This interview with Tariq Ali was conducted by Die Presse in Vienna and appears in German in the paper’s Sunday edition.
What is Mrs Thatcher’s legacy?
Her legacy is clearly visible in the state of Britain today. It is essentially a story of decay and ruin: A small, post-imperial vassal state dependent on nostalgia and, more importantly, the United States to keep itself afloat. On the economy the Thatcherite model (astonishingly, still being praised by blind politicians in denial) was effectively the deindustrialization of the country, the purchase of working-class votes by squandering the monies that accrued from North sea oil and laying the foundations for a financialised economic model that exploded with the Wall Street crash of 2008. We live in a world where it is convenient to personalize politics. Thatcher obviously pushed through the measures required by …
‘Pakistan will not forget’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, October 12, 2005
Why have US, German and British forces in Afghanistan not been mobilised to save lives?
The scale of the disaster has traumatised the entire country—or perhaps not quite. Here in Lahore a group of people collecting funds for earthquake relief were apprehended and charged. They were amassing money for themselves. Even in the midst of devastation, life goes on. The global media have descended on the country, their reports repeating the same images and the same banal comments every few minutes. Soon they will move on, so that when they are really needed, to monitor relief efforts and reconstruction or keep watch on the funds, they will no longer be there. The citizens of the west will also forget. But Pakistan will never be able …
Victor Kiernan, professor emeritus of Modern History at Edinburgh University, was an erudite Marxist historian with wide-ranging interests that spanned virtually every continent. His passion for history and radical politics, classical languages and world literature was evenly divided.
His interest in languages was developed at home in south Manchester. His father worked for the Manchester Ship Canal as a translator of Spanish and Portuguese and young Victor picked these up even before getting a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School, where he learnt Greek and Latin. His early love for Horace (his favourite poet) resulted in a later book. He went on to Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied History, imbibed the prevalent anti-fascist outlook and like many others joined the British Communist Party.