Sunday, January 28, 2007


What is going on? Michael Gove, Conservative MP for Surrey Heath, writes in The Spectator in praise of Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen and the Euston Manifesto for their

bravery in placing themselves outside literary London’s comfort zone by being brave enough to reject the moral relativism of so many on the left.
[See the post below]

He invokes the struggle of the Cold War and the ideological and intellectual fight undertaken to win it. Blair and Brown have called for efforts here by the side of military 'outreach', but I have yet to hear Bush speak of this or put some dosh down for its support. Arguably, it is more important than the use of force.
But victory in the Cold War depended not just on the voices of Western intellectuals, crucially it depended on Western governments giving support to those dissident voices which were struggling to be heard in the Eastern bloc. Where are the political leaders now who will defend liberal and progressive voices in the Islamic world in the way in which Reagan and Thatcher championed the Sharanskys and Sakharovs? The real heroes of the anti-Islamist intelligentsia are Arab thinkers like Shaker al-Nabulsi who are challenging totalitarianism within the Islamic world. If the West is really serious about winning hearts and minds in this generational struggle, then it needs to show its support for those who, in the least propitious circumstances, still have the bravery to cry freedom.

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