Castro being a revisionist and a splitter, I am now even older than the world's last Stalinist Head of State.
As is an erstwhile housemate of mine who is now the Head of Research for the Labour Party. Many moons ago, when he was still in his pre-Euston Manifesto life, he was once commended by George Galloway for having given "the speech of the night", and he once rallied the troops with, "The ideology of the State of Israel is Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer". In October 2001, he told me that he longed to see a picture of the collapsing Twin Towers under the headline, "We Are All Palestinians Now".
Anyway, he also once proposed a motion at a meeting of his Junior Common Room, "To create a Koreas Officer to liaise with North and South Korea, and to report back to the JCR". I do not know if the post was ever created, or if it still exists. But I hope that it was, and I hope that it does. That Officer could explain, not least to the Euston Manifesto lot, that there is nothing faked, or even at all surprising, about the outpourings of grief in North Korea today. Wrong. But entirely genuine. And entirely to be expected.
Life for those permitted to live in Pyongyang is not bad by Second World standards. It is essentially that of Eastern European capital cities before 1989. In any case, those benefiting from it do not know any better, whereas they do know an awful lot worse. They are people who have stuck by the Kim dynasty and the Communist Party. The Kims and the Communists have stuck by them. Most people in North Korea are nothing like so fortunate. But the people weeping on the television truly are.
Of course there were large numbers of people who fought for Saddam. Of course there were large numbers of people who fought for Gaddafi. And of course there are large numbers of people who mourn Kim Jong-il. Call them wrong if you like. In the last case, at least, I certainly do, although the earlier two cases do stand as terrifying reminders of how anything else might be even worse.
But those who are taken aback by the existence of such fighters or mourners, or who are convinced that such fighting or mourning must be coerced or otherwise insincere, or who imagined that Western intervention would have improved matters in Iraq or Libya, or who imagine that it would do so in North Korea, plainly and simply need to grow up.