Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Souls of Secret Policemen


"No novelist with any talent just deals with political themes, and readers who scour their books for ideological clues have the souls of secret policemen".
- Nick Cohen, December 2009

"...so consistent was the pro-Islamist party line in the BBC’s drama it seemed as if a politburo had taken control of the arts department". Nick Cohen, December 2007

See also here: Nick on the foul Islamofascistical subtext of Robin Hood; Nick on the foul appeasement of Spooks; Nick on the foul moral blindness of Die Hard 4.

Here: Nick on the foul, wilful blindness to Islamofascism of The Bourne Identity; Nick on the foul, disgusting unwillingness of James Bond to tackle Islamofascism; Nick on the foul appeasement of Spooks (again).

Previously:
Mainstream Liberal Culture.

3 comments:

organic cheeseboard said...

it's not just that. witness the following:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/02/nick-cohen-arts-politics

and

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/02/nick-cohen-arts-politics

and

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/13/stieg-larsson-nick-cohen

Where it seems that what Nick wants is, er, straightforwardly ideological novelists... readers of standpoint who also get the observer will likely feel fairly shortchanged by this most recent standpoint article because it's just a longer version of the top one - in fact Cohen seems to have read no new novels in 'research'. surely the people who run that mag are entitled to feel a bit aggreived?

FlyingRodent said...

TV game show idea - How Ideologically Clean Is Your House?

Nick 'n' David T. get all Kim 'n' Aggie on a load of lefty students, tutting at their Rage posters and launching into tirades of bullshit over Che Guevara T-shirts.

They'd be like the Bottom Inspectors from Viz.

Chardonnay Chap said...

Looks like I owe you an apology for not seeing that you got to Nick first. Like both of you, I haven't a clue what the point of Nick's piece on novels is.

When interviewers asked them [politicians] to name their favourite novelist, they invariably picked Trollope...

This isn't true. I can't name many politicians who had favourite novelists, but JFK's was Ian Fleming, and Margaret Thatcher's was Frederick Forsythe. John Major's _was_ Trollope, and he only increased his image of being staid and a little odd by saying so. A bit of a Google provides Geoffrey Wheatcroft in the Statesman, 1998. Tony Blair, true to form, by then had named both The Lord of the Rings and Ivanhoe as his favourite novel. Roy Jenkins read Proust three times in English and once in French.

When the first substantial block of Labour members was returned to parliament, 30 of them in 1906, they were asked by an enterprising journalist what books had most influenced them. Students of the Labour movement won't be surprised that Capital, or even Fabian Essays, didn't rank high. The book chosen by easily the largest number of these high-minded working men was Ruskin's Unto this Last.

I don't understand Nick's hatred of Spooks. Bond was clearly anti-communist, but he actually met very few Russians. (The only one I can recall was in 'Casino Royale' who actually saves JB by killing Le Chiffre, and who, being a slavish and literal follower of orders doesn't kill Bond because he wasn't told to. Instead, he carves the initials of Smersh (which meant 'Death to Spies' and I think was SS) into the back of Bond's hand.) The only other direct Soviet agent Bond met was in 'From Russia With Love' and he was Irish.) Ian Fleming, soft on Stalin...

Still Spooks really is much poorer with each series. The first series had a bigger cast and gave the impression of a plausible department riven with internecine conflict. And Jenny Agutter! And Hugh Laurie! Now the budget goes on explosions, like a post watershed Thunderbirds. Although I actually liked to story arc about the CIA's plan to provoke a nuclear war between India and Pakistan and destroy the latter as a way to exterminate the Taliban. Nick can't have seen a preview of the last episode, but the mentions of Pakistan were hardly subtle, so even his allegation that the writers had forgotten about al Qaeda was blatantly untrue.