Tariq Ali in Bella Caledonia

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,  …

Read more

Tariq Ali on Scottish Independence

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.

Read more

The AAP is more confusionist than anarchist

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  …

Read more

Tariq Ali interviews John Lennon on revolution and politics

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  …

Read more

México está ‘atado’ para defenderse de espionaje de EU

Ante las revelaciones del espionaje de EU a países como México, el escritor pakistaní Tariq Alí dice en entrevista con Carmen Aristegui que la reacción del gobierno mexicano “es como si estuviese siendo violado en términos de sus políticas, economía que son espiadas y el presidente no dice nada”. El escritor, que participó en la Feria del Libro de la Ciudad de México, recuerda la reacción de la presidenta Dilma Rousseff quien demostró “una reacción de un país soberano e independiente, enojado” con acciones como cancelar su visita de Estado a Washington DC y condenar el espionaje ante la ONU; mientras que la del presidente de México fue la de “un país que depende de EU moralmente, políticamente y psicológicamente”. Read more

Read more

From the archive

  • ‘No Balls’ – Tariq Ali for the LRB Blog

    September 1, 2010

    Tariq Ali on Pakistan’s cricket scandal for the London Review of Books Blog, September 1, 2010

    The mood in Pakistan is bitter, angry and vengeful. Effigies of Salman Butt have been burned, his name has been painted on donkeys and the no-ball bowlers are being violently abused all over the country. Demands that the corrupt cricketers be hanged in public are gaining ground. Among younger members of the elite there is shock that Butt (educated at a posh school) has let the side down. Mohammad Amir they could understand since he’s from a poor family. The blindness of this cocooned layer of young Pakistanis is hardly a surprise, but popular anger should not be underestimated. The no-ballers and their captain will need round-the-clock security when they return. Much better to take a long holiday abroad (surely they can  …

  • Interview: Tariq Ali on Writing Novels

    February 1, 2010

    An interview with Tariq Ali on writing novels, by Maniza Naqvi for 3 Quarks Daily, February 1, 2010

    Maniza Naqvi: You have spent a lifetime leading political, anti war and socialist activism through demonstrations, protest marches; political articles, books, lectures, interviews, and speeches . You have spoken out in all sorts of forums ranging from university settings to the streets during anti war demonstrations. You are noted as the leader of the Left in Europe. You’ve been a hero and example for many of us. So, in all of this, where does writing novels fit in? You have now written five novels, two of which I absolutely loved reading: The Book of Saladin and Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree.

    Tariq Ali: I started writing fiction in 1990. Why? I don’t know. I felt like it  …

  • Stone, Ali, and Weisbrot respond to attack from the New York Times’ Larry Rohter

    July 2, 2010

    The following letter was sent to The New York Times by Tariq Ali, Oliver Stone and Mark Weisbrot in response to a grossly distorted account of their new film ‘South of the Border‘by Larry Rohter, a one time backer of the 2002 coup attempt.

    Larry Rohter attacks our film, “South of the Border,” for “mistakes, misstatements and missing details.”  But a close examination of the details reveals that the mistakes, misstatements, and missing details are his own, and that the film is factually accurate. We will document this for each one of his attacks. We then show that there is evidence of animus and conflict of interest, in his attempt to discredit the film. Finally, we ask that you consider the many factual errors in Rohter’s attacks, outlined below, and the pervasive evidence of animus and conflict  …