Magazine article The Spectator

Arrogant, Not Brave

Magazine article The Spectator

Arrogant, Not Brave

Article excerpt

From Jolyon Connell Sir: Michael Gove is heartened by the leftwing writers who have denounced Islamic terrorism rather than seeking to make excuses for it ('All hail the new anti-Islamist intelligentsia', 27 January). Fair enough.

But he also seems pleased that such a number of them backed the Iraq war. He calls these writers brave.

Brave is not the word I'd use. Invading Iraq was always likely to appeal to left-wing intellectuals. Its most fervent supporters were the American neocons, many of whom, after all, were one-time left-wing Democrats.

The idea of creating a new promised land in the Middle East was arrogant, naive, impractical and almost certain to be counter-productive -- the hallmarks of many a failed socialist enterprise.

Which is why, as opinion polls suggested before the war began, more Conservative voters than Labour voters opposed it, as of course did most thoughtful conservative politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

And which is why, looking at the hideous mess that some on the Left still desperately go on trying to justify, many of us would like to see the return of a sensible, pragmatic Conservative government. If the opposition front bench listen to the likes of Michael Gove, we will have a long wait. …

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