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Tony Blair

Book Reviews: 'Why Marx Was Right', 'Speak for Britain!', 'The Political Economy of Development'

Marx was righter than this

Why Marx Was Right. By Terry Eagleton (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011) £16.99

Was Marx right? As Terry Eagleton points out in the preface to this book, of course he wasn’t. No thinker gets everything right, nor can any reasonable person expect them to. But was Marx “right enough of the time about enough important issues to make calling oneself a Marxist a reasonable self-description”? In this sense, Eagleton says the answer is yes. And Eagleton is right.

Proper Gander: Stripped Blair

Proper Gander

IN THE dark corridors beneath the Chilcot theatre, Gordon Brown has finally caught up with Tony Blair. He raises his gun and Blair tries to talk his way out of a tight situation one last time: “I think you’ll make a great Prime Minister. You’ll love it. The girls. The parties. Power’s a great aphrodisiac.” Brown doesn’t listen and, trembling, he pulls the trigger.

And so marks the end of Blair’s escape from those who turned on him, as imagined in The Comic Strip Presents: The Hunt For Tony Blair. This enjoyable one-off reunited the team who have been making short comedy films since Channel Four’s launch in 1982. Previously, their output has included both the miners’ strike and Ken Livingstone’s takeover of the Greater London Council filmed in the style of Hollywood blockbusters. The Hunt For Tony Blair developed this approach by presenting Blair’s downfall as a 1950s film noir.

Editorial: The side show

Reform of the House of Lords, changing the voting system, elected local mayors, these are the issues the politicians and media have wanted us to get interested in recently. But why, when a recession is looming, are they trying to get us so worked up about constitutional issues?

The experience of the three previous recessions since 1973 has taught politicians that they can do nothing to stop a recession coming. All they can do is brace themselves and wait for it to pass by. There is, however, one field where a government does have some power to change things—the constitution. The Blair government has been exploiting this to the full, in a bid to avoid losing credibility through appearing to be completely powerless.

In These We Trust?

Is it a coincidence that so many of capitalism's Great Men - its leaders and captains of industry - are so utterly unworthy as human beings?

By all accounts, including his own, Bill Clinton is a mendacious, sleazy rogue, whom you would trust to look after your shares but not your younger sister. Clinton's own analysis of his condition, after taking priestly counsel, is that he's a sinner. His process of repentance has involved dropping bombs on Iraq, for which he has been praised as a defender of global peace, and parading around America exhibiting his ubiquitous smirk. It is the insolent smirk reminiscent of a southern Baptist choirboy caught nicking the church collection whose only resource of defence, after months of righteously denying the charge, is to bite his lip and utter hoarsely "I was looking after it for Gaad".

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