the most corrupt government in the entire history of the country. What staggers me is that Zardari is so shameless. On his face you do not read any regret for what he has done and he will carry on doing it till the United States keep  …