Tariq Ali, interviewed by Bella Caledonia.
JF: Scottish Labour politicians claim they speak for internationalism, and often accuse independence supporters of parochialism and petty nationalism. As an internationalist living in London, why are you supporting independence?
TA: Because I don’t accept the claims of New Labour or their coalition lookalikes that they are the internationalists. Their internationalism essentially means subordinating the entire British state to the interests of the United States. They have made Britain into a vassal state: on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on various other things. This isn’t even a big secret. So I would challenge very strongly any idea that the governments within the British state have been internationalist. They haven’t been, for a very long time. That is something that needs to be squashed.
The second point is this: an independent Scotland, a small state, …
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.””
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.
The following is an interview with Tariq Ali conducted by the Times of India
How do you analyse the AAP phenomenon — is this anarchism entering politics with street protests becoming a popular mode of official expression?
AAP is one of the many parties on the globe that’s benefited from a widespread distrust of politicians and mainstream politics. People feel disenfranchised — whoever rules, their conditions remain the same. In Italy, the Five Star movement stormed into national parliament on a similar basis.
These are effectively single-issue parties. AAP is more confusionist than anarchist. As for elected governments mobilising people on the streets, why not? History is shaped by the nameless masses.
But can AAP, which shifts from leftist resistance against FDI to populist promises of subsidised water and electricity, provide a coherent economic roadmap?
It is contradictory. All …
In this fascinating interview conducted for Red Mole, Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn interview John Lennon at his home, discussing Lennon’s political beliefs and ideological attitude. Tariq Ali remembered their meeting for the Guardian, 30 years after Lennon’s assassination, this week in 1980.
The day after the interview he rang me and said he had enjoyed it so much that he’d written a song for the movement, which he then proceeded to sing down the line: Power to the People. The events in Derry on Bloody Sunday angered him greatly and he subsequently suggested that he wished to march on the next Troops Out demonstration on Ireland, and did so, together with Yoko Ono, wearing Red Mole T-shirts and holding the paper high. Its headline was: “For the IRA, Against British Imperialism”.’
The full transcript of the interview can be …